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2019 Governor’s volunteer awards announced

The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service, also known as Volunteer Mississippi, has announced the recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards.

The group will be honored at a private ceremony at The Westin Hotel of Jackson on April 8, kicking off celebrations for National Volunteer Week.

“Mississippi’s legacy in volunteerism runs deep”, said Monica Ritchie, Executive Director for Volunteer Mississippi.  “We are honored and privileged to recognize these 13 outstanding individuals and institutions representing volunteer excellence for the state of Mississippi.”

Mary Tooke Kitchens, Crystal Springs
The Marsha Meeks Kelly Award for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteer Service

Kearn Lynda Cherry, Gulfport
Outstanding Achievement in Empowerment Initiatives

Etricia Easley, Columbus
Outstanding Service by a National Service Alumni

Beth Gardner, Lake Cormorant
Outstanding Humanitarian Service

Beverly Goff, Pascagoula
Outstanding Service in Children’s Advocacy

Michael J. Higgins, Jr., Olive Branch
Outstanding Volunteer Service to Veterans

Dennis “DJ” Jewel, Columbus
Outstanding Volunteer Service by a US Veteran

Verdine Judd, Okolona
Outstanding Service in Strengthening Families & Communities

Paige Scruggs, Ellisville
Outstanding Service in the Promotion of Healing

Dr. Myrtis S. Tabb, Cleveland
Outstanding Achievement in Servant Leadership

Heartland Hands Food Pantry, Southaven
Outstanding Achievement in Hunger Relief

Jackson Free Clinic, Jackson
Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare Access

WellsFest and Its Volunteers, Jackson
Outstanding Achievement in Community Building

The GIVE Awards were established through the Office of the Governor and Volunteer Mississippi to recognize those individuals and organizations that have made an outstanding impact in their communities through their gifts of service, advocacy, and outreach on behalf of the citizens of Mississippi.  Nominations are made by the general public and a group of industry peers serve as judges to review the submitted information and to determine the recipients.

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