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Open Call for Nominations to Honor Individuals Committed to Serving Others

2020 Jenco Award Nominations Due June 12

Nelsonville, OHIn the face of the COVID-19 crisis we are all hearing stories of incredible acts of kindness and dedication to community. And the Jenco Award has long existed to recognize these people who rise to the occasion time after time to serve their local community. Do you know someone in your community who goes above and beyond to improve the lives of others? Is there a visionary leader in your community you want to recognize? To honor people of all ages who work passionately in the service of others in Appalachian Ohio, the Jenco Foundation Fund is seeking nominations for the 2020 Jenco Awards.

These cash awards are designed to recognize the committed service of Appalachian Ohioans – from those who have a lifetime of service experience to those whose service has begun early in life. Nominations are invited from the public starting and must be postmarked or emailed by June 12, 2020. Nomination forms and additional information about the Jenco Awards are available at

Founded in 2001 by journalist Terry Anderson, the Jenco Foundation honors Father Lawrence Martin Jenco. A Catholic priest who was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon while serving as a director of Catholic Relief Services, Father Jenco was an inspiration to many, including fellow captive Anderson, because of his compassion and service to others.

The Jenco Foundation joined the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) in 2011 as an endowment to ensure that it can forever honor Father Jenco’s legacy by recognizing unsung heroes throughout Appalachian Ohio.

“The Jenco Awards are designed to recognize people in our community who devote themselves to improving the lives of those around them through service and active leadership in their local communities,” said Jack Wright, a Jenco Foundation Fund committee member. “With these awards, we are able to shine a light on those individuals and the remarkable work they are doing throughout our region that may otherwise go unnoticed.”

The Jenco Awards recognize individuals of all ages for their service contributions. Their service demonstrates 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 or for a school project; it is a passion.

Last year’s recipients provide an example of the wide-ranging visionary leadership in the service of others that the Jenco Awards recognize:

  • 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 Hutchinson 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 helped grow the Meigs County Community Fund from an organization with only about $6,000 in assets to a dynamic, community-centered fund approaching $600,000 within just a few years. In collaboration with others serving on the fund committee, Sheets’s advocacy has built an infrastructure for Meigs County people to give back to their home community.

Jenco Award nominations are encouraged across areas essential to quality of life, including arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environmental stewardship, and health and human services. For more information on how to nominate someone, please visit or call 740.753.1111.

To learn more and watch videos showcasing the stories of past Jenco Award recipients, visit the Jenco Foundation Fund’s webpage at

Gifts to the Jenco Foundation Fund are tax deductible and can be made in a number of ways, including cash, gifts in wills, and life insurance. Thanks to FAO’s current match opportunity, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000 per donor until June 30, 2020. To make a gift today, visit

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit