If you google “stone cold sober,” Provo dots the results — but that doesn’t mean we have no idea how to party.
Utah Valley has plenty to make noise about, which is why we chose a celebration theme for our annual Fab 50 feature.
Take, for example, Julie Esplin who won the Provo Marathon. Then there’s Mike Washburn, Thanksgiving Point CEO, who is celebrating the groundbreaking of the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Gary Price has much to sculpt about with the progress of his Statue of Responsibility. And Quincy Lewis is dribbling his Lone Peak Knights toward their sixth state championship with him at the whistle.
However, that doesn’t mean our Fab 50 have lived lives full of balloons and party hats. Fred and Marilyn Matis lost a son to suicide who struggled with same-gender attraction. Ann Takasaki is waging an uphill battle defending marriage nationally. Blogger Stephanie Lauritzen got people’s pants in a wad when she suggested women could leave the skirts at home one Sunday. Cover girl Amy Chapman had both legs amputated below the knee at 13 months and now competes as a Paralympian. And Kathy Kinghorn has more work than she can handle as a sex addiction therapist in Utah County.
And this illustrates the one commonality among the fabulous — they tend to take on the hard stuff (which in this case doesn’t mean party drinks).
Her fabulousness (and local Women in Philanthropy president) Debbie Swenson says, “Don’t tell me it can’t be done because if it’s the right thing to do, we can find a way to do it.”
And that’s how she responded to a question about her party persona.
To these nifty fifty, celebration equates to dedication. To transformation. And in Richard Nielsen’s case, accreditation for his Rocky Mountain University.