Kay Lowenthal Named Citizen of the Year For 2013

By Chris Furguson 

For multiple-time nominee Kay Lowenthal, winning the Holtville Carrot Festival Citizen of the Year at the annual Awards banquet on January 31 was "very touching." "When I look back at all the people who have won before me, I'm consider myself fortunate to be among them," said Lowenthal in an exclusive interview. The award also came as a surprise to Lowenthal, who was joined at the banquet by her husband Andrew, a deputy with the Imperial County Sheriff's department. Lowenthal also has three sons and five grandchildren. This was Lowenthal's third nomination for the award, having been previously nominated in 2008 and 2009. "Mary Helen [Dollente] called me the Wednesday before the dinner and asked me to be at the banquet. She told me that I had been nominated and I asked 'Again?'" Lowenthal is best known as a teacher of the youngest within the Carrot Capital. Lowenthal spent 38 years working for as director and teacher at both Wesley Day Care Center and Noah's Ark preschool, interacting with hundreds of Holtville families before her retirement last June. "Hundreds of children have come through my schools," added Lowenthal. "I think I'm best known for that around here." Lowenthal currently advises the current staff at Noah's Ark, who count amongst their pupils Lowenthal's grandson Seth. Lowenthal also spent her time volunteering through 4-H, the Holtville High School band, and as the founder of the Holtville Police Explorers program with her husband. The Lowenthals have also revitalized the Imperial County Sheriff's Explorers program. "Holtville's a really great place," said Lowenthal. "There are a lot of things you can be involved with here along with dozens and dozens of other people! That's why it's an honor to be recognized." Lowenthal has lived in Holtville since moving from Central Texas at the age of 14. Lowenthal recently retired from Noah's Ark, but still advises the current owner of the preschool. Lowenthal also volunteers as a Sunday school teacher at Trinity Baptist Church and WOVEN, where she helps in the office and the group's boutique. One of the honors bestowed on the Citizen of the Year is a special entry in the annual Carrot Festival Parade. For Lowenthal, who is used to riding in the parade with Noah's Ark, the experience was equally as enjoyable. "It was fun," exclaimed Lowenthal. "I was planning on watching the parade from the sideline, but I got to ride on the Rabobank wagon with those beautiful horses." Lowenthal replaces Jason Turner as Citizen of the Year, who was not in attendance to hand over the winners necklace. "They read a letter from Jason Turner at the banquet and he said that winning the award inspired him to volunteer more," Lowenthal said. "That really resonates with me." Lowenthal currently plans on continuing her volunteer work for the near future.

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