Mayor Cyril Kleem
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 Spirit of Community Awards.
We began the Spirit of Community Awards eight years ago shortly after I was elected to my first term as mayor. I wanted to recognize those volunteers who make a difference in the lives of their neighbors and make this a better community.
This year, we honored community volunteer Maria Sater, Pathways Hospice and Safe Passages.
Maria Sater volunteers at just about every city event. She loves working with children so we see her at such events as the Harvest Festival and the Jack Frost Light Up Berea Festival. Maria also volunteers with Berea Business & Professional Women and with Berea Cares – our newly expanded network of community organizations, churches and businesses that work to help our most vulnerable residents.
Pathways Hospice is a very special organization. It doesn’t reach out to the community with the aim of getting something back. Pathways has donated time, food and bikes to Berea Community Outreach. It provides resources for veterans. The Veterans to Veterans program pairs vets with vets in hospice care, because often only a veteran can really understand the experiences of another vet.
Safe Passages is an innovative project that encourages drug addicts to come to the Berea and Olmsted Township police stations for help. Cuyahoga County had a record number of deaths from heroin and opioid overdoses in 2016. Safe Passages is our attempt to do something about that. We gave the Spirit of Community Award to both the Berea and Olmsted Township police departments for going above and beyond to make sure addicts that truly are committed to kicking their habits find appropriate recovery centers and ongoing support afterward.
We are very grateful for the services of Maria Sater, Pathways Hospice and Safe Passages to our community.