Reynoldsburg residents Jenelle Krumlauf and Summer Moynihan are among 20 finalists for the 2011 Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Reynoldsburg residents Jenelle Krumlauf and Summer Moynihan are among 20 finalists for the 2011 Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Five winners will be named April 5 at a ceremony at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Krumlauf, 20, a 2009 Reynoldsburg High School graduate, founded Nellie's Catwalk for Kids, an annual fashion show to raise money for research into a cure for childhood cancer.

The first fashion show was held in 2007. Krumlauf said she wanted to start such a venture because she felt childhood cancer was not recognized enough and also wanted to bring together young people who are affected by the disease.

"When I started this, you would ask me if I thought it would get this big and I'd laugh and say, 'oh, no, that's not possible,'" Krumlauf said. "But the cool thing about Nellie's Catwalk for Kids compared to other organizations is that it's all led by teens and young adults."

Since its first show, the event has grown. It now features 25 models ages 5 to 25 and will have 350 participants this year, more than double the number from last year's event.

Since 2007, the shows have raised more than $57,000. Krumlauf said the goal for this year's event, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 5, in the Ohio Dominican University student center, is to raise $50,000.

Krumlauf is currently a sophomore at Ohio Dominican, majoring in public relations with a minor in nonprofit management. She said she plans to continue Nellie's Catwalk for Kids as an annual event with a possible goal of expanding to other cities and states.

"I'm working really hard to get it to where it really needs to be. That way when I graduate, we can take this thing nationwide and really bring childhood cancer awareness to as strong as where breast cancer is," Krumlauf said.

As for being nominated for a Jefferson Award, she said it's refreshing to see people recognize that something is being done to make a difference in somebody's life.

Moynihan, 31, a resident of the Park Place West subdivision, is coordinator of the Tussing Area Block Watch and Civic Association. She said the block watch organization was first established in 2007 as the Park Place West Block Watch with about 100 residents participating. Since then, it has grown to more than 830 members representing some 3,400 homes.

"We started by combating issues within Independence Park, trying to regain the park and take it back from gang members who had taken it over," Moynihan said. "We expanded because other surrounding residents and businesses began contacting us and as we continued to grow, I took on more - not just Park Place West and Independence Park, but also the Turnberry subdivision, Turnberry Green and Brentwood Lake apartments, and also businesses along Tussing Road and Brice Road."

Moynihan said she wanted to have a career in the military police or law enforcement but after serving in the United States Air Force for two and a half years, she was labeled permanently disabled because of bad knees and was honorably discharged in 2002.

After her discharge, she said she was inspired to get involved in the community and help curb crime after hearing about disturbances caused by gangs on the rise in the area.

"Where it began was when we were having issues within the community with gangs taking over in Independence Park, with the shootings and drugs and everything, and my heart was in crime prevention and helping people," Moynihan said.

She said since the block watch association began in 2007, crime has been reduced by about 80 percent in the area, according to Columbus police crime reports.

"It's very important to me to show people that things can happen in our lives, but we have the strength within us to be able to decide how we are going to let it shape us and how we are going to let it empower us," Moynihan said.

She said she is humble about her nomination for a Jefferson Award.

"Even if I don't win it, just to be in the position knowing that I've affected peoples' lives in such a positive way, that's the best reward," Moynihan said.

ThisWeek Community Newspapers is a sponsor of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.