The Medina County Share Cluster met for its annual breakfast meeting April 26, at Williams on the Lake, 787 Lafayette Road, Medina. For 31 years, this collaboration of prevention professionals in Medina County has been serving the young people of the community through "collaborative efforts designed to promote non-violent drug free living."
At this gathering every year, area high schools' outstanding seniors who are committed to prevention in order to live a better life are recognized. The 2018-2019 honorees, introduced by Suzie Muniak, are:
*Black River Morgan Young, Mitchell Young
*Brunswick Tyler Benson, Amanda Pizon
*Buckeye Samuel Oliver, Morgan Palcisko
*Cloverleaf Kyra Combs, Paityn Slansky
*Highland Nathan Gillin, Makayla Grecenuk
*MCCC Cory Starman, Irina Nagirnyak
*Medina Emily Gacek, Claire Leupp
*Wadsworth Anthony Batey, Charlotte Lewis
Selected speakers representing the group, Kyra Combs and Paityn Slansky, both of Cloverleaf High School, shared moving, positive, encouraging comments about their own reasons for remaining drug, alcohol, and tobacco free, along with recognizing their supporters who provided them with such a good foundation. They chose to become involved in several of the Share Cluster activities designed to help reach, and hopefully prevent, young students from turning to chemically-dependent lifestyles, a goal they see as a possbility.
Each student received commendations from the Medina County Commissioners, Pat Geissman, Bill Hutson, and Colleen Swydek, along with a video of the event.
At this time two other significant awards were also presented. One was to the winners of the "Stomp Out Suicide" video submissions. Devan Althen announced the winning videos after guests had the opportunity to watch these very touching original works. In third place was Buckeye High School, in second place Cloverleaf High School, and in first place, the Medina County Career Center.
The second presentation, made by Meg Bruno, was the "Share Cluster Community Prevention" award, this year given to Feeding Medina County Executive Director Sandy Hinkle, who was unable to attend. Bruno praised Hinkle for her ongoing efforts to reach any and all people who might be food insecure.
Share Cluster members who have had a significant impact since the collaboration was formed in 1988 include:
*Alternative Paths, Devan Althen; Bellefaire JCB, Lauri Laribee; Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Erik Shipe; Black River Local Schools, Mark Leiendecker; Brunswick City Schools, Kathy Fulkerson and Debra Marshall; Buckeye Local Schools, Gayle Telford; Catholic Charities, Jen Sunday; The Children's Center of Medina County, Rhonda Wurgler; Cloverleaf Local Schools, Deb Bican and Brandy Miracle; Cornerstone Psychological & Counseling Services, Cindy McQuown; Highland Local Schools, Molly Pellerite and Daryn Archer; JFS, Amber McClain; Juvenile Detention Center, Ron Stollar and Megan Millikin; Junior Leadership Medina County, Carrie Park; MCPAL/Montville PD, Rebecca Byrne and David Pinkas;
Medina City Schools, Trish Jackson, Ron Blue, and Kim Bergen; Medina County ADAMH Board, Tiffany Shelton; Medina County Career Center, Liz Swartz; Medina County District Library, Suzie Muniak; Medina County Drug Abuse Commission (MCDAC), Brian Nowak; Medina County Health Department, Libby Thomas; Medina County Juvenile & Probate Court, Susana Lewis and Jenn Moore; Medina County Sheriff's Department, Mark Brooks (Cloverleaf), Sharon Centner (Highland), and John Girard (Buckeye); Ohio Guidestone, Melissa Romain; Rape Crisis Center, Samantha Schauder; United Way of Medina County, Debbie Boehmke and Maria Burk; and Wadsworth City Schools, Meagan Neumann, Beth Beal, and Meg Bruno.
Generous financial support, donations, and collaboration for prevention programming were provided by MCDAC and ADAMH Board.
Cindy McQuown concluded the program with some comments to the 180 guests about possible activity changes that might be ahead for this organization due to funding cuts. "Due to the changes in MCDAC funding, school based prevention counselors will no longer be funded through that revenue source, and the events and activities in all districts implemented by the coalition will be drastically impacted." The dedicated Share Cluster coalition members "are happy to have served the youth in Medina County and will continue to advocate for youth prevention education."