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PHOTO GALLERY

'Shoe lady' among local Jefferson Award recipients

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    Blade President and General Manager Joseph H. Zerbey IV, left, presents Mary Lou Leonard with her Jefferson Award during a ceremony Friday at the Toledo Club.

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Jefferson-Award-Joseph-Zerby-Mary-Lou-Leonard

Blade President and General Manager Joseph H. Zerbey IV, left, presents Mary Lou Leonard with her Jefferson Award during a ceremony Friday at the Toledo Club.

THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The Jefferson Award recipients were honored Friday morning in front of nearly 200 people at the Toledo Club.

Recipients include Richard Faist, Kim Holmes, Mary Lou Leonard, and Duke Wheeler. The Jefferson Awards youth recipient was Amy Patel, a senior at Lake High School.

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Mr. Faist has served as a COMPASS board member for more than four decades. The organization provides inpatient and outpatient alcohol and drug abuse treatment to 2,500 men and women each year and offers free HIV education to another 2,000 people annually.

Ms. Holmes was inspired by her two autistic children to co-found Agility Angels, an organization that teaches children with autism how to train dogs and participate in canine agility trials.

Ms. Leonard, known to some as “the Shoe Lady,” collects tennis shoes from drop-off locations and distributes them to people in need. She is also the founder of Christian Health Ministries, an inner-city clinic that provides medical care to the poor.

Mr. Wheeler has used his Whitehouse Tree Farm to raise money for people in need, including paying medical bills for a 10-year-old boy who needed a liver transplant.

Miss Patel received the youth award for her work with Students In Action at Lake High School.

Toledo started participating in the Jefferson Awards in 2002, honoring four local people each year who make a positive impact on the community. The program was started nationally in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service.

The awards are sponsored by The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem, and WTOL.

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