After a hiatus triggered by unfortunate circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the stars once again came out Tuesday evening for a wonderful tribute to the generous and giving people who call Trumbull County home.
Tuesday’s banquet and recognition event offered well-deserved accolades to 25 local “Community Stars,” including 13 selected from nominations submitted in 2021 and 2022, and 12 who were selected for the honor in 2020, but who never were recognized at the planned 2020 banquet because it was canceled due to restrictions on large gatherings caused by the pandemic.
We were thrilled with the ability to return to in-person gatherings, and last night we paid tribute to many hard-working and caring souls in our community.
A magazine inside today’s newspaper recognizes the 2022 Community Stars winners.
The Community Stars program, now in its 20th year, is co-sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle and Trumbull 100, to celebrate Trumbull County residents who go beyond expectations to make a significant impact in the lives of others. None do it because they expect reward or something in return. They do it simply because it’s the right thing to do.
This year’s Community Stars were chosen from dozens and dozens of worthy nominees submitted by readers. They are:
• Toussaint Blake of Warren, mentor at Inspiring Minds who also conducts financial literacy programs for Valley organizations;
• Allen Briggs of Leavittsburg, a Marine Corps veteran active in many veterans organizations and affairs;
• William Dennis Jr. of Cortland, who volunteers with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, Warren Civic Music Association and National Packard Museum;
• Jacob Fowler of Youngstown and John Fowler III of Leavittsburg, brothers who selflessly entered dangerous, fast-moving waters in May 2020 to help rescue a woman trapped in the Mahoning River;
• Kathy Lepro of Warren, a founder of the Historic Perkins Homestead Neighborhood Association and who serves on numerous local boards and volunteers in local organizations to aid the less fortunate;
• Jessica Licata of Vienna for spearheading a food backpack program for needy students in the Mathews Local School District;
• Chuck and Donna Mackey of Warren, who established Bolindale Christian Church food pantry;
• Mark and Cindee Mines of Champion, for their volunteer efforts in preserving and educating on local history;
• Meghan Reed of Warren, for her service on local boards and civic involvement in many important local causes;
• Dan Roscoe of Vienna, for his ministry and outreach to our area’s neediest and to others around the world.
Also recognized at Tuesday evening’s banquet were these 2020 Community Stars:
• Cindy Angelo of Warren, longtime Camelot Riding Center volunteer and board member;
• Beverly Gartland of Warren, volunteer at Basement Outreach Ministries;
• Basil and Mary Lou Jarrett of Cortland, for their service projects and volunteer efforts at numerous area organizations;
• Pastor George Johnson of Warren, who volunteers at the Hope Center and does prison ministry and inmate counseling;
• Virginia Logan of Kinsman, Gustavus Federated Church volunteer and missionary to others around the world;
• Terry Mascioli of Cortland, board member and volunteer at organizations such as the Warren Family Mission and Hannah’s House;
• Ellie Monchak and Jean Potashnik, both of Warren, for their volunteer involvement with Warren Civic Music Association and area church groups;
• John Payiavlas of Warren, for his civic-minded volunteer efforts and generosity to local organizations, schools, hospitals and other institutions;
• John Streitferdt of Warren, lifetime honorary member of the Champion Fire Department and volunteer with Boy Scouts and more;
• Carole Wiley of Cortland, church volunteer who also is involved in other area outreach and fellowship efforts.
At a time when so many of us find ourselves frequently bemoaning the existence of so much anger and even hatred in our society, the Community Stars program is a refreshing and uplifting reminder of the good that still exists in our world, and that unfortunately often is overshadowed by negativity. That’s why today we reward and recognize the good that these Community Stars provide with the coverage that it deserves — on today’s newspaper front page.
Indeed, the stars were out Tuesday evening. And we were humbled and inspired by their stories.