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Trust for Life celebrating 25 years of organ donor effort

The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life, Kentucky’s organ and tissue donation awareness program, will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary.

On Aug. 10, 1992, the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks created the Trust For Life to educate Kentuckians about the life-saving mission of organ donation. The late Arthur M. “Whitey” Walson, was a leader throughout the creation the Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life program in 1992.

At the time, Walson was the circuit court clerk in Clark County. He lost a family member waiting for a heart transplant. The circuit court clerks worked together in hopes that no one would lose a loved one waiting for a transplant. They knew that more education about organ donation was vital to saving lives.

“We’ve come a long way since 1992, but with nearly 117,000 people awaiting a life-saving transplant in the U.S., including the 1,000 patients in Kentucky, our work to encourage Kentuckians to register as donors is still so important,” current Clark Circuit Clerk Paula Joslin said. “Today, and every day, 22 people will die waiting for their gift of life.  I am honored to work alongside my fellow Circuit Clerks and our hardworking deputies in this effort to save and heal lives.”

There will be a celebration at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Clark Circuit Clerk’s office in the James Clark Judicial Annex.

Currently, 54 percent of Kentuckians, or over 1.8 million people, have joined the Kentucky Donor Registry.  All Kentuckians obtaining a license or ID at their circuit court clerk’s office are asked about joining the Registry and donating $1 for public education about organ donation through TFL. Also, people may join online at www.donatelifeky.org.

“We are thrilled to mark the Trust’s 25th anniversary throughout the Commonwealth on Aug. 10,” TFL Executive Director Shelley Snyder said. “We will also celebrate on Sept. 16 at our annual 5K run/walk in Winchester.”

More information on the Gift of Life 5K can be found on the Trust For Life’s Facebook page or  www.trustforlife.org.

Founded as a service project of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, since 1992 more than $9 million has been raised for organ and tissue donation awareness programs in Kentucky. This includes the dollars raised at the circuit court clerk’s offices, grants from partners Kosair Charities and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, and individual contributions

Snyder said she is grateful for the circuit clerk’s efforts in creating programs that answer questions, dispel myths, and empower Kentuckians to be hope by registering as a potential donor.

“The circuit clerks are trailblazers and lifesavers,” Snyder said. “Kentucky was recently given a national award for Registry growth, and it is only possible because of the circuit clerk’s unwavering support for this mission. I can’t begin to count how many lives have been changed and saved because of their efforts.”