20141025_212936It was a night of glitz and glam Saturday as several residents were recognized for their community contributions during the 17th annual Community Achievement Awards at the Aquarius Resort and Casino.  The prestigious awards ceremony kicked off with a red carpet interview by JustSayNews/ Murphy Broadcasting’s Jessi Reed. Following cocktail hour and a delicious five-course dinner, the awards ceremony commenced.  The first award of the night was presented to Michael Cordero for Youth Citizen of the Year. Cordero, a senior at Laughlin Junior/Senior High School was also given a $1,000 scholarship.  “I want to thank the academy, ” he said jokingly. “No really I just want to thank everyone for this award. I honestly didn’t think I would win.” Three other finalist Austin Emee, Tyler and Bailee Health didn’t walk away empty handed though, each were presented with a $500 scholarship.  Laughlin resident Fred Doten won the highest award of “Citizen of the Year” and thanked the community and judges for chosing him. Doten spends a majority of his volunteer time with the American Legion in Laughlin as well as serving as chairman of the Laughlin Town Advisory Board.
Outgoing councilwoman Kathy Bruck was honored with the Civic Service award.  Bruck said during her acceptance speech that her focus is helping local seniors and disabled veterans. “I am very humbled,” she told attendees. Another Bullhead City dignitary recognized was Mayor Jack Hakim. He was chosen as the Spirit of Arizona recipient. Hakim has been a prominent figure in Bullhead City for over two decades. He announced his retirement early this year and will leave office in November. Humanitarian nominee Karole Finkelstein had a brief delay accepting her award for Spirit of the Colorado after a pit stop to ladies room. She  returned to the banquet room to applause and a standing ovation. For years, Finkelstein has given her time to dozens of local non-profit organizations. In addition to helping local children, Finkelstein donates time to a Mexico orphanage making sure they have the basic necessities.  “Oh my,” she said fighting back tears. “I..I don’t know what to really say. You all caught me off guard,” she chuckled.  Master of ceremonies for the awards cermony was former LTAB chairman James Vincent and Meg McDaniel of Laughlin Tourism.  Other winners of the Community Achievement Awards were: Emily Fromelt-Public Service. Shelley Gibson-Humanitarian,  Alise Andrews-Educator of the Year , Jeff Pfeiffer-Tourism,  Lance Ross-Communications,  Cassandra Schuster-Entrepreneur of the Year,  WestCare Arizona-Community/Social Service Organizatio,  Sunridge Village-Small Business of the Year,  Aquarius-Large Business of the Year,  Harrah’s Laughli,n-Green Business of the Year,
Combs Brothers-Spirit of Nevada.  All winners were chosen during a secret voting process by judges Lorrie Duggin, Mark Abram, Julie Fairman, Meg McDaniel, Allen Shore, Cat Smith, Robert Taylor, Terri Torrence and Rodney Treague.
Photo: Mayor of Bullhead City Jack Hakim, and wife Carol, pose for a photo shortly after winning the Spirit of Arizona award. Hakim was honored with the prestigious award during the 17th annual Community Achievement Awards.
Video of the Nominees