Six Outstanding Volunteers to be Honored at Fundraiser on May 21
Let your creativity shine! A sense of community is the ultimate work of art. LakewoodAlive will host Loving Lakewood: Let’s Make History! on Saturday, May 21, 2022 outdoors at The Sanctuary Museum Courtyard. Guests are cordially invited to socialize with statues, explore artifacts, drink with docents and relish displays all while learning of the cultural and impactful work of LakewoodAlive at this outdoor venue turned museum in Lakewood’s historic Birdtown neighborhood.
LakewoodAlive proudly announces Tom Fraser as the 2022 Founders Award recipient and fellow community members Carol Barrett, Bill Craighead, Matt Fish, Judy Gryzbowski, and John Turner as the 2022 Community Leaders award honorees to be recognized during Loving Lakewood: Let’s Make History. Each will be honored as part of the evening’s festivities in recognition of their exemplary service to LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood community.
Guests are cordially invited to socialize with statues, explore artifacts, drink with docents and relish displays all while learning of the cultural and impactful work of Lakewood Alive. This outdoor venue turned museum is expected to sell out, so be sure to act quickly, tickets will go faster than Amelia Earhart’s plane at 10 a.m. on April 5. For more information and to buy tickets visit, LakewoodAlive.org/LovingLakewood.
Each member of this honoree group has made a long-lasting impact on LakewoodAlive and our community. The Founders Award, recognizing one honoree annually, celebrates individuals who exemplify the vision of LakewoodAlive’s founding members to foster and sustain vibrant and welcoming neighborhoods. Community Leader Award recipients represent LakewoodAlive’s most dedicated volunteers and partners who have supported the organization’s work in the community.
The Founders Award
Tom Fraser – Founders Award
Tom is the CEO of First Mutual Holding Co., the largest member-owned mutual holding company of its kind in the Midwest, with affiliates that include First Federal Lakewood and First Mutual Bank. A former LakewoodAlive board member, Tom has been central to our incredible partnership with First Federal Lakewood for more than a decade. In 2012, Tom saw the value that LakewoodAlive brought to the community’s housing stock and its residents and made a commitment to invest in the Housing Outreach program. When COVID-19 struck, Tom was a key member of a city-wide response that included members of government, institutions, non-profits and schools. The creation of an emergency small business loan – in a matter of days – is a testament to the commitment Tom has to Lakewood, and the ability for this community to rally together.
“I love Lakewood as it is my hometown, an original streetcar suburb that continues to evolve and reinvent itself. Over the past century, it has been the gateway for success for immigrants, small business owners and families to launch themselves to success. It seems everyone in Northeast Ohio was born here, lived here, dines here or speaks glowingly of my hometown,” said Fraser.
Community Leader Award Honorees:
Carol Barrett – Community Leader Award
Carol is the owner of Carol Lynn Salon Plus (15516 Madison Avenue). A Lakewood graduate and resident, Carol opened her own salon in 2007. In no time, she became a pillar in the community as a board member for the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River Rotary Sunrise. Carol led the Uptown Lakewood Business Alliance for 4 years including through the COVID-19 pandemic. Quick with a smile, Carol’s passion is for her clients and her community. Most recently, Carol joined the LakewoodAlive board in 2021.
“I volunteer and support LakewoodAlive because they provide support to small businesses including my own. They are a solid source of information such as loans, grants, and many opportunities for business-to-business networking. LakewoodAlive truly led the business community through the Covid-19 pandemic,” Barrett said.
Bill Craighead – Community Leader Award
Bill is the Managing Partner at Cleveland Home Title. A lifelong Lakewood resident, former LakewoodAlive board member and current LakewoodAlive Housing Committee member, Bill is a champion of the Housing Outreach Program. Through his work on the committee, Bill has championed the Pride Fund leading to healthy and safe housing for Lakewood families and residents.
“From the time I joined LakewoodAlive, Bill has been a big advocate for the Housing Outreach Program,” said Housing & Internal Operations Director Allison Urbanek. “He has helped champion the Pride Fund from the early days to full program launch in 2019. Bill truly cares about this community and the people who call it home.”
Matt Fish – Community Leader Award
Matt is the owner of Melt Bar & Grilled (14718 Detroit Avenue) which opened its first location in Lakewood in 2006. LakewoodAlive was thrilled to see an incredible concept take hold in the emerging Downtown District. What LakewoodAlive couldn’t have known is how special and supportive the partnership with owner Matt Fish would become. Melt Bar & Grilled has been the title sponsor of Lakewood Summer Meltdown since its inaugural year in 2009.
“LakewoodAlive simply makes the City of Lakewood better in so many ways. Where other cities have reduced the community involvement options, LakewoodAlive has increased them and made the events and the city better year after year,” Fish reflected.
Judy Grzybowski – Community Leader Award
Judy recently retired as the Manager at Lakewood Public Library Madison Branch in Birdtown where she was employed for 32 years. Many children and families love “Mrs G.” She is the honorary “Mayor of Birdtown” where she lives and worked, influencing many lives by providing neighborhood access to books and the library. Judy was always a supportive partner of LakewoodAlive’s work in Birdtown, together strengthening a proud neighborhood.
“I support Lakewood Alive because it is imperative that we have a committed community that works together for a common goal,” reflected Gryzbowski.
John Turner – Community Leader Award
John is a devoted volunteer for the Knowing Your Home Educational Workshop Series and has been since 2014. He has a deep love for old homes and believes in preserving Lakewood’s historic housing stock. He is a mentor and huge advocate for educating and encouraging people to tackle their own home repairs and improvements.
“I was a contractor in the Cleveland area for many years. I always preferred to work with customers that were savvy and well informed about the work they wanted to be completed. Lakewood Alive’s mission resonates with that outlook and is why I enjoy volunteering my time to their educational workshop series,” said Turner.
About Loving Lakewood
Loving Lakewood: Let’s Make History is a pop-up museum experience featuring a curated selection of food, drinks, décor and iconic entertainment. Proceeds will support LakewoodAlive’s programming as we strive to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood. Much like established artists throughout history, we at LakewoodAlive see our community as our canvas, using our inspiration, determination and tireless drive to assist the residents and small businesses of Lakewood, to create our work of art, an even more vibrant and welcoming community. For ongoing updates, please visit LakewoodAlive.org/LovingLakewood.
LakewoodAlive is community development organization with a mission to foster and sustain vibrant and welcoming neighborhoods. Our organization takes a comprehensive approach of working with both residents and small business owners to ensure a strong and resilient community. We work daily to ensure healthy and safe housing for all residents as well as a kind word and a helping hand to our small businesses working with them to create strong foundations making Lakewood a great place to live, work and play.
Loving Lakewood: Let’s Make History is generously supported by the following sponsors:
Rockport Wealth Advisors Lakewood: 216-226-4562