Leona Mae Shorter McCottry Award


Leona McCottry was born to Isaiah & Elizabeth Shorter in Atlanta, Georgia. She was one of 13 children reared in a small town in Northeast Ohio. Throughout her life, she displayed a strong work ethic, belief in education, benevolence and modesty and encouraged these values in everyone she met including her five children and many grandchildren among others that she raised.

Mrs. McCottry was an English Major, who frequently taught wit and witticisms to her children at home and to members of her community. She was a pillar in her community and beyond as an advocate for education and an inspiration in challenging hundreds of children to come to know and believe in themselves and to respect others.

The life of Mrs. McCottry reflected her family motto:
“If a task has once begun, never leave it till it’s done, be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”
Mrs. McCottry lived by this motto and sought to improve the education of everyone on a daily basis.

Mrs. McCottry was more than a philanthropist. With the help of the Indian River Fruit Company, Mrs. McCottry generated well over $100,000.00 in educational assistance to low-income families and communities that they would never have otherwise been able to afford.

The Leona Mae Shorter McCottry award recognizes organizations within the United States' whose lifetime of service work reflects Mrs. McCottry's own lifelong commitment to service. This award recognizes not only organizations who have continuously performed outstanding service and achievement in their communities, but also those who, though their great work, inspire children to educational excellence, teaches a strong work ethic, and fosters love in their community through philanthropy and benevolence.

Annually, the McCottry Foundation recognizes one non-profit whose work today honors Ms. McCcottry's memory.

Leona M. McCottry


Lifetime Achievement Honoree