31st Annual Golf Outing a Success!

Many thanks to the 104 golfers who supported the Youth Challenge 2019 Golf Outing on June 24 at Avon Oaks Country Club.  The event raised more than $25,000 that will directly help fund YC’s free, year-round adapted sports programs like basketball, swimming, Paralympic sports, and so much more.

Thank you to the following individuals and corporations for supporting the golf outing:

Presenting Sponsors

First Federal Lakewood

Scott & Julie Mawaka

Oatey Foundation

Corporate Sponsors

Automotive Specialty Services

WTWH Media, LLC

Lunch Sponsor

Jason and Mary Pence Family Charitable Fund

Bar Sponsors

Armada Rick Partners

BakerHostetler

Underwriting Sponsor

Don’s Lighthouse

Putting Contest Sponsor

GPI Design

Hole in One Contest Sponsor

Stalex Engineered Products

Hole Sponsors

All Pro Recruiting

The Bova Family

Brouse McDowell, LPA

Tom and Mary Carney

CHEMRES

Company Family Dental Associates

EY

Debbie and Steve Gratto Family

Game Plan Financial LLC

George and Joyce Haddad Family

Darren and Leslie Hilliard

Hylant

In Memory of Mike Del Pizzo

The Krueger Group

Dan Lease

The Nock and Son Company

Jason Pence – Charles Schwab, Inc.

Protiviti

Rainbow Babies & Children’s Orthopedics

RL Wurz

Rowland Connelly Joyce & Associates Inc. CPA’s

Saint Martin De Porres High School

Team Kasler

Teamsters Local 507

Thrive Westshore LLC

Total  Benefits Advisors

Trinity Specialties Compounding

UBS Financial – Larry Bricmont

UBS Wealth Management – Cox/Murman Group

Venture Plastics

Washington Mills

Thank you to the following prize donors:

First Federal Lakewood

The Pullar Family

George Soos

Don’s Lighthouse

The Nock and Son Co.

Special thanks to 2019 Golf Outing Chairs Tom McIntyre, Steve Nock, and John Petersen.

Youth Challenge is grateful to our donors and volunteers for making this event possible.

Click here to see photos of the golf outing.

“Party in Paradise” raises funds for Youth Challenge

Cleveland isn’t known for its tropical climate in the spring, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming at the Youth Challenge Annual Benefit & Auction on Saturday, April 13.  Close to 300 guests gathered at Ariel International Center in Cleveland to “Party in Paradise” and support YC.

Guests decked out in leis and Hawaiian garb, enjoyed a fun evening with cocktails, live steel drum music, delicious food from Italian Creations, fabulous silent auction items, and a Hawaiian vacation raffle.

Supporters helped raise almost $200,000 to fund free adapted programs for children with physical disabilities and their teen volunteer partners. This support allows Youth Challenge to reach hundreds of children in the Greater Cleveland community, providing them with opportunities to play sports, make friends, and embrace their unique abilities.

Youth Challenge Advisory Board member Ernie Vargo was the Honorary Event Chair.  Event Co-chairs were YC Trustees Dr. Chris Hardesty and Justin Thomas.  YC Trustee Marcia Obrock and Mike Zablotney served as Auction Co-Chairs.

Thank you to the Auction Committee:  Lori Coticchia, Sharon Douglas, Lauren Ferritto, Jennifer O’Reilly, Tim Rose, Christy Svagerko and Melissa Thurstone.  Many thanks to the YC Board of Trustee teams who work together to acquire some of the Silent Auction VIP packages.  We are grateful to the many volunteers who helped make the event a success!

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

PLATINUM PLUS
BakerHostetler
First Federal Lakewood
Oatey Co.

GOLD
MAI Capital Management, LLC
Julie and Scott Mawaka
Stacy and Steve Nock
The Nock and Son Company
Nordson Corporation
The Sherwin-Williams Company

SILVER
Brouse McDowell
Cohen & Company
The Coticchia Family
First National Bank
Frantz Ward LLP
Dr. Chris Hardesty and Dustin Applegate
Mike’s Kids
Ownership Advisors, Inc.
Protiviti
Ryan Wealth Management Group
–Kevin Ryan and John Ryan
ShurTech Brands, LLC
Smart Business
Tucker Ellis LLP
Mary Lu and George Wasmer (2)
WTWH Media

