Earl Pike Wins Homer C. Wadsworth Award

Award recognizes those who reflect former Cleveland Foundation leader’s qualities

Release Date: 07.01.2008

The Cleveland Foundation today announced that Earl Pike, executive director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, is the 2008 recipient of the Homer C. Wadsworth Award. The award is given annually to a local leader who has demonstrated creativity, innovation, ingenuity, risk-taking and good humor in a civic, volunteer, nonprofit or public sector role.

Pike, who has led the AIDS Taskforce for nine years, has been a committed and passionate advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS. He engineered the merger of five separate Cleveland-area agencies into the AIDS Taskforce and took a lead role in creating the Collaborative for Comprehensive School-Age Health, an entity that helped produce K-12 curricula around sex education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Under Pike’s leadership, the Taskforce has expanded its services to address the needs of a wider spectrum of people living with HIV. One example is the establishment of the Beyond Identities Community Center, which offers nightly programming on various health education topics for African-African and Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual youth.

Pike has also authored a wide variety of poetry, fiction and plays, including the 1993 book “We Are All Living with AIDS.”

“What sets the Homer C. Wadsworth Award apart from other leadership awards is that its recipients exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to collaborate with others, along with a passion for their work,” said Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “Earl Pike is a shining example of Homer Wadsworth’s generous spirit and lifelong dedication to community service.”

Homer C. Wadsworth was executive director of the Cleveland Foundation from 1974 to 1983. He was regarded as a man of creativity, courage, commitment and innovation. Prior to his death in 1994, Wadsworth’s friends and family established the Homer C. Wadsworth Award to identify and honor those in the community who best reflected those qualities.

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Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of about $2.0 billion and 2007 grants nearing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders in perpetuity by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation (including advanced energy and globalization), public school improvement, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.