LAKEWOOD, Ohio — State Rep. Mike Skindell (D-13) recently presented Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals Judge Cornelius J. O’Sullivan III a proclamation for his long tenure as a volunteer servant leader of the Lakewood Flock Community Meals program.
Skindell wrote in the proclamation, “Your name has become synonymous with vision and vitality.”
“As a state representative, it’s an honor to give recognition to individuals who serve their communities,” Skindell said.
“Judge O’Sullivan’s work with the Flock Meals program helps those in our community who are in need of assistance.”
A lifelong Lakewood resident, O’Sullivan has been involved free meal programs at St. James and St. Luke’s catholic churches for roughly two decades.
“I started out as a dishwasher 20-some years ago,” O’Sullivan said. “After doing that for five years and kind of directing it, I was asked if I wanted to take over. I now oversee the whole organization, the fundraising, the purchasing, the cooking.
“It’s a great meal. There’s a guitar player. We make it like a nice community event with handmade desserts by parishioners and loads of bread from the Rotary clubs. We also pack a meal from Around the Corner with fresh fruit, a bottle of water and some cookies. They take that to-go also, so they’re really getting two meals.”
Currently the once-a-month free meal effort takes place respectively at 5:30 p.m. the second and third Wednesday of the month.
“We get all kinds of people — about 50 to 70 a night,” O’Sullivan said. “People have told us without this they wouldn’t know what they would do.
“A good 20 percent of the people are elderly and want the camaraderie. There’s another group that absolutely needs it. Then there’s the in-between.”
That ranges from families with children who show up a few times and are never seen again to a convict enjoying his first meal after leaving prison.
The judge said the latter scenario seemingly epitomizes not only the Flock Community Meals program but also the spirit of the Lakewood community.
“It’s just a way of life,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s easy to help out when it benefits your family, but what’s really beneficial is helping strangers in need.
“That need is real and constant.”
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