South Central Kentuckians
The South Central Kentuckian of the Year Award annually honors an individual or organization for excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of work and inspiration of others. The purpose of this award is to honor people in the community who are making significant contributions through their life’s work. Every day people in our community make a difference. We want to celebrate these people who make giving back a priority for themselves, their family or their business.
South Central Kentuckians of the Year 2019
John, Linda, Michael, Victoria, Buster and Cain Kelly
South Central Kentuckian of the Year 2018
South Central Kentuckians of the Year 2017
South Central Kentuckian of the Year 2016
ACTIVITIES—CURRENT AND PAST
- Sergeant 25th Infantry Division - Korea
- Salvation Army – lifetime member – currently in his 42nd year
- Western Kentucky University – Board of Advisors
- Bowling Green Warren County Chamber of Commerce
- South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College Foundation – Founding Board MemberCommonwealth Health Foundation – Founding Board Member
- Historical Rail Park and Train Museum – Founding Board Member
- Bowling Green Warren County Community Foundation (now called Community Foundation of South Central Kentucky) – Founding Board Member
- United Way of South Central Kentucky – Board Member (1983-1985)
- United Way of South Central Kentucky – Campaign Chair (1982 and 1986)
- Warren County Public Library – Former Board Member (1997-1999)
- Western Kentucky University National Alumni Association – Former President (1999-2000)
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
- Central Kentucky Jefferson Award – 1999
- Western Kentucky University Summit Award – 2001
- Bowling Green High School Hall of Honor - 2003
- Warren County Citizen of the Year, presented by Noon Lions Club – 2003
- Junior Achievement Business Person of the Year - 2008
- Naming of Bob Kirby Branch of Warren County Public Library
South Central Kentuckian of the Year 2015
THE HISTORY BEHIND THE LIMESTONE AWARD
Four Irish immigrants, John J., Peter J., Thomas J. & William J. Murphy established a limestone business in Bowling Green, KY, circa 1886. They were stone masons and engineers known as the MURPHY BROTHERS COMPANY. The brothers operated a stone quarry where they removed and cut limestone for many of the initial infrastructure projects in South Central Kentucky and other parts of the Commonwealth.
Many of the buildings, first constructed more than a century ago, remain today as a testament to the foundation upon which they sit. Some of the most notable are State Street Methodist Church and the Burton Memorial Baptist Church. In addition to buildings, the Murphys quarried and cut the stones for the street curbing for many communities including Bowling Green.
When John J. Murphy’s grandson, G. Michael Murphy began his career in construction in 1976, any opportunity to salvage these “stones of the foundation of our community” was preserved as a memory of their family’s business beginnings in South Central Kentucky.
Just as the philanthropic work of the individuals who receive this award are foundational to their community, the base of this award is salvaged limestone and is intended to represent the purpose of The Community Foundation of South Central Kentucky.