“CARE, BUT CAN’T BE THERE”
The following give their generous support:
Gary Brahler
Henkel Corporation
Kaufman Container Company
Mazella Companies
R.W. Beckett Corp.
Mark and Stephanie Summers Family
Swagelok Foundation
TMC Employee Benefits Group
Total Benefits Advisors
Vitamix

VALET UNDERWRITING
Brunswick Auto Mart

MOBILE BIDDING PARTIAL UNDERWRITER
Hyland Software, Inc.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE DONATION
Mitchell’s Ice Cream

BAR SPONSOR
Brown-Forman

See photos here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/YouthChallengeSports/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157018660289070https://www.facebook.com/pg/YouthChallengeSports/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157018660289070https://www.facebook.com/pg/YouthChallengeSports/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10157018660289070

 

Youth Challenge Receives $30,000 KidCents Regional Grant

Youth Challenge has been awarded a $30,000 KidCents Regional Grant to provide adapted sports and recreational programs for young people with physical disabilities.

“We are thrilled to have the support of The Rite Aid Foundation,” said Chris Garr, Youth Challenge’s Chief Executive Officer. “It will help us provide a great variety of activities that empower young people with disabilities to increase their overall health and well-being, build self-confidence, and have fun.”

This grant will help Youth Challenge provide hundreds of after-school and summer programs. These adapted activities are specially designed for individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, hearing and visual impairments, among other disabilities. At each program, participants are paired with teen volunteers who help them to adapt and complete each activity. The teen volunteers are specially trained by Youth Challenge to help their partner. Whether they need help with kicking a soccer ball, shooting a basket, or learning to dance, the participant and volunteer partners work together to make sure everyone is part of the activity.

The KidCents Regional Grant Program, which provides grants of $15,000-$30,000, significantly expands the reach of KidCents by funding specific out-of-school-time programs focused on children’s nutrition, physical fitness and academic success. The KidCents program also annually supports a select group of more than 400 nonprofit, kid-focused organizations committed to improving the health and wellbeing of children living in the communities Rite Aid serves and national organizations focused on critical children’s issues, including The Fred Rogers Company, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Folds of Honor.

“We created the KidCents program to ensure that kids have a chance for better lives and brighter futures,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “With the introduction of the KidCents Regional Grant program, we are expanding our efforts even more while filling a need for valuable out-of-school-time programming. In addition, we are enabling our partner nonprofit organizations to implement innovative, ground-breaking programs that advance children’s health and wellbeing and promote academic growth.”

KidCents Regional Grants support nonprofit organizations with programs that serve children, from newborn to 18 years of age, and improve the quality of life in Rite Aid communities. The grants support three of KidCents’ primary focus areas for improving the health and wellbeing of children: healthy eating, active living and education. To be considered, programs and projects were required to take place during out-of-school-time. Priority was given to programs supporting communities in need.

The inaugural cycle of grants launched in May 2018 and was available in select counties in the following states: California, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. Another cycle of KidCents Regional Grants will launch later this year. To learn more about the program visit riteaid.com/grants.

Youth Challenge provides adapted sports and recreational opportunities to young people with physical disabilities. Trained teen volunteers are paired one-on-one with participants to play sports, make friends and have fun. YC serves children throughout Northeast Ohio and has offices in Westlake and Shaker Heights. All programs and transportation are free for participant families.

Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to one of more than 400 nonprofit organizations focused on improving the health and wellbeing of children. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.

Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $50 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $87 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2018 annual revenues of $21.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

Youth Challenge Announces Leadership Transition

The Youth Challenge (YC) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher J. Garr as CEO, effective February 4, 2019.  Garr replaces Founder and Executive Director, Mary Sue Tanis, who is transitioning into a new role as Director of Planned Giving. The announcement follows an 18-month search conducted by the Youth Challenge Board of Trustees and members of the Board of Advisors.

As YC’s long-time Director of Program Services, Garr brings years of experience in leadership, adapted sports, and inclusion for people with physical disabilities.  Garr believes that adapted sports and art, with a focus on fun and friendship, is a conduit for participants and volunteers alike, to become leaders, advocates, stewards, and innovators in the field of human dignity. Prior to his time at Youth Challenge, Garr taught high school Social Studies and English. He got his start at YC as a volunteer in middle school.

“I’ve held a deep passion for YC since first volunteering at the age of 12,” said Garr. “What started in 1976 with a handful of children and awareness of the need for inclusion in all forms of play, is now a reality—Youth Challenge is the recognized leader in Northeast Ohio for enriching the lives of young people of all abilities. I am proud to serve our families in this new capacity, alongside a staff of dedicated and caring professionals.”

