Posts tagged Knox DD
Harmony Playground: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On April 25, 2019 the Knox County Chamber of Commerce held the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Harmony Playground, the new fully inclusive playground in Mount Vernon. Harmony Playground has been a wonderful collaborative project with the Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Crossfit 1808, the Knox County Health Department Creating Healthy Communities and many other wonderful team members that brought together this amazing playground for all families in Knox County and beyond.

Carol Grubaugh, with the Chamber of Commerce led the ceremony and we heard wonderful remarks from Katie Fiorilli, Crossfit 1808 & Caroline’s Classic; Tami Ruhl, Knox County Health Department Creating Healthy Communities; Steve Oster, Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities; and Mayor Dick Mavis, City of Mount Vernon. Thank you to Jamie and Levi Sanders for cutting the ribbon!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this project a reality, and thank you to everyone who came out to the ribbon cutting ceremony!

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Generous donors who made this project a reality are:

Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities

The Ariel Foundation

Diversified Products & Services

Richard & Arline Landers Foundation

Crossfit 1808 Caroline’s Classic

United Way of Knox County

Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon

The Energy Cooperative Operation Round Up Foundation, Inc.

The Ramser Family

Licking/Knox Goodwill Industries, Inc.

Knox County Health Department Creating Healthy Communities

Women United

First-Knox National Bank, Division of Park National Bank

Elks Care, Elks Share - Mount Vernon Elks #140

Celestine Watkins

Siemens Energy Systems, Inc.

Mount Vernon Rotary Foundation

City of Mount Vernon

Knox County Foundation

Foundation Parks Conservancy

Concepts in Community Living, Inc.

Margo de Camp

Steve Oster

Kim & Pam Rose

Ian & Charlotte Watson

Creative Foundations, Inc.

Gordy & Fran Yance

Delta Kappa Gamma of Knox County

Knox Community Hospital

Chip & Katie Wilson

Marc & Jen Odenweller

Geotechnical Consultants, Inc.

The Marlow Family

Deb Romas & Associates

Dr. Robert & Patricia Ronk

Riverside Recovery Services - Where Recovery Brings Hope

Amy Albery

Elena N. Brechler

Craig Black - Tricia Moore - Andrew & Anna Breen

Team “Neverquit” - AFC

Adam Daniels - Ben Durbin - Natalee Johnson - Trista Butler

Brock M. Evans

Lara K. Farmer

Built By Unity

Hanna Ford

Matthew Gibson

The Hickman Family

John & Kristin Hofferberth

Matthew Kelling

Always Forward CrossFit

Tara Lamb

Alex Lambert

Melissa Leonard

Ron & Natalie Lucas & Family

Dan & Rebekah Mullins

Emily Nussbaum

Alicia Olson

Evan Palmer

Kathy Patton

Chad & Tami Ruhl

Holden Richards

The Ruffner Family

In Memory of Dorothy “Dottie” Marchal

Megan West

Neal Bell - Justin Satin - Loriann Fuhrer - Kris Whiting

Nichole Williams

“N8” Woodford

Dick & Peggy Mavis

Flappers Bar & Grille - Norm & Erron Porter - Steve Oster

Benjamin Peter Ollis

Lucy Peterson

Barbara Jordan


Easterseals Central & Southeast Ohio

ViaQuest, Inc.

Gantt Homes Inc. & The HIVE

Teresa Bemiller

Joe & Miranda Conkle

Nick & Katie Fiorilli

Rhonda & Chuck Gherman

Steve & Kathy Greenich

Mike & Karen Hagans

Jaclynn Mahle

Joe & Sally Nelson

Donald & Nancy Omahan

Friends of Kelly Shoemaker

In Memory of Ashton Cordray

Moms of Mount Vernon Giving Back

Special Olympics State Skills Tournament [basketball]

Athletes from Knox County traveled to Hilliard Darby High School on March 23rd to compete with other athletes from across the state of Ohio in the Special Olympics Basketball Skills Competition! All of our athletes won ribbons and medals and had a great time competing!

