LIMA — Esther Baldridge, of Lima, feels she hasn’t done anything special do be deserving of a nomination for a Jefferson Award.
Still, it’s a little more special when that nomination comes from the person you know best.
Baldridge was named as one of the eight local winners of the award, and she said she was surprised when she was notified that she had been selected. She was nominated by her husband, Roy Baldridge.
“He seems to really like me,” Baldridge said with a smile. “Seriously, Roy has always been tremendously supportive of me. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
Baldridge said she just does what most people would do if the situation were in front of them. She said she believes everyone is put in certain positions for good reasons, and they must answer the call.
“I think God purposely puts us in places where our abilities can be used,” Baldridge said. “We need to be aware and willing to help when we are put in those situations. I often marvel at how we are placed in situations uniquely with what we have to offer and what we can do to help.”
Baldridge has volunteered with many Lima-area agencies for more than 50 years. She moved to Lima in 1982 as Adult Service Director for the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She became superintendent at the agency in 1992 and served in that position until her retirement last year. In 2014, Baldridge became the third female president of the Lima Rotary Club, and also served on its board of trustees from 2009 to 2012. She chaired many committees with the Rotary Club, including the Scoring Committee, the Special Needs Christmas Party Committee and the Next Big Thing Committee. In 2016, Baldridge received the 2016 Shirley Daley Neighborhood Leadership Award for her service with the Rotary. In 2015, she received the Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio for leadership and service. Her service to that club is but a small representation of what she has done with other various organizations in the community.
In her nomination, it states “Esther loves challenges and working with people. Esther is a very deserving nominee because of her outstanding ability to address challenges and partner with other people and organizations to get the job done.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm