2017 Jefferson Award Finalists

Published: .
Updated: .

Our judges have selected our finalists for the 2017 Jefferson Awards.

The judges have narrowed down a field of 157 nominations from all over central Ohio and have come up with the 20 individuals who best represent the spirit of volunteerism and community service. These finalists will be honored at a private, invitation-only ceremony on Thursday, April 6. At that time the five 2017 winners will be presented.

Thank you to our judges, our sponsors, and to all of you who sent in your nominations. Central Ohio is truly blessed to have so many caring people who go above and beyond to make this a special place to live.

CLARE ANDERSON: Co-founder of Scholarship Opportunities for Success; raises money for education for low-income women.

SAMUEL BARNHART: Volunteers at the Veterans Ambulatory Care Center, helping veterans with their medical appointments.

DALE CORY: Helps coordinate The Bed Brigade, building beds and providing bedding for low-income families.

MARY DONAHUE: Volunteer for the Aging Solutions Board; runs a Holiday Gift Program for seniors.

KIM EMCH: Founder of Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries; provides free lunch for hundreds of children.

MICHAEL FITZPATRICK: Has provided leadership on boards for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and the Upper Arlington Civic Association.

JENNIFER HANSEN: Founder of Dreams on Horseback, providing equine-assisted activities for people with physical and/or emotional needs.

DAWN HEIDEMAN: Teacher who founded Be The One, a program for at-risk students who’ve experienced violence, homelessness, and extreme poverty.

DANELLA HICKS: Founder of All-THAT, an after-school and summer program that provides life-skill training and tutoring for teens.

AMBER HUDSON: Founder of the MASH Pantry, serving veterans and military families.

KRISTI JOHNSON: Created the BrockStrong Foundation to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Canal Winchester community and youth baseball.

CLAUDINE LEARY: Founder of Watoto Read, empowering refugee children through education.

GERALD McCLAIN: Started a program to rehab and spruce up the entrance to Downtown Newark; involved with Salvation Army and Licking Memorial Hospital.

GEORGE MRUS: Created Culinary Comfort Care to provide special memorable meals for hospice patients and their families.

STEPHEN POLK: Helps low-income families on the west-side break the cycle of poverty; provides free financial planning.

STEVE RICKER: Founder of The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition for individuals with disabilities.

ROXANNE SHULL: Raises puppies for Canine Companions for Independence to be support animals for people with disabilities.

CATHY SMITH: Trains volunteers for the suicide prevention hotline.

DON WOOD: Volunteers with adults in the Life Skills Lab at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, teaching computer basics.

LISA ZIMMERMAN: Founded Hospets, helping seniors and people with mental and/or physical limitations care for their pets.

Filed under: