CIRCLEVILLE — After more than 10,000 votes were cast, United Way of Pickaway County has named its 2019-2020 Community Impact Award winner.

Deputy Dale Thomas, of the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, was named the Community Impact Award winner at the 2019 United Way United We Serve Gala. Thomas will now have six $500 scholarships presented in his name for the 2019-2020 school year.

Thomas called the award humbling and was surprised to be the top vote getter.

“I enjoy my job and it’s nice to be recognized but I just do what I like to do,” Thomas commented to The Circleville Herald. “I really appreciate the United Way and what they do in the community. It’s a big honor to be recognized by them and to be with the group I was with. I read all their bios and to be in that group was humbling. I appreciate the opportunity.”

Jama Cobb, newly appointed executive director for the United Way of Pickaway County, read a comment from the public that was submitted on behalf of each of the finalists, including Thomas, who was later announced as the winner.

“Not only has he had a positive affect on my family, I have witnessed him provide guidance to impressionable youth in Pickaway County,” Cobb read. “He takes time to chat not only to the DARE students but also to the youngest of students. This man is the vision of what a public servant should be and is most deserving. Deputy Thomas doesn’t seek accolades, rather he seeks to create a positive community and provide a helping hand where needed.”

The other nominees, Alice Harker a volunteer with the Community Kitchen; Officer David McIntyre of the Circleville Police Department; Jan Shannon executive director of the Pickaway County Community Foundation; and David Williams, a volunteer with Heartland Hospice, were all presented with a trophy honoring them for their service and for their nomination. All five, including Thomas, were all selected following nominations from the community.

“Tonight we are blessed to be in the presence of some of Pickaway County’s most intentional, compassionate and prominent heroes as we recognize our inaugural class of 2019 United Way of Pickaway County Impact Award finalists,” Cobb read while introducing them.

Cobb said great leadership and great people makes Pickaway County unique.

“Pickaway County does not measure up to the size and financial support of our neighbors to the north in Franklin County, but we stand toe-to-toe with any county because of our strong relationships in this community,” she said. “We sit on multiple boards, we are educators, we are in civil service, we are in health care and we work at for-profit businesses that donate and support our community where it needs it the most. That is the measure of our people.”

Cobb said it was an amazing night to honor the nominees.

“I am so proud of this community, there are people making a difference all over and I wish we could recognize every single one of them,” she added. “The five tonight deserved to be nominated and they all deserved to win. I’m so proud of the impact they make with needs both big and small.”

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