Retiring Common Pleas Court Judge Earl McGimpsey was presented with the 2006 Shirley Sutherland Award at the annual Shirley Sutherland Award Dinner held recently in the Art Gallery of the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center for being an ally in this community's alcohol and other drug recovery work.
Judge McGimpsey had been the President of the Board of Directors of the Huron County Alcohol and Drug Center, which had provided chemical dependency treatment and prevention services prior to Firelands Counseling and Recovery Center's contract with the Huron County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMhs) Board. Additionally, he initiated the Common Pleas General Division's Drug Court, one of three Drug Courts in Huron County.
During his acceptance comments, Judge McGimpsey read from a statement that he carries with him about the importance of attitude stating that attitude is more important than the facts, the past, education, money, circumstances, failure or success. While 10 percent of ones well being in life is based on what happens to him or her, 90 percent is due to attitude.
His comments were followed by the speaker for the evening, Koriann Evans, who discussed her journey to sobriety, which included involvement with Judge McGimpsey's Drug Court.
The Shirley Sutherland Award Dinner is convened each year to recognize an individual who has demonstrated exceptional work in promoting the recovery of chemically addicted persons and their families in the Huron County community. From 1989 to 1990, Shirley Sutherland was the Director of the Huron County Alcohol and Drug Center. She died in 1991 due to cancer.
Previous Shirley Sutherland Award winners include: Alvin Kelly, Morris Chapin, Robert Palomo, John Cunningham, Steve Bovia, Bud Smith, Dorothy Ruffer, Mary Ott, John Ott, Jean King and Basil Elliot.
McGimpsey, who was elected in 1994, is stepping down as judge after 12 years. Norwalk City Law Director Jim Conway won an election in November to replace McGimpsey.