Jefferson Awards winners announced

LIMA — Nine people will be recognized later this month for the way they used their time, efforts and talents to improve their communities.

The 2023 Jefferson Awards for Public Service announced nine winners from throughout the region, with eight adult winners and one youth winner. Adult recipients receive a $350 donation for their organizations, donated by the family of Alberta Lee. The youth recipient receives a $250 donation, sponsored by Ed and Sandra Monfort.

They’ll be honored at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 at Veterans Memorial Civic Center in downtown Lima. The awards are sponsored by Cenovus Energy Lima Refinery, Hometown Stations, The Lima News and United Way of Greater Lima.

One of the nine winners will represent the region at the national Jefferson Awards this summer. The local representative will be announced at the Lima banquet.

The nine local winners include:

• David Bates, of Lima, who created Warriors Way, which helps veterans, first responders and youth with knifemaking and blacksmithing to address mental health issues.

• Richard “Butch” Brewer, of Harrod, who facilitates the Veterans Helping Veterans group and serves as a veteran advocate in Allen County’s veteran court.

• Roberta Brewer, of Harrod, who actively volunteers for Lima Memorial’s Auxiliary and coordinates the gift shop at the hospital.

• Brett and Rhonda Casady, of Lima, who dedicate hours to coordinating and helping with the Allen County All Abilities Baseball League.

• Larry and Ginny Cress, of Lima, who created the Wheellhouse, which renovates bicycles and donates them to people who need transportation.

• Paige Fiebelkorn, of Wapakoneta, who created Generations of Love, which provides essentials to families bringing foster children into their homes.

• Lucas Kline, of Wapakoneta, a youth who greets and helps people at the Loaves and Fishes Community Meal each week.

• Nancy J. Kline, of Pandora, who brings crafts projects into nursing home and assisted living facilities in Putnam County.

• Gregory Williamson, of Lima, who started the Team Lima Booster Club 31 years ago to give children a positive, athletic outlet and stability.

The Lima News will profile each of the winners starting Thursday, March 16.