Mark Puskarich, a 1986 graduate of Otterbein College and Columbus resident, has been awarded the Community Service Award by the Otterbein College Alumni Association.
will be honored at a luncheon on June 9, 2007.
After graduating from Otterbein, Puskarich began his 21-year career at Worthington Industries, where he is currently the Manager of IT Shared Services.
Outside of work, Puskarich
found a special way to support cancer research through music.
In 1997, Puskarich
and three of his
former high school friends reunited their band, along with the wife of one, to record a Christmas music CD.
Their pursuit was halted when one of band members was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer.
Four years later, he
overcame the cancer and is currently in remission.
The group decided to use their love of music as a way to give back, celebrate their bandmates survival and help raise money for cancer research and treatment.
Puskarich is the president and founder of A Christmas to Cure Cancer, Inc., a non-profit entity to raise money for cancer research and donate the net proceeds to organizations engaged in cancer research.
In 2002, the group released their first Christmas CD and held their first benefit concert.
Five years later, Mark
friends have raised a total of $440,000 through their "A Christmas
to Cure Cancer" benefit concerts and their Christmas CD releases.
Locally, their contributions have benefited cancer research efforts through the American Cancer Society
, James Cancer Hospital
, the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and the Ohio Cancer Research Associates
In 2006, Mark
was honored as one of ten Jefferson Award recipients for his
service to the community.
said, "The most meaningful memories I have of Otterbein
center around the people and the relationships I developed there.
is a finalist for the Jefferson Award for Public Service in Central Ohio.