SIDNEY — In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of Ohio’s county boards of developmental disabilities and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Wilma Valentine Childcare, the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities recently honored outstanding supporters for being “always there.”
The Always There awards were presented during festivities at the Wilma Valentine Childcare Center in Sidney. The event featured refreshments, crafts and games for children, program information and facilities tours.
Honored were John Coffield, the Spot Restaurant, Nancy Deafenbaugh, the McRill family, the Donald and Evelyn Bensman Family Foundation, the John and Jeanette Sargeant Family Foundation, the Shelby County United Way, Amanda Seigle, Carole Mestemaker and William Zimmerman Jr.
Coffield has been a contributor to the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities for more than 30 years, a member of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities board and the past president and treasurer of the ARC. Currently, he serves as the coadviser of theAktion Club.
The Spot Restaurant has hired many people with disabilities for a variety of positions. The owner, management and staff welcome new employees and are quick to find or create accommodations for workers with disabilities. Currently, The Spot employees three workers who are supported by the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Deafenbaugh has volunteered and contributed to the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities for more than 25 years. She has served on the ARC andSpecial Olympics
boards and was chairman of the Transition Committee for School to Employment for Shelby County Teens.
The McRill family been volunteering and contributing to the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities for more than 15 years. Mike and Karen McRill have volunteered every year at the annual fashion show and during after-hours events and have sat on several boards and committees that enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
The Donald and Evelyn Bensman Family Foundation has contributed funds to Wilma Valentine Childcare nine times between 2004 and 2016. When the childcare center was in serious financial turmoil, the foundation made several donations of $10,000 per year to assist with debt reduction in hopes that
See AWARDS | 6
Nancy Deafenbaugh, left, and her husband Rob Deafenbaugh, far right, talk with Carole Mestemaker, all of Sidney, at the community appreciation celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Ohio’s county boards of developmental disabilities and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Wilma Valentine Childcare Center. Both women were among those honored with Always There awards during the event.
Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
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the center could “right the ship” and continue to serve children with disabilities.
The John and Jeanette Sargeant Family Foundation made a $20,000 to Wilma Valentine Childcare several years ago. This was critical support, as the childcare center was operating at a deficit and was relying heavily on the support of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities to stay afloat.
The Shelby County United Way has been supporting Wilma Valentine Childcare since its first Special Projects grant in May 1993 for $2,000. In 1995, the Wilma Valentine Creative Learning Center was approved for United Way agency status. The Shelby County United Way has assisted by giving Wilma Valentine Childcare an annual allocation that is used to ensure a smaller child-to-staff ratio to support the children with disabilities and to support the summer development program.
Seigle has volunteered extensively for Shelby Hills Early Childhood. She helped establish and organize the parent/teacher committee, BEST (Bringing Everyone at Shelby Hills Together).
Through her efforts, the committee started an annual 5K fundraiser.
Over a nine-year span, she helped raise more than $30,000 for the organization.
Mestemaker has sat on the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the board of S& H Products. Currently, she its on the ARC board. She has assisted with levies to ensure passage and has been the “go to” surrogate parent at the Shelby Hills preschool program for approximately 10 years.
Zimmerman volunteers his time as a guardian for people supported by the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
He has been a mediator in difficult situations and always has the best interest and wishes of the person at heart.