The Grapevine

Bath residents Steve and Jeannine Marks won the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award. Photo Submitted

Each year, the Akron Community Foundation presents the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award to the individual or couple who best exemplifies Bert Polsky’s selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron. Polsky was president of the former Polsky’s Department Store and founding trustee of ACF. This year’s recipients are Akron Marathon founders and philanthropic leaders, Steve and Jeannine Marks, of Bath.

Since founding the Akron Marathon in 2003, Steve and Jeannine have grown the race into a world-class event that has generated $133 million in economic impact for the Greater Akron community. They also established the Akron Marathon Sustainability Fund, which supports the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation’s mission of promoting health and fitness and stimulating the local economy.

Steve is the co-founder of Main Street Gourmet, a provider of customized bakery products for national and regional food partners, through which he has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes.

Jeannine served as the executive director of Stewart’s Caring Place, a nonprofit cancer wellness center that offers free services for individuals and families on a cancer journey. She was instrumental in the establishment of the center in 2004 and under her leadership, the nonprofit has expanded its programming to serve thousands of families in 18 counties.

Steve and Jeannine were joined at the award presentation by their son Wyatt, daughter Brandy,and family members Matt Varry, Chris Roman and Maureen Rocha. Many friends also attended the celebration at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn including Thom and Lisa Mandel, Rennick Andreoli, Sheri and Stuart Glauberman, Donna Serdinak, Jodi Konstand, Traci Mockbee, Dr. Tara Scott, Laurie Zuckerman and Steve Johnson,Bob and Leslie Lippman, Jennifer Towell, Mark and Lori Krohn, Harvey and Kim Nelson, and Nancy and Dave Rutledge.

Congratulations to Steve and Jeannine on this well-deserved honor.

Ryan Cunningham earned his Eagle Scout designation after improving the Wheatley Family Cemetery. Photo Submitted.

Ryan Cunningham, son of Matt and Sue Cunningham, recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a member of Boy Scout Troop 385. Ryan’s leadership service project focused on the Wheatley Family Cemetery in Richfield. He researched the history of the cemetery and the Wheatley family and then designed and installed an informational sign at the site. Additionally, he cleaned up the cemetery and added a bench. Ryan is a third-generation Eagle Scout following the footsteps of his great-grandfather Daniel Taussig and his grandfather Jeff Taussig. Roughly 2% of registered Scouts have achieved the Eagle rank over the past 100 years, making this a distinct honor. Ryan has also inspired his brother Kyle Cunningham, a seventh-grader at Revere Middle School, to work towards Eagle Scout rank.

Ryan is a senior at Revere High School and the goalie on the varsity soccer team. He plans to study physical therapy upon graduation.  

Congratulations to the Revere Middle School seventh-grade volleyball team. The team, coached by Mark Kline with Anna Bockstoce serving as the 6th-grade manager, finished their season as champions. The winning team was made up of players Lauren Bir, Julianne Choi, Abigail Dull, Allison Keaton, Grace Kenna, Shiloh Kiehl, Hailey Kline, Ali Linderbaum, Maddie Millicia, Katy Parsons, Lucy Prewitt, Grace Regula, Catherine Steiger, and Sophia Vari.


Artyom Isaac Woodyard-Troike is the grandson of Bath trustee Sharon Troike.
Photo submitted.

Bath Trustee Sharon Troike and her husband John,along with and Bill and Ingrid Woodyard, are proud to announce the birth of their grandson, Artyom Isaac Woodyard-Troike. “Arty” is the son of Revere alumni Dr. Katie Troike and Dr. Adam Woodyard. Arty is the seventh grandchild of the Woodyards and the first grandchild of the Troikes.

The MOMs Club of Copley/Fairlawn is committed to doing what it can to help others in the community, including an annual service project. This year, led by the club’s vice president Denise Robinson, the club collected clothing and equipment for Akron Pregnancy Services. Club members delivered the items, along with a cash donation, to the organization this fall. 

As part of the annual American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day, more than 600 advocates from every state traveled to Washington, D.C., to ask Congress to support critical policies proven to reduce suffering and death from cancer.  

Among the ACS CAN volunteers was Vince Marchetta, of Bath, who urged his members of Congress to support legislation that would increase research funding at the National Institutes of Health. Marchetta also requested support for legislation to increase the diversity of clinical trial participants by ensuring trial sponsors can cover trial-associated costs, like lodging and transportation, or can provide patients with technology for remote trial participation.  

“As someone who lost his wife to cervical cancer, I know just how important the legislation we’re asking our members of Congress to support is—not only to cancer patients, survivors, and their families but to those who may be diagnosed in the future,” said Marchetta. “I explained to the offices of Sen. Rob Portman, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. David Joyce and Rep. Tim Ryan that they have an opportunity to improve the health of our entire nation and save thousands of lives.” 

Sending many congratulations and much admiration to our community. I would love to tell more stories as well as share in celebrating your accomplishments and good news, so please continue to send them to me at avukoder@gmail.com. ∞