Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sawtooth Society honors 2 volunteers

Organizations bestows prestigious Bethine Church Awards


Recipients of the Sawtooth Society 2013 Bethine Church Award, Marie Osborn and Rich Marquis, the son of the late Marilyn Marquis, celebrate at the High Country Inn in Stanley.
Courtesy photo

    In the midst of discussions about the possible designation of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains as a national monument, the Sawtooth Society, an advocacy group for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, is honoring people who have contributed to its betterment in the past with a special award.
    Last month, the Sawtooth Society honored Marie Osborn and the late Marilyn Marquis with the prestigious Sawtooth Society 2013 Bethine Church Award at a reception at the High Country Inn in Stanley.
    The Bethine Church Award is bestowed periodically when the Sawtooth Society believes it is important to recognize significant contributions to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, a 750,000-acre expanse of land north of Ketchum. Two awards are given: one for contributions in the private sector and one for the public sector.
    This year, Marquis received the private sector award and Osborn received the award for her dedication to service in the public sector. The award is named for Bethine Church, the Sawtooth Society’s founding president.
    “My mother enjoyed being part of this community and felt it important to give of herself to benefit others and the community,” said Marquis’ son Rich Marquis, who accepted the award on his mother’s behalf.
    Marquis, who was the first woman to receive a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Utah, worked for large corporations and government labs as an applied physical chemist. Before and following her retirement, Marquis spent a significant amount of time in the Sawtooth Valley. 
    In addition to being very active in the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas, a community group based in Stanley, and working on behalf of the Stanley School, Marquis served for many years on the board of directors for the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historic Association, including time as president of the association. In her most recent work with organization, Marquis was involved in numerous projects, including the restoration of the only remaining ice house on public lands in the Sawtooth Valley and the historic pioneer Shaw Cabin, located in Stanley City Park.
    Osborn founded the Stanley Medical Clinic in 1972 to serve the rural population of the area, the first of its kind in the state of Idaho. She worked as its nurse practitioner.
    “Looking back, it was rather a thin community in those days,” Osborn said. “I fought for a clinic and with the help of many others my dream became a reality.”
    Osborn, her family and friends attended the award’s ceremony in her honor, sharing vivid stories and recollections of aiding patients and people in need throughout the years of her service in the Stanley Basin community. As one longtime friend and admirer said, “Whenever there was a medical emergency anytime, day or night, Marie was there to provide effective help and medical care.” In addition to providing essential medical services to the Stanley area, Osborn served as a role model for many other nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants throughout rural Idaho.
    Amy Klingler, current physicians’ assistant and manager of the Salmon River Emergency Clinic in Stanley, noted in remarks at the award ceremony that “Marie provided the inspiration for pursuing her medical training and coming to Stanley to follow in Marie’s footsteps at the clinic.”
    The Sawtooth Society, formed in 1997, is the only nonprofit group dedicated exclusively to serving as an advocate for the SNRA, preserving open space in the SNRA and enhancing its recreation facilities and services. The Sawtooth Society has funded more than 150 recreational-related projects throughout the SNRA.

What else is up in the Clouds?
The public is invited to learn about the proposal for a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Stanley Community Center. Hosted by the Sawtooth Society, an advocacy group for the SNRA, the forum will provide information on what a monument declaration means, what the process entails, who is behind the plan, how the current use status would change and how to be heard on the matter. For additional information, visit


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