BUCYRUS — The Crawford Partnership held its annual State of the Vision Dinner and Awards Thursday evening at Pickwick Place in Bucyrus.
The always well-attended event was a celebration of the positive direction things appear to be heading in Crawford County, as well as many of the groups and people who are working hard to make it happen.
The first speaker was Partnership executive director Gary Frankhouse, who addressed a few of the developments the organization has been focused on recently. Two of those topics were the much anticipated Freese Recreation Center to be located in Galion as well as a Site Promotion Program which aids locals who are looking to sell land for development within the county.
“We are not realtors,” Frankhouse said. “But we are able to connect and promote these sales through Jobs Ohio.”
Frankhouse stated that he had promoted a listing in Crawford County recently, and had an email inquiry from Germany within 24 hours.
Community Development Director Erin Stine took the podium following Frankhouse to speak about progress in a few areas she has been focused on.
The development of the Community Opportunity Website has seen huge success in the past year. The purpose of the site is to connect businesses, job seekers, and students with an opportunity to see internship and employment positions available within Crawford and Wyandot counties. According to Stine, 1,200 students, 150 Crawford County businesses, and 316 careers have been active and posted on the site to date.
“We are trying to help students connect to something that will last a lifetime for them,” said Stine.
The Growing Together program is also seeing a positive response and will soon be expanding into the Galion area. The program aims to connect residents young and older through common interests and working together.
Moving into the awards portion of the evening, a total of five awards were given in recognition of work, effort, and dedication in various aspects of the Crawford County community.
The Economic Development Award was presented to Ohio Mutual Insurance of Bucyrus for their tremendous support within the community, their own business betterment, as well as the Partnerships CU Lead program.
The Community Development Award was presented to Brad DeCamp, executive directer of the Marion Crawford ADAMH Board.
“Brad is intent on being sure residents are aware of what is out there to help them in many areas,” said presenter Erin Stine. ” We work so closely with him. His efforts are leading the charge for change, recovery, and hope.”
First Federal Community Bank and the Crawford Community Foundation were presented with the Collaboration Award for their work to establish the Come Home Scholarship for Crawford County. The scholarship is an incentive for recent college grads to bring their talents and training back home to Crawford County upon completing their degree. The scholarship is a reward of up to $10,000.
Keynote speaker for the evening was author Melody Warnick, author of “This is Where you Belong – Finding Home Wherever You Are”. Warnick spoke about her own experiences of being happy with her destinations after many moves across the country.
“It’s not enough to get people into an area and into jobs. We need them to love where they live,” said Warnick. “Create a little bit of delight in your town. There is joy in doing it.”
Warnick shared many realistic and heartwarming personal examples of her efforts throughout her time .
To close the event, Gary Frankhouse thanked Warnick for her time and gave a quick encouragement to all in attendance.
“There are great things here in Crawford County, and there is more to come.”