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Around Our Town...Heroes

Jefferson Awards for Public Service

04/01/2006 - Have you ever noticed there are two kinds of heroes? There are the visible heroes, which, in my book, include police officers, firemen, members of the military, rescue personnel, and of course, any person who puts him/herself in danger to save or help another.

Then there are the less visible heroes...those humble individuals who quietly go about helping others in various ways. These heroes are rarely in the limelight, except in the eyes of those whose lives have been changed by their selfless actions. We are blessed with many such folks in Wyoming and four local businesses have chosen to recognize them by serving as sponsors for the Jefferson Awards in Wyoming.

The Jefferson Awards were founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, US Senator Robert Taft Jr. and Sam Beard for the purpose of establishing a nationally recognized award for outstanding public service. The mission of this Nobel Prize for community service is "to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service."

Our Town Casper thanks sponsors KCWY News 13, Wyoming Community Gas, Hilltop National Bank, and Nelico Equipment for recognizing the hugely significant contributions made by Wyoming nominees. Individuals are nominated through a nationwide network of Jefferson Awards Media Sponsors. The award recipients are chosen from the nominations by a panel of judges. A small number of selected outstanding citizens will receive a Jefferson Award Medallion at a local civic celebration in Spring 2006. Winners are then submitted to the National Jefferson Award Committee for consideration of the National Jefferson Award. This committee then chooses one winner to represent Wyoming at the National Awards ceremony at the US Supreme Court in Washington D.C. in June 2006.

This national program only recently came to Wyoming with the first nominees being submitted for consideration last year. The winner chosen to represent Wyoming in 2005 was Jerre Jones, a cancer survivor who gave many hours to help other cancer patients through her work with the American Cancer Society on such projects as the stop smoking campaign. Other medallion recipients from Wyoming in 2005 include Leo Sanchez, Bill DeGraeve, as well as Florence and Lester Snow.

We look forward with anticipation to the announcement of the 2006 honorees (scheduled to be announced within a week or so of this printing). Our Town Casper commends you quiet heroes of our community and our state.

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