NEWS RELEASE: West Branch family receives Shining Star Award from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

Media Release from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

-- For immediate release --

West Branch family receives Shining Star Award from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

Shining Star Award

Ward and Lydia Kimball honored for supporting organ donation


Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today awarded Ward and Lydia Kimball of West Branch with a Shining Star Award.

“After the tragedy of losing a child, the Kimball family has persevered to save others’ lives,” Johnson said. “Their commitment to organ, tissue and eye donation is admirable and well-deserving of this award.”

The Kimballs lost their 18-year-old son Evan in 2015 after a fatal car accident. He had chosen to be an organ and tissue donor prior to his death, and his donation saved the lives of five people.  His parents wanted to honor their son — whose baseball jersey number was 4 — by signing up 4,444 new donors to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, and have since worked with Gift of Life Michigan to sign up nearly 1,600 people.

Johnson presented the Kimballs with the award at the Lapeer County PLUS Office. She was joined by representatives of Gift of Life Michigan. The Lapeer office was chosen for the presentation because several staff members also have direct connections to organ, tissue and eye donation.

“Through their grief, Lydia and Ward Kimball found a way to honor their son Evan and his gifts by inspiring others to become donors,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state's federally designated organ recovery program. “The Kimballs are ambassadors for our mission, and in so doing, they keep Evan’s spirit alive, just as his donation has meant new life for his recipients.”

Gift of Life Michigan nominated the Kimballs for this award.

For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.

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