Lego Club: Sandwiches, Burgers, Subs & More!

We love getting to watch creativity and imagination take over as people come together to build amazing creations at Lego Club. On 3/14 we had a great turn out and had some pretty stellar pieces made! The theme was “Sandwiches, Burgers, Subs & More!” (a theme that was submitted by a kiddo!! Great thinking!) and the pieces that were created were extraordinary!

If you have a great idea for a theme, feel free to email it to Brody Boggs ( and he’ll try to add it to the calendar!

Summerfest 2018

For the past five years the Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities has thrown our annual "Summerfest" to celebrate summer, sun and have fun!  Each year carries a different theme and activities- this year we celebrated with many different organizations across our county!  We love being able to partner and collaborate with so many amazing organizations to help with inclusion and break down barriers for the people and families in our program!

It was wonderful watching everyone interact with the various booths set up from community partners and having conversations by asking unique and thoughtful questions to all of the first responders that came to support our event!  Thank you to everyone who helped make last week so successful!

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20 Years of Dedicated Service

If you ever make your way to Danville, OH you are sure to run into Linda.  She is always buzzing around town and knows everyone!  She is a diehard Danville Blue Devils fan and is always cheering them to victory alongside her friends and new acquaintances. 

Linda grew up in the Youngstown, OH area and went to the Youngstown School for the Retarded where she learned to twirl her baton—which she still does proudly!  Her family relocated to Knox County many years ago and she loves the Knox County community. 

Twenty years ago Linda was able to land her job at the Knox Community Hospital food service department with help from her friend and boss Parker.  She enjoyed doing dishes, building friendships and having many celebrations alongside her co-workers.  Earlier this year she retired with 20 years of dedicated service at KCH!  When she retired her coworkers put together a photo album to help her remember all of the fun memories they have made together over the years.  When she recalls all of her years at KCH, her favorite part of it all was all of the people that she was able to work with.


Now that Linda is retired she has more time to spend with her boyfriend Tom.  She loves getting to go to the Hangout for dinner, watch TV and just hang out for date night.  She loves to go to secondhand stores with her friend Lacey to buy artificial flowers.  They then create new beautiful arrangements with all of their flowers!  Her home is adorned in their beautiful creations and she is excited to help create floral arrangements for her nephew’s upcoming wedding!

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She enjoys talking to the students at Danville Elementary and High School as they walk past her house and always makes sure to talk to the teachers and crossing guards!  She loves to go to the High School basketball and football games and walking around town talking to all of her friends and neighbors. 

If you see Linda out and about make sure you congratulate her on her retirement!

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"Something I Need to Do"

When you first meet Daniel, the first thing you notice is his soulful eyes and passion for sharing his story.  Due to nerve damage from surgery, Daniel is legally blind.  He wears an eye patch over his right eye most days because the light causes his eye to become sore from trying to focus.  Daniel also struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety. 

He attributes his passion for music in helping him deal with his emotions and overcome adversities.  He studied and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Kenyon College. He is classically trained in piano and keyboard and since graduating college he mostly composes melodies and rhythms on his computer using MuseScore, a program that helps him write.  He has recently learned about Braille Music and is learning more about transcribing music into Braille through a program on his computer.  Daniel sometimes finds it difficult to write music in ways that most other composers write. He stated that most composers sketch music out on paper, but he cannot do that.  Instead he types it in Braille.  He is hopeful that once he is fluent in Braille it will help him be able to learn more languages.

Writing music is just something I need to do
— Daniel

"Writing music is just something I need to do," said Daniel.  It helps him deal with his emotions, "some styles can help you focus or calm down." When he is writing, he feels like it helps him focus on the emotion he is trying to work through; whether that is a romantic feeling, sadness, anxiety. Daniel also really enjoys singing in choir with his church and singing every year for the Messiah at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

When Daniel isn't writing music or singing, he enjoys working at Kenyon College assisting with website maintenance and maintaining servers for Biology experiments.  His hours vary depending on the needs of the students and he appreciates the flexibility he has with his job.  He feels that his Master's Degree in Applied Statistics from Rochester Institute of Technology helps him with the experiments and maintaining them well.  

