Former TC Publisher Grace Reed established the Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award in 2011, the year Emax would have turned 100.

The award recognizes an individual or entity who best exemplifies our community spirit through their volunteer efforts, as Emax did.

After the nomination deadline, the TC chooses three it deems most worthy from the submissions and lets TC readers vote. This year, all three were well-deserving of the award. Annamarie Padula of Pine Cove was the hands-down winner, however. She quietly goes about giving and giving in both Pine Cove and Idyllwild. Her work helps turn the wheels of our community.

In 2011, the Woodies received public recognition as the first recipients of the award at a ceremony. None of the other three have received that type of recognition for the award so I want to mention two others.

In 2012, Dawn Sonnier brought a community together to raise funds and labor to build a playground for our village and visiting children. Dawn’s efforts floored everyone involved. How easily she banded opposite sides on town debates to construct such joy. Our summer concerts have benefited tremendously, too, from the playground adjacent to the audience.

And on that site, a future community center will be built, thanks in large part to the volunteer efforts of the 2013 award winner, Robert Priefer.

Robert has worked with donors to design a town future for outdoor theater, swimming, picnics by Strawberry Creek, events, games and more in beautiful venues.

These people go above and beyond the expected.

Becky Clark