Everybody has friends they know they can count on, no matter the circumstances. They are the first to celebrate your accomplishments, and there when you’re in a bind.
For Kelly Pinckney, those friends are fellow Penn Yan residents Jeff and Wendy Gifford '78. And she’s not the only one who thinks so — for many in the Penn Yan and Prattsburgh communities, Jeff and Wendy are on speed dial.
In recognition of their decades of steadfast service, the Giffords have been named the 2021-2022 recipients of Keuka College’s Donald and Corinne Stork Award for Community Service. Originally slated for a December 2021 presentation but delayed by the pandemic, the award will be presented on Thursday, Aug. 11, at a noon luncheon in the Geiser Dining Commons, inside the Dahlstrom Student Center at Keuka College.
“When I thought about writing a list of community accomplishments, I realized this list would be extensive but also incomplete,” says Ms. Pinckney, who nominated the Giffords for the award. “A person’s worth cannot be summed up by a list of accomplishments but, rather, the lives they have touched and the communities they have impacted for the better.”
Those communities are Penn Yan and Prattsburgh, where the couple has made it their mission to help kids any way they could.
Jeff, president and CEO of Birkett Mills buckwheat and flour manufacturers in Penn Yan, coached local sports teams at Prattsburgh Central School, where he helped lead several teams to sectional championships and coached a state championship team. He coached in two Ronald McDonald games, which showcase the highest-level of student-athletes in Section V high school basketball, has been a recipient of the Section V Mark Vienna Award for dedicating his time to local athletes, has served on the Section V Executive Committee, and is a member of the Section V Basketball Hall of Fame.
Wendy, a member of the Keuka College Class of 1978, worked her way up to nurse manager of the Family Birth Center at Geneva General Hospital. She also served as the school nurse for 13 years at Prattsburgh Central School, where she also volunteered in classrooms to help struggling students with their studies.
After retiring from Prattsburgh, Wendy became a member of the Finger Lakes Health Foundation. She also volunteers at Keuka Comfort Care Home and numerous COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the area.
The Stork Award was established in 1991 by Keuka College to recognize community leaders who exemplify the College’s commitment to valuing individual initiative for the common good. The award was named after its first recipients, Penn Yan residents Corinne and Donald Stork.
Tickets for the luncheon are $15. Seating is limited, so advanced reservations are advised. Register online at https://www.keuka.edu/event/storkaward2022 prior to the reservation deadline of Wednesday, Aug. 3. Guests who are unvaccinated are required to wear a face mask.
For additional information, contact Kathy Waye, Keuka College’s director of Community Relations and Events, at (315) 279-5602 or email [email protected].