WALSENBURG— The third annual Spanish Peaks Community Foundation “Legends of the Spanish Peaks Gala” has selected six extraordinary people to honor October 18th at the Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The evening dinner and dance will be held at the Huerfano County Community Center beginning at 5 pm for drinks, visiting, and a silent auction which will help raise funds for the Foundation. After dinner, there will be the awards ceremony, photos and dancing to the music of the Dano Weston Band. Chosen this year from nominations submitted from within the community are six individuals who come from a variety of backgrounds and whose valuable contributions to our entire Huerfano County vary. Some of those being honored have passed away, however family members or friends will accept the award. Sergio Abila, (deceased) was nominated because he was a hard working rancher, businessman and humanitarian from the Redwing area of Huerfano County. His understanding of business and economics gave birth to several other enterprises in the Gardner and Walsenburg area, however, his kindnesses to others is the heart of why he will be named one of the 2014 Legends this year. Edward Joseph, (deceased), was selected for his long fight to bring a veterans hospital to the Walsenburg area. After working since childhood in his father’s grocery store and bakery, delivering to the entire county, Joseph went into the Army in WWII. When he returned, his feelings for veterans and the knowledge of what they faced upon return was paramount in his
thoughts. His knowledge of Huerfano was a help when he became the Veterans Service Officer for the county, and he was instrumental in the fight within the state for a local veterans hospital. His winning smile and his patient pursuit of something our county desperately needed makes him a Legend. Donald Kynion’s tenure in Walsenburg as a teacher, coach, and friend to students for over 30 years made him a natural for nomination as a Huerfano Legend. He was adept at getting students to listen, think and work. He not only taught math and physics, he coached basketball and golf, and gave much extra time to students who needed a mentor. Kynion was an active participant in community activities, church and everything possible at Walsenburg/John Mall High School. Now living in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Kynion will be present at the Gala, as will many of this Legend’s former students who are traveling to Walsenburg to celebrate with him. Carolyn Florea Newman was also a well loved teacher at Walsenburg/John Mall High School in the English department. She opened the world to her classes thanks to her extensive travel when she was a college student hitchhiking through Europe. She has given voice to Huerfano County’s history and helped by becoming a writer, story teller, the “spirit” of Mother Jones, all to help our citizens – young and old- understand the importance of our history to who we are. Certainly a very special Legend is Carolyn Newman. Sam T. Taylor, a 40-year state Senator from Huerfano County (deceased) will also be honored. His concern for the economy of our county, the importance of mining to the area, the lack of help our area got from the northern part of the state was part of the reason he was selected this year. He was one of the seven longest serving Senators in the state of Colorado and he never forgot who he represented. His kindness to the people of our county when he was home from the legislature was also acknowledged in his nomination as one of this year’s Legends. Fred Walsen, (deceased) an early resident of La Plaza de los Leones, established an ever-expanding mercantile store, was an initial trustee (mayor) with the city, and then postmaster of the newly incorporated Town of Walsenburg. Coming from Prussia first to St. Louis where he married the daughter of a hotelier in St. Louis named Emilie Sporleder, they moved to the Badito area which was the county seat. When he moved to Plaza de los Leones he opened a general store. He spearheaded an effort to move the county seat to Plaza de los Leones. Eventually the post office suggested a different name for the city and the name of Walsenburg was suggested. Fred Walsen funded many early buildings in Walsenburg and while he did move on to live in Denver and become the Colorado State Treasurer in 1882 we still consider him a Legend of Huerfano County. The Spanish Peaks Community Foundation Gala is a fundraiser for the organization. Tickets are going quickly and must be purchased by October 10th. There is limited seating so please call the Huerfano World Journal for tickets at 738-1415 or go online and purchase them with a credit card. www.spanishpeakscf.org. Tickets are $45 each or $80 per couple. No ticket sales at the door.