GARY SILVER AWARD
Gary Silver in Motion. Photo Courtesy of Rich Landers
Kate & Mike Burns received the award in 2022
The Gary Silver Lifetime Contribution Award honors an individual, a family, or a group of people who have made significant contributions to cross-country in the Spokane area over a period of years. The annual award was first given in 1989.
2022 Gary Silver Award Winners: Kate & Mike Burns
We heartily applaud the Gary Silver Award given to Mike and Kate Burns this past weekend! Mike and Kate have been involved in and supported all aspects of Spokane Nordic Programs starting of course with Nordic Kids, with enthusiasm, commitment, and many hours of their time. Mike has not only been a nordic director for the Spokane Junior National Qualifier race for many years, but he also serves the larger Nordic and alpine community as a certified ski patroller and an Assistant Technical Delegate at other nordic races requiring travel and long days. Mike is a representative on the Non-motorized Sno-Park Advisory Committee - advocates on behalf of the whole community of skiers to allocate funds to our region.
Kate has served on the Spokane Nordic club board both treasurer and president, helped develop, promote, and teach with the nordic skijoring program, and served as the parent liaison with the race team all of which has also required many hours of time. She also makes a mean breakfast burrito for hungry skiers and coaches for those early morning waxing sessions.
Mike and Kate encourage, and support all our young Nordic skiers and their families in whatever way they deem best to enjoy our great sport and learn lifelong lessons in teamwork, camaraderie, and positive fun!
In addition, a huge shout out to all the race committee chiefs and volunteers for this past weekend's Junior National Qualifying Race that was also open to citizens and our youngest skiers. Spokane Nordic was given accolades and the trophy by the Pacific Northwest Ski Association to have put on a race with great sportsmanship and participation.
George Bryant and Alison Wiener
Nominations for the award are sought from anyone in the local cross-country ski community. Nominations should include a description of why the nominee should receive this award. Nominations can be submitted either in hard copy (Spokane Nordic, PO Box 501, Spokane WA, 99210) or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations should include the name of the person doing the nominating (for clarification, more information, etc) although the nominator may request to remain anonymous if/when the award is given if they so choose.
If you prefer you can use this nomination form.
The Spokane Nordic board will review all nominations and determine this year's recipient through a majority vote. Nominations can be carried over into future years.
If you know of a person who deserves special recognition for his/her contribution to cross-country skiing in the Spokane region, nominate them today!
Gary Silver's Legacy
This article is based on an interview with Spokesman-Review reporter Rich Landers, and on articles written by Rich at the time of Gary Silver's passing in 1998.
The Gary Silver award is named in honor of Gary Silver, a Spokane resident who died July 8, 1998, after suffering from high-altitude sickness at an elevation of about 23,000 feet while climbing on Gasherbrum II in Pakistan.
Gary was an avid climber, Boston Marathon runner, and member of the American Alpine Club, Spokane Mountaineers, Bloomsday Road Runners Club, and Inland Empire Nordic Club.
"Gary was a spark plug," Rich recalls. "The skiing community was small but already established when Gary turned on to the sport as an offshoot of his love for endurance sports. But Gary had a way of immersing himself in things to which he took an interest. He became very active in the Inland Empire Nordic Club. Perhaps what put him over the top was his commitment to improving ski racing trails at Achilles Ranch, a private area where the first few Langlauf races were held prior to a significant ski trail system at Mount Spokane. Most notably, he bought his own small bulldozer to carve out trails."
Rich continues, "Gary was a motivator -- competitive in a way that made everyone around him try to be better, whether it was ski technique, waxing, eating healthy foods or off-season training."
1989 Sam Schlieder
1990 Carl Miller
1991 Andrea Gunning
1992 Roxie Miller
1993 Bob Holcomb
1994 Paul Smith
1995 Toni Halloran
1996 Jane McDonald
1997 Fleeta Holcomb
1998 Tim Ray
1999 John Hatcher
2000 Tom/Theresa Frost
2001 Bob Hyslop
2002 Rich Landers
2003 Sue Megaard
2004 Robin Redman
2005 Art Bookstrom
2006 Ron McDonald
2007 Bodhi Densmore
2008 Mark/Jane Bitz
2009 George/Karen Momany
2010 Lewis Persons
2012 Inland Empire Paper Co.
2013 Steve Christensen
2014 Tom/Dawn Schaaf
2015 George Bryant/Alison Weiner
2016 Lou Slack
2017 Cris Curry
2018 Robin DeRuwe
2019 Lisa Sunderman
2022 Kate & Mike Burns