Hundreds of people interested in helping support a community that promotes the values of goodness and kindness turned out at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights on a beautiful summer afternoon, July 10, to take part in the annual Values-in-Action Foundation Celebration of Goodness Awards Luncheon.
Dignitaries from across the area, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cleveland Fire Chief Angelo Cavillo and others, were in attendance as awards were given to a number of notable individuals who were honored for their example of leadership and extraordinary contributions to the community.
Among those honored included Bishop Nelson J. Perez of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland who, along with three others, received the Sam Miller Goodness Award. Fred DeGrandis, chairman of the Catholic Community Foundation board, introduced the bishop to the assembly saying, “In just a short time Bishop Perez has shown his caring spirit and it represents goodness, love and heart in our community.”
Bishop Perez thanked the Values-in-Action Foundation for bestowing upon him an award that carries the name and honors the memory of the late Cleveland businessman Sam Miller.
“Throughout his life, Sam acted as a catalyst for cooperation between the Jewish and Christian communities. His generosity and philanthropy to our diocese – including inner-city Catholic schools and Catholic Charities – has had a lasting impact,” the bishop said.
Others receiving the Sam Miller Goodness award were Todd Leebow of Majestic Steel USA, David W. James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools, and Federal District Court Judge Daniel A. Polster.
The Values-in-Action Foundation also presented its Arnold R. Pinkney Award for Civic Leadership to Margot James Copeland, chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation.
Author and former television news anchor Denise Dufala was master of ceremonies for the event. Dufala is also the Values-in-Action national program ambassador.
For many years, the Values-in-Action Foundation has helped empower students and adults to build communities of kindness, caring and respect through programs that teach, promote and provide skills and tools to enable individuals to make positive values-based decisions every day.