Home Youth activism Diana Pachis awarded the One Tiger Heritage prize in Massillon

Diana Pachis awarded the One Tiger Heritage prize in Massillon


MASSILLON – Diana Pachis will be honored with the One Tiger Heritage Award on Saturday.

Pachis, a lifelong resident of Massillon and a graduate of Washington High School in 1969, took her community and its youngest residents under her wing working tirelessly to make the city of champions and more specifically the neighborhood of Walnut Hills a place where life is good.

One Tiger, a group aimed at supporting the youth of Massillon, awards the Lifetime Achievement Honor to individuals who dedicate decades of time and effort to improving their community and helping children.

Pachis will receive the award during a luncheon. Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry also proclaimed October 8 as Diana Pachis Day.

Diana Pachis: “I’m very humble.”

The 71-year-old was shocked to learn of the honour.

“I’m very humbled,” she said. “I don’t do it for the awards. I do it for any cause.”

Her passion has always been working with children.

In the late 1970s, Pachis worked at Franklin Elementary School in many capacities, from volunteer to housewife to paid employee.

“In the early 1980s, there were over 600 kids in Franklin. We had to put in a lot of programs,” she recalls. “We had softball and basketball games. We took the kids skating and fishing. We have organized many fundraisers.

After a decade in school, Pachis started working with the city’s parking enforcement. She was later transferred to the city’s sewer and waste department and remained there until her retirement in 2012.

She helped start the Walnut Hills Residents Association.

Over the years, she has given her time and effort to various organizations, boards and events.

In 1989, Pachis and Michele Radtke started the Walnut Hills Residents Association. The group aimed for the revival of neighborhood parks and looked after the safety and well-being of its residents.

“Crime was on the rise, Pachis said. “Mayor Frank Cichinnelli helped get community policing started with bike patrols and helped us get grants.”

His efforts helped improve the parks by adding a pavilion, walking path and new play equipment.

She has also helped organize a variety of popular events for the Walnut Hills community including a free basketball camp, book bag giveaways, fall festivals, Thanksgiving dinner baskets for people in need and Christmas parties.

Basketball camp will return this summer after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

“Basketball camp is our biggest neighborhood response,” she explained. “It’s for kids who can’t afford to attend or can’t attend other camps.”

Massillon coaches and players help out during the week-long camp that helps build a child’s confidence, she said.

“It’s just been a great week,” Pachis said. We feed the children and there are prizes and awards. We just build the sports mindset to help them overcome their fears of participating and it’s a good mentorship program. We really like doing it.”

Everyone was welcome at her place.

While raising her three children – Kevin, Brian and Kimberly – with her high school sweetheart Aaron Pachis, she had an open door policy at her Walnut Hills home. Everyone was welcome.

She always made sure everyone was fed and had what they needed, including winter boots and coats.

“I wanted to teach them what they might not get at home. Manners, respect, love, self-care, hugs – that’s all kids want and really need,” she said. “There are people who don’t have a voice or think they can’t because of their social status. I want to become a voice for them. I’m passionate about how people treat each other everyone else. Everyone should be treated the same, no matter how much money you have or where you live.”

She sat on the Massillon Housing Council and as a liaison with the Massillon neighborhood association.

“She has always sought to represent those who do not always have a voice in resolving issues that impact their daily lives,” the mayor wrote in her proclamation.

Most recently, she partnered with One Tiger to identify the best locations in Walnut Hills to place One Tiger’s Obie book boxes.

A tiger :The organization aims to reach more children, Spanish-speaking readers, with new boxes of Obie books

John Lieberman, treasurer of One Tiger, praised Pachis for his activism.

“She helped a lot of underprivileged people, especially at Franklin Elementary School and around that area,” he said. “A lot of people have really been able to benefit from his efforts. He is just a person who gets involved, never says no and when he accepts an assignment, it is carried out in a qualitative way.”

Contact Amy at 330-775-1135 or [email protected]

On Twitter: @aknappINDE