Race for the Place Recap

On Sunday, June 7, Elk & Elk joined more than 4,100 supporters at the 15th Annual Race for the Place to benefit The Gathering Place. The event, held at Beachwood Place, is the largest local celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day.

Elk & Elk was a sponsor of Race for the Place 2015, and partner Marilena DiSilvio serves on the Board of Directors of The Gathering Place.

A group of more than 30 Elk & Elk attorneys, employees, family members and friends came together in support of the event. Team Elk Tracks exceeded its $1,500 goal, raising a total of $1,830 for The Gathering Place.

Team Elk Tracks helped raise more than $1,800 for The Gathering Place.
Team Elk Tracks helped raise more than $1,800 for The Gathering Place.

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This year’s event, which was presented by University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, raised more than $350,000. The teams who raised the most money included Zelman & Associates, Strides for Sherri, Fully Functional and Shaker Soles, and Jack Bialosky was the top individual fundraiser.

“Our gratitude goes out to each and every one of you for participating in Race for the Place by registering, putting together teams, donating and asking family and friends to donate,” said Eileen Saffran, CEO. “More than 4,000 walkers and runners showed their support at Beachwood Place at this year’s event.”

Participants had the option of walking or running either a 1-mile or 5K race. Before the races, cancer survivors were honored during the Survivor Ceremony, and a variety of family activities were offered in the Celebration Village throughout the event. An awards ceremony followed the races.

All funds raised by Race for the Place benefit The Gathering Place, a community-based cancer support center in Beachwood, Ohio. Since January 2000, The Gathering Place has offered a variety of free programs and services to address the social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of individuals with cancer in the greater Cleveland community and their support networks.

Next year’s Race for the Place is scheduled for Sunday, June 5, 2016.

Visit www.touchedbycancer.org for more information about The Gathering Place.

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