COLUMBUS, OH May, 2012 -The Short North Business Association presented grants totaling $3,000 thru the Unsung Hero Program at the Short North Gala. 

The Short North Business Association announced the recipients of the 2012 Short North Arts District “Unsung Hero” Awards. The awards recognize individuals who enrich the Quality of Life in the Short North and Columbus by their contributions to advance Art, Community, Diversity and the Short North Spirit. The awards were announced at the 6th Annual Short North Gala held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Sunday, April 29. The three honorees were: Jeff Smith, President of the Short North Civic Association; Rob Harris, architect at Wagenbrenner Co. and Harrison West activist; and Chip Smith, Director of the children’s program at the Short Stop Youth Center.

Each Unsung Hero was honored with videos (created by Mark Burson of Burson Films) and received a commemorative city proclamation, a custom wood illuminated trophy award (created by Devon Palmer) and a $1,000 grant from the Short North Business Association. Each grant was designated to benefit the initiative of the recipient’s choice.  

Jeff Smith designated his grant to the Short North Stage. Rob Harris designated his grant to the Harrison West Parks Committee. Chip Smith designated his grant to the Short Stop Youth Center.

Jeff Smith was nominated by several of his neighborhood fans including, Steve Hurtt, Alex Kelly and Sabrina Bobrow. Jeff has been involved in GLBT issues including Human Rights Campaign and Equality Ohio.  In the video award, Jeff was described as being a quiet charismatic leader who is great at bringing people together to get things done for the community he loves.

Rob Harris was nominated by Eric Martineau.  Rob was described of having an incredible judicial temperament about his recommendations for the neighborhood of Harrison West.  In addition to his architectural contributions, he helped secure tiff funds from the city to create the newest park in Harrison West located at W 1st Ave and Perry Street.

Chip Smith was nominated by Darryl Mendelson.  Duane Cassarus, CEO of Directions for Youth and Families, said he is most impressed with Chip’s genuineness and warmth that everyone, especially the kids he works with are drawn to.  Chip has been instrumental in the programs that help shape the lives of the kids he works with.  For 14 year he has been a great child advocate engaging them in the arts, music, tutoring, and cooking. 

On behalf of the Short North Business Association & Board of Directors; Congratulations to the honorees and the grant recipients.