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Charleston Man Wins Jefferson Award

Reported by: Send eMail Katelyn Sykes
Reported: Jun. 12, 2014 12:20 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 12, 2014 9:17 PM EDT
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Jefferson Award Winner
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

You might have seen him on Eyewitness News This Morning multiple times or maybe you’ve seen him around town a time, or two.

Charleston resident Jim Strawn can hang his hat on multiple titles, and now he is heading to Washington, D.C., to be recognized with one of our country’s highest honors for public service.

The Jefferson Award, sponsored locally for the past 29 years by WCHS TV, is considered the Nobel Prize for public service, and Jim Strawn wears the medal proudly around his neck.

"When Jo Corey called me, you could have knocked me over with a feather,” Strawn said. “I'm so honored. I'm so humbled. I'm honored to be representing the state of West Virginia and it's just my calling."

Strawn said he found out a couple of months ago that he had won the Jefferson Award. According to its website, the award is America’s highest tribute for public service and it has honored more than 50,000 unsung heroes in grassroots communities.

"I do what I can in the sphere of my influence to make our state of West Virginia and our Kanawha Valley, our city of Charleston, just a better place to live and learn and work and play,” he said. “The more I give, the more I live. I think givers gain and that's what I like to do."

Strawn has dedicated countless hours to community service projects around our area. From being the chairman of the Live on the Levee Committee, to emceeing the event, to being a board member for the March of Dimes and volunteering at local schools. In 2013, he was a part of some 220 community events.

"I like to give back to the nonprofit community, again, helping those who are in need,” he said. “Maybe giving those . . . a hand up instead of a handout."

A man who’s dedication involves others is now finding a little recognition himself that is taking him all the way to our nation’s capital.

"One of my favorite sayings is, ‘I cannot do anything about how long my life runs, but I can do something about how deep and wide my life runs,’ ” he said. “So I hope mine is running wide and deep."

Strawn will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., next week.



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