There were so many great moments at the sixth Annual Cavemen Strong event, held Wednesday evening at the college. Special thanks to Robin Irving and the Early College Choir, Robert Galindo and the CHS Jazz Band and pastor Kevin Burns. The event’s hosts, Ricky and Bellzora Garcia, did a wonderful job as always.
Dr. Washburn and Lavern Shan assisted with honoring six outstanding retired teachers this year: Vicki Jenkins, Jo Raye Jenkins, Donna Graham, Carol Brashear and Teresa Beeman. In her submitted bio, Beeman described recently running into one of her former students, who joked to her “Are you surprised I’m not in jail?”
“I cried and I thanked God that my student was happy, healthy and successful,” she wrote. “Teaching was always hard, really, really hard, but all those tears I cried, all those prayers I prayed, all the extra time and all the expense was so worth it.”
Becky Thompson and Lucy Yanez were both inducted into the Cavemen Strong Hall of Fame. Garcia recalled his own experience with Thompson providing food to kids in need when he was growing up. He mentioned that she is now in five different hall of fames. Garcia praised Yanez for starting a highly successful business and admitted that he had a childhood crush on two of her daughters.
First responder awards were given to Sgt. Andrew Carver (Carlsbad Police Department), Brad Henson (Carlsbad Fire Department) and Deputy Gilbert Gomez (Eddy County Sheriff’s Office). Carver’s recognition included his efforts with the “Shop with a Hero” program. Henson is an engineer, EMT the head of the fire department’s arson investigation team and an instructor with two different academies. Sheriff Cage praised Gomez for doing so much to get illegal drugs off the streets.
This year’s Cavemen Strong Scholarship Awards went to Devin Dominguez, Tavin Allen and Zaaven “Hope” Spillman, who were all largely honored for their volunteer efforts in the community and for being good students. Finally, the Outstanding Citizens Award went to Bill Barnhart, a veteran who has inspired many others by his personal war on trash around the community. Many people report seeing Bill and his wife Roni out and about picking up trash – and then decide to help pick up garbage themselves. The recipients honored on Wednesday were all very deserving. Thanks again to Ricky and Bellzora Garcia for all of their hard work on making this annual event so special.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway