A. Monroe Courtright Volunteer Service Award
The Rotary Club of Westerville each spring recognizes a local individual or organization with its A. Monroe Courtright Volunteer Service Award.
Courtright was the longtime publisher of Westerville’s historic hometown newspaper, The Public Opinion. He also was a charter member our Rotary Club of Westerville. He died unexpectedly just a month into his term as the club’s president in 1977, and the club launched the community service award in his honor.
Courtright was known for his strong support of Westerville, and his strong opinions, expressed weekly in a front page column in the PO titled, “You May Quote Us as Saying.”
Off the front page, his private philanthropic efforts were less well known. A business in trouble might find an envelope of money near the cash register after an unannounced visit. Westerville families and groups in need were helped quite often, with anonymous gifts that the newspaper publisher had no wish to publicize. He had no desire to be recognized for this aid-giving.
The Courtright Award named in Monroe’s honor recognizes outstanding community service by a leader or volunteer that is both “significant and sustained.” This service must come without pay, and not as part of one’s paid job.
Weiler honored with 43rd Courtright AwardThe Rotary Club of Westerville, on May 23, 2019, honored Linda Weiler with its 43rd annual A. Monroe Courtright Volunteer Service Award. Weiler was honored for her service to the Westerville City School District, where her monumental volunteer and fundraising efforts have been significant and sustained for 20 years.
The mother to four who have gone through Mark Twain and Fouse Elementary schools, Genoa Middle School and Westerville Central High School, Weiler got involved at her local elementary school while her children were students there, and has never ended her involvement – even as her volunteer work has grown to the middle school, high school and district-wide level.
Weiler was nominated for this honor by Fouse first grade teacher Deb Urby for founding a program eight years ago called the Genoa Middle-Fouse Elementary Mentoring Program. Genoa students are trained as mentors, and then work two days a week with Fouse children on their English learning and reading skills. Weiler has also volunteered at Fouse, Mark Twain, Genoa, Westerville Central High School, Challenge Day at Central, Westerville Education Challenge, and Parent Council.
She is also an eight-year member of the Westerville Parent Council, the umbrella group of PTA presidents from all 23 schools in the district, representing 34 member groups. She also is a board member and eight-year active member in Westerville Education Challenge (WEC), which raises money for school initiatives that promote character education and social-emotional well-being. WEC is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers that has raised more than $100,000 since 2009. Its largest sponsored program is Challenge Day, an intense anti-bullying program for high school freshmen. More than 6,000 Westerville students have participated, often called “life-changing.” The WEC also funds the PRIDE program at Heritage Middle School, which promotes a sense of family and inclusiveness inside and outside of the classroom; and the monthly MODEL program at three middle schools, in which seventh- and eighth-grade girls are grouped with adult mentors to help increase their sense of self-worth and self-sufficiency. Weiler has served as a mentor at Walnut Springs herself for the last two years.
For these extensive volunteer efforts and more too numerous to list, the Rotary Club of Westerville honored Linda Weiler with their 43rd annual A. Monroe Courtright Volunteer Service Award. The club also made her a Paul Harris Fellow, donating $1,000 in her name to The Rotary Foundation. She joins another prestigious list of luminaries as honorary Paul Harris Fellows that stretches from Mother Therese to Jimmy Carter.
Courtright Award Winners, 1977-2019
1977 Eddie Birchem & The Anchor Club
1978 Dr. Walter Stout
1979 Maurice & Dorothy McVay
1980 Sanders Frye & James Tressler
1981 Morris Briggs
1982 R.T. “Sarge” Beum
1983 Mary Bailey
1984 Mary Davis & Blendon Grange
1985 Edwin “Dubbs” Roush & James “Buzz” Cockerell
1986 Sue Ann Norton
1987 Richard H. Gorsuch
1988 Jane W. Bradford
1989 Don W. Miller
1990 Joe “Grandpaw” Bernowski & Dwight “”Smokey” Ballinger
1991 Ned Mosher
1992 Dr. Bill Freeman
1993 Edna Zech
1994 Marge Day Lewis
1995 Paul Askins
1996 Dick Rano
1997 Charlotte Walker
1998 Jo Ann Davidson
1999 Kathy Cocuzzi
2000 Vinny Herwig
2001 Jim Grissinger
2002 Garrett Brusco
2003 C. William Swank
2004 Rich Siegel
2005 Westerville Caring & Sharing
2006 Diane Fosselman
2007 Joanne Vansant
2008 Renee Kropat
2009 Bill Merriman
2010 Alice Wilson
2011 Damon “Chip” Wetterauer
2012 Sheila Tompos
2013 Janet Withers
2014 John Robbins & Westerville Area Resource Ministry
2015 Jim Biven
2016 Robert B. (Rock) Lantz
2017 Carolyn E. Cordray
2018 James H. Meacham
2019 Linda Weiler