Community Support Award Recipients 2023

Each year Northern Columbus Kiwanis recognizes devoted community volunteers. Our club is pleased to announce that this service award is also sponsored by The Spotlight. In 2023 Northern Columbus Kiwanis honored five outstanding individuals: Suzan Singh, Donny Humes, Susan Emerson, Hope Roberts and Heather Fitzgerald. These generous individuals volunteered with multiple organizations serving neighbors in our community and the Columbus area. Along with this honor Northern Kiwanis made donations to nonprofit organizations charitable organizations designated by the CSA winners. 

Look for the The Nomination Form for the 2024 Community Support Award later this year.

Meet the 2023 Community Support Award winners! .

Susan Emerson, 2023 Community Support Award recipient

Susan Emerson and her husband, Bob Beasley, have lived in north Columbus for more than 28 years. Volunteerism has been an important aspect of life for both.

Susan has served on the board of the Friends of Worthington Public Library since 2019, and in 2022 and 2023 served as chair of the Friends’ annual Books & Brews fundraiser, which garnered more than $10,000 this year to benefit the group’s support of the Worthington Libraries.  She has served on the Executive Committee of the board for several years, serving as Secretary or Vice President.

Susan and Bob’s only child, Sam Beasley, is an Eagle Scout, and his involvement in Scouting led Susan to become an active Scout volunteer with Troop 843.  She chaired their annual Christmas greenery fundraiser and served on the Troop Committee, serving as Committee Chair for several years.  She went on to work for the Simon Kenton Council of Boy Scouts in a professional capacity, but has returned to volunteer at their events since her retirement in 2022.

Much of Susan’s volunteering occurs at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Powell, where she is active in the music ministry and serves as a volunteer lector and cantor. She has assisted with two searches for new music directors over the years, helped with the annual children’s Christmas program, served as a small group leader in the Alpha program, volunteers each year at the parish festival, and is now on the Liturgy Committee.

Susan enjoys cooking, walking and hiking, travel, live local music, and exploring craft beers with Bob. At Susan’s request, as part of receiving the Northern Kiwanis Community Support Award, a $100 donation was made to the Friends of Worthington Public Library in her name.


Heather Fitzgerald, 2023 Community Support Award recipient

Heather Fitzgerald is a tireless advocate for unhoused people.

A resident of Clintonville, Heather has volunteered at Van Buren Shelter, provides rides to warming shelters, and distributes basic needs to unhoused people, including tarps, blankets, pillows, food and shelter. Through her agency, Goldheart Outreach, Heather visits homeless camps and connects resources with those who need those resources. She says this community is “resource-rich but connections-poor.” Heather reaches out to Mt. Carmel nurses daily, for example, in her efforts to meet the medical needs of unhoused people.

Donations are given directly to those in need. Goldheart Outreach is the only entity in Coumbus to offer rides to shelters, which happens when the temperature reaches 20 degrees. Volunteers reach out the unhoused, offering them handwarmers, hot coffee, caring, and transportation to shelters. 

In mid-January 2024, with temperatures in single digits, Heather and Goldheart Outreach partnered with the Columbus Mennonite Church on Oakland Park to provide food and shelter to the more than 250 people who came to the church that week. The vast majority of donations of the items available in the church and in the exit bags are donations from the Clintonville Community. Heather thanks the congregation for their graciousness and caring.

How can you help? The need varies. Interested people can link to the Goldheart Outreach Facebook page to help meet the needs of unhoused people. Heather visits the camps about twice a week and is always glad to have items to give away to those in need. As part of the Northern Kiwanis Community Support Award, a $100 donation has been made to CouchPhilanthropy in recognition of Heather’s volunteer work in the community.


Donny Humes, 2023 Community Support Award recipient

Donny Humes and his wife Susan are long-time Clintonville residents. Donny is passionate about preserving Dodge Skatepark located at the Dodge Park Community Center in downtown Columbus. 

In 1988 the city recreation and parks department approached the local skate shop he worked at about building a concrete skate park. He helped organize a petition to get community support. Frank Hawk, father of famous skateboarder Tony Hawk, designed the iconic Dodge skate park. When it first opened Donny was in charge of maintaining the park, giving skate lessons to local kids, having contests and pro demonstrations, serving in that role from 1990 to 1995. 

During the last 10 years, as Dodge Skatepark fell into disrepair, Donny was a vocal advocate to renovate the park. He collected petition signatures, made phone calls, sent emails, and attended numerous city meetings. In 2023 Donny organized an online auction and fundraiser to help raise funds for a full repair and resurfacing of the Skatepark. 

Using funds allocated by the city, individual donations, California Skateparks, and $11,000 from Donny’s successful fundraiser, the renovation of Dodge Skatepark was started and finished in the Fall of 2023. Donny also volunteered time at the construction site.

