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Cominsky builds foundation of payback

John Cominsky presents a $5,000 check to Barberton Community Ministries director Dorothy Sommerville, attended by BACM board member Dave Stephens, Cominsky’s wife, Brittany, and their 1-year-old daughter, Emersyn.

Gazette Staff Writer

A kid who left home to make good came home again to do good.

Detroit Lions defensive end John Cominsky was in town July 18 to give Barberton Area Community Ministries a check for $5,000 from his Cominsky Family Foundation, the largest
gift yet from his namesake charity.

After a photo op with the ceremonial oversized check, Cominsky sat down for a brief press availability to explain both his foundation and his motivations.

Cominsky, a 2014 graduate of Barberton High School, where he was a Magics gridiron standout, said he fired up the foundation in 2021 out of gratitude to the teachers, coaches
and other Barberton adults who helped shape him.

“I’d been running football camps since 2019 and I started the foundation to help more kids attend camp,” Cominsky said.

Having grown up around struggling families and enduring a couple hard years himself as a youth, he said he understood some kids have trouble scraping together camp fees. Since the
foundation launched, Cominsky’s football camps have been free of charge for all youth.

“From there, we wanted to branch out to help other sports programs,” Cominsky said. “Then I wanted to do more and food was an obvious choice.”

Cominsky said the foundation’s coffers, fed by various fundraisers (including a popular cornhole tournament), had grown to the point it was time to make a significant donation. Learning about BACM in a Rotary meeting, he thought it a perfect recipient.

Cominsky’s Magic City ties are strong. His wife is also a BHS alumna and they live in town with their 1-year-old daughter during the NFL off-season. Although he’s bought property in another town about 30 miles away, he said he is looking for opportunities to stay connected to his hometown.

“I’d love to sit on this (BACM) board,” he said. “Kiwanis membership would be great. Something to keep me coming back.”

Done talking to the press, Cominsky and his wife helped pass out that day’s grocery distribution.

If anyone wants to help the Cominsky Family Foundation, look for their Facebook or Instagram pages or log onto

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