Museum’s Teaching Trunk Campaign Under Way

The Florida Holocaust Museum (FHM) has launched its 7th Annual Trunks of Hope campaign to ensure teachers and students have the free Holocaust education tools and resources they need as they return to the classroom – whether that classroom is at school or at home.

This year, when a donation is made to the campaign, thanks to a matching pledge, the dollars will go even further. That is due to the generosity of Amy and Michael Southard through their charitable foundation, Crofton Cares. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000.

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Crofton Cares Announces Scholarship Winner

Crofton Cares has announced today the recipient of its $25,000 scholarship program. Manith Humchad, a graduate of Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, will receive this year’s scholarship from the Crofton Cares foundation, and the scholarship is renewable for three additional years, provided Humchad maintains his eligibility.

“I am ecstatic to be chosen as the winner of the Crofton Cares Scholarship Award,” said Humchad. “It means a lot to me that I can pursue a degree and to not be held back by the burden of student loans and other financial stresses.”

The Crofton Cares Scholarship Award is provided to one student, annually. The winning student must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. He or she must attend a two-year or four-year college, university, or vocational/technical school. Students must reside in the Tampa, Florida or Cleveland, Ohio areas, and they must have test scores of 1280 SAT or 28 ACT, or higher. The program also examines extracurricular activities, community service, and financial need.

Humchad, who also earned a Huntington Bank Scholarship, added that the Crofton Cares award was helpful because the program allows him to direct the money to room and board — something not every scholarship program will contribute to.

Humchad intends, eventually, to enter medical school.

Crofton Cares is a non-profit charitable foundation that was founded in 2018 by Michael and Amy Southard. Crofton Cares was developed with a mission of improving lives in Northeast Ohio and the Tampa Bay area by supporting endeavors in two areas: education and healthcare.

For more information about the Crofton Cares Scholarship Award, visit CroftonCares.org

UCP Adaptive Playground Update

Renee Canfield, Director of Development at UCP of Greater Cleveland, sent Crofton Cares this happy photo of children playing on the Amy and Mike Southard Adaptive & Inclusive Playground, a play area for children with disabilities, made possible by a grant from Crofton Cares.  The playground is part of UCP of Greater Cleveland’s headquarters near University Circle.  Canfield reported that seeing “the playground in action” has been “the brightest spot” for UCP staff and children during the pandemic.

Southards’ Receive Starting Right, Now, 2020 Soul Award

Mike and Amy Southard, founders of Crofton Cares, were recently honored as the recipients of the Starting Right, Now, 2020 Soul Award.  Starting Right, Now is an organization that is working to end homelessness for youth in the Tampa area by providing one-on-one mentoring, a stable home, and assistance with employment opportunities, financial literacy, and educational achievement.  SRN students learn to let go of old behaviors and embrace a new way of being.

“The award represents a metamorphosis of a butterfly, which is very similar to the students’ transformation in Starting Right, Now”, said founder Vicki Sokolik. “SRN is providing for each of our homeless students a safe space to grow in order for them to realize their own potential as a beautiful butterfly.”  She continued, “This year the Soul Award is presented to Mike and Amy Southard, who have financially supported SRN and this year went above and beyond by creating a scholarship for one of the SRN students to attend University of Tampa on a four-year ride.”

Southards’ gift helps build UCP disability adaptive playground

Thanks to an undisclosed gift from Amy and Mike Southard of Pepper Pike, UCP of Greater Cleveland now offers a new adaptive and inclusive playground at its headquarters near University Circle.

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UCP of Greater Cleveland Dedicates New Playground for Children and Adults with Disabilities

UCP of Greater Cleveland will celebrate the complete renovation and reopening of their brand new adaptive and inclusive playground for individuals with disabilities during an intimate dedication event on Saturday, October 10, 2020. The small gathering, featuring remarks from UCP leadership and families, will take place on the playground beginning at 1:00 p.m. outside of the UCP of Greater Cleveland’s Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Center on Euclid Avenue. During the event, the lead donors of the project will be honored through the official naming of the Amy and Mike Southard Adaptive & Inclusive Playground.

