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Supporting Others to Help the Community



Photography by Catie Viox

 

 

Healthy Roots Foundation

The Healthy Roots Foundation, founded by Matt and Anne Schneider in 2009 after their youngest son, Nicholas, was born with a life-threatening birth defect, has expanded its outreach over the years. But the couple’s belief that all families can create the optimal environment for raising healthy children from the start when they have the necessary resources remains steadfast.

“Our life-changing event made us step back and think how we could give back to the community out of gratefulness for the amazing care our son received,” Anne says. The Healthy Roots Foundation – originally called Bluegrass for Babies – was born to help improve children’s health by raising funds for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Perinatal Institute.

“We discovered, however, that there was a greater need, that there weren’t really sufficient resources available for new parents in general.” So, in 2011, the Schneiders began leveraging Bluegrass for Babies to educate families on practical, healthy lifestyle tips. In 2012, Cincinnati Children’s Museum asked them to host health-focused outreach programs based on the educational tools and activities presented at Bluegrass for Babies the previous year. The organization’s board of directors decided a broader identity reflecting its ever-expanding education impact was necessary, and the Healthy Roots Foundation came to life in 2014.

The Schneiders’ fundraising efforts have resulted in grants totaling $207,200 in support of innovative children’s health research and educational programs through the foundation. The foundation’s education efforts currently include supporting the new Cincinnati Children’s Build-It Bites culinary health education program. Build-It Bites’ goal is to provide Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute patients with the essential educational tools to help reduce the potential risk of developing chronic health conditions.

For more information about the Healthy Roots Foundation, call 513.871.0653, email anne@healthyrootsfoundation.org or visit www.healthyrootsfoundation.org.

 

Common Ground

A playground is the perfect place where kids can have fun while honing a host of important social skills. Children with disabilities, however, are often left on the sidelines, missing out on the opportunities.

Common Ground, an ongoing project of the Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation, is a playground that will bridge that gap, promoting social inclusion and cooperative play for children of all abilities when it’s completed. Thanks to the City of Mason and the Deerfield Township trustees, Common Ground is one step closer to becoming a reality. The city recently pledged to match up to $300,000, and Deerfield Township has promised to match up to $100,000 of donations to Common Ground.

The $3 million playground will be on 23 acres near U.S. 42 and Snider Road in Mason. About $1 million from the City of Mason, and additional contributions from corporations and small businesses, community organizations, Mason City Schools and individual donors, paid for the preliminary work completed since Rachel Kopfler, foundation president, first shared her playground vision in 2007.

“People often think of a playground as a luxury,” says Kopfler. “But a playground is a necessity. It’s where children begin to learn important aspects of life. Awareness. Acceptance. Compassion. Her inspiration for the all-inclusive playground? Her son, Grant – a triplet – was born with a rare spinal cord defect. He achieved many typical childhood milestones by engaging regularly with his siblings. In return, Grant’s siblings learned to appreciate others whose abilities differed from theirs. 

The trick, Kopfler says, is to build a playground that is inviting, accessible and fun for everyone who comes to play. She expects the next phase of construction to begin by Spring 2018.

For more information about Common Ground, visit www.masonparksfoundation.org.

 

The Karen Wellington Foundation

FunNow!

That’s the mission of The Karen Wellington Foundation (KWF), celebrating its 10th year of putting FUN on the calendars of women who are enduring the anything-but-fun challenges of breast cancer.

The reality of living with breast cancer entails an endless string of appointments, doctors’ visits, surgeries and chemotherapy sessions. Without something hopeful on the horizon, the emotional toll of this monotony can be profound. Thanks to generous donations, KWF has added FUN to the calendars of women and their families by sending them on special vacations, spa days, concerts, sporting events and dinners with friends.

The emphasis of KWF is not on the cancer – its diagnosis, treatment or research – but rather on providing those it affects with something to look forward to. “It’s an important part of the healing process, and a special way to honor Karen’s legacy,” says Kim Ciesick, a foundation board member.

Karen lived – and lived fully – with advanced breast cancer from her diagnosis at age 30 until she was 40. She and her husband Kent, the foundation’s president, spent those poignant, busy years raising their two children, Angeline and Robby. According to friends, Karen set a courageous example, overcoming obstacles with tenacity, faith, kindness, laughter and FUN. Karen’s dream was to send one family living with breast cancer on a fun-filled vacation each year. Since 2007, Karen’s foundation has sent more than 275 women on special vacations and provided more than 150 spa days and other gifts of fun.

The future of The Karen Wellington Foundation lies with its generous supporters. KWF encourages others to help continue its mission by donating some time at their vacation home getaways, sharing their event tickets or making a monetary donation.

For more information, please visit www.karenwellingtonfoundation.org.

 

The Lindner Center of Hope

One in five people in the United States suffers from a mental illness in their life, yet it is still one of the least talked about, least accepted health issues. Lindner Center of HOPE, founded by Craig and Frances Lindner in 2008, continues its commitment to breaking the silence surrounding mental illness by offering a continuum of mental health care for people of all ages that has earned national acclaim. It is part of UC Health and affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

“No one has to suffer through mental health issues alone,” says Jennifer Pierson, senior director, marketing and outreach. “We want folks to embrace the discussion as they would any medical issue discussion, and we encourage them to get the help they need at Lindner Center of HOPE.”

More than 27,000 patients from 50 states and several countries have received expert, quality treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders and substance use disorders. The center’s clinical staff provides more than 100 outreach and public education events each year to local support and advocacy groups, schools, churches and the community-at-large.

 

High Hopes Auxiliary

High Hopes, Inc. is an awareness and fund-raising women’s group whose mission is to help further educate the community, while raising funds for patient needs at Lindner Center of HOPE. Founded by Frances and her sister, Nancy Nyhart, the group has raised over $900,000 since its inception. Proceeds from fundraising events have provided financial assistance for patients, funds for equipment purchases and have helped fund the bipolar biobank study at the Center’s Research Institute.

The Lindner Center of HOPE is located at 4075 Old Western Row Road, Mason, OH 45040. For more information, call 513.536.4673 or visit www.lindnercenterofhope.org. For more information on High Hopes Auxiliary, call Betsy Schmidt at 513.871.7721 or visit www.lindnercenterofhope.org/donate/high-hopes-auxiliary.