PeADD Honors Cherry Couple With John C. Mahre Award

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Since July 2021, officials with the Pennyrile Area Development District have been doling out the “John C. Mahre” Regionalism Award — given to those in the nine-county umbrella who best mirror his efforts to make south western Kentucky a better place in which to live, love and learn.

Monday night during the 55th Annual Dinner in Hopkinsville’s Bruce Convention Center, Caldwell County Judge-Executive Kota Young got to surprise his date with the honor — bestowing it upon Dixie Gale Cherry and her late husband and former Fourth District Representative, Mike.

Mike, Young said, was there every step of the way.

With him a Captain in the United States Navy, Young noted the Cherry’s were able to “traverse the globe” in service to the country’s interests — only to eventually return to Princeton, Caldwell County and their native west Kentucky.

The two, he added, simply served, with Mike focused on state politics…

…and Gale eyeing local angles.

The Cherry’s, he closed, were “two of a kind,” and a “pair like no other.”

In other PeADD news:

— Monday’s dinner was capped off with a motivational message from Owensboro’s Jason Koger, who is the world’s first bilateral upper arm amputee in the world to be fitted with two multi-articulating bionic hands.

A Murray State University graduate of engineering, a March 8, 2001, accident nearly took his life, when a four-wheeler ride on the family farm brought him in contact with a live downed power line. More than 7,000 volts of electricity went through, and exited, his body. This seared his blood, severed all the tendons in his fingers, and immediately generated third-degree burns below his elbows.

Determined and resolute, he left the hospital just 12 days after being life-flighted, and despite all odds.

In the years since, Koger has been able to stay supremely connected to his family and has become uniquely positioned with a worldwide purpose of showcasing bionic development. This includes engagements not just with prosthesis developers, but Wounded Warriors and celebrities like Peter Weller — who in 2013 teamed up with Koger for an episode titled “Hookman” in a rewrite of “Hawaii Five-0.”

— Three members of the PeADD staff received 20-Year Service Awards: Jill Collins, director of the Area Agency on Aging & Independent Living; Jason Vincent, executive director of the PeADD; and Tom Sholar of the West Kentucky Workforce Board.

Koger’s Full Speech: