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BOWLING GREEN, KY.  – Hosted by Western Kentucky University’s Nonprofit Student Association, two local nonprofit organizations and one local business were recognized for their hard work and influence within the Bowling Green community.


On Thursday, April 20, 2017, at Lost River Cave, more than 30 business professionals within the community gathered for an award luncheon to recognize local nonprofit organizations and businesses in three categories. The categories were:

  1. 2017 Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award (active in the local area 5 years or less)

  2. 2017 Established Nonprofit Organization Award (active in the local area 5 years or more)

  3. 2017 Philanthropic Business Award (provides exceptional support to local nonprofit organizations)


The winner of the first award, the 2017 EmergingNonprofit Organization Award, was given to Phoenix Rising. This nonprofit organization strives to assist and educate individuals who have or are subjected to human or sex trafficking. Phoenix Rising provides several workshops within the community to educate about human, sex, and commercial trafficking, offers education to at-risk girls regarding the various signs and traps leading to trafficking, and administers support meetings for both girl and boy survivors. Annie Holt, Nature Center Director of Lost River Cave, describes Phoenix Rising as being a “community member who will be there as the hurts are healed, hope is restored, and freedom is found.”


The winner of the second award, the Established Nonprofit Organization Award, was given to Vision.  Vision is a multi-agency council who saw a lack of support for teenagers within the Bowling Green community, especially during the Christmas and holiday season. This motivated the organization to team up with the Salvation Army to create the Teen Angel Tree fundraiser, which provides gifts, clothing, and other essential items to teens in need. Since 2010, the Teen Angel Tree fundraiser has raised over $118,000 to provide for local teens.


The last award of the day, the Philanthropic Business Award, went to US Bank. This business is highly recognized within the Bowling Green community as the title sponsor for United Way’s annual U.S. Bank Balloon Classic. Along with the U.S. Bank Balloon Classic, the business has also sponsored several other community events including game day opening acts for the WKU Alumni Association, the Young Artists’ Competition for Community Education, Spellabration, and Blockbuster at the Ballpark.


On behalf of the School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport and the WKU Nonprofit Student Association, we wish to say thank you to all the groups that attended the luncheon. Nominations for each award are sought from local nonprofits and businesses and this event provides a way to connect WKU students to local nonprofit organization leaders. The WKU Nonprofit Administration is open to all WKU students. Please contact Dr. Tricia Jordan with any internship or volunteer opportunities your organizations may have for WKU students.


For additional information regarding the WKU Nonprofit Organization please contact WKU Assistant Professor and WKU Nonprofit Association Advisor, Dr. Tricia Jordan, 270-745-6042 or

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 Last Modified 5/2/17