Nominations sought for Community Stars

For well over a decade, the Community Stars program has celebrated ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Once again, the time has come for residents across the area to take a second look at the people doing the most in the Valley, as the nominating process for the 13th annual Community Stars program is underway. The event is sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle and Trumbull 100.

“A lot of these people may fly under the radar,” said Sue Shafer, Tribune Chronicle community events coordinator. “They may not seek any recognition, so we rely on the community to let us know about them.”

Beginning in 2002, the newspaper has received about 70 nomination submissions each year. From those individuals nominated by readers, about 10 worthy recipients of the award are carefully chosen each year.

This year, recipients will be chosen by Feb. 10. Nomination may be made by filling the form that runs periodically in the Tribune Chronicle and mailing it to Tribune Chronicle, attn: Sue Shafer, 240 Franklin St. SE, Warren, Ohio 44482. Submissions may also be made electronically via email to, or by logging on to and clicking on the “Virtual Newsroom” button.

When the selection process is over, a special section will run in the Tribune Chronicle announcing the winners, preceded by a banquet honoring the 2014 Community Stars on March 18 at Packard Music Hall in Warren.

“It is someone who is passionate about serving the community, in either multiple areas or just one,” Shafer said. “These people use their time, their talents and their abilities to make their community a better place to live and work.”

Last year, Community Stars included:

Carolyn Andrews of Warren, who serves with several organizations and programs like the Red Cross, March of Dimes, Mobile Meals, Howland Rotary, Warren Family Mission, Upton House and the Central Christian Church. She is also a former member of the Peace Corps serving in the Ukraine from 2000 to 2002.

Rhonda Bennett of Warren, who is active in the Southwest Neighborhood Association, ACTION of Youngstown and the Weed and Seed Board. She is also a member of the New Freedom Missionary Baptist Church as a trustee, the Resident Association Committee, Warren Neighborhood Leadership Committee, the Community PTA and the League of Women Voters of Trumbull County.

Cathy Carney, actively involved in caring for servicemen and women at home. She is the organizing member of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Chapter in Warren, along with being a volunteer at several VA clinics.

Caryn Covelli of Warren, who volunteers at the animal shelter and is a member of the Trumbull County Animal Welfare League, Beatitude House, John F. Kennedy High School and Blessed Sacrament Parish.

Roberta Cykon of Fowler is a certified grief counselor and life coach, as well as president and founder of Motivation For You LLC, Integrity Beauty Women of Excellence, Motivation for You, Striving Every Day (SHE) Squad and Women of Significance. She also volunteers for Cortland Health Care Center. Doug Herlinger of Newton Falls, who is the executive director of the Church Mouse in Newton Falls, where he has spent the last 27 years.

Florence Hutton of Cortland is the treasurer of the Cortland Beautification Association. She is also a founding member of the Snowflake Committee.

Robert “Bob” Sauer of Warren, a retired head of Warren Engineering who volunteers his time to elderly residents of a series of apartments that he owns on Porter Street. He is also active with Trumbull Meals on Wheels and a member of the First United Methodist Church and Northeast Christian Church.

Steve Zerefos of Warren, who has spent much of his time promoting and educating residents about the value of outdoor activities, especially kayaking and mountain biking. He’s also a member of Rust Belt Revival Trail Coalition, International Mountain Bike Association and the Howland Health and Wellness Committee.

For more information, contact Shafer at 330-841-1696.