WBOC 2017 Jefferson Award Winner to Attend National Ceremony
Eric was one of 10 local Jefferson Award winners honored Wednesday evening at an awards ceremony held at the WBOC NewsPlex in Salisbury. A panel of two judges selected Eric as a nominee for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community. Five nominees will be selected as Onassis Award winners at the national ceremony.
About Eric Rimel
Eric was selected for a 2017 national Jefferson Award because of his tireless volunteer work for several nonprofit organizations in Worcester County, Maryland.
At just 17 years of age, Eric is WBOC’s youngest WBOC Jefferson Awards winner. But don’t let his age fool you into thinking he hasn’t done a lot with his life, because he certainly has. Eric – a Type 1 diabetic – has dedicated hundreds of hours to raising money for Camp Possibilities, a camp in Maryland for children with diabetes.
Eric’s reasons for helping other children with diabetes are quite simple. He says he likes to see the smiles on the faces he helps. He also has another reason for helping Camp Possibilities: he went there and it changed his life. Eric says because of that, he tries to raise as much money as he can, so he can make it possible for more kids to be able to attend the camp.
And now Eric is the one changing lives.
Eric’s family started a spaghetti dinner to raise money for the camp, and Eric does most of the work. Eric also visits businesses where he lives and asks for donations for Camp Possibilities. And his efforts have paid off big time. Since 2011, Eric has helped raise more than $40,000 for the camp.
Stuart Sherman, program director for Camp Possibilities, says Eric not only attends camp but he does everything he can to help the camp and the kids who attend it. According to Stuart, there are quite a few kids at the camp who wouldn’t be there at all if it wasn’t for the money Eric raised.
Eric’s volunteer work extends far beyond Camp Possibilities. He also gives up his time to coach young bowlers ages 6 for an area bowling alley’s youth bowling program.
Eric is also a volunteer with the Worcester County Arts Council’s summer arts camp where for the last three years he has assisted art instructors and campers during art classes and workships.
Eric also regularly volunteers with his church, St. Peter’s Lutheran. Whenever a helping hand is needed for a church event (most of which involve food), Eric will get involved without hesitation. And that includes washing dishes and cleaning up after events.
Maryland State Sen. Jim Mathias lauded Eric’s volunteerism and was on hand when Eric was presented with a WBOC Jefferson Award.
“Whatever your dreams are because of your determination, you are going to make come true,” the senator told Eric, who is a junior at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin.
About the Judges
The judges who served on the nominating committee included Gage Thomas, a businessman who also serves as a member of the Cambridge City Commissioners, and Beverley Thompson, a 2009 Jefferson Award winner and WBOC’s nominee for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community.
About the Jefferson Awards
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America.
The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. The mission of the Jefferson Awards is to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.
WBOC TV is proud to be a local partner of the Jefferson Awards. The awards are given annually to volunteers on Delmarva who provide extraordinary public service.