Heart of Giving Dinner

Heart of Giving Dinner

January 17, 2023

Samaritan Hospital Foundation Recognizes Grandpa’s Cheesebarn Owners, Loudonville Native, and the Late Jay Myers for Their Legacies of Giving Back to the Ashland Community

On October 13, a crowd of nearly 200 gathered for Samaritan Hospital Foundation’s (SHF) annual Heart of Giving Appreciation Dinner. The evening is dedicated to thanking individuals in our community who give generously of their time, talent, treasure and service to help others.

The event began with a series of videos highlighting how SHF grants are positively impacting the health and wellness of individuals in Ashland County and the hospital.

  • UH Samaritan Medical Center received a grant toward the purchase of new catheterization unit equipment for the hospital’s Cath Lab that enables cardiology patients to be treated locally with Level 2 cath services.
  • The Ashland Christian Health Center (ACHC) received a community grant that funded the addition of Nurse Practitioner, Karen Schwan, to support their new Diabetes and Chronic Disease Program. She provides diabetes education and chronic disease management clinics (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.) throughout the week that provide regularly scheduled appointments and follow up to help get patients on a path to healthier living.
  • To date, through SHF community grants, 130 automated external defibrillator (AED) devices have been supplied to all emergency and law enforcement personnel, as well as every church in Ashland County. The last in the series of community grant videos included a warning for viewers as it showed an actual life-saving event where one of the donated AEDs was used to save a life. New London Police Officer, Ryan Ginley, used the AED device to save the life of Leo Wyatt. The incident created a bond between the two along with their common bond of service to our country—Leo is a Vietnam veteran and Ryan is a reservist currently serving overseas.

During the Heart of Giving Awards portion of the event, SHF recognized six individuals in our community for their compassion and faithful service to make a difference in the lives of others:

Jay Myers, who passed away last December, was honored for his contributions to the Ashland community and touching the lives of many in his too-short lifetime. As Vice President and minority owner of Simonson Construction Services, Jay spent 22 years supporting the growth and development of his hometown, including major projects for Ashland University, UH Samaritan Medical Center, Wil Research, the Kroc Center, and Advanced Ceramics, to name a few. He served on many boards in Ashland, including Brethren Care Village, Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Ashland Cemetery Association, as well as the Ashland County Community Foundation Board where he served as a trustee for 15 of the Community Fund’s 27 years. He witnessed the good work that resulted from the Community Foundation coming together with other organizations to improve the community and enhance the lives of those who live here. According to Jay’s brother, Dr. Phil Myers, “Jay loved Ashland and quietly went about making it someplace special.”

Grandma (Vera) and Grandpa (Dick) Baum and Dick and Ronda Poorbaugh, founders of Grandpa’s Cheesebarn, were recognized for their legacy of giving back to the Ashland community. Over the years, Grandma and Grandpa Baum and Dick and Ronda Poorbaugh, and now the next generation, have quietly donated to the Ashland community, supporting BalloonFest, The City of Ashland Christmas display downtown, Ashland County Community Foundation, Ashland University, Mohican District Science Fair, Ashland Parks, Brookside Golf Course, The City of Ashland Bandshell Concerts, The Ashland Symphony, The Ohio Theater, Rotary Club, Hospice of North Central Ohio, as well as donations to many faith-based organizations in our community including Ashland Christian School and Ashland Christian Health Center. Not only have they put Ashland, Ohio, on the map with their quality cheeses, they have shared so much of their time, talent, and treasure with hundreds of employees and thousands of visitors over the years, leaving a lasting impression of kindness to everyone who enters the doors of Grandpa’s Cheesebarn by treating them just like family.

John Stoops was recognized for his community service in retirement, including his involvement as one of the founders of Redbird Resilient, a grassroots organization in Loudonville devoted to building community resilience to strengthen community health and reduce addiction. Their vision is for community members to be the best they can be in living healthy, whole, and productive lives. The broad definition of resiliency has allowed this organization to build many projects, including creating community and school programming to discourage drug use and vaping, becoming trauma-informed, building parenting skills, bringing community members into the elementary schools to mentor students, kinship care, and funding a pilot program to inform awareness of human trafficking in the public schools. John was instrumental in helping design and deliver human trafficking training for every child in the Loudonville school district. 

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