2021 Wayne B. Smith Awards

Five winners announced in inaugural year for Wayne B. Smith “Leading with Kindness” 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 bringing a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken with him to open doors and start a conversation. He was rarely turned away with that tactic, and he himself could never turn away a stranger in need. Wayne looked for the good in all people.

Sayre Christian Village Pivots Again

CEO Karen Venis said, “We have had to cancel 4 of our largest fundraising events in the past two years, including 2 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 were honored for their steadfast gifts of time and treasure throughout the past year (and beyond). These groups have answered our call in our times of need.

Volunteer and Healthcare Center resident family member Lisa Richardson volunteered so faithfully last year – even when she couldn’t come through the doors, she was dropping off gifts, meals, crafts for residents, working with activities to come up with projects for residents, helping to organize, etc. She was selfless in her volunteerism and care for ALL staff and residents.

Lynn Imaging and Monster Color have been constant supporters throughout the COVID crisis with over and above donations AND with resources that helped us create ‘hug walls’ for residents/families, plexiglass barriers for ‘window visits’ and more. They helped us secure our first face shield PPE when you quite literally could not find these in-high demand items at the beginning of the COVID crisis.

Pearl’s Memory Babies achieved the honor for local, state, and international service to older adults – including right here at Sayre. They are the ANGELS that donate baby dolls to memory care communities. They have made a huge impact here with donations to both communities on the campus and those babies were extremely helpful during COVID isolation. To date, they have donated 1,783 baby dolls and puppies! They give the babies to the residents as if they are real and the residents receive them as if they are real. They care and nurture the babies and puppies with so much love!

WKYT’s Evening Anchor Sam Dick was awarded for his respectful and expansive coverage of the local senior living industry last year. Through his programming on The Breakdown, he and CEO Karen Venis helped to change the conversation about COVID and long term care.

By shining a light on the industry’s challenges during the pandemic, he helped to educate the public on confusing and ever-changing federal, state, and local visitor guidance. He also helped bring awareness to fundraising needs that Sayre Christian Village experienced as our unique status as a standalone nonprofit senior living community meant that we were navigating the once in a 100 year pandemic without help from ‘corporate.’

“COVID has created many challenges not only 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’s Legacy at Sayre Christian Village

Wayne was knows for his influence in Lexington, Kentucky, but he was also instrumental in founding Sayre Christian Village. Learn more about his history and legacy on campus.

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