Connecting for Kids to honor five residents at fundraiser
Connecting for Kids will honor five individuals at its carnival-themed annual fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 6-11 p.m. at Ahern Catering & Banquet Center, 726 Avon Belden Road in Avon Lake. In addition to a grand raffle featuring Indians Club Seats, a silent auction and other raffles, the event will feature a new room of carnival games plus traditional carnival fare such as cotton candy and popcorn. Tickets are $65 per person; visit connectingforkids.org/2019Fundraiser for more information.
Kind Kid Winners
The Kind Kid award is given to a child under 13 years of age who demonstrates kindness and compassion to peers. This year, Connecting for Kids is excited to recognize two Kind Kids: Elizabeth Carroll of Westlake and Ella Kloppman of Highland Heights.
Elizabeth volunteers each Saturday morning at a dance class with her sister and four other girls with special needs. She has the ability to guide each of the girls and help them to grow. In addition, Elizabeth many times filled in as an extra player on a kickball team for children with special needs. She was such an encouraging and positive force on the team, knowing exactly what to do to make certain each child was successful and engaged. While at school, Elizabeth goes out of her way to make others feel included and is the first person out of her seat to help another student.
Ella inherently accepts and advocates for students with differences. One of her friends developed Tourette's Syndrome and Ella jumped in, helping her friend when she can't speak up for herself, walking with her when she needs a break, and remaining steadfast although her friend's disability can bring out difficult behaviors.
The Parent, Professional/Educator and Board Member of the Year Awards
These awards are given to those that exemplify the mission of Connecting for Kids to provide education and support to families concerned about their child. The following individuals will be honored:
- Parent of the Year: Paula Nwankwo of Avon. Paula has been actively involved in the Connecting for Kids Parent Match Program for years, providing advice and a listening ear to countless families receiving a new diagnosis for their child. She has mentored numerous families and is an amazing example of kindness and support in our community.
- Professional/Educator of the Year: Christina Meecha, intervention specialist, Hilliard Elementary School in Westlake. Christina was nominated for this award by the mother of one of her students who indicated that, “Each and every time I have a question, a concern or a need related to my daughter, Mrs. Meecha is there. ... [She] sees my daughter’s inner strength, beauty, potential, perseverance and gifts. She is truly a remarkable person and educator."
- Board Member of the Year: Rebecca Baker of Westlake. Rebecca helped to take Connecting for Kids from a $20,000 budget in 2013 to a $180,000 budget in 2018. She has been instrumental in developing the organization’s financial policies and procedures, including a solid budgeting and review process to ensure a clean audit.
Connecting for Kids provides education and support to families with concerns about their child. We serve all families, including those children with and without formal diagnoses.
Lorilynn Wolf serves as the Communications Director for Connecting for Kids.