WADSWORTH — City Councilman Tom Stugmyer was recognized by Heritage Ohio as the Main Street Volunteer of the Year during its annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards ceremony in downtown Cleveland last week.
“It was an honor just to think they thought that on a state level I should be nominated and then when I found out I was chosen for the award, I was really kind of surprised, taken aback,” Stugmyer said Tuesday.
Main Street Wadsworth Executive Director Adrianne Krauss said Heritage Ohio oversees the 23 Main Street organizations throughout the state.
“I decided to nominate Tom for the Volunteer of the Year award because he has put in so many hours and so much passion and dedication into our Main Street efforts,” Krauss said Tuesday.
Krauss said Wadsworth’s downtown organization officially became an Ohio Main Street in 2016, and the statewide award helps show other Main Street communities what is going on in Wadsworth.
“The more we can do to get our name out there and tell the rest of the state of Ohio and really Main Street Communities around the country, that we are on the move and we are on our way to becoming a successful downtown,” she said.
Heritage Ohio Executive Director Joyce Barrett said in a press release that Stugmyer’s contributions stood out among several nominations.
“Many individuals were considered,” Barrett said. “Tom’s nomination stood out for the variety and depth of his involvement.”
Stugmyer, who moved to Wadsworth in 1981, said he originally became involved in the downtown organization back in the late 1990s, photographing events. He is currently a member of the Main Street Wadsworth Events Committee, Economic Vitality Committee, executive board and serves as vice president of the organization’s board of directors.
“It sounds clich￩ so to speak, but the economic vitality of a downtown really is an integral part of making a community successful and that is even the philosophy of Heritage Ohio,” Stugmyer said. “…When you have a vibrant downtown, it attracts businesses throughout the community.”
Stugmyer, who is an at-large councilman and host at 97.1FM Wadsworth Community Radio, said being involved in the different organizations is fun to do, and really comes down to time management.
Stugmyer said that while his name is on the award, he understands that it represents the hard work and dedication of many volunteers that continue to help Main Street Wadsworth positively impact the community.
“I really have to say one person receives an award like that but, not to sound cliche, I really am sitting on the shoulders of an awful lot of volunteers throughout the years,” he said. “I really do appreciate the entire organization and everything that they do because without them there wouldn’t be anything for me to volunteer for and to help with.”
Mayor Robin Laubaugh said in an email Tuesday that Stugmyer has worked tirelessly as a Main Street volunteer, especially as the organization transitioned into an official Main Street community. It is work he added on top of volunteer time with the Wadsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Wadsworth Community Television, Soprema Senior Center and area veterans.
“No one is more deserving than Tom to receive this honor,” Laubaugh said. “Because he is involved in so many organizations, he is aware of the needs and is constantly connecting people and groups and promoting their various worthy causes.”
Krauss said that while she appreciates Stugmyer recognizing that Main Street Wadsworth is not an individual effort, the Volunteer of the Year award recognized his contributions.
“We are all working together with the same goals … but at the end of the day, it was really his individual dedication that resulted in him being nominated and he truly does deserve the recognition,” she said.