Ken Kirn, of the St. Raphael Conference, was awarded the St. Vincent de Paul Top Hat Award when St. Vincent de Paul Louisville held its annual awards ceremony and induction of new members Feb. 26 at St. Agnes Catholic Church. The Top Hat Award, the highest honor presented by SVDP’s Conference Affairs Committee, is given to a Vincentian who exemplifies the spirit of SVDP’s founder, Frederic Ozanam.
Kirn is also a valuable member of his conference and is considered a model Vincentian by fellow Vincentians. Kirn volunteers about 10 hours a week at St. Vincent de Paul’s Food Pantry on the downtown campus. Instrumental in helping to organize the pantry, which opened in July 2015, Kirn makes weekly food donation pick-ups from SVDP partner Dare to Care Food Bank, and he stocks and organizes the pantry shelves, and even cleans the pantry floors. The client-choice pantry, open two mornings a week, serves about 385 households each month.
In addition, Kirn is diligent in active with SVDP’s annual Christmas Food Basket Drive for families in need, and he organizes and helps with the cookout for the downtown shelter residents on the SVDP campus.
“Ken is always the first to arrive and the last to leave, with a smile on his face and a kind work to speak to each client visiting the pantry,” said Donna Young, SVDP’s Director of Conferences and Volunteer Services.
Others receiving awards last Sunday were Jim Koerber, of Corydon, IN; and Sue Taylor, of Elizabethtown, KY.
Koerber earned the St. Vincent Award, which is presented to an individual who, like St. Vincent himself, has dedicated his life to supplying nonjudgmental and supportive service to people in need. Koerber makes many home visits each month to people seeking rent, utility and other assistance, and he also delivers food baskets to families at Thanksgiving.
Koerber is also credited with revitalizing the St. Joseph Conference in Corydon, IN, recruiting 12 new members. He is president of the conference.
Sue Taylor received the Ozanam Award for serving as a role model not only for fellow Vincentians but also for the broader faith community.
Taylor, who recently finished a three-year term as president of her SVDP Conference in Elizabethtown, was cited for her compassion and dedication to each client. “She has an unwavering way of making people feel good even in bad situations,” Young said.
Taylor also is an active volunteer with The Room in the Inn, a warming shelter in the Elizabethtown area, in which several churches unite to provide safe shelter for the homeless during December through February. The shelter averages more than 12 clients each night, and Taylor assists daily with check-in.
Bob Hagan, who serves both as SVDP’s board of directors president, as well as the Conferences president for the Society of SVDP, Council of Louisville, Inc., inducted the new Vincentians into the Society. Ed Wnorowski, SVDP’s executive director/CEO, also addressed the gathering and assisted in the ceremonies.
The new Vincentians are:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help (New Albany, IN)
St. Peter the Apostle
St. Brigid/St. James