Successful people find a passion and live each day with a drive to strengthen that passion. Linda Kirkpatrick’s passion is doing good for her Evergreen, Colorado community.
Not long after first arriving in Evergreen, Linda learned of a need to build an ambulance barn, where vehicles and EMTs could be ready to go at a moment’s notice. New to the community, she set out to see the barn was built even though she was new to the area and “I knew five people, and three of them lived under my roof.” In no time, Linda knew many more than five people, and the community certainly knew her.
After raising the funds to build the ambulance barn, there came another project, and another effort, and another need, and before anyone knew it, Linda Kirkpatrick was the person to call if you had an inspiration or concern. That is the magic of this woman’s success – she doesn’t want accolades—although she has earned many—she wants results.
She said, “I would do one project at a time.” Perhaps that’s the secret of this powerhouse; she didn’t want praise or recognition, she simply wanted to accomplish what needed to be done. Linda knows the community, and is adept at connecting people. She knows who knows how to spread the word and build excitement, and who can roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Who knows how to write a grant? – ask Linda. Who knows the person who can bring businesses together to achieve the non-profit goal? – ask Linda. She is never manipulative, or conniving—she is genuine. She’s interested in who people are, and she remembers their talents.
Her efforts and hard work have benefitted countless aspects of Evergreen, including safety, education, music, theater, fine arts, business, health, and community. "I feel my greatest achievements have been playing a significant role in protecting 400+ acres of open space and creating two parks that help define Evergreen's character -- plus the founding of Leadership Evergreen."
Perhaps most visible was her creation of Upbeat, a publication to encourage volunteerism, and Just Around Here, an on-line site that featured stories of people in the community. She sacrificed her personal time to attend countless events—day and night—in order to photograph what was happening, and thus, created a historic record.
From her hard work, she leaves others satisfied and proud, and feeling good about their accomplishments. She encourages others to be at their finest, and best of all, she is ready to not only share the limelight when praise is given, she often stands in the shadows, allowing others to shine.
Recently, she was awarded a place in the Hall of Fame of the Jefferson County Historical Society. Because of Covid-19, it was a virtual event, a shame, as half or more of Evergreen would have been there to recognize her work and give their thanks for all she does. She was born with a heart that calls out each morning, “Help your fellow citizen.”
When a group of dedicated folks were searching for a site for a new art center, it was Linda who suggested they save a historic church—part of it dating back to 1850—that would have been demolished. Today Center for the Arts Evergreen now operates in the renovated, former church. It was Linda who instigated saving a part of our history and giving the arts in Evergreen a beautiful venue.
It’s not only big projects that Linda takes on, she also does the little things that impact people. Due to Covid-19, many of her apartment neighbors were cut-off from friends and family. “I realized how many people weren’t going to have a Thanksgiving.” So, Linda cooked a turkey dinner and delivered plates to her neighbors. When Christmas came, she made sure neighbors received gifts. When she delivered a plant as a gift to a neighbor, staying for a 45 minute chat, the lady wrote Linda a thank you note – for the VISIT– not the geranium. Linda intuitively understands what people want and need. She seems to be on automatic to reach out and help.
Linda’s CV – is too massive – and impressive, to include in a brief article. Reviewing it, and seeing what this one woman has accomplished – not for herself but for the community she has adopted, it will inspire others to put their best food forward. To see what is needed, to seek the personalities and energies of those who can make changes in our world, and to remind us that accomplishing things in life has nothing to do with our egos, but instead, knowing that we’ve left our world better than we found it.
Who is your hero? My childhood dentist who recognized I had some potential and made a lot possible for me. His generous spirit inspired me to do for others in small, meaningful ways.
What is your strongest trait? Candor with kindness.
What do you most admire in a person? (see above -- most admire)
If you could meet anyone, alive or deceased, who would it be? Rosa Parks
What is your most precious possession? My old Leica camera. One time a stranger overheard me answer that question while standing in line with a friend and remarked irately, "I would think it would be your children!" and I responded, "I don't think of my children as possessions."
What do you admire in your friends? (see above -- most admire)
What is your greatest regret? I work hard at not having regrets.
What is your motto? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What kind of books do you enjoy? Biographies, fiction. I especially enjoy listening to books on Audible while I'm doing something else like cooking, working on the computer, or playing computer games!
What do you do on your day off? Every day is a day off during the Pandemic! I walk a couple of miles with a different walking partner each day of the week for social time and exercise and do things for others to help them through these difficult times.
What is luxurious to you? Taking a nap.
What is it about you that you think would surprise people? I hardly spoke growing up but blossomed when I left home at 17.