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New Mexico Community Hall Of Fame

 

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New Mexico Community Hall of Fame

Adam Hathaway, Los Lunas, New Mexico. Winning Samaritan: Adam spent his adolescence on the docks in Florida, physically and emotionally abused by his step-father. He is now a Master Mason, a Master in the Society for Creative Anachronism where he runs the Toys for Tots drive, and a Shriner doing everything he can for children. He has procured over 20,000 toys for the tots and is now in charge of getting children from Mexico, who desperately need medical care, to Shriner hospitals all over the States. He grew up with almost nothing and now gives his all to ensure that no child has to. By Rain Sullivan with a 2nd from Bill Knight

Brendan Gould, Albuquerque New Mexico. Winning Humanitarian/Artist. Readers Choice: Brendan is a man of seemingly unlimited passion and energy, which for him has followed two distinct channels. First, as a humanitarian and tireless advocate for the mentally ill. He has worked to develop a statewide system to treat and assist those that suffer with various mental illnesses and comfort their families. By working with hospitals, doctors and social workers across the state he is slowly bringing a change to the stigma of mental illness. Secondly, as an accomplished and award winning artist, who’s art regularly features his clients he is shedding light on the humanity of a population that is so often overlooked. Through his efforts Brendan is living proof that heroes walk among us. By Nathan McKenzie

Charles Maxwell, New Mexico. Winning Citizen/Samaritan: “My father was a sharecropper” remembers Charles Maxwell, now 76. He grew up in segregated dire poverty. ” When I was fourteen, the boss man made us give up our house on the land to a white family.” Mr. Maxwell began working at sixteen, used the income to put his brother and sister through college, and retired after 30 years in the New Mexico Highway Department. The tragedy of his life — or what could have been nothing more than a tragedy – is that at age 20 his son “Cocoa” Maxwell fell into deep depression and committed suicide. Mr. Maxwell’s funds are not grand, but he used his standing as a local elder to find contributors to start a college scholarship fund for underprivileged youth in New Mexico. Mr. Maxwell introduces the “Cocoa” Maxwell fund by saying ” It’s in honor of my deceased son, Cocoa, who committed suicide” and he will say it without a blink, without embarrassment, and without shame. He has truly overcome.By Darryl Wellington

Denise Chavez, Mesilla, New Mexico. Winning Citizen: She first started helping women in the rape crisis center when she dropped out of the university, which didn’t keep her from being published in 1986. She started and founded the Annual Book Festival which is a cultural manifesto going on its seventeenth year and  The Mesilla Cultural Center that helps bring in art and recognition to the area.  By Luis Armenta

Jaimie Verlander, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winning Citizen: Jaimie watched her best friend die. Beau was thrown from the van she was driving when a drunk driver ran them off the road at over 70 mph. Beau died in Jaimie’s arms in a ditch by the side of I10. After her recovery, Jaimie became an advocate for victims of drunk drivers and vowed to educate people about this travesty. She has spoken at MADD meetings and organized an art show exhibiting paintings and sculptures by those who have been affected by drunken driving. Though the accident happened years ago, she continues to speak out on Beau’s behalf. By Rain Sullivan

Orlando Antonio Carrillo-Jimenez. Las Cruces New Mexico. Winning Educator/Samaritan. Readers Choice: I have known Orlando for several years. He is a voice instructor, with a passion for teaching his students the proper breathing and singing techniques. In addition, he has a strong passion for social justice. He is volunteering with Project Oak Tree, helping Central American immigrants get to their family members.  By Barbara Alvarez

Sarah Wilkinson, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winning Teacher: Operates a program called Project Peacepal. The program encourages young people to maintain pen pal relationships with people in their age group from disadvantaged countries.  The pen pals are encouraged to find common ground, culturally, socially, etc.  The program promotes the idea of universal compassion, but there are other advantages as well.  The kids involved in the program learn literacy skills through their letter writing that will be useful in later life.  The children in foreign countries are provided with an opportunity to perfect their English.  The kids they write to are mostly in Africa, but Sarah is constantly working to establish connections elsewhere.  By Dusty McGowan

E. Domiguez, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winner Against the Odds/Samaritan:She is a young woman who traveled across the hot dry Mexican desert and the dangers it presented, to carve out a life in Albuquerque. Along with raising her 7 year old daughter, Ari, she has met with overwhelming odds to gain her U S Citizenship, while creating a non profit organization to help other single mothers to get the available help needed to survive in the City and State. She accomplished this all while waitressing, going to college, helping her family members spread throughout the United States with all their issues, and devoting her life to help orphaned and abandoned children. By Steven PadillaE. Domiguez, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winner Against the Odds/Samaritan:She is a young woman who traveled across the hot dry Mexican desert and the dangers it presented, to carve out a life in Albuquerque. Along with raising her 7 year old daughter, Ari, she has met with overwhelming odds to gain her U S Citizenship, while creating a non profit organization to help other single mothers to get the available help needed to survive in the City and State. She accomplished this all while waitressing, going to college, helping her family members spread throughout the United States with all their issues, and devoting her life to help orphaned and abandoned children. By Steven PadillaE. Domiguez, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winner Against the Odds/Samaritan:She is a young woman who traveled across the hot dry Mexican desert and the dangers it presented, to carve out a life in Albuquerque. Along with raising her 7 year old daughter, Ari, she has met with overwhelming odds to gain her U S Citizenship, while creating a non profit organization to help other single mothers to get the available help needed to survive in the City and State. She accomplished this all while waitressing, going to college, helping her family members spread throughout the United States with all their issues, and devoting her life to help orphaned and abandoned children. By Steven PadillaE. Domiguez, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Winner Against the Odds/Samaritan:She is a young woman who traveled across the hot dry Mexican desert and the dangers it presented, to carve out a life in Albuquerque. Along with raising her 7 year old daughter, Ari, she has met with overwhelming odds to gain her U S Citizenship, while creating a non profit organization to help other single mothers to get the available help needed to survive in the City and State. She accomplished this all while waitressing, going to college, helping her family members spread throughout the United States with all their issues, and devoting her life to help orphaned and abandoned children. By Steven Padilla