Ray Grudzielanek spent years organizing events for the mentally disabled, volunteering with the Special Olympics, and distributing baskets to the poor. He has served more than 25,000 hours during his lifetime, and because of this he will receive the highest honor possible – the Lifetime Achievement award – at the President’s Volunteer Service Award Reception hosted by the WKU ALIVE Center on April 19.
This year’s reception will honor more recipients than last year due to an effort to recognize some of the community’s devoted service groups. The local chapter of the AARP will receive the gold award; silver awards will be presented to the JROTC and FBLA at Warren Central High School; and a bronze award will be presented to the graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in Bowling Green. Along with the groups, 70 individuals will receive gold, silver or bronze awards for their service. (More: List of award recipients)
Chantel Batton-Utley, a student from Nashville, Tenn., is one of the 10 WKU students and recent graduates receiving awards. “I am reminded every moment how blessed I am; I am blessed through serving others,” she said.
The desire to help others is evident in many of the recipients through the organizations they serve. The volunteers have diverse backgrounds, serving with organizations like the L&N Depot, Summer for the Soldiers, Community Action of Southern Kentucky, HOTEL INC, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Center for Courageous Kids, and many more.
The WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships recognizes volunteers for the President’s Volunteer Service Award as a certifying organization through the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The April 19 event will be held at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center beginning at 7 p.m. with a dessert reception followed by the awards program at 7:30.
Anne Grubbs, an Athena Award winner, is known for her service in the Bowling Green community through organizations like the Kiwanis Club and Community Education. Grubbs will provide the keynote address during the program. She will be speaking on how service to others has impacted her life. In addition, the reception will also include Tony Rose as the Master of Ceremonies, and special message from Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.
The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was created in 2003 to recognize citizens’ volunteer efforts and encourage more people to serve in their communities. The President’s Volunteer Service Award was created to acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond the call of service and completed a designated amount of volunteer hours within one calendar year.
Contact: Aurelia Spaulding, (270) 782-0082.