Out of 12 submissions for the Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award, the Town Crier has culled them down to three top candidates the community will now choose among.

The honor is given to an individual or group that 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 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:

ted1. Ted Cummings, who contributes his time and expertise to nearly every event on the Hill. Ted is an expert on permits required and how to obtain them.

He volunteers countless hours to help organizations pull together mounds of paperwork to secure the necessary permits. He always shares his knowledge of the little intricacies of events and event planning.

Among many other events, he has worked tirelessly for Jazz in the Pines, the Fourth of July Festival, last year’s Animal Rescue Friends and Living Free’s Festival and Adoption Fair and  the upcoming ARF Paws for Rhythm and Brews.

In charge of logisitic planning for Jazz in the Pines, years ago he created the template for the festival still being used today.

2. Jay Mulder (no photo available). At one time upon entering Idyllwild, we were informed that our area was “America’s Cleanest Forest.”

This sign was eventually removed. However, this person nominated for the prestigious Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award still believes in keeping our forest clean. For years he has been picking up wayward trash along Highway 243.

With no affiliation to a recognized club or organization, he accumulates trash in paper bags. You’ll sometimes see him on foot, on bicycle or in a car alongside the highway.

His territory is from the county disposal site to north of Pine Cove.

His partner at one time was his dog, but now he is the sole individual in his pursuit to keep our community free of debris.

Ernie Maxwell would have been proud of this man’s battle with rubbish to keep our mountain clean.

wendy3. Wendy Read, who for more than 15 years has been an Idyllwild Garden Club member, helping beautify not only the town by planting at local businesses, but beautifying the school grounds, too, while teaching students about plants, etc.

Serving as president and in other roles on the Idyllwild School PTA, volunteering in its classrooms as well as with the Idyllwild smARTS program throughout her children’s educational  years, Wendy has been a tireless supporter of our local elementary to middle school.

The four previous awardees were the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council in 2011, Dawn Sonnier in 2012, Robert Priefer in 2013 and Annamarie Padula in 2014.

Vote below or at the Town Crier office by June 18th:
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