Junior Leadership Raises Over $3,000 for Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                Contact: Carrie Park

                                                                                                     Director, Medina County Jr. Leadership



“Junior Leadership Raises Over $3,000 for Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library”

{August 20, 2020, Medina County, Ohio}  Last December, participants from Junior Leadership of Medina County met with Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, and Ohio First Lady, Fran DeWine, about efforts to expand the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library (OHGIL) into Medina County. Also known as The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the program sends free books to registered children ages 0 – 5 once a month. Who knew that 6 months later, the group would still be helping raise money for the program?

The former high school juniors, now seniors, felt that the program was worth supporting, despite the fact that their year in Junior Leadership had come to a close. Jimmy DeJongh (Highland), Gracelin Gorman (MCCC), Elizabeth Oberhaus (Highland), Chase Marquis (Highland), Ian Morgan (Medina), Collin Spittle (Highland), Molly Stillwagon (Highland), and Emily Winnicki (Cloverleaf) worked tirelessly to help support the program that now serves more than 1400 children in Medina County.

“It shows you how powerful this age group can be,” said Junior Leadership Director, Carrie Park. “They set a long-term goal and didn’t stop until they achieved it. They could have sat back and told me that COVID would make this impossible, but they rose to the challenge.”

“If I could sum up our approach to funding OHGIL in one word, it would be ‘adaptable’,” Ian Morgan commented. “Over the course of the pandemic, we had to come up with new and creative ways to promote the program. If it weren’t for the concerted effort made by each and every member of our group, we could not have reached our goal of $3000.”

Every Saturday this summer, representatives from the group set up a table outside Honey Bee Bakery during the Farmer’s Market in Medina asking for donations to support the initiative. The students also created and ran a summer reading BINGO game that children could fill out and turn in later for a prize. Several businesses offered to sponsor the weeks and contribute matching funds.

Team leader, Molly Stillwagon, has a younger brother, Eli, who currently receives books every month from the program.

“This summer had its ups and downs, but actually being able to see the support from our community and how eager they were to see us succeed is what truly kept us motivated to keep going.” said Stillwater.

For 2020-2021, a new group of students in Junior Leadership will take the reigns and find a way to continue to make books accessible to the littlest residents in our county.



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