Community Asset Awards Pride In A Pandemic: Dr. Cyndi Wells, Ken Nebel And Laura Crucet Are Recognized

Delicious goodies from Pig & Fig Café made by Laura Crucet. Courtesy photo

C’YA Executive Director

There have been many businesses going above and beyond the call of duty, during the last year, but the Champions of Youth Ambitions, (C’YA), will highlight just a few. 

The Pride in the Pandemic series has lasted a few months now, spotlighting the work of people, programs and projects that have made the last year a bit more bearable.

The Community Asset Awards announcements for 2020 kicked off on Martin Luther King Jr Day to highlight many of those of service. Work began with the Los Alamos MainStreet Program, to highlight and support local businesses in place of the annual gathered celebration.

Ken Nebel of Village Arts and the Fuller Lodge Art Center is always the go to guy. He supports everything, uplifts everybody and takes no credit when there are many ways credit is due. He supports other small businesses and promotes those hidden volunteers in the community that allow everyone else to shine.

During the pandemic, he found the needed supplies for projects and delivered them when there was never a moment for us to stop by the store. He helped senior assisted living facilities acquire some hands-on projects to keep the hands and mind of members from going stir crazy. He didn’t need the adoration, but it could be felt throughout the facilities and could be seen rippling through the community.

Dr. Cyndi Wells, her daughter Maia and husband Mike Warren. Courtesy photo

There’s one doctor you can call that always has a way to make life a little better, especially for those most important in our lives. Dr. Cyndi Wells and Pet Pangaea have made life so much better for people and pets throughout the pandemic. Her nomination explained how she is a tireless business woman with a wonderful business model, care. The nomination read as follows, “I honestly don’t know anyone who is more giving, and I’m so honored to know her. Thanks Cyndi!”

Her pets in the store philosophy and highlighting their trips via social media, make us all feel better. She feels the pain of a loss, like a small-town physician and we all hope to watch her grow. She also has a sharp and kind staff that carry a tool belt full of help at the ready and hope that they know there’s a product for you.

Finally, Laura Crucet is the “Chef Extraordinaire”, and the business owner to beware when she readies for a mission and accepts the challenge of the invisible gauntlet. She used the pandemic to pivot and gain not just thanks and appreciation but the awe of those who can see the footprints and stand in them to learn. 

“Ever since I was a little kid, I have been obsessed with the color, textures and smell of food and I used to beg to go to the grocery store with my mom, just so I could look at all the produce,” Crucet said. “What’s inspired me most is finding creative ways to give people a serving of comfort during weird and uncertain times.”

She did just that in continuing to serve up her traditional dishes and making her community feel the love when they needed it for a special occasion or just a day to feel more normal.

Her favorite childhood cooking memory is making “mantecados” with her mother and aunts during Christmas. She describes them as a Spanish buttery powdered sugar cookie, “that crumbles in your mouth as soon as you try to eat it!” As a mom, you can see the family history beginning to unfold in a daughter that looks just like her and a son that has the makings of the entrepreneur that makes a difference in the heart of White Rock.