September 2014 - The Rec2connect Foundation was established as a non-profit, 501c 3 entity.
January 2015 - First Board meeting was held and the planning began for our future programming!
October 2015 - 31 Fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 at TGI Fridays in Brooklyn
November 2015 - Celebrity Bartender Fundraiser at Barley House from 6:00-9:00
May 2016 - First round of scholarships awarded for 5 individuals to participate in area camp programs and 4 individuals to attend aquatic therapy sessions, totaling $3150.00
August 2016 - Second round of scholarships awarded for 1 individual to participate in Dancing Wheels
September 2016 - We hosted 120 people to attend an Indians game. 25 people attended on field batting practice and 10 people enjoyed the game from the FOX Suite.
November 2016 - Second Annual Celebrity Bartending Event at the Barley House
December 2016 - Chick fil a Spirit Day to benefit the Rec2connect Foundation.
December 2016 - We were chosen by Wayside Furniture to give 12 tickets to their Suite to the Browns game on December 24th to 2 families, including 14 people.
February 2017- Hosted 100 families to a pool and pizza party at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park.
April 2017 - Free ATA Martial Arts Event for individuals were able to trial a 1 hour martial arts class
May 2017 - 214 people attended the Cleveland Indians game, 39 people were able to view game from the suite level, donated by the Indians and FOX sports
May 2017 - First Quarter Scholarships were awarded to 7 families totaling $2338.00
June 2017 - 6 families awarded $1446 in scholarships
August 2017 - 3 families awarded $804
November 2017 - 3rd Annual Celebrity Bartending Event at the Barley House
February 2018 - 132 indviduals joined us for a Pool and Pizza Party at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park
March 2018 - 9 families awarded $5205 in scholarships
March 2018 - 13 Families participated in a try in class at Beyond Words Music and Dance Center. The children explored music through dance, movement and instruments!
April 2018 - Hosted a showing at Playhouse Square of Sensory Friendly performance of "Guess How Much I Love You" and "I Love My Little Story Book"
May 2018 - 54 families enjoyed Rec2Connect Family Day at Progressive Field when the Cleveland Indians played the Houston Astros.
June 2018 - Try It event with Rec2Connect. Participants explored aquatic therapy, adapted aquatics, a Parent & Me Swim Class, aquatic exercise and swim team.
July 2018 - Family pool party at Hinckley Reservation
August 2018 - 226 people enjoy Rubber Ducks Family Day at the ball park
October 2018 - Try It Saturday at The Foundry in downtown Cleveland
November 2018 - annual celebrity bartender fundraiser at The Barley House
We began The Rec2connect Foundation to assist individuals with special needs in enhancing their recreation potential and experiences in life. In working with children, adults and families with special needs, we recognize the financial challenges and strive to assist in providing recreation experiences for individuals with special needs, while limiting the cost. We also recognize a need for family community events, where families can unite to engage in recreation activities together. We are honored to provide scholarship opportunities and family recreation activities to assist families in expanding their recreation repertoire, memories, and experiences together.
Thank you for the support that’s made it all possible!
Mrs Jen Knott
Learn more about area recreation programs in Northeast Ohio
It’s amazing what we can do when we come together.
OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Rec2Connect Foundation Board
Jennifer Knott - Executive Director
Jennifer is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Leisure Studies, with a concentration in Recreation Therapy and a minor in Psychology. Jennifer began Rec2Connect in 2009 with 2 clients. She launched the Rec2Connect Foundation in 2014. Her previous experience includes: Classroom Behavior Therapist at Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, Job coach at Goodwill Industries, Volunteer in Aquatic Therapy at Hattie Larlham in the Physical Therapy Department and Recreation Therapist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Lawrence (Larry) Mack - Treasurer
Larry holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Cornell University, an MBA degree from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is an Executive Vice President at Key Bank. Larry leads the Private Loan Management group for the Institutional Bank throughout Key’s franchises, focusing on the Industrial, Energy, Consumer, Diversified Industries, Financial Services, and Public Sector Groups. He is responsible for underwriting, structuring and executing large, complex transactions as well as monitoring of the existing loan portfolio consisting of $30 billion in commitments. Larry is also active in the community, recently finishing his term as Board Chair at Montefiore Nursing Home and Treasurer at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. Larry is currently on the Board of the Association of Jewish Aging Services and Rec2Connect Foundation.