For Tanis, who founded Youth Challenge in 1976, her commitment to community service is at the core of everything she has accomplished as a nonprofit leader for over 40 years.  She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the need for active sports and peer-to-peer socialization for the children and young adults with physical disabilities in the Cleveland area.   Her unique vision also saw the need for teen volunteers to get involved, one-on-one, with their physically disabled peers to learn and grow.

“I look forward to shifting from my role of 42 years as Executive Director to a new post, Director of Planned Giving, and serving YC in a whole new way,” said Tanis.  “With countless opportunities ahead for these amazing children and teens, I am extremely happy to be able to play a role in securing our mission going forward.”

Every holiday celebrated at this year’s Holiday Show

Have you ever wondered how the North Pole celebrates the other holidays besides Christmas?  Well, Mrs. Clause is setting off firecrackers on the 4th of July, the Grinch is handing out tricks and treats for Halloween, and some lucky lads are visiting Santa’s workshop on St. Paddy’s Day.  That was the premise for this year’s annual Holiday Show, a unique production written, directed, choreographed and produced by the YC gang.

For nine weeks this fall, the participants and volunteers in the Dance & Drama program worked tirelessly to create and rehearse the show. The live production was a hit when they performed it on Saturday, December 8 at the Magnificat High School Performing Arts Center.

The show also honored YC’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year, Chris Carney.  Chris has been a part of Team YC for over 20 years as a Trustee, President of the Board, and a dedicated supporter.

Mary Sue Tanis, YC’s Founder & Executive Director, was recognized for her vision and commitment to young people of all abilities for the past 42 years.  Mary Sue is transitioning into a new role, Director of Planned Giving, beginning in January.  Following a moving video tribute, participants, volunteers, staff and Trustees bombarded Mary Sue with flowers.

Thank you to Ed Gallagher and Sarah Clare from the Beck Center for their assistance, expertise, and direction of the Holiday Show.

YC’s Dance & Drama program is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and from a grant from the Cyrus Eaton Foundation.

See photos of the Holiday Show here.

The Rite Aid Foundation Donates $5,000 to YC

In celebration of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media, Youth Challenge has received a $5,000 grant as part of the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program. The grant will be used to give young people opportunities to be able to participate in adapted sports.

“We are proud to be a part of the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program,” said, Chris Garr, Director of Program Services. “This #GivingTuesday, and every day, The Rite Aid Foundation’s support helps us to continue improving the lives of children in our community.”

The Rite Aid Foundation is awarding a total of $2.2 million through its KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program. This special program has been created to help the more than 440 KidCents charities across the country advance their efforts to improve the health, safety, and well-being of children.

“#GivingTuesday is a global celebration of giving, and on this day, we wanted to recognize our KidCents charities for all they do to make a positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “Through the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program, we want to recognize and support organizations that are focused on giving all year round. We thank all our KidCents charity partners for helping to give kids better lives and brighter futures.”

Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to one of more than 440 nonprofit organizations focused on improving the health and well-being of children. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.

Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $36 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners, and associates, has also raised more than $87 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.

Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2018 annual revenues of $21.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

 

 

Youth Challenge Hosts Wheelchair Basketball Documentary

A different kind of film festival has come to Cleveland!  ReelAbilities Film Festival (RAFF) is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. Cleveland will proudly host four film screenings and programs this fall.  All film screenings and programs are free and open to the public.

Youth Challenge will host “The Rebound: A Wheelchair Basketball Documentary” on October 18, 6:00—8:30 p.m. at 800 Sharon Dr., in Westlake.   “The Rebound” is an award-winning documentary following the underdog journey of the Miami Heat Wheels wheelchair basketball team in their quest for a national championship.

The public is invited to be part of an adapted basketball clinic before the film from 5:00–6:00 p.m. Following the film, Team USA and Team YC representatives Breanna Sprenger (swimming) and Nelya Schasfoort (track and field) will discuss their respective athletic journeys.

The film is subtitled, CART will be provided, service animals are welcome, parking is free and YC is wheelchair accessible. To request other accommodations contact cle.reelabilities@gmail.com.

“YC is extremely proud to sponsor “The Rebound” as a ReelAbilities partner,” said Chris Garr, Youth Challenge Director of Program Services. “Any time we can promote an active lifestyle and the benefits of inclusive and adaptive sport, we all win!”

