LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- Just one week after Louisville's homicide numbers for 2017 broke into the triple digits, Saturday evening was one of hope.
"You know right now in Louisville, as we all know, we have had a troubling time with homicide," Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said. "Already this year, 27 people under the age of 21 have been the victim of homicide."
Conrad addressed the crowd at MAN UP's annual awards banquet, where it honored 10 men it claims exemplifies the group's principles of individual, provider, husband, father and community leader.
"Stepping up and stepping forward is exactly the thing that Man Up is doing, what Man Up is promoting, and that is coming forward as men to show young people what it takes to succeed in life," Conrad said. "We can never let up because one life lost is one life too many."
Among the men honored with the award were educators, religious leaders and politicians, including Gov. Matt Bevin, R.-Kentucky, who did not attend but received one of the MAN UP Father Awards. Bevin was expected to accept his award in person, but MAN UP officials said the governor was "tied up in Frankfort."
Conrad spoke at length about the need for strong mentors for today's youth, whom he said are becoming intimate with the violent crime plaguing the metro area.
"Mentoring will not have an immediate impact on our crime stats, but if we do it right, if we do it carefully, if we stay focused on these young people, we have an opportunity to change the course of their lives," he said.
This year's honorees are:
MAN UP Individual Award
Shawn Gardner -- Founded 2NOT1: Fatherhood & Families
Tenoramentae Young -- Fund for the Arts office manager
MAN UP Provider Award
Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby -- Simmons College of Kentucky President
Ricky Murphy -- Facilitates KYMP KAMP Awards for local artists in Louisville
MAN UP Husband Award
Dan Johnson -- Kentucky State Representative (District 49)
Jerald Muhammad -- business owner
MAN UP Father Award
Gov. Matt Bevin
Ed "Nardie" White -- Founded River City Drum Corp
MAN UP Community Leader Award
Dr. Eddie Woods -- gang prevention efforts, "No More Red Dots Initiative"
James Brown -- 1st District Metro Councilman