Jefferson Awards: Casadys coaching for all abilities

Mar. 15—LIMA — Brett and Rhonda Casady spend their time outside of work volunteering with the Allen County All Abilities Baseball League.

And for that dedication, they have been recognized with a Jefferson Award.

"It was very humbling," Rhonda said. "Undeserving is how I felt. There are so many people in our communities who donate hundreds of hours and have for years and to get this award for what I consider a small amount of time that we've donated is very humbling."

Brett said that he almost had to pull over when they got the call, but they are thankful to be rewarded.

But the Casadys did not get into the work to be rewarded.

"We actually found out about it through (player) Justin, whose games we watched up here," Rhonda, who works at the Allen County Sheriff's Office, said. "A couple of years ago we found out there was a need for more volunteers so I said absolutely, we'd love it."

It would be easy to view the time spent helping the league on the Rotary Field of Dreams at UNOH and off it as consuming, but Brett, who works as an electrician for the county, said that is a small price when they see the smiles on the faces of the kids involved in the league.

"It's about knowing that we can give some time, and it's not an insignificant amount," he said. "Seeing how these kids are impacted by it and how their family members get to have a little break is more of a gift for us. They love it and they love being out there and I'm glad we started doing it."

Nomination forms tout the commitment of the Casadys, who also volunteer at the Allen County Museum, the Allen County Historical Society and the Fraternal Order of Police so it is no surprise that the husband and wife would devote time to the league, as well.

And running teams as coaches, as well as helping with organization, is a natural fit for them.

"These kids come in and they're ready to get out there and go," Brett said. "It's almost like organized chaos. These kids are lit up over it and they love doing it."

But the Casadys said that it does not take anything special to get involved with the league.

"This is definitely something that is overlooked by so many different people and you don't have to have special abilities or skills, just to give your time to any of the organizations that we've done anything with," Brett said. "There's such a huge need. But it's just rewarding to interact and meet different people."

And if anyone wanted to commit to the league like they did, the Casadys had some simple advice: just do it.

"Just show up and give your time," Brett said.

"Just come to the field," Rhonda said. "It doesn't have to be for the whole day. It can just be for an hour or one game. Just come out and see what it's all about."

"This town has so many different service organizations and clubs," Brett added. "You just have to show up and give your time. It's very appreciated."

For more information on the Allen County All Abilities Baseball League, visit the organization's Facebook page.

The Casadys will accept their award with nine other winners at the event March 26 at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center.

One winner will go to the national ceremony as the region's representative.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.