Time to vote for your favorite volunteer

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The Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award committee at the Town Crier has decided on three top candidates for the community to choose among.

The honor is given to an individual or group who represents EMax’s spirit of community and volunteerism. Prior awardees took actions that created a spark sufficient to bring others into the fray just as Maxwell did with his activities involving the environment.

This year, all nominees are individuals and a group who have demonstrated a tangible, perhaps physical, effect on the community. They also were chosen because they have given, without expecting recognition and mostly behind the scenes, for years and years helping improve our community.

The candidates and their accomplishments, in alphabetical order, are:

1. Jay Muldar of Stonewood regularly walks along Highway 243 picking up litter for miles on either side. He has been doing this since he moved to the Hill 11 years ago after retiring as a landscape architect from San Diego County. He does it for two reasons: for exercise and for community service.

Marcia Krull talked to him about the situation that arose when the snow visitors descended on the Hill, leaving untold amounts of garbage in their wake. “With no reward other than the satisfaction of doing a job that makes our community more attractive and more welcoming to residents and visitors alike, Jay is one of the quiet, unassuming angels that seem to gravitate toward our beautiful mountain village,” she wrote.

A story about the snow visitors appeared in the Orange County Register on Jan. 21, 2016. It mentioned Jay who said he hopes he’s making a difference. “Kind of subconsciously it creeps into their head, that, yeah, ‘we should pick up our stuff,’” Muldar said of the tourists.

2. Joe and Yung Neu: They have run the Feeding America program for more than five years. Before that, they worked under Gary Busher as volunteers for the program for at least 10 years.

They collect, recycle and turn the proceeds in to the youth sports program. They’ve manned the snack shop at kids’ baseball games in the past.

They put on fundraising dinners for the American Legion.

Any time help is needed in this community, just call them and they step up to help on any project.

Joe and Yung helped with the building of the new home for the Loutzenhiser family after the Esperanza Fire.

They have been coaches for soccer, bsaeball and basketball.

“Joe and Yung are what Idyllwild is all about, loving and helping others. They work and volunteer for this community because they love living here,” wrote Jan Boss.

3. Rotary International of Idyllwild supports numerous causes throughout Idyllwild, including road cleanup on Highway 243; banners put up and taken down for 501(c)(3) events and organization; providing hundreds of headphones for school; scholarships; dictionaries for third graders; contributions to the Boy Scout camp; support of the Idyllwild HELP Center financially, assisting with clean up and garnering 300 pair of shoes; support of Harmony Monument maintenance; assist in clean up and maintenance days at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times; organizing and conducting the annual Fourth of July Parade; ribbon cuttings for new businesses on the Hill; support for the Summer Concert Series; support for Forest Folk shuttle service; the Harvest Festival ; deep pit barbecue; and pancake breakfast.

The six previous awardees were the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council in 2011, Dawn Sonnier in 2012, Robert Priefer in 2013, Annamarie Padula in 2014, Wendy Read in 2015, and Robert Hewitt and Janice Murasko in 2016.

To vote, fill out the form below (no photocopies) and drop it off at the Town Crier office or mail it to Town Crier, Attn: Emax Award, P.O. Box 157, Idyllwild, CA 92549. Or vote online at www.idyllwildtowncrier.com. The deadline to vote for your favorite nominee is 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10.

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