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Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award Dinner


Hilton Akron/Fairlawn
3180 West Market St.
Akron, OH 44333




6:00 PM


Akron Community Foundation will honor Dave Lieberth with the 52nd Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award.

Nature of Event


Administrative Contact

De Shawn Pickett


A civic activist who has volunteered thousands of hours and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Akron civic, cultural, and charitable organizations, Dave Lieberth is the 2019 recipient of Akron Community Foundation’s Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award, which is presented each year to an individual or couple who has shown selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron.

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 long-time 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 that was aired live nationally in 1997 on C-SPAN.

He led several initiatives in the 1980’s to advance child advocacy in Summit County and served on the boards of Children’s Services, the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, and for twenty years has been part of the board of Summa Health, currently chairing its Community Engagement Committee.

He 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.

He has received 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, he has participated in every one of the 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 his pragmatic and visionary commitment to the community.

Sponsorship opportunities are 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, contact Margaret Medzie, vice president and chief development officer, at 330-436-5610 or mmedzie@akroncf.org

Tickets will go on sale at the end of August. For details about the event or to request a printed invitation, please contact De Shawn Pickett at 330-376-8522 or dpickett@akroncf.org


Community Event

More Information

Event Creator

Tracy Burt



Women’s Endowment Fund

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Inspiring, empowering and uplifting women and girls

In 1993, a group of 106 women came together with one goal in mind – to make a difference in the lives of local women and girls. Seeing a need for funding to support programs that empower this population, the women each gave $1,000 to start the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation.

That $106,000 has since grown to $3.2 million, including funds from its recent "For Women, Forever" campaign, which raised more than $2.013 million. To date, the Women’s Endowment Fund has awarded more than $1.3 million in grants to programs that uplift, empower and educate women and girls throughout Akron and all of Summit County.

The group has also funded important studies on women and girls, including "The Economic Status of Women in Ohio," a briefing paper that uncovered great disparities based on race and ethnicity. These studies, along with the fund's biennial forum, help define the Women's Endowment Fund's grantmaking priorities.

Nonprofits interested in applying for a grant from the Women's Endowment Fund can find deadlines and other important information on our Issue-Specific Grants page.

Make a gift to the Women’s Endowment Fund. Or, read its most recent publications to see how the fund is making a difference in the lives of women and girls.

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