More than 70 dedicated civic volunteers were honored by the City of Westlake last week at City Hall.
The 2012 Volunteer Recognition Program was hosted by Mayor Dennis Clough and Joyce Able Schroth, Director of Community Services.
Each awardee was personally thanked by Mayor Clough and given a Certificate of Appreciation.
“This is really a testament to our community that so many of you have been willing to help out and give so unselfishly. We could never have become the community we are without your help,” said Mayor Clough.
Nine volunteers received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The Award was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions by community volunteers. It thanks and honors Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.
Bronze (100-249 Hours): Betty Franklin for Family History; Richard Hong for Auxiliary Police; and David Lubrant for the Food bank. David has volunteered since he was six years old and is a senior at Westlake High.
Silver (250-499 Hours): Al Smith for 20 years of Holiday Food Basket Distribution.
Gold (500 or more Hours): Jimmy Lee or Energizer Corp, for filling holiday food baskets with flashlights, batteries and shirts over many years. Jimmy was also a primary organizer of the first Relay for Life in Westlake; Dorothy Titera for Family History and working with Westlake’s sister city, Tralee, Ireland.
Lifetime (all auxiliary police): Larry Matus, 10 ½ years/ over 1,890 Hours; Marian Zietz, 11 years/over 1.980 Hours; John Wichman, 13 Years, over 2,340 Hours; Bill Anderer, 20 years/over 3,600 Hours.
In addition,The Honorable Johnnie Wall, mayor of Tralee, Ireland enrolled Dorothy Titera as a first member of the newly established ‘Friends of Tralee.’
Among the other honored guests was four year-old Anna Lassen who participated in a food drive for the City’s food bank as well as those who have served as auxiliary police, magistrates, commissioners, advisory board members and in a variety of other ways to provide much-needed service to the city of Westlake and its residents.
A mayoral proclamation was presented to Dorothy Titera for her incredible work as a Family History Consultant in partnership with sister city, Tralee, Ireland. Dorothy serves as both a Family History Consultant and is the Cleveland Ohio Stake Indexing Director in their Family History Centers, including Westlake’s. She has assisted countless individuals and families over many years in their search for their ancestors.
Dorothy served in this volunteer role at two City of Westlake Bicentennial programs in 2011, entitled “Westlake is 200 Years Old…How Old is Your Family?” The first event was attended by Tralee, Ireland Mayor Grace O’Donnell and Tralee, Ireland Development Officer John Griffin. From this chance meeting, John Griffin told the story of a baby, Nicholas Johnston Ryle (Reilly), born aboard the famine ship Jeanie Johnston on its maiden voyage from Tralee to Quebec in April 1848; Quebec was the gateway to North America for thousands of Irish emigrants fleeing the potato famine. In 2003 a replica of the ship was completed in Tralee and sailed to the United States and Canada but Tralee officials were unable to find descendants of Nicholas—searching for more than fifteen years. That’s when Development Officer John Griffin found Tralee’s sister city of Westlake’s bicentennial event and solicited help from Dorothy Titera.
Dorothy searched for descendants online, on the phone, in letter correspondence and in person at far-away locations. She was able to find the last living direct descendant, Miss O’Reilly, in California.
Dorothy procured certified copies of vital records for the Irish Government Consulate to confirm the relationship and gladly shared this information with Tralee officials, O’Reilly family members, including many great-grandchildren as well as an eastern US author who was including Tralee, Ireland in her new book.
Dorothy is responsible for connecting long-lost Reilly/O’Reilly family members in North America while providing proof and lineage to Westlake’s sister city of Tralee, Ireland the long-awaited family history of the descendants of one Nicholas Johnston Ryle (Reilly). As all of Ireland celebrates The Gathering Ireland 2013, Tralee will spotlight Nicholas and his prodigy as well as Dorothy Titera during the Rose of Tralee week-long event this summer as well as other possible gatherings in Tralee and County Kerry.