WASHINGTON — An area representative for the Jefferson Awards, Bonnie Shook, didn’t take home any awards Tuesday night, but just being there was a rewarding experience for her.
“The night went very, very well,” she said. “It was such an honor to be among so many gracious people.”
Shook, 82, said the number of young people who were at the awards for their activities in the community was inspiring, and her favorite part was listening to the heartfelt stories everyone shared.
“I think last night, when everybody got up to tell their story, was absolutely overwhelming,” she said.
Shook has volunteered at Lima Memorial Health System, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Southside Christian Church for the last five decades. A national committee selected her from local Jefferson Award winners to attend the awards in Washington, D.C.
The 10th annual local awards were sponsored by The Lima News, WLIO and the United Way of Greater Lima.
Arriving in the capital Monday, Shook said she has spent a lot of time sightseeing in the Disctrict of Columbia. She hasn’t been able to see everything she wanted, but has met many delightful people from all across the United States.
Shook met with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Tuesday and was scheduled to meet U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan today.
The whole event was very well-planned and Shook said she had a great experience.
“They treat you just like you’re royalty,” she said. “Everything is planned.”
Shook said this won’t mark the end of her volunteering, however. Shook told of a 92-year-old woman at the awards who received a standing ovation for her continued involvement in the community, which inspired her.
“As long as I’m able to walk and have a good health,” Shook said of how long she plans to volunteer.
Shook added that she doesn’t know how to say no to a good cause.