Founded in New York in 2007, RAFF presents award-winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.  For more information, visit https://reelabilities.org/cleveland/.

Superheroes invade Lakewood Park

Superhero capes were blowing the breeze last weekend when a mass of caped crusaders raced around the streets of Lakewood.

Over 200 runners, walkers and rollers (participants in wheelchairs and hand cycles) and volunteers helped raise funds for children with physical disabilities in the Youth Challenge Superhero Dash.  The 33rd Annual Race Day took place on Saturday, September 22, at Lakewood Park. The event was dedicated in memory of Dave Hardman, former President of the Youth Challenge Board of Trustees.

Runners along with Youth Challenge families and friends—many dressed as Superheroes—ran, walked, or rolled in the 5K and 1 Mile Walk/Roll.  Over $17,000 was raised to support the free programs Youth Challenge offers to hundreds of young people in Northeast Ohio.

Longtime supporters Linda and Doug Hardman were major sponsors of the Superhero Dash, along with new sponsor Invacare/Top End.  A group from Invacare brought products from their Top End Wheelchair brand for the YC kids to try out.  Invacare also provided Superhero capes and masks, a crew to diagnose and fix wheelchairs, and a photographer and backdrop to capture all of the fun.

Overall, Invacare/Top End donated about $10,000 worth of equipment at the event.  Jonathan Miller, Senior Director, Custom Manual & Seating, at Invacare Corporation presented a Top End XLT Handcycle to Alex Martinez, the winner in the handcycle division of the race. Then he surprised the crowd with a donation to Youth Challenge of three more handcycles (watch video here.)

“Race Day is a fun event for the community, our participants and volunteers and their families,” said Ken Kasler, Youth Challenge Chief of Operations & Program Oversight.  “We’re very thankful to all of our sponsors and supporters of the Superhero Dash.”

Volunteer groups from Gallagher Benefit Services, Cleveland Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and YP4YC (the Youth Challenge Young Professional group) and other community volunteers pitched in to help make Race Day #33 a great success.

Click here to see photos of the Superhero Dash.

Click here to see race results.

Links to other articles

https://www.cleveland.com/sunpostherald/index.ssf/2018/09/post_110.html

https://lakewoodobserver.com/read/2018/09/04/run-with-the-superheroes-at-lakewood-park

30th Annual Golf Outing a Success!

Many thanks to the 114 golfers who supported the Youth Challenge 2018 Golf Outing on June 25 at Avon Oaks Country Club. The event raised more than $25,000 that will directly help fund YC’s free, year-round adapted sports programs like basketball, swimming, Paralympic sports, and so much more.
Thank you to the following individuals and corporations for supporting the golf outing:

Presenting Sponsors
First Federal Lakewood
Scott & Julie Mawaka

Corporate Sponsors
BakerHostetler
Oatey Foundation

Lunch Sponsors
Automotive Specialty Services
Jason Pence, CFP, CWS
Cox-Murman Group, UBS Financial Services
Sibling Revelry Brewery
Thornhill Financial, Inc.

Underwriting Sponsors
Barb and Charlie Koch
Rheem Manufacturing Company
Sheetz
Stalex

Chipping Contest Sponsor
GPI Design
Hole in One Contest Sponsor
Nissan of North Olmsted/I-90 Nissan
Hole Sponsors
Kelly Akin & Ally Eberlein
Armada Risk Partners
Bromfield Café
Brouse McDowell, LPA
Jason Pence – Charles Schwab, Inc.
Cohen & Co.
The Coticchia Family
EY
Friends Helping Friends
Furrer & Associates
Gallagher Benefit Services
H&D Steel Service, Inc.
Harbor Communications
Darren and Leslie Hilliard
Huntington National Bank
Hylant
The Nock and Son Company
Protiviti
Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Saint Martin De Porres High School
Sheetz
School of Rock-Cleveland
Sixmo Inc.
Teamsters Local 507 CER Fund
Thrive Westshore
TMC Employee Benefits Group
Total Benefits Advisors
Trinity Specialty Compounding, Inc.
Ken and Beth Yaugher
YP4YC

Thank you to the following prize donors:
Costco
GolfTec
Minnotti’s – Fairview Park

Special thanks to 2018 Golf Outing Chairs Darren Hilliard, Tom McIntyre, Steve Nock, John Petersen, and Mike Zablotney.