The originally constructed playground that was built over 20 years ago became weathered and worn.  Its use by UCP therapists and children was no longer an option. However, due to the generosity of Amy and Mike Southard through their foundation Crofton Cares, demolition of the old equipment and surfacing began in January 2020, followed by spring/early summer construction and was recently completed to be enjoyed by those affiliated with UCP.

“This new playground is literally a dream come true for our staff.  When asked a few years ago what they needed to better serve these children with significant developmental disabilities, they immediately answered “an adaptive and inclusive playground,” said Trish Otter, President and C.E.O. of UCP.  “As a non-profit organization that operates at a deficit in order to serve the needs of these children and their families, this was a tall order to fill.  We are very grateful for this wonderful gift.”  This event will be closed to the public; however, members of the media are invited to attend. Social distancing and mask wearing will be adhered to.

About UCP of Greater Cleveland

The mission of UCP of Greater Cleveland is to empower children and adults with disabilities to advance their independence, productivity and inclusion in the community. More than 1,500 individuals with a wide variety of disabilities, not only cerebral palsy, benefit annually from high-quality therapy services, family supports, and community integration and employment opportunities. The nonprofit organization employs 160 individuals offering comprehensive children’s therapy services through LeafBridge, A Center of Excellence for Children, and adult employment and community integration services through OakLeaf, A Center of Excellence for Adults. The UCP of Greater Cleveland headquarters is located at 10011 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106. The agency also operates a location at Highland Hills and at various educational and vocational sites throughout Cuyahoga and surrounding counties. Please visit ucpcleveland.org to learn more.

Florida Holocaust Museum Fundraising Update

The Florida Holocaust Museum Fundraising Effort supported by Crofton Cares turned out to be a great success.  After Crofton Cares pledged to donate $18,000 in matching gifts, the museum reported fundraising totals of nearly $27,000.  In response, Crofton Cares raised its matching gifts pledge from $18,000 to $25,000, helping the Florida Holocaust Museum raise more than $50,000 to provide free trunks filled with books and classroom resources teachers can use to fulfill a Holocaust education mandate in Florida.  Said one donor whose contribution was matched, “As a fifth grade teacher at Plumb Elementary School I use the teaching trunks every year.  The trunk…made the Holocaust teaching unit highly anticipated and much appreciated.”

To learn more about the Florida Holocaust Museum, click here.

CONGRATULATIONS, ZEE!

Starting Right, Now is an organization that is working to end homelessness for youth by providing one-on-one mentoring, a stable home, and assistance with employment opportunities, financial literacy, and educational achievement.  Crofton Cares has provided financial support to Starting Right, Now.  As a result, a young woman known as Zee has become a college student at the University of Tampa. Learn More.

Crofton Cares Supports Florida Holocaust Museum Fundraising Effort

To ensure teachers have access to Holocaust education tools, Crofton Cares has offered to match donations made to the 6th Annual Trunks of Hope online campaign, in support of the the Florida Holocaust Museum.  The campaign is raising funds to provide free trunks filled with books and classroom resources teachers can use to fulfill a Holocaust education mandate in Florida.  Crofton Cares will match gifts up to $18,000 during the campaign.  If you would like to make a donation, click here to visit the site.

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Honoring the Dedication of University Hospital Caregivers

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Crofton Cares has made a gift to the University Hospitals COVID-19 Caregiver Support Fund, created to help defray the unanticipated costs of the health crises. These costs range from extensive patient care and testing, medical supplies and research to providing for the protection, wellness and resilience of University Hospital’s staff.

“During this crisis, we wanted to help our community support UH and its caregivers,” said Michael Southard, co-founder of Crofton Cares. “And the best way to help them is to give them the resources they need to fight this battle.”

“In addition, Crofton’s support will help accelerate important research studies and enhance the safety and wellbeing of our caregivers,” added Daniel I. Simon, MD, Chief Clinical & Scientific Officer, University Hospitals and President, UH Cleveland Medical Center.

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