First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Honors State’s Outstanding Volunteers

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 02, 2011  
Contact Information:  Parry Barrows

2010 service recognized

FRANKFORT, Ky. --Sixteen groups and individuals from across the state were honored for their volunteer contributions today at a ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort.

First Lady Jane Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Deputy Secretary Eric Friedlander presented the 2010 Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service at the ceremony. The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) coordinates the annual awards program.

Mrs. Beshear called the commitment of the award winners exemplary.  “This group of honorees is an inspiration for the entire commonwealth,” she said. “You embody the finest examples of service to your fellow Kentuckians. I congratulate you for putting the needs of others first.”

CHFS Secretary Janie Miller said the honorees show how one person can make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.  “In a time when many programs that serve vulnerable Kentuckians are facing budget and staffing cuts, these groups and individuals have certainly heeded a call to action and are filling needs that may otherwise go unmet,” she said.

The Governor’s Office launched the volunteer awards program in 1975. Since 1995, KCCVS has administered the program.

A panel of independent judges with experience in volunteerism and/or service chose award recipients in 13 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.

This year, a special “First Lady’s Award” was added to honor a Kentuckian who has gone the extra mile to assist youth at risk of dropping out of high school. The award also complements Mrs. Beshear’s Graduate Kentucky initiative, which is a statewide program that focuses on dropout prevention and increasing graduation rates in public schools.  

Bill Burch, of Ashland, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Below is a complete list of all the award winners and their nominators:

2010 Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service

  • Bill Burch, Lifetime Achievement Award
    Ashland (Boyd County), Nominated by Janet Wente
  • Jana Buxton, Challenge Award (Tie)
    Frankfort (Franklin County), Nominated by Doris Thruber
  • Tom Stokes, Challenge Award (Tie)
    Shepherdsville (Bullitt County), Nominated by Ruthe P. Holmberg
  • United Parcel Service (UPS), Corporate Award
    Louisville (Jefferson County), Nominated by Ruthe P. Holmberg
  • Disciples for Habitat, Faith-Based Group Award
    Lexington (Fayette County), Nominated by Rob Turner
  • Patriot Guard Riders of Kentucky, Group Volunteer Service Award
    Radcliff (Hardin County), Nominated by Major General Edward Tonini
  • Lindsey Wilson College Bonner Leaders, Group Youth Volunteer Service Award
    Columbia (Adair County), Nominated by Amy Thompson-Wells
  • Hannah Rae Mael, National Service Award
    Louisville (Jefferson County), Nominated by Mara Maldonado
  • Helping Hands of Trigg County, Nonprofit Organization Award
    Cadiz (Trigg County), Nominated by Brenda Southwick
  • Edwin “Sy” Sypolt, Senior Volunteer Service Award
    Florence (Boone County), Nominated by Dare R. Miller
  • Jim Garrett, Volunteer Coordinator Award
    Frankfort (Franklin County), Nominated by John Heltzel
  • Ryan Worthen, Volunteer Service Award
    Lexington (Fayette County), Nominated by Kelly Hamilton
  • Rachel Sawyers, Youth Volunteer Service Award
    Albany (Clinton County), Nominated by Lisa Leslie
  • Thomas Schoolmaster, First Lady’s Award
    Winchester (Clark County), Nominated by Anita Bartey

Make A Difference Day Traveling Awards

  • ATEAM, AmeriCorps Program
    The Lakes Service Region, Department for Community Based Services Region

For more information about the awards program or KCCVS, please visit