Frazier History Museum
WHY CHRISTINA WAS NOMINATED
In addition to being a committed Frazier Museum volunteer, Christina Graney is a proud Louisvillian who gives of her time in so many ways. She works for her church, St. Louis Bertrand, editing the the bulletin and anything else that needs to be done. She regularly hosts neighborhood dinners in her Old Louisville home, serving 30-40 people at a time. She assists her husband Chris, a local physics professor, with events at the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community College, and the Louisville Public Library. Christina’s spirit of giving back to her community spreads throughout her family. Her husband and her sons, Joe and John, have also volunteered at the Frazier and other places in the community.
Manager of School and Teacher Programs, Megan Schanie said it best. “Christina Graney is the epitome of reliability, kind-heartedness and commitment. When she walks into the Frazier Museum Education Center on Friday mornings, as she has been for over ten years, I always have the same thought and feeling – “Oh thank goodness, I forgot its Friday- Christina is here today so everything will go more smoothly”. On busy days, when we are swimming in school children, Christina jumps right into the mix – greeting groups, moving lunch carts, and helping students in the galleries. On the rare days when we are slower she is perfectly happy to prepare materials, print schedules, and stuff envelopes – anything that needs to be taken care of is taken care of, and always with a smile and a warm word. When Christina is here it’s as if we have another staff person for the day. My day goes better, the visiting teacher’s day goes better and, most importantly, our students have another caring adult there to make sure they have an amazing day learning and playing at the Frazier. Christina is so generous of her time and talents and the Frazier is lucky she’s chosen us to share them with.”
Louisville Regional Airport Authority
WHY A.J. WAS NOMINATED
A.J. “Bud” Fekete has been an integral part of the volunteer Airport Ambassador Program at the Louisville International Airport since February 2013. Since this time, he has logged more than 1,350-hours in the Information Booth. In the Information Booth, Bud’s warm and welcoming attitude is obvious as he greets visitors to Louisville and helps weary travelers find their luggage, ground transportation, hotel information and answers a variety of questions about the airport and our community. In addition, whenever necessary, he readily assists travelers in finding solutions to unique and unusual problems they may be facing. Bud says one of the most rewarding things about volunteering in the Information Booth is helping people and having to work through unexpected situations. A native of Gary, Indiana, Bud has called Louisville home for more than 50 years. He moved to Louisville to become a firefighter, which he was for more than 20 years before retiring as deputy chief from the Louisville Division of Fire and Rescue. As a young child, he lived across the street from a fire house, and from then on – he was determined to become someone who helps people, which is evident in his giving nature.
Louisville Visitors Center
Visitor Information Center Volunteer
WHY B.W. WAS NOMINATED
Everyone knows B.W. Everyone knows that you can find B.W. at the Main Street Visitors Center on Tuesdays in downtown Louisville on West Main Street. He may be sitting outside across from former Mayor, Charlie Farnsley’s bench greeting visitors and locals or inviting you inside the Main Street Visitors Center to share all that he loves about Louisville. B.W. is a true Kentucky native. Growing up in Lexington, Kentucky and attending the University of Kentucky until he was called for active military duty with the 100th Division 397th Infantry unit as a Staff Sergeant, B.W. also trained at Fort Knox (Kentucky) and Fort Belvoir (Virginia) until he was assigned to the Granite City Civilian and Army Engineer Depot.
After B.W.’s military service in 1956 and marriage to Mary Ann, he began his career with General Motors in Louisville as a Field and District Representative for 14 years until he joined the First National Bank of Louisville where he worked as a Loan Officer and Branch Manager at various locations until his retirement as Vice President and Manager of the St. Matthews Bank in 1990. B.W. never truly retired as he worked for Tom Payette Buick in Sales and Leasing and also R & R Limousine. B.W. got bit by the tourism and hospitality bug when he started working with the Kentucky Derby and when he learned of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Ambassador training program and attended on behalf of R & R Limousine. From 2008 on, B.W. and his wife Mary Ann have been volunteering together for the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau whether inside the Louisville Visitors Center, at the Kentucky State Fair, Hometown Tourist Celebration, or just when it’s B.W. in his usual spot at the Main Street Visitors Center. B.W. has a killer smile and infectious laugh. B.W. radiates warmth and familiarity. Whether you just arrived in Louisville or have been here your entire life, B.W. is going to make you feel welcome; just like family. He makes you feel like you’re the most important person he’s seen all day whether you’ve just made a quick stop to the Main Street Visitors Center where he volunteers on Tuesdays or if get the chance to meet him at one of our local Louisville festivals that he and his sweet wife, Mary Ann volunteer at together. B.W. has lived in Kentucky for his entire life and he is every bit of the reason why we are known and lauded for our Southern Hospitality.
The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
WHY TOM WAS NOMINATED
When Tom retired from the insurance business 25 years ago, his wife was very concerned that he would get bored; he didn’t play golf and he didn’t have any other hobbies. But as he says, for a man with no hobbies, he sure has managed to stay busy these past years. In addition to volunteering at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Tom is an active volunteer at Southeast Christian Church, leading tours of the church facility and serving as a communion minister. When he’s not at The Kentucky Center or at Southeast, Tom enjoys working in yard, helping with his wife’s extensive flower gardens, and spending time with his son, step-son, and daughter.
Tom Bell has been a volunteer with The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts for nearly 24 years, a milestone that very few of our hundreds of volunteers reach. Even more impressive is the fact that Tom has received the Home Away from Home Award 22 times out of those 24 years. This means that for 22 consecutive years, Tom has been among the 50 volunteers with the highest annual service hours. On average, Tom gives 270 hours to The Kentucky Center each year.
On their own, these numbers should stand out, especially in a world where so much is demanded of our time. Tom has made a real commitment to serving The Kentucky Center and its patrons, and its a commitment that he has fulfilled year after year. But the numbers cannot show you the many ways in which Tom has made himself an instrumental member to the success of The Kentucky Center and its Volunteer Program. Tom’s steady air and kind smile gives you the sense that you are reuniting with an old friend and his self-assuredness gives patrons confidence that they are in good hands at The Kentucky Center. Tom has received multiple commendations from his House Staff supervisors over the years in recognition of the great care he gives to our patrons.
Additionally, Tom has become an invaluable leader among his fellow volunteers. Over the past 24 years, he has helped to mentor a great many new volunteers. These individuals, many of whom, have now been with The Kentucky Center for five, ten, and fifteen years are quick to acknowledge the role Tom had in their training. Through his example, Tom has helped to establish a standard of volunteerism within our program that ensures each patron receives the utmost experience each time they visit The Kentucky Center.
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