06.17.14

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Recognizes Wisconsin Recipients of Jefferson Awards for Public Service

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today recognized three Jefferson Awards recipients from Wisconsin. The Jefferson Awards for Public Service are presented each year to Americans who strive to make a difference and build stronger communities.

“These outstanding citizens represent the best of our great state,” said Senator Baldwin. “Wisconsin is proud of their strong commitment to serving their communities. These exceptional Wisconsinites are role models for others who understand the value of public service and the importance of working for our common good.”

Founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard, the Jefferson Awards Foundation aims to empower people to be leaders, problems solvers, entrepreneurs and impactful global citizens. Each award recipient is honored at the Annual Jefferson Awards National Ceremony in Washington, DC.

Barb Knopf of Madison received a Jefferson Award for her dedication to providing veterans with equine therapy opportunities. Inspired by her son’s experience with equine therapy after returning from service with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Barb started Veterans Equine Trail Services, which has since helped more than 175 veterans cope with the effects of war.

Shelby Gerbig of Wausau was awarded for her efforts in promoting organ donation awareness throughout North Central Wisconsin. Since founding the non-profit organization North Central Wisconsin Donate Life (NCWDL) with her husband Ted in 2007, Shelby has been able to grant more than $50,000 to organizations promoting organ donation.

Tom Leuck of Chippewa Falls was presented a Jefferson Award for his work in creating Special Kid’s Day, a local non-profit serving children with disabilities. Tom fundraises by selling brats at stands across Wisconsin in order to host a two-day event in Lake Wissota State Park with games, food and music for families to enjoy.