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Colorado Springs, CO
Nominated by Celia Canaan
February 21, 2014
I would like to nominate Kenneth "Ken" E. Fairbanks for the Home Instead, Inc.'s Salute to Senior Service award. Ken has been a community volunteer for years with Silver Key, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), and National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR).
Ken has been married for 57 years and has two adult children. He has a MS in Electrical Engineering (University of Illinois) with over 40 years in the lighting industry. Ken is a Registered Electrical Engineer (PE) in New York, California and Colorado. He is a fellow member of the Emeritus of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Ken retired in 1990 and moved to Colorado Springs where he began to volunteer for the community.
Ken has been a volunteer driver for Silver Key for 22 years. Ken is an advocate for senior empowerment and helps Colorado Springs seniors maintain independence, safety and quality of life. One day a week, Ken transports seniors to medical appointments, shopping and recreation. Colorado Springs seniors receive door-through-door service. With Ken's care and services, he can accommodate wheelchairs, those who have lift requirements, use a walker, oxygen, or other needs.
Ken was a volunteer for VOC for ten years. Ken motivated and enabled people to become active stewards of Colorado's natural resources. Ken participates in summertime project building and maintaining hiking trails in Colorado. From wildfire restoration, to expanding access to trails, Ken gave back to our state's incredible outdoors.
For three years, Ken has volunteered for NMDR. Every Thursday, Ken volunteers a full day at the kennel. His duties include laundry, cleaning and socializing the dogs. Ken is also in charge of tracking and maintaining supplies for the kennel's operation including dog food, disinfectants, detergents, paper products, and hand soaps. Ken participated in the fence-building project surrounding the kennel. Ken updated the wire/pulley system for opening and closing the sliding panel doors between the inside and outside areas of each of the 50 kennels. The existing wires were dangerously frayed and were abrading the expensive aluminum tubular components of the kennel enclosures. Ken's recent project involves retrofitting the existing fluorescent lighting fixtures on a unit-by-unit basis. The present lighting (8' two lamp units and outdated ballasts) are in sad shape with over half the units not operating. The retro kits use the existing steel channel but replace the two 8' lamps with four energy-efficient 4 ft. F32T8 lamps and an electronic ballast. Each retrofit unit will provide 32% more light with 15% less energy. In the future, replacement lamps will be substantially less expensive and not in danger of becoming obsolete and unobtainable.
Co-Founder of NMDR, Helen Freeman shared, "I'm personally thrilled Ken is being nominated for the outstanding senior volunteer award because he has just helped us by fixing the lighting above the front desk area. It was so dark there I would have to flicker the light switch sometimes to tell if it was even on. The winter will be so much nicer and easier to see." NMDR Site Director, Dee Rupert shared, "I work with Ken every Thursday and he is extremely reliable and focused on every task he takes on. He is my support every week when I have a need. He helps the new volunteers understand how the kennel works and gives them direction when needed. He is not a young man but he does the work of a younger person and does not complain. Friday folks must really appreciate him too, because he sure makes their job easier."
Ken has a very positive leadership style. His volunteer contributions have proven valuable and vital by providing needed services and positive effects on the community. Most importantly is Ken's passion, initiative, and complete dedication to his mission of helping others. I appreciate your consideration of Ken for this honor.
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