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Looking for those who go above and beyond

Nominations sought for the regional Jefferson Awards for outstanding area volunteers.

The Times Leader intends to honor some of the region’s most outstanding volunteers, doers of good deeds and innovators of community projects.

To get the program rolling, readers like you are asked to submit the names of area residents whose volunteer service goes beyond the run-of-the-mill.

Perhaps a friend who sparked a neighborhood-revival project, resulting in the removal of rundown homes? A fellow church member who launched a free health clinic? The person who powered your civic club to new levels of success?

Share that person’s name and story (in 200 words or less), and the individual might be saluted along with other honorees during The Times Leader’s regional Jefferson Awards for Public Service ceremony this spring.

Nomination forms are available on the Internet, at www.timesleader.com, and will be published periodically in the newspaper’s print edition. Nominations must be mailed by Feb. 28.

The Jefferson Awards program, now in its fourth year here, annually spotlights a few dozen of Northeast Pennsylvania’s most selfless servants – people who improve local lives and places without seeking reward or even thanks.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure for The Times Leader to be able to bring attention to people in the community for the good work they do,” said Joe Butkiewicz, the newspaper’s managing editor. “It’s nice to give them the attention they deserve and don’t often get.”

Beyond recognizing top-notch volunteers for their efforts, the Jefferson Awards program also aims to serve as inspiration, causing more people to ponder: What can I do to make the world, or my corner of it, a better place?

Anyone who volunteers – and, in certain cases, even a paid employee who goes beyond the call of duty – is eligible for the regional contest. The newspaper will review all nominations and select 32 standout volunteers to attend its upcoming awards luncheon.

Five of those volunteers – chosen by a judging panel made up of community leaders – will be declared this year’s regional finalists and receive medallions. The finalists’ identities will be revealed during an April 24 luncheon at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, Plains Township.

An overall winner chosen from that group will receive a complimentary trip to the national Jefferson Awards banquet in Washington, D.C., presented by the American Institute for Public Service. The Delaware-based institute promotes volunteerism as a way of enhancing individual communities and strengthening the nation.

Prior winners of the regional contest are Robert Hughes of Plymouth Township, Trina Moss of Duryea and Douglas Ayers of the Noxen area.

Questions about this year’s awards program can be directed to the newspaper’s Jefferson Awards coordinator, Jane Clements, at 829-7275.


• Get a copy of the Jefferson Awards nomination form by visiting The Times Leader’s Web site at www.timesleader.com.

• Learn more about the Jefferson Awards for Public Service national campaign by visiting this Web site: www.jeffersonawards.org.

• Become a volunteer by searching for local opportunities at this Web site – www.unitedwaywb.org – or by contacting the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Volunteer Action Center, at 829-6711, ext. 236.

Or call the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), run by the Area Agency on Aging for Luzerne/Wyoming Counties, at 822-1158.

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