2005 Ray Davies Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

LAURA (LOLLY) T. ALMQUIST: Lolly's volunteer and professional experience has one common thread - her dedication to making Tucson a better place for all children. She held positions at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona as Associate Director and Director Grants/Programs from 1992-97. As a community volunteer, Lolly is a member of the University Medical Center, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and the Children's Action Alliance Boards. She has been a board member of the Tucson Urban League, Mayor's Task Force on Children's Mental Health, United Way, Casa de los Niños, Northern Trust Bank and Junior League of Tucson. Lolly was appointed to the Arizona Governor's Office for Children from 1977-82 and chaired the Inter-Agency Advisory Council concerned with areas that affect children, youth and families, both under the leadership of Governor Babbitt.

Lolly was a member of the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board from 1977 to 1985 and she served as Clerk and Chair. Her son Art continues the relationship with TUSD in his position as a drama teacher at Tucson High School.

The Tucson community has recognized Lolly's devotion and dedication to all that is good by presenting her with several awards - Tucson Woman of the Year and Distinguished Citizen Award, University of Arizona in 1980, the YWCA Iris Dewhirst Community Service Award in 2001, and she was the recipient of the Pima Council on Aging "Sticking Your Neck Out" Award in 2003. Those few words really describe Lolly Almquist - a woman who will stick her neck out to help our children and our community.

CHRISTINA (CHRIS) A. PALACIOS: Chris Palacios is Senior Vice President/Arizona Division-Southwest Gas Corporation, Phoenix Arizona. She joined Southwest Gas in 1984 in Phoenix and has held positions in Las Vegas, Nevada and Tucson, Arizona, most recently as Senior Vice President/Southern Arizona Division.

Chris is an active community member and has made enhanced educational opportunities for our children and youth one of her top priorities. In 1998 Governor Jane D. Hull appointed Chris to the Arizona School Facilities Board, where she served one year. In June 2005, she became Chair of the Arizona Board of Regents. Chris was a member of the Greater Tucson Economic Council, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, United Way of Greater Tucson, Pacific Coast Gas Association, DM50 and the Tucson Airport Authority. Chris's "good works" have not gone unnoticed. In 2002 she received the Good Scout Award from the Catalina Council of the Boy Scouts of America: in 2003 she was the recipient of the Tucson YWCA's Business Leadership Award and in 2004 the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce named her the Hispanic BusinessWoman of the Year.

Chris committed many personal hours to volunteer activities, always with the goal to make Tucson a great place for our children to live. Although her responsibilities have taken her to Phoenix, we still are proud to call her a "Tucsonan."

ELAINE C. RICE: A life-long educator, Elaine began her career in Boston, Massachusetts, the city in which she was born and raised. Her career has spanned forty plus years in four states and the Philippine Islands. With more than thirty years guiding the students of the Tucson Unified School District, Tucson has claimed her as its own.

Her TUSD career includes classroom and special education teacher, administrator, elementary school principal and assistant superintendent. She has served on the Arizona State Department's professional development team concerned with special needs youngsters in regular classroom settings and went on to join the U.S. Department of Education committee dealing with funding for students receiving special education and Title I services.

As an involved member of our Tucson community and an outstanding educator, Elaine has always made improving the quality of life for children in pre-school through college her highest priority. She is involved with the Tucson Museum of Art, the Parent Connection, the Arizona Cancer Society and the American and Arizona Diabetes Associations. She is a member of the advisory committee of the University of Arizona Department of Humanities and the Board of Directors of the Educational Enrichment Foundation. A life member of the NAACP, she is also a past president of Delta Sigma Theta, a public service sorority. It seems like wherever there is a need, you are sure to find Elaine Rice.

DONALD (DON) G. SHROPSHIRE: Donald G. Shropshire arrived in Tucson in 1967 to take a position at Tucson Medical Center. In 1982 he became President and Chief Executive Officer. The rest, as they say, is history. Don has made and continues to make his presence and positive energy known wherever he goes. He has received so many honors and been a driving force in so many medical, education, business and philanthropic organizations, this space allows us to name just a few. He was Tucson Man of the Year in 1987 and was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, American Hospital Association, 1989; Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser, Southern Arizona Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals, 1996; Vocational Services Award, Tucson Catalina Rotary Club, 1998 and he received the Metropolitan Education Commission's Crystal Apple Award in 2004.

Mr. Shropshire's commitment to the education of Tucson's children and youth and his dedication to community is clearly demonstrated by his service and participation in organizations including Pima Community College Board of Governors, Arizona Board of Regents; University of Arizona Eller College of Business and Steele Memorial Children's Research Center. A long-time member of the Rotary Club of Tucson, Don has served as its Vice President and President. All of this rolled into one "fine gentlemen" - Tucson is lucky to have him.