Foundation Announces 2022 Game Changers

Foundation Announces 2022 Game Changers

Congratulations Game Changers

Barberton Community Foundation is proud to announce the 2022 Game Changers: Mike Moore and the Barberton Firefighters Association Local 329. This individual and organization are recognized for their history of service and on-going commitment to Barberton.

Please join the Foundation in congratulating Mike Moore and the Barberton Firefighters Association Local 329 as our 2022 Game Changers. We will celebrate their accomplishments at our Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 10, 2022, at the Galaxy Restaurant. Tickets will go on sale in September. 

Mike Moore: A Life of Service

Mike Moore was selected for the Game Changer award in recognition of his willingness to help those in need. A member of St. Augustine Church, Mike currently serves as the president of the Coalition of Concerned Christians, a network of nine area churches that provide everything from the weekly soup kitchen at First Presbyterian Church, to clothing and laundry support through Common Threads Closet, to support with rent and utilities from the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Mike is also an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Barberton where he installs grab bars in showers and bathrooms for senior citizens with disabilities for a $25 donation to the club.

The many stories of Mike’s service tell us that he is a doer and a problem-solver. There are stories of folks needing extra food, gas money, car repairs, hedges trimmed, outfits for work, covering a shift at the soup kitchen, or simply an encouraging word. Whatever is needed, Mike finds a way to provide help.

Mike moved to Barberton in 1972 and worked a thirty-year career as the maintenance planner at PPG. He views himself as a D.I.Y. guy who has managed to surround himself with many wonderful people. Primary among those individuals is his wife of thirty-four years, Linda Moore. “She is the driving force behind me,” Mike says. They are often seen working the soup kitchen as a team. When asked about why he gives so much to his various causes, Mike told the story of a particular day in the soup kitchen. “Ray Leach gives us donuts to pass out at the soup kitchen,” he says. “Well one day, a little girl picked up one of those donuts and said to her parent, ‘Look mommy! I get breakfast tomorrow morning!’” Mike paused and said, “If that don’t knock your socks off… I don’t care how much gas it takes, how many stairs I’ve got to climb, how hard it is, or what I need to fix. I’m going to do it.”

Mike said that volunteering is inherently rewarding. “The actions that we take on behalf of others are our reward.” 

Barberton Firefighters Association Local 329: A Culture of Giving

Barberton Firefighters Association Local 329 was selected to receive the Game Changer award for their many years of service in support of the Esther Ryan Shoe Fund Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser, organized by Magic City Kiwanis each year. “We are incredibly excited to receive this award,” said Mike Beckman, president of the Firefighters Association. “It’s wonderful for the guys to be recognized for their hard work and volunteerism.”

The Esther Ryan Shoe Fund Spaghetti Dinner has become famous over the years for the participation of Barberton’s firefighters. Mike Beckman explained that the association took over the task of cooking the spaghetti (and guarding the recipe for the sauce) from a group of teachers in 1992. “That started the tradition here and we’ve continued to build on it,” he said. For thirty years, Barberton firefighters have been donating their time to this fundraiser, including through the pandemic, when it was take-out only.

Mike said that giving back is a particular value of the culture at the Firefighters Association. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without the guys who came before us leading the way. We try to build on and expand what they’ve done, so we are always volunteering in the community in some way.”

The Firefighters Association awards an annual scholarship to a Barberton High School senior, which they’ve increased to two students this year, and they fundraise for Operation Warm, which provides coats for kids. Last year they donated over 200 coats to kids at Head Start. They also participate in Adopt-A-Family as well as sponsoring many local fundraisers for student sports.

With roughly half of their 40 members living in Barberton, Beckman said it’s important to keep volunteerism as a core piece of the association’s culture. “If you are called to service as a firefighter, you are called to help people. You want the best for your community. Around here, someone always steps up.”

Hal Naragon’s 2022 Charity Golf Outing

Hal Naragon’s 2022 Charity Golf Outing

Join us for the Second Annual Hal Naragon’s Charity Golf Outing on May 7, 2022

The ptoceeds raised for this charitable event will aid the Hal Naragon Memorial Scholarship Fund held at Barberton Community Foundation, which assists three Barberton High School seniors, one each from the baseball team, softball team, and a student pursuing a vocational or technical degree. Donations can be made payable to Barberton Community Foundation to support the golf outing or directly to the scholarship fund. This event also supports a local Akron/Canton National Guard or Reserve Unit.

Registration at 8:00 AM | Start at 9:00 AM

Entry Fee: $100/person or $400/foursome

For questions regarding sponsorship opportunities or raffle prizes, contact Chad Bradley at

Deadline to register is April 22 at 4:00 pm

Register Online

Registration closes in:








Read more about Hal Naragon

Paper Registration Form

Virtual Dinner a Success

Virtual Dinner a Success

Barberton Community Foundation Logo

On Thursday, November 4, Barberton Community Foundation held its Annual Dinner virtually on Zoom

Over 100 people joined, with some choosing to host small gatherings in their homes to watch the event. The night was full of celebration for the Foundation’s 25th anniversary and included a check presentation for $2.1 million to Barberton City Schools for the final payment on Barberton High School. The payment represents the completion of the first promise Barberton Community Foundation made to its residents: agreeing to build Barberton High School. The Foundation has been making payments on the building for more than 20 years and has saved residents $58 million in real estate taxes.

Josh Gordon, Foundation Board Chair, said that the completion of the school payment is a success we all share. “As we celebrate the conclusion of the biggest project in the history of the Foundation, we must begin the work of finding the next aspects of our community in need of support. We are focused on identifying our greatest needs, especially in the areas of economic development and education. After 25 years and more than $105 million in grants, Barberton Community Foundation is just getting started.”

The honored guests of the evening were 2021 Game Changers Lisa McLean, Dr. Michael Hughes representing Summa Health – Barberton Campus and Jeff Ramnytz, representing Barberton City Schools. Each Game Changer received an award from the Foundation and a proclamation from the state. 

Suzanne Allen, Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation, said that while this annual dinner was unique, the sense of gratitude and appreciation for the Barberton community that is so present during the traditional event, was definitely felt through the screen. “I want to thank everyone who attended virtually tonight. Thank you for helping to make this event safe and accessible to all, and for helping us celebrate tonight.” Suzanne said. “I especially want to thank our Game Changers for joining us, and for the incredible work they have done for this community. Each of you and your organizations are truly appreciated.”

The evening ended with an announcement from Suzanne regarding a new fund called Celebrate Barberton, created with the Foundation’s anniversary in mind. The new fund will partner with the City of Barberton to provide grants to each ward in the City for community projects, fostering engagement and community sprit across the city.

“Barberton is special,” Suzanne concluded. “Not only is it one of a very few small towns with a significant community foundation, but it has an enormous sense of pride – purple pride. For that too, we are thankful. Thank you all.”

Hal Naragon Charity Golf Outing

Hal Naragon Charity Golf Outing

A Day of Golf for a Good Cause

Please join us on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at Chippewa Golf Club for the inaugural Hal Naragon Charity Golf Outing! The money raised for this charitable event will aid the Hal Naragon Memorial Scholarship Fund, playing a hand in assisting three Barberton High School seniors, one each from the baseball team, softball team, and a student pursuing a vocational or technical degree. Donations can be made payable to Barberton Community Foundation to support the Golf Outing or directly to the Scholarship Fund.


Smiles at Chippewa Golf Course

Thank you to everyone who joined us on this cold spring day to remember Hal Naragon and support his scholarship. We hope to see you next year!