Lighthouse Beacon of Light Awards

Saturday, April 16, 6:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency

Lighthouse Youth Services will honor five people with Beacon of Light Awards at its annual spring gala.

The evening begins with cocktails and dinner, followed by awards to Ryan Messer and James Musuraca-Messer, Edgar Smith, Rabbi Gary Zola and (posthumously) Iva Brown. Honorees are recognized for their leadership, service, community impact and involvement with children, youth and families.

About the honorees:

  • Iva Brown: Community service was her passion, and helping children was her priority. She dedicated many years to organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Sigma Omega Chapter), the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, YWCA, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Women’s City Club, Zion Baptist Church and Lighthouse Youth Services. She was a Lighthouse volunteer, board member and chaired a Beacon gala.
  • Ryan Messer and James Musuraca-Messer:  The couple are passionate advocates for LGBTQ equality, and they work to create opportunities for youth. Messer started the Future Leaders Program for children in grades 7-12 and a Citizens Patrol to build a greater sense of safety and ownership in Over-the-Rhine.
  • Edgar Smith: The founder, chair and CEO of World Pac Paper is an avid volunteer and has served on the boards of many nonprofits, including ArtsWave, Cincinnati Arts Association, American Red Cross, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Boy Scouts of America and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
  • Rabbi Gary Zola: The executive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and professor of the American Jewish Experience at the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union-Jewish Institute of Religion is an advocate for interfaith relations, justice, human rights and community understanding.

Tickets to the gala start at $150.

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