Lagios, Biviano and Horner to be Honored as Community Medal Award Recipients
Akron, OH, August 29, 2023 ––Three WAKR radio greats will be honored by The Salvation Army at its nineteenth annual Community Medal Award and Red Kettle Kickoff Thursday, November 2, 2023 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at St. George Fellowship Hall, 3204 Ridgewood Road, Fairlawn.
Rubber City Radio Group (RCRG) employees Joyce Lagios, vice president marketing/promotions; Ray Horner, program director and host of WAKR’s Morning Show; and Mark Biviano, senior vice president, are being honored for their significant impact on the community through their professional work and personal volunteer contributions.
“We are honored to be recognizing these three individuals for their strong, positive impact on our community through their work,” said Captain Anita Albert-Watson, Area Coordinator for The Salvation Army in Summit County, “and while radio has been the platform for their community connection, these three stellar individuals have used it as a springboard to give back through their volunteer work. Their personal investment in the area where they live and work sets a prime example for us all.”
This year’s Community Medal Award presentation will be more poignant than ever, as honoree Mark Biviano passed away from leukemia in May 2023. “Biv” was a standout broadcast media leader, recognized educator, Fulbright Scholar, philanthropist and talented musician. Besides marshalling an impactful slate of promotional programs to benefit local nonprofits at WAKR over his 30+ year career there, Biviano was a highly engaged volunteer at The Salvation Army in Akron, serving on the Advisory Board as chairman, in various executive positions and on committees. He was a major benefactor of The Salvation Army’s Learning Zone Preschool Suzuki violin program—providing music training to four-year-old students.
“Nothing was too menial for him to help with--he stepped up to personally paint the apartments in our homeless shelter at least twice over the years,” said Capt. Albert-Watson. “He truly believed in the life-changing programs of The Salvation Army, and proved it through his dedicated investment of talent, treasure and personal time. He is greatly missed.”
The two other members of the WAKR triad carry on the torch of community service. Joyce Lagios organized hundreds of creative fundraising events for nonprofit organizations for RCRG before retiring last year and continues to actively serve on Cleveland Clinic Akron General’s Community Advisory Council, and Interval Brotherhood Home board, and is media chair for the Kaulig Golf Tournament, having served as a 42-year volunteer there. She was president of American Diabetes Association Summit County Division and Summit County Arthritis Foundation, and volunteered at The All American Soap Box Derby, American Heart Association and more. She is very active at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron where she holds multiple leadership positions.
Ray Horner has been Morning Show host on WAKR for the past 24 years, cementing him as the area’s longest running host in the Akron market. Ray is exemplary in informing the citizenry and voicing promotions and interviews to benefit local nonprofits. His insightful interviewing style has raised awareness and generated audience participation for countless local fundraisers and community programs, modeled by his serving many off-air hours on their behalf. He has personally volunteered for many organizations in Akron, including Big Brothers and Sisters, United Way of Summit and Medina, Children’s Concert Society, the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank and others.
Horner has served as master of ceremonies for The Salvation Army’s Community Medal Award luncheon since its inception in 2004 and continues to volunteer for voice-over and video work for The Salvation Army’s Public Relations and Development Committee. He and his creative support team are once again planning the 74th annual Share a Christmas on-air promotion during the week of December 4, featuring auction of donations from the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, Guardians, Goodyear and more to benefit The Salvation Army in Summit County.
The Salvation Army’s Community Medal Award luncheon is also the formal launch of the 2023 Red Kettle Campaign. Along with honoring Lagios, Biviano and Horner, the event heralds the start of the holiday season with volunteer bell ringers at kettle locations from November through Christmas Eve at major retailers throughout the county.
“With our community still feeling the impact of the pandemic and the strained economy, there is a sustained increase in requests for food, rent and utility assistance,” said Capt. Albert-Watson. “A strong start to a successful Red Kettle Christmas campaign in 2023 is needed to support the life-changing programs we provide all year long.”