The Race for Education has presented its 2011 Valedictorian Award to Laura Plato, director of operations at the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the organization announced Dec. 1.
Created to recognize exceptional support by a volunteer or board member, the award was presented to Plato by Race for Education president and executive director Elisabeth Jensen at the first "Thankfulness Reception," an event created to show appreciation for the valuable time given by local volunteers and teaching interns of the Starting Gate program.
“I am thrilled and truly honored to accept the Valedictorian Award from The Race For Education," Plato said in a statement. "Horse racing and education are so important to me, coming from a family of educators. Working on the scholarship selection committee, the 5K/10K Race and whatever else I can assist with is so valuable to me personally, and especially when the staff makes it so enjoyable."
The Race for Education said volunteers have donated more than 500 personal hours of service to fundraising events and Starting Gate programs in 2011. Past award recipients include Paul Saylor, Barry Irwin, and Georgia Lockridge.