By Sarah Chacko

Killeen Daily Herald

TEMPLE Jeannette Kelley has spent most of her life serving children.

Her efforts in various organizations that focus on improving childrens lives is what made her the 10th Frank W. Mayborn Humanitarian Award recipient Wednesday.

Sue Mayborn, editor and publisher of the Killeen Daily Herald, Temple Daily Telegram and president of KCEN-TV, presented the award during a luncheon at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Convention Center.

Since its inception in 1991, the award has honored Central Texans who personify the qualities of Frank W. Mayborn, the late owner and publisher of the Herald and Telegram and owner and president of KCEN-TV.

Mayborn said all of the projects Kelley is involved in had tangible and far-reaching effects.

While Jeannette has tremendous energy and accomplished a lot, her good works will continue long after her energy wanes because she is helping instill this same spirit of giving to kids and young people whose lives she touches in a positive way, Mayborn said.

It was specifically for Kelleys work with Project Apple Tree and Project Angel Tree that she was chosen to be the recipient of this years award. Mayborn said those two projects alone have touched the lives of more than 9,000 children in the past five years.

Project Apple Tree began in 2000 with a goal of providing good, quality clothing and school supplies at the opening of school to Belton Independent School District students who had a need. In the first year, the project reached fewer than 300 children, but by this year, the number of children helped was more than 1,000, and the aid given had expanded to include haircuts and dental checkups.

Kelley was also responsible for bringing Project Angel Tree to Bell County. This national project, coordinated through the J.A.I.L. Ministry, provides Christmas gifts for the children of prison or jail inmates. In the past five years, 5,000 children have received more than $84,000 in gifts through Project Angel Tree.

Kelley, a retired special education teacher and principal who lives in Belton, also participated in Bundle of Joy, Crisis Comfort Bags and Head Start.

Kelley said that as far back as she can remember, children have been her passion. Within a few weeks of her retirement, she began Project Angel Tree and kept going. Even still, she is being asked to participate in other projects.

One of the noblest things we adults can teach our children is to serve others to be givers and not just takers, Kelley said.

Also nominated for the award were Thomas C. Baird, Dr. Edna Bridges, Jerry Caldwell, Dr. and Mrs. R.J. Carabasi, Dr. Walter Dyck, the late Jean and Durward Howard, Sam Farrow, Marilyn G. Hoster, Mary Katherine Klentzman, Keifer Marshall, Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Jack Martt, Laverne Pitts, the staff of the Ronald McDonald House, Dr. Patricia Sulak, the late Judge Byron G. Skelton, Dr. Charles G. Taylor, Betty Thrasher and Dr. Jack Weinblatt, all of Temple.

Killeen nominees were Thomas R. Fisher, James Lindley, Dr. Wayne Miller and Gerald Skidmore. Other nominees included Georgia Creel of Gatesville, Charlotte Douglass of Salado and Edgar Rhode of Copperas Cove.

The last award was given in 2002 to Dr. Lawrence S. Frankel, the director of pediatric hematology and oncology at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, for his work with numerous patient support systems inside and outside of the hospital.

Other past recipients of the Mayborn Humanitarian Award include retired Lt. Gen. H.G. Pete Taylor in 1999; the late William R. Courtney in 1998; Dr. Ralph and Jean Wilson, 1997; Erroll Wendland, 1995; retired Gen. Robert M. Shoemaker, 1994; Dr. Jeffrey A. Jackson, 1993; the late Fred Bandas, 1992; and Jim and Daurice Bowmer, 1991.

Contact Sarah Chacko at

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