FOX21 and the American Red Cross are partnering once again to honor some Hometown Heroes: Businesses and individuals who exemplify courage, kindness, and unselfish character.
The Humanitarian Hometown Hero goes to William “Bill” Tutt, who has dedicated nearly 45 years to the Colorado Springs community.
William J. Palmer may have founded Colorado Springs, but the Tutt family has played an enormous role in putting it on the map.
“I stand on the shoulders of a family that’s been committed to this community since 1884,” Tutt said.
Tutt is the grandson of Charles Tutt, the childhood friend of Spencer Penrose who is responsible for luring him to Colorado.
Penrose went on to build the Broadmoor. Charles Tutt went on to build a legacy. And Bill Tutt is carrying the torch.
“The spiritual values, the desire to give back, is really important,” Tutt said.
“The community owes Bill a deep sense of gratitude for all that he’s done in the community and all he’s continuing to do,” said FOX21 General Manager Stephen Dant, who nominated Tutt for the award.
Trained in hotel management, Tutt left his mark on the Broadmoor, and immediately spearheaded the effort to bring the U.S. Olympic Training Center here when he returned to the area in 1975.
“A very small group of us got together and said ‘the Olympic Committee is looking for a new home, and Bill, you’re not settled yet, so you’re in charge of it,'” Tutt said.
Tutt organized the Colorado Thirty Group, a distinguished organization of, now, more than 140 community leaders who ensure a good working relationship with the military.
“His work with the Colorado Thirty Group and the Military Affairs Council has helped develop and maintain a military presence here in the marketplace, and from the latest records I could see, research that I’ve seen, that represents about 40 percent of our economy,” Dant said.
As an Army veteran, Tutt understands the dedication of our military personnel. He is the honorary life chairman of the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation. It started in 1939, raising proceeds to directly benefit local military personnel and their families.
“We really do donate the proceeds, and we’ve probably given, I would think, over $3-4 million of the proceeds from the rodeo since World War II,” Tutt said. “And that’s something that we’re all very proud of.”
Tutt is also the chairman emeritus of the Space Foundation. He helped expand its reach from a few dozen attendees to recognition on a global stage.
Tutt has made many connections over the years. He has cultivated those relationships to build Colorado Springs into an international destination. It’s all without collecting a paycheck–simply volunteering his time and resources.
“We need volunteers constantly,” Tutt said. “And we always will. It’s the American way.”
All of the Hometown Heroes will receive their awards at a dinner held at the Broadmoor Thursday night.