Wendy Wayne Awards

The Wendy Wayne Awards commemorate her ethical character, and are presented to people who are carrying on that legacy. Tuesday night, two individuals were acknowledged for their exemplary ethical behavior.
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Wendy Wayne was affectionately known as the Mother Teresa of Bakersfield. The Wendy Wayne Awards commemorate her ethical character, and are presented to people who are carrying on that legacy. Tuesday night, two individuals were acknowledged for their exemplary ethical behavior.

Bakersfield High School assistant football coach Lance McCullah got a standing ovation last night as he received the Adult Lifetime Achievement Award. The CSUB Kegley Institute of Ethics selected him because he works to better the lives of others, while overcoming his own struggles.

McCullah said, "It's stuff that I do every day. I don't see that as being extraordinary, but it's an honor."

McCullah battled drug abuse and was recently diagnosed with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease.

"I know that I have made a big turn in my life. In my big turn, I wanted to impact lives and let people know, especially high school kids, there are people out there who care about where they end up," said McCullah.

The youth award went to North High School senior Elizabeth Pelzer.

A teacher nominated her for the award. Pelzer befriended and encouraged a classmate who was being bullied because of her sexual orientation.

Pelzer said, "I'm my own person. I don't care what anybody thinks about me. I'm going to be there for the people that are little, that get pushed down and all that don't have people to support them on a daily basis."

Organizers say both McCullah and Pelzer are carrying on the spirit of Wendy Wayne and encouraging others to do the same.

Pelzer said, "Someone needs to be there for everybody. It might be just finding that one friend or befriending that one lonely student."

McCullah said, "Make a difference in your life. You don't have to be stranded where you're at. You are not doomed for that. You can change your life and impact others."

The award recipients are given a $5,000 donation or scholarship. McCullah donated his award to BHS. Pelzer hopes to use her scholarship toward becoming a livestock veterinarian.
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