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Tickets on sale for Polsky Award dinner

AKRON, Ohio (Aug. 29, 2019) – Tickets are now available for Akron Community Foundation’s 2019 Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award dinner honoring local historian and civic activist Dave Lieberth. The event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. Tickets start at $150 per person and are available online at www.akroncf.org/polskytickets

Lieberth, who wrote and produced the Polsky awards program for nearly three decades, will be the 52nd 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.

Over a vast and varied career as a broadcast journalist, lawyer and civic leader, Lieberth has become one of the most recognized individuals in Summit County. In addition to his prominent professional career, including his stint as deputy mayor of Akron, Lieberth has made a name for himself for his dedication to community service, particularly as a veritable walking history book for the community. 

A longtime member and former chair of the Summit County Historical Society, Lieberth has been part of several monumental projects to preserve the community’s history, including the development of an endowment for the society, writing three recent books of Akron history, and producing two television documentaries for Western Reserve Public Media.

As a new lawyer in 1978, he was instrumental in spurring the Supreme Court decision to open Ohio courtrooms to television. He was selected by the White House to moderate President Bill Clinton’s first Town Meeting on Race at E.J. Thomas Hall, which was aired live nationally on C-SPAN in 1997.

Lieberth led several initiatives in the 1980s to advance child advocacy in Summit County and served on the boards of Children’s Services and the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority. In addition, he has served on the board of Summa Health for 20 years and currently chairs its Community Engagement Committee.

Lieberth also chaired volunteer groups that won Akron’s designation as an “All-America City” by the National Civic League in 1995 and 2008. He was the first president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron.

In 1984, Lieberth became the youngest board member of Akron Community Foundation, and in recent years has served on the boards of Downtown Akron Partnership and the Akron Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau. He coordinated the first bikeathon sponsored by LeBron James and has been part of James’ philanthropy since 2005, serving as a charter member of the advisory board of the LeBron James Family Foundation. 

Lieberth has received numerous awards for his professional accomplishments and commitment to the community, including the Sir Thomas More Award from the Akron Bar Association; the H. Peter Burg Award from the American Red Cross Summit County Chapter; the John S. Knight Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; and the Community Medal Award from the Salvation Army. 

One of the founders of Leadership Akron, Lieberth has participated in every one of its 36 signature classes. In 2012, following his retirement, Leadership Akron created The Lieberth Community Vision Award, which is given annually to a local leader who models Lieberth’s pragmatic and visionary commitment to the community.

The Polsky Award event begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Dinner guests will enjoy a program led by Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr., followed by the presentation of the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award, which is named for the former president of Polsky’s Department Store and founding trustee of Akron Community Foundation. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and start at $2,500. They include tickets to the award dinner and a private reception with Dave Lieberth before the event. For more information, call Margaret Medzie, vice president and chief development officer, at 330-436-5610. 

Event proceeds benefit Akron Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that improves the quality of life in Greater Akron by building community philanthropy. 

For more information about the event or to request a printed invitation, please contact De Shawn Pickett at 330-376-8522. Registration is available online at www.akroncf.org/polskytickets

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 64 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, 2019, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $220 million with a growing family of more than 640 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 $163 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.