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        Leslie William Franke, age 68, passed away on July 16, 2018. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, he was born in Cadillac, Michigan, on August 26, 1949. Leslie grew up working with his father in the family business. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Leslie was a long-time resident of Suffield Township, Ohio, and a retired engineer from The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company with 45 years of service. 


        He was a faithful member of the Akron First Seventh-day Adventist Church. Leslie devoted countless hours of service and leadership to his church and community, including volunteering for 41 years with the Pathfinders youth organization. He loved traveling, taking pictures of sunsets, and spending time with family—knowledgeable in many areas, and projects, and sharing his tools and expertise with family and friends. 

        The “Leslie Franke Heart of Service Award" was developed in honor of the memory of Leslie Franke- a man who truly lived a life of service. Each year,  this award will be presented to one Pathfinder club who makes significant contributions to their community through their time, actions, talents, and dedication.  The club that is selected should serve as a role model for compassion and service and strive to make their community a better place. The club should demonstrate a passion for helping others in their community. 


Any active/Chartered Pathfinder club in the Ohio Conference.


Clubs being considered for this award will have consistently demonstrated qualities of compassion and service to their community.  The charitable activities/events or services listed on the application cannot be part of a project involving their church but rather the community the church serves.  The project/activity should be planned completely by the pathfinders and should involve at least 80% participation of the active club membership. 


Judging Criteria

  • The degree to which their services/ actions have made a lasting or meaningful contribution or impact on their community  - 50%

  • The length and degree of their service(s) – 15%

  • Planned entirely by Pathfinders - 10%

  • Percentage of Pathfinder participation - 25%

  • Bonus points if the project is featured in a local paper or other form of media – 5% (Visitor/Faithpoints/any church/conference-based media will not qualify.



  • Complete Online Application Form

  • Submit a 3-minute video demonstrating the planning process and project execution by March 31 each year.

  • Creatively present projects at the fair through a poster board, media presentation, etc, in a way that will inspire others to serve their community.  Needs to be on display throughout the weekend.



The Leslie Franke Heart of Service Award will be presented each year at the Fair in May.

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