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The Jenco Foundation Fund

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to serve their local community? Whether they have a lifetime of service experience or their service has begun early in life, please consider nominating those individuals for a 2020 Jenco Award! Nominations are open from May 1, 2020 to June 12, 2020. Nomination forms are available here.


The Jenco Foundation Fund was established at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) to recognize citizens of Appalachian Ohio who demonstrate visionary leadership in serving others throughout the region. The Jenco Awards, which began in 2002, uphold the legacy of Father Martin Jenco, who dedicated his life to the service of others.

The Jenco Award recognizes individuals for their service contributions with cash awards. Though these efforts need not be religious in the formal sense, they demonstrate direct, caring action that contributes to the quality of life of individuals living in Appalachian Ohio. Their commitment to others is not simply a part of their daily jobs; it is a passion. Nominations are encouraged across all areas essential to quality of life, including health and human services, education, environmental stewardship, community and economic development, and arts and culture.

The 2019 Jenco Award recipients include:

  • Cathy Barney of Clermont County started “Artsy Fartsy Saturdays” to provide a free, weekly opportunity to access the arts for 4th to 6th grade kids in her community’s subsidized housing development.
  • Dottie Fromal of Athens County started Nelsonville’s Thursday Night Community Dinner to provide home cooked meals around the table for the children served by the after-school center where she works.
  • Theo Hutchinson of Athens County works with Athens City Schools to help with staff education on LGBTQ+ issues, and Theo also offered input to update the district’s sexual health education curriculum to be more extensive, evidence-based, and inclusive of different gender and sexual identities.
  • Sam Jones of Athens County operates Sam’s Gym in Glouster, Ohio, and uses the gym as a way to give back to the community by offering free boxing and kickboxing training for youth and raising money for Trimble Local Schools.
  • Jennifer Sheets of Meigs County revived the Meigs County Community Fund, growing it within only a few years from a dormant organization with about $6,000 in assets to a dynamic, community-centered fund of over $600,000. In collaboration with others serving on the fund committee, Jennifer’s advocacy has built an infrastructure for Meigs County people to give back to their home community.

In the past, the Jenco Foundation Fund has honored a wide array of exceptional individuals in Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia who have been active in furthering Father Jenco’s vision of philanthropy. To learn more about past recipients, click here.

Want to make sure the Jenco Awards keep uplifting the heroes in your community? Make an online donation through Network for Good to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, designating the Jenco Foundation Fund or mail gifts to:

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
PO Box 456
35 Public Square
Nelsonville, OH 45764

For more information contact the Foundation at 740.753.1111