Nominations now open for annual Jefferson awards

Southern Oregon and Northern California residents are invited to nominate exceptional citizens for another round of Jefferson Awards.

NewsWatch 12 and Pacific Power have teamed up to recognize 12 outstanding citizens through the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. This is the third year for the program in the region, and the first time Pacific Power is acting as sponsor.

The first Jefferson Awards were given in 1973 by the American Institute for Public Service, formed in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard.

In Southern Oregon and Northern California, Jefferson Awards are a partnership of the American Institute, Pacific Power and NewsWatch 12. Station viewers will make nominations, and a panel of judges will select 12 finalists. From that group, a single winner will be chosen to represent the region at the national Jefferson Awards banquet in Washington DC in June.

Previous overall winners were Vicki Kelly of Phoenix, founder of the missing children advocacy group The Tommy Foundation, and Sherry Wegener of Klamath County, a longtime foster parent.

Other award winners channeled their skills and talents to help their communities, ranging from teachers who spend extra time with students to couples who help children with disabilities by teaching them to ride horses.

Nominations can be made at , and will remain open for several more weeks.

Nominations can also be mailed to: Jefferson Awards, NewsWatch 12, P.O. Box 4220, Medford, OR 97501

Previous calls for entries brought in more than 200 nominations, and a like number is expected this time.

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