The Akron Community Foundation announced Thursday that H. Peter and Eileen Burg will receive this year’s Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award.
Peter Burg, a former FirstEnergy Corp. chairman and CEO, will be honored posthumously. Eileen Burg will receive the honor at the 46th annual awards dinner ceremony Oct. 15 at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.
The couple was selected by a committee of past Polsky winners. Recent recipients of the award include: retired cardiologist and author Terry Gordon; Akron Children’s Hospital President and CEO William Considine and longtime community volunteer Madeline Bozzelli.
A registered nurse and resident of Stow, Eileen Burg is cited as being both a volunteer and philanthropist.
Her volunteer work now includes membership on the boards for the Palliative Care Advisory panel at Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Community Foundation, OPEN M Foundation and the University of Akron Foundation.
She chaired numerous fundraisers over the years, including the 2011 Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award Dinner, the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red and the food bank’s 2008 “Harvest for Hunger” campaign.
She said in a statement that she honors her late husband’s legacy through charitable giving. Some of those beneficiaries include the University of Akron and the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children’s Hospital.
In 2004, she started the H. Peter Burg Fund of Akron Community Foundation. The fund has awarded more than $364,000 in grants to organizations including Heart to Heart Communications, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Weathervane Community Playhouse, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Summit County Chapter of the Red Cross.
“This fund helps my kids learn more about their dad and my grandkids learn more about their grandpa,” she said. “It also keeps me close to Pete and the organizations he supported.”
Peter Burg died in 2004 at age 57 due to complications stemming from leukemia treatment.
Raised in Goodyear Heights, he attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, where he met Eileen. He began his career at Ohio Edison, now FirstEnergy, in 1968 as a financial analyst while still attending the University of Akron. He rose through the ranks to become president and CEO in 1999.
During his lifetime, he served on numerous boards including Akron Children’s Hospital, Musical Arts Association, United Way of Summit County and the Summit County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award is named for the former president of Polsky’s Department Store and founding trustee of Akron Community Foundation.