Skyeanne Webb was presented with the ‘Spirit of the West’ award Saturday at the CommUNITY Asset Awards event. Webb is a special education teacher at Aspen Elementary School. Photo by Chad Lauritzen
Natali Steinberg, left, and Carie Fanning were the recipients of the 2023 Director’s Awards Saturday. Photo by Chad Lauritzen
BY BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Champions of Youth Ambitions
Saturday was a great day for educators and do-gooders of all kinds as a small ceremony was held for the annual CommUNITY Asset Awards.
The CY’A awards program has been held virtually the last two years. As the pandemic enters a third year the non-profit felt that a real display of love in person was needed by the community for 2023.
Thirty people were honored and stories shared about those that make a difference in our community. The event showcased people of all ages from girl scouts to a nonagenarian. The stories shared Saturday filled the well for all in attendance. Educators, volunteers and people that go the extra mile, even if it is in their work world, like four Smith’s employees, are what make this community a great place to live.
The big winner of the day was Skyeanne Webb who received the Spirit of the West Award named for the late Jim West, who served as a Los Alamos County Councilor. Skye was nominated by two community members as a shining light for Aspen Elementary School where she works as a special education teacher. She volunteers for foster care for the Espanola Humane Society and for the LGBTQ community. Her work in health care and her passion for those students with special needs took her to the to the top of the list for the selection committee.
The two 2023 Director’s Choice awardees are selected from all of those nominated and they receive extra recognition. The first Director’s Choice Award went to Carie Fanning representing the Family Strengths Network in recognition of their programs, connections and relationships that changes lives. The second Director’s Choice award was presented to naturalist Natali Steinberg who has been volunteering for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center for 18 years as well as the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary in Santa Fe and the Oppenheimer Place Condominium Association, LLC.
Richard Ronquillo of Rich Welding & Fabrication in Espanola with the 2023 ‘Spirit of the West’ award. Ronquillo has been creating the annual award for several years. Photo by Chad Lauritzen