Local Democrats Honor Bernadette Lauritzen With Jimmy Carter Service Award

DPLAC Vice Chair Tom McCrory, LARSO Executive Director Bernadette Lauritzen, DPLAC Chair Cat Ozment and DPLAC Fundraising Organizer Brandi Engeman at Betty Ehart Senior Center following the presentation of the Jimmy Carter Service Award to Lauritzen. Photo by Chad Lauritzen


The Democratic Party of Los Alamos County on Tuesday honored Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization (LARSO) Executive Director Bernadette Lauritzen with their inaugural Jimmy Carter Service Award for her outstanding commitment to the Los Alamos senior community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In a small, COVID-safe ceremony at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, DPLAC Chair Cat Ozment, along with Vice Chair Tom McCrory and Fundraising Organizer Brandi Engeman presented the award. Members of the LARSO Board of Directors were also present and thanked Lauritzen for her tireless work.

DPLAC Chair Cat Ozment said, “We chose to connect our Service Award to President Jimmy Carter, whose values of community service in pursuit of a greater good inspire our volunteers.  Bernadette Lauritzen’s efforts to keep our senior community safe, healthy, and social during the pandemic are precisely what this award is about. It is a privilege to recognize the work of someone who has supported our seniors–and our whole community–from behind the scenes for so many years.” 

Lauritzen thanked the many people on her team and in her life who support her in her work.

“I’d like to say how honored I am, that you have chosen to even include my name in the same sentence as Jimmy Carter,” she said.

Fundraising Organizer Brandi Engeman said, “We were looking at fundraising and outreach opportunities for the year and realized one thing that was lacking was a community service award. Former County Councilor Antonio Maggiore proposed President Jimmy Carter as a Democratic leader who inspires us to rise up and do better ourselves. When the committee started looking for candidates to honor within our own community, Bernadette’s name was repeated again and again during the process, and she was the clear choice for this inaugural year.”

DPLAC had originally planned a larger event to celebrate the award and its recipient, but it was delayed and then canceled due to COVID.

LARSO Executive Director Bernadette Lauritzen, center, with members of the LARSO Board of Directors, from left, Kay Reiswig, John Baillie, Don Gerheart and Tom McLaughlin. Photo by Chad Lauritzen