Kate Gruendling of Shelburne was selected as a 2019 Distinguished Finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.
A junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, Gruendling organized a virtual 5K race team in her community to participate in a 9/11 Heroes Run. Along with recruiting participants and mapping out a course route, she led her team to raise more than $1,100 for the Travis Manion Foundation, which offers community engagement events along with empowerment and character-building programs.
“I am honored to be recognized as a Distinguished Finalist. Giving back to an organization that I stand behind is really important to me,” said Gruendling. “This past summer, I learned about the Travis Manion Foundation and I was inspired by their dedication to veterans and families of fallen heroes. The foundation is committed to empowering people to engage as leaders, and to sparking involvement of future generations in their communities. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share a foundation that I believe in with my local community.”
Brody Brown from Graniteville also received a Vermont Distinguished Finalist honor. South Burlington students Sophia Thomas and Peter Forgione were named the state’s top youth volunteers for 2019 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards judges.