March 19, 2012
LIMA — It started as a way to share Christmas joy with others. Now every year barbers Jim Sherrick and Art Brinkman of Silver Shears Barbershop collect close to 200 bikes at Christmas.“We used to exchange gifts at Christmas,” Brinkman said. “I said to Jim, why don't we just spend 50 bucks each on a couple of bikes and give them to charity.” “The next year, it was Jim's idea to put out a collection jar.”It took off from there.“We did 37 the first year, and then 58, 137 and 163, so over 400 bikes now,” Sherrick said.Their work has gotten them a nomination for the 2012 Jefferson Awards for Public Service. As the effort has gained attention, strangers have started dropping off cash at the barbershop. Checks have been mailed in from Toledo, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and California.“That makes you think you started something that's right,” Sherrick said.The give the bikes to charities to distribute, so they don't get accused of playing favorites, but they get to see children get bikes when the Fraternal Order of Police does it's annual “Shop with a Hero.”“That'll get to you a little bit,” Brinkman said. “When a kid's sitting on a bike and saying thank you because they never thought they'd get something like that.”The Jefferson Awards judges selected eight individuals from 46 nominations submitted. All eight winners will receive bronze medallions, cash awards for their volunteer organization, and recognition at the Jefferson Awards banquet on March 27 at The City Club. At the banquet, one of the eight local winners will be announced to attend the National Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June.Judges for the Jefferson Awards are Leila Osting, Chair; Alberta Lee, retired Allen County commissioner; Greg Myers from Auglaize County; Tom Hendrixson, WLIO videographer; Louis Jennings, employee resource coordinator with UAW 1219, Lima Engine Plant, Ford Motor Co.; Jeanne Beutler, executive director of United Way of Putnam County; Susan Munroe, president of the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce; Dave Roach from Delphos; and Tom Thompson, labor representative with United Way of Greater Lima.