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Sandy Journal

10 winners, One Sandy: Recipients of the 2024 One Sandy Awards each a force for good in the community

Jun 04, 2024 02:52PM ● By Megan McKellar

Sandy City Royalty Tasia Alston, Beverly Astin, winner of the Empowerment and Belonging award, and Sandy Mayor Monica Zoltanski. (Photo credit Sandy Community Events)

Each year, Sandy City recognizes residents, organizations and businesses through The One Sandy Awards, acknowledging their remarkable contributions to the community. Nominations are submitted by community members, with finalists chosen by Sandy’s administration. The selected recipients were honored at a ceremony attended by Sandy Mayor Monica Zoltanski, Sandy City Councilmembers, and local leaders and was hosted at Willow Creek Country Club. 

Nicole Wicker, recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award, founded a Girl Scout troop for her daughter that quickly grew to include 22 girls. As the group engaged in diverse activities, such as STEM, crafts and community service, Wicker witnessed the girls grow in confidence. “My favorite part of being a troop leader is to watch the girls get excited about learning new things and having new activities and doing adventures,” she explained in a video featured on the Sandy City website.

The best part of being principal at Alta View Elementary is the people, according to Scott Jameson, principal at Alta View Elementary and winner of the Mentor of the Year award. As a Spanish immersion school, Alta View Elementary embraces cultural diversity and emphasizes kindness and accountability. 

“Being nominated for an award is always a little bit of a mixed emotion because the reason is really because of the people I work with and the students that I serve,” he said in the Sandy City website video.

Over two years, Nikyli Scherbel, recipient of the Youth Changemaker Award, dedicated over a 1,000 hours to various initiatives, including the Explorers program, crime lab internship, and youth court. “I’ve loved just giving back to the community I grew up in,” Scherbel said in the Sandy City video. “It instills a lot of confidence and leadership in you.”

Engaged with the Sandy Arts Guild and American West Symphony, Charlotte Jordan’s dedication to music and community earned her the Culture Award.

“Music is so healing. It speaks to the soul, it makes people feel good, and that’s what we need,” she said. She believes that the arts are one of the greatest gifts of our civilization and finds great fulfillment in her work.

Currently in the state of Utah, there are 50,000 single mothers, and one in three of those women live below poverty level.

“I don’t know anyone that needs or deserves more help than single moms,” said Beverly Astin, winner of the Empowerment and Belonging award.

Shaped by her own upbringing with a single mother, Astin has advocated for women for two decades, uplifting struggling mothers by providing scholarships and support through organizations like the Stella H. Oaks Foundation. 

Ray Barrett, recipient of the Mayor Trailblazer of the Year Award, believes that life is about “making people’s day, doing a little bit of extra things, making their burden a little lighter.” During his 29-year tenure as a mail carrier, Barrett went beyond delivering mail and worked to make birthdays and Christmas special for those on his route, performing acts of kindness such as playing with children or delivering responses to letters addressed to Santa Claus. “It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun seeing the joy on the kids’ faces when they got a Santa letter,” he said.

At the Shops at South Town, the goal is to be a safe, welcoming one-stop shop for the average shopper. Winner of the Corporate Citizenship Award, Bobbi Norton’s favorite part of her job is the people she works with and the tenants she interacts with. “We need both national tenants—your Buckles, your Foot Lockers, your JC Penneys—but also the local small businesses add a community involvement and flare that customers are looking for.”

People might walk in a customer, but they leave a friend—the principle that Salt Cycles lives by. Offering custom or ready-to-ride bikes, Salt Cycles, the winner of Small Business of the Year, are “really happy to get anybody on a bike that wants to be on one.”

Recipient of the Residents’ Choice award, Amber Reid of Amber René Salon believes in supporting women and prioritizes giving back to charitable causes. Women, she says, “need to not only have beautiful hair but they need to feel valued, beautiful, they need to be cared for. It’s important for all of us girls to look after each other and build each other up.”

For 38 years, Chocolate Covered Wagon has delighted community members with its sweet treats. Featured on Food Network and Travel Channel, they continue to spread joy from Sandy to Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and beyond.

“We’ve been here in Sandy over 27 years, and working with candy and chocolate is the dream job,” Cindy Robison, winner of the Smart Sandy award, said.

“I live in Sandy, I love Sandy, and I love our customers.” λ