Skip to main content
Horizontal Rule

Akron Community Foundation to host virtual Polsky Humanitarian Award retrospective

Polsky Award graphic


Registration is now open for Akron Community Foundation's 2021 Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award virtual retrospective event. The event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. and will celebrate the legendary leaders and trailblazing philanthropists who have shaped Greater Akron over the past half-century.

Named for the former president of Polsky's Department Store and founding trustee of Akron Community Foundation, the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award is presented each year to an individual or couple who has shown selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron. Recent recipients include local historian and civic activist Dave Lieberth; Stark & Knoll co-founding attorney Thomas G. Knoll; the Honorable Carla Moore; Oak Associates Ltd. founder Jim Oelschlager and his wife, Vanita; and GOJO Industries Chairman and CEO Joe Kanfer.

In lieu of its annual award dinner, Akron Community Foundation will host a virtual event in 2021 to celebrate all of the award's esteemed past honorees. The live-streamed event will offer a retrospective look at the history of philanthropy in Akron, as well as the achievements of former Polsky Award recipients. Since 1969, the foundation has recognized philanthropic leaders across all sectors of the community, from rubber industry magnate M.G. O'Neil to renowned civil rights leader Vernon L. Odom Sr. to community leader Dorothy O. Jackson. Vignettes showcasing these past recipients will be interspersed with musical performances by the Akron Symphony Orchestra Gospel Ensemble.

Tickets for this virtual event are complimentary and can be reserved online at Donations will also be accepted to support the community foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that improves the quality of life in Greater Akron by building community philanthropy.

This year's event is sponsored by Medical Mutual of Ohio, Ernst & Young, and KeyBank. For more information, please contact De Shawn Pickett at 330-376-8522.

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 66 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. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $285 million with a growing family of more than 750 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 $196 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

Horizontal Rule

Stay Connected

Sign up for our e-newsletter