Public Life Foundation of Owensboro

...promoting broad-based public dialogue and
deliberation, grounded in solid research,
to resolve important community issues.

Annual Report

The Public Life Foundation promotes a three-pronged
process for community problem solving:
Information. Citizens need reliable data, reports, and research, presented in a form that can be understood by everyday citizens.


  • People's Health Project materials
    Adapted findings of University of Kentucky health needs assessment into discussion guidebooks for community forums

  • Prescription Drug Report
    Commissioned a study to examine the problems, causes, and possible solutions to high cost of prescription drugs

  • Project Access
    Sponsored a presentation to health and community leaders on a successful North Carolina health care access model

  • Educational Finance Study
    Commissioned a study of financial trends and disparities of local public school systems

  • Riverfront Development Ideas
    Through the citizens group PRIDE, possibilities and preferences for the enhancement of our riverfront were gathered from surveys, focus groups, school projects, and public meetings

  • Manuals and Retreats
    Citizens Committee on Education and PRIDE Board of Directors needed updated data and reports to guide its decision-making. Planning retreats helped each bring into focus their mission, goals, and projects

  • Caregivers Information Exchange
    Facilitated communication and broadened collaboration among the Salvation Army, Goodfellows Club, Christmas Wish, Alma Randolph Foundation, and others

  • Goodfellows Club
    Focus Group Helped club leaders understand the circumstances and challenges facing children and families served by the organization

  • Lectures/Symposia
    Sponsored public lecture by State Representative Kathy Stein for the Girl's Club-Owensboro Women's Coalition. Sponsored "Citizen Kentucky," a KET roundtable discussion

  • Teacher Training
    Purchased professional development materials to help teachers better understand poverty

  • Kentucky Civil Rights Movement Documentary
    Sponsored production and distribution to area schools and public libraries
Deliberation. To form sound judgments, citizens must come together and examine issues, opposing points of view, problems, and possibilities. The voice of all must be valued and encouraged.


  • People's Health Project Forums
    Organized and conducted more than 45 forums to bring forth health care concerns and experiences of people from every walk of life

  • PRIDE Community Workshop
    Sponsored a half-day workshop involving 130 citizens to examine riverfront conditions, objectives, possibilities, and potential solutions. Absorbed cost of workshop, materials, and consultant.

  • Community Conversations, Inc.
    Provided financial support of CC's public forums, moderator training, and other programs

  • Herman Floyd Memorial forum
    Sponsored race relations forum organized by State Rep. Brian Crall


PRIDE Community Workshop, May 2001

Action. Once informed and engaged, once citizens are ready to act, they may need assistance to organize, mobilize support, or initiate programs.


  • Citizens Health Care Coalition
    Building upon the interest generated at People's Health Project forums, we are assisting citizens in organizing a health care advocacy group

  • Project Access
    A top recommendation emerging from the forums: establish a more effective mechanism to match community needs with resources. Supporting efforts to develop such a mechanism.

  • Resource Guide for Community Health Centers
    Published a brochure to assist social workers, ministers, school nurses, and others

  • Primary Care Directory
    Published a directory to assist caregivers and citizens particularly the uninsured - in finding a "medical home"

  • Federal Grant
    Data from the University of Kentucky Health Needs Assessment was key in helping Daviess County secure a federal grant to improve health care access

  • Tobacco Tax Increase
    Joined with more than a dozen other members of Healthy Horizons in unanimous support of state tobacco taxes to curb smoking and generate funds for tobacco prevention-cessation programs

  • Stipends for Student Coalition Leaders
    Awarded a grant for Owensboro-Daviess County Youth Council

  • Community Summit on Healthy Lifestyles
    Proposed and helping organize a major civic event to address health and lifestyle issues

  • Support for PRIDE
    Provided administrative support, database management, meeting notices, etc. for community appearance advocates

  • Support of neighborhood associations
    Awarded several grants to support and encourage grass roots civic participation

  • Support for Goodfellows Club
    Provided administrative support in partnership with the Messenger-Inquirer

  • Support for Health Kentucky, Inc.
    Awarded a grant to promote physician and pharmaceutical services for the poor available locally through the program.


A John and Marjorie Hager Charitable Trust
(advised by their children: Susie H. Alford, Stewart Hager,
Sally H. Wood and Bruce Hager)

2001 Grants:

Apollo High School
International Baccalaureate Program

Century Christian Church
Friday-After-Five teen events

Estes Elementary School
Field trip to Frankfort

Field House
John Rosemond lecture

Foust Elementary School
Reading Lab

Free Clinic
Prescription drugs

Girls, Inc.
Support of downtown center

Goodfellows Club
Annual Appeal

Green River Area Development District
Senior Links Program
Senior Celebration

Jennifer House
Halfway House

Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers
Math Counts Program

Longfellow Education Center
Computer Lab

H.L. Neblett Center
Joint Hands Program

Neighborhood Advisory Board
Leadership Owensboro scholarships

Owensboro Chamber of Commerce
NAACP skills assessments

Owensboro High School
Scholarship Fund

Owensboro Hospitality House
Annual fundraiser

Wildflower demonstration project

Owensboro/Western Kentucky Regional Science Fair

RiverPark Center
Tickets for disadvantaged students

St. Joseph Peace Center
Shelter for children

Special Touch Child Care
Nursing care for special needs children

Tradewater/Lower Green River Watershed Watch
Water Quality Testing

United Way/Disciples of Christ Missions
New York relief efforts

Voluntary Action Center
Reading Connections Program

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
Herb Garden

In 2001, the foundation devoted nearly $260,000 to enrich public life in Owensboro-Daviess County. And through the Progeny Fund, grants exceeding $100,000 were distributed to 26 local charities.

Board of Directors

John S. Hager, Chairman
Sally H. Wood, President
Susie H. Alford, Vice President
Rodney B. Berry, Vice President
Denny Alford, Secretary/Treasurer
David Adkisson
Dr. David Boeyink
Bruce Hager
Marjorie M. Hager
Stewart Hager
Yolla Hager


Rodney B. Berry
Executive Director

Kathy Strobel
Office Manager

Beverly Mills
People's Health Project Coordinator

Sue Trautwein
Adm. Assistant to Mr. Hager

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