|Times photo/JOANNE WINER|
Paul and Tammy Carnevale, Emily, Tony and Cee Carnevale.
QUARTZSITE - This time of year is always hard on Paul and I, since it is graduation time at, and we give out a memorial award to one of the 8th grade students at the Quartzsite Elementary School where Celia spent a lot of her time from kindergarden until she passed away in 3rd grade. Her picture still hangs in the office there, and we give out this award every year as our way of keeping her spirit alive and giving another student encouragement and support for their futures as well.
Celia loved this school, and its teachers and staff. It is hard to believe that these kids start out in kindergarden together, and spend the next 8 years together, in the same class, creating friendships with each other that last a lifetime. Some even go on to high school together, so the bond is even stronger. You don't get that in a big city, so we feel we were very fortunate to pick Quartzsite as our home when Celia needed to start school.
This year, we were very happy to find out that the Celia Winer Memorial Award was going to one of students that we have known since she was born. In fact, we have been friends with her grandparents and parents for a long time. Tony and Cee Carnevale, her "boompa and meme" have been friends of Paul's for over 40 years now, and I have known them since Paul and I got married 28 years ago. They moved here shortly after we did 22 years ago, and their son Paul and his wife Tammy are also friends. We have watched their kids grow into wonderful young people, and we were thrilled that Emily received Celia's award this year.
Emily has been very involved in 4-H for several years, winning all kinds of awards for her rabbits. Her parents have encouraged her inj all her efforts at 4-H, and spend countless hours building pens, fences, etc. to keep them in. Emily plans to go onto veterinary college when she is done high school, and will be a great vet since she has the compassion and sense of duty to animals needed for this kind of work. She shares her love of nature with Celia in that respect, so that makes it even more special. I know they would have been good friends if they had ever met.
Tony and Cee Carnevale are very special to us, and were with us the night Celia passed away, which we will be forever grateful for their support. They have also been a great supporter of the Gardens, and donated the old wagon in the Pioneer Village area, and have worked for the Gardens by helping with the annual spaghetti dinner and party in the park, as well as donating items for raffles, etc. Their son Paul has also donated many things for the Gardens since we started, and we are very happy to be able to have given his daughter Emily this award this year. We know she will become anything she wants to be because she has some great family behind her. Congratulations Emily.