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Sandy Nininger died a hero’s death at the Battle of Bataan only one month after the United States entered World War II. His actions during the first few days of fighting may have changed the entire course of the war in the Pacific, for which Congress honored Nininger posthumously with the Medal of Honor.
Nininger was a Key Club member and is honored annually by the Southwest District through the Sandy Nininger Award. The recipient is a Key Club member who has distinguished himself/herself by making the most of his/her opportunities.
The honor recognizes individuals in terms for their own abilities despite any weaknesses or lack of opportunity.
Since 1946, Key Clubs and Key Club Districts present several thousand Sandy Nininger Medals to outstanding students who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The final selection of the Southwest District Award winner is made by Jim and/or Sherry Jennings, who sponsor the award, which is announced at the Key Club District Convention.
This year, local Kiwanis member Morrie Pongratz recognized the skill set and leadership ability in one local youth.
He nominated Kelsey Souza, a Los Alamos High School graduate, to receive this award.
Souza has been a Key Club member for four years.