The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 23, 2011

The Rev. Fred Grimm named Jefferson’s Citizen of the Year

JEFFERSON — The Rev. Fred Grimm was only a little suspicious that something was up Tuesday evening as he and his wife were preparing to attend the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce Jefferson Citizen of the Year 2010 banquet at the Jefferson Community Center.

Grimm was named Jefferson Citizen of the Year for his tireless, cheerful service to his congregation at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the people of the Jefferson community, in general.

“It was quite a shock. I only got suspicious when my wife came home from work early and then she got her camera out,” said Grimm, who came to Jefferson 13 years ago.

“I am honored to be recognized by this community because of the people who live here and throughout Ashtabula County. I have never been in contact with so many people who are so giving, from my congregation to all of the people I work with,” he said.

Throughout his life, Grimm has been committed to God and his country, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school. He then earned a degree from Capital University, Columbus, and taught high school history and coached sports. He then chose to return to active duty, this time with the U.S. Navy. Grimm served God throughout his naval career as a lay leader, elder and through his involvement in various Chancel choirs, according to a press release.

Locally, Grimm has served as a special speaker at Jefferson Veterans Day events, has worked alongside many people at the Manna Food Pantry, is a yearly participant in the Falcon Follies and serves as pastor of St. Paul’s Church.

“This is a real honor because it’s like when you are on a sports team and you are recognized by your teammates; it means more because it is from the folks who are in the trenches with you. My whole life has been about teams, from sports to the military to the ministry,” Grimm said. “This community has taken us in from the very beginning, and we plan to stay here for the rest of our lives.”

Grimm and his wife, Dawn, have three grown children.

Award recipients can be nominated by anyone who lives in the Jefferson area by submitting a detailed nomination form to the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

Anyone who lives in Jefferson Area School district communities or is a non-resident who works in Jefferson, or has a significant presence in Jefferson, may be considered for their significant efforts, according to the nomination form.

Four other awards also were presented at the banquet, including:

n The Lifetime of Service Award given to the Jefferson Garden Club, which was formed in 1964, for its years of service in keeping Jefferson beautiful;

n The Charles Lewis Community Service Award was presented to Wendy Eckart for her volunteer work in Cub Scout Pack 41, the Jefferson Elementary PTO, Jefferson youth sporting organizations, the Falcon Follies and work at her church;

n The Good Samaritan Award was presented to Adam Trout, a junior at Jefferson High School, and Jordan Trenn, a senior at Jefferson High School, for aiding a man who had fallen on a sidewalk in February. Trout and Trenn not only called 911 for help, but also assisted the man back into his house and stayed with him until help arrived; and the

n Youth of the Year was awarded to Jefferson High School senior Emily Sarah Forristal for her many service projects and volunteer activities, including Knots of Love, an organization she created, which makes “no sew” fleece knotted blankets and delivers them to ill children at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

“I was shocked but ecstatic. I was so excited because it is a huge honor that I will never forget. I am so proud and so thankful for all the help I have received,” Forristal said.

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