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Jefferson Awards Foundation Honors Local Volunteers at Annual National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

National event recognizes impactful public service efforts celebrates community leaders

/EIN News/ -- Washington, D.C., June 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington, D.C. (June 29, 2018) – The Jefferson Awards Foundation, the nation’s most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to inspiring and celebrating public service, honored local volunteers from across the country at its National Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 2018.

“Recognizing individuals who are making a positive difference in their communities – and encouraging people to follow their lead – has never been more important,” said Hillary Schafer, Jefferson Awards Foundation CEO. “The Jefferson Awards Foundation is proud to continue its long tradition of honoring those who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”

The grassroots winners were honored alongside the 2018 Jefferson Awards Foundation national honorees:


  • Chris Long, defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and chairman of the Chris Long Foundation
  • Elaine Wynn, philanthropist and trustee of the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation
  • Abbie Nelson and Pia Phillips, founders of PAB’S PACKS

Five local leaders received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Local Communities:

  • Frank Austin of Macon, GA
    • Nominated by WGXA-TV, Frank Austin works to strengthen his community through neighborhood revitalization and informative workshops. Frank draws on the latest business models to focus on five outcomes: Housing, Education, Economic Development, Reducing Crime, and Health. His work has bridged the racial divide in Macon and broken down social and economic barriers. Frank has personally taken the lead in 84 litter prevention activities, spearheaded seven community clean ups and overseen 2,185 volunteers who have collectively contributed more than 11,000 volunteer hours to the community. 
  • Nancy Eigel-Miller of Cincinnati, OH
    • Nominated by The Rotary Club of Cincinnati, The Cincinnati Enquirer and WKRC-TV, Local 12, Nancy Eigel-Miller joined the Board of Directors of 1N5, a nonprofit focused on changing the conversation around mental health, after losing her husband to suicide in 2008. Since then, Nancy has expanded 1N5’s programs to 12 high schools and five universities, reaching over 87,000 young people in 2017. 1N5 hosts the annual Warrior Run marathon, which has over 3,200 annual participants, and Nancy has raised over $765,000 since starting the organization. All proceeds go to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s suicide prevention program and participating schools.
  • Ingrid Johnson of Newark, N.J.
    • Nominated by NJ Advance Media, Ingrid Johnson works tirelessly to stop human trafficking and give hope to mothers and fathers searching for missing children. Ingrid’s work is inspired her daughter, who was kidnapped at age 13 and held captive for 11 months. Searching the streets of New Jersey and New York, with minimum support, Ingrid used every instinct she could muster to find her daughter. A mother of three, Ingrid now volunteers with Covenant House of Newark, works with the Newark and New Jersey Coalition against Human Trafficking and has served on boards such as Nancy's Place, Communities in Cooperation and the Sanar Wellness Institute. Ingrid has also testified before the New Jersey Senate to advocate for legislation and services to assists victims.
  • Jeff Klare of Statesboro, GA
    • Nominated by WTGS-TV, Jeff Klare works with heroes who face a stark reality when they return from the battlefield. After 9/11, Jeff founded the nonprofit “Be a Hero, Hire a Hero” to offer job resources to unemployed veterans and those with disabilities. His work has led to more than 11,000 people getting jobs over the last 12 years. The program provides additional resources to communities he feels are sometimes overlooked in the job market.
  • Richard Perez of Rochester, N.Y.
    • Nominated by WHEC-TV, Richard Perez has helped more than 700 liver transplant recipients and 2,000 people who have undergone a transplant evaluation. Richard received his own life-saving liver transplant in 2003 and has made it his mission to educate others about organ donation and support families awaiting a transplant. From 2004 to 2010, Richard helped over 105 Rochester families avoid hotel costs and stressful daily commutes with his generosity. Thanks to Richard’s efforts, according to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, the percentage of registered organ donors has grown from 27 percent to nearly 40 percent of viable residents.

