Connecting for Kids Honors Five Local Residents

Connecting for Kids will honor five individuals who have helped fulfill the organization’s mission to provide education and support to families with concerns about their child at its Annual Fundraiser on February 23, 2018. The event will be held at Ahern Catering & Banquet Center, 726 Avon Belden Rd. in Avon Lake. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. The five honorees include:

  • Parents of the Year: Chris & Maureen Box of North Ridgeville
  • Educator/Professional of the Year: Natalie Tesar, Second Grade Teacher at Eastview Elementary School in Avon Lake. Tesar resides in Bay Village.
  • Kind Kid Award Winner: Kyleigh Briggs of Olmsted Falls
  • Board Member of the Year: Kim Riley of Westlake

    Chris & Maureen Box

Parents of the Year: Chris & Maureen Box of North Ridgeville

From arranging fundraisers to encouraging dads to get out and connect with each other, Chris and Maureen Box have become an integral part of Connecting for Kids. The two of them have taken a tough situation, as parents to a child with a severe disability, and used their incredible courage and strength of character, along with their contagious positivity, to build a community within the Connecting for Kids organization.

Educator/Professional of the Year: Natalie Tesar, Second Grade Teacher at Eastview Elementary School in Avon Lake. Tesar resides in Bay Village.

Natalie Tesar

As a Second Grade Teacher and Building Advisory Team Member at Eastview Elementary School in Avon Lake, Natalie Tesar has quickly proven to be one of the building’s strongest educators and leaders. She has excelled in the classroom and in all roles presented to her. This devotion and hard work is the reason her students perform so well. She is student-centered, plans instruction to meet her students’ individual needs and uses technology to engage and empower her students. Tesar always goes above and beyond for her students. She provides them with materials they need for class, shows them that she cares, and finds the positives in every student she has. Tesar displays all the professional and personal traits that make her a quality educator. She is professional, caring, builds strong relationships with others, and remains calm under stressful circumstances.

Kyleigh Briggs

Kind Kid Award Winner: Kyleigh Briggs of Olmsted Falls

The Kind Kid Award from Connecting for Kids is given to a child under 13 years of age who demonstrates kindness and compassion to peers. This year’s winner, Kyleigh Briggs, has continually volunteered for intervention student counseling at Olmsted Falls Schools and is the person who raises other children’s spirits when she finds them needing it, both friends and strangers. Kyleigh even hosted an iced tea stand to raise over $150 for Kick-It for Cancer. She is always encouraging her family to visit the elderly in the nursing home because she tells them, “It’s the right thing to do” which, according to her nomination, has been her slogan since she learned to talk. Kyleigh cares for all people and for the well-being of animals too.

Kim Riley

Board Member of the Year: Kim Riley of Westlake

Kim Riley’s dedication to the mission of Connecting for Kids is exemplified in her multiple accomplishments on the Board of Directors. She helped to develop the internal organizational structure needed for growth. Riley also identified the need for a moderate-to-severe disabilities group of families within Connecting for Kids and volunteered her time to help lead the group. She personally mentored most of the initial members and helped them through the unique challenges of parenting a child with more severe needs. The group has more than 100 members, and it has become a tangible and permanent part of the Connecting for Kids culture. Finally, Riley is never afraid to challenge a plan or offer concerns about a proposal’s feasibility. This willingness to speak up and share ideas about how to help families has enabled Connecting for Kids to grow.

Tickets for the 2018 Connecting for Kids Annual Fundraiser are $65 per person which includes heavy appetizers, drinks, dessert and entertainment. For more information or to reserve a ticket, visit https://connectingforkids.org/2018Fundraiser, email info@connectingforkids.org or call 1-440-250-5563.

About Connecting for Kids

Connecting for Kids (CFK) provides education and support to families with concerns about their child. We serve all families, including those children with and without formal diagnoses. CFK offers educational programs, support groups, a Parent Match Program and numerous resources.

For more information about Connecting for Kids, visit: www.connectingforkids.org, email: info@connectingforkids.org or call: 440-250-5563.

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