Students Honored for Community Service at Jefferson Awards Banqu - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Students Honored for Community Service at Jefferson Awards Banquet

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WILMINGTON, Del. – Organizers of the national Jefferson Awards program say Delaware is the model by which the rest of the country should be measured.

The Jefferson Awards, based in Delaware, is a nationwide program honoring outstanding people for their selfless service to their communities.

“Delaware is our training ground,” Jefferson Awards President Sam Beard said. “It is a model and inspiration for the country.”

An awards banquet in Wilmington on Monday recognized humanitarians as well as participants of the Lead360 Challenge – a statewide program in which youth in participating schools strive to improve Hunger & Poverty, Education & Literacy and Health & Wellness.

Downstate nominees for the Lead360 Challenge included Indian River High School's Student Council Food Drive, the Holy Cross Knitting Club, the Sussex Consortium Supports Beebe Healthcare and Seaford Middle School's Code Purple Fundraiser.

For the Jefferson Awards, Robbie Westhoff of Greenwood was named a finalist for the Outstanding National or Global Service by Young Americans Award. Westhoff found 287 people in his community to act as Secret Santas for 141 teens in foster care across the state.

Additionally, Samantha Franklin, of Cape Henlopen and Sussex Central, was the winner of the Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities Award for her participating in Habitat for Humanity, the Harry K. Charity Ball, and assisting Home of the Brave in Milford.

And former Seaford teacher and coach John Hollis, the Sussex County manager of community and government affairs at Nemours Health and Prevention Services, received the Outstanding Service by an Entrepreneur Award. Hollis is associated with a variety of public service organizations, including MERIT, Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club, and the Delaware Community Foundation.

Today's banquet recognized only Delaware finalists and recipients. However, WBOC-TV honored 10 Delmarva Jefferson Awards winners in March at its own banquet. WBOC-TV has partnered with the Jefferson Awards since 2006 to honor extraordinary citizens of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

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