Community Champions 2021: Past and Present
To continue the celebration of our 115th year anniversary, KenCrest will highlight some of the most impactful Community Champions we’ve had in the past, alongside several new Champions who have helped raise us up during the pandemic. We’re so incredibly grateful for every person, company, and organization that has been nominated since we began holding this event, and this year we honor both past and present Champions—those who have gone above and beyond to help us reach our mission.
We hope you will support our virtual event to be shared on social media as well as our website over the course of two weeks.
Mark your calendars to check out our social media platforms and our website from April 12 to 23 as we unveil a new Champion each day!
Click below to make a donation to the 2021 Community Champions event!
We encourage you to congratulate each winner as a way to celebrate their award. Your sponsorship, donation, and/or sharing of our social media posts will help to honor these deserving Champions of KenCrest.
KenCrest Lifesharing Provider of the Year:
Rhonda Moore – Saturday, 4/17/21
Each year, Community Champions has honored a Lifesharing Provider. These are special folks who decide to open their homes and hearts to a person who is looking for a supportive family environment as an alternative to other community living options.
We would like to announce that Rhonda Moore has been named the KenCrest Lifesharing Provider of the Year, a new award honoring Lifesharing Providers and their special place within the KenCrest Family. Rhonda has known Tom, the individual who lives with Rhonda, for over 20 years. She has a power to inspire connection and kinship, always energetic and positive.
Tom can be frustrated when his routine changes, which we all know was a big challenge for many of us during the last year. Rhonda always goes the extra mile to make sure Tom understands why these changes are necessary and how they can cope with them together. For example, Tom likes to get his haircut at a barbershop, and Rhonda has asked the stylists to let her know when the shop is empty, so he can go in safely.
She always puts Tom first, setting a great example for the entire team. In making Tom a priority, she also ensures he has the opportunity for social interactions and expanding his social network. Thank you, Rhonda, for being a Champion for Tom and an example of authentic inclusion for us all to follow!
PNC, Past Champion – Friday, 4/16/21
In times of trouble, Mr. Rogers famously said, “look for the helpers.” Today’s Community Champions award is a celebration of one of KenCrest’s biggest helpers, PNC. For a decade, PNC has been supporting our Early Learning Centers and community-building work. When the pandemic struck and school buildings closed, they kicked their efforts into high gear.
As students and families were trying to transition to remote programs, PNC donated 500 Learn-at-Home kits, full of supplies and materials to help every child succeed. They also donated iPads so that families enrolled in literacy and ESL classes and other education programs could still participate and connect with our teachers from home. PNC continued to support the KenCrest Family by hosting a book drive to restock our classrooms as well as the Little Libraries, which the PNC volunteers helped to build several years ago.
While the whole world seemed to be grinding to a halt, the amazing folks at PNC went above and beyond to help our students continue learning at full speed. They found creative ways to help our programs and students even when they could not be with us in person. Thank you, PNC, for being a Community Champion!
Pfizer, Past Champion – Thursday, 4/15/21
Our Community Champions celebration is continuing with a BIG thank you to today’s winners: the volunteer team from Pfizer! Pfizer has been volunteering with KenCrest since 2015 and their tireless efforts have gone a long way to building our community.
Pfizer’s volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to help with property maintenance, holiday decorating, and job training programs. They also helped us secure community grants to fund KenCrest’s art therapy programs. The team has been led by their fearless leader, Betty, who is not just a fierce advocate for the KenCrest Family, but also a big believer in the power of kindness and giving back. Even though Betty retired this year, the rest of the team will help continue the work that she started.
So many things changed due to the pandemic, but the importance of community never diminished. The team at Pfizer has never slowed in supporting an inclusive community. Thank you to our volunteer friends at Pfizer for being Community Champions!
