Gift announced during Cleveland Browns ‘Salute to Service’ game vs. Detroit; CCM hosts Soviak family members, coach and teammates for gameday ceremony
Cleveland, Ohio | Nov. 21, 2021 — Cleveland-based CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM) today donated $100,000 to Milan (Ohio) Edison High School in memory of U.S. Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, a 2017 Edison graduate who died while assisting in the evacuation of Americans and refugees from Afghanistan in August. The gift was announced during an on-field ceremony at today’s Cleveland Browns “Salute to Service” game against the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Soviak, one of 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, grew up in Berlin Heights, Ohio, and was a member of the Edison Chargers football, wrestling and track teams. He joined the Navy after graduating in 2017.
The 22-year-old corpsman died while providing medical assistance to a mother and child during Operation Allies Refuge, the U.S. military operation that evacuated more than 120,000 non-combatants in the closing days of the war in Afghanistan. In recognition of his sacrifice, Soviak was posthumously awarded the Navy Purple Heart and Fleet Marine Corpsman warfare badge and his rank was advanced to U.S. Navy Fleet Marine Hospital Corpsman Third Class. He is survived by his parents, Kip and Rachel Soviak, and 12 siblings.
During today’s ceremony, CCM Chief Brand Officer Laura Soave presented a $100,000 check to Kip Soviak and Edison High School Football Coach Jim Hall. The gift will be used for enhancements to the school’s athletic facilities in Maxton’s honor.
Nearly 50 current and former members of the Chargers football program viewed the ceremony and game from the CrossCountry Mortgage Landing overlooking the Dawg Pound.
"We hope today’s ceremony and our donation to Edison High School will call attention to Max and the many other brave young citizens of Northern Ohio who each year join the military to help preserve our freedom and protect the safety of others around the world,” said CrossCountry Mortgage Founder and CEO Ronald Leonhardt Jr.
“Max grew up in Ohio, he attended school here and he was a cherished family member, friend, neighbor, teammate and leader. We are proud to celebrate his life and honor the sacrifice he made for all of us.”
“(This) will be a constant reminder of Max and the sacrifice that he made, and it’s going to give an opportunity to share with players what this represents – how important it is that we continue to do things in a way that would make him proud,” said Chargers Coach Jim Hall.
Soviak was laid to rest September 13 in Erie County following a funeral at the high school stadium in which he had been a standout player. During the service, his sister Kathleen urged attendees to live as her brother had: “Fill the book of your life with stories. Push yourself to do something that scares you. Go bigger. Go harder. And most importantly of all, love fiercely.”
Family and friends have established the Max Soviak Memorial Fund. Contributions can be made at any Civista Bank, or checks, payable to the Max Soviak Memorial Fund, can be mailed to Civista Bank, 24 E. Main St., Berlin Heights, OH 44814.
ABOUT CROSSCOUNTRY MORTGAGE
CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC is a top 10 retail mortgage lender in America, founded in 2003 by CEO Ronald J. Leonhardt, Jr. The company has more than 6,000 employees and licenses in all 50 states. A direct lender and approved seller and servicer by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, CCM offers a broad portfolio of home purchase and refinance programs ranging from conventional and jumbo mortgages to government-insured programs for Veterans and rural homebuyers. Additional options include down payment assistance, home equity products, and expedited closing programs. CrossCountry Mortgage is on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies and a recipient of several other local and national awards for sales and growth. For more information, please visit crosscountrymortgage.com.
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