Four area volunteers were selected today as winners of the Toledo-Area Jefferson Awards.
They are Marcy McMahon, Jay Mirrow, Phyllis Morton, and Martha Pituch.
The winners were announced at the annual Jefferson Awards celebration and breakfast, said Joseph H. Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade.
“We should all be proud of the fine work done by these volunteers,” Mr. Zerbey said. “Through their hard work, they have made our community a better place to live, and I am happy that we can take part in recognizing them today.”
Mrs. McMahon was nominated by her husband, Brian McMahon. She established the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1984. It merged with the Foundation's regional chapter. The Northwest Ohio Regional Chapter of the Foundation is now known as one of the largest charitable organizations in Northwest Ohio.
Mr. Mirrow was nominated by Janet Rogolsky. He developed a mentoring program and plan to promote literacy in Toledo Public Schools.
Mr. Mirrow paired trained tutors and mentors with students at McKinley Elementary School. The program was expanded this year to include Toledo's Larchmont and Sherman elementary schools.
Mr. Mirrow also developed a database to track tutor and student meetings, student behavior, material reviewed during each session, and how the students performed.
He was awarded the Global Volunteer of the Year award in 2013 from Owens Corning.
Mrs. Morton was nominated by Jennifer Teschner. Mrs. Morton, 86, spearheads the acquisition and restoration of a history museum in Perrysburg; is a member of the Citizen Review Board; is a nursing home ombudsman for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc., and volunteers as court Appointed special advocate.
Mrs. Morton became the founding director of Abundant Life, a senior housing development project launched by the church, where she served for 30 years.
Mrs. Pituch was nominated by Shirley Shea. She has volunteered at the Cherry Street Mission health clinic for homeless men for the past 23 years.
Mrs. Pituch was named to the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 1991, received the Milestones Award in 1997, and was recognized in 2004 as one of only 200 women who were said to have made "significant contributions in the State of Ohio and the nation over the last 200 years."
In 2012, Mrs. Pituch was named an Outstanding Senior Volunteer by Medical Mutual of Northwest Ohio and received the regional and national Compassionate Hero awards.
The names and nomination packets of these four will be sent to a panel in Washington, D.C. That panel will then select a local winner, who will attend a ceremony there later in the spring.
The Jefferson Awards are sponsored locally by The Blade, WTVG 13ABC and Buckeye CableSystem. The award sponsor is Leadership Toledo, and the breakfast sponsors are The Andersons and Waterford Bank.