A former Franklin County magistrate and a local business were among those honored by Gov. Andy Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Eric Friedlander for their volunteer and service contributions at the 25th Annual Governor’s Service Awards.
Jill Robinson, of Frankfort, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her service on the Kentucky Commission on Women and the Franklin County Council on Family Abuse. She also spearheaded the efforts to establish The Franklin County Women and Family Shelter, which has assisted hundreds of women and children in getting back on their feet with housing assistance, job placement, skills training, and health services.
Robinson, who served several terms as Franklin County magistrate, has also been actively involved with the Kings Center, a nonprofit providing afterschool and summer care.
Cardinal Office 360, a locally owned office supply, furniture, and janitorial product company, was honored with the Business Service Award. Through the company's Partners for Giving Program, the business has given more than $300,000 to local nonprofits.
“It is our honor to show appreciation for those who give their time to better the lives of Kentuckians,” said Beshear. “Volunteers such as these award winners embody the spirit of our state. These winners did not allow even the global pandemic to stand in the way of doing services for others. These volunteers have made great impacts.”
“Volunteers truly make our communities better places,” continued Friedlander. “Their commitment to service, particularly during COVID-19, is perhaps more important than ever. Many of these volunteers had to make changes to their normal way of serving, relying on technology, physical distance and ingenuity in terms of getting things accomplished.”
Serve Kentucky, an agency within CHFS, coordinates the annual awards. The Governor's Office launched the program in 1975; however, Serve Kentucky has managed the awards program since 1995.
“Today’s winners represent the heart of communities across Kentucky,” added Joe Bringardner, Serve Kentucky Executive Director. “This group represents a small number of the exceptional people from all over the state who do whatever it takes to help our families, friends and neighbors.”
In addition to coordinating the Governor’s Service Awards, Serve Kentucky currently administers 22 AmeriCorps program grants with more than $7.6 million in federal grant funds along with supporting other community service programs across the Commonwealth. State Service Commissions oversee the annual grant competition that awards funding to AmeriCorps State programs, determine social needs in their states, set policy and program priorities, provide training and assistance, support national days of service, and promote service and volunteering.
For more information about the Governor’s Service Awards, Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs or volunteerism, call Serve Kentucky at 502-564-7420 or visit their website at www.serve.ky.gov.