2014 Jefferson Award Winners Honored for Outstanding Public Service

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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY -- Four local volunteers were honored Tuesday night at the George Bush Presidential Library for their outstanding public service during the 2014 Jefferson Awards.

Carol Wagner was chosen to represent Bryan-College Station in Washington D.C. at the upcoming national Jefferson Awards ceremony.

The three other Jefferson Award winners included; Melanie DeAeth, Jerry Gritter, and Jason James.

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.

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.

For their volunteerism and service in the community, all four are recognized with Jefferson Awards, the nation's highest honor for public service.