Bay Village Community Council names citizen/project of the year

The Bay Village Community Council named Andrea Sheppa as the 2013 Bay Village citizen of the year and the Village Food Project as the 2013 project of the year.

Sheppa, a retired math teacher from the Lakewood school system, was honored for her years of service to Bay Village schools, most recently for raising money for new marching band uniforms.

“The high school band uniforms were very old and in need of replacement,” one nominator wrote. “For many years the Bay Band Boosters talked about replacement. After Andrea took over the leadership role, a lively campaign to raise the needed funds started. Andrea remained committed to the project, and the group was successful a year earlier than expected.”

The Bay Band Boosters raised $100,000 in time for the 2012 football and marching band season.

Sheppa also headed efforts to raise money for new Rockette uniforms; raincoats for band members and Rockettes; Rockette flags and poles; Rockette pom-poms; marching band and orchestra polo shirts; hat and plume storage boxes, and dresses for female orchestra members.

“I am very honored and very much in shock,” Sheppa said. “It was so unexpected. I did this out of love for kids and the schools. I have devoted my life to schools. Now that I am retired, I had a chance to help. The students really needed this. The old uniforms were falling apart. They work so hard, and represent the schools so well, that I thought they should look the part.”

Sheppa thanked school administrators, music directors and parents who gave their time to make the project a success.

The Village Food Project, headed by 2012 Bay Village citizen of the year Barb Harrell, was named 2013 project of the year for its continuing support of Bay Village and Avon Lake residents who are battling cancer.

Marshalling a staff of more than 400 volunteers, many of them high school students, Harrell has provided thousands of nutritious meals, at no charge, to neighbors undergoing treatment for cancer.

“One of the unique qualities of this project is the amazing way the many generations in our community have collaborated to help those in need,“ a nominator wrote. “The project brings together students from Bay High preparing meals in the kitchen, testing recipes, planting and caring for the VFP plot in the community garden, and planning fundraising initiatives.“

Harrell thanked volunteers and Bay Presbyterian Church for allowing use of its kitchen in preparing meals. She also thanked co-founder Michelle Slatton.

“Without you, the VFP would be nothing more than a dream,“ Harrell said.

A reception honoring Sheppa and the VFP will take place Feb. 24 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bay Presbyterian Church on Lake Road in Bay Village.

The Bay Village Community Council is the coordinating group for all civic organizations. It meets quarterly to offer mutual aid and guidance to all Bay Village organizations.