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Open Call for Nominations to Honor Individuals Committed to Serving Others

2021 Jenco Award Nominations Due June 14

Nelsonville, OH – 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 2021 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 and must be postmarked or emailed by Monday, June 14, 2021. 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 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 exist to recognize individuals who go above and beyond normal volunteer effort and contribute extraordinary service to their community,” said Melody Sands, a member of the Jenco Foundation Fund committee. “Our goal is to shine a light on individuals with awards to draw attention to the incredible work these often-uncelebrated leaders are doing throughout our region.”

The Jenco Award recognizes 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 Award recognizes:

  • Roberta “Bobbi” Bishop of Hocking County was recognized for her lifetime of service and dedication to environmental preservation and education through the creation of Bishop Educational Gardens. She has taken a leadership role in the Gardens’ annual arts and music festival to support local artists and musicians.
  • Crystal Cole of Athens County was recognized for her work to meet community needs during a time of crisis and unknown risk through service with the Salvation Army as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Lillian Ford, a high school student of Belmont County, was recognized for her dedication to address community needs and inspire the service of other youth through the creation of Kindness U: Lillian’s Leaders for Tomorrow. The nonprofit club engages kids of all ages in volunteering and fundraising to give back to their communities.  
  • Karen Kumpf of Washington County was recognized for her visionary and inclusive leadership in creating Harvest of Hope to address food insecurity in her community. Kumpf created the organization after seeing students and families struggling with food insecurity while working as an educator. Harvest of Hope has now delivered over 1,200,000 pounds of food to people who need it.
  • Josh Montgomery of Highland and Ross County was recognized for the quick mobilization and creation of the Southern Ohio Makers Against COVID Coalition. The organization has worked to create protective face shields with 3D printers and distribute them to medical personnel, first responders, and others at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Clinton Nowicke of Gallia County was recognized for going above and beyond in his service with Hopewell Health Centers during a time of need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowicke worked to support mental and behavioral health for Gallia’s youth by creating engaging videos and learning materials which included resources for the deaf and hard of hearing.   

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. To make your donation, please designate the Jenco Foundation Fund and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764. Donations can also be made online by visiting our online giving page and selecting the Jenco Foundation Fund when making a donation. Gifts may be made in honor or in memory of someone close to your heart, including past Jenco Awardees and other unsung heroes in the region.

Thanks to FAO’s current match opportunity, for every one dollar given, $.50 will be matched, while match is available.  Maximum match is $5,000 per individual donor.  To make a gift today, visit

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 the Jenco Foundation Fund, the Jenco Award, and how to nominate someone, please visit or call 740.753.1111.

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