Morrison-Exon Annual Awards


Each year at our Morrison-Exon dinner, which is our annual fundraising event, we celebrate the volunteers and party leaders who build and grow the Nebraska Democratic Party.

The Morrison-Exon event will be held this year on Nov. 13 virtually.

Get ticket and table information here.

The deadline for award nominations is Sept. 15 at  5.p.m CT.

Submit a nomination here.

On June 29, 2018, the State Central Committee voted to approve changing names of our annual awards to reflect Nebraska leaders. Previously, our state party honored national Democratic leaders with awards named after them, however Chair Jane Kleeb and the leadership team believed it was critical we honor Nebraska leaders in naming our awards.

Note that recipients of past awards are still listed below.

 Award Descriptions

State Party Chair Award
Nominations are not accepted for this award. The State Party Chair designates a person in the Party for this annual award.

Sunshine Award
Nominees should be individuals who are dedicated to improving both the Nebraska Democratic Party and their community as an ally to our Democratic values. The award is open to any ally working or volunteering in the community and do not have to be serving in a party role. This award is given in honor of Carrie Howard, sister of Senator Sara Howard and daughter of Senator Gwen Howard.

Anne Boyle Young Democrat Award
Nominees for this award should be a young person (using the age criteria of the Young Democrats which is under 35-years-old) honored for their exceptional volunteer activities and participation within the Nebraska Young Democrats organization and the State Party. Commissioner Anne Boyle was the first woman to serve on the Public Service Commission and served three, six-year terms beginning in1996. Boyle was our State Party Chair from 1998 to 2001. Boyle was committed to lifting young people up and mentoring fellow Democrats.

Bob Kerrey Volunteer Award
Nominees for this award should be volunteers who personify the spirit of the Nebraska Democratic Party. The award is given to an individual who is tireless in supporting the Nebraska Democratic Party, county parties and candidates’ campaigns within District 1, 2, and 3, respectively. An award is given to one volunteer per Congressional District. Bob Kerrey served our state as Governor from 1983 to 1987, as a U.S.  Senator from 1989 to 2001 and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992. Kerrey served our nation on the 9/11 Commission and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during Vietnam as a Navy SEAL.

Ben Nelson County Party Volunteer Award
Nominees should be a County Party volunteer who has worked tirelessly to promote the activities and values of the Democratic Party in their county. Nominees should demonstrate a dedication to service, integrity, the organizing of their county party infrastructure, and support for local Democratic candidates. Senator Ben Nelson served our state as Governor from 1991 to 1999  and as U.S. Senator from 2001 to 2013. Nelson founded the CHIP program ensuring kids in our state had access to health insurance. A champion for the environment and property rights, Nelson denied a nuclear waste dump from being built in the Sandhills.

Frank LaMere Hall of Fame Award
Nominees should be a former or current elected County Party officer, State Party officer or an elected official who are dedicated to the principles of the Nebraska Democratic Party and who have contributed above and beyond the call of duty to the Nebraska Democratic Party along with local issues that impact the state and national level. This is the highest award given by the Nebraska Democratic Party. Frank LaMere was the first Native American to serve as a DNC member and he founded both the state and national Native American Caucus. LaMere was the longest serving Native American on the DNC. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention seven consecutive times from 1988 to 2012. LaMere also served as the NDP’s First Associate Chair. LaMere dedicated his life to social justice and helped close down illegal beer sales at Whiteclay, NE, just across the border from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

State Senator Courage Award: Nominees should be a current State Senator who shows conviction, support for our party’s platform and leadership on tough issues.

2020 Award Recipients

Bob Kerrey Volunteer Award, CD1: Emma Craig

Bob Kerrey Volunteer Award, CD2: Women Who Run, Denise Blaya Powell + Leanne Prewitt

Bob Kerrey Volunteer Award, CD3: Chair Kris Kinzie

Ben Nelson County Party Volunteer Award: Chair Janet Chung

Frank LaMere Hall of Fame Award: Trevor Fitzgerald

Carrie Howard Sunshine Award: Yolanda Chavez Nuncio

Anne Boyle Young Democrat Award: James Michael Bowers

State Party Chair Award: Senator Justin Wayne; Board Member Kimara Snipe; Black Caucus Chair Precious McKesson; Jasmine Harris; Alisha Shelton

State Senator Courage Award: Senator Carol Blood

Previous Award Recipients


Bob Kerrey CD1: Roger Eschliman

Bob Kerrey CD2: Lilia Franciscony

Bob Kerrey CD3: Haley Mazour

Ben Nelson County Party: Judy Vohland

Frank LaMere Hall of Fame: Senator Patty Pansing Brooks

Carrie Howard Sunshine: Lisa Fricke

Anne Boyle: Caleb Rohrer

Anne Boyle: Krystal Fox

State Chair: The Women of CD1 – Pastor Janet Banks, Adelle Burk, Sydney Rae Butler, Janet Chung, Marthaellen Florence, Mary Harding, Jessica McClure, Megan Mikolajczyk, Michele Tilley, Christa Yoakum, Laurie Martinez


