Former BHS Principal Honored for Volunteerism

Bay Village resident and former Bay High Principal James Cahoon has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Cleveland Chapter. Mr. Cahoon will receive the award during the 34th Annual AFP Greater Cleveland National Philanthropy Day luncheon on Nov. 2.

Cahoon was nominated for the award by The MetroHealth Foundation. Beth Darmstadter, MetroHealth Foundation’s Director of Individual Giving, characterizes Cahoon as having incredible humility and passion for the causes he believes in – most importantly cancer care, preventing opioid addiction, and helping those less fortunate then himself. Since 2013, Cahoon has served on The MetroHealth Foundation Board of Directors where he has mentored new board members and coordinated a showcase of Bay Village High School student artwork in the lobby of MetroHealth’s Cancer Center to brighten the walls for patients.

In 2017, he was elected MetroHealth Foundation’s Vice Chair of the Outreach Committee. Prior to his involvement with the Foundation, Cahoon was a member of MetroHealth’s Cancer Vision Advocacy Council, prompted by a dear friend who was receiving treatment at MetroHealth.

To honor his friend and support the MetroHealth Cancer Center, Cahoon created the Brett Altieri Golf Outing Invitational. In 2018, the event raised more than $12,000 bringing the total amount raised over 7 years to more than $80,000. Cahoon’s fundraising has helped support cancer research projects; and cancer support and survivorship needs, including patient transportation and a survivorship symposium.

Following the deaths of 15 former Bay Village students, Cahoon thought enough was enough and became instrumental in starting a community-based group called Our Children Are Dying (OCAD) to address the opioid epidemic by providing resources and programming to aid students and families.

In a letter of recommendation for the award, Sean McAndrews, Bay Middle School Principal, said Cahoon was the most genuine and caring person he had ever met, giving countless hours to important causes. Today, OCAD continues to provide information to parents of pre-K thru 12 students on how to talk to children regarding risky behavior.

Other organizations James Cahoon and his wife, Deb, support include Fill This House (a nonprofit dedicated to helping youth aging out of foster care), Care for AIDS, Feeding Children Everywhere, and the Bay High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Article originally appeared online and in print in the Westlake|Bay Village Observer, October 2018.