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Fourteen groups and individuals from across the state were honored for their volunteer and service contributions yesterday, June 25, at a ceremony in Frankfort.
“It is your spirit – the spirit of collaboration – that is keeping the Commonwealth strong,” said Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who presented the Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service along with Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “Volunteers and national service members are saving lives and changing lives.
The awards, presented at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort, honored for service completed in 2012, and are coordinated by The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service, a division within CHFS.
“The impact of your efforts is immediate, but it is also long-lasting. You have become true partners to this cabinet in preventing crises and promoting well-being, and I thank you for that commitment,” said Haynes.
Since 1995, the KCCVS has administered the program which was started by the Governor’s office in 1975.
A panel of independent judges with experience in volunteerism and/or service chose award recipients in 12 categories.
Two additional achievement awards were also presented to honor groups for their participation during the state’s ‘Make A Difference Day’ food drive last October.
For the third year, a special First Lady’s Award was added to honor a Kentuckian who has gone the extra mile to mentor youth to develop a strong foundation and prevent future dropouts, an effort that complements First Lady Jane Beshear’s ‘Graduate Kentucky’ initiative.
Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service Recipients are:
• Dr. Paula Maionchi, Lifetime Achievement Award, Richmond/Madison County, nominated by Jeri Allison.
• Benjamin Brown Otten, Challenge Award, Louisville/Jefferson County, nominated by Ron Roark.
• PNC Bank, Corporate Award, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, nominated by Laurie Wolsing.
• HOTEL INC Homeless Outreach Program, Faith-Based Group Award, Bowling Green/Warren County, nominated by Sharli Rogers.
• Alicia McClurg and Kim Standafer, Group Volunteer Service Award, West Liberty/Morgan County, nominated by Heather Bryant.
• Carolyn R. Belmar, National Service Award, Louisville/Jefferson County, nominated by Marian V. Gosling.
• The Kentucky Center Arts in Healing program, Nonprofit Organization Award, Louisville/Jefferson County, nominated by Rhonda L. Smith.
• James Terrell, Senior Volunteer Service Award, Cadiz/Trigg County, nominated by Brenda Southwick.
• Marian V. Gosling, Volunteer Coordinator Award, Louisville/Jefferson County, nominated by Cindy Venable.
• Laura Jo “Jodie” Baker, Volunteer Service Award, Lexington/Fayette County, nominated by Elizabeth Myers.
• Morgan Guess, Youth Volunteer Service Award, Paducah/McCracken County, nominated by Susan Guess.
• Mary Ruth Hawkins, First Lady’s Award, Shepherdsville/Bullitt County, nominated by Heather McDonald.
Make A Difference Day Traveling Awards went to:
• MSUCorps, AmeriCorps Program award;
• Southern Bluegrass Service Region, DCBS Region award.
MSUCorps AmeriCorps Program’s 29 members collected more than 15 tons of nonperishable food items. This equates to 16,760 ounces of food per member. Their effort allowed area food banks to feed 30,754 Kentuckians an 8-ounce serving. This is the second consecutive win for the MSU Corps. Mary Claire Williams is the program director for Morehead State University’s MSUCorps AmeriCorps program.
The Southern Bluegrass Service Region’s 495 employees collected 77,359 ounces of nonperishable food items. This translates to more than 156 ounces of food per employee, enabling food banks to feed 9,669 Kentuckians an 8-ounce serving. This is the first win for Southern Bluegrass Service Region. Grace Akers is the service region administrator. Akers acknowledged Service Region Administrator Associate Linda Sanders for coordinating the region’s food drive. The Southern Bluegrass Service Region includes Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer and Powell counties.
For more information about the awards program or the KCCVS, here.