Mayor's Inspiration Award

Mayor's Inspiration Award logo.


There are remarkable people and organizations in our community!

And it's time to recognize their inspiring work and commitment with the Mayor’s Inspiration Award!

The award acknowledges those who have made a significant impact in our community by recognizing contributions in community engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness, diversity and innovation. 


Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2019 awards! Winners will be announced in August. 

Multiple awards may be presented in each of the following categories:

  • Youth: any individual under the age of 18
  • Individual: any individual age 18 or older
  • Organization: any business, association, service organization, nonprofit, team or group
  • In Memoriam: a special category for Lakewood's 50th Anniversary. Nominate someone who made an impact during his or her time in Lakewood.


Nomination Instructions & Form

Submit a nomination in three easy steps:  

1. Determine if the person or organization is eligible. 
The Mayor’s Inspiration Award recognizes people making extraordinary contributions to the Lakewood community, in four categories: youth (under 18), individuals, organizations, and in memoriam.

2. Identify your nominee’s achievement areas and strengthen your nomination.
Identify how your nominee has made a significant and positive impact on the Lakewood community. The Mayor’s Inspiration Awards are selected by a panel of evaluators and based on a select set of criteria -- see the award criteria below. 

3. Nominate!
Once you have learned about the awards, you are ready to complete a strong nomination for your nominee. All nominations must be completed using the online nomination form; attach additional documents as needed.


Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2019 awards! Winners will be announced in August. 

Questions: Kaitlin Gault, 303-987-7050, 


Mayor’s Inspiration Award Criteria

Mayor’s Inspiration Award Achievement Areas
How has the City of Lakewood become a better place because of the Nominee's actions? Did they collaborate across different sectors or include diverse groups in their actions? Were they innovative, making a positive impact in the community?


Award Evaluation Criteria
A panel of evaluators, Lakewood staff, volunteers and Mayor Paul will evaluate the nominations based on how well the nominees meet the following criteria:

  • Civic Engagement and Collaboration - Explain the nominee’s level of civic engagement and use of collaboration that crosses sectors (business, local, government, nonprofits, etc.) and regions that contribute to the success of Lakewood.
  • Inclusiveness and Diversity - How has the nominee recognized and involved diverse segments and perspectives as an inspiration to Lakewood?
  • Innovation - Explain the nominee’s use of creativity, initiative and how they leverage community resources that exemplifies success and has directly impacted the Lakewood community.
  • Impact and Value to the Community - What demonstrable, significant and measurable achievements has the nominee made to the Lakewood community? 
  • Share a Story - Please share a story with the selection committee including specific examples of why the nominee should be recognized. Include displays of leadership, problem solving and acting as a role model.


2018 Inspirations

2018 Youth Winners

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. 

Youth Winner: 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 Organization Winners

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 Individual Winners

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 Special Shout Out Winners

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 Inspirations

2017 Individual Winners

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


2017 Civic Association Winner

  • Lakewood Elks Lodge


2017 Business Winner

  • Taekwondo Institute


2017 Youth Winner

  • Troy Jackson
  • Sofia Titarenko


2017 Organization Winner

  • Mile Hi Church
  • Clements Sewing Group