Staff Suzanne Allen, Ph.D., Executive Director Brett Fogle, CPA, MT, Director of Finance Carrie Herman, Director of Community Impact Kate DeAngelis, Director of Marketing Kim Miller, Office Manager Board of Directors Dennis Liddle, Chair Josh Gordon, Vice-Chair Jennifer Bidlingmyer, Treasurer Lynne Holcomb, Secretary Jim Bauschlinger Edna Boyle Paul Epner Brett Haverlick Mayor William Judge Tina Linton Craig Megyes Jeff Ramnytz Debra Shreiner Jason Slater
Barberton Area Jaycees (L-R) Kiara Anderson, Cameron Schultz, Stephanie Campbell, Dan Bogart, Andrew O’Brien, Mandy O’Brien, Don O’Brien III, Trenton O’Brien, Don O’Brien IV, and Dr. Suzanne Allen
Celebrating 2020 Game Changers
Barberton Community Foundation is proud to share a closer look at our 2020 Game Changers, Dorothy Somerville and the Barberton Area Jaycees. Due to COVID-19, the Foundation was unable to celebrate the Game Changers during the 2020 Annual Dinner. We will recognize Dorothy and the Jaycees during the Annual Dinner on November 4, 2021. We interviewed Dorothy about her passion for her work at BACM, and talked with Don O’Brien, president of the Barberton Area Jaycees about what the Jaycees stand for and some of his favorite projects. We hope our readers enjoy learning more about this year’s Game Changers and the passion they have for our community. Dorothy Somerville Dorothy Somerville has served as the executive director of Barberton Area Community Ministries for three years. She was selected as the 2020 Game Changer for her passion in her work at BACM and her commitment to helping those in need. When asked how she felt about receiving the Game Changer award, she said, “I don’t do it for the praise, I do it because I love it.” That’s Dorothy. She is one of those ever-smiling worker bees who never seems to run out of energy. “My grandkids keep me young,” she said. She has been married to Ron Somerville for 36 years and has two children, Rhonda and David, and six grandchildren. David’s wife, Dawn, is the pantry manager. Prior to working for BACM, Dorothy served on their board and worked at St. Luke Lutheran Community in Portage Lakes for 27 years as a nurse. Regarding her transition to BACM, she said the opening came up and she thought, “Why not try this? I love helping people and I love their mission.”
(L-R) Dorothy Somerville and Dr. Suzanne Allen
BACM’s mission is to fight food insecurity. Under Dorothy’s leadership, the organization has grown and now provides five days of food to families twice a month, with a focus on fresh food. They fed 827 families (2,491 individuals) in September.
That equates to 37,365 meals in one month, about double the meals they provided monthly in 2019. Dorothy’s also expanded outreach to about 100 seniors, personally making home deliveries three times a month. “Since I worked with seniors for so long at St. Luke’s, I have a special place in my heart for them.” She pointed to boxes of tea and added, “I know which kind of tea each of the ladies likes.” Personalization seems to be the theme at BACM. Staff continually find ways to add something special into each bag of groceries. “If a family needs something specific, they just call us and we’ll make sure it’s in the bag for them,” Dorothy said. Preparing bags of food for families ahead of time is not BACM’s traditional approach. Normally, families would be able to shop for themselves. It’s one of the many changes BACM has made to stay open during COVID-19. Reflecting about the early days of the pandemic, Dorothy said, “We’ve just adapted daily. When the state closed everything, we made a drive-through pantry, because we knew we couldn’t shut down.”
“I love helping people and I love the mission.” -Dorothy Somerville on why she joined BACM
Throughout the pandemic, many individuals and businesses in Barberton have given generously to BACM. “I thank everyone I see,” she said. “We couldn’t do any of this without the support of the community.” Barberton Community Foundation supported BACM with a grant from the Emergency Response Fund, which is designed to help nonprofits facing the impact of the coronavirus. Story continues on page 3
Quarterly Grants Announcement Barberton Community Foundation awarded $54,000 to five area nonprofits in the third grant quarter.
