WAVE News anchor Dawne Gee presented with Keepers of the Dream Freedom Award

Published: Jan. 15, 2023 at 4:48 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - WAVE News anchor and Louisville native Dawne Gee was one of two recipients presented with the Keepers of the Dream Freedom Award Sunday afternoon.

The award recognizes citizens that have dedicated their lives to promoting justice, peace, freedom, non-violence, and civic activism. Recipients of the award are citizens who best exemplify the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision.

Mayor Craig Greenberg presented the Freedom Award to this year’s two recipients, Dawne Gee and Ulysses L. Bridgeman Jr.

“It’s not just about this weekend, it’s about every day,” Greenberg said. “Channeling his inspiration into what we’re working on, particularly those of us in public service, every day to make Louisville a more just, more equal, and a stronger city.”

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FULL SPEECH: WAVE News anchor Dawne Gee presented with Keepers of the Dream Freedom Award


Dawne Gee
Dawne Gee(WAVE 3)

Dawne Gee grew up in Louisville, graduating from the University of Louisville with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in communications and biology. She has two sons, Eric and Alexander, and a daughter, Brittney.

The Emmy-award-winning journalist has dedicated over 30 years to broadcast journalism and radio. She is also an advocate for numerous nonprofits in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

In 2015, Gee founded the nonprofit, A Recipe to End Hunger & Need. The charity’s focus has been to support other nonprofits in the city that work to end food insecurity. A Recipe to End Hunger & Need has raised close to half a million dollars since its inception.

Throughout her lifetime, Gee has been honored with numerous awards, including the Lyman T. Johnson Distinguished Leadership Award in 2009, and the Chestnut Street YMCA Black Achievers Program honored her as the Adult Achiever of the Year in 2019.

In 2010, LEO Magazine recognized Gee’s love for the Commonwealth and honored her as a positive force of change by naming her Louisvillian of the Year.

The Center for Women & Families named Gee as a Woman of Distinction, recognizing her impact on the community.

In 2019, the Louisville Forum resented Gee with the Fleur De Lis Award. The award was bestowed on her, noting Gee’s substantial and positive impact on those living in Louisville and the surrounding areas.

At WAVE News, Gee celebrates the community during her hour-long television talk show, WAVE Country.

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Ulysses L. Bridgeman Jr.
Ulysses L. Bridgeman Jr.(WAVE News)

Ulysses L. Bridgeman Jr. graduated from the University of Louisville, where he also served as the past chairman of the Board of Trustees, in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.

Bridgeman is the owner and chief executive officer of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, LLC. Prior to that, he was the owner and chief executive officer of various companies operating over 450 restaurants in 20 states. His companies received several awards during his tenure.

From 1975 to 1987, Bridgeman played professional basketball with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including Meijer, Inc., Churchill Downs, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the James Graham Brown Foundation, Simmons College and the West End School.

According to a release, Bridgeman has received many awards throughout his life, including the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, Volunteers of America Tribute Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, John Thompson Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award, Coach John Wooden Key to Life Award and the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

For more information on the event and a list of past award honorees, click or tap here.