Rotary honors Doug Reed with Spirit of Whitefish award

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Doug Reed was recently named this year’s winner of the Spirit of Whitefish award. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

Doug Reed admits he really can’t turn down volunteer requests to give back to Whitefish.

“I will volunteer for anything that needs to be done,” he said. “I get a lot of fulfillment out of helping and being engaged in the community.”

The Whitefish Rotary Club has named Reed the recipient of its 2018 Spirit of Whitefish award, which goes to a person outside the club who exhibits dedication and support to the community. Reed will be honored at the club’s Spirit of Whitefish celebration on Thursday, Sept. 6

Reed is humbled to be part of the list of previous honorees though he’s not sure he has put in enough years of service yet to deserve the award.

Reed moved to Whitefish in the third grade and later graduated from Whitefish High School. He played on the soccer and golf teams, and skied growing up.

He graduated from the University of Colorado, but spent his summers during college working at the Whitefish Lake Restaurant at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club. He also worked at the Hellroaring Saloon. Reed says he intended to stay in Whitefish for one year after graduating from college, but has never left.

He has filled almost every position from busser to bartender, and manager and now is the owner of Whitefish Lake Restaurant.

“I love the people and the interaction we have with the community,” he said. “I love that the golf course is the hub of activity for locals and tourists.”

Reed and his wife Nikki, who is a teacher at Whitefish High School, have two children, daughter Kendall and son Townsend.

He says having family including parents and siblings living in Whitefish has kept them here, and he has great appreciation for the lifelong friends he has had since high school.

“This is an incredible place to raise a family — from the recreation to the community itself,” he said. “It’s a very colorful place from many generations.”

Reed volunteers as a golf coach with the Gary Norby Golf Foundation, he serves with the Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation, is chairman of the city Resort Tax Monitoring Committee, serves with the Whitefish Winter Carnival and was Carnival Prime in 2011, and serves with the Whitefish Community Foundation.

Reed has been skiing since age 4 and the Reed family is often together on the slopes of Big Mountain.

“I love raising my family in Whitefish,” he says.

The Spirit of Whitefish celebration is on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center.

The event, which also serves as a fundraiser for the club’s local and international projects, includes food and beverages with a no-host bar and silent auction.

Tickets are $45 and are available for purchase through Sept. 1 at the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce office. For more information, call Joe Basirico at 253-2278.

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