Northeast Ohio's Everyday Champions
Northeast Ohio's Everyday Champions
Author: WKYC Staff
Published: 9:54 AM EST January 26, 2018
Updated: 3:26 PM EDT March 27, 2018
NEWS 15 Articles

What is an everyday champion? It's someone who goes above and beyond to help their neighbors, those who lift the region or make Northeast Ohio a better place to live.

Last fall, we started asking viewers to tell us about their everyday champions so that we could highlight their good deeds and let their works inspire others to make a difference too. The response was fantastic. From senior citizens to young kids, to priests working in prisons and retirees helping our veterans readjust to civilian life, the stories of the nominees touched our hearts and we hope they will touch yours as well.


Northeast Ohio's Everyday Champions

Chapter 1

Logan Kuhn

Founder of Logan's Lunches

Inspired by a public service announcement about hunger he saw when he was 6 years old, Logan began a non-profit program to provide lunches for school kids who might otherwise go hungry on weekends.

Chapter 2

Monte Casey

Bringing veterans peace of mind one cast at a time

A longtime Northeast Ohio fishing guide, Monte is using his passion for fly fishing to help veterans adjust to life off the battlefield and being back at home.

Chapter 3

Bob Vavrek

Transforming personal loss into uplifting moments for others

Even after he lost his reason for visiting a local nursing home, Bob keeps coming back and making a difference in the lives of its residents.

Chapter 4

Tequila Pennington-Calwise

Building tomorrow's leaders today

As the founder and CEO of Lady Bound, Tequila has given hundreds of teenage girls experiences and exposure outside of their urban neighborhoods and classrooms by utilizing her own personal funds to take them to leadership conferences, girls health summits, minority teen conventions, and fun bonding trips to help girls learn how to build healthy, friendly relationship skills.

Chapter 5

Andre Wilson

Going the extra mile since the age of 9

Even at a very young age Andre knew he wanted to help the less fortunate or those unable to help themselves. And his goal is simple... to leave everyone with a smile.

Chapter 6

Sharon Weisman

Making a silent world come alive

Sharon has turned a small gathering of sign language students into a celebration of the deaf community in Northeast Ohio.

Chapter 7

Dorothy Kasper

Teaching kids core values one swing at a time

Dorothy devotes countless hours helping children gain confidence and preparing them to be the best they can be as they grow up.

Chapter 8

Debby Rowland

Giving kids courage in their most trying of times

Debby founded "Kids Capes of Courage," a program that provides capes to children needing comfort in challenging situations.

Chapter 9

Dawn Kroh

Leading the charge in the battle against addiction

Dawn's coleagues say she always goes above and beyond to serve the people of Lorain County where she serves as the site director of Firelands Counseling and Recovery. Dawn’s colleagues say her passion for helping others and her commitment to changing lives truly makes her an Everyday Champion.

Chapter 10

Toya Owens-Hodge

Helping families through their toughest times

Everyday Champion - Toya Owens Hodge

Nominated by several members of the community, Toya goes above and beyond her official title of guidance counselor and teacher. Toya Owens-Hodge has helped families in need, at-risk and abused children through the toughest of times, even giving her own belongings up to those who could use them more.

Chapter 11

Father Neil Walters

Serving those who may need a little extra love, understanding and grace.

Chapter 12


Father Walters is changing the lives of the people he serves. As a volunteer chaplain at the Cuyahoga County jail, her routinely gives advice and encouragement to individuals many would turn their back upon.

Chapter 13

Rev. Morris Eason

Helping teens in Northeast Ohio fight their biggest problems….and find success.


Meet Reverend Morris Eason. He's using punches and prayers to help teens in Northeast Ohio fight their biggest problems….and find success.

Chapter 14

Zara Jackson

A 4th grader on a mission to make a difference for those fighting cancer


Meet a pint-sized powerhouse who's changing the lives of those fighting cancer, and their families too.

Chapter 15

Baylee Beckley

Inspiring others while engaged in the battle of her life


In the darkest of time, this young lady is proving to be a light of hop for her classmates, teachers and family.