The Elizabeth D. Baier Youth Spirit Award

The Elizabeth D. Baier Youth Spirit Award was created in September 2007 in honor of Elizabeth D. Baier’s 25th Anniversary as Executive Director of the United Way of Posey County. Michelle Hudson, Past-President of the United Way of Posey County and a member of the selection committee, said,” The United Way of Posey County wanted to recognize Elizabeth for her service to the United Way, but we also wanted to honor her for her many years of leadership, community involvement, and volunteer services to Posey County. An award recognizing exemplary volunteerism by young people had been a dream of Elizabeth’s for many years, so the creation of the Youth Spirit Award in her name seemed to be the perfect way to honor her.”

RECIPIENTS OF THE ELIZABETH D. BAIER YOUTH SPIRIT AWARD ANNOUNCED

Sophie Kloppenburg, a member of the Class of 2023 at Mount Vernon Senior High School, and Reagan Koester, a member of the Class of 2023 at North Posey Senior High School, have been selected as recipients of the Elizabeth D. Baier Youth Spirit Award for 2022. The Award, in the amount of $500, is given annually to an incoming high school senior who is a resident of Posey County and who is involved in community activities in Posey County.

The Elizabeth D. Baier Youth Spirit Award was created in September 2007 in honor of Elizabeth D. Baier’s 25th Anniversary as Executive Director of the United Way of Posey County. Michelle Hudson, Past-President of the United Way of Posey County and a member of the selection committee, said, “The United Way of Posey County wanted to recognize Elizabeth for her service to the United Way, but we also wanted to honor her for her many years of leadership, community involvement, and volunteer services to Posey County. An award recognizing exemplary volunteerism by young people had been a dream of Elizabeth’s for many years, so the creation of the Youth Spirit Award in her name seemed to be the perfect way to honor her.”

Sophie is the daughter of Lioba Kloppenburg and is involved in many school and community activities. She is particularly proud of her leadership in the pending erection of a historical marker and memorial bench for 7 black men killed, 4 of whom were lynched, in October, 1878. She has also held a leadership role as captain of the school swim team and leading different committees as a member of student council. She was elected to National Honor Society and served on the Student Athletic Council. She was 1 of 4 students in her school to be named a Rising Star of Indiana. Sophie participated in DECA (Distributive Education Club of America) and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America). She participated in several sports, including cross country, soccer, and tennis. As a swimmer, she was selected to the AAU National Swim Team and participated internationally. Sophie said she does not have a definite career path at this time but plans either to focus on environmental science or study political science to help influence and create public policy.

Reagan is the daughter of Dale and Lisa Koester and has been very active in her school and community. She sees giving back to the community and helping others as an important role in her life. She has received recognition in her school, having been elected student body president and class vice-president. She is also president of Business Professionals of America and president-elect of FFA at North Posey and has been frequently honored and recognized by both groups. She said that being of value as a leader brings her the most joy and that serving others through leadership is the key to her inner happiness. Her service projects, Ping Pong for Poverty, Fun for Foster Families, and Glam and Grit for Foster Teens, have provided 26,400 servings of protein to Posey County food banks, 122 Hug Packs used in foster relocation and 94 Glam Packs for local foster teenagers. Reagan also serves as a mentor in Big Brothers Big Sisters and participates in the PEERS Project at North Posey. Her school and community activities are numerous and exemplify her true desire to be involved in and of service to her community. She is a member of National Honor Society. Sports involvement includes soccer and track. She has been active in 4-H and represents this organization in many capacities. Reagan plans to attend Purdue University majoring in Ag Business with a concentration in Finance and Pre-Law and to complete law school.

The Elizabeth D. Baier Youth Spirit Award will be presented to Sophie and Reagan at the annual United Way of Posey County Leadership Giving Dinner. For more information regarding the Award or the United Way’s Leadership Giving Program, please call 812-838-3637, or email unitedwayposey@gmail.com.


The Elizabeth D. Baier Youth Spirit Award was given for the first time in 2009. This year the Award was given to two students: Sophie Kloppenburg, a member of the Class of 2023 at Mount Vernon Senior High School, and Reagan Koester, a member of the Class of 2023 at North Posey Senior High School.

Sophie Kloppenburg, a member of the Class of 2023 at Mount Vernon Senior High School
Reagan Koester, a member of the Class of 2023 at North Posey Senior High School