News and Tribune

August 4, 2013

PCS hands out Samaritan Awards

Banquet is set for Sept. 26


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Commitment to serve, commitment to listen, commitment to improve: each of these are the characteristics that led a judging committee to select Personal Counseling Service’s 2013 Samaritan Awards Winners.

On Sept. 26, the public is invited to “Celebrate the Commitment” during the 2013 Norman Melhiser Samaritan Awards Dinner as PCS honors five community leaders and businesses that exhibit the importance of business ethics and social consciousness. Tickets for the event, to be held in Plantation Hall at Huber’s Orchard and Winery, are available by contacting PCS at 812-206-4273 or visiting the website at

Award winners were selected from a pool of 25 candidates who were nominated by community members, according to a press release. Each of the five awards focuses on a different category: from single individual to for-profit company. Winners are:

• Pacers & Racers — Les & Virginia Albro For-Profit Business Award, given to a business that makes significant contributions to the community through time and money to non-profit organizations, going far beyond what is required by law or industry standards. Past recipients of this award include Bennett & Bennett Insurance, Aebersold Florist, and L & D Mail Masters.

• Goodwill of Southern Indiana — Nancy and John Keck Nonprofit Award, given to a nonprofit organization that demonstrates innovative programs and approaches to solving community problems and which has strong partnerships with other non-profits,  businesses, and/or government entities. Past recipients have been Home of the Innocents, Hope Southern Indiana, and Blue River Services.

• Martin Padgett — Alice and Richard Schleicher Individual Award, given to a person who has made significant contributions to the community through non-profit work, including volunteer efforts and monetary gifts while demonstrating a commitment to personal values, influence in the community, and leadership with non-profits. Past recipients have been Kerri Cokeley, Carol Dawson, and Jim Robinson.

• Kelley Construction — “Green” Award, given to a business or non-profit that has made a concerted effort to reduce its environmental impact on the world. Past recipients are Ivy Tech Community College, BridgePointe Goodwill Services, and Nu-Yale Cleaners.

• Gabriella Brown — Diane Fischer Award of Excellence, given to an employee of a business or organization who demonstrates outstanding commitment to ethical behavior and exceptional civic involvement.

“The caliber of the nominees this year was just outstanding,” said Doug Drake, President/CEO of Personal Counseling Service, in the release. “We were thrilled to have many new names — people who don’t get recognized for the fantastic work they do in our community. I’m really proud and honored to be part of this process every year.”

While the focus is on honoring the Samaritan Award winners, the event also serves as the largest fundraiser of the year for Personal Counseling Service, which provides counseling services and psychological testing to more than 7,500 clients and their families per year. Nearly half of those clients could be categorized as “working poor” with limited financial resources and are uninsured or underinsured.

In its fifth year, the awards dinner is named for Norman Melhiser, a board member and long-time supporter of PCS. Keynote speaker for this year’s event is Linda Toupin, national sales director for Mary Kay, and emcee is popular WAVE-3 News Anchor Dawne Gee. Attendees may enjoy a cash bar, silent auction and multicourse dinner prepared by Huber Winery.

Tickets for the event are $125 each or tables may be sponsored (with recognition benefits) for $1,000 (8 seats).