Sunday, January 23, 2000

Awards honor work of young volunteers

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        While Katie Gilligan did travel to Kharkiv, Ukraine, last November representing the Girl Scouts, she certainly wasn't there to sell cookies.

        Instead Katie, 17, was a one-woman goodwill ambassador, delivering donated books to a Ukrainian school on behalf of her high school, St. Ursula Academy, and speaking to seven high schools, several Scout troops and one city council.

        For her service to this distant community in Ukraine, Katie was awarded a Lighthouse Youth Services Vision Award Saturday at Kenwood Towne Centre.

        The third annual Vision Awards honor Tristate youth for outstanding volunteerism. Lighthouse Youth Services, celebrating its 30th anniversary, is a Cincinnati-based company offering 16 different programs for youth and their families in crisis.

        Vision Award winners received $500 for the organizations where they volunteer.

        While in Kharkiv, Katie combined the city's fledgling Girl Scout program with her efforts to spruce up the zoo. She brought in supplies and helped to persuade the different troops to build their own gardens in the zoo.

        “When you're fortunate enough to be in a certain position, you feel blessed that you are able to help other people out,” she said.

        Other winners honored at Saturday's ceremony were: In Service to Adults and Seniors

        • Vision Award: Greg LeSaint of Bridgetown, St. Xavier High School, for his work with the Salvation Army and the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless.

        • Merit Award: Amanda Alexander of Hillsboro, Laurel Oaks C.D.C., for her work with AMVETS, the Senior Center and Veterans Hospital in Chilicothe. In Service to Community

        • Merit Award: Greg Hogan of Springfield Township, St. Xavier High School, for his work at Millvale Computer Center and Over-the-Rhine Community Center.

        Peter Dowiatt of Sycamore Township, St. Xavier High School, for volunteering at Carthage Elementary School.

        Allison Degenhardt of Mount Healthy, Mount Healthy High School, for her work at the Key Club Service Group.

        Jonathan Suhre, of Montgomery, St. Xavier High School, for volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and the Leukemia Society. In Service to YouthVision Award: Christy, Linda and Stefanie Mueller, of Oak Hills, Oak Hills Schools, for volunteering at The Ronald McDonald House.

        • Merit Award: John Cronin of Mount Washington, St. Xavier High School, for volunteering at Big Brothers and Advent Canned Food Drive.

        Alanna Clair of Mariemont, St. Ursula Academy, for her work at Children's Hospital and the Madisonville YMCA.

        Katie Housh, of Loveland, Ursuline Academy, for her work at orphan ages in Monterrey, Mexico.

        Rebecca Verdon of West Chester, Ursuline Academy, for her work with Summer Bridge. Youth Groups in ServiceVision Award: Christian Service Executive Board (Sonya Betz, Sally Boyce, Lauren Grote, Sally Partin, Justin Thompson) of Hyde Park, Summit Country Day School, for working with Habitat for Humanity, West End Emergency Shelter, Youth Opportunities Wasted, Washington Park School and Vine Street School.

        • Merit Award: Ashley Alexander of Amberley Village and Andrea Warm of Hyde Park, Cincinnati Country Day School, for volunteering with Free Store Food Bank and Madisonville Center.

        Students Organized Service Team Directors of Symmes Township, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, for volunteering with Samaritan's Purse, Special Olympics and City Gospel Mission.

        St. Xavier High School Computer Club for its work with the Millvale Community Computer Center.


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