Danbury Senior Living Community, 3430 Brunswick Lake Parkway, was the setting for the induction of Alexis Gemelas and Deborah Wasylko into the BEAT Hall of Fame May 11. Jonathan Yokiel, Angie Case, and Jiya Doshi were presenters.
Gemelas, who was introduced by BEAT journalism manager Jonathan Yokiel, began her journalism career when she joined the award-winning BEAT Video Program as a sixth grader in 2011. By the time she was in eighth grade, she was the BEAT journalism manager, assuming the role as a leader and spokesperson for the program, a position she held until she graduated from Brunswick High School in 2018.
As manager, Gemelas developed and taught journalism curriculum to all BEAT first year students as well as veteran writers, and annually revised more than 200 BEAT news stories submitted by BEAT staff members.
In addition to serving as lead videographer for all BHS football games, Gemelas and 2017 BEAT Hall of Fame inductee Allison Rhoades collaborated to create an award-winning State Farm safe-driving video that won $100,000 for the high school.
Accepting on behalf of his sister, who was unable to attend, was George Gemelas, who read her heartfelt letter of thanks for presenting her with this honor. Because of the State Farm video she created, Gemelas received a steering wheel mounted on a frame along with her plaque.
BEAT Advisor John Wasylko had the honor and privilege of presenting for induction CEO/President of Baskets Galore Deborah Wasylko, his wife of whom he is very proud. He described how, for more than ten years, she has tirelessly volunteered in support of the BEAT, as well as the community at large.
Wasylko felt a need to showcase the businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in Medina County who constantly give to others without receiving any personal recognition. She accomplished this by creating the BusinessBEAT Program in 2012, a series she still hosts today; Marsha Pappalardo helped promote the idea through 100+ Women Who Care-Medina County, who generously donated to the BEAT.
Presenting such interesting and informative guests as former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, Wasylko has made a lasting impact through the more than 150 programs she has produced; all can be viewed on www.thebeat22.com.
Wasylko continues to be a respected mentor who leads BEAT reporters by example. She works behind the scenes to support the BEAT program in all its fundraising, marketing, and promotional endeavors.
Upon accepting her recognition, Wasylko said she loves everything about the BEAT: watching the maturing students in action; seeing how the BEAT has given power to these young people who learn to ask great questions, get good answers, and write better stories; and helping her husband who has always supported her efforts.
The new inductees also received citations of commendation sent by Senator Larry Obhof.
Angie Case recognized senior BEAT staff members; Jounalism Manager Yokiel was given a BEAT jacket. In addition, all other attending members of the staff, from first year to veteran writers, were invited to stand and be acknowledged.
Guests enjoyed a lovely luncheon prepared by Chef Watson Bryant and the culinary staff at Danbury Senior Living.
John Wasylko closed the program by thanking everyone for their continuing support of the BEAT, which is entirely self-funded. Some of its 2018-19 accomplishments and memorable events include: having more than 300 BEAT stories/videos published; receiving more than $10,000 from 100+ Women Who Care/Medina County; reporter Matthew Kovach placing first in the Brunswick Rotary Four-Way Speech Contest, with fellow reporter Luke Wilmot placing second; BEAT alum Gabe Wasylko being hired as Creative Services Coordinator at Akron Rubberducks; BEAT alum Allison Rhoades being hired with the Cleveland Indians video crew; and six BEAT members/alum serving as Akron Rubberducks interns.
Gratitude was extended to sponsors that included 100+Women Who Care/Medina County, Akron Community Foundation/Medina County Women's Endowment Fund, Baskets Galore, Brunswick City Schools, Brunswick Eagles 3505, Brunswick Education Foundation, Brunswick Summer Celebration, Bullseye Activewear, Danbury Senior Living-Brunswick, Medina County Arts Council, Plum Creek Senior Assisted Living Community, Prestige Portraits, Rotary Club of Brunswick, RPM International Inc., Scene 75 Entertainment Centers, and Scripps-Howard Foundation/WEWS Newsnet 5.
Anyone wishing to become a BEAT sponsor or contribute to the BEAT (tax deductible 501c3), please contact John Wasylko, 330-321-7601 or email@example.com.