Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center (MHDCC) founder Merryman Kemp was named the 2019-20 Distinguished Citizen of the Year for Paducah Lodge No. 217. Last year, the lodge partnered with the MHDCC to begin planting an orchard on the Center’s Paducah Campus.
“The Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center is very fortunate to have the support of the Elks Club Lodge 217,” said Executive Director Dr. Mary Foley. “The longstanding support of this wonderful organization has a rich history because of Merryman Kemp and the strong friendships she has built throughout our more than 40-year history.”
The award is given to citizens of the community who demonstrate an outstanding and meritorious service to humanity. Known for housing abused women and children in her home at a time when no formal services existed, Kemp has lived a life of service.
“I believe we are all better when we serve one another,” said Kemp, “I sign all correspondence with ‘love, peace and courage,’ as I believe each of those qualities are required for a happy life and healthy community. The Elks Club has shown great love and courage over the years in its many contributions to humanity and the wonderful Paducah-McCracken County community in which we live. It is an honor to receive this award from such a wonderful organization. I am humbled and grateful.”
The Elks Club also donated $1,000 to Kemp, who stated she will donate the money to the MHDCC as it continues its work of saving, building and changing the lives of those affected by domestic violence.
“Work on the orchard will continue for the upcoming year, and is symbolic of the tireless labor on behalf of so many in the community that have supported the organization throughout the years,” said Foley, “The fruit of their labor will yield for decades to come. My deepest thanks to the Elks Lodge 217.”