Celebrating its 30th year, Senior Day is one of the many older adult oriented events put on by the Cleveland Department of Aging. From age-friendly vendors to live music and stage performances, Senior Day is an afternoon of celebration and recognition for the older adults of Cleveland. Members of the Cleveland City Council awarded the older adults of their wards, who have continued to serve their city and community into their golden years.
Nominated by Ward 1 Councilman, Joseph Jones:
Reverend George Othello Steward
. Born in Mt. Pleasant, Georgia; George Steward moved with his three brothers to Cleveland in 1955. In June of 1969, he felt his calling to the Zion Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, located in Cleveland’s Lee-Harvard neighborhood. To this day, he continues to lead the church as reverend. He is a veteran of the Korean war, serving from 1953-1955
Nominated by Ward 2 Councilman, Kevin Bishop
Tahia Herd was raised in Cleveland’s Cedar-Central neighborhood and graduated from John Adams High School in 1964. She started her own printing company in 1992, which she has run for over 25 years. She is the co-founder of the Mt. Pleasant Sustainability Association and a project manager for the First Street Coalition in Mt. Pleasant.
Nominated by Ward 3 Councilman, Kerry McCormack
Gary Horvath was born in Cleveland in 1946 and grew up on Cleveland’s west side. In 1964, he graduated from West Tech High School. He is a seven-time Open Golden Glove Champion and a member of the World International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has owned businesses and restaurants in the Ohio City neighborhood for over 40 years.
Nominated by Ward 4 Councilman. Kenneth Johnson
Born in Cleveland and raised in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, Valerie Edwards graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1970. She later moved to Houston, Texas, but returned to Cleveland in the early 1990’s. She connected with her community through her church, Mt. Haven Missionary Baptist, and her work with First Street Coalition. Ms. Edwards unexpectedly passed away on April 9, 2019.
Nominated by Ward 5 Councilwoman, Phyllis Cleveland
Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Delores Gray moved to Cleveland in 1967. Ms. Gray is a member of the Truly Holy Temple and a member of St. Phillip Christian Church. When not at church, Ms. Gray can be found at one of the many civic groups she is apart of, including: the Cleveland Democratic Party, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, or the Legal Aid Society’s board, to name a few.
Nominated by Ward 6 Councilman, Blaine A. Griffin
Born in 1942, Annette Kristosik has been a lifelong resident of Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. She graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School in 1960. Ms. Kristosik is currently a sitting board member of the Cleveland Montessori School. She is also a lifelong member of Holy Rosary Church, which has been her place of worship for over 70 years.
Nominated by Ward 7 Councilman, Basheer S. Jones
Robert Allen was born on August 23rd, 1938 in Holden, West Virginia. After graduating high school, Mr. Allen served in the United States Air Force as a radio communication technician. Mr. Allen moved to Cleveland in 1979 and would go on to work at NASA until his retirement. Mr. Allen and his family relocated to Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood 25 years ago, where they established the Renaissance Place Housing Development Home Owners Association.
Nominated by Ward 8 Councilman, Michael D. Polensek
Elva Brodrick was born in Zeeland, Michigan in 1951. After graduating high school, Ms. Brodrick and her family moved to Cleveland in 1971. She currently acts as the Chair of the East 185th Neighborhood Association, which is one of the oldest block clubs in the city. She also acts as Secretary and Tech Chair for the Collinwood Nottingham Historical Society.
Nominated by Ward 9 Councilman, Kevin Conwell
Cassandra J. Gibson
Cassandra J. Gibson was born in Cleveland on October 27th, 1952. She is a 1970 graduate of East High School. She has been the President of the North Park Place Neighbors Block Cup for the past 7 years. Ms. Gibson has worshiped at her church, Everlasting Baptist Church, for more than 20 years.
Nominated by Ward 10 Councilman, Anthony T. Hairston
Denise Ferguson was born and raise in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, where she attended Glenville high school. Since she was a teenager, Ms. Ferguson has been heavily involved in her home church, Temple Baptist. She actively works with a number of Cleveland boards, including the Precinct Committee Person for Ward 10, Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, and even as President of her residential community club of Euclid Park.
Nominated by Ward 11 Councilwoman, Dona Brady
Barbara C. Rogers
Barbara C. Rogers was born on Cleveland’s west side in 1946. She attended St. Procop’s all-girls high school and graduated in 1964. She worked for the United States Postal Service for 13 years where she was elected as Union Steward for her Puritas post office. Ms. Rogers is a member of the Cleveland Democratic Party and was elected as Precinct Committee member for Ward 11.
Nominated by Ward 12 Councilman, Anthony Brancatelli
A proud Cleveland native, Richard Krzynowek was born and raised in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood. He is a 1962 graduate of Saint Stanislaus High School, now known as Cleveland Central Catholic. Mr. Krzynowek is the acting Executive and CEO of the Slavic Village Association, a title he’s held since 1978. He also founded the Fleet Merchant’s Guild, organized the yearly Polish Constitution Day Parade, and acts as an independent polka broadcaster on WHK 1420.
Nominated by Ward 13 Councilman, Kevin J. Kelley
Denise Kahwagi was born in Colorado Springs in 1955. After her husband established their bakery, Cake Royale, in Cleveland; Denise moved here in 1989. Since then, their business has continued to make monetary and food donations to the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation.
Nominated by Ward 14 Councilwoman, Jasmin Santana
Julia Smith was born in Sunter County, Floria in September of 1938. She grew up in Georgia until she completed high school, where she then moved to Cleveland with her mother. Ms. Smith is a proud and active parishioner of the Scranton Road Bible Church. She previously acted as the Treasurer of her Local Advisory Committee, has spent time as Executive of her local Democratic Club, and for her Ward 14 Precinct Committee Mediator.
Nominated by Ward 15 Councilman, Matt Zone
Dolores Watson was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1951. She moved with her parents to Cleveland where she attended Garfield Heights Senior High School. She is a proud and active member of the Eco-Village Neighbors Block Club. She has served for a number of years on the board and committee for various Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland and currently lives in Cleveland’s first LEED platinum house.
Nominated by Ward 16 Councilman, Brian Kazy
John Lavelle was born in County Mayo, Ireland in 1939. He immigrated to the United States in February of 1976, where he and his family settled in Cleveland. He has served on the Board of Trustees and was honored as the West Side Irish-American Club’s 2001 Man of the Year. He is a proud patron of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Mr. Lavelle is a founding member of his local block watch of fifteen years.
Nominated by Ward 17 Councilman, Martin J. Keane
Kathleen Kilbane was born in Cleveland in 1953. She is a 1971 graduate of St. Stephen High School. Ms. Kilbane is an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, joining the parish council after the churches reopening. She currently serves on the Democrats of Cuyahoga County’s Executive and Central Committee. She is also the precinct member for the Central Committee and Executive Committee.
Age-Friendly Cleveland, Cleveland Department of Aging, Senior Day 2019