BUCYRUS — The Crawford Partnership held it’s State of the Vision Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening at Pickwick Place in Bucyrus, and the evening was not short on applause, tears, and laughs.
After enjoying a buffet dinner catered by Avita Health System, Partnership executive director Gary Frankhouse got the awards ceremony started by thanking Crawford Partnership investors, the cities of Galion and Bucyrus, as well as Crawford County’s current commissioners for their support and providing use of their facilities.
“Why do we do this? Because we are going to listen, we are going to learn, and we are going to lead the efforts in order to improve the livelihood of all of us in Crawford County,” said Frankhouse before stepping behind the podium to present the first award of the evening.
The Economic Development Award was presented to Thomas Cathcart, president of Bucyrus Railcar Repair.
“When Bucyrus Railcar opened their doors, they had 20 employees. Today they have a team of 70, with plans to grow to 100 by this summer,” said Frankhouse. “Within the next six months they expect additional growth up to 140.”
Frankhouse stated that Bucyrus Railcar Repair now supports 40 local businesses under Cathcart’s leadership, compared to nine businesses under a previous owner.
Another notable award for the evening was The Innovation Award which was presented by Todd Boyer of Ohio Mutual Insurance Group. Recipients of the award were the Wynford School District, Galion City Schools and Bucyrus City Schools collectively for their implementation of the “Leader In Me” program.
“In order to make the Leader in Me a reality in Crawford County, we have witnessed incredible vision and innovation from the participating schools,” said Boyer.
The award was presented to representatives from each school district including, Galion Superintendent Jim Grubbs and Bucyrus Superintendent Kevin Kimmel.
Three other awards were also handed out.
The Community Development Award was presented to Bucyrus Superintendent Kevin Kimmel, The Collaboration Award was presented to Robin Hildebrand from Crawford Works, and the CU Lead Alumni Impact Award was given to Bethany Foy from Ohio Mutual Insurance Group.
Receiving her award was an emotional experience for Foy, who took a moment to address the crowd and give her heartfelt thanks.
“This place matters,” Foy said while fighting back tears. “I was born here, my parents were born here in Crawford County, I graduated from Bucyrus, and my children go to Colonel Crawford Schools. I am humbled by this award, I have many mentors in this room. This is a wonderful place! I hope all of you walk out these doors and emphasize the positive and problem solve in that way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
The remainder of the evening belonged to comedian Michael Jr. who has appeared on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as the box office hit movie “War Room.”