The "lion, the lighthouse and the heart" of the Salem neighborhood were among those honored at last week's Northland Community Council Volunteer Awards Banquet.
In presenting his heartfelt thanks to two individuals and a couple who make a difference in the lives of his neighbors, Salem Civic Association President Brandon L. Boos pointed to Marvin Morefield as the "lion" who doesn't hesitate to intervene in domestic violence and crime situations, Larry and Jean Rinehart as the "lighthouse" for making it a point to welcome all new residents and Brenda Barker for being the "heart" of the association by having helped revive it seven years ago.
"All of you contribute to making it a wonderful place to live," NCC President Emmanuel V. Remy said in his opening remarks to welcome the individual neighborhood honorees as well as elected officials and others singled out for their contributions to the Northland area of Columbus.
Master of ceremonies Cabot Rea, a local news co-anchor, told those gathered at the Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center that he welcomed the opportunity "celebrate with you the spirit of community service."
"It's really what makes a community what it is," Rea added.
"It takes a lot to keep a community going and keep it strong," Remy said during his president's address.
While noting the area has "had its ups and downs" over the last dozen years or so, Remy said the Northland area constitutes 14 percent of Columbus and is an "important and critical part" of the city.
"It is something worth fighting for and we're working every day to make it one of the best neighborhoods in the city," he concluded.
He also said the 50th anniversary of the Northland Community Council would be celebrated over the course of 2015.
City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. swore in the NCC's 2014 officers, including Remy as president, Vice President Alicia Ward, Boos as secretary and Treasurer David Hardesty.
The awards portion of the evening started off with Remy naming John Julian of Columbus Division of Fire Station 24 as the Krieger Ford Firefighter of the Year. A Northland native who joined the Division of Fire in 1998, Julian is a "role model and mentor for young firefighters," Remy said in reading from the nomination form.
Sgt. Daniel R. Pickrell Jr. was presented with the Krieger Ford Police Officer of the Year Award. Pickrell, who become an officer in July 2001, has received numerous awards during the course of his career and in 2005, arrested an armed robbery suspect on sight, according to Remy.
"He's done a wonderful job, and we're so happy to have him represent the Northland community," Remy said.
A new award, Educator of the Year, which Remy said has been contemplated for the past several years, went to Cynthia Beck, who is retiring after a 30-year career, all of it spent at Brookhaven High School.
Remy said Principal Duane R. Bland told him Beck's was the only name that came to mind when he was asked for a nomination. Brookhaven High closed at the end of the school year, and Remy said he particularly wanted the Educator of the Year to come from there.
C. Rick Eckler, who retired after a long career as a music educator, the last 15 years at Northland High School, received the President's Award.
"He has been an outstanding music director," Remy said. "I would argue he's one of the best in the city. We are very, very happy to honor Mr. Eckler and all that he did for the community."
In addition to the Salem Civic Association honorees, civic association awards were presented to:
* Blendon Woods Civic Association, Susan M. Nichols
* Clinton Estates Civic Association, Jerry Ashcraft and Barbara S. Conner
* Forest Park Civic Association, Dan Hartzell, Earl Miller and Rita Woeste
* Friendship Village Civic Association, Jean Bell, Mary Alice Lowther and Bonnie Smith
* Karmel Woodward Park Civic Association, William Logan
* Minerva Park Civic Association, Paul Miller and Lisa Craddock-Thitoff
* North Side Health Advisory Committee, officer Scott Clinger, the Rev. Kwesi Gyimah and adviser Sarah Potter
* Northland Alliance, Rich Bourgault and Steve Thompson
* Preston Commons Homeowners Association, Christina LaCommare, John Ray and Ramona Ray
* Rolling Ridge Homeowners Association, Richard Cashman and John DuRivage
* Sharon Woods Civic Association, Roger Heckel and Scotty and Marry Kay Kuder