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8/29/2013 6:00:00 AM
Andy Devine Awards honor Kingman community members
The 2013 winners of the Andy Devine Awards pose with their awards Aug. 24. This year’s awards were modeled after the very first awards given by the Kingman Chamber of Commerce in 1977. (Courtesy)
The 2013 winners of the Andy Devine Awards pose with their awards Aug. 24. This year’s awards were modeled after the very first awards given by the Kingman Chamber of Commerce in 1977. (Courtesy)
Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - This year's Andy Devine Award for Lifetime Achiever was awarded to two residents - Mohave State Bank's Don Vawter and posthumously to coach John Bathauer.

"He always had a smile on his face and everything he did was for the kids," said Annie Bathauer as her family gathered around her to accept the award.

The Andy Devine Awards are given out each year by the Kingman Chamber of Commerce to draw attention to the people, businesses and organizations that make Kingman a better place to live.

Bathauer passed away from cancer in March 2012. He was a well-loved coach for Kingman's swim league, softball, baseball and football teams. He also acted as an umpire for many games.

The outpouring of fundraisers and events and love when the community found out that he had cancer was phenomenal, Annie Bathauer said.

Don Vawter, the other Lifetime Achiever Award winner, also received a round of applause as he was honored for his commitment to Kingman Regional Medical Center and his compassion for the community.

According to the ceremony's program, "Don emulates warmth, humility and compassion as he serves others and always expresses appreciation to other for their efforts. Kingman is Don's focus and it shows in his contributions, donations, time, support and dedication."

The chamber also honored Pinion Pines Fire Department with its Public Service Award for its work on fighting the Dean Peak Fire earlier this summer.

The fire was started by lightning on June 29 and burned nearly 5,400 acres. Shortly after the fire started, stories about firefighters taking care of pets and gardens at homes that had been evacuated by residents started to surface.

Fire Chief Joe Jackson was also presented with a thank you banner signed by the residents of the district.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Ron Stephens, the president of the Court Appointed Special Advocate program. The program assigns volunteers to help mentor children whose parents are going thorough custody or dependency hearings in court.

Stephens created a special organization designed to raise money to pay for children in the CASA program to go to prom, summer camp, music lessons or other fun events. CASA volunteers are limited in the amount of money they get from the program and the amount of money they can spend out of their own pockets on the children they mentor.

The chamber also honored Amy West as the Educator of the Year. West helped establish the Joint Technical Education District in Mohave County. The district provides funding for vocational programs - such as welding, nursing and car repair - for high school students.

Student of the Year went to Destiny Dillon, who had the night's shortest acceptance speech.

"Thank you," she said and then sat down.

According to the program, Dillion moved to Kingman from a bad situation in California about two and a half years ago and has turned her life around. She has served as a Kingman Police Explorer and donated her time to attend special events for KPD. She also completed an unpaid internship at the Gardens Care Center while studying to become a certified nursing assistant.

Healing Hooves founder Kassie Schuerr cried when she found out that that the organization had been awarded the Organization of the Year Award. The organization provides horse-riding lessons to children who have limited abilities and are struggling with life.

This year's Business of the Year Award went to Laron Inc. The company has been instrumental in creating an apprenticeship program to help local residents learn new job skills and the Kingman and Mohave Manufacturing Association, a group of local stakeholders and manufacturing companies that work together to improve business opportunities in the community.

The Most Improved Commercial Property Award went to Innovative Stonework and Landscaping. The company gutted a residential house on Hoover Avenue and redesigned the building as a showcase for its high-tech products, such as water-permeable pavers and low-voltage lights.

Mission Bank

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: Kingmanmom .

Who is who in the picture? From left to right. Please and thank you.

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Article comment by: Sandy McCoy

Congratulations, Destiny Dillon for a well-deserved award! You are one of the hardest-working students I've ever known, you faced challenges without ever giving up, you met your high school goals--and will be successful at your life-long goals with your great attitude.



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