Beacon Journal home writer Mary Beth Breckenridge won the Helen Waterhouse Award from the Ohio Professional Writers Association, an award that commemorates one of Ohio’s and the Beacon Journal’s most prolific and noted journalists.
Breckenridge’s narrative about the burden of war on families, “What if he doesn’t come home to us?,” published July 15, 2012, exemplified Waterhouse’s trademark, that of telling the compelling personal stories of people in the community. Waterhouse, who won numerous national awards as a foreign and national correspondent for the Beacon Journal, was named the National Press Women’s Woman of the year in 1963.
Waterhouse founded the Ohio division of National Press Women, which later became OPW.
Waterhouse, hired in 1928 by Beacon Journal editor John S. Knight, died in 1965 after suffering a stroke on Akron’s West Exchange Street on her way to cover a story.
Breckenridge, a Youngstown native, is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and has been with the Beacon Journal 26 years.
She also won four first-place awards and one second place in other writing categories, and columnist Bob Dyer won three first-place awards.
First-place state awards move to the National Federation of Press Women competition.
Breckenridge won first place for specialty articles on Agriculture and agriculture business; green energy and the environment; and homes. She also won a first place for informational columns.
Her second-place award was for humorous columns.
Her topics included urban bee-keeping, LED lighting, kids eating bugs and Christmas humor about re-gifting.
Dyer won first place for humorous columns, in addition to firsts for general columns and opinion.
Among Dyer’s entries were his columns on Ritchie Stefan of Mogadore, “Gas station clerk’s firing stirs outrage,” published May 15, and his rant about political correctness, “PC push simply gets in the way,” published May 13.