Bluegrass Families First is presenting our executive director, Darlene Thomas, with the 2024 Jean Sabharwal Award!

This award recognizes those who have demonstrated passionate advocacy for Lexington’s children and families. Tickets are on sale now for the award luncheon presented by Republic Bank. 

March 8, 2024
11:30 AM
The Kentucky Castle 

From Bluegrass Families First 

Since December 2004, Darlene has served as founder/Executive Director for GreenHouse17.  GreenHouse17, serving 17 central Kentucky counties, is an advocacy agency committed to ending intimate partner abuse and its impact on families and the community.  In her 33-year career as an advocate for survivors of power based violence and their families she has been responsible for direct service, comprehensive program development, and community engagement for social change efforts.  

Ms. Thomas provides leadership for multiple community collaborations and committees; provides expert testimony on legal cases; facilitates professional development training for local, state, national and international forums, and provides consultation for organizations who are seeking strategies to reimagine their services.  

Under her leadership, GreenHouse17 programs and services have received statewide and national awards for Innovation including: Commerce Lexington Nonprofit Community Impact Award, National ‘Shelter of the Year’ Purple Ribbon Award, Theresa Mary Byron Foundation Celebrating Solutions Award, the Kentucky Non Profit Network Innovative Award, the Center for Non Profit Excellency Pyramid Award for Social Innovation and was a Partnership for Freedom/Reimagine Opportunity national finalist.  She currently serves as Past-President and Legislative Chair for the ZeroV,  Kentucky’s domestic violence coalition. 

About Jean Sabharwal 

The Jean Sabharwal Award was inaugurated in February of 2014 during an event held to honor the founding partners of the Family Care Center. The award was presented to Jean Sabharwal, founding director of the Family Care Center. Ms. Sabharwal is a remarkable pioneer whose many years of dedication and advocacy have resulted in brighter futures and better lives for families and young children. 

The award was established by Bluegrass Families First to annually recognize an individual or group who has demonstrated passionate advocacy for Lexington’s children and families. The spirit of this award is fittingly expressed through a beautiful stained glass piece by Lexington artist Dan Barnes.


Senate Resolution 

Kentucky Senator Reginald Thomas introduced a resolution to recognize Darlene Thomas for receiving Jean Sabharwal Award from Bluegrass Families First. The Congressional Record of the 2024 Regular Session will commemorate the honor on the date of the award luncheon.