HAZARD, KY — Monday PRIDE presented its annual Envi Awards to schools, volunteers and community leaders for excellence in environmental stewardship. The awards ceremony, which was held at the Forum in Hazard, was recorded for broadcast on WYMT-TV at 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 17.
The PRIDE Campus of the Year Awards honored the elementary, middle, and high school that excelled at hands-on environmental learning with creativity and community involvement while meeting state curriculum guidelines. The winners were Saint Camillus Academy (Knox County), Lee County Middle School, and Leslie County High School.
The Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky (Perry County) won the PRIDE Community Project of the Year Award, which recognizes education programs that go beyond the classroom.
Benny and Culley Abner (Perry County) earned the Tony Turner Volunteer of the Year Award for going above and beyond the ordinary to improve the environment.
Russell County Middle School Teacher Jean Clement won the Rogers-Bickford Environmental Leadership Award by demonstrating environmental stewardship to follow.
J.C. Egnew, President and Chairman of Outdoor Venture Corporation (McCreary County), was presented with the Kentucky PRIDE Award for efforts that make the Commonwealth a better place to live.
Green with Envi Awards, which spotlight conservation projects that PRIDE would like to spread, were presented to Don Combs (Pike County), Corbin Independent Middle School, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and Pike County Fiscal Court, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, and Coal Mining Our Future.
SouthEast Telephone Company (Pike County) won the Unsung Hero Award for dedicated service toward fulfilling the PRIDE mission.
“I congratulate all our finalists and winners for your achievements,” said Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5), who co-founded PRIDE. “You have earned special recognition among a remarkable class — the thousands of students, volunteers, elected officials and business owners who make a difference day after day with PRIDE. I also want to thank those people at home who show personal responsibility for our environment.”
Rogers said that 262,955 volunteers have donated 947,798 hours to PRIDE cleanup and education efforts since 1997. In that time, 2,714 dumps have been cleaned up, and 535,485 students have enjoyed hands-on environmental learning projects.
He went on to challenge the region to take new steps in caring for the environment, such as recycling. “Recycling and reusing actually are part of our region’s thrifty, self-sufficient heritage,” Rogers said. “Old clothes become beautiful quilts, and canning jars are used year after year. We just need to look at all our resources in that light.”
In addition to Rogers, special guests were former NFL and UK Quarterback Tim Couch and Paul P. Bollinger, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Partnerships. Musical guests were the 23 String Band and the Rhythm Express Cloggers. The event was made possible by SI International, Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors, Whayne Supply and Republic Bank & Trust Co.
The PRIDE Envi Awards are presented annually to honor the individuals and organizations who excelled at pursuing the PRIDE mission — Personal Responsibility In A Desirable Environment. PRIDE is an environmental cleanup and education initiative in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. It was founded by Congressman Rogers and James E. Bickford, the former Kentucky Secretary of Environmental Protection.
For more information about the Envi Awards, please call the PRIDE office, toll free, at 1-888-577-4339 or visit www.kypride.org.