Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of the Catholic Action Center, was named Fayette County Hero of the Year by the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross on April 22.
Since the Catholic Action Center opened in 2000, it has served millions of meals, distributed millions of clothing items, done more than 11,000 loads of laundry for the homeless, sheltered close to 100,000 people, provided memorial services for those who died alone, and provided more than 85,000 showers for the homeless.
Ramsey has served on a variety of non-profit boards and worked to establish God's Net, which sells books at Amazon.com to benefit the Keep the Heat On program in Lexington. Divine Providence Way, a community of men working toward self- sufficiency, is another Ramsey project, as are St. Anne House, a five-bedroom community for mentally ill women, and St. Vincent DePaul House, a six-bedroom house for those who cannot find other housing. Ramsey is also involved with the Faith and Community Christian Store, which benefits children during the holidays.
Other finalists included:
■ William Smith, retired associate director of the YMCA of Central Kentucky, who helped start its Black Achievers program.
Smith has served as volunteer treasurer for the Black Church Coalition of the Bluegrass, which as of March had raised $1.8 million from churches, individuals and grants to provide rent and utility assistance to 17,800 families. At Shiloh Baptist Church, Smith has served as Sunday school superintendent and church trustee; he also led the campaign to fund the educational building. Smith has been a member of Kiwanis International for 20 years and is a founding board member of Community Kitchen and the Lexington Clergy Campaign for the Homeless.
■ Aaron Mosley spent much of his early life in prison but after his release he committed his life to working with children to save them from that kind of life.
Mosley became active in an inner-city church and soon began working with the Catholic Action Center.
He was the driving force behind July Jamboree, which ran for four summers beginning in 2003. The faith-based summer program showed inner-city children about opportunities beyond their present surroundings. Several hundred Lexington youth participated. Mosley also has formed after-school tutoring programs and has worked with the local court system in a referral program.
■ Mel Boyd has volunteered in Fayette County for more than 40 years. He has served as president, secretary and chairman of fund- raising for the Kiwanis Club. He has mentored and tutored at Harrison Elementary School, and served as a reader at the Manchester Center and as a longtime Meals on Wheels driver.
Boyd is active at Woodland Christian and Crestwood Christian churches. He has kept the score book at Transylvania University basketball games for 40 years and served on the executive board of the Transylvania University Alumni Association. He and his wife have been honored with the Morrison Medal for their community service.
The following were recognized as 2010 Fayette County Hero of the Year nominees:
Virginia Bell, nominated by Isabel Yates and the 6 a.m. YMCA class; Troy Bowling, nominated by Corky Walker; Dr. Carol Cottrill, nominated by Rose Lucas and Dr. Tim Bricker; Lt. Col. Chris Dolt, nominated by Stephanie Nallia and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; Karen Settles, nominated by Windstream; and Roger Springate, nominated by UK HealthCare.
During the Fayette County Hero of the Year celebration, Royce Pulliam and Kentucky Coach John Calipari received special recognition as Heroes for Haiti for their work with the Hoops for Haiti telethon that raised more than $1.2 million for earthquake relief.
Low-cost rabies shots offered
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department's annual rabies vaccination clinic will be 6 to 9 p.m. May 6 at the Third Street Fire Station, 219 East Third Street. Vaccinations are $3. All cats must be in carriers, and all dogs must be on leashes.
"Anyone with a pet is welcome to come get a low-cost shot, and we're especially encouraging any animal owner wanting a low-cost vaccination or those without a regular veterinarian to attend," said Luke Mathis, environmental health team leader. Rabies vaccinations typically cost about $20.
The clinic also provides pet owners with the opportunity to buy animal licenses. License are $8 for animals that have been spayed or neutered, or $40 for animals with no proof of alteration.
State law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets maintain a current rabies vaccination.
Rabies, a viral disease of humans, pets and wild animals, is transmitted from animals to humans by the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from a bite.
The health department's rabies control program received 969 animal bite reports last year.
The Lexington Humane Society, Central Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and Lexington-Fayette County Animal Care and Control are also sponsoring the clinic. For more information call (859) 231-9791.
Youth donate to progeria research
The YMCA Black Achievers Youth Advisory Board sponsored a ball in February and donated a portion of the proceeds to the Kentucky Chapter of the Progeria Research Foundation.
At a breakfast April 10, students presented the check to Zach Pickard, a Lexington child with progeria, his parents and sister.
Scouts plant trees
On April 11, members of Girl Scout Troop 892 earned their Eco-badge by planting Kentucky's state tree, the tulip poplar, on the grounds of the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, 1800 Newtown Pike.
Griffin Gate's Green Team helped with the planting, and Scott Bender, director of grounds, spoke to the Girl Scouts about the importance of planting native plants for strong ecosystems to create shelter for animals.