Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – Friends and family gathered to “poke the bear” at the second annual Leadership Roast honoring retired Sheriff Dwight Radcliff on Saturday hosted by the Pickaway Competitiveness Network’s Leadership for Tomorrow Fund.
The event raised more than $8,000 to be shared between the Ruth Neff D.A.R.E. Fund and Berger Hospice, Radcliff’s two chosen charities, and the Leadership for Tomorrow Fund, according to Sereana Dresbach, event chair.
Guest speakers, who aimed a bit of good-natured ribbing at the retired sheriff with memories and anecdotes, included Stephen Gary, Bill Stout, Bill Harsha and Nelson Embrey. Radcliff’s three children, Dug, Robert and Vicki, also joined in the fun, with Dug comparing the experience to being given free reign to poke a bear at the zoo.
The money for the charities was raised through the auction of a number of items donated for the cause, including a limited edition rifle engraved with details of Saturday’s event. It was purchased by Dr. James River, who promptly gifted it to Radcliff after securing the winning bid.
Jeff Phillips and Don Bradley served as emcees for the evening’s festivities.
Dresbach said the money raised during the charity auction slightly exceeded the total for the inaugural event last year that honored Stephen Gary from The Savings Bank. She said the “celebrity roast” format seems to be a crowd pleaser so far.
“It’s something unique and different,” Dresbach said. “You see a lot of golf tournaments and dances held as fundraisers for other organizations, but we thought this would be a lot of fun. We’ll let it run a few years and see how it goes.”
The event was held in the coliseum at the Pickaway County Fairgrounds this year with the blessing of the Pickaway County Ag Society.
“It was a bigger venue than last year, and we wanted to move it around to showcase different venues in the county,” Dresbach said. “So this really is more than just a charity benefit. It also highlights the wonderful resources that are available here in Pickaway County.”
The Leadership for Tomorrow Fund of the Pickaway Competitiveness Network is a function of the Pickaway County Community Foundation. Its programming efforts include the Pickaway Fellows program, the Board Candidate Pool and Networking Roundtables.
Information about the fund and its activities can be found at www.yourpccf.org. Donations for the program can be directed to the Pickaway County Community Foundation, Box 3, Circleville, Ohio 43113.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal