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City Salutes Compassion at Unity Breakfast

Mayor CH

Mayor Carter Hendricks and the Hopkinsville Human Relations Commission celebrated the tireless leadership of some hometown heroes at this morning’s Unity Breakfast. 

Download the Hal & Bettye Thurmond Award Powerpoint Presentation PDF

Angie Major webAmong those honored was Angie Major who received the Hal & Bettye Thurmond Award.  Her friend Fannie Louise Maddux, former Thurmond award winner and longtime education advocate, described working with Major through her time in the Prichard Committee’s Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL).  Maddux also highlighted Major’s volunteering to develop a mentoring program at Hopkinsville High School to encourage more players to go on to college after high school. 

With what results?  In 2014, Major saw 12 seniors transition to college, often to play football or basketball there, to the military or to a job.  Every one of the 12 had what she calls a “Life Plan.”  In 2015, there were 17 that transitioned.  Again, of those mentored, 100% made positive moves after high school with 24 going to college, one to the military and one with plans to join the police academy. 

In addition to being a loving wife and mother, Major also managed to carve out the time for other community events including lending instrumental planning support for Hopkinsville’s inaugural Clash of the Classes alumni Hoptown-County football game this year.

Forts webAlso celebrated during the breakfast program were the Reverend Dr. M.O. Fort and his wife Renee of Virginia Street Baptist Church for their tradition of championing unity and building bridges throughout the community. 

Since 2005, the Forts have graciously offered their facilities for over a dozen Focus 21st Century and Pennyrile RC&D public forums which often focus on topics relevant to improving race and human relations, health, education, and a host of other topics important to the broader community.

The Forts’ penchant for bringing the community together was recently seen again as they and the church hosted a community-wide Hour of Prayer service to encourage compassion and prayer from all parts of our community as it related to the church shooting incident in South Carolina.

In addition to their roles at Virginia Street, Reverend Fort and Renee have served as volunteers for a number of organizations, including MEDI and the Chamber, where Rev. Fort has always demonstrated a calm, cool, and compassionate approach to his efforts to build a better community.

Special Thanks

This year’s Unity Breakfast planning committee was co-chaired by DeeAnna Yates-Sova and Rev. Alice Nichols under the direction of Bernard Standard, HRC Director.  Christian County Judge/Executive Steve Tribble was on hand to help present this year’s Unity Proclamation.  Keynote speaker Rev. Lisa Lewis-Balboa also delivered a timely message centered on “Celebrating a Compassionate Community.”

Award Background

Initiated in 2007, the Unity Award is designed to identify community members who contribute to the spirit of unity and collaboration essential to promoting fairness and equality among all citizens of Hopkinsville and Christian County.  Award recipients are listed below.

2015

Rev. Dr. M.O. and Renee Fort

 

2010

Dr. Vernell Larkin

2014

Challenge House Movement

 

2009

Wally Bryan

2013

Isabel Soberal

 

2008

Matthew Harris

2012

Graham and Rita Harvey

 

2007

Inner City Advisory Committee

2011

Jim Wisby

 

 

 

The Hal & Bettye Thurmond Award is named for Thurmond and his wife, whose work to integrate housing, lunch counters, and public schools and to improve race relations in Christian County in the 1950s and ‘60s earned them posthumous induction into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in the fall of 2006.  Owner of Blue Lake Block Co. and president of the local Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Thurmond demonstrated his commitment to the civil rights movement by helping to establish the Hopkinsville Human Relations Commission, for which Bettye became executive director.  Award recipients are listed below.

2015

Angie Major

 

1994

Howard Myers

2014

Tom Bell

 

1993

Linda Pearson

2013

Kurt & Susan Anderson

 

1992

Russell Weatherwax

2012

Rev. Buddy Slaughter

 

1991

Norman Freeman

2011

Nikki Radford

 

1990

Tom C. Steiner

2010

Elaine Love

 

1989

Fannie Louise Maddux

2009

Jesse Quarles

 

1988

J. T. Lynch

2008

Charles Turner

 

1987

Mary Francis Loving

2007

Suzy Schlegel

 

1986

Roger W. Holloway

2006

Mary Smith

 

1985

J. Raymond Lord

2005

Wally Bryan

 

1984

Norma Berens

2004

Marby Schlegel

 

1982

Eugene Pool

2003

Penny Chewning

 

1981

Rev. A.R. Lasley

2002

Wynn & Linda Radford

 

1980

Frank J. Thomas

2001

Wendell Lynch

 

1979

Carolyn Self

2000

Garnett Smith

 

1978

Joseph V. Rose

1999

Marlin & Rochelle Anderson

 

1977

K.O. Cayce, Sr.

1998

Diane Croney-Turner

 

1976

Mamye B. White

1997

Jim & Joyce Adams

 

1975

Francis Eugene Whitney

1996

Barbara Waggoner

 

1974

Mrs. John Blane, Sr.

1995

Elizabeth Spencer

 

1973

Mary Virginia Parrish

 
For additional information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at (270) 890-0200 or the Hopkinsville Human Relations Commission at (270) 887-4010.