The Southeast Georgia Health System’s Linda Pinson Conference room was filled with local dignitaries and selfless volunteers Wednesday afternoon. The group had gathered for a luncheon organized by Keep Golden Isles Beautiful (KGIB) staff to honor those who help the local nonprofit fulfill its mission of making the area clean, green and beautiful through recycling and trash collection programs.
But for those involved with the organization — it’s simply all in a day’s work. Jeanne Cascio certainly feels that way. She has spent countless hours working with the group’s two-person staff to tackle office work and organize items for recycling at its downtown office.
“I’ve been doing it for a little over a year. I was just looking for something to do to help my community,” she said with a smile.
Cascio was later honored with the organization’s Shining Star Award for her service. And she was not alone. Individuals and groups were praised for their hard w ork and gifted with handmade hardware made from — what else? — recycled materials.
In addition to Cascio, Sharon and Rick Hendry, a couple, were honored with the Environmental Steward of the Year award for their work. Brent Taylor was named Lynell Stapleton Volunteer of the Year and Joe Loehle walked away with the Bootsie Mason Award. Becky Gravely was named Outstanding Public Servant for the City of Brunswick with Kathryn Downs taking the same award for the county. Brunswick City Commissioner Julie Martin was named the Outstanding Public Official.
In addition to individuals, several groups were also honored. The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha won the Community Partner Award for a nonprofit organization. The sorority helps with a number of service projects, including the annual electronics recycling initiative as well as Adopt-a-Mile. The Embassy Suites hotel in Brunswick received the Horizon Award.
And, last but not least, The News was honored with the Community Partner Award in the for-profit category. The organization’s executive director, Lea King-Badyna, told attendees that the role the paper plays is essential in communicating information about the group’s programs to the public.