Donny no longer works for the city of Columbus, but is self employed as a carpenter and artist. He and his wife own a bed and breakfast in the woods of a Clintonville ravine. They are nature-lovers, and collect and support the arts. Donny is also a freelance photographer and in the 90’s contributed his photographs to Thrasher skateboarding magazine and helped put Columbus skateboarding on the map. Donny continues to be a passionate supporter of the park and in 2022 was part of a skateboard art show that raised over $10,000 for the Huckleberry House.

“My whole life has been dedicated to skateboarding. Years of organizing and building ramps for contests, volunteering for skateboarding events.” Donny said. “I am starting to get ideas for the grand re-opening of Dodge Skatepark in mid-April 2024. Dodge will be holding its first skate contest on the new concrete. There will be free skateboards for kids in need and want to learn to ride. Rumor has it Tony Hawk will be there for a professional demonstration and autographs.” As part of the Northern Kiwanis Community Support Award, a $100 donation has been made to Cat Welfare in recognition of Donny’s volunteer work in the community.


Hope Roberts, 2023 Community Support Award recipient

Hope Roberts, a resident of Clintonville since 1994, is most passionate about her work with incarcerated and recently released women who are working to re-establish their lives in the community. Hope volunteers through Kindway (see for more information, to volunteer or to donate). Kindway’s mission is to invest in the lives of those impacted by incarceration. Hope says that she likes volunteering because it allows her to connect and build relationships with people she would not encounter in a typical day. Volunteering supports her value of continuous learning.

Hope enjoys serving as a coach and a sounding board for women as they seek to use the skills they have and the skills they need. Hope helps the women find options available to help themselves and to “live a healthy life in a healthy body,” as she describes it. “I am humbled by their resilience and insight.”

Hope teaches a class inside the Women’s Reformatory for Women (ORW), offered three times a year to the general population, which is separate from the 9-month program designed to prepare women for life after their release. The class is promoted through word of mouth inside ORW, and it is designed to create a safe space and to create community. Additionally, Hope arranged for the Franklin County Sheriff’s department to present a 12-hour women’s safety seminar. More than 50 women, ages 16 to 75, attended the training.

Hope has worked with co-facilitators, all Clintonville residents, on service projects including collecting items and creating hygiene bags for women at Sanctuary Night, providing cookies for Faith Mission, and offering treat bags for family visits with children in Buckeye Ranch foster care. Hope says that she grew up in a working class rural family in Licking County where service was not a burden. She adds, “I love and support my Little Library and the Little Libraries in Clintonville.” She is an admitted bibliophile. She enjoys playing mahjong and collecting new experiences. She is also an active member of Clintonville Woman’s Club.

Some funding for Kindway, the recipient of the Northern Kiwanis Community Service Award donation of $100 in Hope’s honor, is from the sale of jewelry made by incarcerated women, which Hope is also actively involved in. Jewelry can be seen at 


Suzan Singh, 2023 Community Support Award recipient

A Worthington resident of over 25 years, Suzan Singh’s volunteering roots run deep. In high school, she was recruited by the town Bicentennial Committee to spearhead a project to paint the community fire hydrants as Revolutionary soldiers. Suzan’s father was a WWII veteran whose strong commitment to volunteering was instilled in her. Dressed as a clown, he led the children of Fanwood in the annual Halloween Parade, starred in local community theatre productions and was Chief of the volunteer Fire Department. 

Suzan received this award for creating and executing the annual Community Flag project. Each year just prior to the American Legion’s 9/11 Memorial service, 2997 American flags are planted on the Village Green to commemorate souls lost. After five years, the project is now completely sustainable. Residents, civic leaders, city staff, city council members, students and other volunteers come together as one during the planting, much as we did as a nation during the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

Other volunteer projects Suzan has been involved with include: chairing for many years the Colonial Hills Elementary Schools annual spaghetti dinner (which she renamed “Pastapalooza”); representing Worthington in traveling with a delegation to our sister city Sayama, Japan; working on fundraising for the McConnell Arts center by creating an event called Chick-Lit and Chocolate; chairing committees for the Thomas Worthington HS annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser; assisting with Worthington Firefighters efforts to create a statue for fallen “brothers” during her time at Leadership Worthington and continuing support to the Worthington Blackston-Leasure American Legion Post 239. She particularly loves the Memorial Day parade, which “the Post” has presented consecutively for 104 years!

Suzan graduated as a professional chef from The Culinary Institute of America, is an entrepreneur, and a certified labor and post-partum doula, assisting families in over 150 births. During Covid, she pivoted to becoming a Household Manager/ Nanny, which she continues to do today.

She has one daughter Jasmin who is studying for her Master’s degree in public policy and political science, in a program consisting of one year at UNC Chapel Hill and one year in Barcelona. Jasmin became interested in her area of study after representing Worthington at Buckeye Girls State in 2013 sponsored by Worthington American Legion Post 239!

Suzan enjoys watching old movies, reading good books and attending large community events. She has requested that the $100 donation in her honor from the Northern Kiwanis Club be made to “the Post”, and earmarked for Buckeye Girls State.