Suzy DeYoung of La Soupe, an organization that harnesses the talent of chefs to help produce nutritious meals for food-insecure families in Greater Cincinnati, has been named local 2017 winner of the Jefferson Award for Public Service.
DeYoung now goes on to Washington, DC, in June, where her work at La Soupe will be considered in a national competition sponsored by the Jefferson Awards Foundation.
This year’s finalists for the Jefferson Award in Cincinnati were Allen Rainey of SonLight Power, which installs solar-energy arrays around the world, and Sheryl Rajbhandari of Heartfelt Tidbits, which aids in the resettlement of refugees in Cincinnati.
The Rotary Club of Cincinnati and the American Institute of Public Service are behind the search for Jefferson Award nominees in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. This year, the program’s 16th locally, the Cincinnati competition saw a record 31 nominations. A committee reviewed the nominations and culled the list to one winner and two finalists.
Bob Herzog, morning news anchor for WKRC Channel 12, served as emcee for the ceremony at Thursday’s Rotary Club of Cincinnati meeting in the Hall of Mirrors inside the Hilton Netherland in Downtown Cincinnati.
The award was created in 1972 by a Cincinnati native, then-U.S. Senator Robert Taft, and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It is presented annually to recipients in more than 90 cities in the United States. It honors community members who go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to their volunteer efforts in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Speaking at Thursday’s Jefferson Award ceremony was Brooke Desserich, founder and executive director of the The Cure Starts Now Foundation and a 2015 winner of the national Jefferson Award. She told the audience of a few hundred people how her husband and she had been at the ceremonies in Washington two years ago and didn’t expect to win, only to be surprised when she did.
Close to one-third of our local Jefferson Award winners have gone on to win national honors.
View all the finalist videos here:
Suzy DeYoung, LaSoupe – 2017 Jefferson Award Winner:
Allen Rainey of SonLight Power, finalist for the 2017 Jefferson Award:
Sheryl Rajbhandari of Heartfelt Tidbits, finalist for the 2017 Jefferson Award: