CG&FS to Honor Cathy Clark with Friend of Children Award - News Article

CG&FS to Honor Cathy Clark with Friend of Children Award

CG&FS to Honor Cathy Clark with Friend of Children Award

Child Guidance & Family Solutions (CG&FS) is proud to announce that community volunteer, Cathy Clark, is the recipient of the 2016 Friend of Children Award. The public is invited to the Mending Hearts & Minds luncheon on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Fairlawn Country Club (200 North Wheaton Road, Akron, OH 44313) when the award will be presented.

Over a span of forty years living in Akron, Mrs. Clark has been deeply involved in various organizations and institutions that provide support to children and families. Starting as a volunteer with her children’s school she soon became involved in Summit County Juvenile Court, the Junior League of Akron, and subsequently into projects that targeted specific needs of our children.

In 1992, as a charter member of the Akron Child Guidance Women’s Board, Cathy and another charter member, Judy Stecz, spear-headed a new initiative that had been advanced by Judge Judy Nicely. This new program, ‘Remember the Children’, was created by Child Guidance and the Summit County Domestic Relations Court to make divorcing parents aware of and sensitive to the difficulties their children face. ‘Remember the Children’ received national attention - recognized by the J.C. Penny Golden Rule Award Committee - and international attention when it was presented as part of the United Nations International Year of the Family program in Geneva Switzerland. ‘Remember the Children’ has been replicated across the country and still continues as a mandate of the Summit County Domestic Relations Court to help children of divorce.

Mrs. Clark worked with CG&FS to find a facility for their family-centric programs. In 1999, Family TIES was established to provide a non-threatening, home-like setting for clients who were involved in a variety of therapeutic group programs. This new setting in a re-purposed home on Buchtel Avenue offered a more relaxing and comfortable environment for children and families, a concept that the Agency works to incorporate in its clinical facilities today.

Mrs. Clark has served on several special committees at Akron Children’s Hospital that led to her involvement in the Haslinger Family Palliative Care Center. She has been on the ACHMC Women’s Board for over 25 years, is a past trustee of Child Guidance & Family Solutions, and was involved with Summit County Juvenile Court in developing the first-in-the-country Women’s Board whose purpose was to provide volunteer support for the work of the Court and the children that were involved with it.

Along with her husband, Mark, she was Honorary Chair of the CG&FS 2012 Building A Healthier Community Capital Campaign that raised the funds to help finance the Agency’s relocation from their original site on Locust Street to a new, versatile and clinically-advanced facility in Akron’s Biomedical Corridor. Through her generosity of time, talent and resources, Cathy’s impact on the well-being of all children in our community – and especially those who suffer from the ‘invisible’ pain of mental, emotional or behavioral health issues – has ensured that all our children, adolescents and families have the opportunity to grow up healthier and stronger, enriching our community along the way.

Cathy’s sincerity and great heart are evident as she says, ‘Whether through word, deed or donation, it has been a rewarding pleasure to support the many dedicated health workers who do the important job of impacting the children and families in our community.’

Says Elaine Harlin, President & CEO, CG&FS: “Cathy has made a tremendous and long lasting positive impact on our community through her passion for families and her vision for family supportive programming. It has been my privilege to work with Cathy, and it is our honor to recognize Cathy for her decades of service and dedication to the children and youth of our community.”

Held annually, Mending Hearts & Minds is CG&FS’s report to the community of its impact on the health of our children, adolescents and families who struggle with mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues. Established through the efforts of dedicated community leaders and members of the Junior League of Akron over 75 years ago, CG&FS has been dedicated to making our children healthier, our families stronger, and our community richer by providing accessible mental health services to our children since 1939. No child is turned away because of an inability to pay.

Previous recipients of the award include former Akron Public School Board president, Betty Dalton; Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) and its Executive Director, Anthony O’Leary; Akron Children’s Hospital and its President & CEO, William H. Considine; the Akron Area YMCA and its President & CEO Douglas R. Kohl; and Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio.