Jefferson Award Foundation luncheon honors local recipients
JACKSON, Tenn. — The local winners of Jefferson Awards for the year were all recognized Wednesday.
Leaders Credit Union and WBBJ-TV hosted the annual Jefferson Award Foundation luncheon for the 2018-2019 West Tennessee recipients at the Jackson Country Club.
The first Jefferson Awards were given in 1972, thanks to the work of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sen. Robert Taft Jr. and Sam Beard.
The program has now spread across the nation, and the West Tennessee recipients of the award gathered Wednesday as the community celebrated their service.
WBBJ-TV and Leaders Credit Union sponsor the Jefferson Award locally. WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News anchor Ariana Alexa emceed the luncheon.
The Jefferson Awards are dedicated to finding and recognizing the unsung heroes in communities. As part of the Jefferson Awards, WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spotlights one community member each month, nominated by their peers.
“West Tennessee has kind of picked it up and been a part of it, and we want to make sure that we’re showcasing our unsung heroes,” said Leigh Anne Bentley, vice president of marketing for Leaders Credit Union. “We’re making sure we’re showcasing what they’re doing, the great things they’re doing, and we want to honor them.”
All 12 of those unsung heroes spotlighted in the last year were recognized with a medal and proclamation at the ceremony.
“It’s all of West Tennessee. It’s not just a Jackson thing,” Bentley said. “We have people from all different counties that are being honored today.”
The causes ranged from animal advocacy to family health and more.
Bobbie Boroughs and her school for special needs children, Sheltering Tree Ranch in Hardin County, was one of the recipients. See our story featuring her and Sheltering Tree Ranch here.
She was also selected to represent West Tennessee in Washington, D.C., for a national Jefferson Award. She will be invited to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Awards celebration in May in Washington, D.C.
Her husband and president of Sheltering Tree Ranch was humbled by the event.
“All the people that are here today are such givers, and we’re humbled by that,” David Boroughs said.
Bentley hopes that the event and organizations are inspiring others.
“I hope this is making an impact on people,” Bentley said. “I hope it showcases people that are doing great things, and I hope it inspires others to do great things for us.”
If you think someone in your community should be considered for the Jefferson Award, you can nominate them on our website. Click on the Jefferson Awards tab.
This was the second year for the awards ceremony and luncheon.
We’ll have more on Bobbie Boroughs on WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News at 10.