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Alejandro Zapata: Citizen of the Year 2013 Featured

Port Clinton Mayor Vince Leone presenting Alejandro Zapata with Citizen of the Year 2013

On the night of Saturday, Feb. 22, Mayor Vince Leone presented Alejandro “Hondo” Zapata with a key to the city and the title of Citizen of the Year for 2013 at Slater’s Madison Street Pub in downtown Port Clinton.

“We usually present the award at city hall,” said Mayor Leone, “but for Hondo, I thought this would be a better venue.”

Slater’s was already packed; regular Saturday night patrons and party goers for Stella Lopez’s birthday party which was being held there. Around 10:30 p.m. Mayor Leone, Michelle, Isaiah, Xavier, and Zayden Zapata along with friends and other family parted the sea of patrons to reach Hondo at the front of Slater’s who was DJ-ing.

Mayor Leone read aloud the Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor to Zapata and everyone in Slater’s.

Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor

Whereas: The true strength of any man can only be expressed by the way he cares for his fellow man, and;

Whereas: Alejandro Zapata brought the heart of a City together to honor the young, brave soul of Devin Kohlman, and;

Whereas: Alejandro Zapata led our community to forget their differences and bring forth the true spirit of caring, and;

Whereas: He proved his love of his fellow man through his selfless acts of kindness for one family, the effects could be felt beyond our City limits and even our State and Country, and;

Now, Therefore: as Alejandro Zapata not only expressed his unselfish love for his community but has proven that he is his brother’s keeper, it is for this reason that I, Vincent P. Leone, Mayor of the City of Port Clinton, Ohio, with great honor and humility present the title of Citizen of the Year for 2013!

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the City of Port Clinton, Ohio, to be affixed this 22nd day of February, 2014.

Vincent P. Leone, Mayor

For one of the only times in his life, Zapata was speechless.

The crowd yelled in support for Zapata. Taking in the moment, he soon gathered his thoughts.

“If you are struggling, I am the example that you can make it through,” said Zapata. “Everyone has problems; some people’s problems are bigger than others. It’s all about family and all about paying it forward. Thanks for being by my side (he said to wife, Michelle) and you too boys. It’s like I always say, every day’s a blessing.”

Zapata was a key player in getting the community involved with helping Devin Kohlman and his family during his illness. In the end, not only the community was involved and invested in Devin, but the county, the state, the nation and the world. Like Mayor Leone had stated in his proclamation, the selfless acts of caring meant so much to Devin and to everyone in our community.

“The Citizen of the Year award is strictly the mayor’s decision,” said Mayor Leone. “There are folks that have worked hard in organizations, but we are looking for individual, outstanding citizens. He brought together a community like no other. I wish I could accomplish what he has accomplished. He brought a town together despite their differences. He really deserves this.”

Alejandro Zapata: Citizen of the Year 2013

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