ST. GEORGE — Often found singing with an angelic voice and a jovial smile, he’s kind, everybody’s friend and always willing to lend a hand. He is respected and loved by anyone he meets, and he’s personally helped tens of thousands of kids have a wonderful Christmas.
No, his name isn’t Kris Kringle — it’s Canyon Media’s own Carl Lamar.
As part of the 2019 Presidential Awards Ceremony held Thursday at Dixie State University, the school’s board of trustees honored ten individuals committed to service, quality education and making a difference in the community.
Lamar was presented with the 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award for his years of dedication to the community and because he is among the best and brightest of the university and St. George, said Jordan Sharp, chief marketing and communications officer at DSU.
A DSU Distinguished Citizen is described as a citizen or alumnus who has given distinguished service to the nation, the university, the community and to their profession over the course of at least five years. Lamar’s service stretches far beyond five years, having dedicated most of his adult life to working with the Southern Utah community.
“They (awardees) are people who have left a legacy on our university,” Sharp said. “They have blazed trails that many are following today.”
Raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, Lamar is celebrating his 47th year as a radio personality, becoming a bonafide legend in the industry. Canyon Media General Manager Ben Lindquist said Lamar has the most history and credibility of any broadcaster in Southern Utah, noting that most people wouldn’t know that because he is also the most humble.
He worked at three radio stations in Flagstaff and served as general sales manager for the Navajo Nation’s 50,000-watt station. When he moved to St. George in 1987, he began as general manager and was the KONY Country morning co-host for 30 years.
Lamar has also served as vice president for Red Rock Broadcasting and is currently the brand manager for St. George News Radio and the executive vice president of Canyon Media, which operates 99.9 KONY Country, 105.1 The Planet, 95.9 The Hawk, St. George News Radio 93.1 and 1450 AM, Sunny 101.5, 96X and Juan 106 FM.
Setting aside his distinguished career, it is the hundreds of hours beyond his profession in service to the community for which he has earned his appreciation.
Volunteering countless hours, he has served as past chairman and board member of the Washington County School District foundation; past president and current emeritus member of the Dixie Sunshiners; past member of the Noon Exchange Club; past chairman and board member of the Bloomington Community Council and past member of the St. George Rotary Club. He has also served on the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.
However, Lamar is best known for is his work as president of the annual KONY “Coins for Kids” charity event held every Christmas, bringing light and love during the holidays to less advantaged people in Washington County.
“Thank you so much. KONY ‘Coins for Kids’ is celebrating its 30th year. We couldn’t do that in any other community than St. George and Dixie,” Lamar said after accepting his award.
Lamar and his wife Carmen are the proud parents of four children. When not chasing his 14 grandchildren, he enjoys music, singing, flying airplanes and helicopters, ham radio and people. Currently the voice of St. George News Radio, he can also be heard in the afternoons as host of KONY’s afternoon show.
“I’m much more comfortable emceeing an event as you’ve seen me do hundreds of times,” Lamar said. “You’re all just wonderful people. Thank you so much for your support. What I have, who I am and all my success, I owe to my family.”
During the awards presentation, DSU President Richard “Biff” Williams said he has never been to a city like St. George, an area that “truly loves their community.”
“We are more than impressed and highly grateful for all the support and amazing achievements of not only those that are in this room tonight but all of those around campus who are leaving their own legacies here at Dixie State University,” Williams said.
Sue Cox and C. Jeffery Morby also received Distinguished Citizen awards, and J. Ralph Atkin and Intermountain Healthcare’s Terri Kane were awarded honorary doctorate certificates.
Among the other winners of the evening was Rebekah Pectol, who received the Committed Community Partner award. As the executive director of United Way Dixie, Pectol creates change in the most critical areas of need in Washington County by working to educate and engage local communities in areas of need while providing meaningful service opportunities to ensure that youth and adults are involved in building the community.
For more information about Dixie State and a full listing of awards, visit the university’s website.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.