Society of St. Vincent de Paul honors volunteers

By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) recognized six volunteers at an awards luncheon May 10.

The volunteers perform a variety of tasks for the charity, including serving hot meals in the Open Hand Kitchen, assisting clients in the food pantry, sorting donations in the thrift stores and tutoring children at the Family Success Center.

“Without the service of the volunteers, St. Vincent de Paul could not do all the things they do for those in need. This luncheon honors those individuals that make St. Vincent de Paul respected in our community,” said Donna Young, director of conference affairs and volunteer services.

The honorees are:

Paul Kopey, a member of St. Ignatius Church, received the Lifetime Service Award, which is given to an individual who “throughout his or her life has embodied the spirit of our founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam and patron St. Vincent de Paul,” said a statement from the society.

Kopey is a long time volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul’s Open Hand Kitchen where he serves meals. He also volunteered for years picking up donations in the community and delivering them to the kitchen. Kopley also volunteers for the SVDP fundraiser Friends of the Poor Walk.

Holy Spirit Church’s SVDP conference received the Father Timmel Award, which “recognizes representatives of a church or faith-based group that volunteer together regularly at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville,” said the statement.

Father Gerald Timmel, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, has worked with deacons and their wives in their ministry at St. Vincent de Paul.

Janet Bowman received the Pay It Forward Award, which “recognizes a client or former client of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville who is giving back to the community as a volunteer in service to others,” said the statement.

Dave Schlosser, a member of St. Raphael Church, won the Community Partner of the Year Award. It “recognizes a valued community non-profit partner who is instrumental in the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville,” according to the society.

Following a water main break in December, which affected the St. Vincent de Paul’s South Preston Street campus, Schlosser delivered gallons of water for residents living on that campus, said Young.

Pat’s Steak House received the Corporate Partner of the Year Award, which “pays tribute to a business that has contributed significant volunteer time, energy and resources to the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville, including employee volunteers,” said the statement.

Ken Kirn, a member of St. Raphael Church, received the Volunteer of the Year Award, which “recognizes an individual who has contributed significant volunteer time, energy and or resources to the mission of St. Vincent de Paul.”

Kirn serves in the SVDP pantry up to three times a week, said Young. He picks up and delivers food to the pantry, stocks shelves and helps clients shop for food for their families.

St. Vincent de Paul has served the poor in Louisville since 1863. In addition to The Open Hand Kitchen, the society also operates a food pantry, offers a men’s homeless shelter that includes a program for homeless veterans and provides housing for individuals and families on the SVDP campus.

SVDP’s Family Success Center provides year-round tutoring and enrichment programs for at-risk youth.

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