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Looking Good Santa Barbara Selects Five Honorees for Spirit of Service Awards

An extraordinary slate of locals are being honored with the 2015 Spirit of Service Awards.

Through these awards, now in their 11th year, Looking Good Santa Barbara recognizes individuals and organizations in the community who exceed expectations by reducing waste and keeping the community clean through graffiti and litter abatement.

Dozens of nominations were received from the public in February and March, and the Looking Good Committee selected five winners to be honored at an awards luncheon on May 13.

This year’s winners are:

Waste Reduction Category

» Bill Kelly, Nordstrom: As facilities manager, he energetically supported the Nordstrom Café to divert more than 12 tons of foodscraps from the landfill each year.

» Lauren Thal-Hill, Franklin School: A fourth-grade teacher, she guided a student project to reduce the use of plastic in the cafeteria, eventually replacing 180,000 plastic cups with reusable ones.

» The Towbes Group Inc.: A local real estate leader, The Towbes Group has implemented recycling and waste reduction throughout their offices as well as residential and commercial properties, including providing recycling containers and information to new tenants.

Clean Community Category

» Jesse Aldana: Aldana has been walking his neighborhood five times a week for 12 years and has become a vigilant collector of trash, eventually recruiting friends and even his grandson to assist in the effort.

» Stella Larson: For two years, Larson hand-picked weeds and gathered trash on Carrillo Hill, spearheading the effort alone while working with the city to pick up the collected garbage, and all the while wearing her trademark smile.

The awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 13. Tracy Lehr, KEYT Ventura County bureau chief, will act as emcee, and Mayor Helene Schneider will be present to congratulate and honor each award recipient with a Spirit of Service award.

Looking Good Santa Barbara is a program of City Trash & Recycling.

— Lorraine Cruz-Carpenter is the executive coordinator for Looking Good Santa Barbara.

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