Last month at the 577 Foundation, two awesome Perrysburg residents were honored with the Virginia Secor Stranahan Annual Citizenship Award.
In 2013, I was able to have a story on the award which goes to someone whose generous contributions and legacy makes a difference in the Perrysburg area. I wanted to recognize two of Perrysburg’s finest citizens that received it this year.
Deb Buker and J.D. Justus were the recipients this year. I’m sure most Perrysburg residents know at least one of them and can confirm that they are some of the nicest people in Perrysburg.
I believe it was my second week with The Blade when I met Mr. Justus at the current Perrysburg Area Historic Musuem, during which we walked through the house. As always, Mr. Justus was gracious and helpful, but one thing stuck with me. New to the area and not knowing anyone in town, he gave me his cell phone number and said, “If you need anything or want information about something, let me know.” He didn’t know me well at the time, but this meant the world to me as a person covering a new town.
Mr. Justus was honored for his fund-raising efforts to help local families with medical bills. He volunteers with Vail Meadows, an Oregon organization dedicated to helping people with autism be able to go horseback riding. Mr. Justus also served as a liaison and helped complete the Perrysburg Area Historic Museum, which opened this year.
Then, there is Mrs. Buker, who has attended many Perrysburg city council and school board meetings that can go several hours. She is the editor of the Perrysburg Messenger, but also a leader in the community in several ways. She ran the Bark for Life fund-raiser, was a chairperson for Perrysburg Relay for Life, is the president of the Exchange Club Foundation, and much more. She is a breast cancer survivor and great person.
Although it is nice to hear some of her jokes, or having her give me a hard time, during meetings, the reason I love her receiving this award is her generosity. I work for a competing Web site and newspaper in Perrysburg and she’s always been respectful, honest, and helpful. She even helped my wife find a role in something she is passionate about.
While off from work this summer, my wife Sarah quickly got involved after Mrs. Buker explained how the Wood County Humane Society is a great place for an animal lover to volunteer and spend time.
I was sad to have missed the award-giving ceremony, but extremely happy to see who was recognized.
Congrats to Mrs. Buker and Mr. Justus for your honors. Both are well deserved.