RECORDER THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017
‘Charitable chip cookies’ change lives, inspire youth Melissa Reinert email@example.com
MARTY WHITACRE FOR THE COMMUNITY RECORDER
From left, McKenzie Hill, 19, of Elsmere, Miss Kenton County 2016; Hannah Holtman, 15, of Florence, first runner-up; Eleanor Ickes, 14, of Winchester, Miss Kenton County Fair 2017; Caroline Meister, 14, of Taylor Mill, Miss Teen Kenton County 2017; and Kailey Varner, 13, of Williamstown, second runner-up, competed during the Kenton County Fair on Monday, July 10, in Independence. Watch for more Kenton County Fair coverage on Cincinnati.com.
The Point Arc is reaching out for community help COVINGTON – “Every gift counts” is more than the tagline of a $10 million capital campaign for The Point Arc of Northern Kentucky. It’s an attitude that’s kept the organization helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 45 years; an attitude that’s changing the world. “Every gift counts, not just the individual we serve – what they mean to the community – but what our staff and those who give of their time or money,” said Judi Gerding, The Point president and founder. “All the gifts count.” For Gerding, it has been a personal journey. She became involved to foster a better life
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for her son, Steve Gerding, and other individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gerding Over the years she’s learned an important lesson: “You always have to put the mission first and money second.” “We pride ourselves in being so lucky to have our Point donors who give for the right reason and who realize that they get the best return on their investment,” she said. This, only the third capital campaign by the organization, has three goals. The first goal supports operating and residential endowment funds. The second goal is to raze the
COVINGTON – Fourteenyear-olds Hue Tran and Grace DiCesare don’t just bake and sell chocolate chip cookies. They are changing lives with “charitable chip cookies.” “It’s a good feeling,” said Tran. “You can really impact people’s lives. I’ve learned that even if you’re not rich and famous, we can help our community. That’s pretty eye-opening.” Tran and DiCesare started their business, Caring with Cookies, in 2013, sharing 50 percent of their profits with several organizations that help children who are homeless. So far they’ve given more than $1,500. “When you hear about the homeless at first, you don’t think of children, maybe teens, but not children,” Hue said. “When we found out that many children in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are homeless, we realized how lucky we are to have so much. We wanted to give back.” This year the cookie duo want to branch out. Tran and DiCesare want to teach other children how to start and op-
erate their own business through a one-day summer workshop. They turned to the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington. They wrote a grant to get funds for their idea. The center offers nano grants of $250 to individuals who live, work, or study in Covington. “(The grants) serve as a resource for individuals who want to bring people together in a creative way by eliminating financial barriers that might exist,” said Kate Greene, program manager for the center. About 80 nano grants have been given over the last three years to support projects ranging from art walks for the visually impaired to culturally inspired cooking classes for the community. “The center’s mission is to spark positive growth by bringing people together, encouraging them to work with each other, and supporting their efforts to shape the future of the community,” Greene said. “The nano grant program serves as a vehicle to foster resident leadership, create a sense of belonging, See COOKIES, Page 2A
garage behind the current office building on West Pike Street in Covington, and build a new, two-story Anthony and Geraldine Zembrodt Social Communication and Educational Center. According to Gerding, plans include positioning an elevator between new construction and the current three-story office building. “This will bring all five educational programs under one roof, make both properties handicap-accessible and plenty of room to grow all Point programs,” Gerding said. The third goal is to build the first of its kind group home for eight residents in the commonwealth who need extra care. The campaign began in May and runs through the end of the THE ENQUIRER/MELISSA REINERT
See POINT, Page 2A
Hue Tran and Grace DiCesare are owners of Caring with Cookies.
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