Dave Watts named Rotary Person of the Year 2016
Dave Watts, second from left, was recently named Person of the Year in Castle Rock. The honor was made by the Rotary clubs of Castle Rock. With Watts are, from left, Al Wonstolen, chair of the selection committee; Rick Nelson, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Castle Rock; and Les Lilly, co-president of the High Non Rotary Club of Castle Rock.
Dave Watts has been named Person of the Year by the Rotary clubs of Castle Rock.
Watts, who called the award a surprise and an honor, has been a Castle Rock resident for many years and active in fraternal organizations, open space, humanitarian causes and public policy since the early 1990s.
“It took my breath away,” said Watts, of the surprise award given recently. “It was a real honor and now that plaque is the only one on display in my office.”
Among Watts’ accomplishments are, as cited by Al Wonstolen, chair of the Rotary selection committee, being President of the Rotary Club of Castle Rock when it was recognized as the best club in its district; organizing the first Rotary Ducky Derby, now the largest Rotary fundraiser in Castle Rock; a strong advocate for open space in the 1990s when the county passed the open space sales tax; political involvement with successful candidates and issues; and the founding of the non-profit Men’s Crisis Connection.
Watts said he is most proud of the Men’s Crisis Connection. “A few years ago (a friend and I) saw a homeless veteran sleeping in the snow,” Watts said. “So we decided we would sleep in the snow. We only lasted until 4 a.m. and then headed for the Waffle House for coffee.
“We wanted to see what we could do to help.”
He said they consulted people at a local women’s crisis center and others to find out what to do and to be sure they didn’t duplicate services.
“We’re all about a quick intervention,” Watts said. “We make a quick visit and perhaps take the man to a motel or to a temp agency to find work.
“If they don’t want to work, we find a way to help them get out of town.”
He said the typical service of the non-profit ranges for aid for two or three days to help the person find work to longer periods of helping a divorced man get back on his feet.
Watts said other highlights of his time in Castle Rock were being named Open Space Volunteer of the year in the 1990s and his time spent with the Rotary clubs. Watts was also a member of the High Noon Rotary Club of Castle Rock. Watts is owner of For Rent by Owner, a property management company in Castle Rock.
Watts was honored by the Rotary Club of Castle Rock and the High Noon Rotary Club of Castle Rock. Both clubs are affiliated with Rotary District 5450, which is part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization that works to improve the health, education and economic welfare of people around the world.