The Trinidad and Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce (TLACC) is seeking nominations from the public for the 2019 Chenoweth Award, which seeks to identify people in the community that exemplify the core values espoused by judge and congressmen John Edgar Chenoweth through service in the community. Those values include responsibility, respectfulness, caring, giving, positive attitude, trustworthiness, honesty, doing one’s best and being a shining example to the community.

“We are looking for an outstanding individual who has drive and passion for Trinidad and Las Animas County and we want to highlight the work they do in the community,” said TLACC Executive Director Nicia Crosson. “We want to know about someone who displays the best of our community and who goes above and beyond for our residents and the things we are striving for as a community.”

The chamber of commerce is accepting nominations for the award until Friday, Dec. 27. Anyone can make nominations and are encouraged to do so. Application can be found in the TLACC office in the Bell Block building on Main St. in Trinidad, or at Laura DeBella’s State Farm Insurance office, also on Main St., or at the Griego Insurance office located on Commercial St. in downtown Trinidad.

The award banquet will be held on January 25, 2020, at the Mt. Carmel Event Center beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for the event cost $35, or $400 for a corporate table and must be purchased in advance.

Proceeds cover the cost of the event with any remainder going to the chamber to help serve members. TLACC hopes to increase the number of business workshops and educational opportunities for members in the coming year.

Said Crosson, “For the chamber (this award) is an opportunity to unite people and celebrate one another and we do this because we love the city, we love the county and we love our people.”

Crosson asserted that the award is meant to honor and highlight the unsung heroes in the community.

“We really want this to be an award ‘of the people,’ an award everyone in our community feels represents them. We want it to be something that represents our people in the community and often the people in our community that are doing the most work are sight unseen,” said Crosson.

The award is named after the late judge and longtime U.S. Congressman John Edgar Chenoweth, who served in Congress for 22 years, during the period from 1940 through 1964. It was first awarded to Judge Chenoweth in 1979.

Crosson, herself, has been researching Chenoweth and trying to gather first hand accounts of the man to better understand the spirit of the prestigious community award.

“I recently talked to someone who knew Judge Chenoweth,” said Crosson. “She said he was the embodiment of Trinidad’s Mr. Rogers. He was the kindest, gentlest and most caring individual that never forgot where he came from. That’s what we want, to highlight people that are truly proud of being part of Trinidad, Las Animas County and our way of life here.”


John Edgar Chenoweth was a United States Representative from Colorado; born in Trinidad, Las Animas County, Colo., August 17, 1897; attended the public and high schools, and the University of Colorado at Boulder; engaged in railroading and in the mercantile business 1916-1925.

Chenoweth studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1925 and commenced practice in Trinidad in 1926. He was the assistant district attorney for the third judicial district 1929-1933; county judge of Las Animas County, Colo., 1933-1941; member, Advisory Board of Colorado Women’s College, now Temple Buell; elected as a Republican to the 77th and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1941-January 3, 1949).

Chenoweth was elected to the 82nd and to the six succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1951 to January 3, 1965). After an unsuccessful bid for reelection in 1964, Chenoweth resumed the practice of law and was a resident of Trinidad, Colorado, until his death there on January 2, 1986. Chenoweth is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.


2018: Bob Holder & Col. Lou Simpleman USMC (Ret.)

2017: Cy Michaels

2016: Jay Cimino

2015: Laura DeBella

2014: Ed, Karen & Kathleen Greigo Family


2012: Tom Perry

2011: Howard Lackey

2010: Phyllis Moniot

2009: Sam Madrid & Kay Garlutzo

2008: Eugene Aiello

2007: Jack Bearden

2006: Roberta Cordova

2005: James “Chico” Martinez (posthumously)

2004: Captain Mel Williamson

2003: Mayor Joseph Reorda

2002: Lou Girodo

2001: Linda Barron

2000: Gertrude Brunelli

1999: Sister Isabella Glenn

1998: Stan Barron

1997: Harry R. Sayre

1996: Willard Louden

1995: Joe Garbo

1994: Floyd Hill

1993: John Tarabino


1992: Ruth Henritze

1990: Golden K Kiwanis Club

1989: Richard Louden

1988: Shaker Azar

1987: Glenn Aultman

1986: Marj Marty

1985: Bea Sanders

1984: George Hadad

1983: Ed Howard

1982: Tom Cimino

1981: Sister Augusta Zimmer

1980: Mae Barker

1979: Judge J. Edgar Chenoweth

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