The awards banquet looked like a scene out of Arizona’s frontier days. There were nearly 300 attendees of the Prescott Western Heritage Foundation (PWHF) event, many of whom dressed in cowboy hats, boots and pioneer dresses.
PWHF founder and CEO Dennis Gallagher and Prescott bootmaker Paul Krause served as masters of ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 2, as individuals were honored for their work as heritage keepers.
Kathy McCraine, a Prescott rancher, writer, photographer and publisher was recognized for her work depicting Arizona cowboy and ranching life.
Desert Caballeros of the Western Museum in Wickenburg accepted the award for the 50-year-old museum, which specializes in Western art and culture.
Scholarships were awarded to Shayla Murdock, a Verde Valley native, now attending Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, to study equine therapy and Rocky Rodriguez, a Chino Valley woman now attending Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas, on a rodeo scholarship.
Frank Shankwitz, a Prescott resident and founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was recognized for his work and generosity. Shankwitz is donating proceeds to the WHC from a private showing in April of the movie, “Wish Man.” The movie, filmed in Prescott, is a tribute to Shankwitz and his colleagues’ efforts to grant wishes to terminally ill children.
Gallagher received a special award acknowledging his leadership in founding the Western Heritage Center, which opened May 16 at 156 C S. Montezuma in the heart of Prescott’s legendary Whiskey Row. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN