Most people associate the holidays with the Giving Season, but two people at the Bowling Green Bruster’s Real Ice Cream were recognized for giving throughout the year by mentoring young adults.

In the first Video Mentoring Contest, nearly 30 Bruster’s employees submitted entries identifying a supervisor, general manager or owner who changed – or is changing – their lives. Members of Bruster’s Franchise Advisory Board reviewed the videos and selected five winning entries.

Bruster’s at 2712 Scottsville Rd. in Bowling Green, Kentucky, produced two of the national contest winners. Maddie Powers nominated general manager Caleb Hayes and Johni Lecoffre recounted the role owner Stuart Kirby has played in her life. Powers, Lecoffre, Hayes and Kirby each received cash awards.

Powers said Hayes has been a role model since her first shift. She started working at Bruster’s to earn money for photography equipment, but her general manager taught her that relationships and personal growth are also important benefits. Watch her video:

Johni Lecoffre started working at Bruster’s as a newlywed college student in July 2011. She nominated owner Stuart Kirby as her mentor. Kirby taught Lecoffre that balancing work, family and studies at Western Kentucky University is an art that cannot be neglected. Lecoffre plans to be an elementary school teacher. She and her husband just built a new home two doors away from Kirby. Here’s her entry:

“Bruster’s is in the people business,” said Jim Sahene, CEO. “Each year, we have an opportunity to teach thousands of young people skills they may not be learning elsewhere, skills they are going t! o need as tomorrow’s leaders.”

Other recipients were from Florida and North Carolina.

There are nearly 200 independently owned Bruster’s locations in 18 states and the nation of Guyana. Bruster’s features 150 flavors of handcrafted ice cream, yogurt, Italian ice and sorbet, with at least 25 made fresh in each shop daily.

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