My parents always told me that giving back to your community was the right thing to do — a way of thanking God for your blessings. When I first moved to Stark County in 1973, I was fortunate to be able to volunteer a great deal of my time for various organizations.

Now, as vice president of Stark Community Foundation (SCF), I can see how my volunteer years prepared me to serve in this capacity. I have served in this position for the past 18 years and am responsible for proposal review and evaluation, as well as recommendations and presentations to the Distribution Committee.

I supervise the management of 80 foundation scholarship and loan funds and the foundation small-grant initiative, Summertime Kids, in addition to other programs.

Oftentimes I act as a connector to bring people together to solve problems and community needs, facilitate collaboration and educate for the betterment of Stark County.

Another area of my work is with local philanthropists. Recently, 12 innovative women came together to pool their resources and start the Women’s Fund, an endowment of SCF. Their mission is to fund charitable needs of women and children. To date, more than 50 other women have joined them. Together through research, education, and site visits to nonprofit organizations, they discover ways to make a difference.


WHO: Cynthia McDowell Lazor

WHAT: Vice president for Stark Community Foundation, 400 Market Ave. N, Suite 200; (330) 454-3426,

EDUCATION: Bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Findlay and graduate hours in educational administration from Ashland College.

COMMUNITY BOARDS: Stark County Family Council Board, United Way Children and Youth Vision Council, the Stark County Capital Campaign Committee, Stark Education Partnership P-16 Compact, Stark County Interagency Council on Homelessness Steering Committee. She also is chairman of the Community Building Partnership of Stark County Operating Committee. Active in the Stark County community for 34 years, she has been president or served as a trustee for the North Canton Junior Women’s Club, Junior League of Canton, Canton Welfare Foundation, United Way of Central Stark County, Community Memorial Trust,Timken Mercy Service League, Hoover Historical Center Advisory Council, North Canton Student Loan Foundation, Canton Ballet, the Museum Guild of the Canton Museum of Art and the Canton Museum of Art. She has been a past Residential Fund Drive chairman for the United Way of Central Stark County and the Canton Cultural Center Fund for the Arts campaign. She also has volunteered four years as a guardian ad litem in the Stark County Family Courts, and is a graduate of the Stark County Local Government Leadership Academy. At the state level, she is a member of the Ohio Afterschool Network Strategic Leadership Team (a Mott Foundation Initiative).

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