Ken Fucik named Grand Lake Citizen of the Year |

Ken Fucik named Grand Lake Citizen of the Year

Ken Fucik, left, talks with students from Grand Crew on Tuesday night after receiving the Grand Lake Citizen of the Year award. He works with the students at his Wooden Boat School, one of his many community projects.
Amy Golden /

Corey Martens had driven past the Wooden Boat School in Grand Lake many times. One day, he finally stopped by to see what it was all about. Inside, he met Ken Fucik, who outlined his vision for the school to Martens.

After months of volunteering with Fucik, Martens was approached to nominate someone as Grand Lake Citizen of the Year and his choice was clear. He described seeing this community vision come to life during Fucik’s award banquet on Tuesday at the Daven Haven.

“It just dawned on me one day, what’s happening here is exactly what Ken detailed to me when I first met him,” Martens said. “Through his passion of wooden boats, he wants the community to be able to come together and that’s exactly what’s happening every day.”

The Wooden Boat School is only a small part of Fucik’s community involvement. He works with students from Middle Park High School at the boat school, serves on the Heart & Soul Committee and Grand Creatives Board. He also volunteers at Rotary bingo nights and pancake breakfasts, helps out at the Grand Lake Area Historical Society and even assisted with developing a watershed grant for the Colorado headwaters.

“I’m not sure how many hats he actually wears,” said Dave Troutman, treasurer of the Rotary Club and good friend of Fucik.

The Rotary Club of Grand Lake sponsored the award selection, which honors a citizen each year that exemplifies service before self. Rotary members cannot nominate the Citizen of the Year, and the nominee cannot be a member of the Rotary Club.

Bob Scott was part of the committee of previous award recipients who selected the Citizen of the Year from these nominees.

“Ken has done so many good and positive things, including charitable work,” Scott said. “He serves with two different groups that are promoting the economy of Grand Lake. And, believe me, we need that.”

The students Fucik works with at his boat school surprised him that evening to attend the banquet. Called the Grand Crew, these students work with Fucik as part of an alternative school program that features hands-on craftmanship in unique internships and projects like the boat school.

James Craig, a junior at Middle Park, has been a part of the Crew program for almost three years and learned from Fucik.

“Ken is a great guy, awesome guy,” Craig said. “He loves teaching us how to do things and it’s a real passion for him with the boats. He brings his passion and gives it to other people, shows them what he knows. He loves to do it and he loves to give.”

While accepting the award, Fucik said it was a shame Rotary members couldn’t be nominated, because he felt their contribution to the community rivaled his.

“All of you guys deserve an award,” Fucik said.

Fucik described the award as an honor, but he also said he felt like it set a higher standard for his already considerable community involvement.

“It scares the heck out of me,” Fucik said. “Because I look around, I see so many people who do so much in this community. It puts pressure on me to try even harder.”

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