LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — A long-time nurse and nurse educator at a Lawrenceburg college is being honored with a scholarship in her honor. The owners of Lawrenceburg Bourbon Company donated the scholarship to help future nurses with the expense of their schooling.
Kaite and Greg Keeley own Lawrenceburg Bourbon Company, after serving in the Navy. Katie now works as a bedside nurse at the UK Healthcare and nursing instructor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Lawrenceburg campus.
“When we’re educating our students and you’re teaching somebody how to be a nurse, you give them information that helps them to take care of themselves and their families, their friends as well as their future patients,” Keeley said.
Keeley has been prepping future nurses for over a year and says it’s become a passion.
“Every day, I get to serve my community, as a nurse is exceptional. When I get to serve my community as an educator of future nurses, that’s extraordinary,” Keeley said.
The Keeleys presented BCTC with a $100,000 check to the Dixie Webb Nursing Excellence Fund, named in honor of Katie’s boss and longtime nurse educator.
“She is just a fierce leader and advocate for our students, she gets up, she teaches just as much everybody else, but also behind the scenes she makes sure our students are taken care of,” Keeley said.
Webb worked as a nurse in a military hospital and, like the Keeleys, served in the Navy. She’s devoted 56 years of her life to the profession; 46 teaching future nurses the ins and outs of the job.
“I really care about the students we serve. When we have pinning and I see them at graduation with their families and know their lives are really changed because they’re going to be earning a living wage, it really makes me happy,” Webb said.
Webb says she’s humbled by the scholarship dedication and continues to serve as nursing program coordinator at BCTC’s Lawrenceburg campus.
“When they met with me to talk to me, I thought it was going to be they were telling me to retire which I’m getting close to my shelf life, but I really really love what I do and I hope to keep doing it,” Webb said.
Funds donated to the scholarship fund will help students who show effort, perseverance, humility and commitment with books and other supplies while juggling other daily finances.
“That little bit of money is going to be the difference between them finishing a nursing degree and becoming great nurses or flunking out because they can’t bear the load of everything they’re dealing with,” Greg Keeley said.
Lawrenceburg Bourbon Company will distill a Dixie Webb barrel every year, with the sales of bottles from the barrel going straight to the scholarship fund.