Two individuals whose companies participate in the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s Champions program received awards for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee:

  • Marc Scott of Washington, PA
    • Nominated by USW, Marc Scott channeled his grief into good after his only daughter, Olivia, died from liver cancer at age 17. A retired member of USW Local 7139 at Allegheny Technologies Inc., Marc wanted to honor her memory and pay forward the generosity and compassion his family received in some of their darkest days. Nine years later, the Olivia Scott Foundation has donated over $250,000, provided assistance to youth in life-altering situations, given scholarships, promoted sportsmanship, supported community service events and given back to Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital – where you can find Olivia’s Coffee cart, Olivia’s Stockings filled with toys at holiday time, and Olivia’s Books for patients and their families. The Foundation also hosts holiday parties for hospital staff and provides prom and formal wear to students in need.
  • Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD of New York, N.Y.
    • Nominated by Pace University, Dr. Kimberly Collica-Cox has spent nearly 19 years working with incarcerated populations and implementing programs to support them. Dr. Collica-Cox is a certified Prison Rape Elimination Act and American Correctional Association auditor and serves as a professional trainer in the cross-section between HIV and incarceration. Since 1997, she has worked with inmates, correctional staff, and community-based service providers. At Pace, she serves as the adviser to the Criminal Justice Society and Alpha Phi Sigma student organizations. She developed a civic engagement course, which resulted in the creation and implementation of the Parenting, Prison and Pups (PPP) program, volunteering her time as the program’s director and lead trainer. PPP is an animal assisted therapy-integrated parenting program offered to female inmates in Manhattan and in Westchester County.

Additionally, four schools involved in the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s Students In Action program were honored at the event. The winners of the Students In Action National Competition were:

  • Brownsville Area High School of Brownsville, PA – Gold National Banner Students In Action Team
    • The gold award was presented to Brownsville Area High School for its restoration of the Brownsville Free Public Library. The Brownsville Students In Action chapter created a “Teen Space” at the library where students can study and socialize outside of the classroom.
  • Fishers High School of Fishers, IN – Silver National Banner Students In Action Team
    • The silver award was presented to Fishers High School for cultivating a more positive and accepting environment for students on campus. Additionally, the Fishers Students In Action chapter helped impact the broader community by keeping the shelves stocked at a local food pantry and providing care packages for the homeless. They even extended their service efforts internationally, collecting $8,000 for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and soccer equipment for youth in Ecuador to prevent gang activity.
  • Sage Oak Charter School of Redlands, CA – Bronze National Banner Students In Action Team
    • The bronze award was presented to Sage Oak Charter School for its Hopeful Hands initiative, focused on meeting the needs of children in foster care during the placement period. The Sage Oak Charter School Students In Action chapter leveraged social media to raise more than $7,500 in three weeks, resulting in 200 “Totes of Hope.”
  • Clearview Regional High School of Mullica Hill, N.J. – National Ambassador Students In Action Team
    • Clearview Regional High School was named the National Ambassador Students In Action team for its efforts to make community service fun and easy. Clearview students strive to create a legacy of service and leadership, and pass down the skills they’ve learned from being a part of the Jefferson Awards Foundation.

The National Ceremony, now in its 46th year, took place June 28, 2018 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. and was sponsored by the NFL, Vodafone, Clearsight Advisors, Deloitte, The Glover Park Group and United Steelworkers.

For more information on the Jefferson Awards Foundation and how to get involved in your community, please visit

About the Jefferson Awards Foundation
The Jefferson Awards Foundation (JAF) powers others to have maximum impact on the things they care about most. They are the largest multiplier of public service in America. Through celebration, they inspire action. With programs and partnerships, they drive Americans to change their communities and the world. They are celebrating 46 years of powering public service. To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation, visit: or engage with their community on InstagramTwitter, Snapchat and Facebook.


Kathryn Parrish
The Martin Group

Distribution channels: Beauty & Hair Care

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