LIMA — Rachael and Cameron Staley accepted their nomination to attend the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C. this summer with shock and heartfelt gratitude Tuesday during the 2018 Jefferson Awards for Public Service event.
“Completely shocked,” Rachael Staley said of being nominated. “Completely humbled and shocked. We’re excited to be chosen to represent our area. We’re very blessed to be in a room full of so many people who give their time and money to help the community.”
The couple were an important part of forming the Abilities Baseball League, as well as the creation of a handicap accessible baseball diamond for the league and also organizing “Night to Shine,” a prom for students with special needs.
Cameron Staley said they couldn’t do any of it alone. They have many people who volunteer to help with the baseball league and prom events.
“We’re kind of the public face of so many people who volunteer to make Abilities Baseball and Night to Shine happen,” he said. “We feel very fortunate to be able to represent special needs kids and their families.”
In addition to representing the community in Washington, the couple also received two checks from Alberta M. Lee, one for $350 and a second for $700, to be used for donations to an organization of their choosing, and a bronze medallion.
The other seven 2018 Jefferson Award winners — Terri Beasley, Bev Beery, Lynda Best, Dave Roznowski, Earl Lhamon, Bill Roeder and Jack Rex and Deborah Zwez — each received $350 checks from Lee to donate to organizations of their choosing, as well as bronze Jefferson Award medallions.
It was announced during the event that next year, in addition to the 2019 Jefferson Awards for Public Service, nominations will also be accepted for a new award Kids in Action Jefferson Awards to recognize young people in the community who are volunteering and making a positive impact.
“Community service is the rent you pay for living in a community,” Zwez said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.