Founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, Senator Robert Taft Jr, and Sam Beard, Multiplying Good recognized four exceptional individuals who embody the spirit of public service and community betterment. This star-studded event, held at Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City, showcased the unwavering commitment of Leeza Gibbons, Shane Battier, and Paul Dreschnack, MD, as well as youth and unsung local grassroots heroes who are making a profound impact on society.

“We believe that at the heart of every great community and society are individuals and organizations committed to service. The Jefferson Awards exemplify our core belief that service is not just a noble act but the very fabric that weaves us together as a stronger, more compassionate, and resilient society.” said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Multiplying Good.  “Honoring service at the Jefferson Awards isn't just about celebrating individual achievements; it's about recognizing the collective power of giving back, inspiring positive change, and shaping a better world for all.”

Leeza Gibbons, a renowned television personality and philanthropist who has dedicated herself to numerous charitable causes, received the Lifetime Achievement in Public Service award. She founded the "Leeza's Care Connection" organization, which supports caregivers and individuals facing Alzheimer's disease and other chronic illnesses. Leeza's dedication to raising awareness and providing resources for caregivers has had a profound impact on countless families. Additionally, she has been involved in various initiatives related to health, education, and humanitarian efforts. Gibbons' unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of those in need showcases her as an inspiring and influential philanthropist.

Shane Battier, former American professional basketball player received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service in Professional Sports. Through the "Take Charge Foundation," co-founded with his wife, Heidi Ufer Battier, Shane has empowered underprivileged youth by offering scholarships, mentorship programs, and educational resources. This organization has enabled countless individuals to access higher education and achieve their dreams. He also extends his generosity to youth sports, health, and wellness initiatives. Battier’s commitment to community service sets an inspiring example for athletes and philanthropists alike. Beyond his basketball career, his legacy is defined by his dedication to making a positive and lasting impact on society through meaningful philanthropic endeavors.

The Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged award was presented to Paul Dreschnack, MD who is a prominent figure in the medical field, renowned not only for his medical expertise but also for his commitment to philanthropy. Through his philanthropic efforts, Dr. Dreschnack has worked in the poorest regions of India, giving new hope and life to children who had none. Making 3 to 4 trips to India a year along with 11 other Plastic Surgeons in the New York area, operated on about 300,000 children free of charge. Children with birth defects in India suffer from the deformities themselves, but there is a social exclusion, unemployment and limited marriage possibilities, that often lead to the death of these children. Estimates are as high as 10,000,000 lives were impacted by free surgery for these children. His dedication to philanthropy has played a pivotal role in enhancing healthcare access and quality, ultimately benefiting patients and medical professionals alike.

In addition to honoring national figures, Multiplying Good gave awards to individuals who participate in its Media Partner, Recognition, and Youth programs. Five community leaders received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Local Communities. The recipients were nominated for the top award by their respective media outlets.

Mariah Calagione (Delaware Today, Wilmington, DE) was honored for philanthropic work that includes founding Red Wagon Calagione Family Foundation, a nonprofit that has granted over $3.7 million to organizations and people in the Delaware community.

Reverend Roland Gordon (KPIX CBS 5 TV, San Francisco, CA) was recognized for over 43 years of giving back to his community including the creation of the Ingleside Community Cetner as well as for over 16 years feeding hundreds of people each month with grocery donations from local stores.  

Jenna Shaffer (WRTV, Indianapolis, IN) was recognized for her work with 91 Place, a transitional home she founded for unhoused youth that teaches life skills, workforce development, and much more.

Luke Sharp (WPDE, Conway, SC) established the Adaptive Surf Project, which has allowed people with a range of disabilities to surf on specially built surfboards and reconnect with the ocean. He also works with Coastal Adaptive Sports which facilitates nearly 100 similar events a year for those with disabilities.

Michelle Vacha (KOAA News5, Colorado Springs, CO) helps others through her nonprofit Senior Mobile Dental and Community Dental Health which provides affordable and high-quality dental care and services to seniors and nursing homes as well as to low-income individuals.

One individual received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee.

Sharnae Smith (Booz Allen Hamilton, Norfolk, VA) knows the impact of living with Lupus and the challenges this incurable and debilitating disease can have on those living with the same diagnosis. She chose to turn her diagnosis into purpose and began advocating for those facing hardships related to their Lupus diagnosis most recently lobbying in Congress provided the Lupus Foundation of America and the University of Alabama an opportunity to conduct a clinical trial for African American Lupus patients in Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, and Kentucky to better understand the effects that medications have on Lupus patients.

Multiplying Good honored the top youth service teams for service work conducted as part of Multiplying Good’s Students In Action program. After competing in Multiplying Good’s End of Year Celebration against other Student In Action teams in their respective communities, the top team receives a Gold Award.

Ashley Ridge High School SIA Team in South Carolina received the Gold Award in recognition of their work and collaboration with local elementary schools to host a mentoring event for fifth graders. Their event reached over 400 students via lessons on friendships, conflict-resolution, growth mindset, and success in school. By interacting with high school students, answering their questions, and engaging in activities, the fifth graders were able to ease their worries heading into the difficult transition to middle school. During the school year, their team engaged in 1,300 hours of service and impacted a total of 1,482 individuals through various projects and fundraisers.

The 51st Annual Jefferson Awards was a testament to the enduring spirit of generosity and compassion that continues to thrive in our society. It served as a reminder that, regardless of our backgrounds or professions, each one of us can contribute positively to the betterment of our communities and the world at large.