By Kevin Kelley
If you need to get something done in Westlake, it’s more than likely that Rick Grane can do it or knows the people who can.
Grane, a man who wears many hats in the community, was introduced as Mr. Westlake for 2014 at the Crocker Park holiday tree lighting ceremony Nov. 23 by Westlake Town Criers Vice President Dave Turner.
The Town Criers typically give the award to a Westlake couple who contribute to the community through volunteer work. The 2013 honorees were Dave Pfister and Lysa Stanton. Grane’s wife, Susan, passed away in 2003. Their daughter, Laura, was with Grane when the announcement was made.
Susan’s death is part of the inspiration behind Grane’s work with organizations that fight to find a cure for cancer. For several years, Grane has served either as chairman or co-chairman for Westlake Relay For Life, the annual American Cancer Society fundraiser. He is also involved in Emily’s Rainbow Run, a road race named after Emily Lewis that raises money to fight pediatric cancers.
Grane said he’s proudest of his involvement with these activities.
The retired industrial supply salesman grew up in Strongsville and moved to Westlake in 1983. His first volunteer work was with his church, Westlake United Methodist Church, where he worked with the youth
group and served as a trustee and groundskeeper.
Grane twice served as president of the Westlake Kiwanis, leading the organization’s sale of memorial bricks for the Founders Walk at Clague Park during the community’s bicentennial celebration in 2011.
“I just like to give back,” Grane explained. “If I see something that needs to get done, I do it.”
Often his volunteer work starts with a suggestion made at an organizational meeting, he said. The other people at the meeting will usually say, Go ahead and do it, Grane explained.
These days, people in civic organizations turn to Grane from the start because he knows so many people and can get things done quickly, he said.
“I bring a full deck to the group,” Grane said.
Much of Grane’s organizational credentials come from his work as an auxiliary patrol officer with the Westlake Police Department. A patrol officer since 2005 and two-time auxiliary Officer of the Year in 2006 and 2012, Grane brings expertise in security arrangements required for many public events.
Lt. Ray Arcuri, who oversees the city’s auxiliary police force, said Grane’s honor is well-deserved.
“He’s definitely my go-to guy, like when we have an emergency or special event,” Arcuri said. “If I have only one call to make, it’s to him.”
Capt. Guy Turner said there’s only one surprise about Grane’s being named Mr. Westlake.
“Could they get him to stand still long enough to receive the award?” Turner joked. “He’s a very energetic guy.”