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The hands and vision of imaginative cub scouts and their parents, sometimes with the help of Leland Bowen, transform block of pine, plastic wheels, and metal axles into Pinewood Derby race cars ready for February’s Pack Races and March’s District competition.
Photo credit: —Michelle Bane

Cubs scouting for food

—Suzann Owings

“In February, the scouts focus on sharing food,” says Pack Master David Gardner. The annual project titled “Scouting for Food” begins February 7. The Cub Scouts will distribute empty sacks to neighborhood homes in Rio Rancho and Placitas. The following Saturday, February 14, the scouts will return to collect the bags filled with food.

“We hope the families that receive the bags will in turn collect food from their friends and neighbors for the scouts to channel to good causes,” says Snow Watson the Scout Liaison for the Coronado Optimist Club.

The scouts take the canned and packaged food to the Road Runner Food Bank and Casa Rosa, where it is sorted and shared with families in need.

The scouts will also be sharing food at their annual Blue and Gold Banquet at 6:00 p.m. on February 25, at Carroll Elementary School. Badges and loops for achievement will be distributed, games will be played, and Pack Master Gardner will review the Pack’s progress with the scouts’ families.

In January, the Pack completed their pack-level Pinewood Derby competition, aided by Leland Bowen whose shop was at the service of the scouts. The winners will go on to the District competition in March. The Pack was honored in January when their Den Leader Serafin Griego received the Volcano Award for Outstanding Leadership at the BSA Rio Grande District Awards Banquet.

The Pack meets from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Sergeant Joseph Harris Building at the Railrunner Station in Bernalillo. For further information about the Cub Scouts, contact David Gardner at 867-4689 or Snow Watson at 867-2047.

Club looks to honor students

—Suzann Owings, President, Coronado Optimist Club of Bernalillo

Celebrating the success of our youth is a long-standing Optimist tradition. The Coronado Optimist Club will host its first “Keep Up the Good Work Award” for students of Carroll, Bernalillo, and Placitas elementary schools. School administrators, counselors, and teachers established their own criteria and have been on the lookout for those students who have improved in their academics, attendance, and behavior.

Leaders, students, and family members at Carroll, Bernalillo, and Placitas elementary schools will celebrate their students’ successes on February 18 at Carroll Elementary School.

“In March, we will hear our club’s winning essay,” says Venus Sanford, Coronado Optimist and Essay Contest Chair for the New Mexico-West Texas Optimist International District. In May, the District awards $2,500 dollars for the winning essay from throughout the district.

For further information, contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567 or visit

Daniels Fund announces scholarships for non-traditional students in New Mexico

The Daniels Fund gives Boundless Opportunity Scholarships to benefit non-traditional students in New Mexico, who are at risk of not being able to afford a college education. Scholarships are intended for highly motivated students seeking the next level of achievement in their lives, regardless of their life path. Colleges and universities receiving these awards include Central New Mexico University, Eastern New Mexico University, and the University of New Mexico, Taos campus.

Funding is awarded in two-year cycles, so Boundless Opportunity Scholarships are available at other colleges and universities that received awards last year. A complete list of schools offering these scholarships can be found at

Candidates for the scholarships must demonstrate financial need and each college or university may focus on particular populations from a list of categories established for the program including adult learners, GED recipients, foster care youth, juvenile justice youth, returning military, and individuals pursuing EMT/paramedic training.

For more information, go to

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