Jim Mathias honored with Helping People award
OCEAN CITY, Md. – It was a big honor on Thursday, all handed to one man who has spent his entire life working to make Maryland a better state. And on Thursday, officials from all across the state gathered to honor Jim Mathias and award him the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award. It was something Mathias started as a dream.
“When I was a kid I used to dream about coming here, I had a dream that there was like a secret tunnel that I could go from my home in Baltimore to get here,” Mathias said.
And so Mathias turned that dream into a decades long career that took him through several positions in Ocean City.
“Jim has that distinct honor of not only serving as a councilman, but also serving as mayor, and then as delegate, and then as senator, and that’s quite an accomplishment,” Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said.
It was a career that was long and challenging, but on Thursday officials from across Maryland agreed on one thing: Mathias’s priority:
“Throughout his tenure in office, his number one priority was his constituents,” Mayor Meehan said.
And it was that dedication, that loyalty, that earned Mathias the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award, an award that officials say was designed for somebody like Mathias.
“After a lot of people got nominated, we picked senator Mathias, because he represents the altruism and the community spirit of William Donald Schaefer,” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said.
It’s an honor that Mathias says has less to do with him, and more to do with the people and constituents he represented for decades.
“It’s not me, it’s the people, it’s the spirit that affords you the opportunity to rise, and that’s what’s here today,” Mathias said.
But family members say Mathias has spent his entire life working to make Maryland stronger, something that people closest to him say has rubbed off on them.
“My whole memory of my dad is him in the political spectrum, and him helping people, and that’s really been a defining moment for me in my life,” his son, Trevor, said.
So while Mathias is no longer in office, he says he’s excited for the future of Maryland.
“I know the fiber and fabric of the Eastern Shore is going to be here to allow us to not only endure, but to succeed, and to make it better for the people and their future,” Mathias said.