LIMA — Andy Maravola, one of the Jefferson Award winners, is humbled by the award.
“I think it’s an honor — very high honor. It’s good to be recognized for what you do because everything you do, you just do it. That’s it,” Maravola said.
His wife, Elaine, was his nominator.
“I think he does a good job. You have to have hobbies and he’s done a lot of things for different organizations — CIAO and festivals and now the (charity) car show’s gone on for 12 years — and so I think he deserves it. He spends a lot of time doing that, starting the first of the year until close to the car show time in June,” Elaine Maravola said.
In her nominating letter, she pointed out his various volunteer efforts.
“He works tirelessly to make Lima a better place by organizing several car shows which generate thousands of dollars for area charities. He volunteers every week at (Mercy Health) St. Rita’s Medical Center and the City of Lima Administration Building.
He worked with the CIAO organization for several years, organizing and helping with the pasta dinner, various raffles and awarding scholarships to local high school students,” she said.
The Charity Car Show has outgrown a couple of different locations over the years. He and John Waller have organized the event.
“Well, we’re at Apollo (Career Center) now and last year we had 315 cars out there, and we gave away $8,500 a week later (to various charities),” Andy Maravola said.
Those efforts have provided money for the Veterans Food Pantry, Cops for Kids, Deb’s Dogs, DARE and the Shively Scholarship Fund at Perry schools.
Andy Maravola also volunteers at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center to help transport patients to various testing areas.
“He greets the visitors with a smile and offers them their first contact with the hospital. … Sometimes the people are worried or scared and Andy offers them friendship and reassurances,” Elaine Maravola wrote in her nomination letter.
The overall winner will represent Allen County at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington.
“That would be a great honor. How much more could you get? That’s beyond words,” Andy Maravola said.
Elaine Maravola’s final line in her nominating letter says it all:
“I hope you choose Andy for the Jefferson Award not only because he deserves it but to show others what a life of service is all about.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.