He enjoys reading about technology and learning about the different devices that are out there that can help people.  He feels statistical thinking methods play into determining what devices can help meet different needs.  He enjoys helping Kenyon students who have accessibility needs by scanning in materials to help them learn easier.

Daniel appreciates any help he can get; whether it's from a device, his parents, his church family at First Church of God, Kenyon College or from support staff who occasionally help him clean his apartment.  He has been evaluated for adaptive equipment for people who have difficulty with their vision.  He has a magnifier, sock blocks (help him keep pairs of socks together), Braille display on his computer, and a computer screen reader.  All of these devices help him live independently in his own apartment, create music and work.

If he could give advice to anyone who is struggling, it would be "be more proactive in seeking help."

Healthy Living: Bodies In Motion

Knox DD has partnered with the Knox County Health Department, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Ohio State University Extension, Chef Ev and local providers to bring education and opportunities to people in our program to learn more about living healthy.  Our journey started with educating direct care staff and individuals on portion sizes, healthy meal options and how to cook healthy meals in their own kitchens!  The next phase to our Healthy Living journey is providing opportunities to exercise.  Individuals from all day programs in Knox County have partnered with Mount Vernon Nazarene University Athletic Department to learn how to play basketball, soccer, use treadmills, exercise balls, stationary bikes among other exercises! 

Education In Action 2018

For the past 8 years, the Knox County Board of DD has collaborated with ESC Parent Mentor Program to host the "Education In Action" Awards banquet for all of the county schools.  This ceremony gives all teachers across Knox County an opportunity to nominate and honor any student in their classroom.  Teachers nominated 40 students across the county for their hard work in Academics, Arts, Athletics, Community Service, Employment, Extracurricular Activity and Independent Living Skills. 

Awards were given to:

Knox County Career Center- Dakota Welch

Centerburg- Colton Love, Deacon Goulter, Caila Scmitz

East Knox- Dakota Wooden, Freddy Evans, Jonathan Cisco, Alivia Elliott

Fredericktown- Mikail Diagne, Tripp Gray, Carter Hempfield, Hadlee Miller

Mount Vernon- Alexa Hartshorn, Jacob Rivers, Sabrina Dannes, Isabella Carpenter

Clear Fork- Student is recognized under Knox Educational Service Center Group Awards

Knox Educational Service Center- Corey Woods, Savannah Carpenter, Keyon Atkinson, Alexis Darr, Ronnie Andrews, Gage Johnson, Spencer Jones, Austin Martin, Carolyn Parrish, Wayne Rittenhouse, Haven Shelton, Jackson Slater, Dustin Starmer, Vinnie Wilson, Faith Bowers, Madison Flack, Robert Simpson-Rine

Group Awards- Elijah Clark, Cody Hanna, Tyler Morris, Robbie Pyott, Katie Sharp, Will Smith, Grant Yoder

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The “Distinguished Service” award is given out each year to honor a professional who always goes above and beyond expectations.  This year’s award winner was Sarah Craft, a special education teacher from Fredericktown Local School District.  She is an exemplary educator and she continually focuses on developing independent living skills for every student she works with.  The Special Education Coordinator stated, “Sarah is tireless with her efforts in addressing the often diverse and intense needs of the students she serves. She is supportive and encouraging with her support staff.  She is quick and continual to celebrate student achievements with every milestone reached, as well as involving, acknowledging and celebrating teachers, custodians, administrators, therapists, secretaries and aides with their partnerships.  She demonstrates care and consideration for all of her shared students with their well-being and development.”  Sarah was touched and honored to receive the award last week at the ceremony.

We would also like to thank Creative Foundations for their ongoing generous support to hold this event!  Your kindness is appreciated!

Elli & Levi

"We love getting to do normal things- go to the movies, the zoo.  We do totally typical things!" -Laura Sanders, mother to the beautiful and wonderful Elli and Levi, siblings who were both born with Down Syndrome!

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