Jefferson Awards nomination process begins

By Josh Ellerbrock -

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LIMA — Volunteers and humanitarians of the greater Lima region get a chance to be recognized on the national stage thanks to the local Jefferson Awards for Public Service. Nominations for the prestigious awards begin today.

The Jefferson Awards for Public Service is a national program meant to highlight positive actions in communities across the nation. Regional level recipients – eight finalists in total – will be announced sometime in mid-March, and one of the eight will be selected as the Lima-area representative for a national celebration in Washington D.C. later this year.

“I think in every community there are people who go about doing good for others and they often go unrecognized,” United Way of Greater Lima President Carol Braden-Clarke said. “They don’t do it for the pride or recognition, but (the Jefferson Awards) are a great way to say ‘thank you’ to others in the community.”

Nominees can be selected from Allen and surrounding counties, which include Putnam, Van Wert, Auglaize, Hardin and Hancock. Nominees do not have to be from Lima.

Bobbie Nevarez acted as Lima’s regional representative last year in 2017. Her work with the Restoration House has helped thousands of individuals leaving incarceration get on their feet while fighting a mixture of drug addiction and mental health problems. Her service spanned over 20 years.

Nomination forms can be found at the United Way of Greater Lima offices, the Lima News office on Elida Road and online at the Lima News website,

Each regional winner receives a $350 donation to the nonprofit for which they volunteer, thanks to a sponsorship by Alberta Lee. The national representative selected from the eight finalists will receive $700.

“If you’ve never been to the dinner, it’s very inspirational. I think we have a tendency sometimes to focus on the negative, and you really see all the good that is being done in this area by ordinary people that give us their time and their talent to help others. If nothing else, you’ll walk away from that evening inspired and your faith in the humanity restored,” Braden-Clarke said. “There is a lot of good in this world.”

The Jefferson Awards are sponsored by The Lima News, Your Hometown Lima Stations, the United Way of Greater Lima and Husky Lima Refinery.

Download a nomination form a nomination form

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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