Youth Challenge is grateful to our donors and volunteers for making this event possible.
Click here to see photos of the golf outing.

Shoremen Soccer Players Team Up with Youth Challenge

On Thursday, June 28th, the Avon Lake High School Boys Soccer Team and participants and volunteers from Youth Challenge joined together to celebrate the Paralympics!

Youth Challenge not only provides adapted sports and recreational opportunities to young people with physical disabilities and their teen volunteer partners but the U.S. Paralympics, a division of the National Olympic Committee, designated YC as Paralympic Sport Cleveland.

Four YC Teams—The Vipers, Betty White Killer Clown Memes, Three Pointers, and Nacho but Fantastic Bears—competed at Avon Lake Memorial Field throughout the day in various Paralympic events including tennis, basketball, track & field, and (of course) soccer.  Each team was led by YC staff members and 2 captains from the ALHS soccer team.  Activities were facilitated by ALHS soccer players who explained rules, kept score, and cheered on YC participants.  Youth Challenge teen volunteers worked hands-on to help each participant adapt each sport and served as friends, mentors, and coaches in the process.  Over 80 children and teens of all abilities were present for the fun-filled day of competition.

“Putting on an event like this was truly special, not only for the participants but for our program as well,” said senior team captain Andrew Jacobson. “Thank you to Youth Challenge for allowing us to host this event. The Avon Lake Shoremen soccer program is proud to have worked with such an outstanding group of people.”

Paralympic Day ended with a soccer match where all 4 YC teams and the Avon Lake High School soccer players took the field to score on each other’s goals.  After all points were totaled, the Three Pointers were announced as the winners and each member received a gold medal prize!

“We were thrilled to have the Shoremen partner with YC,” said Sarah Perez-Stable, Director of Volunteer Services at YC.  “It was great to see these athletes come alive in sharing their love of soccer with our participants and volunteers and we hope to work with the team again soon.”


Youth Challenge participants, volunteers and members of the Shoremen Soccer team get ready to compete at Avon Lake Memorial Field for Paralympic Day.

Over 80 children and teens of all abilities were present for the fun-filled day of competition at Paralympic Day at Avon Lake Memorial Field.

Alumni Spotlight: Bridget Barry

Bridget Lauren

By: Margaret Biehl, YC Intern

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Ages Involved in YC: 12-20

Bridget first heard about Youth Challenge in 7th grade after her teacher invited Sarah Perez-Stable to speak to her class about YC which sounded like a fun opportunity to Bridget. She proceeded to sign up for her first program that fall as a volunteer choosing the Dance and Drama program which she enjoyed so much that she signed up for more programs during the spring season.

Bridget continued to volunteer at YC throughout high school and get more involved. She even interned with the Board of Trustees and served as President of the YC Volunteer Committee. Bridget also contributed her time and service assisting with YC benefits and fundraisers. She credits YC for some of her fondest memories and a passion for service.

Bridget found that her experience volunteering at YC taught her about leadship skills and how to be an advocate for others, qualities that she finds valuable in her career working as a nurse. Other lessons she says she learned through her experience at YC include, sometimes letting loose and having fun is alright, which she witnessed through participants, and that it’s always important to give 110% of yourself and what you believe in, which she learned from the YC staff.

Bridget has found that YC has shaped her into the nurse she is today by teaching her about adaptability and flexibility and lastly, what it truly means to serve others. She encourages others to get involved in YC in any way they can as any encounter you have with the organization will definitely have an impact on you, one which will remain with you the rest of your life.

Alumni Spotlight: Sara Steimle

By: Margaret Biehl, YC Intern

Hometown: Parma

Years involved in YC: Age 5-present

Sara Steimle first joined Youth Challenge as a participant at age 5 after her physical therapist at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital referred her to the organization. Since getting involved in YC, Sara says she finds YC to be a place where everyone is excited to be friends with everyone and embrace everyone’s differences and similarities. She credits her experience with YC for gaining the ability to connect with people who are similar and different from her in everyday life.

Another thing that Sara discovered about YC is that any activity can be adapted to fit everyone’s individual needs. When she first started coming to YC programs, Sara says she was a shy little girl that cried every time her parents left her, but eventually YC evolved into a second home.

YC became a place where she could come to during the school year and summer and be herself. Today, Sara says she is a much more extroverted type of person and has gained the confidence to pursue things she used to think she was incapable of. For example, she chose to attend a college three hours away from home and to live on campus, something which she says would not have been something she’d ever do or think was possible.