Barberton Parks and Recreation
In the last newsletter of the year, I generally like to reflect on the many successes we’ve had as an organization. 2020 brought us an exceptional challenge as we all responded to and continue to live with uncertainly of a COVID-19 world. Our flexibility amid this crisis has been our greatest success this year. It has allowed us to quickly find ways to help our local nonprofits and businesses manage the impact of the pandemic. In March we were one of the first foundations in the Greater Akron area to create an Emergency Response Fund. With a $50,000 grant from our Board of Directors, we asked the community to help us match this investment and the community stepped up with matching funds. Through the Emergency Response Fund, Barberton Community Foundation has granted more than $70,000 to help 20 local nonprofits as they weather the virus. This fund has provided funding for bread at BACM, PPE gear to first responders at Summa in Barberton, as well as technology and the expansion of an online therapy program at Child Guidance and Family Services, just to name a few. As you know, the storm is not over and our grant partners continue to need more support. We also asked our Board to make available $200,000 to Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC) to assist local businesses with no-interest loans. To date through BCDC, 19 companies have received assistance. You can help. Enclosed in this newsletter is an envelope, and if you can, would you make a year-end donation to our Emergency Response Fund? If you’d rather make a gift online, you can do so at www.babertoncf.org, or you can stop by the Foundation at your convenience. A gift of any size will be appreciated. Thank you and stay safe.
Suzanne Allen, Ph.D. Executive Director
Barberton Parks and Recreation received $25,000 to support the continued work of the Parks Department. Funding will support programs and events such as the annual Mum Fest, Summer Concert Series, and Active Adult Center programing, as well as park maintenance and park improvements such as the addition of a pickle ball court and frisbee golf.
.......................................................................................... AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc.
AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. received $15,000 to support the expansion of their Food is Medicine Program to Barberton. AxessPointe is an integrated health hub helping underserved patients. The Food is Medicine program will address food insecurities and chronic health problems by providing healthy food, intervention, supplies, shopping tips and recipes for patients who are referred into the program.
The Foundation awarded OhioGuidestone $6,000 to distribute Telehealth Family Engagement Kits. These kits are used for in-home therapy for clients in Barberton. Providers are able to reference the kit’s materials during remote therapy, which has been shown to enable better engagement during sessions.
.......................................................................................... Embrace Clinic & Care Center
The Strong Start Program at Embrace Clinic & Care Center received $4,000 for program support. The Strong Start Program provides a mix of material support and a yearlong educational program for new families.
.......................................................................................... Greenleaf Family Center
The Foundation granted Greenleaf Family Center $4,000 for their Adolescent Suicide Prevention Program (ASPP). The program focuses on mental health and wellness and suicide prevention for Barberton Middle School and Barberton High School students.
Three Grant Cycles in 2021
Beginning in 2021, Barberton Community Foundation will accept grants three times per year with specific focus areas. They will be: • • •
February 1 – Education and Workforce & Economic Development June 1 - Arts and Community October 1 – Health and Wellness
The Foundation asks any grant applicant to first submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) before submitting their application. More information about the LOI process is available online at www.barbertoncf.org/grants. If you are interested in applying for a grant from the Foundation, contact Carrie Herman, Director of Community Impact, at 330-745-5995. Grant recipients must be nonprofit organizations and programs must benefit Barberton residents.
(Above) Makenna, one of Dorothy’s grandchildren, helps unload a delivery of bread from Leach’s. Dorothy called on her grandchildren to volunteer during the shutdown when she was short on volunteers. (L) Dorothy Somerville poses at Lake Anna.
Don and Mandy O’Brien, Mandy was president of the Barberton Area Jaycees in 2018.
Continued from front page: Celebrating 2020 Game Changers Looking beyond COVID-19, Dorothy has a dream for BACM. “I have a huge vision for this organization. I want BACM to have its own space and start a nonprofit center,” she said. BACM is currently housed inside the Summit Mennonite Church at 939 Norton Ave, but they’re outgrowing the space. “The church has been fabulous,” Dorothy said. “But we really need to take that next step if we’re going to continue to grow.” She added, “The passion is here, but we need a bigger building, we need volunteers, and we can always use donations.” If you would like to donate to BACM, you can do so directly by visiting bacm.org, or you can donate to their fund here at the Foundation. Go online at barbertoncf.org and click “donate now” or give us a call. Barberton Area Jaycees The Barberton Area Jaycees were selected as the organization to receive Barberton Community Foundation’s 2020 Game Changer award. They were chosen because of their long history of service to the Barberton community, starting in 1944. Don O’Brien III is the current chapter president for the Barberton Area Jaycees. He’s been a member of the Jaycees for eleven years. When asked to describe the club he said, “We are a fun group of individuals who enjoy doing projects and events for our community.”
