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THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our August winner donates her time to the farmers market

Every month FOX47 features someone in our community who is making a difference and we honor them with a Jefferson Award. 

Our August winner is Diane Jerome. She has become a stand out volunteer at at the Rochester Farmers Market. 

"I come to the market every Saturday and I tell the manager put me to work," said Jerome. "I’ll do whatever."  

Jerome has been working at the Farmers Market for nearly ten years. In her time she has worked with multiple market managers. 

"I think there were very few Saturdays the five years that I was manager that she was not there volunteering so it was always that kind of support," said Former Market Manager, Kari Dunn. 

When Jerome first attempted to donate her time, there wasn’t even a program. 

"I’ve been coming to this farmers market for many, many years," said Jerome. "I started when it was at some of the other locations, and then when the board of directors was thinking about starting a volunteer program one guy was like, I know the perfect person and that’s because I’m here anyway. So they asked me if I’d be interested and I’ve been here ever since."

Jess Joyce, the current market manager, nominated Jerome for the Jefferson Award despite the fact that they’ve only worked together since April.  

"Diane was one of the very first people I met when I started with the market and every since I came on as manager she’s been an incredible mentor to me," said Joyce. "She’s extremely experienced and she’s been at market every weekend."

Jerome’s presence at the market has a positive impact on many costumers as well as other volunteers. 

"Something I think is really special about Diane is not only does she know the names of almost everybody in the market and she’s an expert on many of the products and she’s great with the costumer interface," said Joyce. Truly she understands the spirit of the market that we’re hoping to bring to more people here in Rochester and who come from out of town. Diane understands that and she has a vision for it." 

Diane says nothing in particular inspired her to start volunteering, it’s just in her blood.

"I think it’s from my parents," said Jerome. "It’s just who I am from my parents. They are similar and I would say it’s honoring them that I turned out to be who I am." 

To nominate our next Jefferson Award winner click here.


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