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ColoPressAssn
February 4, 2016 Vol. 15 No. 11
Mannis applaud community’s finest
Written by Rhonda Van Pelt   

The storm before the storm

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Top, Mustang Lucas Rodholm (23) bounds to outreach the crowd and drop in a two-pointer against Ellicott on Dec. 11.

Above, Lady Mustang Angala Jensen leads the charge against the Woodland Park Panthers during their Jan. 23 game.

The Manitou Springs Mustangs boys basketball team caused a defensive storm Saturday against La Junta with a 53-35 win just before a massive snowstorm wreaked havoc on their practice and game schedule this week. The Lady Mustangs were even more impressive in their 59-33 win over La Junta, also last Saturday. Both squads games against Colorado Springs Christian School that were scheduled for this Tuesday have been postponed until Feb. 15. The Mustangs will prepare to travel to Buena Vista on Saturday.

Photos by Frank McKiel

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The second annual Manni Awards, celebrating the people who help make Manitou special, took place Jan. 28 in City Hall.

Mayor Nicole Nicoletta introduced longtime resident Joanne Garrison, winner of the lifetime humanitarian award, who has been a force for good in Manitou for decades.

Former Mayor Marc Snyder announced another former mayor, Marcy Morrison, as the winner of the lifetime achievement award for public service.

“My heart is in Manitou,” Morrison said. “Volunteerism in this community is terrific.”

Snyder remained on stage to bestow the civic achievement award to Brad Walters, who has spent years ensuring that Manitou’s infrastructure works properly — through fire, flood or other challenges.

School District 14 Superintendent Ed Longfield presented the lifetime achievement in education award to Debbie Heidenreich, first-grade teacher at Manitou Springs Elementary who has taught there for 37 years.

“She has influenced thousands of young lives,” Longfield said, adding that she’s now teaching the children of her former students. Judging by the audience’s reaction, many of those students were present.

Longfield presented the youth visionary leadership award to Manitou Springs High School student Samantha White, praising the swimmer and member of the Campaign for Kindness and National Honor Society for her exemplary dedication to sports, community and academics.

020416_Manni_GarrisonMaster of ceremonies Ken Jaray returned to the stage to bestow the entrepreneurship award on Chris Vestal of Pikes Peak Makerspace.

“I am, every day, surprised by the generosity of this community,” Vestal said.

Jaray then presented the environmental stewardship award to Coreen and Shanti Toll for their long-running efforts to preserve Manitou’s outdoor spaces and conserve energy.

“It’s just an honor to be in Manitou Springs,” Shanti Toll said.

Next, it was Coreen Toll’s turn to present an award, this time the C.H. Rockey Artistic Endeavors Award to Julia Wright, who has coordinated the Commonwheel Labor Day Arts Festival for most of its 41 years.

“Thank you for all your support for the arts,” Wright said.

Bulletin publisher Ralph Routon presented the public service award to Snyder.

“This is extremely gratifying. I love this community so much,” the former mayor said.

020416_Manni_TollsThen it was Jaray’s turn to receive an award, for adult visionary leadership. He said that everything he’s accomplished for Manitou has come through team efforts.

“I feel a strong sense of purpose and belonging,” he added.

Karen Cullen presented the business vitality award to the Keg Lounge, which survived a kitchen grease fire last spring, made renovations and recovered.

Co-owner Matt Milar accepted on behalf of his parents, Mike and Terry, saying, “They are the heart and soul of the Keg.”

Amanda Carroll presented the health and well-being award to Del Hokanson, founder of Manitou Spokes.

“This community has given me a sense of belonging,” Hokanson said.

And then it was over until next year, but the strong feeling of community will flourish for 365 days.