CY’A 11th Annual Community Assets Awards Event This Evening

RichLLC (2).JPGRichard Ronquillo, owner of Rich’s Welding, LLC in La Mesilla with the Spirit of the West award he crafts for the annual Community Assets Awards event each year. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen


Forty people will be recognized this Saturday, as Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, sponsor the 11th Annual Community Asset Awards. The annual event to highlight the good work done by many people throughout our community. 

“This has been a pretty interesting year,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, Executive Director of Champions of Youth Ambitions. “The loss of landlines has made for a difficult time trying to reach people, people move, change cell numbers, and it is amazing when people have voicemail boxes that are full. We have a variety of people have a hard time believing they really been nominated for an award.”

Six businesses have been nominated, along with a variety of individuals. Those include; Aspen Copies, Fleur de Lys, Morning Glory Bakery, Pig & Fig, Rigoberto’s and Unquarked. The many individuals represent, the arts, banking, Los Alamos County, the Los Alamos Public Schools, the Los Alamos Police Department, Smith’s Market Place and many community volunteers. They also run the gamut from youth to senior citizens.

“The exciting part for me is that the nominees only get to know that they were nominated for the award,” said Lauritzen. “They must attend the event to learn who nominated them and why. I’m not sure how it started that way, but we’ve done it since the beginning. Those who can’t attend are notified following the event.”

Another portion of the mini gala done since the start of the award program, is the Spirit of the West Award. The Spirit of the West was named for former County Councilor, Jim West. West and Lauritzen were in Leadership Los Alamos Class of 2007, when the idea struck. 2008 was the first year the idea took hold and awards were presented in January of 2009. According to Lauritzen, West even knew the big award would be named in his honor, prior to is passing.

One important volunteer, playing a major role in the event is Richard Ronquillo, owner of Rich Welding LLC in La Mesilla. Ronquillo has hand crafted the award for many years, refusing to be paid for his craftsmanship. He donates his time, talent and love for community in many things he does throughout the year. His craftsmanship includes hand gates, driveway gates, railings, fencing and more which can be viewed at

The awards will be presented on Saturday, with some posted that evening on the Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) Facebook page. They will also be released to all local media.

Nominated for awards this year are:

  • Andy Ainsworth
  • Jennifer Baker
  • Annie Bard
  • Steve Bublitz
  • Samuel Buelow
  • Peter Carson
  • Roy Cope
  • Tina DeYoe
  • Britton Donharl
  • Karen Easton
  • Miguel Hoffman
  • Shelby Hollis
  • Ben Irving
  • Rebecca Jones
  • Sarah Kelly
  • Katy Korkos
  • Suzanne Lynne
  • Kenyon (Father Theophan) Mackey
  • Marlene
  • Jan McDonald
  • Chris Monteith
  • Catherine Ozment
  • Gary Penny
  • Bibi (Aurelia) Sanchez
  • Rita Sanchez
  • Lisa Scott
  • Jeremy Smith
  • Sharon Snyder
  • Lynne Sutcliffe
  • Jocelyn Warner
  • Phil Vigil
  • Jim Zerr


  • Aspen Copies
  • Fleur de Lys
  • Morning Glory
  • Pig & Fig
  • Rigobertos
  • Unquarked