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Community Asset Awards Honors 40 People Jan. 11

on January 10, 2020 - 7:00am

Rich Ronquillo of Rich Welding LLC, has handcrafted the Spirit of the West award for several years. Here he takes a break from restoring this Ford truck to pose with the award, which will be presented Saturday. Courtesy photo


Forty people will be recognized Saturday as Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) and Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation sponsor the 11th annual Community Asset Awards.

The annual event strives to highlight the good work done by many people throughout the community.

“This has been a pretty interesting year,” C’YA Executive Director Bernadette Lauritzen said. “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 voice mailboxes that are full. We have a variety of people who have a hard time believing they really been nominated for an award.”

Six businesses have been nominated including Aspen Copies, Fleur de Lys, Morning Glory Bakery, Pig & Fig, Rigoberto’s and Unquarked. The many individuals nominated represent the arts, banking, Los Alamos County, Los Alamos Public Schools, 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,” Lauritzen said. “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. The first year the idea took hold was 2008 and awards were presented in January of 2009. According to Lauritzen, West knew the big award would be named in his honor prior to his passing.

One important volunteer, playing a major role in the event is Richard Ronquillo of Rich Welding LLC. 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 and fencing, and so much more, which can be viewed at

The awards will be presented Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, with some winners posted that evening on the C’YA Facebook page. The winners also will be released to local media.

2019 Community Asset Awards Nominees:

  • 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
  • Flyer de Lys
  • Morning Glory
  • Pig & Fig
  • Rigobertos
  • Unquarked