FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson presented the Governor’s Service Awards at a ceremony in the State Capitol on Aug. 12.
Among the 2016 Governor’s Service Award recipients are Maria Hardy, Debbie Miller, Kristy Bolen, Cassie Mace, Henry Sturgill, Ron Enders and Brian Elswick (Health Departments in Boyd, Greenup and Lawrence Counties), Group Service Award, Little Sandy District. Nominated by John M. Hunt.
Bevin said the event was a chance to honor Kentucky volunteers and national service members for their efforts and for making a positive impact.
“We know you take time to volunteer not because you expect to be recognized or receive awards, but because you have a servant’s heart,” Bevin said. “You have truly made an impact on your communities in ways that you may never see. Your actions set an example for others and are worthy of this prestigious recognition. Congratulations and thank you for representing the very best of who we are as Kentuckians.”
Lt. Gov. Hampton said she is appreciative of the recipients’ service to others.
“We are truly grateful to these volunteers for their tireless efforts, as well as the thousands of Kentuckians who serve their fellow citizens in need. I applaud the volunteers for giving generously of their time and talent,” Hampton said.
The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS), a division within CHFS, coordinates the annual Governor’s Service Awards program. The Governor’s Office launched the volunteer awards program in 1975. Since 1995, the KCCVS has administered the program.
Secretary Glisson said the honorees service is both exemplary and inspirational to others.
“These volunteers have made a great impact with their actions and their character,” Glisson said. “Their exemplary service is inspiring so many others across the Commonwealth to give of themselves too.”
Bevin issued a call for nominations in April of this year. A panel of independent reviewers with experience in volunteerism and/or service scored each nomination for the Awards Committee to choose the award recipients based on criteria like the uniqueness of the approach to solving a community problem and evidence of the impact of service. Awards were given for business, nonprofit, national service, lifetime achievement and volunteer service in categories for youth, seniors and groups.
In addition to managing the annual awards program, the bipartisan KCCVS Commission manages Kentucky AmeriCorps, a national service program from the federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Kentucky has received more than $6 million in AmeriCorps federal funding for 19 programs with more than 1,000 members starting in September. Since AmeriCorps began in 1994, more than 10,000 Kentuckians have served more than 16 million hours and earned $37.5 million in educational awards.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and leads volunteer and service initiatives for the nation, was also in attendance at the ceremony. Spencer said research shows that volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.
“Service is a core American value. Volunteers enrich our communities and keep our nation strong,” Spencer said. “The volunteers honored here today represent the best this Commonwealth and nation have to offer, demonstrating the power each and every one of us has to make a difference. I salute them for efforts and thank them for their commitment to service.”
Cassie Mace, RN and Greenup County Health Department Health Educator said, recognition of Public Health is timely.
“Public Health has historically resided in the background with little acknowledgement of the good works we do each day. I am proud Public Health and our FIVCO region were recognized for our efforts,” Mace said.
For more information about the Governor’s Service Awards, Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs or volunteerism, call the KCCVS at 502-564-7420 or visit their website at www.chfs.ky.gov/ServeKY.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.