Last night at the W. 130th St. Knights of Columbus Hall, the First District community citizen awards were distributed by Commander Thomas McCartney and several Ward 18 residents were recognized for their contributions to the neighborhood.
The Walsh-Frazier family, Mark, Andrea, Mark, and Jessica, were recognized with plaques for their eager volunteerism for so many community events that the First District Community Relations department organizes, including their face-painting services.
Mark is pictured here on behalf of his entire family, with other awardees from Ward 18, Barb Dunn and Paul Vasko.
Paul Vasko owns Vinny’s Beverage on Lorain Ave. and W. 136th and has helped organize his neighborhood through Next Door social media site, the Lorain Ave. streetscape planning process, and the W. 140th St. public art planning effort. His parents were there to see him receive his appreciation certificate and they own the laundromat behind the beverage store.
Barb Dunn has been volunteering in the neighborhood for decades, since her children were little. Her family came to support her, too.
Commander Michael McGrath, Councilman Martin J. Sweeney, Mayor Frank Jackson, and Community Relations Manager of District Representatives Theasha Dainely were among the dignitaries to present the award along with Tammy Hanna, First District representative who organized the event with the Community Relations committee. Tammy is pictured here along with some Courtwatch volunteers, Flo & Junior Griffie, Mike Griffith (his wife Linda was an awardee, too, but was absent from the ceremony), Jon Wong, and Bessie Fore. Courtwatch volunteers travel to court to stand witness and sometimes provide statements in court cases that are pertinent to the public safety of this neighborhood.
Residents of other wards in the Cleveland Police Department’s (CPD) First District were recognized with plaques, appreciation certificates, and citizen pins. citizen pins were for extraordinary cooperation and assistance to CPD in protecting and serving the neighborhood.
Special commendation was awarded to Sergeant. Dorothy Todd, Patrol Officer (P.O.) Roberto Ortiz, P.O. Daniel Lentz, P.O. Arthur Fessler, P.O. Louis Collier, P.O. David Fox, P.O. Matthew France, and P.O. Brian Kluth. The Commander’s Letter Award was given to Detective Michael Torok for the quality of cooperation he has generated in his neighborhood between civilians and police in providing tips and communicating police requests to other civilians in the pursuit of public safety.
The staff at BPDC were also recognized with appreciation certificates, too, including Melissa Miller, Rachel Napolitano, Toni Jones, and Ian Heisey, along with staff at other community development corporations in the district.
Other dignitaries presenting the awards were Public Safety Director Martin Flask and Councilman Jay Westbrook. Police Chaplin Rabbi Ari Wolf, provided an invocation and blessing over the meal, made possible by local businesses like Caffé Roma, Al Wilhelmy, Pat Catan’s, and Little Critters Early Learning located on Lorain Avenue in our service area.