The Wetzel Awards are a quarterly recognition program created by the Las Vegas Rotary Club to honor the hard work and community dedication of young Air Force members stationed in Southern Nevada. Each quarter, the Las Vegas Rotary Club recognizes 5 service members from Nellis Air Force Based and Creech Air Force Base. The winners are nominated through their chain of command based on demonstrated job expertise, personal development efforts and community involvement. Winners are recognized during a ceremony at Nellis Air Force base attended by senior command officials and are also hosted at a Las Vegas Rotary Club luncheon where they are introduced to the Club. Through the generosity of the Club and several community partners, the recipients receive a package of show tickets and dining certificates to afford them the chance for some nights on the town in Las Vegas.
The awards are named in honor of Scotty Wetzel, a longtime Las Vegas Rotarian and a career Air Force Fighter Pilot. While on a tour of Nellis Air Force Base, Scotty asked one of the commanders how the Club could support our military personnel. The commander replied that officers and senior enlisted members had existing opportunities for recognition, but that the junior people could really use another program. Out of that conversation, the idea of a regular program recognizing junior troops was born. Following Scotty’s passing, it seemed only fitting to name the awards in his honor so that the program could serve as a living memorial to a great pilot, great officer, and great Rotarian.