Sara belives it is imoportant to get involved in YC because “it is like a big family where you can come and form friendships that will last a lifetime. YC also is a place where you can do things you never thought you could and in the process of doing that, have fun!”

25-Sara, Claire

 

30th Annual Golf Outing a Success!

Many thanks to the 114 golfers who supported the Youth Challenge 2018 Golf Outing on June 25 at Avon Oaks Country Club.  The event raised more than $25,000 that will directly help fund YC’s free, year-round adapted sports programs like basketball, swimming, Paralympic sports, and so much more.

Thank you to the following individuals and corporations for supporting the golf outing:

Presenting Sponsors
First Federal Lakewood
Scott & Julie Mawaka

Corporate Sponsors
BakerHostetler
Oatey Foundation

Lunch Sponsors
Automotive Specialty Services
Jason Pence, CFP, CWS
Cox-Murman Group, UBS Financial Services
Sibling Revelry Brewery
Thornhill Financial, Inc.

Underwriting Sponsors
Barb and Charlie Koch
Rheem Manufacturing Company
Sheetz
Stalex

Chipping Contest Sponsor
GPI Design

Hole in One Contest Sponsor
Nissan of North Olmsted/I-90 Nissan

Hole Sponsors
Kelly Akin & Ally Eberlein
Armada Risk Partners
Bromfield Café
Brouse McDowell, LPA
Jason Pence – Charles Schwab, Inc.
Cohen & Co.
The Coticchia Family
EY
Friends Helping Friends
Furrer & Associates
Gallagher Benefit Services
H&D Steel Service, Inc.
Harbor Communications
Darren and Leslie Hilliard
Huntington National Bank
Hylant
The Nock and Son Company
Protiviti
Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Saint Martin De Porres High School
Sheetz
School of Rock-Cleveland
Sixmo Inc.
Teamsters Local 507 CER Fund
Thrive Westshore
TMC Employee Benefits Group
Total Benefits Advisors
Trinity Specialty Compounding, Inc.
Ken and Beth Yaugher
YP4YC

Thank you to the following prize donors:
Costco
GolfTec
Minotti’s – Fairview Park

Special thanks to 2018 Golf Outing Chairs Darren Hilliard, Tom McIntyre, Steve Nock, John Petersen, and Mike Zablotney.

Youth Challenge is grateful to our donors and volunteers for making this event possible.

Click here to see photos of the golf outing.

YC Prom 2018

By: Margaret Biehl, YC intern

This past Thursday, June 21st, Youth Challenge participants, volunteers, and staff members gathered at YC for the YC prom dressed in their finest and craziest attire.

The YC building was decorated for a night Under the Y Sea.

The night included dinner consisting of chicken and pasta, dancing, karaoke, board games, a viewing of Shark week episodes, and a photobooth. Chris served as MC for the night and Gabby as DJ.Throughout the night all YC participants and volunteers had the opportunity to cast their vote for who would be crowned YC prom king and queen.  Participants Zaria and Blake won YC prom queen and king. Everyone had a blast.

During prom, I got a chance to chat with many YC partipants and volunteers about their experience with YC. Here is what some of them said:

YC participant Chris: “YC basically welcomed me with open arms…It has made me more confident in myself and provided me more independence than when I was younger.”

YC participant Alex B: “I can do stuff that I normally couldn’t do when I am at YC.”

YC participant Morgan B: “ I have gained more confidence fromm being involved in YC…I am really shy so being involved in YC has really made me feel like I can be myself.”

Looking forward to catching up with more YC people at other programs this summer!

Alumni Spotlight: Gabby Bova

11-Gabby

By: Margaret Biehl, YC Intern

Hometown: Avon, Ohio

Years involved in YC: Ages 5-18

Gabby Bova first became involved with Youth Challenge as a participant at age 5 after her occupational therapist referred her. By getting involved with YC it has strengthened Gabby’s ability to connect with people similar to her and form friendships that entail teaching and learning from one another. In addition, Gabby has gained an aptitude for confidence, determination, and courage to compete with and against other athletes with disabilities. Gabby notes that since getting involved with YC, she has developed a stronger sense confidence and independence in external settings. For example, Gabby is now able to drive herself to programs and be able to assist the staff, volunteers, and current participants. When asked why to get involved with YC, Gabby responded, “because it’s a very unique, welcoming place. YC  recognizes participant’s abilities and challenges them to step out of their comfort zone.  YC offers a wide variety of activities from art, bowling, team sports, and the list goes on. There is truly something for everyone at YC.” Lastly, Gabby noted that YC has helped shape her into the person she is today by helping her become more outgoing and willing to try new things. YC has also helped Gabby to recognize she is capable of doing things like everyone else but in a different way. Today, Gabby actively trains and competes in track and field events and 5k races which she credits being able to do from her experience with YC.

