The Friday Update is published on Friday mornings by Lon Mitchell, Public Information Manager of the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. You may subscribe by sending your email address. You may also read the Friday Update on the Board website and on the mobile app

  1.  Lucas County Lightning wins the Division 2 State Championship
  2.  Updates are posted to web page helping parents find funds
  3.  Job postings
  4.  Jim Caris is recognized as the Staff Person of the Month
  5.  STIR training begins March 12
  6.  JoRita Fox is honored for her work as an advocate
  7.  Board presents Special Recognition Award to Harbor
  8.  Deb Welch thanked by the Board for her volunteer work
  9.  Superintendent’s Family & Advocate Forum is March 10
  10.  Upcoming presentations can help parents make informed choices
  11.  Family Advisory Council will meet on March 11
  12.  Bittersweet Farms is again offering fresh produce
  13.  Upcoming Events
  14.  Worth Repeating

1.   Lucas County Lightning wins the Division 2 State Championship

Hats off to the Lucas County Lightning athletes in the Special Olympics Winter Games held at Bowling Green State University.   Congratulations to the Division 2 basketball team, winners of the state championship. In Division 4 the Lucas County team finished third.

The competitive cheer team took third place in its division. Swimmers took numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals.

2.   Updates are posted to the web page helping parents find funds

Parent Partner Tammy Eisenreich has updated the page on the Lucas County Board of DD website that helps parents locate funds. This page is a valuable resource in helping families obtain tips on beginning their money search, identify grants, obtain an iPad. Follow this link.

3.    Job postings

To stay up-to-date on job openings with the Lucas County Board of DD, follow this link. The Board is currently taking applications for Secretary, Community Inclusion and Employment Manager, Early Intervention Developmental Specialist, and Service and Support Specialist.

 4.   Jim Caris is recognized as the Staff Person of the Month

Jim Caris has been working tirelessly to establish the role of the adult Employment Navigator. He is always coming forth with new ideas and research on how to make the adult Employment Navigator position as effective as possible.

Jim stands out as a stellar employee and is a great asset on every team. He is to be congratulated for his dedication and commitment to the individuals we serve, the team process, and the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. 

The Board is honored to recognize him as our February 2020 Staff Person of the Month.

5.   STIR training begins March 12

The next STIR training (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility) begins March 12. This free advocacy training is provided by the Lucas County Board of DD and by SALUTE. Click here for registration information.

6.  JoRita Fox is recognized for her work as an advocate

Mary Beth Olender, staff liaison to SALUTE, congratulates JoRita Fox on her recognition by the Board of DD for her years of self-advocacy.

JoRita is active in the STIR training. And she has been there from the beginning of SALUTE. There is no doubt that the vitality of the group owes much to JoRita. She volunteers to train, to help others learn to be trainers, mentors those unsure of how to get involved and attends all the meetings. She is also the Secretary. JoRita is a member of Partners for Inclusion and recently was voted to serve as Vice-President. She also serves as an officer with the Arc of Ohio.  JoRita is an amazing role model for advocates. She is a quiet person, but her voice is heard loud and clear!

7.  Board presents Special Recognition Award to Harbor

Andrea Leslie and Hannah Gulikson accept a Special Recognition Award at the February meeting of the Board of DD.

In October, a bus accident involved 11 individuals who receive services from the Board and an independent provider. Some of the individuals on the bus did sustain physical injuries. But, the MUI Coordinator and SSA Coordinator were also concerned with the trauma involved. They reached out to our local mental health providers for assistance.

Harbor immediately stepped up and offered two sessions for free for crisis debriefing and counseling. Julie Ruetz and Hannah Gulikson from Harbor were wonderful in setting up and leading these groups. This month, the Board wishes to acknowledge the partnership and support with Harbor with its Special Recognition Award.

8.  Deb Welch is thanked by the Board for her volunteer work

The heart of Special Olympics is the team of amazing people who volunteer their time as coaches, unified partners, fundraisers and chaperones. While Lucas County Special Olympics is grateful for the generosity all of these giving people, there is one volunteer who we would like to honor today because her dedication is limitless, Deb Welch.

In the photo to the left, Deb is congratulated by Recreation Specialist Kelley Watson.

For example, she organized a shirt sale raising money to help cover the cost of summer games. She is playing an active role in our upcoming celebrity game by finding celebrities to operate the concessions at the event. She raises funds for the golf outing and finds donations for our silent auction.

Most recently, when the call went out to set up a parent booster group, she not only said of course, but has done more than anyone expected. If you attend a Lucas County Lightning event and buy something from the concessions, please thank Deb, she will be there. There is just so much that Deb has done and continues to do, she cannot be thanked enough.

9.   Superintendent’s Family & Advocate Forum is March 10

The next Family and Advocate Forum with Superintendent Lori Mariucci will be Tuesday, March 10, 9:30 a.m., at the Administration Building, 1154 Larc Lane.

These open forums are informal discussions with the Superintendent about current issues she feels are important. They are also an opportunity for parents, guardians, advocates and providers to present items they feel are pertinent.

10.  Upcoming presentations can help parents make informed choices

State Support Team 1 is sponsoring three March presentations in March by attorney and disability advocate Jonathan Martinis, Esq., J.D.

Information regarding the sessions is available at this link. This includes a bio of the presenter and registration details.

11.  Family Advisory Council will meet on March 12

Register for the March meeting of the Family Advisory Council (FAC), which will focus on the importance of disability awareness for people with disabilities. Join the stream on Facebook Live beginning at 10 AM.

The Family Advisory Council provides a forum for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to hear directly from family members about the issues that affect their lives and offers the opportunity to learn more about the department’s current initiatives from executive staff.

If you can’t make it, plan a DODD Watch Party to participate and connect without leaving your own community.

12.   Bittersweet Farms is again offering fresh produce

Sign-up is now open for the 2020 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Bittersweet Farms, now in its tenth year! Receive weekly boxes of fresh, sustainably grown, local produce and support meaningful, paid employment for adults with autism by signing up today at

New this year, Bittersweet is proud to offer three share sizes. The Large Share (formerly “Standard”) is $300 per season and is recommended for a family of four. The Medium Share (formerly “Petite”) is $200 per season and is recommended for a small family or couple. The Small Share (new for 2020) is $125 per season and is recommended for an individual or couple.

13.  Upcoming Events

February 28 – Glass City Beer Fest

March 1 – Acoustics for Autism

March 2 – Special Olympics Unified Basketball Championships

March 2 – Youth Open House at the Ability Center

March 3 – Taking the Sting out of Behavior training

March 7 – Arc Night with the Cavs

March 19 – Guys and Gals Night Out

March 19 – People First

March 20 – Spring Fling Dinner-Dance

March 22 – Special Olympics Shooting with the Stars

March 24 – Inclusion Fair

March 25 – Autism Awareness Training

March 27 – Arc of Ohio Spring Conference

March 28 – Lott Industries Dinner-Auction

April 5 – Autism Awareness Night with the Walleye

April 15 – Rec Jam

April 19 – Autism Awareness Day with the Mud Hens

May 9 – Touch a Truck

14.  Worth Repeating

“There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.” -Dale Carnegie

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