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Two from Northern Kentucky Win Governor's Awards for Volunteering

Two women from Northern Kentucky were among the fourteen groups and individuals from across the Commonwealth honored for their volunteer and service contributions at a ceremony in Frankfort lasts week.

Governor Steve Beshear and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Deputy Secretary Eric Friedlander presented the Governor's Award for Volunteerism and Service at the Governor's Mansion.

The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS), a division within CHFS, coordinates the annual awardsprogram. The Governor’s Office launched the volunteer awards program in 1975. Since 1995, the KCCVS has administered the program.

Beshear said the event was a chance to honor the state’s leaders and innovators – volunteers and national service members – and the example they set for others. “It’s been said that a lot of people doing a little bit can make a big difference,” he said. “You have shown that one person doing a lot, can cause a wave of change.”

Friedlander congratulated the honorees and said the awards give focus to a group that doesn’t seek out recognition for theirservice. “You make such an impact on your communities with no expectation of reward,” he said. “These awards give us a chance to thank you for unselfishly serving and filling needs that sometimes even government cannot.”

A panel of independent judges with experience in volunteerism and/or service chose award recipients in 14 categories.

For the fourth year, a special First Lady’s Award was included 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. This year, a Veteran Volunteer Service Award was added to recognize a veteran who has met a community need beyond his or her military serviceduties.

Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of Lexington’s Catholic Action Center and Community Inn shelter, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Three additional achievement awards were also presented to honor groups for their participation during the state’s Make A Difference Day food drives in October and January.

Local winners were:

Jody Keeley, Challenge Award, Verona/Boone County, nominated by Stephanie Sciamanna (Kenton County Schools). Keeley and Sciamanna are pictured above. Keeley established Lovesome Stables, a non-profit that serves individuals with disabilities. In 2013, 58 students from ages 5 to 72 participated in the program that teaches riding and horseman skills. 

Sheila Carroll, Senior Volunteer Service, Covington/Kenton County, nominated by Lindsay Hardebeck. Carroll, pictured below, founded the Rose Garden Center for Hope and Healing to help people in the community struggling with poverty. The clinic is staffed entirely by volunteers and serves people who do not have health insurance. 

Last year, a woman who was not feeling well, came to the center on Madison Avenue. She had not seen a doctor since losing her health insurance. After an exaination, Carroll realized that the woman had serious medical issues and needed care. The woman was later diagnosed with cervical cancer. Carroll began fundraising to help pay for the woman's medical care. The woman survived and is now cancer-free.

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