Skip to main content

Mayor's Inspiration Award Winners


Learn more about the awards



Watch Mayor Adam Paul interview the 2018 winners: Part 1 | Part 2




2018 Winners - Youth

Evelyn Murphy – A Reflection of Compassion
This high school student is president of the Hutchinson 4-H Club. Because of her understanding about living with special needs, she learned at a very young age how to have an inclusive life full of love and compassion. She volunteers as a children’s camp counselor and teaches adults how to work with kids who have special needs. Evelyn has been a guest panelist for the Colorado Mentoring Summit to discuss mentorship. She also volunteers at her church and in a pet food drive for Foothills Animal Shelter. Her sense of humor helps people feel at ease around her, allowing her to make a difference in their lives.

Henry Walsh – A Reflection of Perseverance
After being challenged by his school to develop a project that could change the world, Henry knew he had to do something that would help The Action Center. He had recently taken a tour with his grandmother and he set forth a plan to raise money for the organization that has helped so many in his community. He decided to combine his passion for mountain biking with his community service roots and he developed a Pledge Ride. At 11-years old, Henry biked over 200 miles on the trails in Ken Caryl, doubling his goal of 100 miles. His hard work paid off and he was able to donate $1065 to The Action Center on June 29th.

2018 Winners - Organization

Foothills Credit Union – A Reflection of Generosity
This organization has built strong community partnerships through its charitable donations and sponsorship programs. The Foothills Charitable Donations program allows organizations in need to raise up to $5,000. Many types of organizations have benefited from this program, from schools to sports programs to churches. The Community Sponsorship Program provides sponsorships for numerous events in Lakewood, which helps to bring people together to build an inclusive community.

West Colfax Community Association (WCCA) – A Reflection of Diversity
The leadership and members of this organization work hard to help community members realize their dreams of building a more tight-knit community. It took hard work to bring diverse people together and move projects forward. Thanks to the persistence of the WCCA members there are new and exciting things happening on West Colfax.

Kaleidoscope Therapy Services, LLC – A Reflection of Healing
This is an organization who works tirelessly with families and children that have been affected by child abuse and neglect. Kaleidoscope Therapy Services is constantly trying new approaches to the challenges they face in order to achieve permanency for children. The organization recently launched HUGs (Help Under the Guidance of Service professionals), which combines the skills of a registered nurse with a social worker to support children. Mental health services are often expensive, therefore the agency prides itself on having a sliding scale and accepting Medicaid.

Jeffco Eats – A Reflection of Commitment
This organization recognizes that child hunger is a hidden problem and while children from low-income homes may receive free or reduced meals at school, there is no assurance they are being provided balanced meals over the weekend. Jeffco Eats stepped in during the 2017/18 school year. Volunteers provided 400 sacks of food each week out of Foothills Elementary School to children at Title I schools.

2018 Winners – Individual

LaDawn Sperling – A Reflection of Selflessness
LaDawn leads a busy life as a real estate broker but dispelled the myth that having a full-time career eliminates the ability to be active and invested in the community. She has taken the opportunity to introduce fellow employees to a number of nonprofits, including The Action Center, Family Tree, and SpayToday. LaDawn recruits fellow staff members for service days to support these important community organizations. LaDawn’s concern for the homeless became personal when instead of turning a blind eye, she was instrumental in finding a permanent housing solution for a homeless woman in the community.

Beth Parker – A Reflection of Creativity
Beth embedded herself within the Westgate Elementary School and the greater community by taking on many voluntary leadership roles, including the launch of a food and clothing pantry for Westgate students. She worked hard to establish and to stock a community hub with these important items and by mid-fall Beth was sending home backpacks of food every Friday for over 30 families. Her goal is to expand the community hub to include clothing, hygiene support and connections to services/community organizations to meet the other needs of the families in the community. She also builds partnerships with businesses and community supporters to raise money and provide sports to the students during recess for the next school year. She is 100% a volunteer.

Cathy Hatfield – A Reflection of Graciousness
Cathy is all about filling needs she finds them and she makes sure her neighbors are well informed about what is happening in the community. She lives a life of volunteerism by being active in the Belmar Sustainable Neighborhood group, Belmar Community Connection (BCC) and by taking the helm for organizations in transition such as Alameda Gateway and The Action Center, which was supposed to be a walk in the park but turned into an Everest climb! Attempts to draw a community together are often met with strife and a certain level of resistance but Cathy, with an easy smile, gracious and helpful demeanor will continue to encourage everyone around her to engage and invest in the community because it’s just who she is!

Doug Whitten – A Reflection of Inclusion
Indeed, this winner is a community organizer. If he catches wind that there’s a new resident in his neighborhood, he invites them over for coffee and donuts to get to know them and to share all the good things happening in the community. One of the community’s favorite events that Doug was instrumental in launching is the Southern Gables Neighborhood Night Out, where approximately 600 neighbors attend a game-filled night with businesses, schools, and other community members. Doug fosters partnerships with schools, churches, organizations, and businesses throughout the City, and with the help of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association (SGNA), started a “Neighborhood Business Partners” program. Over 50 businesses have signed up, which has helped the SGNA raise money for community events. His innovative fundraising efforts have enabled SGNA to make financial contributions to important organizations and causes in the community.

2018 Winners – Special Shout Out

CASA Volunteers of Lakewood – A Reflection of Kindness
These volunteers work tirelessly with children who may have been abused or neglected. CASA volunteers meet with children weekly, spending quality time playing games, reading, doing homework, or going out for ice cream. Children who may feel vulnerable, having been placed in a foster home, have a volunteer whose sole purpose is to make that child feel that they are being protected and that someone is advocating on their behalf. This type of contribution to a community is unmeasurable.

Steve Strunk – A Reflection of Enthusiasm
In the short time that Steve has lived in the Lakewood community, he has proven to be a vital member! He has taken it as his job to promote events, such as the 9 Health Fair, by delivering over 100 flyers to Lakewood businesses to display. During the 9 Health Fair, he acted as an ambassador, ensuring that participants go for testing and addressing any needs they may have. Steve has been an active member and supporter of the 40 West Arts District and the West Colfax Community Association (WCCA). He saw a need to have Little Free Pantries strategically placed in the community so he purchased the supplies and materials needed to paint and place two new pantries in the Lakewood community. He has made a significant positive change in the community. 



2017 – First Year of Awards!

Read about the 2017 winners in the March 2017 edition of Looking at Lakewood

Watch the nominators talk about these 2017 winners


2017 Winners - Individuals

  • George Valuck
  • Sandie Weathers
  • Palani Palaniappan
  • Judy Davis

2017 Winner - Civic Association

  • Lakewood Elks Lodge

2017 Winner - Business

  • Taekwondo Institute

2017 Winner - Youth

  • Troy Jackson
  • Sofia Titarenko

2017 Winner - Organization

  • Mile Hi Church
  • Clements Sewing Group