Friday, February 23, 2018
By Billy Ludt
To join the many faces hanging in the hall of fame at the Austintown Township Building, a person must demonstrate dedication to the community.
The Austintown Growth Foundation inducted three people into its hall and recognized two township organizations Thursday for their continued contributions to the community through service and volunteering.
For the year of 2017, Detective Jeff Toth, Ken Jakubec and the late John Facemyer, were the hall inductees.
Advanced Marking & Printing and Mr. B’s Tippecanoe House and Charly’s Restaurant received the foundation’s Image Award.
“It’s unbelievable,” Toth said. “I’m here tonight representing the township. I’m indebted to the police department.
While he enjoyed doing patrols as an officer at Austintown Police Department, Toth said it wasn’t his strong suit. Instead he found his niche teaching DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programs in Austintown schools. He has had the position of DARE officer since the job was created in 2000.
“The kids keep me really busy,” Toth said. “We still have a lot of work to do, with a lot more serious things to worry about than alcohol, marijuana and tobacco.”
Jakubec has been a lifelong township citizen. But he said being inducted into the foundation’s hall of fame was unexpected.
“It’s something I never dreamed of,” Jakubec said.
He served in the Marines, worked at General Motors Lordstown and just ended his final term as an Austintown school board member in January. Jakubec also single-handedly organizes pickup for the county’s Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive every year.
He said he doesn’t intend to stop serving his community. “I will do that as long as I’m physically capable to do that,” Jakubec said.
Dr. Gregory Facemyer spoke on his father’s behalf at the ceremony. John Facemyer died Oct. 9, 2016, and was inducted posthumously.
John Facemyer was a member of the American Legion, the Lions Club International Foundation, and worked 40 years at GM Lordstown. Toth noted John Facemyer was present at every community event he attended, and he regarded him as a mentor.
“No one should be too young or too old to help someone in their communities,” Dr. Facemyer said. “For that, we thank Austintown, Ohio.”