Area businesses, social service agencies, and schools were recognized Wednesday at the 20th annual Prism Awards ceremony sponsored by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce.
The General Excellence Award was presented to The Future Wave Salon, Navarre Avenue, Oregon, owned by Jodi and Lee Eckman, who’ve incorporated environmentally-friendly products and services into their business model.
The Eckmans collect blue jeans for Eco Erek to be used for insulation products and raise funds for Alliance for the Great Lakes.
Front row: Sarah Beavers, Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce; Alan Clink, BP/Husky; Dave Marsh, Marsh Funeral Home; Jen Balogh, Jean Schoen, Crystal Abraham, Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio; Thom Ziems, Kevin Parkins, STEMM Initiative-Cardinal Stritch; Jodi Eckman, Terri Medere, Future Wave Salon. Back row: Roger Dodsworth, East Toledo Family Center-Person of the Year; John Szozda, The Press Newspapers; Larry Schaffer, Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber; Chrys Peterson, Prism emcee; Bill Myers, Myers Farms; Father Eric Schild, STEMM Initiative-Cardinal Stritch; Lee Eckman, Future Wave Salon. (Press photo by Ken Grosjean)
The Pioneer Award went to Marsh Funeral Homes, which has a long history of operating funeral homes in the villages of Luckey, Woodville, and Pemberville.
Owned by Dave Marsh, the business was recently named an exclusive Veterans and Family Memorial Care Provider in Wood and Sandusky counties. Marsh also collects used phones for the Cell Phones for Soldiers program.
The Horizon Award was won by Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio, Toledo, which was founded in 2008 by Jean Schoen, who had a family member contract cancer. She told the crowd that Cancer Connection “…is an example of community helping community.”
The agency partners with businesses and organizations to offer financial assistance, nutrition assessment, holistic therapies, temporary housing, and donated medical equipment for cancer patients.
More than 350 families have been assisted.
The Best Practice Award was presented to Cardinal Stritch High School for its Science. Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine Initiative, which is designed to prepare students for jobs of the future.
The Rev. Eric Schild, principal of Stritch, drew the biggest laugh of the night when he joked about losing out two years ago to the Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Home, also in Oregon.
“Thank God, tonight Jesus loves us more,” he quipped.
He also thanked the businesses that are partnering with the school in the initiative. “It’s awesome to have the support of Oregon and surrounding community,” he said.
The Community Partner Award went to BP-Husky Refining, which is nearing 10 million man-hours of work without a lost time injury at its refinery on Cedar Point Road in Oregon.
In addition to refinery employees, Alan Clink thanked local contractors and workers of the building trades. The refinery also provides more than $600,000 annually for charitable causes.
The Community Improvement Award was presented to The Press. John Szozda, general manager, accepted the award and related the challenges of reporting on local government issues.
Bill Myers, whose family has owned a farm in Oregon for more than a century, was presented a service award for a 100 Year Old Business.
The farm has been utilizing windbreaks, no-till planting, and other conservation practices before they became popular.
Roger Dodsworth, assistant director of the East Toledo Family Center, received a standing ovation for being awarded Person of the Year.
He is credited with rejuvenating youth and sports programs at the center, where he has worked for 29 years.
He told the crowd of a time in his life when “I was down and out myself and looked to the family center for help.”
“All it takes is people,” he said. “People helping people.”
About 200 persons attended the awards ceremony held at the Sunrise Park & Banquet Center in Millbury.