Become a Foster Parent
Recognizing Good Work in our Community
Dawn Brodnick, Beech Brook Director of Foster Care | 2023 Suzanne Brookhart Harrison Award for Exceptional Service to Children
PRADCO | 2023 Community Partner Award
Bridgett Berry, Beech Brook Supervisor, Supportive Visitation & Nurturing Parenting | 2022 Mario Tonti Award
Beech Brook Anger Management Program | 2022 Debra Rex Fund for Positive Parenting
Donalvyn Smith, Beech Brook Foster Parent Recruiter and Trainer | 2022 Suzanne Brookhart Harrison Award for Exceptional Service to Children
Fairport Wealth | 2022 Community Partner Award
Dawn has been dedicated to Beech Brook's mission of helping children and families for more than 30 years. Throughout her journey, she has witnessed the challenges that both children and parents face. She firmly believes something we know very well at Beech Brook: "You can't expect kids to change if you don't strengthen the parents."
Dawn began working at Beech Brook in March 1992 as a family preservation therapist, eventually taking on critical roles in our family preservation program, supervision in our school-based program, and the Director of Family Services.
In all the roles Dawn has taken on over the course of her career, her number one goal has always been to leave a positive impact on her clients and be invited back, fostering relationships where she can help the entire family. In fact, Dawn was featured in this year's Annual Report, where she shared a story about a family she worked with who needed support - and became stronger because they accepted Beech Brook's help.
Each year, Beech Brook awards one organization that has been instrumental in helping Beech Brook advance our mission with the Community Partnership Award. For 2023's Annual Meeting, Beech Brook was happy to present PRADCO with this honor.
PRADCO's CEO, Terry Owen, is a member of Beech Brook's Board of Directors. After supporting Beech Brook personally for many year, he connected us with PRADCO.
PRADCO’s support for Beech Brook’s events has been substantial. For over 10 years, PRADCO has supported our critical fundraising events that support Beech Brook’s ability to further our mission. They supported our long-running event the Beech Ball and more recently, they have been one of our largest supporters of Bash for the Brook and our Beech Brook 5K and Family Fun Run.
Terry and Edda Owen, their daughter Kristin Tull and the rest of the team at PRADCO have been incredible ambassadors in the community for our mission.
The Mario Tonti Award, named in honor of longtime Beech Brook CEO Mario Tonti, is an annual award given to a direct service staff member who embodies Beech Brook's mission. For 2022, the well-deserved recipient of this award is Bridgett Berry, Clinical Supervisor for the Supportive Visitation and Nurturing Parenting programs.
Bridgett has been at Beech Brook for more than 23 years, starting out leading mental health groups and was recently promoted to her new supervisory role. According to Terri Davis, Senior Director of Prevention & Early Intervention services, "Bridgett has an incredible passion for her work, her team, and helping families gain and maintain stability. Bridgett brings her voice, not only to Beech Brook, but the various communities that we serve."
Terri continues, "When Bridgett sees a need in the community, she always takes the opportunity to educate and provide resources...[she] brings a cheerful outlook to work on a daily basis and always gives her best. Through her work, hearts have been touched, families have been transformed, and the impact will be felt for years to come."
The Mario Tonti Award also comes with a cash award, along with additional funds for professional development.
"Through [Bridgett's] work, hearts have been touched, families have been transformed, and the impact will be felt for years to come."
Terri Davis, Senior Director of Prevention & Early Intervention services at Beech Brook.
The Debra Rex Fund for Positive Parenting, an endowed fund named after prior Beech Brook President Debra Rex, was established to recognize one of Beech Brook's prevention and early intervention program that has demonstrated its effectiveness, shown positive outcomes, and provided excellence in service to its clients.
This year, Beech Brook's Anger Management program, held at the Family Center in the Carl B. Stokes Social Services Building, found that a significant portion of the participants improved across all measures after participating.
The Anger Management classes provide parents with the tools they need to recognize the underlying causes for their anger and learn to manage their feelings in a healthier way at home and in their everyday lives. This helps parents learn better ways to interact with their children and develop healthier relationships.
Anger Management Team
Above left, from left: Terri Davis, Christal Martin, Debra Brown, Darnell Carter, Jeanine Jackson, Tom Royer / Above right, from left: Terri Davis, Tom Royer, Cassandra Bigsby
Not pictured (but no less a part of the team!): Shaunetta Tucker
At this year's 170th Annual Meeting of Beech Brook's Board of Directors, held on September 29, 2022, Tom Royer presented long-time staff member Don Smith with The Suzanne Brookhart Harrison Award for Exceptional Service to Children. This award, Beech Brook's highest honor, is given to a professional who exemplifies the best in our field and is named after Sue Harrison, who was an incredible advocate and fundraiser for Beech Brook and served on our Board of Directors for more than 60 years.
Don began his work at Beech Brook 19 years ago as a floater for residential programming on campus. He went from floater, to maintenance worker, to eventual wraparound worker with Foster Care, the first person to fill that critical role.
Don is now Beech Brook's Foster Parent Recruiter and Trainer. His years of experience working directly with the foster parents – answering their phone calls in the middle of the night, helping them understand what the child is going through, and giving them the support they need – allows him to talk to people about the realities of being a foster parent.
Don has been an incredible asset in Beech Brook's mission of helping vulnerable children and families thrive. He worked his way up just by being himself and forming positive relationships with kids who most certainly lacked that connection throughout their lives. He gave the kids just what they needed, making him an excellent choice for the Suzanne Brookhart Harrison Award.
For nearly 30 years, Fairport Asset Management, now Fairport Wealth, has supported our critical fundraising events that support Beech Brook’s ability to further our mission. They supported our long-running event, the Beech Ball, our newest fundraiser, the Bash for the Brook, and our 5K Race that began in 2010. In fact, it was Tom Seifert, Partner and Senior Advisor at Fairport Wealth who has been a long-time supporter, advocate and 13-year Board member for Beech Brook, who helped originate the concept for the 5K Race and Family Fun Run, which has been going strong for almost 12 years.
This year, Fairport Wealth went a step further and selected Beech Brook as their 2022 Community Beacon. This partnership is a year-long commitment to offer both financial and volunteer support for various events and activities. Beech Brook, in turn, is providing our expertise on mental health and wellness in the form of educational resources to the clients and families served by Fairport Wealth.
Fairport Wealth’s support for Beech Brook’s events has been substantial. With our newest event, the Bash for the Brook, they helped plan, they volunteered, they sponsored, they participated, and they even won the trivia contest at the Bash! And they have already started to help promote and invite staff and clients to participate in our 5K Race & Family Fun Run on Sunday, October 23, and received our "Top Fundraising Team" Award.
We are so grateful for Fairport’s support over the years. Victor DeMarco, Beech Brook's Board Chair, presented Fairport Wealth's representative Annika Traner with the Community Partnership Award for 2022.
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You have the power to change a child's world by becoming a Beech Brook foster parent. Take the first step today!
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