Seattle CityClub is proud to recognize community leaders in our state through Washington State’s Jefferson Awards. Regarded as the "Nobel Prize" for public service, this award honors “unsung heroes” for their volunteerism and action to make the world a better place.

Congratulations to the 2014 Washington State Jefferson Award winners:

Patt Copeland Patt Copeland, Seattle - Vision Loss Connections
After experiencing partial vision loss, Patt Copeland started Vision Loss Connections, a non-profit organization that provides affordable access to arts and cultural programs for people who are blind and low vision. She has formed partnerships with the Seattle Arts Museum, The Seattle Public Library, The 5th Avenue Theatre and others to expand access to artistic, cultural, recreational and sporting activities for individuals in the blind and vision loss community. She also serves as a volunteer member of the City of Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities.

Todd McNeal Todd McNeal, Bothell - Hand in Hand
When Todd and his wife began doing foster care ten years ago they saw a huge problem when children were initially picked up by Child Protective Services. Caseworkers would pick children up in emergency situations at times when foster homes could be difficult or impossible to find. Seeing this flawed system compelled him to found Hand in Hand, a non-profit that manages Safe Place, a 72-hour emergency receiving center for children entering in to the foster care system. Caseworkers from as far away as Bellingham and Vancouver bring their kids to Safe Place, located in Everett, to use their facility.

Kevin Mincio Kevin Mincio, Mercer Island - The Team Jesse Foundation
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Kevin left a Wall Street job to join the Army and served a tour of duty in Iraq with Jesse, where they became close friends. In honor of Jesse Williams and other fallen soldiers, Kevin started The Team Jesse Foundation to help families of fallen soldiers by raising awareness and funding. The foundation offers education and support to these families to ease their grief and memorialize their loved one so that their service and sacrifice are never forgotten.

Ramon Rivera Ramon Rivera,  Malaga - Mariachi Huenachi
As the director of the renowned Mariachi Huenachi program, Ramon inspires kids to stay in school by creating opportunities for them to learn Mariachi, a form of folk music from Mexico, travel and perform regionally, while touring college campuses. Over 300 students across the Wenatchee School District are involved with Ramon's mariachi programs. This past fall, eight of his students were accepted at Washington State University and for each one of them, they will become the first person in their family to attend college.

James Wilburn Jr James Wilburn Jr., Spokane - Leadership Development for Children of the Dream
James works to promote social justice in Spokane with his collaborations with the Mayor’s office, school districts, and local high schools to eliminate the achievement gap for minority students. He founded Leadership Development for Children of the Dream, a non-profit that focuses on empowering youth to become future leaders in their schools and community. As the volunteer president of the NAACP-Spokane, he organizes free community events and hosts a radio show to bring to light topics of race, education, cultural tolerance and civic engagement in the community.

Congratulations to our 2014 Washington State Jefferson Award Nominees!

Join us for an evening of celebration, networking, food and drinks, as well as live music featuring our winner Ramon Rivera's high school mariachi band, Mariachi Huenachi! Our host for the evening will be Jim Dever of King 5's Evening Magazine, and our keynote address will be delivered by Debbie Schuffenhauer, Executive Director of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service. 

Co-Promoting Organizations:

501 CommonsAARP Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, University of WashingtonLeadership TomorrowRotary First Harvest - WashingtonSeattle Department of NeighborhoodsSeattle WorksUnited Way King CountyVolunteer Centers of Washington AssociationWashington Commission for National and Community ServiceWashington NonprofitsYouth Development Executives of King County

Media Co-Promoting Partners:

 The Chronicle •  The Daily HeraldThe Daily WorldNisqually Valley News • Tri-City HeraldWalla Walla Union BulletinWenatchee World

2014 Judges:

Nicole Browning, Marketing Director,  Wimmer Solutions  

Allie Diffendal,  Program + Operations Manager, Seattle CityClub

Sara Levin, Vice President of Community Services, United Way of King County

Jill McGovern, Microsoft Citizenship, Microsoft

Betsy Robertson, Director of Communications & Community, KING5

Joelle Skaga Nausin, Program Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Investments, Starbucks Coffee Company

Kirsten Weiss, Community Relations Associate, Safeco Insurance

2013 Washington State Jefferson Award Winners!