 

Exciting changes at YC

At the beginning of next year, Mary Sue Tanis, the founder and current leader of Youth Challenge, will be stepping out of her role of 42 years as Executive Director.  She’s not retiring!  Mary Sue will still very much be a part of YC, but will transition from her current position to focus on Planned Giving and Major Gifts.

“I’m excited to serve Youth Challenge in a whole new way,” said Tanis.  “With countless opportunities ahead for these amazing children and teens, I am extremely happy to be able to play a role in securing our mission going forward.”

Over the past 18 months, the Youth Challenge Board of Trustees and members of our Board of Advisors have helped craft a plan to ensure an exceptional candidate was found to replace Mary Sue. Chris Garr, YC’s Director of Program Services, was voted unanimously by the Youth Challenge Board to serve as the next CEO & Executive Director.  Ken Kasler, Chief Operating Officer, will continue to work in tandem with Chris to ensure the YC mission and services stay strong.

“I’ve held a deep passion for YC since first volunteering at the age of 12,” said Garr. “That passion has never waned, and I am proud to serve our families in this new capacity, alongside a staff of dedicated and caring professionals that are second to none.”

As Chris transitions to this new office, other program staffers will be shifting roles and responsibilities internally to keep YC running smoothly.  We will be utilizing the talents, skills, and heart of program staff Sarah Perez-Stable, Mackenzie Vecchio, Megan Smith, Laurel Sweet King, and others to cover all areas of program operation.

To all of the YC volunteers, participants, donors, and families thank you for being a part of Team YC as we enter this new chapter in our history.

Summer’s End Bash

This weekend Youth Challenge participants, volunteers, staff members, friends, and family celebrated the end of a great season at YC.

The whole YC parking lot was blocked off and made into an area to celebrate.

There was basketball, cornhole, a dunk tank, facepainting, tattoos, food, dancing, music, an area to chalk, and a watermelon eating contest. There was also a craft table set up where you first traced the outline of your hand onto old YC artwork, then you cut it out, and put it on block letters that said, “I ❤ YC” to make a collage. During the celebration, Chris got on top of the roof to take a picture of all participants and volunteers that were in a “YC” shape to commemorate the 41st summer of Youth Challenge. At the end of the night, a highlight video of the summer season was shown.

ADA Day 2017

On July 26th, Youth Challenge celebrated 27 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act down at Wade Oval in University Circle with many fellow Clevelanders. Local organizations, food trucks, and a big stage encompassed Wade Oval. Live music played throughout the evening, and crowds of people sat to listen. Some were even salsa dancing in the front.

The support Cleveland showed for the ADA was a wonderful sight to see. Youth Challenge brought the energy with a flash mob; volunteers and participants stormed the stage to dance, cheer, and celebrate. The night was an inclusive party.

Play Ball!

On June 22nd, the YC gang spent the day playing and watching baseball. We started at French Creek Metro Park where we grilled out and had a picnic. Hot dogs were involved of course!

We then split into teams, boys vs. girls, and played some baseball. YC baseball is adapted to make it more fun for all participants, so buckets are placed at the bases, and to get the runner out, the baseman needs to toss the ball into the bucket. The game got pretty exciting; a few players even hit a homerun!

KeyBank Neighbors Make a Difference to YC

Each spring, thousands of employees gather for KeyBank’s Neighbors Make the Difference Day. To demonstrate their support and commitment to the community, Key employees volunteer at local non-profit organizations throughout the country.

A group of local KeyBank volunteers took part in the company’s annual community service day by lending many helpful hands to Youth Challenge. The volunteers scrubbed our fleet of ten vans inside and out and got them ready to roll for our 42nd summer.

YC provides over 5,000 free van rides to our participants annually. Without our transportation program, many of the participants would not be able to attend YC programs. The volunteers from KeyBank provided a valuable service by cleaning the vans for the kids. Thank you to our friends at KeyBank for including Youth Challenge in Neighbors Make the Difference Day!