Dominguez nominated Municipal Hero

Cristalray and Jamie Dominguez serve up free posole and biscochitos during a St. Nick at the Bricks celebration./Courier file photo

ALAMOSA — Alamosa city council on Wednesday unanimously decided to nominate Jamie Dominguez for the Colorado Municipal League’s Municipal Hero award.

Every year the city has an opportunity to nominate a local resident for the CML Municipal Hero award, which recognizes everyday heroes across Colorado. The city in the past has nominated Matt Abbey, the Honeycutts and Alamosa Police Chief Duane Oakes. All received statewide recognition, and Abbey was chosen as the state winner in 2016.

The city had several potential honorees remaining from the 2018 list, which included Ruthie Brown, Mick Daniel, Julie Mordecai, Rob Pickett and Luke Yoder, all worthy nominee considerations.

Councilman Jan Vigil said he suggested Dominguez because of all the positive efforts he is involved in. He helps youth find different avenues than drugs and other problems, he said.

Councilor Liz Hensley added that Dominguez has been open about his personal struggle and that it hasn’t always been easy for him, but he chose a positive path. He is an inspiration to others, she said.

Councilman Charles Griego said he has known Dominguez a long time, and he appreciated that he moved forward with his life in a positive way. “He never quit. He never cried about what was going on at the time.”

Griego added, “He’s done a lot for the community.”

One example is when the city was involved in Kaboom park building, and Dominguez brought food from his restaurant, Ef’s Restaurant, Griego said.

Dominguez is also involved with the youth and has given food to the needy, Griego said.

Griego added, “He’s a leader because he gets these other people together to help.”

Dominguez has been involved with the annual St. Nick at the Bricks event in Alamosa and has provided posole and biscochitos for the free family-friendly community event.

Alamosa County Commissioner Helen Sigmond recently applauded Dominguez as “someone who is making a difference in our community.”

She pointed out that Dominguez is on the Alamosa Prevention Coalition and the Alamosa Alumni Association. He founded the Five Star Riders’ Car Club with his friend Ray Garcia. This Car Club has raised money for toy drives (2018 was the sixth year for this) and provided toys for about 500 children at Christmas; Thanksgiving meals for needy families (one year they provided Thanksgiving meals to over 100 families); donations to La Puente (helping families whose home have burned down and others in need); ice skates for the Alamosa Recreation Center ($1,500 in 2018); and many other worthy causes.

Sigmond said Dominguez was raised by a single mom, working two jobs, with help from his grandmother. He grew up in public housing and has broken the cycle through his own determination.

“He started running with a gang and drinking at the age of 14,” Sigmond wrote. “He dropped out of school in the ninth grade. He was 17 when his first daughter was born. While having a child made him realize that he needed to change his ways, it was not until Jamie was in his early 30’s and sitting in jail for his fourth DUI that he truly woke up to his reality. His grandmother had passed away and the judge denied him a furlough to attend her funeral. Jamie was faced with the consequences of his poor choices. He thought about his children, and their future. Jamie decided to make a difference.”

With the support of people like the late educator Jerry Reed, Creed de Avanzar from Ascension Counseling and Domingez’s wife Cristalray, Dominguez realized he could contribute something to his community.

“Each one of us can make difference,” Sigmond wrote. “Think about Jamie and what he has accomplished. Jamie is certainly an inspiration to me.”

Griego also suggested that the city institute its own hero awards because there are so many people who are contributing to the community.

Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman said, “All of these people on this list are my heroes. They are community heroes and should be recognized in some form.”