Seeliger honored as humanitarians |

Seeliger honored as humanitarians

by Kurt Hildebrand
Paula Guzman sheads a tear after being named the Employee of the Year at the Carson City Community Awards Friday afternoon. The awards recognized top people and organizations in Carson City for their deeds over the last year. Photo by Brian Corley

An entire school was honored as humanitarian of the year at the 2002 Community Awards luncheon on Friday.

Seeliger Elementary School was recognized at the third annual Nevada Appeal and Carson Access Television Community Awards for the staff’s work to raise money to send10-year-old Jarrod Evans to this summer’s Little People of America Conference.

Jarrod, who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism, is looking forward to the trip to Salt Lake City.

“It’s going to be great,” he said.

Seeliger speech therapist Heidi Leifson accepted the award for the school, citing the entire staff in the effort.

Leifson said Jarrod had a hard year. When she saw a television program about the conference, she asked if he would be interested in going.

She mentioned it to school secretary Gina Heinz. “She ran with it,” Leifson said. “He’s such a great kid.”

The school and Jarod’s doctors raised enought money to send him and his family to Salt Lake, put them up in a hotel room and pay for food.

About 120 people attended the annual awards luncheon at the Carson Nugget.

Awards were given from employee of the year, student of the year, boss of the year, sportsman of the year, artist of the year, educator of the year, and organization of the year, in addition to humanitarian of the year.

Carson City Kiwanis President Ray Frederick accepted the award for organization of the year, noting he had handed out $18,000 in scholarships Thursday night at Carson High School on behalf of the club.

Carson Kiwanis was founded in 1959 and was responsible for the first senior center in Carson City.

The club sponsors Focus House, Friends In Service Helping’s homeless shelter, the Carson River clean-up and the annual Call and Haul.

Artist of the Year Michael Williams is a member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe of Nevada.

He creates tule duck decoys and other practical items using “tule technology” of his ancestors.

The 44-year-old Carson City resident has been an artist for eight to nine years and began making tule ducks four years ago.

Paula Guzman, community out-reach coordinator for Nevada Health Centers, was named employee of the year.

Guzman works on the state’s Mammovan helping women learn more about the importance of breast cancer screening.

Denese Doherty of Rice Hydro Inc. in Carson City was nominated by three people. She thanked her employees on receiving the award.

“It’s their level of excellence that puts me where I am today,” she said.

Carson High School athletic director and longtime baseball coach Ron McNutt took the award for sportsman of the year. Wife Terrie accepted the award for Nevada’s winningest coach.

“I know the coach would say there are two reasons why he does this,” she said. “The first is family and the second to see what evolves from what you’ve done.”

Carson High School senior Deborah Crounk won student of the year. Deborah served as class secretary this year.

Fritsch Elementary School Katie Pollock won for teacher of the year. “This award goes to all the educators in Carson City,” Pollock said.

Carson Access Television’s Craig Swope was master of ceremonies for the event.

“I really like the humanitarian of the year category,” he said. “It’s a running thread through all the categories. Every nominee has a genuine dose of humanity.”

Bonnie Nishikawa also received special recognition for her work in keeping alive the history of the Nevada State Children’s Home.

2002 Community Award winners

Employee of the Year

Paula Guzman

Boss of the Year

Denese Doherty

Sportsman of the Year

Ron McNutt

Artist of the Year

Michael Williams

Student of the Year

Deborah Crounk

Educator of the Year

Katie Pollock

Humanitarian of the year

Seeliger Elementary School Staff

Organization of the Year

Carson City Kiwanis

Special recognition

Bonnie Nishikawa