Recognizing community commitment
NCC's award-winners all 'make a difference'
Former WBNS-10TV news anchor Dave Kaylor was a teacher before he went into broadcasting.
He started his first career at Beechcroft High School in the mid-1960s, when things were booming at the nearby Northland Mall -- so much so that the football coach once complained to Kaylor about having a hard time recruiting enough players for the team because so many students had part-time jobs at the mall in hopes of earning enough money to buy cars.
The boom times faded and by 2002, Northland Mall, the city's first, closed.
It was the beginning of a period of decline for the immediate area around the shuttered shopping center and the neighborhood as a whole.
"Now it is booming once again," Kaylor said during remarks as master of ceremonies at last week's Northland Community Council Awards Banquet.
Kaylor credited the NCC and businesses in the community with being involved in the turnaround.
"It's going to go a lot further," he added.
The annual event honored individuals from civic associations and other member organizations for keeping the faith in their neighborhoods and contributing to their betterment.
Joshua C. Hewitt, president of the Brandywine Meadows Civic Association, presented awards to the Rev. Paul Gabriel of CrossRoads Baptist Church and to himself.
"Which is kind of unusual, I know," Hewitt admitted.
However, having become president of the association at the first meeting he ever attended, waging a successful fight against the opening of a Turkey Hill convenience at the entrance to the subdivision and paying out of his own pocket to create a Halloween carnival, Hewitt felt like he wanted to maintain some momentum for his next project, a community garden on the site of a house that burned down some years ago.
Scott Dowling, vice president of the Clinton Estates Civic Association, presented awards to Mary and Thomas Mulligan, residents of the community since 1960, who are among the first to volunteer; association secretary Jane Dupke Curry; and Agnes Thompson and Kimberly Emrich, a mother-daughter team who have lived in Clinton Estates since 1966 and been "involved very step of the way" in their neighborhood.
Forest Park Civic Association President Mike Stone honored Susan Buttermore, who is stepping down as editor of the newsletter; Ed Vanasdale, who works closely with the neighborhood's supplemental security force; and George Schmidt, who headed the neighborhood's 50th anniversary celebration.
Friendship Village of Columbus residents Hal and Jan Thorley were presented awards for their service on several of the retirement community's committees by Andy Halatek. Steven Toney, a 23-year employee at Friendship Village who is now supervisor of the operations division, also received an award.
William Logan, Karmel Woodward Park Civic Association president, chose Valley Forge Elementary School Principal Stephanie Bland and active residents Mary H. and Thomas E. Wallace for awards. Bland permits the association to meet at the school free of charge while the Wallaces deliver the newsletter, serve as Block Watch captains and participate in cleanup projects.
"Overall, they're great neighbors," Logan said.
Ruby and Roger Hackett, founders of the Maize-Morse Tri-Area Civic Association in 1987, were presented awards by Ron Meyers.
Minerva Park Police Chief Kimberly Nuesse was presented her community's award by Lisa Craddock-Thitoff.
Northland Alliance Chairwoman Joyce Bourgault chose to honor Sandy LaFollette, who helped stage last year's International Festival and is heading the Beaumont survey project.
"Sandy was the leader who made it happen," Bourgault said. "She has been invaluable."
Preston Commons Civic Association President Henry Tucker presented awards to Christine Lacommare, Anthony Salamay and Michael Kelly, who volunteered to be vice president at the same meeting at which Tucker assented to be president.
"He's a very modest and respected guy ... and when I say modest, I mean humble," Tucker said of Kelly.
Salem Civic Association President Brandon L. Boos teared up in presenting one of the community's two awards posthumously to William Unger Jr. He was instrumental in getting the association restarted six years ago, according to Boos, and served as newsletter editor until his death Jan. 1.
"Bill has left his mark on our community in every way a person can," Boos said.
Also honored was longtime resident John Bachman, an "enormous contributor" to the neighborhood, according to Boos.
"If there's a need, John Bachman is there," Boos said.
Finally, Sharon Woods Civic Association Vice President Cal McCall presented her community's awards to Sandi Brewer, who helps with beautification efforts, the annual garage sale and the Fourth of July Flag Project, and to Verne Courtright, the association's secretary for the past three years, who also portrays Santa Claus at Christmastime.