Maria Collett, Past Champion – Wednesday, 4/14/21
Creating an inclusive community doesn’t happen without the support of elected officials who are able to steer the direction of legislation. That’s why today’s Community Champion is Pennsylvania Senator Maria Collett. Senator Collett has always been a champion of children, families, and people with disabilities. She is the prime sponsor for the Family Care Act, a bill that would establish an insurance fund to provide paid leave to all workers in PA so they could care for sick or elderly family members, individuals with disabilities, newly born or adopted children, and more.
Throughout the pandemic, Senator Collett advocated for child care and early learning needs, the disability community, and nonprofits as a whole. She used her experience as a nurse to introduce legislation that provided support and protection for frontline workers, including Direct Support Professionals, and stood up for an equitable vaccine program.
We can’t accomplish all that we do without help from the Capitol floor, and Senator Collett has always gone to bat for the KenCrest Family on “the big stage.” Thank you, Senator Maria Collett, for being a Community Champion!
Reformation Lutheran Church, Past Champion – Tuesday, 4/13/21
Today’s Community Champions celebration is in honor of a group of people who truly go above and beyond in every way: the congregation of Reformation Lutheran Church in Media, PA! RLC shares the same values as KenCrest, values they’ve taken to heart by introducing inclusive church services, advocating for those with disabilities, and supporting funds that help KenCrest’s clients and staff.
When the pandemic hit, the Reformation Family sprang into action to help the KenCrest Family! A women’s group from the church knitted prayer shawls to bring warmth and comfort to those in our community and independent living programs. The congregation donated classroom supplies for our Early Learning Center students attending class remotely and craft kits for adult clients who were missing out on their community engagement. Even the youngest members of the Reformation Family got involved by making “thank you” and “bear hug” cards for our direct care staff.
In times of challenge and change, it’s incredibly difficult to focus on others, but somehow the Reformation Family makes it look easy. Thank you, Reformation Lutheran Church, for being a Community Champion!
Ruth Hursh, Past Champion – Monday, 4/12/21
Welcome to the 2021 Community Champions celebration! Over the next two weeks we’ll be introducing you to the Champions who truly went above and beyond in service to the KenCrest community this past year. Today’s Community Champion is Ruth Hursh! Ruth has been a KenCrest Lifesharing provider since 2019 when she opened her home to Shanisha and shouldered the responsibility for her care.
Shanisha’s medical conditions have always presented challenges to her living a full life. Ruth has fought to ensure that Shanisha received the best care to help her achieve her goals. The pandemic led to changes in medical care but Ruth continued to work with Shanisha and, as a result, Shanisha is now more mobile than ever. They were able to continue some of their community involvement and Ruth found a monthly sensory box subscription that Shanisha loves.
Part of KenCrest’s mission is to explore possibilities, and Ruth has always investigated every possibility to make Shanisha’s life more meaningful. Thank you, Ruth, for being a Community Champion!
Our 2021 Sponsors
Champions Title Sponsor
James & Mary Jane Brenneman
Champions Week Sponsors
Barbara & James Beach
Meaningful Day Sponsors
Eric & Michelle Rahe
A. Abramson Tire Company • A-1 Construction Specialty, Inc. • Alvare Associates, Inc.
Charles J. Becker & Bro, Inc. • Leigh Anne & Steve Bell • Lance A. Berger & Associates • Linda & Robert Bugden
Carole Chapin • Paula Davis-West & Wayne West • Maria Deysher • Melissa DiSipio
Katie & Kevin Dougher • Jesse Fells & Aurora Kripa • Revs. Alina Gayeuski & Daniel Smith
Frank & Gail Guthridge • John & Melissa Howe • JDB Service Group, Inc. • Barbara & Nick Kochard
Catherine Nold • Carl & Lisa Rich • Lisa Sanvitale • Doris Schoener • Ethel Serianni
Brian Skinner & Barb Vanett • Kellie & Kevin Smith • Lauren Tilghman • David & Elizabeth Lexa Wilson
Maureen Quinn Yamamoto & Chris Yamamoto