Sharlot Hall Award Recipient 2009

For almost 60 years, Kay Hill Benedict has used her tireless energy effectively for the benefit of others.  Benedict is the daughter of Arizona pioneers, married to the son of Arizona pioneers, and has passed on her legacy of community service to three sons and their families.  Her inspired leadership in her community and statewide can best be appreciated by dividing her contributions into three interest areas.

Since its founding in 1964, Benedict has given thousands of hours to the Casa Grande Valle Historical Society.  She continues to work as the volunteer archivist after having served as curator, Executive Director, and on the board.  She has been active at the state level on the boards of the Museum Association of Arizona, the Arizona Historical Society and the Friends of Arizona Archives.  From 1994-2007 she was a guiding force on the annual committee for the Arizona History Convention.  Benedict was a founding member of the Casa Grande Friends of the Arts and represented her community on the Pinal County Fine Arts Council.

Kay has attended two Arizona Town Halls and was at the first Arizona Women’s Town Hall.  Her local leadership was utilized on the Home Rule Option Task Force and she was the organizer of the City’s Bicentennial-Centennial Commissions.  Over the years, the city has benefited from her work as a member of the Historic Preservation, the Public Affairs, and the Arts and Humanities Commission. She served on the Boards of Directors of both the Casa Grande Public Library and the Pinal County Regional Library Advisory Board.

In the field of health, Kay served on the boards of the Hoemako Hospitality Auxiliary, the Casa Grande Counseling Service, the Pinal County and state Boards of the American Cancer Society, and the Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.  Kay was instrumental in the growth of the Central Arizona College Foundation and the establishment of their unique scholarship program, Promise for the Future.  She spent 10 years as President of Pinal County’s American Field Service program.  Her reputation as the go-to person in Pinal County led to years of involvement on the boards of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, the Arizona Humanities Council, the Arizona Paper and Photographic Conservation Association, and the Historic preservation Advisory Council for Arizona State Parks.