Magnolia Awards Given To Area Women
women have been selected as the fifth annual Steel Magnolia
Award honorees, the Middletown Community Foundation has
The awards honor
women who have overcome obstacles to positively impact the
community. The program is administered by the Middletown
Community Foundation and funded by the AK Steel Foundation.
Magnolia Award honors women of all ages who face personal
adversity and have shown exceptional strength, courage,
compassion and leadership through their work in support of their
communities. Nominations by essay were solicited over the summer
from the public in each of the 10 communities where AK Steel
operates a facility. Volunteer judges from the various
communities reviewed the essays of those who agreed to be
considered for the award, and no more than one honoree in each
community was selected based on the judges’ combined scores.
personal challenges, each of the award recipients has inspired
those around her and has made a meaningful impact in the lives
of others," said AK Steel Chairman, President and CEO James L.
Wainscott. "Through the company's foundation, we are proud to
sponsor the Steel Magnolia Awards.”
Community Foundation Executive Director T. Duane Gordon noted
that this year’s award recipients represent those who put the
community’s needs above their own.
“Their stories and their actions are an inspiration to all of us
in the communities they serve,” he said.
required to live in the vicinity of an AK Steel facility.
Nominators and nominees did not have to be associated in any way
with employees of AK Steel. Each recipient is able to designate
an eligible charity of her choice to receive a $1,000 donation
in honor of her selection.
Honorees for 2013 were:
Doris Frakes, Rockport, Ind.: Raised
by a single father, Frakes has dedicated her life to caring for
others, first as a mother and then a grandmother, helping raise
two of her grandchildren following the death of their mother
from an asthma attack. She also cared for her husband, who began
treatment for melanoma in 2005 but after surviving that cancer
was later diagnosed last year with lymphoma and bone cancer,
from which he is currently in remission.
She volunteers at St. Bernard School
teaching a computer class and assisting in the office, helps
organize the annual fair hosted by the Chamber of Commerce,
maintains historical markers for the Historical Society and
delivers soup and meals to shut-ins, among other charitable
Frakes chose for
her donation to go to The Way of Rockport, which provides
transitional housing, prison outreach, GED classes, addiction
recovery services and other programs.
Ream of Shelby, Ohio: Ream faced the unthinkable for a
mother when in 2002 her 8-year-old son Mason was diagnosed with
a rare and aggressive stage 4 cancer, neuroblastoma, while she
herself was battling lymphoma and nursing her husband back to
health from a quadruple bypass. Although she and her husband
survived, their son lost his battle with cancer at the age of 12
in 2006, transforming Anita into a passionate cancer advocate.
She has organized three American Cancer
Society Relay for Life events at the local high school, has
spoken at local Livestrong fundraisers and has raised funds for
pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
She also created an educational scholarship in memory of her son
for graduating seniors in Shelby.
Ream chose for
her donation to go to the Mason Ream Memorial Scholarship at the
Shelby Foundation in memory of her son.
Judy Rolph of Middletown, Ohio:
Rolph has helped provide care for her elderly parents, her
disabled husband, her adult children, and her grandchildren,
having lost her eldest daughter suddenly two years ago. She is
regarded as a cornerstone of her local church, helping others
any way she can even while her own family sometimes struggles
As she herself battles breast cancer, she
continues to work daily at a local physicians’ practice “with no
hair but fancy earrings” as her co-workers described her in
their nomination, “an example for all of us of how to face
adversity with class, strength, determination and joy.”
is able to designate an eligible charity of her choice to
receive a $1,000 donation in honor of her selection. Rolph chose
Women’s Health Issues In Miami Valley Sisterhood (WHIIMS),
saying that the organization, which aids local women in
receiving medical care, assisted her in her time of need.
Ann Wiseman of Ashland, Ky.: She was
forced to retire as a nurse following several surgeries
resulting from severe arthritis including four knee replacements
and six back procedures. Even so, she remains one of the
community’s leading volunteers, having been president of the
Lions Club, organizer for two food drives at the Community
Kitchen, moderator of the Presbyterian church’s women’s group,
county secretary for the Extension Service’s homemaker’s group
and a fundraiser for the Highlands Museum.
As her husband, James, put it in his
nomination of her, she faces her daily challenges “with
compassion, optimism and enthusiasm.”