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Stark & Knoll attorney Thomas Knoll named 51st Polsky Award recipient

AKRON, Ohio (June 14, 2018) – Stark & Knoll co-founding attorney and philanthropist Thomas G. Knoll was named the 2018 recipient of Akron Community Foundation’s Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award. He will receive the award at the annual Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Knoll will be the 51st recipient of the award, which Akron Community Foundation presents each year to an individual or couple who has shown selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron.

Knoll is the co-founder of Akron-based law firm Stark & Knoll, where he advises clients in corporate, real estate and nonprofit law. His career as an attorney has spanned more than 50 years, benefiting businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout Northeast Ohio.

In addition to serving the nonprofit community through his law practice, Knoll is well-known for his personal philanthropy and extensive charitable work. He is the co-founder of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina and Stark Counties and First Tee of Greater Akron. He and his wife, Ginny, have also served as co-chairs of several charity campaigns, including the 2018 Summa Health Sapphire Ball and Habitat for Humanity’s “A Home of Our Own” capital campaign, which raised more than $2 million to purchase a new facility in Akron.

Knoll was also instrumental in the creation of Leadership Akron’s N.E.X.T. program, which engages retired executives in key community leadership roles. He has served on the boards of nearly two dozen nonprofit organizations, including Akron Community Foundation, GAR Foundation, Goodwill Industries of Akron, the University of Akron Foundation, and Boy Scouts of America Great Trail Council.

In 2015, he and his wife established the Tom and Ginny Knoll Family Fund of Akron Community Foundation, a donor-advised fund that provides grant support to many of their favorite nonprofits, including the United Way of Summit County and Akron Rotary Camp for Children With Special Needs. 

Knoll has received many prestigious awards for his humanitarian work, including the Sir Thomas More Award from the Akron Bar Association and the H. Peter Burg Award from the Greater Akron Chamber. He is a past president and member of the Akron Bar Association and a member of both the Ohio State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Knoll is a graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Knoll was selected to receive the Polsky Humanitarian Award by a committee of past honorees. Recent recipients include the Honorable Carla Moore; Oak Associates Ltd. founder Jim Oelschlager and his wife, Vanita; GOJO Industries Chairman and CEO Joe Kanfer; and RDA Hotel Management Company President Rennick Andreoli.

About the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award

The Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award is named for the former president of Polsky’s Department Store and founding trustee of Akron Community Foundation. The community foundation presents the award each year to the individual or couple who best exemplifies Bert Polsky’s selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron. The community foundation is currently seeking sponsors for the Oct. 16 award event. Opportunities start at $2,500 and go up to a $25,000 Event Sponsor. For more information about sponsorship availability and benefits, call Margaret Medzie, vice president and chief development officer, at 330-436-5610. Or, to receive an invitation to the event, call 330-376-8522.

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 63 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 March 31, 2018, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $220 million with a growing family of more than 600 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 nearly $153 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.