Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

#loveTehachapi volunteers recognized


March 19, 2022

City of Tehachapi

Harold Koontz, Denise Madden, Debbie Koontz, Steve Hamblin, Nichole Hamblin, Mayor Phil Smith, Liz Safford, Adsla and Mila.

One of the reasons Tehachapi is a great place to live is the people that make up our community.

On Thursday, March 3 the Kern Council of Governments (KernCOG) recognized the volunteer group known as #loveTehachapi for Regional Award of Merit for Community Involvement at their annual banquet held in Bakersfield. KernCOG is a regional planning agency made up of local government agencies with multi-jurisdictional plans in air quality, transportation, water quality, energy and housing. #loveTehachapi had been nominated by the City of Tehachapi.

The Tehachapi City Council also recognized #loveTehachapi at their March 7 meeting for their volunteerism in our community. Mayor Phil Smith presented Nicole Hamblin and other members of her group with a Certificate of Recognition for their hard work in our community.

The organization, which now has an email list of over 150 volunteers, began in 2019 with an effort to help the Tehachapi Police Department on their Neighborhood Improvement Project, a neighbor-helping-neighbor cleanup day for the oldest homes in our community near the airport.

City of Tehachapi

From left: Mayor Pro Tem Michael Davies, Councilwoman Joan Pogon-Cord, Mike Safford, Liz Safford, Dave Padozzi, Jen Padozzi, City Manager Greg Garrett, Nichol Hamblin, Steve Hamblin, Key Budge, Councilwoman Susan Wiggins, Tanner Hamblin, Tyler Hamblin and Tehachapi Mayor Phil Smith.

#loveTehachapi hasn't stopped "loving on Tehachapi" as Hamblin often says. Their projects include neighborhood cleanups, litter removal, adopting yards for senior citizens and those with medical challenges or financial hardships. They have conducted reverse car washes (washing a car free of charge and giving the driver a gift), distributing free books for children and food distribution. The group tries to do at least two main projects a year. The next scheduled event will take place on Saturday, April 23, Earth Day, as they help Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District and the City of Tehachapi. For more information, check out their Facebook page.

Hamblin said they find volunteers of all ages through Facebook, Tehachapi Unified School District, from the city and local business owners. She has been doing volunteer work since she was a young girl working with the Salvation Army, her family church and even as a candy-striper at the local hospital. Her family moved back to Tehachapi in 2018 after spending several years in New Zealand.


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