LIMA — They help the poor. They cater to the young. They feed the hungry. They make the community a better place.
They’re the region’s eight finalists for the 2013 Jefferson Awards for Community Service, as released Thursday by the panel of judges.
The eight winners were chosen from 24 nominations this year. Each of the winners receives a bronze medallion, cash awards for their volunteer organization and recognition at a March 26 banquet at the City Club in downtown Lima.
“It is a very difficult process because there are so many worth candidates who have committed so much hard work and dedication to volunteerism in this area,” said Tom Hendrixson, chairman of the Jefferson Award judges’ committee. “Each of the organization that these individuals work with also benefit and receive monetary amounts that will allow these great people to be able to continue their work.”
One of the eight winners too be selected to attend the National Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June 2013.
The finalists include:
•David Adams, of Lima, who founded and nurtured the Public Officials Dialogue among area officials, in addition to teaching at Ohio State University-Lima and previously serving on Lima council.
•Marjorie Bryan, of Lima, who transports volunteers and food donations to the Allen County Veterans Food Pantry at Memorial Hall and works with Blue Star Mothers.
•Terrance Grant, of Lima, who worked to open Lima’s Grace Transitional Living Community for men impacted by drugs, alcohol and mental illnesses.
•Terry Handshoe, of Lima, who prepares hot meals each day at Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, serving hot, nutritious food to more than 40,000 people in 2012 as the lead volunteer cook.
•Paul Kreher, of Lima, who volunteered 35 years with Lima’s Benevolent and Protectorate Elks Lodge 54, raising money for the organization’s charitable programs, and organizing the Souper Bowl Sunday event.
•Bruce “Shorty” McCullough, of Spencerville, who works with the Spencerville Youth Athletic Association to provide a way for all Spencerville-area children to participate in sports despite suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
•Norene Parish, of Lima, who volunteered on a lengthy number of organizations around Allen County over the last 45 years to help improve the community.
•James Snyder, of Lima, who started the Faith Harvest Food Pantry to help distribute 20,000 pounds of food and feed 1,200 people each month.
The Jefferson Awards program is sponsored by The Lima News, Your Hometown Stations and the United Way of Greater Lima.
Judges included Bill Clinger, marketing director of The Lima News; Hendrixson, public service director for Your Hometown Stations; Alberta Lee, retired Allen County commissioner; Sandy Monfort, 2008 Jefferson Award winner; Susan Munroe, president of the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce; Greg Myers, executive director of the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce; Dave Roach, general manager of WKSD/WERT; Amy Sealts, executive director of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce; and Ted Thompson, labor representative with United Way of Greater Lima.