Torchbearers welcome incoming UA freshmen

On Saturday, August 27, in collaboration with the University of Akron, Torchbearers helped connect, engage and educate the University’s incoming freshmen about the Greater Akron area with a new event during the University’s “New Roo Weekend.” Torchbearers worked with Pritt Entertainment Group to help tell the story of why Akron is a great place to call home.  In addition to the event, a video was created to showcase all the things that make Akron special: entrepreneurial spirit, robust arts & culture sector, parks & recreation, food & drink and community involvement.

The students were invited to “Hop to the Lock” and walked from the University down to the Civic Theatre, where the video was shown and several speakers gave the incoming freshmen advice for their first year. The students were then invited to Lock 3 to enjoy live music from Latin jazz group Ahi-Nama and indie-pop group By Light We Loom. Swenson’s supplied food, a human foosball game was played courtesy of the Akron Children’s Museum and vendors of all kinds set up to showcase some of the best of Akron.

The vendors who were in attendance were:

  • Akron-Summit County Public Library
  • HiveMind
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • Nightlight Cinema
  • Not Yo’ Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce
  • Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition
  • Rock Mill
  • Rubber City Jews
  • The Salvation Army of Summit County
  • The Summit County Historical Society
  • Young Black Professionals Coalition
  • Young Professionals of Akron (YPA)
  • Akron Marathon
  • Apotheclaire
  • Downtown Akron Partnership
  • Goodwill Industries of Akron
  • Torchbearers

The event and video answered a challenge made to the Torchbearers organization from the late County Executive, Russ Pry, who sought to establish a framework to retain young professionals as they graduate from local universities and colleges and to attract new young talent from outside the region. This challenge came with a $5,000 commitment from Executive Pry in January of 2016, and Hop to the Lock is a culmination of these efforts.

“We have an incredible resource and wealth of emerging talent in our city thanks to The University of Akron,” said Nicole Mullet, 2016 Torchbearers President. “It makes perfect sense that Russ Pry, a firm believer in empowering younger generations to be agents of change, would encourage this area of focus for Torchbearers.”

Additional sponsors of the event included:

  • Ron Kopp, Roetzel & Andress
  • FirstEnergy Foundation
  • John McKenzie, Leadership Akron Alumni President
  • James E. Merklin, Bober Markey Fedorovich
  • Marc B. Merklin
  • Mark Scheffler
  • Chris Myers, Associated Underwriters Insurance
  • Board of Directors, Torchbearers