Spirit of community service honored at annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards ceremony
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 22, 2005) -- Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced the winners of the 2004 Governor’s Volunteer Awards at a presentation ceremony at the state Capitol building in Frankfort.
A panel of judges with extensive volunteer and community service experience chose 17 winners in nine categories.
Governor Fletcher said volunteerism is synonymous with the pioneer spirit that built Kentucky.
The spirit of neighbor helping neighbor is as native to Kentucky as the Appalachians, as much a part of our culture as our beloved thoroughbreds,” the governor said. “It’s an honor for me to salute these extraordinary people who are carrying on Kentucky’s long, rich tradition of volunteerism and community service.”
The Governor’s Office launched the awards program in 1975. Since 1995, it has been administered by the KCCVS.
This year’s winners include a mother of special needs children who lends her skills and experience as a school volunteer; a young antiques dealer who donates his profits to beautify a local park; an eighth-grader with special needs challenges who volunteers at an animal shelter; a former mayor who sold his home and moved to a high-crime neighborhood to motivate residents to reclaim their streets; an 82-year-old woman who braves the weather and other obstacles to serve local seniors; and a corporate-military partnership helping families whose loved ones are deployed overseas that grew into a national movement.
Eileen Cackowski, KCCVS director, said Kentuckians volunteer at a rate higher than the national average. “As a transplanted Kentuckian, I was initially struck by the helpfulness and willingness of Kentuckians to pitch in when there is a need,” she said. “Each year’s nominations for Governor’s Volunteer awards reinforce the fact that community service is both a birthright and a responsibility Kentuckians take very seriously.”