Following tradition, Leadership Pikes Peak graduates set out to blaze new trails.

Every year, Executive Director Susan Saksa searches out a site for the program's awards celebration that might be a fresh adventure or educational experience for many participants. On April 5, 280 buckaroos donned "Western chic" and visited the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy.

Many confessed that they never had visited the museum although both the community leadership program and the rodeo museum date to the late 1970s.

During the evening, the top LPP awards were announced.

Barbara Yalich received the Makepeace Community Trustee Award for her longtime community leadership. It was an honor, said presenter Mary Lou Makepeace, to hand the award to Yalich, "a person who, even when I first came to Colorado Springs, I admired so much because of her many contributions to this community."

Yalich has served on numerous boards; was alumni director, director of development and vice president of advancement at Colorado College; and partnered with other community leaders to launch Innovations in Aging. Said Yalich: "Whatever I've done is because this is my hometown." She then rallied the leadership troops, saying, "We have to band together to strengthen this community and look toward the future."

Receiving the Modeling the Way Community Leadership Award was Kyle Hybl, who encouraged everyone that when "it's your community, you need to serve that community."

Sharon McDermott became the newest Community Inspiration Leadership Award winner. Her major charity work includes Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Ronald McDonald House Charities. She's also a caregiver, works in the financial field and mentors women in LPP's WCLI program.

Chosen as Emerging Leader was Samantha Bruner, with alumni relations at College of Business at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Chancellor's Leadership Class and owner/lead tour guide for Colorado Springs Food Tours.

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