Both the Community Council’s Citizen and Project of the Year awards honored years of hard work by the respective parties.
Bay Middle School teacher Lawrence Kuh was selected as Citizen of the Year for shepherding the Bay Skate and Bike Park to completion. The 2010 bicentennial celebration was honored as the Project of the Year.
In tapping Kuh, the council cited “his leadership of the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation, which for six years worked to substantially fund, design and construct a skateboard and bicycle park in the city.”
People submitting nominations also lauded Kuh.
“Kuh was the face and voice of the project,” one nomination read. “Through multiple site changes that required meeting with city departments, planners and designers to repeatedly change site designs and satisfy the various city boards, Lawrence spearheaded the skate park project through to completion.
“Lawrence was able to keep this project moving forward, despite roadblocks and opposition, using the process to teach his young group of skating enthusiasts. … Not only did Lawrence give these children an opportunity to develop lifelong skills in planning a project and seeing it to completion, he also brought a diverse group of supporters together for a common good.”
When contacted Friday, Kuh said he was thrilled.
“In honoring me, they also are honoring the skate park project itself and all the volunteers and people who pushed it through to completion,” he said.
Kuh’s wife, Jennifer, said she and the couple’s three children are all excited by the honor.
“Lawrence wasn’t home when I took the phone call,” she said. “When they told me, I was so happy I screamed. They were on speakerphone at the other end and they all heard it and laughed. They were glad we were so pleased. This is great for the park.”
In the project decision, the council lauded the bicentennial panel of Ward 1 City Councilman Dave Tadych, Bay Village Historical Society President Carole Roske, coordinator Evelyn Allen and Society Treasurer Tom Phillips.
“The committee spearheaded efforts that raised almost $70,000 for the city’s two-day birthday celebration, which included a grand parade, video presentation, birthday cake and fireworks display.”
Community nominations praised the work.
Individuals, civic organizations, businesses and all of Bay’s churches joined hands and worked and planned for almost two years to prepare for this moving 200 years of history celebration,” one form read. “Past residents from all over the country came home to celebrate and remember their Bay heritage.”
“It was truly an effort by all city residents, from its youth to its seniors, that every day make our city the special place we all love so completely,” another read.
Roske said Friday she and the committee are honored by the selection.
“We all worked very hard at it along with many dedicated volunteers,” she said. “It was a project that was very important to the community. We wanted to put something together which showed how people felt not only about the bicentennial, but about the community itself.”
Community Council President Eric Eakin said the selections were appropriate.
“The committee’s selection of Kuh as citizen of the year was easy because he worked so tirelessly for the skate and bike park,” Eakin said. “And the group’s selection of the bicentennial as project of the year was unanimous and without hesitation.”
Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland said she was pleased by the selections.
“Lawrence worked tirelessly at the skate park project for many years and led a group of people to success on a fine project,” she said. “The selection of the bicentennial project shows just how fine a project because it comes in some fine competition. The skate park and community gardens were both good projects as well, but you can only have one bicentennial, and they made it a memorable weekend for us all.”
A public reception for both Kuh and bicentennial officials will be held on a date to be decided later.