Nominations are being sought for the 10th annual Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize, which will be presented to a Lompoc resident on Jan. 26 in recognition of that person’s contribution to peace and understanding in the Lompoc Valley.
Nominations can be made by calling the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ, which awards the prize, at 805-733-3333 or by calling Allie Kay Spaulding, the nominations chairwoman, at 805-741-7000. The deadline to submit a nomination is Dec. 1.
“Peace sounds like such a nice word — calm and serene — but we understand that peacemaking is incredibly difficult,” said Rev. Jane Quandt, pastor of the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ. “It is hard work and it’s about building bridges between people. It’s not just the absence of war but the presence of justice.”
The first recipient of the award was Conrad Gonzales, then an outreach coordinator for the Lompoc Valley Boys and Girls Club. The current holder of the 24-pound black walnut and copper sculpture is Keith McLellan, chaplain to Lompoc‘s police and fire departments.
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Other recipients have been Shannon Rose Chavez of the North County Rape Crisis Center; Robert Almanza of Victory Outreach; Rev. Doug Conley of New Life Christian Center; Cabrillo High counselor Lauren Pressman; Catalina McIsaac of Art Peace Imagine; the Rev. Ron Wiley of Grace Temple Baptist Church; and Lompoc Library Director Sarah Bleyl.
More than 90 Lompocans have been nominated in the prize's history.
Photos: 9th Annual Valley of Flowers Peace Prize