New Scholarship Honors Memory of Barberton Pharmacist

New Scholarship Honors Memory of Barberton Pharmacist

Walt Ritzman Scholarship Fund

Barberton Community Foundation is proud to announce a new fund: the Walt Ritzman Scholarship Fund established on November 9, 2022, by Donna Keim and her son, Mike Keim.

Donna and Walt ran the Barberton Health Clinic for more than 20 years, and she remembers his passion for helping those in need. “He always believed in helping the underserved,” she said. “He gave, that is what he did.”

Walt Ritzman passed away on November 1, 2011, and his legacy in Barberton includes running and growing the Ritzman Pharmacy chain, serving as a trustee at Barberton Citizens Hospital and then serving as an inaugural board member of Barberton Community Foundation. He also sponsored school sports teams and volunteered during the Mum Festival.

Donna says that one of Walt’s greatest passions was working at the Barberton Community Health Clinic to help the underprivileged and uninsured in Barberton. Walt had established an endowed fund at the Foundation to benefit the clinic in 2001. With the closure of the clinic, the purpose of the fund needed to change.

Mike explained, “When the clinic closed, the fund was still active. The Board of Directors approved of a new purpose for the fund which will further Walt’s contribution to the community and honor his legacy as a pharmacist and philanthropist by creating a scholarship in his name.”

“Walt believed that we needed more pharmacists. The Foundation will use the fund to further the educational goals of any Barberton resident who wishes to become a pharmacist and attend Walt’s alma mater of Ohio Northern University or attend The Ohio State University.”

To support the Walt Ritzman Scholarship Fund, call 330-745-5995, or address your check to 460 W. Paige Ave. Barberton, OH 44203, with the Walt Ritzman Scholarship in the memo line. Donations can also be made online through our secure giving platform, Qgiv.

An Outstanding Citizen

Walt Ritzman received the Outstanding Citizen award during the Foundation’s 2003 Community Recognition Dinner.

Barberton Resident Jolese Rogers First to use Foundation Scholarship at Bounce

Barberton Resident Jolese Rogers First to use Foundation Scholarship at Bounce

Barberton Resident Jolese Rogers First to use Foundation Scholarship at Bounce

December 20, 2022

Jolese Rogers

Jolese Rogers is the first Barberton resident to take advantage of Barberton Community Foundation’s scholarship to MORTAR at Bounce Innovation Hub.

MORTAR is a 15-week small business accelerator that helps established entrepreneurs take a deeper dive into the nuances of business ownership to grow their company.

A Barberton High School graduate, Jolese went on to study at Kent State University, where she graduated with degrees in both hospitality and entrepreneurship. She’s since worked as a dual general manager for Extended Stay America as well as various other hotel brands, including Choice Hotels and Hilton. This work experience gave her the inspiration for her entrepreneurial dream: to own and operate her own bed and breakfast built with values of sustainable practices. Jolese has named her business Antoinette’s Inn, and while she is still looking for the perfect location, her business plan is set.

Antionette's Inn Brochure

Jolese designed a brochure as part of her program at Bounce.

“My bed and breakfast will operate on an eco-friendly model,” Jolese said. This includes utilizing biodegradable materials and managing a homesteading farm on the property. “I’m incredibly passionate about recycling and using eco-conscious practices in my life.” Her target market is the millennial traveler, a group she says is the largest market with a shared value on the eco-friendly practices she plans to deliver.

Jolese has participated in DECA at Barberton High School and Kent State’s Launch program. More recently she has worked with Akron SCORE and utilized the Women’s Business Center of Ohio, but she says MORTAR has helped her with real business ownership skills and provided valuable resources.

As a Barberton resident, Jolese said she couldn’t turn down the chance to go through a program that would be free for her to use based on her residency. Her advice to other Barberton entrepreneurs considering the program? Go for it. “It’s a short trip to Akron!” She said. “Uncomfortable is when great things will happen! Go the extra mile. Pun intended!”

Barberton Community Foundation covers the cost of attendance for Barberton residents or Barberton business owners to two Bounce programs: Aspiring Entrepreneurs and MORTAR.

MORTAR classes have a rolling application, so you can apply any time. The next open cohort will start in May 2023; applications are due by March 3.

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

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