In the face of the COVID-19 crisis we are all hearing stories of incredible acts of kindness and dedication to community. The Jenco Awards have long existed to recognize those who rise to the occasion time after time to serve their local community. Whether responding to the pandemic or committing themselves to service in other ways, six individuals received recognition through the 2020 Jenco Awards.
This year’s Jenco Awardees include Roberta “Bobbi” Bishop of Hocking County, Crystal Cole of Athens County, Lillian Ford of Belmont County, Karen Kumpf of Washington County, Josh Montgomery of Highland and Ross counties, and Clinton Nowicke of Gallia County.
“We are pleased that the Jenco Awards are here to celebrate the stories of those who are engaged in service to respond to the pandemic or continuing to serve their communities in other ways,” said Sharon Hatfield, fund representative for the Jenco Foundation Fund. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its many social, economic and health ramifications have made it more important than ever to lift up the work of those who are so selflessly giving back to their communities and serving others.”
Each 2020 awardee was recognized for their service to their respective region.
Josh Montgomery of Highland and Ross counties was recognized for the quick mobilization and creation of the Southern Ohio Makers Against COVID Coalition (SOMACC).
Montgomery is an associate professor at Southern State Community College. With his connections to the educational community and access to a 3D printer, he was able to quickly mobilize a coalition of educators across several counties to create protective face shields with 3D printers and distribute the face shields to medical personnel, first responders and others at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19. For example, 400 face shields were distributed to Highland District Hospital.
“I am honored to have been nominated and to be one of the winners of the 2020 Jenco Awards,” Montgomery said. “When we decided to start SOMACC, I was just happy to be helping our first responders during a difficult time.”
Nominated by fellow community members who witness their visionary leadership in the service of others, Jenco Awardees are selected through a formal committee process and review. They receive an individual cash award to use in the manner most appropriate to their leadership.
Founded in 2001 by journalist Terry Anderson, the awards are named after Father Lawrence Martin Jenco. A Catholic priest who was kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon while serving as a director of Catholic Relief Services, 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 Jenco’s legacy by recognizing unsung heroes throughout Appalachian Ohio who have devoted themselves to direct, caring action in the service of others. 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.
If you know someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty in service of others, nominate that individual for the 2021 Jenco Awards. The nomination window opens annually in the spring. In the meantime, sign up for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s e-newsletter at www.AppalachianOhio.org or follow FAO on Facebook or Instagram to hear when the call for 2021 nominations is released.
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 a gift today or learn more, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org/Jenco. To learn about the Highland County Community Fund, a fund of FAO that serves Highland County communities, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org/Highland.
Submitted by Daniel Kington, communications and programs associate, Foundation For Appalachian Ohio.