Bowling Green, Kentucky (June 29, 2022) – More than 200 Southern Kentucky residents joined United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) for the LIVE UNITED Awards and Community Celebration on Thursday, June 28th at the Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green.

The evening started with recognition of organizations and individuals that were heroes in our community throughout the pandemic and the tornado recovery. Honorees included organizations representing public safety, city and county government, public utilities, the school systems, nonprofit organizations, volunteer facilitators, and organizations providing comfort and support.

The program then progressed into an awards presentation to organizations that excelled in impacting our community and furthering the mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky in 2021. Steve Thurmond, United Way of Southern Kentucky Board Member and Executive Director for the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, emceed the event as United Way of Southern Kentucky presented the following awards:


Volunteer Investment Awards

Top Organizations with the largest % of employees volunteering in multiple United Way functions


Fruit of the Loom, Inc.

Logan Aluminum

Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College


Greatest Giving Increases (employee and corporate giving combined)

Increase of $5,000 – $9,999

Warren County Public Schools

Fruit of the Loom, Inc.

Increase of $10,000 – $14,999

Logan Aluminum

Warren County Water District

Leadership Investment Awards (employee giving)

Most leadership dollars (gifts of $1,000 or more) from organizations employing:

Less than 100 employees


100 – 250 employees

The Murphy Construction Group

Houchens Insurance Group

More than 250 employees

Fruit of the Loom, Inc.


      Top 10 campaigns for overall corporate and employee giving in 2018:

  1. J.M. Smucker Company
  2. Georgia Pacific
  3. Warren RECC
  4. Houchens Insurance Group
  5. Trace Die Cast
  6. U.S. Bank – Area Wide
  7. The Murphy Construction Group
  8. General Motors & UAW Local 2164
  9. Fruit of the Loom, Inc.
  10. Logan Aluminum

The Shooting Star Award winner was chosen from applications submitted by United Way partner agencies on behalf of individuals who had exemplified courage and tenacity in overcoming obstacles. This year’s Shooting Star Award was awarded to:

Jennie Gamble (Submitting Agency: Warren County Public Schools)

After the tornado, Jennie rushed to aid those in the Jennings Creek neighborhoods despite her own home and property being extensively damaged. Her passion to help others regardless of her own circumstances is an inspiration to all.

Four Community Impact Partnership Awards were presented to organizations that have excelled in aiding others and have partnered with United Way to make a difference in the past year. The Community Impact Partnership Awards were presented to:

                  The Citizens of Warren County: Tornado Recovery

The Citizens of Bowling Green: Tornado Recovery

Warren County Public Schools, Little Learners Bus: Kindergarten Readiness

Boys & Girls Club of Bowling Green, Teen Center: College and Career Readiness               

Finalists for the premier award of the year, the LIVE UNITED Award, were presented via video throughout the evening.  This award was presented to the company that exemplifies United Way’s core Give, Advocate and Volunteer goals through outstanding campaign support including increased giving, high participation and per capita, advocating internally and externally on behalf of United Way throughout the year, and exceptional volunteer participation from a large base of employees. Special consideration was given to those organizations with specific support to United Way’s work in Education, Income, Health, and/or Safety Net.

The top three finalists for the LIVE UNITED Award included:

Logan Aluminum, Fruit of the Loom, Inc., and Warren County Water District.

Following the recognition of the three finalists, the Live United Award was presented to:

Fruit of the Loom, Inc.

Debbie Hills, President and CEO for United Way of Southern Kentucky, said, “Tonight’s celebration is unlike any LIVE UNITED event before, as the past few years have been unlike any other our community has experienced. We have seen unprecedented kindness, generosity, resiliency, and outstanding efforts by many partners, organizations, and people in the community. Though there is much work that needs to be done throughout Southern Kentucky, the accomplishments of the last year are worth celebrating. It is the combined generosity of those honored tonight, as well as hundreds of other organizations that support our efforts that will continue to make a difference.”