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Meet the Pat Patrick Big Heart Award winner
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Lee Aldridge, known around Newton County for her tireless devotion to a number of worthy causes, was the first volunteer to be honored with the annual "Pat Patrick Big Heart Award" on Tuesday.

The award is sponsored by the Newton Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and recognizes the individual who gives back to their community through service and volunteer time with Newton-based nonprofit organizations.

Named after the foundation's founding chairman of the board of trustees, Joseph "Pat" Patrick, the award comes with a $2,000 grant check which is awarded to the Newton County nonprofit of the honoree's choice.

At the Tuesday evening reception at The Center for Community Preservation and Planning, Aldridge announced that $1,000 of the grant would go to the Newton Medical Auxiliary fund to purchase digital mammography machines.

The Arts Association in Newton County received $500 from the grant and the Service Guild of Covington received $500, a portion of which will go to Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful. All recipients of the grant are nonprofits that Aldridge volunteers her time with.

Aldridge was nominated for the grant by Lynn Garrett of the Service Guild.

In her letter of recommendation Garrett wrote, "It is seldom that one encounters a person with the exuberance for life that Lee exhibits. She's enthusiastic about life and the people in it. She finds something good in everyone she meets and she brings out the good in those where it's most difficult to find."

Aldridge is currently first vice president and conservation chair with the Service Guild.

 Some of the organizations she has also volunteered with include the Rainbow Covenant Ministries homeless shelter, the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, Newton County Project ReNeWal, the Newton County Sheriff's Office Rape Closet and the Department of Family and Children Service.