At the recent East Toledo Family Center Renaissance Ball, the East Toledo Neighborhood House Alumni Association recognized Bob Yenrick and William Cummings as Distinguished Citizens.
Born and raised in East Toledo, Bob Yenrick married Dianna Schultz, also a Waite graduate, in 1972. He is the father of four Waite graduates – Robert, Chad, Mathew and Christopher, and has five grandchildren, Rebekah, Skyler, Palmer, Olivia and Sydah.
Yenrick credits his mentors, Robert and Jane Yenrick, Bill Matile, Carl Yenrick and Warren Densmore for the person he is today.
He attended elementary school at the old East Side Central Elementary, Oakdale Elementary and then the New East Side Central Elementary. After graduating from Waite 1970, he attended a four-year apprentice program required by Toledo Edison. During this period, Yenrick played on the last basketball team that Warren Densmore coached at the Neighborhood House.
Yenrick has coached and volunteered in South Toledo, Rossford, at Boys and Girls Clubs, the Friendly Center, Waite, City of Toledo Recreation Program, CYO and the Family Center. He worked with the Family Center to create tee ball, soccer and basketball leagues at all levels. In addition, he coached for nearly 30 years.
Currently, Yenrick enjoys volunteering for the Old Newsboys, delivering Christmas baskets for the ETFC, the food co-op at Good Shepherd Church, the Chain Gang and the bonfires for Waite High School. He received the Presidential Award from the Boys and Girls Club and the Volunteer Award from ETFC, an award that’s special to him because he considers the Family Center his home, he said.
Yenrick accepted the award for all of the volunteers, players, families and community support that had a profound impact on creating quality programs for the kids in the community.
An East Side resident from birth, the late William Garfield Cummings was born to Anna and William Cummings. He married Helen Joyce Robinson in 1957 in Columbus, and they raised three children, Reginia, William and David.
Cummings, known as “Bill” and affectionately called “Junior” by his family and childhood friends, spent his life promoting amateur boxing around the country, founding the nationally prestigious Ohio State Fair Boxing Tournament.
He attended Oakdale Elementary School and graduated from Waite High School in 1953. Earning a football scholarship to The Ohio State University, he went on to graduate in 1958 with a B.A. in Social Administration.
Cummings played on Woody Hayes’ 1954 National Champion Ohio State team, and went on to play in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Columbus Colts, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills.
Cummings’ organized the Ohio Youth Commission Boxing Club and after producing numerous top-notch boxers, he obtained the Columbus Golden Gloves franchise. His boxers were so well coached that they became the first club to win three straight national AAU team championships. Cummings was named Amateur Coach of the Year in 1973 and 1975
In 1970, Cummings, with the late Sarge Johnson and Bubbles Klice, founded the US Amateur Boxers and Coaching Association, the Black Amateur Boxing Caucus and the Ohio State Fair Invitational. Cummings was inducted into the Ohio State Fair –Hall of Fame in 1984.
Also at the gala, Bill Nopper and Shirley (Jean) Clark were presented with the 2010 Richard Fisher Educator Awards.
Bill Nopper has been an educator with Toledo Public School system for 44 years.
The eldest of three children born to William and Lois Nopper; he lived on Nevada Street throughout his childhood.
A 1962 Waite graduate, Nopper lettered in football, basketball and tennis. As a quarterback and first-team all-city defensive back, he helped the Indians to three straight Thanksgiving Day victories over traditional rival, Scott High School. He was also heavily involved with other school activities, including Student Council and the National Honor Society.
Nopper attended UT, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He started his career at Waite as a teacher and coach in 1967. In 1975, Nopper was named the school’s athletic director, a position he would hold for 17 years, before joining the City League in 1993 as Assistant Commissioner of Athletics.
In 1981, he was instrumental in establishing the return of Friday night football to the Toledo City League after an 18-year absence. He also created the formula used in determining football schedules for city league schools.
He is a member of the Waite High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Birmingham Hall of Fame, Toledo City League Athletic Hall of Fame and Waite High School Distinguished Alumni.
After a 35-year career with Toledo Public Schools, Nopper retired from his full time duties in 2001, continuing to work, part time, as a consultant to the Toledo City Athletic League.
Shirley Jean Clark was born in Toledo to Russell and Shirley Varwig. She attended Raymer Elementary School and graduated from Waite in 1965. She subsequently attended UT, earning a Bachelor’s of Education, and a Master’s of Education in 1983.
Her 35-year career as an elementary teacher with Toledo Public Schools began in 1970 at Riverside. After spending 26 years at Raymer, she became Teacher-in-Charge at Heffner School. She retired from teaching while at Garfield school.
Clark was recognized by TPS for her innovative and successful teaching techniques. She wrote a handbook for parents and worked in the Lighthouse Program to reach at-risk children through positive behavioral goals. She also mentored new teachers with UT and Bowling Green State University.
In 2001, Clark received Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Master Teacher Award for consistently demonstrating the skills, abilities, and attitude of an outstanding teacher.
Clark has been active in her community, serving as a Girl Scout leader, as well as a softball coach and volunteer for the East Toledo Family Center, UT and Raymer School. She is currently chairman of the Waite High School Alumni Association and Downtown Coaches Association.
She and her husband Bob have two daughters, Melissa Lodge and Amy Cha