More than 350 people came together back in October to celebrate generosity in Delaware County. Four awardees were recognized by the Delaware County Foundation for their work giving back to the community.
Recognized at the annual Evening of Generosity were Barbara Walters as Outstanding Volunteer and North Orange Dentistry and Dr. Kyle Bogan as Outstanding Business. Joe and Linda Diamond of Delaware received the Spirit of Philanthropy Award. The Outstanding Youth Group was the Caring Kids Club at Tyler Run Elementary in Powell.
Also honored at the gala evening was Marlene Casini, long-time foundation president, who will be retiring at the end of the year. Casini reported that the Delaware County Foundation awarded more than $1 million in grants and scholarships this past year. Board Chair Matt Weller publicly thanked Casini for her service to the donors, grantees, and scholarship recipients helped by the foundation.
Delaware residents Tom Bosco, of ABC 6/WSYX, and local comedian, Jeff Robinson, were the evening’s co-masters of ceremonies.
The night, however, belonged to the awardees.
Outstanding Volunteer: Barbara Walters
Delaware County is a better place to live and work because of Walters’ commitment to her community for almost 30 years. She is organized and adept at building relationships. Walters has held leadership positions that impacted many organizations throughout the community. Walters’ volunteer work is done with grace and compassion.
A few of the organizations that have benefitted from her volunteer leadership include time as president of the Delaware Rotary, the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce, the Powell Chamber of Commerce, and the Ohio Business Week Foundation. She received awards as the Delaware Area Chamber’s Business Woman of the Year and the United Way of Delaware County’s Nancy Frankenberg Volunteer of the Year Award. She has participated in the board of directors of Grady Memorial Hospital Advisory Board and the Healthcare Foundation of Delaware County.
Her volunteer work also includes Special Olympics of Delaware County, Olentangy Liberty Music Boosters, Olentangy Liberty Girls Soccer Boosters, the Alpha Group, Main Street Delaware, the Women’s Leadership Network of the United Way of Delaware County, and Women Giving Together of the Delaware County Foundation.
Walters and her husband, Steve, established the Walters Family Scholarship for Nursing Excellence at Grady Hospital. Most recently, Walters completed a more than 30-year career in banking with First Commonwealth Bank, it predecessor, and other financial institutions.
Spirit of Philanthropy: C. Joseph and Linda Diamond
Long-time residents of the city of Delaware, Joe and Linda Diamond not only care about Delaware, but work to preserve it. Their company, Rosebud Properties, was named the Small Business of the Year by the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the Best Historic Commercial Restoration in the State of Ohio by the Spirit of Main Street awards from Heritage Ohio. A founding member and board member of Main Street Delaware, the Diamonds have participated and contributed through nearly every volunteer committee.
Their love of community also extends to the Strand Theatre in downtown Delaware. Working with a volunteer group to save the historic theatre, they also give their time for busy movie openings, Free Summer Kids Shows, and even work to resolve building issues such as plumbing or roof leaks. Although not graduates of Ohio Wesleyan University, Joe and Linda Diamond were recognized for their dedication to the university with the Honorary Alumni Award. They are engaged citizens, lifelong-learners, and big thinkers. They made an extraordinary commitment to OWU with an estate gift that will create the C. Joseph and Linda Diamond Endowed Scholarship.
When Linda Diamond was employed at the Delaware General Health District, she created the nonprofit organization, Friends for Life, which provides programs, services and special equipment for those who cannot afford it or that is not funded by health district dollars. This includes bike helmets for kids, car seats, and supplies for new mothers and babies.
Outstanding Business: North Orange Family Dentistry
Since its founding in 2013, North Orange Family Dentistry has included giving back to the community as part of its mission. Led by Dr. Kyle Bogan, the dental practice in Lewis Center has supported Olentangy Local Schools and community projects and fundraising events. The dental team annually hosts Miles For Smiles 5K run to benefit the Free to Smile Foundation, supporting and sustaining dental services for poor and underprivileged children and adolescents throughout the world. In addition, North Orange Family Dentistry hosts an annual Give Kids A Smile Day, which provides free exams, x-rays, cleaning, fluoride and sealants to children without insurance. They provide a similar opportunity for veterans and active military through Freedom Day USA.
Olentangy school programs such as sports teams, and a choir competition are some of the other areas that receive the dental group’s financial support. They are making a major impact by committing to a five-year, $25,000 sponsorship for the Olentangy Berlin High School Athletic Boosters.
Bogan and his wife, Kate, established the North Orange Family Dentistry Scholarship at the Delaware County Foundation that awards a scholarship to an Olentangy Local School District graduating high school senior.
Outstanding Youth Group: Tyler Run Elementary, Caring Kids Club
When more than 100 elementary students get together, anything can happen, including making a positive impact in the community. The Caring Kids Club of Tyler Run Elementary School in Powell is a group of classmates from all grade levels who meet to regularly plan and implement caring acts in the community. From charity walks and raking leaves for the elderly to sock drives for the homeless and food drives, these students energize the entire school to engage in giving back to the community.
Guided by teachers Renee Thorton and Mary Wilker, the club has gained momentum each year. Participation in the club takes extra effort for the students, teachers, school administration and parents. Another result of the students’ activities is that the club leaders exemplify the skills and values of what it takes to be a compassionate and productive member of society. Their actions provide the people in the community with a sense of hope in future generations of youth as they spend their time volunteering.
Submitted by the Delaware County Foundation.