Westlake’s Equity Trust Founder Offers Free College Education at Boys & Girls Club Ceremony

Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County Board President John Dillon, Richard Desich and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County Board President John Dillon, Richard Desich and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Richard Desich, founder of the Equity Trust financial services company which makes its home in the former Cleveland Clinic building on Clemens Road in Westlake, recently gave back to his hometown of Lorain in a big way.

He pledged to award a free education to Lorain County Community College to ten members of the Boys Club of Lorain County that now bears the Desich name.

The pledge came at a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lorain County at 4111 Pearl Avenue in Lorain on July 12.

The event dedicated the Club space and unveiled its new name – honoring the philanthropy of Mr. Desich.

Now known as The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lorain County Desich Family Campus (also referred to as the Oakwood Club), the facility originally opened in the summer of 2013. The club’s programming serves a daily average of 80 youth during the school year and 90 youth during the summer. The facility also houses the organization’s corporate offices.

The Oakwood Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County, 4111 Pearl Ave., Lorain, renamed its facility the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lorain County Desich Family Campus in recognition of Dick Desich’s contributions July 12 in a ceremony that included Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The Oakwood Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County, 4111 Pearl Ave., Lorain, renamed its facility the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lorain County Desich Family Campus in recognition of Dick Desich’s contributions July 12 in a ceremony that included Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Mr. Deisch, a second-generation Lorain native, and his family donated the 16 acres of land, formerly known as the Oakwood Plaza, for the club to build a new facility. Next up at the site is a kitchen that will allow the organization to supply hot meals to its 14 Lorain County locations.

The pledge of college scholarships came as a surprise to all at the ribbon-cutting. His pledge was one of the many Desich family contributions that impact to the Lorain Boys & Girls Clubs. Richard (Rich) Desich Jr., is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lorain County Board of Directors.

Inspired by the family’s generosity, employees at Westlake-based Equity Trust have designated the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Oakwood facility as the primary recipient of their philanthropic efforts. Employees have donated thousands of dollars and hours of time to the organization.

Mike Conibear of the Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County welcomes one and all.

Mike Conibear of the Boys & Girls Club of Lorain County welcomes one and all.

The Desich’s land donation has led to generous support from other community partners, including a grant from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, which was also recognized at the ribbon- cutting ceremony. Many other individuals and organizations have stepped up to contribute to the club and support the club’s mission of fostering academic success and character building for the youth of Lorain County.

Pledge

At the ceremony to reveal the name, Mr. Desich shared that his education, including community college, helped him become a successful entrepreneur. He offered a challenge and a promise to the young club members in attendance: “If you complete this program and graduate from high school with a C average, I will give 10 of you a free education to Lorain County Community College with my own money,” said Desich. Mr. Desich was a member of the LCCC Board of Trustees for more than 30 years.

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