The WLKY Spirit of Louisville Foundation announced 10 recipients of the 2015 WLKY Bell Awards and 2 recipients of the WLKY Bell Awards Youth Service Honor. The Bell Awards program recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the true “spirit of Louisville” through selfless volunteer efforts and seeks to inspire all residents to engage in community service.
In addition to the 12 WLKY Bell Award honorees, the Foundation and Mayor Greg Fischer will present the “Mayor’s Spirit of Louisville” award to Con-way Freight and Brenda Frank for their leadership in the Mayor’s Give a Day community service initiative.
Among this year’s honorees are two members of the Jewish community: Roberta Hershberg is a Bell Award recipient and Chad Kamen is one of the youth honorees.
Hershberg is a global ambassador for Louisville. The heart and soul of Sister Cities of Louisville, she has held various leadership roles in the organization for more than forty years. She’s been host, mentor and earth mother for countless international visitors from dozens of countries around the world, and has served as a board member for the World Affairs Council. A faithful volunteer with the West End School since its start in 2012, Hershberg has also been instrumental in recruiting many others to assist the school to fulfill its mission.
Kamen is active in the fight against community hunger and food insecurity. In 2009, he created Team Food Chain to participate in Louisville’s Hunger Walk for Dare to Care Food Bank, which has since become an official charitable organization under his leadership. In six years, the team has raised $58,000, translating to 200,000 meals.
Team Food Chain began in 2010 as Kamen’s mitzvah project as he prepared for bar mitzvah at The Temple. When he contacted Dare to Care to find out what he could do, the organization challenged him to become a Hunger Walk sponsor by raising $10,000. He accepted the challenge, recruiting corporate sponsors and working with the Jewish Community Relations Council and Kentucky Country Day. His parents, Abby and Craig Kamen and sister, Samantha, also supported his efforts.
After his bar mitzvah, he remained committed to his project and continues to fight hunger.
For three years, Kamen has been a student leader in Bridge to Fort Campbell, an exchange between his school and the soldiers and families of the 101st Airborne Division 5th Special Forces group of the U.S. Army. He is a senior at Kentucky Country Day.
Other Bell Award recipients include:
Bernie Begin, a volunteer maintenance and general handyman at St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities in New Albany, IN, and, for more than 10 years, a volunteer with the Clark and Floyd County Special Olympics.
Jim Clark has done more than 20 projects for the Louisville Metro Police Department, renovating and refurbishing their K9 kennels and Mounted Patrol stables, donating materials and labor in excess of $200,000 in a span of four years. He’s also a faithful volunteer for the Kentucky Humane Society and Operation Military Cheer.
Todd Dunn organizes teams of volunteers, primarily from UAW Local 862, to get many community projects done, including building wheelchair ramps, helping build a simulated city block for children’s training for the Visually Impaired Pre-School and more.
Dr. Manuel Grimaldi has given more than 700 hours of free medical care to the patients of the Family Community Clinic, serving two days a week for the last three years. He has provided 952 patient encounters including medical services valued at more than $180,000. He also sorts medical supplies at Supplies Over Seas and has been an integral part of the GLMS Foundation/Hand in Hand Ministries annual Medical Immersion Trip to Nicaragua from 2011 to 2015.
Lisa Groves travels through the U.S., Canada and Mexico for The Veterans Connection’s “No Veteran Left Behind” missions to assist homeless veterans. Groves, who served in the US Army for eight years, connects with fellow veterans to distribute food, clothing, hygiene items and more.
Nora Horecny, a retired nurse, visits the sick and home-bound members of Our Savior Lutheran Church. She oversees the church’s cookie project, organizes funeral meals and participates in the annual Lutheran World Relief, which ships homemade quilts to refugee camps and disaster scenes. For 17 years, she has taught Braille and prepared Braille books that are shipped worldwide.
Cindy Kanning has been volunteering for more than 25 years and directs the friend-raising program, “Giants in Faith,” for Hope Southern Indiana and provides pro bono training programs for the organization’s volunteers and staff. Kanning is a valued resource for One Southern Indiana’s Chamber & Economic Development and volunteers with Goodwill Southern Indiana, Junior Achievement, the YMCA, and her church.
JoAnn Orr started volunteering as a young girl serving as a candy striper. She served five overseas tours of duty as a senior non-commissioned officer. She is a strong advocate for Sickle Cell Association of Kentuckiana, having lost her son to the disease in 1989, and leads their fundraising efforts, participates in health fairs and other educational activities and visits sick patients at Kosair Children’s Hospital. Orr delivers for Meals on Wheels twice a week and has also volunteered with Susan G. Komen, Dare to Care, NAACP, American Red Cross and more.
Bill Roby is a fundraiser for USA Cares, an organization devoted to assisting post 9/11 military families in crisis. As chairman of their national board, he is directly involved in their overall operation. With 12 chapters across the country and 70,000+ requests for help, more than 11.5 million dollars has been granted to date. This past June, Mr. Roby spent a week as a mentor at the “Save a Warrior” camp, created to serve suicidal veterans.
Hailey Simpson is the other Bell Award Youth Service honoree. She planned and organized book drives for the Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia. Over the past three years, she collected 10,000 new and gently used children’s books. She volunteered at Reading Camps as a counselor for two years and was invited to return this past summer to the Pine Mountain Settlement School Reading Camp. She has organized two shoe drives to benefit Water Step, volunteers with Salvation Army, St. John United Methodist Church and tutors at her school, North Oldham High School, where she is a senior.
In addition, Mayor Greg Fischer, in partnership with the WLKY-TV Spirit of Louisville Foundation, will present Con-way Freight and Brenda Frank with the Mayor’s Spirit of Louisville Award for their leadership role with the 2015 Give-A-Day week of service. Achieving the goal of keeping Louisville “the most compassionate city,” there were more than 166,000 volunteers and acts of kindness in action community-wide from April 18-26, 2015.
The WLKY Bell Award recipients will be honored at a banquet at the Galt House Hotel on Friday, October 9.
Reservations to the dinner can be made by contacting WLKY, 893-3671, by October 1. A special one-hour telecast of The WLKY Bell Awards will air on WLKY Saturday, October 24, from 8-9 p.m.
Celebrating its 38th year, the WLKY Spirit of Louisville Foundation was formed to oversee the annual Bell Awards program. The 2015 Executive Committee of the Spirit of Louisville Foundation are Jill Bell/Passport Health, Nancy Davis/Stock Yards Bank, Sue Stout Tame/Civic Volunteer and Glenn Haygood/WLKY-TV.