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Among ten named Arizona Culturekeepers
YUMA, ARIZONA - Completing a project that began in 2002, ten individuals or groups from throughout Arizona - including a delegation from Yuma - will be honored at a special ceremony May 6 at the The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa for making a positive impact on the state's history, culture, environment and/or economy
The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area was among the 10 honorees chosen as Arizona Culturekeepers from among more than 100 nominees statewide. The program was established by The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in conjunction with the Sharlot Hall Museum, Arizona Historical Society and Historian Marshall Trimble. Ten individuals or groups have been recognized each year since 2002, with the 10 honorees in 2012 completing the group of 100 this year, the Centennial of Arizona's statehood.
Heritage Area Executive Director Charles Flynn said that while the statewide recognition is welcome, the honor really should be directed to the groups and individuals who laid the groundwork for recent achievements, especially the Yuma Crossing Park Council.
"While the Heritage Area is named in this award, the real heroes are those intrepid souls who worked against all odds in the 1970s and '80s to preserve Yuma's heritage and advance the riverfront project. What has been accomplished in the last decade was only made possible through the efforts of the Yuma Crossing Park Council and other citizen groups. They drove this effort; they set this agenda," Flynn said.
"Because they are the real honorees, I'm delighted that many of those hard-working heroes will join us, including Verda McCain, Margie and John Dallabetta, Jill Sloncen, Dunbar Norton, Janice Hays, Gwen Robinson, Reba Grandrud, Steve Shadle, Jones Osborn and Rob Ingold, along with Tina Clark of our staff and Tom Rushin, chairman of our board," Flynn added.
Each Culturekeeper will be presented with an award that describes the individual's or group's contributions to the state. Plaques with photos of each honoree will be displayed along the walls of the Resort's meeting space, including Culturekeepers Hall, a special area of the hotel adjacent to the Kierland Grand Ballroom.
The selection committee is led by Marshall Trimble, Official State Historian and was originated by the late Katherine "Kax" Herberger, a longtime Valley philanthropist. Other 2012 honorees include: Scott Baxter - Phoenix - Photographer; Jim Bruner - Scottsdale - Public Service, Historic Preservation; Frances Cohen - Phoenix/Tucson - Dance Director; Diane Enos - Salt River Community - Native American Leader, Cultural Preservation; JoAnn Handley - Scottsdale - Scottsdale Historical Museum and Society; Cressworth Lander - Tucson - African American Community Preservation; Katie Lee - Jerome - Author, Performer, Environmentalist; Bill Thompson - Phoenix - Children's Television; Dr. Anne Woosley - Tucson - Arizona Historical Society Director, Writer.
The public is invited to participate in the uniquely Arizonan luncheon ceremony on Sunday, May 6th, at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Tickets are $55 per person or $550 per table of ten and are available by email to email@example.com or by calling 480-624-1356. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Arizona Culturekeepers program, Sharlot Hall Museum and Arizona Historical Society.
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is an independent nonprofit corporation governed by a local board of directors. It was among the first national heritage areas in the West to be officially designated by the U.S. Congress. The Heritage Area's master plan projects earned the Governor's Arizona Preservation Award in 2009. For more information, call 928-373-5198 or visit www.yumaheritage.com.
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