Delta's Lee Marts Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and Auxiliary #3571 hosted their annual Loyalty Day recognition banquet on May 1, a day on which VFW units across America honor service to community and to country.
This year's event was held at the First Baptist Church and included presentations to eight first responders and their agencies, to five educators in the community, and to a student for patriotic art.
The patriotic art of Taylor Carter, a student at Delta High School, was forwarded to the district and state level competition.
The VFW recognized three teachers as top educators of the year on the local and district level. They are Sharon Lee, teacher of the year at Lincoln Elementary School; David Piotrowski of Vision Charter Academy, teacher of the year on the middle school level; and Kelly Johnson, teacher of the year from Delta High School.
Also recognized for their teaching excellence were Megan Randall, Garnet Mesa Elementary School, and Cindy Hermes, Delta Middle School.
The VFW awards to first responders, known as "hometown heroes" for the event, were given to local agencies and to people who staff them.
Those receiving recognition and thanks from the local VFW were Trooper Aric Hock of the Colorado State Patrol; Dennis Erhart, corrections officer, Delta Correctional Center; Deputy Norm Dishaw and Detective Kris Stewart of the sheriff's office; Officer Clint Swope of the Delta Police Department; and EMT Nathan Sturchio of the Delta County Ambulance District.
For each of the individual recognitions, nomination letters written by supervisors were read.
Also recognized by the VFW for public service were the Delta Volunteer Fire Department, award accepted by Chief Daniel Cano; and Delta County Search and Rescue, award accepted by Undersheriff Mark Taylor.
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.