Spirit of Carlsbad awards a success

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Ricky Garcia speaks during the Spirit of Carlsbad award ceremony, June 17, 2021 in at the Carlsbad Beach Band Shell.

Thank you to everyone who attended or watched our first annual “Spirit of Carlsbad” ceremony Thursday evening. It was one of our first large events in 18 months, so it was also a good opportunity to relearn some of the challenges of hosting an outdoor event. 

Special thanks to all of our facility maintenance and Riverwalk Recreation Center employees, who always go above and beyond to make our events special. Renee Madrid and Wanda Aguilar are two of New Mexico’s best events decorators. It was also wonderful to be able to listen to Voncile King sing again, and to have our Honor Guard present. Thank you to Garry Schwalk for delivering our benediction.

There were numerous outstanding recognitions Thursday evening, but two that stood out were the “Comeback” awards provided by the Ricky Garcia Foundation. Kameran Williams and Ashley Lopez were honored as the “Comeback Kid” and “Comeback Woman” of the year by Garcia, who spoke emotionally about a time he got into trouble in his youth, but was straightened out by Ray Anaya.

Of course, everyone at City Hall also especially appreciated the comments by Valeria Quezada, who interned here over the past two years and very deservedly received the “Student Citizen of the Year” award. She did an excellent job during her time at city hall. Our other student selections: Joseph Kindopp, Devyn Martinez and Kandle Kitchens, were all highly deserving recipients as well.

Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway

Our final recipient of the evening was John Heaton, who was honored for his unparalleled service to this community by assisting with brine well remediation, with college independence and numerous other projects. Congratulations to all of the wonderful men and women selected, and thank you again to our committee members.

As you can probably imagine, our water park has been very popular so far this summer. We had a chance to talk to some of the park’s visitors and lifeguards earlier this weekend and enjoyed getting to meet with everyone. Every day, the park draws visitors from Roswell and Andrews and, of course, many local residents. The park is staying so busy that we’re adding another lifeguard class this summer, on July 10,11, 17 and 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the natatorium. We’ll reimburse the costs for the course. For more information, please contact Brad Alpers at the Carlsbad Water Park or (575) 887-0349.

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