Mentor – Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce (ELCCC) honored Jeanette Crislip, Martin’s Nursery and Project Hope for the Homeless at the annual awards banquet, held Jan. 27 at LaMalfa.
ELCCC is a voluntary partnership of business and professional people with a membership of 680. It strives to build a healthy community and improve the quality of life for the communities of Fairport Harbor, Grand River, City of Painesville, Painesville Township, Madison, Perry, Concord Township and Leroy Township.
Although ELCCC is only one year old, it is the union of the Painesville Area Chamber of Commerce, established in 1905, and Madison-Perry Chamber of Commerce, established in 1964.
More than 235 attended the event, which featured a dinner. The holiday atmosphere of the organization of friends set the tone for the congratulatory evening.
Dan Nichols served as master of ceremony. After an invocation by Father Gerald Bednar, Board president Allen Weaver introduced the executive board and the board of directors. Weaver, of Erie Bank, is president, Ame West of West Orchards is 1st vice president, Chris Brill Packard of Lake Health is 2nd vice president, Chris Bartlett of Jones Battles Group LLC CPA’s is treasurer and David Komjati, of Key Bank is past president. Judge John P. O’Donnell administered the oath of office.
Project Hope for the Homeless, located at 25 Freedom Rd., Painesville, received the 2017 Heritage Award, which is given periodically to a person/organization/business/industry that demonstrates superior commitment and achieves positive results in partnership with the community
Father Bednar presented the award to Judy Burr, Project Hope’s CEO. Project Hope for the Homeless was formed by the Ecumenical Shelter Network involving several churches of different denominations. Since 1993, Project Hope for the Homeless has served the homeless in northeast Ohio with the mission of responding to the human hurts and hopes of persons in Lake County by providing emergency shelter and guidance. Ultimately, the goal is for the homeless to achieve independence. Ninety percent of the guests return to the community and many return as leaders, volunteers and employees, according to Burr.
Starting with 16 beds and a budget of $8,000, the facility now includes 50 beds and five family areas. Three programs are in operation – the adult section, Families Moving Forward and Aftercare.
An important aspect of success is the cadre of 140 volunteers, organizations and others who support the program in many ways, including in bringing in meals.
“Judy is our blessing,” said Father Bednar. “She has the knack of getting it all to work.”
“We are humbled to receive the Heritage Award,” said Burr. “It comes at a wonderful time.”
Martin’s Nursery, 3748 North Ridge Rd. in Perry Township received the 2017 Outstanding Business of the Year Award. The award was presented to Laurie Martin with love and humor by her friends, Deb Remington and Lois Osborn.
For three generations Martin’s Nursery has been a symbol of integrity and character in the community. In addition, Martin and the family have quietly supported a long list of charities and non-profit organizations by giving their time and talent. She is very active with the Lake County Historical Society.
“Laurie is all things Perry in her support,” said Remington. “She also has a strong faith commitment.”
Martin’s Nursery was founded by Gaza Martin in 1934 and carried on by his son Zoltan and his sons David and Dennis. Upon Dennis’ death in 1998, Laurie decided to continue the business. Now she is assisted by their son Rob, who is vice president in charge of landscaping, with his daughters Sydney and Isabelle already helping out.
Jeanette Crislip was the 2017 Outstanding Citizen of the Year. This dynamo who climbed on a box to reach the microphone was introduced by Commissioner Dan Troy, who has worked with her for many years. Crislip has served the Lake County Community as a volunteer for more than 30 years and has a gigantic list of accomplishments on behalf of the community.
Her goals were never aimed towards awards, she said. They always were to make the local community a better and safe place to live and to raise a family. Her own family included her husband, a son and twin daughters.
She has volunteered with many and varied organizations The extensive list includes Painesville Senior Center, Lake County History Center, Laketran board of trustees, Lake County Democratic Women, Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve, Society for Rehabilitation board of trustees, and Catholic Charities. In addition, she was a Painesville Township trustee for 28 years, on the Lake County Solid Waste Policy Committee, the Lake County Health Coalition, The Lubrizol Community Advisory Panel and Lake Erie College board of trustees. Realizing the “old folks home” on Rt. 84 was going to be demolished, she helped negotiate getting the building for the Lake County History Center. She also challenged the Lubrizol Corporation on an environmental issue and helped upgrade Mentor Ave., build a fire station and reclaim the former Diamond Shamrock building. She retired three years ago at 85.
“Those who know her well agree that she is very opinionated, and she is a master of getting things done,” he said.