Aspen Times briefs: Local golf pro honored, student named Colorado Cycle for Smiles ambassador

Aspen Times staff report

Aspen Glen Club LPGA pro honored

Nicole Cavarra, a LPGA professional at The Aspen Glen Club in Carbondale, was recently named Teacher of the Year for the LPGA Central Section.

Cavarra, who was nominated for LPGA National Teacher of the Year in 2020 and 2021, serves as the director of golf instruction at The Aspen Glen Club and The Mirabel Club. She is LPGA Class-A, BodiTrak and TPI certified, as well as being a certified fitness trainer and golf conditioning specialist.

She also is a PXG national staff member and featured golf instructor on the 18Birdies golf mobile app.

Cavarra was an all-state golfer in high school before playing collegiate golf at the University of Colorado. During her time there, she served on Athletic Student Government and crafted programs to connect student-athletes to the greater Boulder community.

Before graduating as the valedictorian and summa cum laude from the 2000 class at Colorado, she began teaching the game, first with a local golf course pro and then with National Nike Junior Golf Camps.

Cycle for Smiles fundraiser in Basalt

Glenwood Springs High School freshman Willy Sikora has been named student ambassador for the upcoming Colorado Cycle for Smiles, a fundraising event Sept. 17 in Basalt for global surgical nonprofit Operation Smile.

Colorado Cycle for Smiles will bring together participants from across the state to cycle 40 miles through the peaks and valleys of northern Colorado representing 40 years of Operation Smile. The event will take place on September 17 in Basalt, Colorado, and another ride will be taking place in Boulder, Colorado, on September 18.

As student ambassador, Sikora will represent Operation Smile Student Programs and be tasked with giving a speech to the riders ahead of the race.

Sikora was born with a severe cleft condition in China and adopted by Patti Braceland-Sikora and John Sikora when he was 7 months old. The adoption agency gave Willy’s parents 48 hours to decide whether they were equipped to take care of a child who would have a lifetime of surgeries and medical treatments ahead of him.

Braceland-Sikora, an orofacial myologist, was well connected with ENTs, oral surgeons and other medical providers in their hometown who could give their son the care he needed.

Willy Sikora received his first surgery for his cleft condition at 13 months old. His surgical team nicknamed him “Wild Bill” after his persistent screaming fits caused his sutures to rip, resulting in a painful infection. Recently, he underwent his most harrowing procedure, in which he had bone grafts taken from both hips to repair part of his cleft.

El Jebel resident makes dean’s list

Taylor Bagwell of El Jebel has been named to Southern New Hampshire University‘s Summer 2022 Dean’s List. The summer terms run from May to August.

Full-time undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.500 to 3.699 for the reporting term are named to the Dean’s List. Full-time status is achieved by earning 12 credits over each 16-week term or paired 8-week terms grouped in fall, winter/spring, and summer.