AmeriCorps honors Lowry for dedication to public service

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Mike Lowry today was the first recipient of what is to become an annual AmeriCorps award for outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to public service.

Lowry was honored for his years of leadership and dedication to serving others by the Washington Commission for National and Community Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The governor officiated at the annual swearing-in ceremonies for 400 new AmeriCorps members in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday (Oct. 25). Sue Donaldson, chairwoman of the Washington Commission, and John A. Miller, state director of the Corporation, presented the award.

"Gov. Lowry has demonstrated years of dedication to public service, and has supported the goals of AmeriCorps since its early days," Donaldson said. "This award recognizes his unfaltering commitment to helping others and to serving all of the people of Washington."

The Governor's AmeriCorps Award will annually go to the AmeriCorps member completing a year of service in Washington "who best exemplifies leadership, commitment, dedication and the ability to stand for individuals whom others are unwilling or unable to support."

"I am honored that AmeriCorps has established this award in my name," Lowry said. "AmeriCorps is a great program, and I know our communities will continue to benefit from the energy and enthusiasm of its members."

President Clinton set up the AmeriCorps program in September 1993 to encourage people to perform public service work for local, community-based organizations. In return, participants receive financial awards for college or vocational expenses. Lowry established the Washington Commission in 1994, which developed the state's AmeriCorps program.

This year, under Lowry's administration, Washington has received more than $6 million in federal dollars for statewide AmeriCorps programs, ranging from building homes in low-income neighborhoods to innovative gang and school drop-out prevention programs.

Washington has nearly 1,000 members, second only to California among western states.

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For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.