Judith A. Read Tribute Award marks former board member’s lifetime of giving
Last night, more than 400 local leaders gathered at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn to honor three local activists who are improving life for Summit County women and girls.
Akron Marathon co-founders Steve and Jeannine Marks gave the keynote address at “For Women, Forever,” the annual celebration of the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. WKYC anchor and Summit County native Sara Shookman served as emcee. In all, the event brought in more than $50,000 for the permanent endowment fund, the mission of which is to improve the health, safety and economic well-being of women and girls in Summit County.
The evening culminated with longtime fund board member and well-known philanthropist Judy Read receiving the inaugural Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women.
“Judy is a tireless advocate, passionate volunteer and insightful leader whose support and leadership have improved the lives of countless individuals in Greater Akron,” said Women’s Endowment Fund board chair and Bober, Markey & Fedorovich partner Cindy Johnson, who presented the award. “Judy was instrumental in our endowment campaign, which raised more than $2 million for the fund’s 20-year anniversary in 2013.”
Read has a 50-year history of leadership throughout Greater Akron’s nonprofit community. She is past president of the League of Women Voters, former chair of the United Way of Summit County’s Women’s Initiative Council, former chair of Akron Community Foundation’s Community Relations Committee and a former member of the University of Akron’s Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council.
In 2008, Judy and her husband, Roger, received the H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award from the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties.
“All of us are put on this earth for a reason – a purpose to guide us along the way,” Read said. “To me, there can be no greater purpose in life than giving a helping hand to those who need it the most.”
The Judith A. Read Tribute Award will be presented annually to the individual who exemplifies the Women’s Endowment Fund’s mission to inspire, empower, educate and strengthen the well-being of women and girls.
For more information about the award, or to learn more about the Women’s Endowment Fund or the “For Women, Forever” event, visit www.womensendowmentfund.org.
The Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation was established in 1993 as a permanent endowment committed to encouraging the advancement of Summit County women and girls. To date, it has grown to nearly $3 million and awarded more than $850,000 in grants. Contributions of any amount are welcome and can be made online at www.akroncf.org/give/WEF or mailed to Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307. For more information, call (330) 376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org/WEF.
Celebrating 60 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Dec. 31, 2015, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $184 million with a growing family of more than 520 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $131 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call (330) 376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.