Hattie Larlham Honors Volunteers, Employees and Businesses at Annual Friendship Luncheon
Aaron Dallner started volunteering at Hattie Larlham while he was in high school. Nine years later, Dallner still comes to Hattie Larlham twice a week to spend one-on-one time
with residents. While he is sharing music or jokes with them, getting them outside, or playing games with them, he’s also helping them to reach their goals.
Aaron, winner of this year’s Youth Hero award, is one of nine honorees celebrated on June 15 at Hattie Larlham’s 4th Annual Friendship Luncheon in Twinsburg. WKYC Anchor Sara Shookman presented the awards.
- Marilyn Styblo, Volunteer of the Year, who has volunteered at the Center for Children with Disabilities for 24 years
- Nonie Marshall, Outstanding Individual, nominated for her compassion and caring during her 23-year tenure as a direct care provider to Hattie Larlham group home residents and program participants
- The Cleveland Automobile Club Orphans’ Outing Fund, recognized as this year’s Outstanding Group for 25 straight years of supporting local field trips for young children at the Center for Children with Disabilities
- Whitney Papp, winner of this year’s Youth Award for turning her 13th birthday party into a fundraiser for Hattie Larlham’s Doggie Day Care & Boarding program
- GOJO Industries, Corporate Partner of the Year, for providing competitive work training and employment opportunities to Hattie Larlham trainees
- GOJO employee Nicole Wilson as Corporate Hero for her advocacy of participants in Hattie Larlham’s Vocational program.
- Aaron Wornica, a graduate of Hattie Larlham’s work training program, was recognized with the Trailblazer Award for Employment Success for his achievements as a job coach and in his new role at the University of Akron
- The Winking Lizard Tavern received the Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Employer for consistently providing opportunities for people with disabilities at their locations.
In 2017, more than 650 volunteers logged 9,000 hours at Hattie Larlham locations, which include seven Constant Companions day programs, three Doggie Day Care and Boarding sites, and community residences in Summit and Cuyahoga counties in addition to the main campus at Mantua.
Hattie Larlham Interim CEO Stephen Colecchi invoked the organization’s founding in remarks to the 150 guests gathered at the event. “By celebrating all of you today, we are celebrating Mrs. Larlham and the gift of love she and her family gave freely to fragile babies and children. Today’s honorees exemplify that selfless love and compassion – leading, teaching, caring, and cheering on the people we serve. The impact you have all had on the people we serve carries on the Larlham legacy and mission of providing comfort, joy, and achievement.”
Support for the luncheon was provided in part by presenting sponsors Akron Children’s Hospital and GoJo Industries, with additional support from the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board.