■ During the Feb. 6 Commerce Lexington annual awards dinner, several awards were presented to recognize community leaders and volunteers, such as the Commerce Lexington Ambassador of the Year, Bill Marshall, Yoshino Farm Bed & Breakfast; Volunteer of the Year, Todd Sallee, Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance; Leadership Lexington Adult Distinguished Leader Award, Jennifer Cave, Bingham Greenebaum Doll; Leadership Lexington Youth Program 2013 Distinguished Leader Award, Elizabeth Mechas, Sayre School; and the Public Policy Advocate of the Year, Todd Johnson, Home Builders Association of Lexington.
■ The Gheens Foundation has given Louisville-based American Printing House for the Blind $25,000 to purchase assistive technology used by students who are blind, such as refreshable braille displays and screen readers. This will have a significant impact on the ability of blind or visually impaired students to be fairly evaluated when taking online assessments.
■ Glenn Toyota Frankfort presented a new 2014 Toyota Sienna LE to STRIDE on Feb. 11 as part of the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program. The Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program is awarding 100 vehicles over the course of 100 days to 100 deserving non-profit organizations based on votes from the public.
STRIDE, which stands for Supporting Therapeutic Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities Everyday, began in 2000 and is based in Winchester. Daily programming is offered — from cooking classes, dances, Special Olympic activities, daily living skills classes and much more — in an effort to improve the quality of life for the participants.
■ The American Water Charitable Foundation has presented two grants totaling $6,000 to the Urban League of Lexington Fayette County and Lexington Habitat for Humanity to enhance community safety.
Funding in the amount of $3,000 will support the Motivated All Day Everyday gang violence prevention program of the Urban League. The program meets with middle and high school students on a weekly basis and focuses its curriculum and small group therapy sessions on gang and violence prevention, community crisis response, and positive behavior instruction.
A grant in the amount of $3,000 has been awarded to Lexington Habitat for Humanity for the purchase and installation of smoke detectors, high-quality motion sensors, and exterior security lighting to increase the level of safety and security for homeowners in up to 10 new homes.
Kentucky American Water is a subsidiary of American Water.
Compiled by Dorothea Wingo