Upper Arlington High School graduates Terry Waldo and Robin Hess Comfort are the recipients of this year's Distinguished and Outstanding Alumnus Awards, respectively, to be presented at the UA Alumni Association's annual July 4 Block Party.
The Block Party will be held immediately following the city's Independence Day parade, under the big tent on the northwest Boulevard side of Barrington Elementary School.
The event is a function of the Alumni Association, but all are welcome to attend.
For the past 12 years, Re-Max Premier Choice Realtor John Kost, a member of the UAHS Class of 1974 and a UAAA Executive Board member, has sponsored the Block Party. Kost was named the UAAA Outstanding Alumnus in 2003 for his contributions to the Alumni Association and to the community.
The Block Party will feature food by Dave's Dogs and More, performances by Luke the Juggler, a bounce house and other games for children, and a photo booth where visitors can have free photos taken. Special tables will be set up for the reunion classes.
The UA Alumni Association will present its annual awards to Comfort and Waldo at 11 a.m. under the tent at the Block Party.
Comfort, recipient of the 2013 UAAA Outstanding Alumnus Award, is a 1973 UAHS graduate. She is a past president and current member of the UA Board of Education who has devoted her adult life to community service and volunteerism.
She was an active force behind many programs during her children's years in UA schools, serving as PTO president at Tremont, Jones and UAHS.
Some of her volunteer activities include: Great Book Series Discussion leader, Craft Corner committee chairwoman, Kinder Key Caroling co-chairwoman, office volunteer, room parent, Book Fair chairwoman, kindergarten registration assistant, Tremont tour guide, classroom volunteer, building renovation committee, J-Mart volunteer, Jones sports booster, district calendar committee, Jones time-use committee, PTO publicity chairwoman, PTO Breakfast with the Principal committee, football coach selection committee and Senior Celebration chairwoman.
Comfort is also a past winner of the UA Rotary Northwest Woman of the Year Service Above Self Award and has served with the Upper Arlington Women's Club and chaired the UA Civic Association Community Walk.
She and her husband, Greg, also a 1973 UAHS graduate, co-chaired the Upper Arlington Education Foundation's 2009 Golden Bear Bash. Comfort co-chaired the Decorators' Show House in 2011 for the Columbus Museum of Art. She has been involved in Pleasure Guild of Nationwide Children's Hospital and the March of Dimes.
The Comforts have two children: Gregory Comfort, Class of 1999, and Bethany Comfort, Class of 2004.
Waldo, recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award, is a member of the Class of 1963.
A performer, composer, arranger, writer and producer, Waldo is considered to be one of America's premier performers and presenters of ragtime and early jazz. Known for his virtuoso ragtime and stride piano playing, charming vocals and disarming wit, he is a protege of the legendary Eubie Blake, who called Waldo "an extension of my own musical self."
Waldo has played in countless New York jazz clubs, including the legendary Cookery, Hanratty's and Michael's Pub, where he produced and starred in nine critically acclaimed musical revues. He has appeared in concerts worldwide, including the Grand Parade du Jazz in Venice, George Wein's JVC Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
He recently appeared with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, where he performed the world premiere of The Eubie Blake Concerto.
Waldo has performed and composed for many TV programs and films, including The Tonight Show; the PBS Documentary, Storyville: The Naked Dance; and Ken Burns' PBS documentary, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.
He has produced and arranged more than 40 albums, including a ragtime orchestra album for BMG and is currently working on albums for Chiaroscuro, GHB and Delmark Records.
His This Is Ragtime, presently being republished by Jazz at Lincoln Center, is considered the definitive book on the subject. It, along with his 26-part series of the same title, produced for National Public Radio, fueled the 1970s ragtime revival.
Waldo has been the music director for a number of theatrical shows in New York, including Mr. Jelly Lord; Playwrights Horizon's production of Heliotrope Bouquet; and Ambassador Satch, which later opened in London's West End and recently played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
More information about the Block Party and the UA Alumni Association is available online at www.Bearalums.com.