'Be the Light' Night 2024

Wayne B. Smith “Leading with Kindness”

Sayre Christian Village Presents ‘Leading with Kindness’ Awards

Five winners announced in inaugural year for Wayne B. Smith namesake awards


Sayre Christian Village announced 5 outstanding honorees that have made a difference in the lives of older adults in the past year to be honored with a Wayne B. Smith “Leading with Kindness” Award.

The annual honor is bestowed upon outstanding individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations whose gifts of time, talent, or treasure throughout the previous year have benefited older adults throughout Kentucky.

Annual award winners exemplify Pastor Wayne B. Smith’s ‘lead with kindness’ first mentality.

Pastor Wayne was the first senior minister at Southland Christian Church and was one of the founders of Sayre Christian Village. He is fondly remembered for his laughter and kindness, and for never turning away a stranger in need.

Wayne looked for the good in all people. 

CEO Karen Venis said, “We have had to cancel four of our largest fundraising events in the past two years, including two of the annual Chuckles, Chicken and Charity events that continue Pastor Wayne’s legacy of generosity with proceeds benefitting the WBS Compassionate Care Fund for SCV residents and staff in crisis.

The WBS ‘Leading with Kindness’ Awards were intended to be announced at the fun and lighthearted event this year, but like many other nonprofits, Sayre has had to pivot and cancel the large in-person event. We are excited to present the awards at a smaller in-person event at Friendship Towers on November 10th at 1:30 PM.”

2021 WBS “Leading with Kindness” Award Winners

  • Southland Christian Church Groups (In His Steps, Nurturing Believers in Christ, Searchers)
  • Volunteer Lisa Richardson
  • Lynn Imagining/Monster Color
  • Pearl’s Memory Babies
  • WKYT Anchor Sam Dick.

“COVID has created many challenges not just for our ‘Little Village That Could’, but for many older adults. Creating this award was a way to honor the outstanding people that have been a light for older adults in the region. They are appreciated and ‘we see them shining.’ Sayre Christian Village plans to extend the nomination process next year to include even more honorable community do-gooders,” said Elise Hinchman, marketing and development vp.

Wayne B. Smith Compassionate Care Fund

Wayne always said that one of the great privileges of his ministry was being a founding board member of Sayre Christian Village.

He was right there when it all began in December of 1972 and he always testified that Sayre was a blessing to so many over the years by providing independent living apartments, assisted living services, housing for those who need financial help, and a skilled nursing facility for older adults.

Wayne B. Smith was also formally honored when he was inducted into the inaugural class of Sayre’s Hall of Honored Servants. One of the other ways that we honor his legacy is through the Wayne B. Smith Compassionate Care Fund.

You can learn more about the fund and how it benefits our residents and staff in times of crisis, and if you feel called, please prayerfully consider a donation to the fund.

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