Since 2013, Fulton's Human Rights Commission and Callaway County presents the fifth Jane-Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award.
This award is given to a Callaway County woman who made major contributions of time, actions and dedication to social justice, environmental justice, economic quality, community strengthening, education and diversity.
This year's award winner will be selected by a panel of community leaders. The announcement will be at the annual Jane Bierdeman-Fike program and luncheon, noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 14 at Fulton City Hall.
Jane Bierdeman-Fike was a Fulton resident who championed social and economic justice, as well as mental health issues.
The list of the 2018 Jane Bierdeman-Fike Award finalists includes:
Connie established the From HIS HOUSE to Your House free store in Fulton, where those in need can obtain clothes, furniture and household items free of charge. For more than 16 years, Connie has helped literally thousands of low-income families from our community by giving them essential items others may take for granted. Other local agencies, such as the homeless shelter and churches, look to Connie for help when people come to them in need of assistance. Connie has touched countless lives with her generosity, perseverance and selflessness.
Debbie founded the Callaway County Special Olympics, which offers sporting opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Through Debbie's work, these Special Olympians are given an outlet to play on a team, make friends and experience a sense of belonging. Debbie also takes it upon herself to find the funds to not only house and equip the Special Olympics, but also finds ways to sponsor Olympians who cannot afford to participate otherwise. She has been described as the heart and soul of the Callaway County Special Olympics program.
Four years ago, Cassie co-founded the Super Sam Foundation, which is a local organization that aims to fight childhood cancer. As president of the Super Sam Foundation, she has brought the community together to provide comfort, joy and support to many families affected by childhood cancer. Through her dedication and hard work, Cassie has raised upwards of $160,000 for pediatric cancer research. Cassie has made it her mission to fight this terrible disease for the benefit of others and simultaneously, has created a beautiful legacy in the name of her son.
For several years, Judy has been a devoted board member and grant writer for Our House: Caring for Callaway's Homeless. She is also involved with CARDV, the Callaway County Humane Society, Remade for a Purpose and Callaway Keys. Through her hard work and her seemingly boundless enthusiasm for humanitarian issues, Judy has made a significant impact in our community. Her nominator stated, "Without a doubt, Callaway County would not be the same without [Judy's] past and ongoing contributions to making our community a better place to live for all."
Tammy is the admissions director for the CRAFT program at the Biggs unit of Fulton State Hospital, where she also serves on social work supervisory committees. At Biggs, Tammy is recognized for her outstanding management skills and for her ability to inspire those around her. Tammy also inspires others through her work with Richland Baptist Church, Kingdom Christian Academy, and SERVE. She is known to go out of her way to make other people's lives easier or more comfortable, whether it be by chopping wood or milking cows so others may have a break. Tammy has a strong passion for helping others in our community.
Sherri has served as a Public health registered nurse at the Callaway County Health Department for 23 years. In that time, she has proven to be a dedicated and dependable public servant. Not only has Sherri given countless immunizations and placed countless Band-aids on our community's youth, she has also helped countless mothers and families gain access to much-needed resources through the health department's WIC program. Sherri and her family are also involved in projects and outreach through St. Peter's Catholic Church. In both her work and private life, Sherri quietly and humbly contributes to the betterment of Callaway County.
Last year's winner was Nancy Hanson, and the year before, it was Suzanne Guerrant. The 2015 winner was Jerrie Bell.
Fulton City Hall is at 18 E. Fourth St.