Teen Leadership Awards were presented Thursday night during the Leadership Roswell Alumni Association’s 16th annual awards banquet. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
Leadership Roswell Alumni Association recognized several community leaders Thursday night during its 16th annual awards banquet held at the New Mexico Military Institute.
“I think part of what we’re doing … we are happy to honor the leaders in our community,” said President Elect Alaine Mayfield. “It’s amazing every year.
Jim Lilley, a U.S. Army veteran, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his service as a leader and volunteer in Roswell for many years. Lilley serves as a tutor with the Roswell Literacy Council, a lector at Assumption Catholic Church and works with the disaster team with Chaves County Red Cross. Lilley has also taught life guarding for nearly 50 years and is active in Senior Olympics, Roswell Runners Club and several other local organizations.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to community member who have a long and documented history of improving and giving to Chaves County, is a leader in his or her industry and is a person who has not had much recognition in the past years for his or her work.
The Association awarded Joan Blodgett with the Outstanding Leader Award for being a role model in the community. Blodgett is the executive secretary of Tobosa Developmental Services, where she has worked for 28 years.
Blodgett is a graduate of Leadership Roswell Class of 1993-94. She also graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in May 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work.
Her friend Renee Roach said Blodgett breathes belief into people that they can achieve their goals and achieve their different leadership styles.
“She volunteers for everything,” Roach said. “I have been very affected by her. She always offers a hug and a prayer.”
Blodgett served as a board member of Keep Roswell Beautiful for several years and has worked as a water aerobics instructor at the Roswell Racquet Club and Spa for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Altrusa Club of Roswell, is a member of the Roswell Runners Club and a mentor to troubled youth in Chaves County Juvenile Detention Center for Friends for Life program since 1996.
Kelly Mack Cassels was awarded the Commitment to Youth Award, recognizing his history of giving his time to youth activities spanning many years and his high moral standards, commitment to youth and respect in the community.
Cassels is an attorney and shareholder at Sanders, Bruin, Coll and Worley in Roswell. For some 10 years, he has devoted much of his time, resources and appreciation of students in Roswell as the Teen CBS Teaching Director, a non-denominational organization available to all youth. Cassels has been instrumental in ensuring there were volunteers to help each teenager achieve their full potential.
Future leaders were also honored at the banquet. The emerging Leader Award was given to Jasmine hicks, who handed a $600 scholarship. Alexander Kirkland received a Teen Scholarship for $400.
Leadership Roswell Alumni Association extends beyond the Leadership Roswell class experience. After graduation from the class, students can join the association and join service projects that benefit the community, such as the Teen Leadership Roswell Program for local high school juniors, candidate forums and the annual awards dinner to honor outstanding community leaders.