Bob Kerrey CD1: Shirl Mora James

Bob Kerrey CD2: Scott Williams

Bob Kerrey CD3: Tom Genung and Doc Moore

John F. Kennedy: Zachary Mora James

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Senator Bob Kerrey

Hall of Fame: Senator Tony Vargas

Sunshine: Brian Mikkelsen

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Lauren Williams

Morrison Exon: Delmer Adam

State Chair: Big Mama’s Kitchen


Bob Kerrey CD1: Mike Pittz

Bob Kerrey CD2: Rachel Huggins

Bob Kerrey CD3: Terry Wegner

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Meg Mandy

Sunshine: Patsy Koch-Johns Volunteers–Inonge Kasaji, Kaylie Schnittker-Hogan, Cooper Christiancy, Brodey Weber, Michael Maly and Maluba Mudundulu

John F. Kennedy: Mina Davis

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Frank LaMere

Hall of Fame: Senator Rick Kolowski

Morrison-Exon: John Quirk

State Chair: Janet Stewart and Stephanie Matejka


Bob Kerrey CD1: Tom Havelka

Bob Kerrey CD2: Susan Tafini

Bob Kerrey CD3: Bud Pettigrew

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Paige Hutchinson

John F. Kennedy: Jose Jimenez

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Dennis Crawford

Hall of Fame: Senator Paul Hartnett

Morrison-Exon: Charlotte Schwenninger

Sunshine: Kathy Moore-Jensen

State Chair: Charlene Ligon


Bob Kerrey CD1: Ellen Moore

Bob Kerrey CD2: Romona Lisa Fricke

Bob Kerrey CD3: Ismael Valadez

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Meg Mikolajczyk

John F. Kennedy: Marque Snow

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Tom Tilden

Hall of Fame: Dave Newell

Morrison-Exon: John Yoakum

Sunshine: Dave Domina

State Chair: Andy Holland


Bob Kerrey CD1: Marta Nieves

Bob Kerrey CD2: Bryon Line

Bob Kerrey CD3: Shaun Baker

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Jeremy Nordquist

John F. Kennedy: Lacey Merica

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Jim “Doc” Moore

Hall of Fame: Senator Bob Kerrey

Morrison-Exon: Charlene Ligon

Sunshine: Amanda McGill

State Chair: Deena Province


Bob Kerrey CD1: Jon Rehm

Bob Kerrey CD2: Susan Tafini

Bob Kerrey CD3: Terry Sigler

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Bob Holmstedt

John F. Kennedy: Rebekah Caruthers

 Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Peg O’Dea Lippert

Hall of Fame:

Morrison-Exon: Jeff Leanna

Sunshine: Joey Adler

State Chair: Ken Mass


Bob Kerrey CD1: Mary Herres

Bob Kerrey CD2: Shelisa Minnifield

Bob Kerrey CD3: Deena Province

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service:

John F. Kennedy:  Bri McLarty

Franklin Delano Roosevelt:  Lanny Munson

Hall of Fame: Benjamin Nelson

Morrison-Exon: Bud Pettigrew

Sunshine: Chuck Hassebrook

State Chair:


Bob Kerrey CD1: Bennie Shobe

Bob Kerrey CD2: Joe Higgins

Bob Kerrey CD3: Judy Vohland

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Jim Rogers & Missy Wigley

John F. Kennedy: Karlee Coleman

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Joan Killingsworth

Hall of Fame: Don Eret

Morrison-Exon: Bill Forsee & Christa Yoakum

Sunshine: Jane Raybould

State Chair: Mayor Jim Suttle


Bob Kerrey CD1: Becki Gaston

Bob Kerrey CD2: Charlene Ligon

Bob Kerrey CD3: Frank Johannsen

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Danielle Conrad

John F. Kennedy: Crystal Rhoades

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Ted Kessler

Hall of Fame: James Quigley

Morrison-Exon: Tom Brown

Sunshine: Jan Osten

State Chair: John Yoakum


Bob Kerrey CD1: John Yoakum

Bob Kerrey CD2: Sandi Skorniak

Bob Kerrey CD3: Bud Pettigrew

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Mark Fields

Hall of Fame: Mike Fahey

John F. Kennedy: Jessica Rathbun

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Kyle Michaelis

Morrison-Exon: Carol Blood

Special Services to the State: John Berge

State Chair: Chris Jerram


Bob Kerrey CD1: Vic Covalt

Bob Kerrey CD2: Peg O’Dea Lippert

Bob Kerrey CD3: Carolee Koehn

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Donna Noll

Hall of Fame: Don Preister

John F. Kennedy: Heath Mello

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Vince Powers

Morrison-Exon: Marion Bahensky


Bob Kerrey CD1: Rick Carter

Bob Kerrey CD2: Phyllis Ebey

Bob Kerrey CD3: Mike Zgud

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Selma Mesner

Hall of Fame: Colleen Seng

John F. Kennedy: Jeremy Nordquist

Kathleen Fahey Young Democrats of Service: Bill Avery

Morrison-Exon: Duane Jones