A ceramic artist, a Heisman trophy winner, a professor of orthopedic surgery, and a Toledo-area businessman have been named the first recipients of the Maumee High School Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Honorees are Bonnie (Betts) Staffel, Class of 1939; Richard Kazmaier, Class of 1948; James Cannaley, Class of 1963, and Dr. Douglas G. Smith, Class of 1976.
They will be honored by the Alumni Association of Maumee High School during an awards dinner Sept. 3 at the school in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center.
This is the first year the alumni association has recognized alumni who have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions and noteworthy achievements in their adult lives.
Ms. Staffel, an award-winning ceramic artist whose work is on exhibit in galleries across northern Michigan, has her home studio in Charlevoix, Mich., where she creates her signature stoneware pieces.
After high school, she studied commercial and fine art in Houston and at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She studied glass blowing and pottery at the Toledo Museum of Art.
In the late 1950s, she initiated clay art classes for children at the playground near the Maumee Public Library and then held an exhibition of their work in the library. She conducted adult and children's classes in her home studio on East Dudley Street in Maumee. In 1965, she established a studio and shop near Charlevoix.
Through the years, she has been a resident potter and teacher in the United States and abroad. She has published videos about her craft and is active in sharing her knowledge with other potters worldwide through teaching arts and crafts classes and Internet forums.
Mr. Kazmaier, a star athlete in high school and college, lives in Concord, Mass., but continues to stay in touch with his hometown of Maumee. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1951, and he donated the trophy in 2007 to Maumee High School.
Nearly 20 years ago, he established the Richard Kazmaier Scholarship Fund at Maumee High School, and since then, more than $175,000 has been awarded to college-bound scholar athletes.
He participates annually in the Richard Kazmaier open golf outing and hosts a breakfast for scholarship winners and their parents. In 2006, he was selected as a member of the Maumee delegation that traveled to Anaheim, Calif., to compete for Maumee's All-America City Award.
Mr. Kazmaier was named the 1951 Time Magazine Man of the Year, holds degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Business School, was President Reagan's selection as national chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, and is a civic leader and community volunteer.
Mr. Kazmaier meets with Maumee students on nearly every trip to town, such as visiting with Union School students during their lunch period and speaking at an assembly of Maumee High School students about the importance of being a scholar first and an athlete second.
Mr. Cannaley, president and chief executive officer of Woodsage Industries, has been giving to Maumee since 1996, when he and his wife, Linda, established the Cannaley Memorial Scholarship, which provides four-year college scholarships to Maumee High School seniors. The scholarship focuses on students raised by a single parent, no parents, or a family in need. Mr. Cannaley mentors the scholarship recipients during their post-secondary endeavors. Woodsage Holdings owns and manages five manufacturing companies that supply tube fabrication services and products to customers throughout North America.
Woodsage relocated from Toledo to a larger space near Holland in Springfield Township in 2004, and more jobs were added.
Mr. Cannaley was active in student council during his high school years, and was student council president his senior year. He played basketball and football, and was active in several organizations.
Dr. Smith is a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle and an attending physician at Harborview Medical Center, the University of Washington Medical Center, and Seattle Veterans Medical Center.
He is a consultant surgeon to the Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and Brooke Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. His area of expertise is limb amputation, reconstructive surgery, prosthetics, and rehabilitation. Dr. Smith has been involved in research throughout his career, authored numerous publications, lectured around the world, and holds a U.S. patent.
Doors open for the Sept. 3 event at 4:30 p.m. The buffet dinner begins at 5 p.m., followed by the award presentation. Kickoff for the Maumee High School vs. Columbus St. Francis De Sales game is at 7:30 p.m. Honorees will be recognized at halftime.
Cost for the awards dinner and football game is $20 per person and seating is limited to 100. Casual attire is suggested, and spirit-wear is encouraged.
Checks can be sent to the MHS Alumni Association, 716 Askin St., Maumee, Ohio 43537, along with the names of attendees, home address, phone number, and e-mail address.
For more information, call 419-893-3200.
- Janet Romaker