In 2011, the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties, in association with Robinson Memorial Hospital, created the Robinson Memorial Hospital Portage Paragon Award. The objective of the award is to honor exceptional Portage County citizens who have demonstrated continual leadership in their community, open-hearted compassion for its people, and active support of the lifesaving missions of both the American Red Cross and Robinson Memorial Hospital.
The Red Cross presented the inaugural award to Portage businessman Neil Mann, Jr. in 2012 during its Real Heroes of Portage County Awards Ceremony.
The Red Cross will bestow the second annual Robinson Memorial Hospital Portage Paragon Award to Ron and Joan Burbick of the Burbick Foundation. As in 2012, the Award will be presented to the Burbicks at the Red Cross Real Heroes of Portage County Awards Ceremony which will be held at Camp Ravenna – the former Ravenna Arsenal – on Thursday, May 16, beginning at 4:30 pm.
Joan and Ron have been actively involved in many aspects of the local community, including their efforts to revitalize downtown Kent. Ron has served on the boards of numerous Portage County organizations and non-profits including: Town Hall II, The Portage Foundation, NEOMED Foundation, Coleman Foundation, Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation, Leadership Portage County and many more. For most of his professional career, Ron was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Schneller, Inc. located in Kent. He most recently was a member of its board of directors.
Joan Burbick is on the Family and Community Services Board, has served as a PTA President and was a journalist for several years at the Record Courier in the mid to late Nineties. Joan says their selection by the American Red Cross as the recipients of the Robinson Memorial Hospital Portage Paragon Award is, “a great honor to be recognized by such a prestigious and humanitarian organization as the American Red Cross.”
Among their many accomplishments, Ron and Joan include being the proud grandparents of ten grandchildren.
“Ron and Joan exemplify the character of the individuals we had in mind when we established the (Robinson Memorial Hospital Portage Paragon) Award,” explains Margaret Medzie, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties. “Without a lot of fanfare, they have worked quietly to make Portage County a better place to live, work and raise a family. The Red Cross is pleased to present Ron and Joan with this richly-deserved honor.”
Red Cross Real Heroes of Portage County
Each year beginning in 2012, the Red Cross bestows the Robinson Memorial Hospital Paragon Award on its recipient during the Red Cross Real Heroes of Portage County Ceremony and Breakfast. As a community leader in emergency preparedness and response, the Red Cross presents the Real Heroes of Portage County Awards to those residents of Portage County who have acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency. Their actions embody the ideals, principles and purpose of the American Red Cross to prepare for and respond to disasters. Because of their heroism, lives were saved and tragedies were averted.