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Governor's Service Award recipients announced

By Staff reports

Ardath Francke opened a shelter in Charleston nearly 40 years ago. In August she will be honored with a Governor's Service Award by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at an annual state volunteerism conference.

Francke will receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the Faces of Leadership conference Aug. 8 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Francke has made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children in West Virginia through the establishment of the Patchwork youth shelter and Daymark, an organization that focuses on serving at-risk youth and their families in the Kanawha Valley, according to a news release.

Francke has served on the board for the East End shelter for 37 years. She cooked meals, sold tickets to fundraising events, and attended hundreds of board meetings, according to the release. Francke helped recruit speakers, solicit donations and supported staff from the sidelines.  

"She's basically dedicated her life to the children in the Charleston area," said Dr. Richard Howard, a friend of Francke's, in the release. "She is so gracious and respected in the community. And she is true to her word. That's how she draws people in."

Presented since 1995, the Governor's Service Awards honors youth, young adults, adults, seniors, families, organizations and businesses that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia.

The Governor's Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the state's Commission for National and Community Service to honor outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses solving community problems through volunteer service.

A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients on the basis of achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.

Other recipients of the 2012 Governor's Service Awards include, by category:

Lifetime Achievement: Ruby Ann Greathouse, Brooke County

Youth: Alexis Browning, Cabell County

Adult: Debra Curry Davis, Wyoming County; Rhonda Monroe, Jefferson County

Senior: Ora Beth Drake, Wood County; Ed Lowe, Mason County

Family: Shaun and Maggie Jedju, Harrison County

Business: Cabell Huntington Hospital, Cabell County; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc., Putnam; West Virginia American Water, Kanawha County

For tickets to the awards banquet, or information about the conference, contact Moya Doneghy at 304-558-0111 or 1-800-WV-HELPS, or by email at moya.doneghy@wv.gov.


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