Lakeshore Music founder Woody Wilson named 2020 Don Carlos Humanitarian of the Year

Posted By on August 10, 2020
Woody Wilson

Woody Wilson, founder and president of Tempe-based Lakeshore Music, Inc., has been named the 37th recipient of the Don Carlos Humanitarian Award, presented by Tempe Community Council, TCC Board Chair Tamara Reed announced.

The award, sponsored by Salt River Project, is regarded as Tempe’s most prestigious distinction.

“It’s kind of an out-of-body experience,” said Wilson, 73. “I’m humbled, for sure. When I got the phone call from Tammy Reed it never entered my mind that’s what she was calling about. It’s an exclusive group. Everybody dreams of winning the Don Carlos, but I never thought I’d win it.”

The award, named after Tempe founder Charles Trumbull Hayden, who was known affectionately by Hispanic pioneers as “Don Carlos,” honors individuals who have made the city a better place to live through work that addresses human-service needs. The awards ceremony, Oct. 14, will be conducted virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Woody Wilson absolutely embodies the humanitarian spirit of the Don Carlos Awards,” Reed said. “From helping ensure that our seniors can age in place, to promoting arts and culture in our community, to working to preserve Tempe history, Woody is a tireless advocate and consensus builder who always knows how to get things done.”

For 26 years, Wilson was the writer of the classic syndicated newspaper comic strips Rex Morgan, MD, and Judge Parker. During his more than 38 years as a professional writer and creator, he has been a newspaper reporter, columnist, features writer, editor and media-relations consultant.

Wilson founded what grew into Lakeshore Music 12 years ago to complement his civic engagement.

“All these years went by in a flash,” Wilson said. “I was always lucky enough to work with the best people. Tempe has been so good to me and allowed me to do the things that I really enjoy doing.”

The goal of Lakeshore Music, Inc., is to present the world’s finest jazz musicians at the Tempe Center for the Arts. A Tempe-based 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit corporation, Lakeshore Music provides innovative workshops, educational seminars and master-class opportunities for promising Valley music students. Lakeshore Music’s 2020-21 season is now tentatively scheduled to begin in January pending guidelines from government and health-care officials regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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