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Rineharts receive second Stephen W. Zelkowitz Memorial Award

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (December 15, 2022) — The Food For The Hungry Board of Directors recognized Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Joe and Marcy (’91) Rinehart for the second time as the recipients of the Stephen W. Zelkowitz Memorial Award, during the FFTH live broadcast on Dec. 9.

The award is given each year to a citizen of Knox County who exemplifies the spirit of community service, especially in regard to Food For The Hungry. Zelkowitz was the former president and general manager of Mount Vernon Broadcasting and president of Mount Vernon Cablevision. As a community leader in various charitable events, Stephen led the FFTH initiative in Knox County along with Charlie Kilkenny. The award is sponsored by MVNU; however, recipients are selected by the Food For The Hungry Board of Directors.

“The nominating committee could think of no other person or couple who deserved the award more,” said Austin Swallow, Interim FFTH President. “Joe and Marcy have been the gas to the FFTH engine for 30 years, giving of their time, energy and passion. Marcy, as on-air host and off-air organizer extraordinaire, and Joe, behind the scenes directing the broadcasts, have set an example for us all. Over the years, countless MVNU students have volunteered to stay after fall finals were over to assist in the production and learn first-hand how broadcasting truly works. Joe and Marcy are the first two-time winners of this award (also in 2003), signaling both their longevity but more importantly, their belief in sharing kindness and generosity.”

Joe, Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Communication, has been involved in FFTH since 1991, when he started working for WMVO. He and Marcy met that fall and worked together that year to record video interviews around Knox County on drive day. Joe joined the FFTH board starting in 1997, stayed involved after joining MVNU in 2005, became board president in 2008 and served in that role until 2017, serving as past-president in 2018. He is currently an at-large board member. He has co-hosted parts of the broadcast but also worked mostly behind the scenes on the audio and video side.

Marcy, WNZR Station Manager, has been involved in FFTH since her senior year at MVNU in 1990 with WNZR. She coordinated the event for WMVO in her job as Promotions Director starting in 1993 until returning to MVNU in 1996 and continued as co-host and serving on the board. Marcy has co-produced the FFTH broadcast since then, organizing guests and working alongside FFTH directors in promoting the event. She served as board vice-president and currently serves as broadcast committee chair.

“Joe and Marcy Rinehart, thank you for everything that you do to make Food For The Hungry what it’s supposed to be — working together to care for our neighbors,” said the couple’s daughter, Rachel (’20), who announced the award recipients via video from Florida. “I am so honored to be a part of your legacy. The legacy that’s not just me as your child, but every single student that has come through WNZR or the MVNU video team have been a part of your legacy at Food For The Hungry. You have impacted so many lives and sometimes, you don’t even get a thank you. So, let me be the one to say ‘thank you’ for doing what God has called you to do and for impacting so many people while you are doing it.

Throughout their involvement with the drive, FFTH has raised over $5 million that has assisted our neighbors within Knox County.

For more about FFTH, visit

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to nearly 2,000 students from 25 states and 11 foreign countries.