2020 Game Changers Announced

Foundation announces 2020 Game Changers

Barberton Community Foundation is pleased to announce our 2020 Game Changers: Dorothy Somerville and the Barberton Area Jaycees!

Dorothy Somerville is the executive director of Barberton Area Community Ministries (BACM), a local food pantry providing services to Barberton area residents. Dorothy has converted her job into a personal mission. During the COVID-19 outbreak in March, when other food pantries closed, Dorothy expanded BACM’s services. Dorothy’s supporters say she has a tireless work ethic and her compassion and care for those in need of BACM’s services is witnessed and appreciated by many. Dorothy said, “I am overwhelmed and so humbled by this honor. Being a nurse, I am just doing what comes naturally-helping those in need.” Barberton Community Foundation is proud to recognize Dorothy as a 2020 Game Changer.

The Barberton Area Jaycees were nominated for the many years they have supported Barberton’s families through their volunteer work. The Jaycees are a not-for-profit organization of young people seeking to improve their community. The selection committee felt that their 76-year history of service, including their Back to School program, pageants, scholarships, Thanksgiving food basket program, Project Santa, Cherry Blossom Festival, and Christmas lighting downtown has long been unrecognized. Don O’Brien, President of the Barberton Area Jaycees, said he really appreciated the award. “On behalf of the Jaycees, I would like to thank the committee and the Foundation for this award. It has always been the mission of the Jaycees to impact our community for the benefit of all.”

Congratulations Dorothy Somerville and Barberton Area Jaycees!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination. 2020 looks a little different for the Game Changers and Barberton Community Foundation. Our Game Changers are normally recognized during the Annual Dinner in November. This year, as we adapt to the changes COVID-19 has brought to our community, stay tuned for an in-depth story on the Game Changers in the Herald, online, and in our next newsletter.

Read more in-depth about our 2020 Game Changers in the Winter Newsletter.


The Foundation has a new Furry Friend

Summer Becomes First Furry Friend

John Yarsa and his therapy dog Summer are an incredible pair. John says Summer can brighten anyone’s day, and we have to believe that’s the real reason why Summer has so many pairs of sunglasses. Barberton Community Foundation staff had the pleasure of meeting Summer in early August. The staff was so delighted by her, they decided to make her the first “Furry Friend of the Foundation.”
John and his wife Laura worked together to train Summer. Laura especially believed in Summer and wanted to share her with the world. Laura sadly passed away last year, and John has continued to make visits to local organizations with Summer. You might have read about some of Summer’s activities. She’s participated at Barberton Public Library’s “Paws to Read” program, visited residents at Pleasant View Nursing Home, Summit DD, and more. John said he’s sharing Summer’s story because it’s important to remind people of the importance of therapy dogs. “She’s really something special,” said John. “I’d like to encourage more people to consider training their dogs for therapy work.”
As a Furry Friend, we have asked Summer to remind everyone that we have two funds that benefit our four-legged Barberton residents: The City of Barberton Dog Park Now and Forever Fund, which was established to maintain the dog park at Decker Park, and the Heart of Gold Humane Fund, which assists low-income Barberton residents spay or neuter their dogs and cats and also assists with the cost of rabies vaccines through One of a Kind Pet Spay/Neuter Clinic. Both funds are active and accepting donations. Visit and click “donate now.”
Thank you, Summer for being the sweetest girl and thank you, John for sharing her with us.

Barberton Community Foundation