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On June 20th, 2012, Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) presented Don Combs of Pikeville with a prestigious Congressional Award Gold Medal. Don was honored for completing over 400 hours of voluntary public service work with the Boy Scouts of America and for reaching personal and physical goals that develop character, expertise, and fitness abilities. Don is the first ever recipient to have received this award in the Fifth Congressional District of Kentucky. Don is a graduate of Pikeville High School and is a senior at Transylvania University.

“I’m thrilled to see young people taking initiative in their communities to lend a helping hand, advance their skill sets, strive for healthy living, and take on character-building projects,” said Rogers. “Earning the Congressional Award Gold Medal requires a significant amount of time, personal commitment and dedication; however the end results are well worth the challenge. I would like to congratulate Don on this accomplishment and would encourage other young men and women from southern and eastern Kentucky to consider this opportunity.”

“The experience earning the Congressional Award was unique,” said Don Combs. “I completed most of goals through the Boy Scouts of America and the Congressional Award provided another incentive to continue my work within the program. In earning this award, I had the ability to set my own goals and achieve them my way. It gave me the freedom to learn and grow in new ways. I feel that the Congressional Award program is made to fit everyone, in each of his or her own ways. I am grateful and honored to have received the Gold Medal and look forward to promoting the Award further.”

Photo Cutline: Don Combs is presented with the Congressional Award Gold Medal by Paxton Baker, Chairman of the Congressional Award Foundation (left), and Congressman Hal Rogers (right).

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans, aged 14-23. The program is open to all Americans within the age requirements and is a non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive program. Participants can earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Medals. In order to earn the Congressional Award Gold Medal, participants must spend two years or more completing at least 400 hours of community service, 200 hours of both personal development and physical fitness activities, and a four-night Expedition or Exploration. In order to register for the program or to learn more about the Congressional Award, visit the Congressional Award Website.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving southern and eastern Kentucky’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit