Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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May 2011: Barbara Ayers, Harlan County

VOM 11-05 Barbara Ayers

Barbara Ayers has been named southern and eastern Kentucky’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month

Cumberland resident Barbara Ayers has been named southern and eastern Kentucky’s PRIDE Volunteer of the Month.

“This plaque is given for May 2011, but it really represents 14 years of service to Harlan County as a PRIDE volunteer,” said PRIDE’s Mark Davis, who surprised Ayers with the award today at the Kentucky Coal Museum.

“Ms. Ayers, we appreciate you for being so dedicated to caring for this gorgeous area,” Davis continued. “You have set a fine example for us all to follow. What a difference you make in your community by giving freely of your time.”

Ayers, who is a retired teacher, has volunteered more than 1,000 hours with PRIDE since 1997, according to Bobbie Gothard. Gothard is the director of the Tri-Cities Heritage Development Corporation, and she nominated Ayers for the PRIDE award.

“She gives freely of her time on a daily basis,” Gothard said of Ayers.

In 1997, Ayers assisted with the first Black Mountain Hwy. 160 cleanup, and she has been a PRIDE volunteer ever since. For at least 12 years, she has helped with the Adopt-A-Spot on Hwy. 119 with the Tri-Cities Women’s Club. She also has participated in cleanups of downtown streets and buildings by the Tri-Cities Heritage Development Corporation for several years.

In addition to volunteering with PRIDE, Ayers is active at the Kentucky Coal Museum, Chamber of Commerce, Celebrate Recovery and Cumberland Baptist Church.

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes hard work and dedication to the PRIDE initiative, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. With corporate sponsorship from TECO Coal, WYMT-TV airs commercials about each PRIDE Volunteer of the Month.

“Volunteers are the backbone of PRIDE,” said Congressman Hal Rogers, who co-founded PRIDE in 1997 with James E. Bickford, Kentucky Environmental Protection Secretary. “We wouldn’t be where we are without our volunteers. More than 320,000 volunteers have helped with PRIDE cleanup and education projects. We want to thank TECO Coal for helping PRIDE give these generous people the recognition they deserve.”

In 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky, PRIDE links citizens with the resources of local, state and federal agencies to improve the region’s water quality, clean up solid waste problems, and advance environmental education.

If you know a person or group making a difference with PRIDE, please nominate them for the PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award.

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