By Elaine Andrews, AFSC Volunteer

The past year has been one of challenging adjustments and creative problem solving as AFSC staff and volunteers became used to having fewer people and resources to rely on. On October 9, however, the AFSC community gathered for a joyful celebration of what the organization continues to stand for.

The Jack Gore Memorial Peace Award was presented this year to Andy Bardwell, Sarah Bardwell and Ed Wood.

Rather than giving another description of the many projects carried out by the Denver AFSC staff, it seems more telling to hear the words of those from Boulder Meeting who participated in the gathering.

Said Anne Marie Pois, "I witnessed an engaged community of diverse people celebrating their work for peace especially in the area of immigrant rights."

Betsy Buck was impressed by the number of attendees who "lent to a happy, exuberant feeling together. It was good to get to know better the honorees, and their words were very inspiring. The theatre was impressive in that they were real people acting out their own true stories." Added Arden Buck, "The event was great fun, and it felt good to be in a room full of exuberant, good hearted people of all ages - it gives me new hope. I was impressed as always by the effectiveness of AFSC's work and their careful allocation of slim resources."

Chris Griffin-Wehr commented, "In these difficult times of a faltering economy, immigrant injustices, and ongoing wars, I strongly felt the need for the hope, spirit, challenge, and celebration that the AFSC Annual Gathering always provides. And I was not disappointed! I was richly rewarded with delicious food and fellowship, the honor of rejoicing with the Jack Gore Peace Awardees, and the privilege of genuinely sharing thoughts, tears and laughter with the Romero Theater Group!"

Paul Wehr concluded, "It was truly memorable ... such vitality, variety, and youth! Gives me hope for the future of the program and we humans."

The gathering raised $1300 for AFSC's work through a silent auction and hat passing.

According to the event's program, the Memorial Peace award was named for "Jack Gore, a peace activist in Boulder, who offered inspiration and leadership to the many people who worked to end the war in Indochina. With his wife, Jean, he gave strong support to the program work of AFSC. With this award, we remember his commitment to and work for peace."