Community Day connects local residents with local resources

May 7, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Community Day featured free activities, resources and lunch, as well as a touch-a-truck event. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

If there is one word to describe Ottawa County, it is collaboration. Agencies and organizations within the county often join hands in a common mission: they want to help their neighbors. Nowhere was that mission better felt than on Ottawa County Community Day, a multi-agency event on May 4 that provided fun activities and access to county resources.

The event, which was held at the Ottawa County Connection Center, helped spread awareness about the county’s many agencies and resources.

“Everything is free. Even the food is free,” said Leah Brookins, the DATA Program Coordinator for Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas.

Seven-year-old Riley Ross of Rocky Ridge sports a pair of sunglasses he picked up at the Ottawa County Health Department table on Community Day. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Among the 50+ agencies at the event was the Ottawa County Health Department, which provided swag bags of goodies and shared information on the health department’s many programs, from nursing assessments for seniors to cribs for babies. Health department staff shared information on the upcoming Community Baby Shower which will feature fun, prizes, snacks and gifts. A certified lactation counselor and breastfeeding peer helper will be on hand to offer advice and support. The Community Baby Shower will be held on Friday, Aug. 9 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Ottawa County Connections Center.

The health department was also promoting its new Care2 program for young mothers that focuses on issues such as postpartum depression, mom and baby health, and preterm birth risk reduction.

“Care2 is a pilot project with the American Academy of Pediatrics,” said Ottawa County Health Department Director of Nursing, Katie Crowell.

Stephanie Cavanaugh, Executive Director of Ottawa County Family & Children First Council, was excited about the number of people enjoying free lunch at the event. Lunch included hot chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, fruit, cookies and water.

Olivia Stacklin, left, makes a stress ball for a visitor to the Firelands Health table while her mother, Laura Miller, watches. Miller is a Site Director for Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services. (Photo by Sheri Trusty

“We have a free lunch for all community members,” Cavanaugh said. “I was able to add fruit to the lunches this year because of all the sponsors we have.”

Connie Roe, Executive Director of Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center, was at the event to share information about the center’s many programs and activities, including a Community Pancake Breakfast in honor of moms and mom figures on May 11 from 9 to 11 a.m. The breakfast will be held at the center at 570 McKinley Dr. in Port Clinton.

Unity Counseling offered free photo ops and information about their counseling services for children, families and adults.

“The great thing about us is, we will go out to the homes to accommodate clients,” said Unity counselor, Leah Goodwin. “We are school-based, so we go to schools in Fremont.”

Unity Counseling offers a summer program for children that includes transportation, food and socializing.

“They’ll learn coping skills, risk factors and self-care,” Goodwin said.

Brinlee Chovan, left, volunteered at the Leadership Ottawa County event. Here, she talks with, from left, Mina Steinmetz, Jackson Carr, 2, and Anna Carr, 3.

Firelands Health made free stress balls for visitors while they talked about their services.

“We do mental health and substance abuse counseling,” said Laura Miller, Site Director for Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services. “Today, we’re emphasizing positive mental health and the importance of taking care of yourself. We’re making stress balls because being healthy needs to be fun.”

Rainbow Acres Educational Daycare was promoting enrollment for children and employment opportunities at its Oak Harbor, Port Clinton and Gibsonburg locations. Brittany Kirkpatrick, director of the Oak Harbor location, said the daycare serves children from six weeks to 10 years old and offers afterschool, summer, and holiday break care for school-age children.

Croghan Colonial Bank Office Assistants Ariel Cutcher and Leanna Lenke told visitors about Croghan’s GenSpend, GenSave and Banzai programs for teens and young adults. Banzai is a financial educational tool for clients of all ages that teaches skills like credit building and offers resources such as loan calculators.

“Banzai is free for anybody, not just for Croghan customers,” Cutcher said.

Destiny Mominee of Port Clinton and her four-year-old son, Lux Chilton, had fun at Community Day.

“Lux enjoyed walking around to the different tables and getting stuff,” Mominee said.

Lux was happy to receive a coloring book, but he found an even sweeter prize at the event.

“My favorite thing was a snow cone,” he said.

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