Justin Thran to receive Jefferson award
Teen philanthropist Justin Thran, 15, will be one of five recipients of a Jefferson Award, given for outstanding service to one’s community. Justin and his father, Bob, received word of the award Friday.
“This is amazing,” Bob said. “We’ve had a pretty bad time lately, because Justin’s great grandfather, who he has been very close to – he lives in Washington state – just passed away, so this was welcome good news.”
Justin, a resident of Smith Valley, has been making and selling wooden bird houses and bird feeders at local craft fairs and giving the proceeds area food banks since 1994.
Bob said his only son was able to give $7,000 to the charities last year, bringing his life total to more than $19,000.
“There’s no end in sight,” Bob said. “Last year was so great for Justin and this is so wonderful.”
Justin, who is home-schooled, has a newsletter and is working on a web site, he said.
“I think this must be something like getting an Oscar,” Justin said. “It makes me feel good, but I don’t do it for the attention..”
An article on Justin, originally printed in The Record-Courier last January and reprinted through the Associated Press, appears on page 125 of this month’s issue of Reader’s Digest, read by 25 million people in 19 different languages.
The Jefferson Award is locally sponsored by KTVN channel 2 in Reno.
Cecilia Adams, promotion manager for the television station said that this year, 68 people were nominated for the award and Justin will be the youngest recipient this year. He will be awarded his medallion form the Franklin Mint on March 12.
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