DENVER, Colo. — Shannon Hickey, founder of Mychal’s Message, a non-profit organization honoring the life and work of the late Mychal Judge, OFM, recently received an international award for her service to others.
The 18-year-old was honored by Sertoma International, which stands for SERvice TO MANkind, for her philanthropic work over the past six years. At a convention this summer in Colorado, Sertoma gave Hickey its International Service to Mankind Award.
“She is the finest and most worthy of persons selected,” said Woodrow Hudson, president of Sertoma, who explained the difficulty in selecting just one honoree from seven regional finalists across the country.
Shannon is an Example to Follow
“This is a challenge for all of us to step higher and touch our communities and make a difference,” Hudson told fellow Sertomans. Hudson presented Hickey with a plaque and a $1,000 donation to Mychal’s Message.
In January, Hickey received the local Sertoma award in Lancaster, Pa., followed by the Allegheny/Canada Region and the West Central Penn District awards in April. From there, she was chosen as the overall Sertoma honoree.
Service to mankind has become a way of life for Hickey. Born with a life-threatening liver disease, her family’s courage and determination led them to a team of Chicago doctors who performed experimental, life-saving surgery on the infant. Hickey has celebrated the gift of life by giving back to others. Her first project, Mychal’s Message, began after the death of family friend, Mychal, on Sept. 11.
“Together, let us do something beautiful for God’
In presenting the award, Hudson said, “I am sure Shannon would be more comfortable in a soup kitchen or on a bread line serving the homeless than she is here on this stage.”
Hickey quoted Mother Theresa: “You can do something I can’t do. I can something you can’t do. Together, let us do something beautiful for God.”
Hickey was accompanied to the convention by mother, Kelly Ann Lynch, and grandmother, Sharon Hickey.