WAPAKONETA — Deborah Zwez, publisher of the Wapakoneta Daily News, has been nominated for the 2018 Jefferson Awards for Public Service by Rachel Barber, of Wapakoneta, for volunteering for many different events and organizations in Wapak.
Zwez first came to Wapakoneta in October 1983 for her first job after high school as the business and farm editor at the Wapakoneta Daily News, she said. She left for a few years for other newspaper jobs but returned to Wapakoneta in 1989 to be the editor of the Wapakoneta Daily News, she said.
Zwez said she volunteered in Wapak for the first time during this period of her life.
“It was 1990 when Auglaize Street was being redone and a series of block parties were held downtown,” she said. “Businesses were worried the construction would keep people away from downtown. I was one of the people who organized the block parties.”
These block parties evolved into Indian Summer Fest, which in turn evolved into the Summer Moon Festival, Zwez said.
After that first experience she began volunteering and serving on more and more committees and boards, she said. She served on the Waste Minimization Committee. She was also a charter member of the Noon Optimist Club, an organization helps improve the quality of life for children, Zwez said.
Currently Zwez is on the board of the Wapakoneta YMCA, she is an active Rotary member, a member of the 2019 committee planning the events for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and she is on the Wapakoneta Community Thanksgiving Committee, she said.
“Deb Zwez embodies the adage, ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person,’” said Barber in her nomination letter. “As her list of affiliations and accomplishments demonstrates, when Deb sees a need in the community, she steps up without hesitation, bringing her commitment, her organizational abilities, her people skills, her creativity and her energy.”
Zwez said while it was great to be recognized for her volunteering and nominated for a Jefferson Award she stressed nothing is ever done alone. There are always other people right there alongside her helping out too, she said.
“I think all of us, everybody, has gifts and talents,” Zwez said. “If you’re going to live in a community I believe you have a responsibility to share your gifts with that community. As corny as it sounds, I believe that makes the world a better place.”
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362