A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY’s Andrew Nichols of Edgewood, an Eagle Scout, wins one of 19 Governor’s Service Awards

Gov. Andy Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander recognized volunteerism and service contributions across the Commonwealth at the 27th annual Governor’s Service Awards. This year’s award ceremony honored 10 individual awards and nine group awards. Among the winners were Andrew Nichols of Edgewood and David Lilly of Owenton.

Honored with a Youth Volunteer Service Award, Nichols, an Eagle Scout and a wildlife animal lover, has made a point to dedicate hundreds of hours to public education and conservation of our wildlife natural resources. He is a senior at Villa Madonna Academy and the son of Tann Nichols and Nichole-Kuzman Nichols of Edgewood.

In 2022, he earned the Congressional Award Gold Medal (U.S. Congress’ highest honor for youth) by completing 435 hours of volunteer service. His Eagle service project, Eastern Bluebird Kenton County Parks Trail Update, involved building new birdhouses to replace damaged ones, and relocating and/or repairing others.

Andrew Nichols

Under Nichols’ leadership, 20 volunteers worked for a total of 171 hours. Volunteers evaluated 90 nesting sites at six locations, built 20 new replacement birdhouses, refurbished 49 nesting sites at five locations and added one new nesting site.

He has volunteered by teaching about wildlife animals at the Cincinnati Zoo.

He also attended a National Student Leadership Conference Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Receiving a National Service Award was AmeriCorps Seniors Member David Lilly of Owenton who is a member of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission Retired & Senior Volunteer Program.

Lilly has selflessly served Owen County for decades, donating hundreds of hours of service each month. Lilly volunteers to manage a faith-based food pantry, belongs to the Rotary Club, serves as a volunteer firefighter, is a deacon at his church, is a member of the Owen County Drug Coalition and serves on the Owen County Water Board.

Lilly espouses his gratitude for the opportunity to serve others; he is an excellent example of a Kentuckian serving and leading his community.

“These prestigious awards honor Kentucky individuals, national service members, groups, nonprofits and businesses for extraordinary service to their communities and the positive impact they are having on our Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Congratulations to the class of 2022 Governor’s Service Awards recipients. Thank you for your selfless work and service to the people of Kentucky.”

Serve Kentucky, an agency within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, coordinates the annual awards, for which the previous two ceremonies were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the event has made a return to in-person, Serve Kentucky extended an invitation to the class of 2020 and 2021 winners as well, making this year’s celebration even more special.

“It’s great to be a part of this joyous occasion as we lift up all of the wonderful contributions that these award winners have made in their communities,” said Secretary Friedlander. “If there is one thing we have learned from the past couple years, it’s that whatever impacts anyone in the community impacts us all. Congratulations to the award recipients and thank you to the many volunteers across the state for making a difference.”

“It’s our honor to lift up volunteers – such as these award winners – who have given so much to their communities,” said Joe Bringardner, executive director of Serve Kentucky. “This ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate the patriotic community spirit that volunteers and national service members demonstrate all year long.”

In addition to coordinating the Governor’s Service Awards, Serve Kentucky currently administers 23 AmeriCorps program grants with more than $14 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.

A list of other honorees and their hometowns:

Lifetime Achievement Awards

• Active: Robert J. Baumann – Lexington/Fayette County

Dr. Baumann has worked in the field of child neurology in Kentucky for 50 years.

• Posthumous: Mary Gay Bridgforth – Versailles/Woodford County

Mary Gay Bridgforth was well-known for her commitment to the protection and preservation of the Pisgah Historic District in Woodford County.

Volunteer Service Awards

• Adult: Rawleigh Richardson Sr. – Louisville/Jefferson County

Richardson is the president of Louisville Society of Human Resource Management (LSHRM), the largest SHRM chapter in the state.

• Adult: Jeff Callaway and Ethan Almighty – Jeffersonville/Clark County

Ethan Almighty – a Presa Canario, Spanish breed of large dog – was found starving and abandoned. Callaway, now Ethan’s human, stayed at his side, giving him everything he needed until the gentle giant got back on his paws.

