Above and beyond: 2021 C4 awardees announced


Chamber, CVB recognize impactful locals

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The 2021 “Clinton County Community Champions” (C4) Awards are presented by the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce — along with 2021 Premium Sponsor the Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) — to highlight the stories of the Clinton County citizens, employers and employees, and organizations who are making an impact in our community.

Over 50 nominations were submitted for six categories: Business, Citizen, Education, Healthcare, Non-profit, and Youth.

Nominees exemplified one or more of the following, during the course of the current year:

• Exceptional commitment to our community by helping with a special project and/or ongoing activities

• Unselfish leadership, creativity, cooperation, and hard work in the service to others

• Inspiration to others as a role model

All of our 2021 C4 nominees will receive recognition certificates, and our award winners will be recognized at the Chamber Annual Luncheon on Sept. 22 and will receive a custom-designed award sculpture created by Champion Bridge Company. Details on the luncheon are at wccchamber.com/annual-meeting .

Congratulations to the 2021 C4 Award recipients and “Thank you!” to all of our nominees and sponsors!

The C4 Awards are generously sponsored by:

Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), ATSG INC, Alkermes, Inc., Bush Auto Place, Charter Communications/Spectrum, Clinton County Port Authority, Complete Floor Care, Donatos Pizza, Great Oaks Career Campuses, Greater Tomorrow Health, Hampton Inn & Suites, Invenergy, LLC, Merchants National Bank, Smith-Feike-Minton, Inc., United Way of Clinton County, Wilmington Savings Bank, Workforce Services Unlimited, Inc./OhioMeansJobs-Clinton County, Wilmington News Journal, and Wilmington College.

Nominees and winners are:

BUSINESS

Nominees: Ahresty Wilmington Corporation, Angela Reagan, Brian Larrick, Christopher Walls, Clinton Becker, Dr. Jody Gundler, Ken and Tara Lydy, and Shelby Boatman.

Winners

Brian Larrick, JK Precast; anonymous nomination

Brian Larrick donated over 500 hours of his time supporting Clinton County Health District COVID vaccination efforts

Clinton Becker, Wilmington Auto Center Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; nominated by Jeff Burton, Robin Nolley, Susan Cox, and anonymous

Clinton Becker with Wilmington Auto Center has always gone above and beyond to help fellow citizens and be a positive influence, organizing numerous fundraisers for individuals/families who have suffered some sort of hardship, he is continuously looking for ways to help raise money for families and local non-profits.

Ken and Tara Lydy, Papsy’s Place; nominated by Lexi Arehart McBrayer

The Lydys have worked very hard in the Clinton County community to bring sweet treats to the locals and visitors. Their local frozen yogurt and soft serve ice cream shop has taken off since opening three years ago. Between their work with the local theater Department, the local dance studio, and the Murphy theater, the Lydys are a great addition to our community.

CITIZEN

Nominees: Annen Vance, Brian Larrick, Brittany Fetters, Carole Nichols, Chad McKay, Christopher Walls, Clinton Becker, Darcy Reynolds, Dr. Jody Gundler, First Christian Church, Harry Brumbaugh, Karen Long, Molly Boatman, Monte Anderson, Nancy Rudduck, Nick Eveland, Ray Souder, and Sarah Hawley.

Winners

Dr. Chad McKay, anonymous nomination

At Wilmington College, Dr. Chad McKay currently serves as an academic advisor and professor of the largest agriculture concentration on campus, an advisor to several organizations: Sigma Alpha Sorority, Delta Tau Alpha Honor Society, and more; as well as serving as the Agriculture Program and Farm Financial Director of the college. He never fails to support his students in all of their endeavors.

Harry Brumbaugh, nominated by Peggy Morgan

Harry Brumbaugh gives freely of his time and talents for the betterment of both Clinton County and the Village of Blanchester. He is currently the Vice President of the Clinton County Historical Society, a Blanchester Village Councilman, President of the Blanchester Food Pantry, and is a board of trustees’ member for the Grace United Methodist Church in Blanchester. His work with the Food Pantry has been particularly rewarding during the pandemic.

Karen Long, anonymous nomination

Karen Long is a lifelong educator who clearly understands the importance of early literacy. After retiring, she began collecting books and shelving for her vision — the Clinton County Laundromat Libraries. Karen has expanded her efforts to partner with organizations such as the Clinton County Farmers Market and the Dolly Parton Imagination Project.

Nancy Rudduck, nominated by Ron Rudduck

As a longtime Clinton County educator, Nancy Rudduck touched the lives of thousands of students during her career. Since her retirement, she has continued to be that caring and compassionate person and especially was busy offering aid to those struggling with personal and health issues during this very difficult past year, and she has found time to be active in numerous civic groups.

EDUCATION

Nominees: Brad Ballinger, Chad McKay, David Beck, Dr. Angela Mitchell, Jim Marsh, Karen Long, Linda Larrick, Linda Miller, Rhonda Hedberg, Sigma Alpha- Gamma Alpha Chapter, and Wilmington City Schools Food Service Department.

Winners

Jim Marsh (Posthumous Award), nominated by East Clinton Local Schools

Jim Marsh was a long-term contributor to Clinton County, from his time coaching and teaching at Wilmington College to his tenure as the athletic director at East Clinton Local Schools. Jim was a champion for all children, with an emphasis on athletics.

