Don Casperson Receives Kiwanis Governor’s Award

Kiwanis Southwest District Governor Windy Mortensen presents Don Casperson with a Governor’s Award Certificate of Achievement. Courtesy/Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos
Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos

Don Casperson, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, has long been recognized by his peers as a remarkable volunteer and leader. On Jan. 25, his outstanding record was recognized by the Kiwanis Southwest District governor.

Gov. Windy Mortenson of Glendale, Ariz., presented a special “Certificate of Achievement” to Casperson during a Kiwanis Division 3 dinner in Santa Fe. Representatives of clubs throughout the division were invited to the dinner. (Division 3 includes clubs in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, Cimarron and two in Las Vegas, N.M.)

The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos had nominated Casperson, but the nomination and certificate were a complete surprise to him. The official nomination said, “If you need a volunteer for your project, ask him. He almost always says ‘yes,’ and he invariably does a great job. No matter how challenging the project, he is pleasant, positive and productive.”

The nomination then outlined an amazing history as a volunteer in Los Alamos. Casperson, a physicist retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, was the Los Alamos Kiwanian of the Year in 2010. He was president of the club in 2012-2013, and he is now a member of the Los Alamos Kiwanis Board of Directors.

He serves as Kiwanis liaison to the Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) Builders Club, Aspen Elementary School K-Kids Club, and Barranca Mesa Elementary School K-Kids Club, attending virtually al of their meetings. He also assists Morrie Pongratz in serving as liaison to the Los Alamos High School (LAHS) Key Club.

If young people in Los Alamos hold a parade or raise money for a good cause, you can bet he was involved in the event from the planning stage onward. He keeps Kiwanis informed about all relevant youth activities—especially those of the Kiwanis-affiliated Key Club, Builders Club, and K-Kids Clubs.

Casperson takes photos of virtually all the events held by Kiwanis and its youth affiliates, provides them to the Kiwanis Newsletter, and posts them on the Los Alamos Kiwanis website.

He has served on the firing line and as vendor chairman for the Kiwanis Fourth of July Fireworks and Festivities in Los Alamos and is now involved in planning for the county’s new “Rocketfest.”

Casperson chaired Kiwanis assistance in the makeover of E-19, a battered science laboratory at Los Alamos High School, helped refurbish the Los Alamos County Chamber of Commerce meeting room, and was deeply involved in the upgrading of the Heålth Room and the Art Room at Los Alamos Middle School.

He has participated in numerous interclub visits to other Kiwanis Clubs and worked at many pancake breakfasts and clean-up events in Los Alamos. Casperson has also helped in both local and district Kiwanis efforts aimed at raising money for Project Eliminate, the Kiwanis-UNICEF effort to do away with maternal and neonatal tentanus worldwide.

He has assisted with the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club’s Zozobra event—the annual burning of “Old Man Gloom” during Fiesta. And he has been a frequent attender at district and national conventions and meetings, bringing back information and encouragement to his club.

In his spare time, Casperson heads up United Skates, a roller-skating operation for young people, at the United Methodist Church in Los Alamos—and he collects antique calculators.