Columbus Announces 2020 Shellabarger Illuminator Award Recipient
OH] An icon in the Columbus LGBTQ community, Letha Pugh was named the 2020 Steven Shellabarger
Illuminator Award recipient for her
outstanding service and activism in Columbus. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and City
Council President Shannon G. Hardin will virtually present the honor during the
virtual City Hall Pride Illumination on Monday, June 15.
The Steven Shellabarger Illuminator Award recognizes an individual within the Columbus community who has
demonstrated outstanding initiative by promoting LGBTQ rights, and creating a
more inclusive Columbus.
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Pugh blazed a path of
equity, equality and entrepreneurship since her 2001 move to Columbus. Focusing
on improving the lives of residents, she co-founded "Black, Out and
Proud" (BOP) Collective that promotes pride among the black LGBTQ
community. The mission is to provide advocacy, education and inspiration to
those in Columbus who need assistance.
After witnessing the lack of food and resources among service
workers, Pugh co-founded Service, with the primary goal of alleviating hunger
within the service industry in Franklin County by soliciting, collecting and
preparing food for distribution. Pugh is also the owner of Bake Me Happy with
her wife. The gluten-free bakery located in Merion Village is focused on
bringing awareness to food allergens and its impact on overall health. Again,
the mission is empowerment, this time one cookie, scone, or snack cake at a