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Published: Friday, 7/25/2003

Port board honors Ballas posthumously

Seven months after the death of local car dealer George Ballas, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has created a special award to honor the former board member.

The port board voted unanimously yesterday to create the George Ballas Distinguished Service Award to honor the man who served from 1998 until his death in December from an aortic aneurysm.

“George captured the spirit we as public servants all aspire to,” board Chairman Tom Palmer said.

After moving to the Toledo area in 1970, Mr. Ballas turned around a struggling car dealership while becoming one of the area's leading philanthropists and ingratiating himself in civic causes.

Agency President James Hartung said Mr. Ballas “exemplified all Toledo needs in a community leader.”

The agency must develop criteria for selecting award nominees.

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