• Senior: Joseph Jacobi – Louisville/Jefferson County

Dr. Jacobi is a dentist by trade. In 2015, he co-founded the Louisville Dental Society Free Smiles Clinic and the program’s continued growth has led to more than $800,000 in donated dental care.

• Youth: Arianna and Lorenzo Martinelli – Louisville/Jefferson County

Arianna and Lorenzo Martinelli created Tandem – a nonprofit that facilitates weekly 30-minute virtual conversations between senior citizens and high school students, building impactful intergenerational mentorship-based relationships. During the calls they share meaningful stories, learn about different generational issues, and create consistent, long-lasting friendships.

• Veteran: Jeremy Harrell – Shelbyville/Shelby County

Harrell is a U.S. Army Combat Veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Global War on Terrorism. In 2017, he founded Veteran’s Club Inc., which is a nonprofit that assists thousands of veterans in healing from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, substance abuse and assists homeless veterans with housing and programs to get them back on their feet.

Business Service Awards

• Entrepreneur/Partnership: Georgia’s Sweet Potato Pie Co. – Louisville/Jefferson County

Dawn Urrutia and her team at Georgia’s Sweet Potato Pie Co. played a huge part in Jefferson County Public Schools receiving funding to open a Family Resource Center.

• Small: Stuttgart Motors – Lexington/Fayette County

Stuttgart Motors hosted an event for Kentucky’s older adolescents and young adult foster youth on obtaining a driver’s license, used vehicle and how to maintain the vehicle.

• Mid-size: Dutch’s Chevrolet – Mt. Sterling/Montgomery County

Dutch’s Chevrolet believed in a vision to remove transportation barriers for current and former foster youth. They have shown an unwavering commitment toward the Wheels to the World program, which purchases used vehicles for qualified youth.

• Large: Tempur Sealy International Inc. – Lexington/Fayette County

Since 2011, the Tempur Sealy Foundation has donated over 200,000 beds to charity. More than 50 of those beds have gone to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass.

Group Volunteer Service Awards

• Southwest Family Resource and Youth Service Centers Coordinators – Louisville/Jefferson County

The Southwest Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSC) Coordinators Carla Cosby, Kristie Joyce, Amy Medley, Jackie Johnson, Nicole Joyner and Marcus Howard collaborate with their schools, families and community stakeholders to provide quality programming for the Southwest Louisville community, focusing on increased family engagement, social emotional learning, educational support and food resources.

• Youth: Boyd County High School Key Club – Ashland/Boyd County

The Boyd County High School (BCHS) Key Club created the Key to Sweet Dreams Campaign, which pairs each bed built during the Build-a-Bed event with the necessities to establish a good nighttime routine and ensure a good night’s rest, building on the idea that a good night’s sleep has a direct impact on a child’s social, behavioral and educational success.

Nonprofit Service Award

• Alpha Delta Pi Beta Psi Chapter at the University of Kentucky – Lexington/Fayette County

Year over year, the members of Alpha Delta Pi have elevated the awareness and scope of Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Charities’ work across the University of Kentucky campus, increasing student involvement and helping volunteer programs grow.

Faith-Based Service Award

• The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – Statewide

Following the devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky, regional leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout Kentucky and beyond led nearly 3,000 volunteers to bring relief to survivors: delivering food, water, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits.

National Service Awards

• AmeriCorps Alumni: Taban Herrington – Frankfort/Franklin County

As an AmeriCorps alum, Herrington is deeply familiar with the ways that National Service Programs can serve communities in times of disaster. When Kentucky hospitals were grappling with the surge of COVID-19 and critically low staffing levels, Herrington reached out to AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) for help. As a result, hospitals got critical assistance and staff were supported and able to focus on their primary jobs.

• AmeriCorps Program: Homes for All AmeriCorps

Homes for All collaborates with 31 nonprofits across Kentucky to host AmeriCorps State and VISTA members, who provide hands-on services to Kentuckians to help them find, access, or maintain their housing and provide capacity building services to housing related nonprofits.

Office of the Governor

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