Local involvement leads to honoring Sandi Levell with Civic Achievement Award

Marianne Gillespie
mgillespie@timestoday.com
Sandi Levell, left, receives the Civic Achievement Award Saturday night at the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce banquet from Mayor Doug Crew. It is the highest award given by the city.

Sandi Levell was lured to the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce banquet under false pretenses, and the shocked look on her face when Mayor Doug Crew called her to the front of the room as the Civic Achievement Award recipient made for a good surprise.

She was not planning on attending the banquet Saturday night as she had other plans. But once she was told by numerous officials that Alderman Mike Hughes was receiving the award, she decided she needed to attend to support her friend.

Levell clearly had no idea what was in store for her that night, but she did not have to wait long as Crew called her up to the podium first, rather than telling about her. As he said it, there would be no suspense as he listed her many accomplishments.

She may have summed it up best for her long list of activities.

“I am a hands-on person. I like to do most everything,” Levell told the crowd.

Levell has owned The Hair Company for more than 30 years, and one of her many endeavors includes the Hair Company Kids, who dance for various functions and assist in raising funds for non-profit entities. She makes sure that all the Hair Company Kids get the dance lessons they need and have outfits for appearances and competitions, regardless of their economic status.

Children tug at her heart strings, which is evidenced not only by her efforts with the Hair Company Kids, but also doing essentially anything that benefits children. She has run the children’s pageants during Claud-Elen Days for years. She also is a Chillicothe Optimist Club member.

She shook her head throughout Crew telling about her many activities, but her humbleness extended into her activities with adults, too.

She served on the Chillicothe City Council for four years, and ended with a run for mayor against Crew and former Mayor Don White.

She also found time to help beautify city areas with the Shademakers Beautification Board, including planting flowers and painting at city stage in City Park, Eagle Landing and the playground renovations at Cutright Park.  

When the weather finally turns warmer, residents may see some of her handiwork downtown in the city planters as knockout roses should make an appearance.

She also has been a member of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce for years and served in various capacities. Levell also keeps busy with volunteering her time at Three Sisters Park.

The Civic Achievement Award is given annually at the chamber banquet. It is supposed to be a surprise for the winner — individual(s) of the business community who “step out and perform a measure of service that exemplifies quality of civic pride and responsibility,” according to award criteria.

“Involved” may be another word to describe Levell’s volunteerism.

“For as long as I’ve known Sandi — and I’ve known her for years, including cutting my hair — she’s been involved, not only in business, but she has continued to be part of the community,” Crew said.