Lamar Rotary Honors Local Citizens for Vocation Recognition Month

Emick Family



Four Lamar residents were recently recognized for their contribution to their community by the Lamar Rotary as part of their Vocation Recognition program during October.

The four were Dr. Gino Figlio, pediatrician at High Plains Community Health Center for health care, Ron Cook, Prowers County Commissioner for community service, the Emick Family for private industry and Chris Wilkinson for education.

The Emick Family has been involved in ranching in southeastern Colorado for over 100 years and Don Emick accepted the private industry award on behalf of his parents, Bob and Helen. He said, ”We’re always happy to have people come out and visit with us and we celebrated 100 years at our location this past year.  We do this not because it’s for any attention, but because we genuinely like it and have been interested in the history of these Plains and the way the ranch has developed over the decades.”  He added that of the eight Emick children, seven are involved in ranch life in some fashion.

Dr. Figlia with Eric Niemeyer and Judy Turpin

Eric Niemeyer, CEO of High Plains Community Health Center, recapped a portion of Dr. Figlio’s professional career which began with medical studies in his home country of Peru and followed with studies and a practice in New York, Denver, Aurora as well as eighteen years at Prowers Medical Center and his practice at High Plains since 2013. Niemeyer said Dr. Figlio averages close to 5,000 visits a year at the Center and, “We are tremendously glad to have him with us.”

Cook with Anne Marie Crampton

Ron Cook has been active in the community on various levels including a self-employed businessman, serving on the Lamar Chamber of Commerce Board, as a city councilman and most recently as the Chairman of the Prowers County Board of Commissioners.  Cook has been involved with his well-known Lamar Days Car Show and Rod Run for 23 years as well as the fund-raising event for Toys for Tots during Oktoberfest.  Cook was also chosen as Humanitarian of the Year by the Lamar Chamber in 2010.

Chris Wilkinson is Presented with his Award by Crampton


Chris Wilkinson has spent a good portion of his adult life as a teacher. Rotarian Anne Marie Crampton said, “He has a special passion for education,” as she presented him with his plaque,, noting that his wife, Vickie, has spent 25 years as secretary at Parkview Elementary School.  Wilkinson, now retired, was an agriculture and woodworking teacher in Lamar for 33 years and is now in his second term as a Lamar Re-2 Board Director.  He said, “I’m amazed now to see the term vocation attached to any form of education these days.  There’s been a trend to steer our kids away from that concept or a profession that may require they get a little dirt under their fingernails.  That’s a mistake as so many people are able to generate a respectable salary from a respectable job.”  He added, “When I retired and left teaching, I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea how hard.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I still miss it to this day.”

By Russ Baldwin

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