AFC Apple Award Gala Honors Rhoda and Manuel Mayerson

March 7, 2009

Rhoda and Manuel MayersonRhoda and Manuel Mayerson, Cincinnati philanthropists and patrons of distinguished, accessible buildings for education, recreation, commerce, and business will receive the prestigious Alice and Harris Weston Apple Award on May 7, 2009.

Recognized by Cincinnati Magazine as the city’s “Best Philanthropists,” Manuel and Rhoda’s concern for community is demonstrated by the work of their family foundation, which they established twenty years ago.

Their generosity has touched the lives of thousands of people from all walks of life, and their contributions to excellence and accessibility in architectural design are numerous.

Manuel D. Mayerson, founder of The Mayerson Company, was a pioneer in the original development of area shopping centers. He designed and developed Cincinnati’s first indoor malls in Beechmont and Kenwood.

Mr. Mayerson was one of the first in the country to recognize the importance of lighting downtown landmark buildings. His award-winning lighting of the Central Trust Tower, along with his lighting of Music Hall’s promenade entrance, earned him the reputation as a father of downtown lighting.

In addition to supporting key community institutions and smaller non-profit agencies, the Mayerson Family Foundation has been a major supporter of Hebrew Union College, and has played a significant role in efforts such as the Mayerson Academy, created for the professional development of K-12 teachers,

The INclusion Network, which works toward the full inclusion of people with disabilities in community life, the Mayerson Food Distribution Center which distributes food to hundreds of area soup kitchens, The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children’s Hospital and VIA Institute on Character, a leader in the scientific study of character.

Known for giving of their time as well as their financial resources, Manuel and Rhoda have been active in numerous organizations over many decades. Rhoda Mayerson’s interests include Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Jewish Vocational Service, The Jewish Community Center, State of Israel Bonds, The Jewish Federation Board, and The Cincinnati Opera.

Manuel Mayerson has served on a variety of boards, including The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Adath Israel Congregation, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, The Contemporary Arts Center, The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, ADL, The School for the Creative and Performing Arts, The Cincinnati Zoo, National Conference for Community and Justice, The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Freestore / Foodbank, and The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

AFC was incorporated in March 1982 for the purpose of enhancing public awareness and appreciation for the built environment of Greater Cincinnati. One of AFC’s goals was to educate professionals and the public about the advantages of sustainable architecture. An early initiative of AFC was to recognize important contributors to the built environment. The late Carl Strauss, FAIA, was the first recipient of the coveted Apple Award, which is given each year to an individual or organization that contributes significantly to improving or increasing awareness of the built environment.

The Architectural Foundation, headquartered at 127 West Ninth Street in Downtown Cincinnati, continues to educate schoolchildren and adults about the advantages of sustainability and excellence in new design, as well as the merits of Greater Cincinnati’s historic architecture. The Apple Award Gala benefits the education programs of AFC.

Christine Schoonover is president of the Architectural Foundation; David Arends, AIA, is vice president and Apple Award Gala chair. Sue Ann Painter is executive director.

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