In this world of gloom, doom and dread, we love it when we uncover truly inspirational people. This week, we want to honor two recent examples of dedication and honor in our Westshore communities.
We reported on the first last week: Avon Lake High School senior Elisabeth Lendal. The 17-year-old was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland Chapter. She and other winners will be honored Nov. 6 in a virtual ceremony.
Elisabeth won the award for recognizing a need and then organizing a fund-raiser that collected more than 1,200 spice bottles for Community Resource Services’ food bank. She also put together a cookbook to be handed out with the spices, helping those relying on the food bank to provide interesting, nutritious and delicious meals.
In addition, the teen has organized birthday boxes for children and adults filled with gifts. Elisabeth is the youngest person to be asked to be on the CRS board of directors.
Elisabeth wants to attend Southern Methodist University in Texas, studying aspects of community and charity work.
With so much negative news lately, and the stress brought about by divisive political rhetoric, it is such a joy to celebrate pure charity with no ulterior motives. Elisabeth is using her time not to increase her Tik Tok or Instagram followers, but to help others.
Speaking of a good life spent helping others, we also want to thank former Rocky River Police Chief Kelly Stillman for his 35 years of serving the Rocky River community. His tenure, including the last nine years as chief, illustrated a selfless dedication to duty. He is leaving Rocky River to become the police chief in Beachwood. That city is lucky to have him.
Stillman oversaw 32 officers as Rocky River police chief. He implemented leadership training for all department officers; planned and evaluated the department’s transition to 12-hour shifts; initiated the city’s first citizen’s police academy; established units in bike patrol, motorcycle patrol, K-9, and neighborhood crime prevention; and started informal Coffee with a Cop meetings with residents.
Chief Stillman will be missed and we look forward to working with another dedicated police officer, Lt. George Lichman, as he serves as interim chief while the city searches for Stillman’s successor.
Have you met someone inspirational who deserves a shout-out? Please let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions!