Thursday, April 5, 2018 / The Toledo Zoo & Malawi Event Center
A Night of Hope and Heroes in Toledo
Toledo, OH: The RIDGE Project’s 5 th Annual Gala, held inside the Malawi Event Center at the Toledo Zoo on April 5, 2018, truly was a night to remember. Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A, delivered a moving and hope filled keynote address following opening remarks from Ron and Cathy Tijerina, Co-Executive Directors of The RIDGE Project , Tim and Michelle Thomas, founders of Rock The Dream , and Khelleh Konteh, Director of Pennsylvania Correctional Industries.
During the evening The RIDGE Project was proud to recognize several local heroes with our first ever TYRO HERO Awards . Our 2018 list of winners included: Al and Kathy Caperna ( TYRO Entrepreneurship Hero Award), Pastor Jonathan Perry ( TYRO Faith-In-Action Hero Award), Daniel Williams ( TYRO Hero Award), Daniel Rogers ( TYRO Transformation Hero Award), and Gary Cates ( TYRO Visionary Hero Award). Also recognized during the event was The Reentry Coalition of Northwest Ohio, Inc., which was awarded the 2018 Khelleh Konteh Award.
“The entire evening was amazing; from our TYRO testimonials, to the donor testimonials to our keynote speaker, Rodney Bullard. We truly could not have asked for a better event,” said Cathy Tijerina, Co-Executive Director of The RIDGE Project . “The sold out crowd was incredible in their support of the children and families of incarcerated parents. It was a perfect storm of advocates, donors, facilitators, politicians and elected officials coming together to make a difference. It was our honor and privilege to be surrounded by so many amazing people and to be able to recognize some local heroes doing such incredible work with our first annual TYRO Hero Awards.”
We would like to recognize and thank some of the amazing businesses that helped make our 5 th Annual Gala Possible. To our Platinum Sponsor, Molina Healthcare, along with our other sponsors: Caresource, CMC Group, Culligan Water Conditioning, Deitering Landscape, Fortman Insurance Services, Great Lakes Truck Driving School, Millwood, Inc., Paramount Health Care, Promedica, Sherwood State Bank, and Urban Light Ministries, we cannot thank you enough for your unwavering support of our mission and the hope your generosity provides to the children and families of incarcerated parents.
Founded in 2000, The RIDGE Project is a Christian, non-profit organization dedicated to empowering generational responsibility in individuals and improving the lives of families throughout the state of Ohio. Our organization believes that strong families produce strong children, who will pass on that legacy of strength to future generations.
Approximately 50,000 men and women are incarcerated in the state of Ohio? Perhaps you, or someone you love, has been affected by incarceration. For the past 17 years, The RIDGE Project has been working to stop generational cycles of incarceration by offering it’s nationally recognized, award-winning program inside prisons, county jails, juvenile detention centers, and reentry facilities in Ohio and across the nation. The program, called TYRO, focuses on keeping families intact and preparing men and women to lead their children into a future defined by hope.
The RIDGE Project has been fortunate in receiving multiple state and federal grants, but still, hundreds of men, women and youth are on waiting lists, hoping for a chance to participate. Your ticket purchase, and additional support, will help us to expand services into institutions and communities that have a desperate need, and desire, to create positive change through the TYRO program.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says, “I want to thank The RIDGE Project for the work it does to make Ohio a better place and thank them for choosing the Toledo Zoo, which has been recognized as the best zoo in the nation…”