Neighbors | Zack Shively.Ken Carano, program chair for the Austintown Growth Foundation, recognized the previous inductees at their Hall of Fame Ceremony. The foundation honors people and businesses who have made an impact on the Austintown community.
Neighbors | Zack Shively.Gregory Facemyer accepted the Austintown Growth Foundation Hall of Fame award on behalf of his late father, John Facemyer. John Facemyer worked hard to improve the community, creating events such as the Memorial Parade in Austintown.
Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Austintown Growth Foundation added five new inductees into their Hall of Fame on Feb. 22 at Rachel's Restaurant. Pictured, Program chair Ken Carano began the event and spoke about each of the inductees.
Neighbors | Zack Shively.Ken Jakubec, a veteran and former General Motors worker, spent his life in Austintown. In his speech, he spoke some of his work in the community over the decades. He served 20 years as an Austintown school board member.
Neighbors | Zack Shively.Jeffrey Toth, an Austintown police officer, was inducted into the Austintown Growth Foundation Hall of Fame. He leads an anti-drug program at the Austintown schools. He said he was proud to represent the police force and the schools at the event and in the Hall of Fame.
By ZACK SHIVELY
The Austintown Growth Foundation had their Hall of Fame Ceremony on Feb. 22 at Rachel’s Restaurant where they inducted three individuals and two businesses into the Hall of Fame.
The foundation inducts prominent members of the Austintown community into their Hall of Fame to be recognized for their service efforts. The 2017 individual inductees were John Facemyer, Kenneth Jakubec and Jeffrey Toth. Charly’s Restaurant and Advanced Marking and Printing received the business awards, named the Hall of Fame Image Awards.
Ken Carano, the program chair, said the Austintown Growth Foundation began in 1980 as a way for the community to recognize those who have helped the community and schools, while promoting Austintown. In 1990, the foundation began showcasing local businesses with the Image Award.
Carano began the event with an introduction to the organization and the history the foundation has built. He recognized those in the audience that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame before going into the this year’s inductees.
Gregory Facemyer accepted the honor and award on behalf of his late father. John Facemyer had been involved with many groups in the community, such as the Austintown Lions Club, and worked hard to organize Austintown’s Memorial Parade.
“No one should be too young, too old or too busy to help their community,” said Gregory Facemyer at the end of his acceptance speech for his father.
Both Jakubec and Toth spoke highly of John Facemyer. Jakubec worked with Facemyer at General Motors and said he had the utmost respect for him. He said that Facemyer would always wave and say hello every time he saw him. Toth called Facemyer an icon in the community and said he saw Facemyer at every community event.
Carano spoke highly of Jakubec’s work in the military, schools and community before bringing him on stage to speak. He served on the school board for 20 years throughout two tenures with an 11 year break in between the two. He began helping the community at the age of 14 as a part of the Austintown Optimist Club. He said he plans to continue helping the community as long as he is physically able to do so.
“He probably touched more lives through Austintown schools than any one individual,” Jakubec said of Toth, who received the next award.
Toth, a member of the Austintown police force, organized and heads the D.A.R.E. program within the school system. The program aims to eliminate drug use in the community through education at a young age. Toth said each officer finds their niche, and D.A.R.E. was his niche.
Toth called the award an “unbelievable honor.” He spoke about being proud to represent the police department through the award. He also said he accepted the award on behalf of the children in the Austintown schools. “Who knew that 10-year-olds could make you famous,” he joked.
Both Toth and Jakubec seemed truly honored to not only be inducted into the Austintown Growth Hall of Fame, but also to be inducted with each other and Facemyer.
Carano next went into the Image Awards after the three individuals were awarded. They first called Carol Fye of Advanced Marking and Printing. Fye spoke over the phone to the Growth Foundation leaders while out of town.
The foundation inducted Fye as an individual in 1991, but included the business this year because of how much the community relies on her company. Carano joked, “what took so long?” to induct the business.
The final award of the night went to Charly’s Restaurant and Bob Bowers and Monica Roth for their work with the business. The Foundation used the award to also recognize Bowers for his previous restaurant, Mr. B’s Tippecanoe House. Carano spoke at length about Bowers’s success story and how much the businesses mean to the Austintown community. Both Bowers and Roth talked after Carano.
Rachel’s Restaurant catered the event, giving the attendees a pasta dinner, multiple choices of beverage and cake. Each of the attendees also received a program detailing the lives and histories of the 2017 award winners and a list of previous inductees.