Jefferson Awards

Your Hometown Lima Stations, The United Way of Greater Lima, The Lima News and Cenovus Lima Refinery work cooperatively to bring the Jefferson Awards to Lima/Allen County and its contiguous counties.

Nominations will be accepted from Allen, Putnam, Van Wert, Auglaize, Hardin and Hancock Counties.

From all nominations submitted, up to eight adult applications and up to four youth applications will be selected as the 2024 Jefferson Award Winners. The selections will be made by a panel of area leaders and past Jefferson Awards Winners. Each winner will receive a Jefferson Awards bronze medallion at a special banquet scheduled in Lima, Ohio on March 26, 2024.

In memory of  Alberta Lee, her family has agreed to carry on her legacy by continuing to sponsor the monetary awards to accompany the Jefferson Award medallions for the adult winners. The adults winners will each receive $350 for the nonprofit of their choice. Ed and Sandra Monfort (past winners) are the monetary sponsors for our youth winners, who will each receive $250 for the nonprofit of their choice.

One of the twelve local winners will advance to the national competition, receiving an additional $700 for the organization for which they volunteer. This local representative will be invited to attend the National Ceremony in New York City. This individual will be honored, along with the other winners across America, at a national program in which five gold medallion Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Awards for greatest public service benefitting local communities will be announced. Our local representative will be named at the March 26, 2024 local Jefferson Awards Banquet.


Click Here for the Online Nomination Form

Or, click on the link below for the paper Nomination Form:

2024 Jefferson Awards Nomination Form

The American Institute for Public Service, now known as the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard to establish a national recognition for, and encouragement of, outstanding community and public service.

Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels:  local and national.  On the local level, Jefferson Award recipients are volunteers who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition or reward. 

Past local representatives to the National Program include Estella Adams, Penny Daniels, Shannon Mitchell, Chris Jackson, Dan Endicott, Dr. Gene Wright, Andrea Mitchell, Sandy Monfort, Marjorie Bryan, Timothy Macke, Randy Kohli, Bobbie Nevarez, Steve & Earlene Sellers, Rachel & Cameron Staley, Lauren Cunningham, Angela Herzog, Greg Bukowski, Paul Bonifas, and Ed Monfort. 

Past national Jefferson Award recipients include Rosalyn Carter, Walter Cronkite, John Glenn, Barbara Bush, Bob Hope, Dr. Henry Kissinger, General Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Dole.

Across America, hundreds of media affiliates sponsor the Jefferson Awards.  Through these local Jefferson Award Programs, over 14,000 nominations are received year after year.

Do you know someone who selflessly gives their time and energy to serve others?  Consider nominating that person for a Jefferson Award!

Jefferson Award recipients are volunteers who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition or reward.

  • Individuals of all ages may be nominated.  Adult awards are given to those over the age of 19.  Youth awards are given to those age 18 or under.
  • Groups are not eligible.  However, individuals from groups may be nominated.  The exception is that married couples or two people who have worked closely on a project may be nominated.
  • The individual must reside in one of 6 counties:  Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam, Van Wert.
  • Cash awards will be made payable to qualifying non-profit organizations registered with the Ohio Secretary of State or be a political subdivision of the state as described in 107(c)(1), such as a public school or government agency.  If the organization for which the winner volunteers is not eligible for a cash award, another qualifying agency may be selected.  Individuals are not eligible for the cash awards.
  • Top twelve winners are eligible for re-nomination 5 years after their original nomination.
  • Volunteer service may be performed on work-release time or for student course credit.