Libby and Ira Levy, 2018 HOC Board of Governors Recipients

Together the Levys have participated in::

  • Rome Symphony Orchestra
  • Ira as past president.
  • Libby with “Symphony Supper” series.
  • Hosted “President’s Luncheons” for Rome Symphony debutantes.
  • Honored by the Georgia Trust For Historic Preservation.
  • Fairview E.S. Brown School project.
  • Darlington School’s “Rome Parents Program” for boarding students.
  • Renovation of residential & commercial bldgs., Between-The-Rivers Historic District.
  • Georgia Cities Foundation Renaissance Award for Forrest Hotel renovation.
  • Rome Shakespeare Festival.
  • Hosted members of the Moscow Children’s Theater during their stay in Rome.
  • Hosted delegates from Ueki-town, Japan during Rome’s City-to-City Exchange.

Ira’s additional activities:

  • Leadership Rome
  • Past president, Rodeph Shalom Congregation.
  • Rome Floyd Chamber of Commerce
  • Past member of Exchange and Rotary Clubs.
  • Former board member DeSoto Theater Foundation.
  • Sports teams sponsor.
  • Spaghetti Suppers for Angel Express.
  • Past Chairman of Georgia Trust For Historic Preservation.
  • Emeritus board member of Georgia Trust For Historic Preservation.

Libby’s additional activities:

  • Past president Camellia Garden Club.
  • Friendship Force’s Georgia to Georgia Exchange in 1990.
  • Independently collected and took relief to Georgia for many years.
  • Designed the logos for Rome Federation of Garden Clubs & Symphony Debutantes.
  • Former board member Rome History Museum.
  • New Romans.
  • Volunteered time, art, food and design work for many Rome organizations’ fundraisers.

Ira and Libby have three children: Sam, Ben and Liz.

Nominated by Shane Walley, who says, ”From a very young age, I have seen firsthand the love, generosity and devotion Ira and Libby have displayed toward Rome and its citizens. I am extremely proud they are being honored by the Heart of the Community. I can’t think of a more  deserving couple.”

Stephanie McElhone, 2018 HOC Award Recipient

Stephanie grew up in Alexandria, Va.  She received her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and her MBA from the University of Alabama.

Her community involvement:

  • Mary’s Catholic Church – Finance Committee, Vision & Mission Committee, Endowment Committee
  • Mary’s Catholic School – Auction Gala Co-Chair, Endowment Committee, School Advisory Board,    Capital Campaign Team Member, Middle School Cross Country Coach
  • YMCA – Outreach Feeding Program -Advocate, Endowment Committee, Volunteer for Community Events
  • Three Rivers Swim Club – Board Member
  • Rome Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth – Board Member
  • Rome High School  – Cochair Run with the Wolves 5k Fundraiser
  • Restoration Rome – Community Engagement Volunteer
  • Rome Symphony Debutante Ball – Volunteer
  • Rome Area History Museum  – Volunteer
  • Georgia Women of Achievement – Volunteer
  • Paradise Garden in Summerville, GA – Volunteer
  • Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind  – Volunteer

Stephanie is married to Dr. P.J. McElhone, an anesthesiologist at Redmond Regional Medical Center.  They have two children, Brennan and Peyton.

Nominators of Stephanie said: “Stephanie has improved the lives of countless young people in the community.  Stephanie has fully dedicated herself to every volunteer position she has ever had.  She does what is expected and then she does way more.”

Mike Burnes, 2018 HOC Award Recipient


Mike graduated from Rome High School in 1969 and the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973. He served seven years in active Navy and 23 years in Navy Reserve.  He retired as a Navy captain in 2003.

His community Involvement:

  • Rome Tennis Club/Coosa Valley Tennis Association where he has served as Treasurer, President-elect, President and Board member
  • Co- Coordinator of volunteers for the Atlantic Coast Conference Tennis Championship
  • Steering committee –Rome Tennis Center
  • Volunteer recruiter for Naval Academy as a Blue & Gold Officer
  • Served under U.S. Senator, Saxby Chambliss, Congressman Phil Gingrey and  Congressman
    Tom Graves on Military Academy selection Boards. Chairman of Congressman Graves’ Board
  • Board member of Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Past Chairman of Board
  • Board member of Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation
  • 2017 SPLOST Committee

Mike and his wife, Cynthia have four married children and six grandchildren.

Nominated by Bill Thornton. Bill says “There is never a job too big or too small for Mike. He is always ready to serve behind the scenes in any capacity for as long as needed or as the person in charge”.

2018 Heart of the Community Award Recipients

On Saturday, February 17, 2018, ten of Rome’s “unsung” heroes will be honored at the Heart of the Community Awards of Honor gala called An Affair of the Heart.  For 31 years, Redmond Regional Medical Center has sponsored these awards to recognize and honor individuals whose commitment through volunteer service has made this community a better place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Our 2018 recipients include:  Libby and Ira Levy, Board of Governors Award, Jay Shell, Young Heart Award , Elm Street Elementary School, Business Award and Awards of Honor Recipients,  Mike Burnes, Stephanie McElhone, Annette Morris, Lenora Santoro, Charles Smith and Scott Smith.


Tickets for the event are available for purchase here: PURCHASE TICKETS or by calling Wanda J.  Whitten at 706-802-3924.


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