None 4 Under 21 Focuses on Long-Term Consequences of Decisions

None 4 Under 21 Mock Crash Scene
Students viewed this terrifying mock crash scene as they entered None 4 Under 21.

Elk & Elk was the Presenting Sponsor of the 13th annual None 4 Under 21 and Choices Beyond Program, hosted by Portage County Safe Communities at Hiram College. Partner Marilena DiSilvio was the emcee of the afternoon, and Senior Partner David Elk spoke at the event.

Approximately 2000 high school students from Portage County and neighboring districts attended None 4 Under 21. The students witnessed realistic crash and funeral scenes as they entered and exited the event, and heard from several guest speakers about the long-term consequences of impaired and distracted driving.

The None 4 Under 21 Program “empowers young people to make appropriate choices by graphically demonstrating the consequences of poor decision-making.”

Every decision has an impact far beyond just you.

Ryan Streem was 14 years old when he was killed in a motor vehicle accident while riding in the bed of a friend’s pickup truck. His father, Marc Streem, shared his family’s story with the students.

“Every decision has an impact far beyond just you,” he cautioned them as he listed all of the things Ryan will never have the opportunity to do, such as attend prom or graduate from high school.

This message encompassed the theme of each guest speaker’s None 4 Under 21 presentation, and represents the far-reaching consequences of impaired, distracted and irresponsible driving.

I never thought that something like this could happen to me.

Next, students heard from a woman who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for aggravated vehicular homicide and a number of other charges after she killed a 15-year-old girl while driving intoxicated.

The woman, dressed in her orange prison jumpsuit, teared up as she described the events leading up to the crash.

“I never thought that I would be the cause of a roadside shrine,” she added. “I never thought that something like this could happen to me.”

Let the choices you make today be the choices you can live with tomorrow.

Aaron Cooksey, the final speaker of the afternoon, detailed the tragic mistake that resulted in the death of his best friend, a four-year prison sentence and a lifetime license suspension.

He advised the students to “let the choices [they] make today be the choices [they] can live with tomorrow.”

Following his presentation, Cooksey asked the audience to refrain from applause and instead observe a moment of silence.

Each incident did not affect one person, but many.

DiSilvio brought the afternoon full circle in her closing remarks, once again reminding the students that the decisions they make can change not only their lives, but the lives of their families, friends and even complete strangers.

“Although each speaker had a different experience, they are identical in the fact that the consequences [of their actions] will last forever… each incident did not affect one person, but many.”

Following the presentation students filed through the “Walk of Remembrance,” featuring eleven local families who lost a loved one as the result of a motor vehicle crash.

For more information about the incidents discussed by guest speakers at None 4 Under 21:

This video produced by TAC (Transport Accident Commission) Victoria was also shown to students during the program.

Faces of Change Luncheon Raises Over $250,000 for Victims of Sexual Violence

Faces of Change 2015
Members of the Elk & Elk team attended the 2015 Faces of Change Luncheon.

On Wednesday, April 15, members of the Elk & Elk team enjoyed an inspiring afternoon at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s annual Faces of Change Luncheon. Elk & Elk served as a sponsor for the event, which raised more than $250,000.

Faces of Change Luncheon

The 2015 Faces of Change Luncheon honored the work of the Cleveland FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and their efforts to aid local survivors of rape, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Michelle Knight, one of three women kidnapped and held captive by Ariel Castro, gave the keynote address. Knight, who now goes by Lily, discussed her path to recovery and positive outlook on the future with writer and journalist Connie Schultz.

Donations
Pledges for CRCC donations were made by text throughout the event.

View a recap of Knight’s Faces of Change keynote address courtesy of Fox 8 News.

Knight has become very active on social media since her rescue, accumulating more than 48,000 likes on her Facebook page. She uses the platforms to communicate with her supporters and other survivors of sexual violence.

In addition to working on a second book, Knight has been recording music and serving as an activist. Her first book, “Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings,” can be purchased here.

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center offers a variety of free services and resources for survivors of sexual violence, including a 24-hour hotline, support groups, professional training and Project STAR (Sex Trafficking Advocacy and Recovery).

The CRCC recently earned a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, making it the first and only CARF-accredited independent rape crisis center in the nation.

To make an online donation visit the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center website.

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center 24-Hour Hotline: (216) 619-6192

Stress Awareness: 5 Ways to Unwind in Ohio in April

Stress awareness month poster.
April is Stress Awareness Month

April is National Stress Awareness Month. Stress doesn’t just afflict your mind; it can also affect you on a cellular level. In fact, long-term stress can lead to a wide range of illnesses – from headaches to stomach disorders to depression – and can even increase the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease.

Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to fight off stress, so be sure to make time for fun and relaxation. Check out these great Ohio events that we found on discoverohio.com:

1. Big Spring (Cuyahoga County)

Say goodbye to your winter slumber and enter a fantastical world of towering flowers and larger-than-life ladybugs. Cleveland Botanical Garden awakens your senses with Big Spring, a supersized indoor and outdoor celebration full of vibrant colors, fresh scents and the familiar sound of spring showers. Now in its third year, Big Spring invites those young and young at heart to explore a wonderland of imagination and fun.
Saturday, March 22 – Sunday, April 27, 2015 (Closed Mondays) – Cleveland Botanical Gardens

2. Blooms & Butterflies (Franklin County)

Spring returns to Columbus with the emergence of hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies. Watch them take flight in the Pacific Island Water Garden, a tropical haven filled with bright nectar blooms. Newly emerged butterflies are released during educational presentations every day at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Now through September 27, 2015 – Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

3. Latin American and Latino Art at the Allen (Lorain County)

Expand your cultural horizons while enjoying more than 100 works by Latin American and Latino artists – many on view for the first time – that exemplify major artistic styles of the 20th and 21st centuries. All come from the Allen’s diverse Latin American collection, which ranges from Mexican Revolution-era prints by Diego Rivera to contemporary works by prominent artists from 12 countries.
Now through June 28, 2015 – Allen Memorial Art Museum

4. Dogwood Festival (Pike County)

Come and enjoy all Piketon has to offer while taking in the quilt show, woodworkers, fiddle contests, and wonderful bluegrass and Appalachian music. There’s plenty of great food throughout the festival, including delicious apple butter, which you can watch being made by the Dailyville Church. Visitors can also enjoy scenic trails on foot, bicycle or horseback. Don’t miss the great collection of antique cars at the car show held on Saturday.
April 24 – April 26, 2015 – visit http://www.piketravel.com/cvb-Festivals.html for more information.

5. Queen City Baseball: Diamonds and Stars (Hamilton County)

Housed in the former Cincinnati Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Museum Center presents Queen City Baseball. The exhibit features baseball-related materials from the early days of the Cincinnati baseball in the 19th century through the modern era. Artifacts and archival documents, video and sound will have you calling for the peanut man as you step into the gallery and onto the field. Items in the exhibit include 19th century players’ contracts and payment records, autographed baseballs and baseball cards from the early 20th century. Relive the 1919 World Series and the infamous “Black Sox Scandal” through archival newsreel footage and listen to one of the famous rain delay broadcasts of Reds play-by-play announcer Waite Hoyt.
Open through July 26, 2015 – Cincinnati Museum Center

If you find that stress is becoming overwhelming for you, get help.

For more information about stress, visit the FOH National Stress Awareness Month Page.

Additional resources, including treatment options, are available through your local mental health board and The Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

 

Cleveland APL Telethon Raises $50,790

Telethon Raises $50,790

On Friday, March 20, Elk & Elk joined Levin Furniture as the corporate sponsors of the 4th Annual Fur-Get-Me-Not Telethon.

Cleveland APL Fur-Get-Me-Not Telethon
Photo courtesy of Cleveland APL

Telethon Raises $50,790 for Animal Protective League

The fundraiser, which was hosted by WKYC Channel 3, raised more than $50,000 in support of the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Cleveland APL receives no government funding and relies solely on the generous contributions of community members and corporate donations.

Elk & Elk Managing Partner Arthur M. Elk Live on Lakesidejoined Michael Cardamone and Hollie Giangreco during their presentation of the event on WKYC’s “Live on Lakeside,” and a number of Elk & Elk employees volunteered to answer calls during the telethon.

“It is through the support of our community and corporate sponsors like Elk & Elk that we are able to keep our animals healthy and allow them to stay with us until we find each one a home,” said Judy Hunter, Cleveland APL Director of Development.

Donations from the telethon and Cleveland APL’s other fundraisers throughout the year support the variety of programs, services and resources offered by the organization. These include animal adoptions and admissions, spay and neuter services, humane investigations and the Animal Welfare Clinic.APL Puppy

Missed the telethon? It’s not too late to make a donation.

Interested in providing a loving “fur-ever” home for an animal? Cleveland APL’s free app showcases all of the animals currently available for adoption. Visit the Google Play Store on your Android device or the App Store on your iOS device to download.

Elk & Elk Goes Red for the American Heart Association

A brave group of Elk & Elk employees faced the frigid temperatures last Friday for the American Heart Association’s 2015 Go Red for Women Health Expo and Luncheon. Attendees participated in free health screenings, enjoyed hands-on interactive displays, and heard “stories of the heart” from local survivors.

The annual social and educational event is designed to create a conversation around cardiovascular disease and empower women throughout the Cleveland Area to become champions of their health. Go Red for Women raises awareness, as well as funds, to combat the No.1 killer of women: cardiovascular disease. More than 1,000 guests attended the luncheon, including many prominent business executives, community leaders and healthcare professionals.

Check out our photo album from the event on Facebook!

Prevent Heart Disease

More women than men are affected by heart disease. Nearly 80 percent of cardiac problems can be prevented through healthy living. Attendees learned these valuable strategies to prevent heart disease:

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get enough quality sleep
  • Get regular health screenings
  • Know your family history

Heart Attack Signs in Women

For both men and women, the most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are somewhat more likely experience other symptoms. Heart attack signs may include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

A record $1 million was raised at this year’s Go Red for Women Luncheon and Health Expo, money that will go towards heart and stroke research. Elk & Elk is proud to have sponsored such an important event. Still want to get involved during American Heart Month? Visit www.goredforwomen.org to donate to the fight against heart disease and stroke in women!