Local Jefferson Award Winners for 2014 Announced

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Each year, KBTX partners with the national Jefferson Awards to honor outstanding volunteers in our community. This May, we'll have our annual awards ceremony, but we're announcing the four winners for this year's awards.

Melanie DeAeth is the founder of True Blue Animal Rescue in Brenham, a non-profit, no-kill shelter created in 2004 to care for animals across the state. Plus, she's been a special education teacher at Alton Elementary in Brenham for nearly two decades.

Jerry Gritter has had his hands in numerous volunteer organizations over the years, including Brazos Beautiful and Kiwanis, but most recently, he's been helping build access ramps across the region as part of the Texas Ramp Project so disabled people can get into buildings easier.

Jason James day job is with the Bryan Police Department, but the sergeant is also a frequent volunteer, including with groups like Special Olympics and Bryan Evening Lions Club. Through the department, he's served at a variety of events like Tip a Cop and Blue Christmas.

In Carol Wagner's four decades in the Twin Cities, she's been recognized for her efforts at the Prenatal Clinic and Voices for Children, helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help kids in need. She's also added her efforts to the Salvation Army and the Symphony Orchestra, among others.

For their volunteerism and service in the community, these four will be recognized with Jefferson Awards, recognized as the nation's highest honor for public service.

One of the four winners will be chosen to represent the Brazos Valley at the national awards. That announcement will be made at our awards ceremony on May 13, which will air live here on KBTX.