Sigma Alpha-Gamma Alpha Chapter, nominated by Amanda McKay

Sigma Alpha is a professional agricultural sorority and the Gamma Alpha chapter focuses on service that helps meet the needs of the local community. They partnered with the Clinton County Foundation to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program through events, community partnerships, and a total donation of $7,159. They were also able to increase the enrollment in the program by 200 children.

Wilmington City Schools Food Service Department; nominated by Curt Bone, representing Wilmington City Schools

Wilmington City Schools Food Service Department stepped up big this summer! With supply chain issues, they completely redesigned their menus and set up a new pickup program. With this drive-thru model, staff prepared, sorted, and then loaded meal bags into participating family vehicles and provided breakfast and lunch bags that held seven meals for each child. In past summer programs, they averaged about 300 lunches a week, but through this program they served about 10 times the number of lunches and breakfast for each week.

HEALTHCARE

Nominees: Council on Aging, Dr. Jody Gundler, HealthSource of Ohio-Wilmington, and Pam Walker-Bauer

Winners

Council on Aging; nominated by Paula Smith, representing Council on Aging and the Clinton County Health District

Since January 2021, Council on Aging (COA), the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Clinton County and four other counties in southwestern Ohio, has been helping older adults get vaccinated against COVID-19. COA staff have helped older adults find and schedule vaccine appointments, and when necessary, provided transportation to those appointments. As COA staff helped older adults navigate this process, another need quickly emerged: vaccinating individuals who could not leave their homes. In Clinton County, COA found a willing and enthusiastic partner in Pam Bauer and her team at the Clinton County Health District. C

Dr. Jody Gundler; nominated by Reilly Hopkins, representing the Village of Blanchester

Dr. Jody “the Doc” Gundler is a shining star in the Blanchester community and has been for many years. The “Doc” has lived in Blanchester his entire life, and when it came down to where to begin his dentistry career, there was only one choice — Blanchester. Throughout his career, Dr. Gundler has given back to those in need and the youngest members of our community in countless ways. He has coached many youth sports teams and has been very active in youth groups at the Elevation Community Church.

Pam Walker-Bauer, nominated by Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson

Throughout the past 20 months, it has become clear that Pam Walker-Bauer has at heart the betterment of our community, seeking to protect us from a plethora of illnesses that threaten the health and wholeness of the people. In spite of great professional and personal trials to carry out her mission as the director of the Clinton County Health Department, Pam has never wavered in her commitment to love her neighbors with all the gifts and abilities that God and people have entrusted to her.

NON-PROFIT

Nominees: Annen Vance, Carole Nichols, Clinton Becker, Council on Aging, Darcy Reynolds, Dr. Jody Gundler, Lois Hock, Shelby Boatman, Sigma Alpha- Gamma Alpha Chapter, and Timothy Larrick

Winners

Darcy Reynolds, Main Street Wilmington; nominated by Andrew Conarroe and Angela Mitchell

Darcy Reynolds leads Main Street Wilmington to success through her commitment to our community and hours upon hours of dedication to making our town the best it can be. During the pandemic she was instrumental in helping the downtown businesses survive through creative initiatives and information sharing about grants and help available.

Lois Hock, Kids and Company; nominated by Ken and Tara Lydy

Lois Hock created Kids and Company 28 years ago. Her mission; to provide arts experiences to the children of Clinton County. Kids and Company hosts live theatre productions, drama camps, and outside professional theatre company performances here in Wilmington. While drama camps are offered for a small fee, everything else is free of charge to both participants and audience members. Everything is funded through grants and private donations that Lois works on tirelessly throughout the year to keep this program going.

Timothy Larrick, The Murphy Theatre, nominated by Shari Rolston

Recently retired Artistic Director for the Murphy Theatre, Timothy Larrick deserves serious props! He always went above and beyond in providing innovative and creative new Christmas shows. Recruiting and managing such a large cast (especially the Murphy Children) was no small task. In addition to his many years directing and performing on stage, he gave countless hours of his own time to emcee (often) for other Murphy shows and events.

YOUTH

Nominees: Jenna Norman, Jocelyn Engel, and the Wilmington High School — GSA

Jenna Norman, nominated by Logan Florea

In and outside of the school setting, Jenna is an inspiration to friends and fellow classmates. During her junior year, (2019-2020) Jenna completed the Leadership Clinton Youth Collaborative, and spearheaded their service project – sensory bags for our local fire departments. Jenna boldly exemplifies what a young leader should be, and is a proud example for this generation.

Jocelyn Engel, nominated by Joshua Engel

Jocelyn Engel has shown exceptional commitment to our community by working to assure that the diversity of our community is respected and encouraged. At Wilmington High School, Jocelyn has been instrumental in forming an organization to support LGTBQ students. She has shown a commitment to address gender-based harassment and is working to help her fellow students develop awareness of the issues faced by LGTBQ students in the schools.

WHS – GSA; nominated by Andrew Conarroe, representing Art House

At the time of nomination, the Wilmington High School — GSA consists of five members. GSA Clubs are student-run organizations that unite LGBTQ+ and allied youth to build community and organize around issues impacting them in their schools and communities. Research confirms that the presence of a GSA has a positive and lasting effect on student health, wellness, and academic performance. It can also protect students from harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and improve school climates for all students in the long-term.

For more on the 2021 C4 winners, visit the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce website.

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Chamber, CVB recognize impactful locals

Submitted article