With empty boxes and a “food drive” sign, Jackie Morlan set up shop Tuesday on Mill Street in Bayfield to celebrate Ed Morlan Day by organizing a community food drive.
Ed Morlan Day, originally proclaimed in 2016 by former Gov. John Hickenlooper, celebrates Morlan for his accomplishments and impact on Southwest Colorado. Morlan died months later in 2016, and Jackie Morlan has carried on the tradition of celebrating the day – this year, by donating food to a local nonprofit, Pine River Shares.
“Ed was always about taking care of the community. This is one way to show him that his community is grateful for him after all these years,” Jackie Morlan said.
Ed Morlan led the Region 9 Economic Development District for 27 years and served on the Bayfield Board of Trustees for five terms. Known as “Fast Eddie,” he helped reinvigorate the Region 9 Business Loan Fund from a near $0 balance to over $22 million in disbursed funds, according to the governor’s proclamation.
The proclamation also cited his time spent on a governor’s advisory committee and role in starting the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs.
After representatives from the governor’s office presented the proclamation to Ed in 2016, Jackie told community members during a concert at Buckley Park.
“I got up to let them know that this day was the Ed Morlan Day, and the whole crowd got up,” Jackie said. “It wasn’t to soon after that, in November, that he passed away. That makes this day even more important just to acknowledge him.”
Jackie received about 10 boxes of food and household items during the one-day food drive, the first that she has organized to celebrate Ed Morlan Day. She felt a food drive was a safe way to see friends and celebrate during the coronavirus pandemic, she said.
“It was so nice to see all the people come and donate all this wonderful food,” Jackie said.