Community Council names Bay Village citizens, project of the year
Eric and Cynthia Eakin have been named 2015 Bay Village Citizens of the Year, and the Bay Village Fireworks Fund has been named 2015 Project of the Year by the Bay Village Community Council.
Eric and Cynthia were honored for their many years of service and leadership to a wide variety of Bay Village organizations and community events. Cynthia is currently a board member of the Bay Village Historical Society and previously served as president. She also works on numerous other projects, including Relay for Life and Friends From the Start Foundation, which provides support for those touched by cancer.
Eric has previously served as president of the historical society and Bay Men’s Club. With Eric’s guidance, the Bay Men’s Club has provided a volunteer force for the annual rake-out for seniors and disabled residents. In 2014, Eric chaired the Bay Days Fireworks Fund after stepping down as president of Bay Village Community Council after 10 years of enthusiastic service. He also started and successfully completed a project to install dozens of American flags at merchants’ locations throughout Bay Village.
Both Eric and Cynthia were essential in enhancing “Cahoon in June” and also initiated the “Cahoon Community Christmas,” which is fast becoming a favorite Bay Village tradition.
“Eric and Cynthia give to our community without the need for public commendation,” a nominator wrote. Another nominator wrote, “Eric, along with Cynthia, are as close to being the ‘faces of Bay Village’ as you’ll find. … While Eric and Cynthia each would merit strong consideration based on their own achievements and records, they are synonymous with one another, and have worked as a team extremely well throughout the years for the betterment of the community.”
“Cynthia and I are honored to have been selected for this award,” Eric Eakin said. “The real honor is getting to work with so many wonderful and caring people over the years. The community that we all enjoy today is made possible by countless hours of volunteer work done by many talented, creative and selfless individuals. To work with them, to get to know them, that is the real prize.”
The Bay Days Fireworks Fund was named 2015 Project of the Year. This project was recognized for its exemplary spirit of community involvement by private citizens, who answered the call to keep the annual fireworks display in the Bay Days celebration. The citizens quickly formed a fundraising committee, developed a plan for resident and sponsor engagement, and successfully funded the spectacular fireworks display was that enjoyed on July 4, 2014. In addition, they set the framework and direction for future fundraising efforts.
The members of the Bay Days Fireworks Fund committee included Dwight Clark, Tony Dostal, Eric Eakin, Dominic Giovannazzo, Tom Henderson, George MacDonald, Jennie Mace, Camille Sheehan, Mindy Stroh, Dave Tadych, Tara Wendell and Lisa Wilson. “These individuals typify the spirit of community involvement, by residents, that makes Bay Village such a splendid place to live,” a nominator wrote.
“When the city announced it could no longer afford a fireworks show at Bay Days, that lit a fuse beneath a small and concerned group of residents,” committee chairperson Eric Eakin said. “These fine citizens stepped up and worked hard to make sure that our city’s Fourth of July festivities would be celebrated with the fireworks it deserves. After all, Bay Days without fireworks would be a dud.”
A reception honoring the Bay Village citizens and project of the year will be held Sunday, March 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Village Project headquarters, 27378 West Oviatt Road; a short presentation will be held at 3 p.m. The community is invited to attend and join the Bay Village Community Council in recognizing this year's honorees.
Melissa Henderson is President of the Bay Village Community Council