Doña Ana County received a statewide Character Counts! award Oct. 18 at a luncheon sponsored by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and Albuquerque Character Counts!.

Janise Syling, assistant to the City of Las Cruces manager, nominated the county to compete in the Organizational category, which comprised nominees from throughout New Mexico. Other nominees in the category were Albuquerque Public Schools Homeless-Migrant Program, Kirtland Air Force Base Family Support Center, Portales School District and United Way of Central New Mexico.

Criteria by which nominees were judged were: demonstration of efforts to further the Character Counts! cause, evidence of support of the Character Counts! concepts, awareness of Character Counts! in the community and community involvement and leadership.

In her letter of nomination, Syling said the county “wholeheartedly” supports the ideals of Character Counts!, represented by the Six Pillars of trustworthiness, responsibility, caring, fairness, respect and citizenship.

She said the Board of County Commissioners and County Manager David King should “be applauded and recognized for their efforts in establishing within the workplace that character matters.”

“It’s refreshing and encouraging to see public service emphasizing the Six Pillars of character in the work they perform for their neighbors, friends and constituents,” Syling said.

Syling noted the county’s role in producing the Sept. 11, 2002, event, We Remember: A Celebration of Unity, as well as proclaiming the week of Sept. 6-12 as American Character Counts! Week at a pre-event press conference.

Albuquerque Character Counts! Chairman Ed O’Leary said the county’s award nomination packet sent by Syling was impressive.

BOCC Chairman D. Kent Evans said he is gratified the county was selected as this year’s Character Counts! organizational award recipient. The chairman pointed to a poster created by students of the Las Cruces Public Schools District above an entryway of the County Manager’s Complex depicting the Six Pillars. “That’s what it’s all about,” he said.

For more information, call Grant A. Taylor at the county Office of Public Information at (505) 647-7290. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7290.