Bowling Green, Kentucky (February 8, 2024) – On Thursday nearly two hundred Southern Kentucky residents joined United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) for the LIVE UNITED Awards and Recognition event at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green.


The event started with a look back at all the volunteer and community efforts of the past year, spearheaded by UWSK. These included 211, Feed the Need, Handbags for Hope, the Day of Caring, Read Across America, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Kindergarten Readiness initiatives, as well as campaign allocations of over one million dollars to 48 local programs.


The evening then progressed into an awards presentation honoring organizations that excelled in impacting our community and furthering the mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky in 2023. Steve Thurmond, who is on the United Way of Southern Kentucky’s Board of Directors 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
  • U. S. Bank


Give Awards

Greatest Giving Increases (employee and corporate giving combined)

Increase of $5,000 – $9,999

  • American Bank & Trust
  • The City of Bowling Green
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition


Increase of $40,000+

  • Logan Aluminum


Leadership Investment Awards (employee giving)

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


Less than 100 employees



100 – 250 employees

  • Houchens Insurance Group


More than 250 employees

  • Fruit of the Loom, Inc.


Top 10 Campaigns

Top 10 campaigns for overall corporate and employee giving in 2023:


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


Two Community Impact Partnership Awards were presented to organizations who 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 Foundry Preschool Academy
  • Russellville Independent Schools 12 for 12 Program

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:

  • Rachel Jackson

Almost 11 years ago, Rachel Jackson found herself at a crossroads in her life and that of her family. With the assistance of Kentucky Legal Aid, she found a better life for herself and a passion for helping others do the same.


The Spirit United Award was presented to the organization that embodied the Live United spirit through year-round support and enthusiasm for United Way. This year’s

honoree embodied the very essence of this award. The Spirit United Award was presented to:

  • Warren County Water District


Ending the evening, for the first time ever, there were two LIVE UNITED Award winners selected from a group of four finalists. The two finalists representing organizations with more than 200 employees were:

  • The City of Bowling Green
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition

The two finalists representing organizations with less than 200 employees were:

  • American Bank & Trust

The winners, selected by community volunteers for their commitment to giving, advocacy, and volunteering, were the City of Bowling Green and FORVIS.


Debbie Hills, President and CEO for United Way of Southern Kentucky, said, “Tonight we are honored to recognize the incredible contributions of organizations and individuals. Though there is much work still to do in our community, its future is brighter because of the efforts of the individuals and organizations we have recognized tonight!”


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