Upholding the 'Spirit of the West'

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Awards were presented at the Second Annual Community Asset/Spirit of the West ceremony

By Bernadette Lauritzen

The 2010 Community Asset/Spirit of the West awards were presented Saturday night at the Best Western Hilltop House Hotel.
The second annual event garnered 44 nominations with recipients ranging from county councilors and Kiwanians, to a middle school student and one spectacular senior citizen.
Los Alamos High School student Corbin Pfeffer and 91 year old Lorin Cox were selected for the first-time presentation of the Director’s Award.
The Director’s Award is selected by those recipients in attendance for the evening to provide high praise for accomplishments that have demonstrated the assets motto of, “Take a second, make a difference.”
Cox has been a volunteer at the Casa Mesita Thrift Store for more than 20 years, assisting in adding more than a million dollars to the do-good dollars. Cox volunteers 24 hours a week and walks two to three miles a day to keep fit.
Pfeffer, a 17-year-old senior at LAHS, has spent three years building homes during spring break with the United Church of Los Alamos. Pfeffer is not a member of the church, he just believes in the mission of the work, which is providing homes for those less fortunate. Pfeffer attended the first year after his friend Alex Denevers invited him. He has donated his last three spring break weeks to building a better future for his fellow man.
“Corbin is dedicated and fun loving,” said United Church Pastor Keith Lewis. “He’s such a great kid. He’s compassionate and he’s one of those kids that gets it and understands why he’s there.”
The big award of the night went to Kiwanian, Pat Soran. The Spirit of the West award, named for former County Councilor Jim West, went to Soran, who was nominated by fellow Kiwanis member Rick Reiss.
Soran has volunteered with the Lunch Buddies program, the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico and most recently with Kiwanis pancake breakfasts, which raises funds to benefit less fortunate children, in Northern New Mexico.
“Soran councils hundreds of children each year, reminding many of how fortunate they are, listening to less fortunate children’s stories of trials and tribulations and assisting with thoughtful gift desires.
Reiss said, “His actions help children realize their capacity to participate, help and serve. He is an asset to young people all year long.”
Those nominated received a certificate from event sponsors, the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. Soran also received a framed print of Anderson Overlook from local photographer Jennifer Hanson Bartram of Viewfinder Photography.
Look for additional pictures in Seen at the Scene in an upcoming edition of the Los Alamos Monitor.