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Daniels to speak at Spirit awards

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Spirit of New Mexico Awards luncheon, scheduled for Dec. 13 at Crowne Plaza Albuquerque.

Daniels was initially appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2007 and served as Chief Justice from 2010 through 2012. His current term began this year and ends in 2018.

This year’s Spirit of New Mexico Award recipients include: author Rudolfo Anaya, best know for his novel “Bless Me, Ultima,” which he is turning into an opera; Ed Goodman, a disability attorney whose nonprofit helps find permanent homes for blind dogs; Al and Linda Vigil, who help people cope with the suicide of a loved one; Elizabeth Whitefield, who is retiring from her longtime post as Family Court Judge for the 2nd Judicial District Court; and Victor Lopez, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Learners Chess Academy, which teaches youngsters not only the game, but strategic thinking and learning discipline.

Also presented at the luncheon is the Harry E. Kinney Good Neighbor Award – given to someone for his or her personal character and individual work that resembles that of the late Mayor Harry E. Kinney, known for his generosity toward others and his leadership as mayor of Albuquerque. This year’s recipients are Roger and Kyla Thompson, who advocate for veterans.

The Spirit of New Mexico Awards program was created by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the Albuquerque Journal in 2009 to celebrate individuals and groups who make a difference in New Mexico but who receive few accolades.

Contact Beverly Cruz at 764-3731 or for more information or to purchase tickets. For chamber members, individual tickets are $45 and $450 for a table of 10. For nonmembers, tickets are $55 and $550 for a table of 10.