Carlsbad’s First Annual Spirit of Carlsbad awards will be held Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at the Beach Bandshell. The event will also be broadcast over the City of Carlsbad’s Facebook page if you are unable to make it in person.
Thanks again to our committee members – Janell Whitlock, Ricky Garcia, Jessica Onsurez and Linda Dodd, for their hard work in this selection process
Our Outstanding Nonprofit Agency of the Year goes to the Cavern City Child Advocacy Center, which includes their efforts for the new Foundry Home. Our committee felt they did a remarkable job adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 and providing needed services. Honorable mentions went to the Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation, the Community of Hope and Packs for
Hunger. We are also providing a special award to the Lifehouse Program.
We’re honoring one organization and one individual for their contributions to Carlsbad history. The Southeastern New Mexico Historical Society deserves credit for their efforts with the Jed Howard collection and their improvements to the Nearlovingsbend.net web page. Track Coach Kent Hitchens has compiled a remarkable book about local track history.
We had a tie for our outstanding Student Humanitarian Award with two very deserving candidates. Joseph Kindopp was the “Grinch” who saved Christmas in Carlsbad last year while Devyn Martinez is an enthusiastic member of the Albertsons A team.
Our Student Citizen of the Year is Valeria Quezada. Kandle Kitchens is receiving a special recognition as the Mayor’s Student of the Year. They are both graduating seniors who are extremely involved in the community. There is certainly an overlap, but our “humanitarian” awards were generally focused more on volunteer work or donations, while our “citizen” awards were based on community involvement.
Deciding on this year’s Humanitarian of the Year was a very difficult choice, but our committee decided to give the honor to Dave Perini, in part for his efforts with the Foundry Home, but also for many other reasons. Clint Cone and Anthony Foreman, two exceptional community members, both received an honorable mention.
We had numerous excellent nominations for our Citizen of the Year award. Our honorable mentions were Jennah McKinley, Billy Massingill, Queta Doporto, Mary Garwood and Michele Robertson. However, our committee felt that Norbert Rempe, who has dedicated countless hours to driving veterans across the state to receive medical treatment, stood out.
Ricky Garcia will be presenting two “Comeback” awards to Kameran Williams and Ashley Lopez. We look forward to learning more about these two selections at Thursday’s ceremony.
We have one final award we will be presenting on Thursday to John Heaton – we’re calling this the “Citizen of the Decade” award. Those of you who have worked with John in the past know why- he is a one man army who tackles issues from every angle at once.
We hope you’ll join us on Thursday to learn more about these outstanding Carlsbad and South Eddy County citizens. Thank you again to Brandon Chandler, La Tienda, the United Way of Eddy County, the Gannette Foundation and the Ricky Garcia Foundation for supporting this event.
From the office of Mayor Dale Janway