Secretary of State
Secretary Grimes Recognizes Organizers of Tornado-Relief Book Drive

Press Release Date:  Monday, May 14, 2012  
Contact Information:  Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
(502) 330-9839

On May 9, 2012, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes recognized Rockcastle County High School student McKinzii Todd and FRYSC/AmeriCorps volunteer Johnna Abney for coordinating a book drive to benefit West Liberty in the wake of the March 2 tornadoes that devastated the Eastern Kentucky town. At the Rockcastle UNITE Coalition’s monthly Board meeting, Grimes honored Todd with a commission as a Commonwealth’s Ambassador and named Abney a Kentucky Colonel. The school’s social studies classes and many members of the UNITE Club and Student YMCA were also on-hand to show their appreciation for Todd and Abney’s selfless contribution to the tornado relief effort.

The book drive was a joint endeavor between the FRYSC/AmeriCorps, YMCA Y-Corps, Rockcastle UNITE Coalition, and Rockcastle County Chamber of Commerce. Abney spearheaded the collection through the school’s Youth Service Center. Todd, a member of Y-Corps, expanded the drive as part of a service project through the organization. Through donations collected at the public library and the elementary schools in Rockcastle County, the program yielded more than 1,000 books, which students will deliver to West Liberty on May 16th.

Grimes, the Commonwealth’s chief advocate for civic engagement, was impressed by the group’s compassion and initiative. She said, “As the torch is being passed to the next generation, it is encouraging to see that Kentucky’s future is in such capable hands. These students and teachers truly are making a difference in their own community and beyond, and they are an inspiring example of working together to bring about positive change.”