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2019 Spirit of Columbus Award Winner Announced

Columbus, OH (April 17, 2019) — The Columbus Foundation named those who led and contributed mightily to the effort to “Save the Crew” as the 2019 recipient of The Spirit of Columbus Award during a celebration at the Foundation.
Members of the Save the Crew movement were honored as the 2019 Spirit of Columbus Award recipient—and are joined by previous award winners and members of the Columbus Foundation Governing Committee.

The Spirit of Columbus Award was created in 2013 in honor of pilot Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world 55 years ago. The award recognizes those who exhibit exemplary community spirit through their efforts and accomplishments.

“The bold action and iron will of those who worked so impressively together to save the Crew is a shining example of the spirit that moves Columbus forward," said Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. "The group demonstrates many of the same qualities that Jerrie did when she set out on her journey—perseverance against the odds, and a drive to accomplish something that’s never been done before.”

Among those honored at the Foundation were:

  • Dr. Pete Edwards, Jr., co-owner of Columbus Crew SC
  • Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther
  • Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin
  • Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown
  • Alex Fischer and Steve Lyons of the Columbus Partnership
  • City Auditor Megan Kilgore
  • City Attorney Zach Klein
  • Key members of the Save The Crew community volunteer movement
  • Senior Vice Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Education Mike Duffey
  • City of Columbus Director of the Department of Development Steve Schoeny
  • OSU Alumni Association President Jim Smith
  • Pelotonia President Doug Ulman

Not able to attend but also included in the award was Governor Mike DeWine.

On behalf of the winners of the award, Dr. Pete Edwards, Jr. accepted a “Jerrie,” a bronze miniature of the Jerrie Mock sculpture at John Glenn Columbus International Airport, created by local artist Renate Fackler. Mock, a Bexley mother of three, took off from Port Columbus on March 19, 1964. She landed “Spirit of Columbus” safely back in Columbus on April 17 after 29 days, 21 stops, and more than 23,000 miles.

“Sitting with the community of fans in Nordecke and cheering on the Crew has been a piece of what makes Columbus our city,” said Morgan Hughes, one of the leaders of Save The Crew volunteers.  “We would not give up.  Even when there seemed little chance for the Crew to be saved, we kept on saying to the world: ‘This is not over. Tell everyone you know.’”

“This moment and this award are an opportunity to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together.  It was a massive effort and a significant achievement for Columbus that will pay dividends for a long time to come.”

Dr. Pete Edwards, Jr.

Mock was named the first recipient of The Spirit of Columbus Award in 2013, along with Jeni Britton Bauer and David Brown. Recent award recipients include the late Denny Griffith, former Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Tanny Crane, Jane Grote Abell, Michelle Alexander, and, last year, Columbus’ leading African American artists. 

“We celebrate those who harness their passion and determination to make great things happen,” said Kridler. “The Spirit of Columbus Award exists to give flight to their stories and contributions to our community, and their inspiring ways.”

About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation serves nearly 3,000 individuals, families, and businesses that have created unique funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and one of the top 10 largest community foundations in the United States. 

April 17, 2019