“Project Santa is one that I’m personally very proud to participate in,” Don said. The program has been running for years and provides Christmas gifts to families in need. The group strives to make Christmas personal and special for each family. “Do you know how difficult it is to eat a cookie with a fake beard on?” Don asked with a laugh. Another project Don enjoys is the Christmas lights on the Masonic Temple. “It was Dan Bogart’s idea and we’ve expanded it every year. People really seem to like them. We even helped a couple with a proposal.” The Jaycees played the couple’s special song and the lights scrolled, “Will you marry me?” at the right moment.
“If we leave a legacy like that with families in Barberton, I’ll be happy.” -Don O’Brien, President of Barberton Area Jaycees
The Jaycees have faced challenges with COVID-19. “We are still trying to figure out how we are going to adapt some of our programs.” Don said. The Jaycees plan to partner with another organization for their Thanksgiving Day dinner program and are working on a safe way to deliver Christmas presents to families in December.
and their biggest fundraiser, the Cherry Blossom Festival, is canceled. Despite this, the Jaycees’ impact on Barberton is undeniable. Thinking about the legacy of the Jaycees, Don said most people will remember the Jaycees for the Cherry Blossom Festival. “To have a local festival like that was a big deal,” he said. “At one point in time we were the biggest mid-way festival in Ohio, next to the state fair. To the families who received help from the Jaycees through our programs, to them we were a life-line… a friend when they needed one. Hopefully they’ll remember that.” He added, “If we leave a legacy like that with families in Barberton, I’ll be happy.” With the Jaycees’ membership down, Don said he is hopeful people will join. “If you have a project you’ve been wanting to try and are passionate about helping the community, give us a call.” Many of the Jaycees’ best projects started as ideas from new members who wanted to be involved in the community. Anyone interested can reach out on the Jaycees’ website at barbertonareajaycees.com, or on Facebook. (Left) Project Santa (Below) The Jaycees donated a Bullard Thermal Imager to the Barberton Fire Department.
The coronavirus arrived at a time when the Jaycees’ membership is down,
The Jaycees have been involved in community projects from the beginning, but their goal as an organization is to build young leaders. The Jaycees have an age range from 18-40, which is designed to attract students from high school and provide them with opportunities and mentoring from other club members. While the Cherry Blossom Festival is by far the Jaycees’ largest event, the club is responsible for many other projects including running back-to-school drives, beauty pageants, scholarships, a Thanksgiving food basket program and, in the winter, Project Santa and the Christmas lights on the Masonic Temple.
(Above/Right) Barberton Area Jaycees beauty pageants have been popular since they began in 1958. Girls win scholarships and volunteer in the community.
For more information, visit www.barbertoncf.org | Call 330.745.5995 Find us on Facebook @BarbertonCommunity Foundation
460 W. Paige Ave. | Barberton, OH 44203
Lake Anna YMCA Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction For over 13 years, Lake Anna YMCA has been a proud member of the Barberton community helping neighbors learn, grow and thrive. On February 11, 2021, Lake Anna YMCA is hosting their first-ever Virtual Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction. The YMCA is requesting raffle items that they can feature for their virtual event bids, and they will gladly pick up your donation. Call the Lake Anna YMCA for a convenient time to do so: 330-745-9622. You can also drop off your donation at the Lake Anna YMCA from 6 a.m. â€“ 8 p.m. daily or from 8 a.m. â€“ 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Lake Anna YMCA was recognized as a 2018 Game Changer
Anyone wishing to sponsor the event should contact Jim Sawin at email@example.com The YMCA is located at 500 W. Hopocan Ave. Barberton, OH 44203.
Find us on Facebook @ BarbertonCommunity Foundation
For more information and event updates, visit www.barbertoncf.org 330.745.5995 | 460 W. Paige Ave. | Barberton, OH 44203 Find us on Facebook @BarbertonCommunity Foundation
The mission of Barberton Community Foundation is to strengthen the Barberton community for current and future generations by providing leadership, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. We envision an improved quality of life for Barberton residents, now and forever.
Barberton Community Foundation's 2020 Winter Newsletter