Genesis Community Service Award
The Genesis Community Service award is given each year to someone who has made a significant contribution to our community through voluntary service.
Caribeth Legats is the recipient of this year’s Genesis Community Service Award. The award recognizes a community member who displays the Genesis values of excellence, compassion, innovation and trust.
Community service is part of Legat's life. She was born and raised in Akron and obtained her bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from the University of Akron and her master’s degree in education from Marygrove College in Detroit, Mich. Legats taught children with severe behavioral handicaps for 24 years at Zanesville City Schools before retiring in 2005. Her husband Ken was superintendent of the Starlight Program for 34 years before his death in 2000.
Legats uses her educational background to look for creative ways to improve the community. She wrote a grant to build the Miracle League Baseball field facility for adults and children with handicaps. She also helped obtain funding to remodel the kitchen at the Zanesville Day Nursery.
Whether she’s reading to preschoolers at the nursery or helping serve some of the 10,000 meals a month at Christ’s Table, Legats steps up to the plate to make our community a better place. She also serves the community as:
- Vice president of the Muskingum County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Starlight Programs)
- Board member of Christ’s Table
- Rotarian of the Year 2006-2007, Daybreak Rotary Club
- 31-year member of the Daughters of the American Revolution
- Past elder at First Christian Church
- Corresponding secretary of Alpha Psi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma
She was nominated for the award by Phil Zehms, managing partner of Bryan & Snider Funeral Home. Legats is an ambassador at the funeral home, assisting family and friends. “She is an inspiration to many people, while she quietly goes about her work each day,” Zehms wrote.
Legats is the mother of two sons, Mark and Michael, mother-in-law to Jenny, and step-grandmother to three boys.
William “Buzz” Benson is the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Community Service Award. The award annually recognizes an outstanding person in our area who has significantly contributed to the community and exemplified the Genesis values of compassion, trust, innovation and excellence.
Benson grew up in Pennsylvania where his dad was a coal miner. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1951 and became an engineer at the RCA Corporation in Lancaster, Pa., developing the production of color TV picture tubes. He joined Brockway Glass and became manager of the Zanesville plant in 1974. The Brockway leaders encouraged their managers to become active in the community and Benson did just that. One of his first projects was becoming a charter member of the Good Samaritan Medical Center Foundation Board, where he was instrumental in designing fundraising campaigns such as the Bob and Dolores Hope Awards and the $100 Club.
He has been actively involved in hospital projects for more than 30 years including the:
• Genesis HealthCare Foundation Board of Directors
• Genesis-Good Samaritan Foundation Board of Directors
• Genesis Advisory Council
He has also been a leader in the community through:
• Kiwanis International
• Muskingum Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America
• Muskingum County Gideon Camp
• Zanesville Christian and Missionary Alliance Church
• Muskingum County Senior Center
• United Way
• Muskingum Chamber of Commerce
Benson lives on a small farm near Zanesville with his wife Beverly. The couple has been married for 63 years. Their children include son Jay and his wife Shellie; daughter Christine Benson Tice and her husband John; son Jeffery and his wife Debbie; and son John and his wife Carma. The Bensons have 15 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Benson will be honored at the Genesis HealthCare Foundation Donor Appreciation and Community Service Award Dinner on Oct. 6 at the Genesis HealthPlex. For more information, call the Genesis HealthCare Foundation at (740) 454-5052.