Cuyahoga Falls couple honored for lifetime of service
Madeline and Libert Bozzelli newest honorees in mayor's Honorary Boulevard program
CUYAHOGA FALLS — A couple who has spent their lifetimes giving back to the community through charitable work and public service were honored by the mayor this week.
Broad Boulevard is now temporarily renamed Bozzelli Boulevard in honor of the contributions made by Madeline and Libert Bozzelli.
The Bozzellis are the newest honorees in Mayor Don Walters' Honorary Boulevard program, which temporarily renames Broad Boulevard in honor of citizens who have given back to the community in significant ways.
"Thank you so much for your contribution," said Walters at the conclusion of a ceremony honoring the Bozzelis Monday afternoon. "It's amazing. We all need to be more like you."
Libert Bozzelli thanked Walters for the honor.
"I'm very honored," said Libert Bozzelli. "More so, that my wife is involved, and I'm very honored to see so many people that I know [who are] so close to me are here."
The Bozzellis, who are both in their 90s, were joined for the ceremony in the Broad Boulevard median on Monday by about 20-25 family members spanning multiple generations. Among those in attendance was Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey, who is the Bozzellis' son-in-law.
Walters noted Madeline Bozzelli is "known for her amazing fundraising skills," and said it's estimated she's raised about $200 million for countless non-profits and charitable groups in a lifetime spent giving back to the community.
"We know [her fundraising efforts] saved a lot of lives and changed a lot of lives," said Walters.
The mayor noted Madeline Bozzelli has served on the boards for 28 different charitable organizations, including: United Way of Summit County, Akron Symphony Orchestra, All American Soap Box Derby, Akron Civic Theatre, Friends of Children’s Hospital, Cuyahoga Falls Hospital Community Board, St. Thomas Hospital Women’s Board, Ohio Ballet, American Heart Association, Project Learn, Ohio & Erie Canal Board, Family Services Board, Center for the Blind, American Cancer Society, and the American Diabetes Association.
Madeline Bozzelli founded the annual Iris Ball event at Western Reserve Hospital, which recognizes young women for community leadership. There is also an annual scholarship at the University of Akron that bears Bozzelli's name.
"What an amazing thing that you've done to help other people," said Walters to Madeline Bozzelli. "No can even touch half of what you've done and how you've made a difference in this community … Thank you for a lifetime of service."
Walters thanked Libert Bozzelli for his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II.
"Thank you, sir, for your wonderful service and bravery," stated Walters. "It's very much respected."
Libert Bozzelli served as a Cuyahoga Falls City Council member from 1968 to 1986 and then as a Summit County Council representative from 1986 to 1990. Walters noted Bozzelli was a very active elected official.
"He wasn't one just to sit back and go through the motions," said Walters. "He was involved with everything that happened in this city …He took that [job] very, very seriously, and he does to this day. He still calls my office. We still chat. He cares about the community and it shows."
Walters also noted that he "learned a lot" from Libert Bozzelli.
Libert Bozzelli served as the union Business Agent for the Sheet Metal Workers for 31 years and has been a union member for seven decades. He also served on the boards of many charitable organizations. He founded and served as president of the Suicide Prevention Organization, and has also been president of the Mental Health Board, the Cuyahoga Falls Hospital Board, the Kent State Fashion School Board, the Terry Board and many others.
In addition to Broad Boulevard being renamed as "Bozzelli Boulevard," Walters said that a bocce court that carries the name "Bozzelli Court" will be set up in the park at Quirk Cultural Center (previously known as Grant School).
The Bozzellis will celebrate their 74th wedding anniversary on Oct. 26. They have four children, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
Later the same day, Walters honored the Bozzellis during city council's virtual meeting.
"They are just such wonderful people," said Council President Mike Brillhart. "What a wonderful choice [for the honor]."
Council member Tim Gorbach praised the Bozzellis for the "tremendous amount of time they've given back to the community and the region."
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.