012917 LR Peace Prize 28.jpg (copy)

In this Jan. 29, 2017 file photo, Pastor Ron Wiley, of Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church, receives the seventh annual Valley of Flowers Peace Prize during a ceremony at Valley of Flowers United Church of Christ. The committee that awards the prize is seeking nominations for the eighth annual award.

John Callan, Contributor

The committee that awards the Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize is seeking nominations from the community for the eighth annual award.

Any adult in the Lompoc area is invited to nominate a Lompoc resident who has made significant contributions toward peace and understanding in the community. A person may be nominated up to three times, but can be awarded the prize only once.

“Just as the Nobel Peace Prize recognizes those who have made an impact for peace on a global scale, this peace prize recognizes significant impacts in our community for the cause of peace,” Rev. Geoff Moran, pastor of the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ, said of the prize.

“Each year nominees are given recognition for their often ‘behind the scenes’ work to make Lompoc a more vibrant, caring, just and peaceful community. When our world seems increasingly polarized and combative, we need to spotlight those who work tirelessly for peace.”

Nominations can be made by calling Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ at 733-3333 or by contacting Allie Kay Spaulding, nominations chairperson, at 741-7000 or alliekay31@comcast.net.

Mailed nominations can be sent to Peace Prize Committee, Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ, 3436 Constellation Road, Lompoc CA.

Each nomination should include a description of the nominee’s contributions to peace and understanding in the Lompoc community.

The seven people who have been awarded the prize are Conrad Gonzales, of the Boys & Girls Club; Shannon Rose Chavez, of the North County Rape Crisis Center; Robert Almanza, of Victory Outreach; the Rev. Douglas Conley, of the New Life Christian Center; community activist and Cabrillo High School counselor Lauren Pressman; Catalina McIsaac, founder and CEO of Art, Peace, Imagine; and the Rev. Ron Wiley, pastor of the Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

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An additional 62 Lompoc residents have been recognized by the peace prize committee with nominations.

Each recipient keeps the prize for one year. The 24-pound peace prize stands 2 feet tall and is constructed of a black walnut base, a ceramic layer at its hollowed center and three copper loops forming an ellipse 18 inches high from the base.

The eighth annual prize will be awarded during a ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 28, 2018, at the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ, 3346 Constellation Road.

This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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