Tuesday, August 21 , 2018, 3:53 pm | A Few Clouds 76º


Local News

Nominees Named for 2017 Lompoc Valley Peace Prize

Named so far are Shawndel Malcolm, founder of Planting a Seed Foundation, and Sarah Bleyl, director of Lompoc library system

Shawndel Malcolm, who founded the Planting a Seed Foundation, has been nominated for the 2017 Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize in Lompoc. Also nominated is Sarah Bleyl, director of the Lompoc Public Library System. Click to view larger
Shawndel Malcolm, who founded the Planting a Seed Foundation, has been nominated for the 2017 Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize in Lompoc. Also nominated is Sarah Bleyl, director of the Lompoc Public Library System. (Contributed photo)

A Lompoc man who works to help homeless residents and the city’s librarian are the first two nominees for the 2017 Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize. 

Shawndel Malcolm, who founded Planting a Seed Foundation in 2013, was revealed as the first nominee for his role in starting the organization to “to empower and restore hope by providing support and opportunities to those underserved in our community.”  

Sarah Bleyl, director of the Lompoc Public Library System, also has been nominated for the Peace Prize.

Mark Ashamalla, 2016 Peace Prize nominee, submitted Malcolm for the award for “the countless hours of his own time spent to care for and support the less fortunate in our community.” 

Malcolm leads a number of activities, including providing food to Bridge House Homelesss Shelter and The Marks House.

Every September he participates in Lompoc Community Connect, during which businesses and organizations provide free medical screenings, clothing, haircuts and a meal to homeless residents.

He also coordinates with city, county, and state personnel, leading a team to enter the Santa Ynez Riverbed to clean out trash, removing as much as two tons.

Malcolm and volunteers plan to conduct another clean-up day Oct. 28 in the river behind Riverbend Park and the area near the Highway 246, he told the City Council last month.

Bleyl — it rhymes with “smile” —  was nominated to represent the staff at the Lompoc and Vandenberg Village libraries and the Charlotte’s Web bookmobile, all of which have blossomed in the two years under her leadership.

Bleyl — and her staff she is quick to credit — have grown the summer reading program from 900 participants to 1,900, and added a crafts club, a knitting and crocheting club, two coloring clubs (one for kids and one for adults), a Lego club and a book club at the Village library.

The 2016 Peace Prize recipient, the Rev. Ronald Wiley, was named in January. 

The 2017 Peace Prize Award Ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 28, 2018, at the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ, 3346 Constellation Road, Vandenberg Village.  

At that time, nominees will be presented with a certificate of merit, and the winner of the Peace Prize will receive a wood and ceramic sculpture.

Nominations, which are due Dec. 1, may be made by calling the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ at 805.733.3333, or contacting committee chairperson Allie Kay Spaulding at 805.741.7000 or [email protected] 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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