Hiram House Bids Happy Trails to Grundkes after Half Century of Service

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Russell & Joanne Grundke at "Happy Trails" Farewell Tribute Celebration

Hundreds of well-wishers turned out the evening of October 24th to celebrate Russell and Joanne Grundke and their retirement at the end of this year, after nearly 50 years of service to Hiram House Camp, “Ohio’s oldest camp”, founded in 1896.

Russell is Executive Director of The Hiram House, the nonprofit organization operating Hiram House Camp, and Joanne is its Special Events/Fundraising Director. During their tenure, the camp has greatly expanded its programs and facilities to serve thousands of children, teens and adults in Northeast Ohio annually through a variety of Summer Camps, School Camps, Group Retreats and Teambuilding Adventure programs. Events like its popular fall Pumpkin Festival have also grown, drawing record crowds this year.

The Hiram House Board of Directors hosted “Happy Trails”, as a farewell tribute to the couple. A special “Campership Fund” has been established in their honor which will benefit children in need to enjoy a life-enriching summer camp experience at the 172 acre camp, located at 33775 Hiram Trail, Moreland Hills, Ohio. A commemorative painting and photo tribute of their years at camp were presented to them.

Speakers at the event noted that over the years the Grundkes have touched the lives of more than half a million campers, plus thousands of staff members, volunteers and others. Many of them were in attendance to offer their heartfelt thanks and good wishes for the future. They were hailed for their passion and dedication to the mission of Hiram House and for leading the organization on an incredible journey of success.

The Grundkes, who met and married at Hiram House in 1969-70, also raised two sons, Travis and Brent, while at the camp. They are actively involved as well. Travis serves as a trustee on the Hiram House Board and Brent is director of the camp’s Double H Ranch, which features Horseback Riding and Farmstead programs for youth.

Following a transition period this fall, Grundke will be succeeded as Executive Director by Courtney Nicolai Guzy, who will assume the helm January 1st. She holds a Masters degree from CWRU’s Weatherhead School of Management and was Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland YMCA Euclid. She is a long-time supporter of Hiram House Camp, volunteering on many special committees and events over the years. Guzy and her husband Gary live in Lyndhurst. The Grundkes reside in Moreland Hills, OH.

To donate to the Russell and Joanne Grundke Campership Fund, you may do so online at: www.hiramhousecamp.org/support-us/donate or mail to: Hiram House Camp, 33775 Hiram Trail, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022. For more information, call the camp office at: 216-831-5045.

Hiram House Board President Kevin Barnes and New Executive Director Courtney Guzy (left to right) congratulate retiring Special Events-Fundraising Director Joanne Grundke and outgoing Executive Director Russell Grundke at Farewell Tribute

The Grundke Family, (left to right), Travis, Leah, Joanne, Russell, and Brent celebrate at Happy Trails Farewell Tribute

Joanne Grundke with Sandy Buehner and Susie Cargile at Happy Trails. Sandy retired recently after 40 years as the camp’s registrar. Susie, a Board member and lifelong supporter of Hiram House, gave a moving tribute to the Grundkes. Other speakers at the tribute were Board President Kevin Barnes and Board members Mike Cargile and Travis Grundke.

33775 Hiram Trail, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022. Telephone: 216-831-5045. Fax: 216-831-2477. Email: info@hiramhousecamp.org

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