Lindsay Svetlak - Secretary
Lindsay graduated from Allegheny College in 2007 with her B.A. in History and received her J.D. from The University of Akron School of Law in 2011. Lindsay is an associate attorney at Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co., LPA, located in Westlake, Ohio, where she is a member of the Business, Transactional, and Corporate law, Real Estate and Environmental Law, Banking Law, Debtor/Creditor Law, and Franchise Law practice groups. Lindsay is also an active member of the Cleveland Young Professionals of the American Cancer Society and previously served on the American Cancer Society’s Harvesting Hope Gala Planning Committee in 2015 and 2016.
Lynn Barninger - Vice President and Chairman of Fundraising Committee
Lynn is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a degree in Parks and Recreation with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Adapted Physical Education. Lynn currently works at the Cleveland Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center providing Aquatic Therapy in their outpatient clinic to the veterans. Her previous experience includes working in long-term care and skilled nursing rehabilitation. Lynn’s true passion started right out of college when she worked with children and adults with disabilities providing them community leisure opportunities and coordinating a wheelchair sports program for a non-profit organization outside of Chicago, IL.
Elizabeth (Jamie) Casey - Chair of Annual Fund Committee
Jamie has a BS in Business Administration from Bryant College. Previously, she worked for Merrill Lynch Realty in relocation and referral. Currently, Jamie is the Land Use Administrator for the Town of Sharon in Connecticut. Since 1993, she has assisted the Town Fire Marshal and Building Inspector, with the position currently encompassing all aspects of land use including Zoning, Wetlands, Historic and Health. Activities in the community include 32-years as a Certified Emergency Medical Technician and Current Captain of the volunteer Sharon Ambulance Squad, current President of the Sharon Community Foundation, member of the Sharon Woman’s Club and retired State Certified Firefighter 1 and Treasurer of the Sharon Fire Department, Inc. Both the Fire Department and Ambulance Squad are 100% volunteer and depend on donations and fund raising in order to operate.
Kimberly Fletcher - Marketing Director
Kimberly Fletcher brings over 20 years of volunteer experience within the community with organizations such as the YMCA (NY), Dance Marathon (MI), Miracle League (MI), South Farmington Baseball League (MI) and her current local parish. Kimberly moved back to the Cleveland area in 2016 and became involved with Rec2Connect Foundation. She helps with various market outreach programs as well as coordination of events held by Rec2Connect Foundation.
Laurie Silver - President and Chairman of Grant and Scholarship Committees
Laurie is the parent of 3, including a 12 year old son with special needs. She has extensive experience within the special needs community regarding services available, education, therapy and recreation resources in the Greater Cleveland area. Her son has received aquatic therapy at Rec2Connect for the last 8 years. Laurie received a BS degree from Denison University and a Doctor of Science from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She has served on the Committee for Capital improvement for the Mandel Jewish Community Center, as Committee Chair for Boy Scout Troop 662 in Shaker Heights, and is currently the co-President for the Shaker Heights High School Band Boosters. She is also a member of the Deafness Advocacy Committee (DAC) at Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, and co-coordinator of EARS, a support group for teens who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Morgan Forsythe - Chairman of Try it Committee
Morgan earned her Special Education degree from Ohio University along with a minor in Psychology and a certificate in Diversity Studies. She is a licensed K-12 Intervention Specialist and she currently works at Friendship Circle of Cleveland as their Behavioral Intervention Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator. Her previous experience includes working with children of varying abilities, coaching a swim team for four years, teaching private swim lessons, teaching toddler fitness classes, fundraising, and interning at a rehabilitation center for toddlers and infants with disabilities in Israel.
Matthew Klein - Chairman of Family Events Committee
Matt is the parent of two boys, one of which has significant delays. His son has received aquatic therapy and other services from Rec2Connect. Matt is currently a Principal with Findley, a human resources consulting firm. Matt is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and an Enrolled Actuary under ERISA. Matt has a Master’s Degree from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Ashland University. In addition to Rec2Connect, Matt is also the director for the Lorain County Special Needs Resource Day and a past Chair of the Board for Middleburg Early Education Center.
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