Strata’s community service initiative focuses on causes that we are passionate about and causes that impact the Strata Family personally. We are so fortunate to have been supported by our community over the past 25 years and we want to do our part to give back. Here is what we have been up to...
In August, Tony, Mitch, and Kyle, along with Kyle’s uncle (and satisfied Strata client), Darren Wyville, participated in the Karen P. Nakon Breast Cancer Foundation golf outing at Red Tail Golf Club in Avon, OH. Despite the purchase of many mulligans, our Strata Team did not make it onto the leaderboard, however, it was an enjoyable day and a great cause. The Karen P. Nakon Breast Cancer Foundation was established on February 22, 2003, Karen’s 38th birthday and the date of her death, to honor her graceful and courageous five-year battle against breast cancer. Because Karen was concerned about the lack of funding for research and some families’ inability to endure the high cost of treatment, it was Karen’s wish, and therefore the mission, that a foundation be created to help families in financial crisis due to a breast cancer diagnosis. This golf outing has raised over $230,000 over its first 5 years. Thanks to all who helped make it happen this year!
For Strata’s July community service initiative, Kyle volunteered with A Dementia Friendly LIFE, a non-profit foundation whose mission is to “partner with anyone touched by dementia, and offer resources, education, and engaging activities which promote and improve quality of LIFE.”
LIFE stands for “Linking Individuals and Families through Education and Engagement.” They do this through Memory Cafés held throughout the week at different churches. Those living with dementia, along with their caregivers, can come and participate in crafts, music, exercise, games, and pet therapy, among many other engaging activities. The caregivers even get some time to sit down together and talk / support each other. Through the help of volunteers and donations by local healthcare facilities, these Memory Cafés are offered for FREE to those affected by dementia in our local communities. Thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors for making these life-enriching programs available.
For Strata’s June community service initiative, Kyle and his parents, Jack and Cindy, volunteered as greeters for the “Race for Kids 2023,” a 5K race and 1-mile walk benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio. The race took place on Saturday, June 24th at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Triston McKenzie, starting pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians, was the race ambassador and spoke to all the participants and volunteers after the race.
This event is the largest fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, which this year raised nearly $140,000. All proceeds will go towards helping to provide safe, fun places for kids, ages 6-18, to go after school throughout Northeast Ohio. Boys & Girls Clubs are able to offer programming that focuses on healthy lifestyles, academic success, and character development.
Strata Financial Group is proud to support such an impactful and influential organization in our community.
For Strata’s May community service initiative, Shayla and her husband, Zander, volunteered for Walk MS®: Cleveland, which is an annual fundraising walk put on by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Shayla and Zander worked in the t-shirt distribution tent and handed out t-shirts to participants. There was a great turnout on a beautiful Saturday morning and a total of $231,955 in donations were raised for the event! These funds will fuel groundbreaking research that will get us closer to a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
Thank you to Shayla and Zander for volunteering their time and to all the other volunteers, participants, and donors.
About 92% of Walk MS participants have a personal connection to MS, so not only is it a key fundraising event each year, but it’s an empowering experience for those living with MS.
If you would like to donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization, please visit their website by clicking HERE.
For Strata’s April community service initiative, Mitch and Shayla volunteered for United Way of Greater Lorain County, by delivering books to “Little Free Libraries” across Lorain County.
The Lorain County Little Free Library program is part of a network of 150,000+ Little Free Libraries spanning the entire world. You have probably seen them around town – they are little houses with books in them that you can take and read. When you are finished reading, just return them to any Little Free Library for someone else to enjoy.
It was Mitch and Shayla’s job to check on all ten of United Way of Greater Lorain County’s Little Free Libraries and re-stock them, organize them, and report any damage to the structures.
Thanks to Mitch and Shayla for volunteering their time and to United Way of Greater Lorain County for making sure everyone in our community has access to books!
For Strata’s March community service initiative, Kyle volunteered with the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD) as an attendant for a sensory-friendly presentation of “The Gruffalo” at Playhouse Square. “The Gruffalo” is part of the Children's Theater Series presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. This special sensory-friendly matinee was reserved for guests on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as those with sensory challenges or developmental disabilities. What made this performance sensory-friendly?
This was a great event for children, families, and groups requiring a sensory-friendly environment, who otherwise would not have been able to attend a live performance like this. The best part for Kyle was seeing the pure joy and wonder on the kids’ faces.
In February, Eastview Elementary School in Avon Lake had a “Battle of the Grades” food drive where each grade was assigned certain items to bring in for the week. The grade that brought in the most donations won a Pajama Day at school (congratulations to the kindergartners!). Following the food drive, the donations were dropped off at Community Resource Services (CRS), which serves as the designated emergency food pantry for Avon and Avon Lake.
For Strata’s February community service initiative, Kyle and Shayla volunteered at CRS to help weigh and sort all of the donations from Eastview Elementary’s food drive. A grand total of 991.60 pounds of food, cleaning supplies, and hygiene products were donated! As an added bonus, while Kyle and Shayla were sorting, another donation from Redwood Elementary School came in – another 120.05 pounds! Thanks to all the students, parents, and staff at Eastview and Redwood elementary schools for the donations, and to CRS for providing this crucial service to those in need in our community.
Over 50 years ago, President Richard Nixon designated January as National Blood Donor Month. It’s an important month for blood donations because seasonal demand is high in the winter and donations usually take a dip around the holidays due to inclement weather and sickness. Currently, there is a national blood shortage. According to Angel Montes, Donor Services Executive for the Red Cross Northwest Region, “Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.” Mitch and Kyle answered the call and donated in January. If you would like to donate, you can go to https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive to find a drive near you!
For Strata’s December community service initiative, Strata made a donation to Out of Darkness, as part of the 8th annual “Our Hand to Homeless” campaign organized by Anna Rosier. Anna is a Sophomore in high school and lives in Dublin, OH. She was a third grader when she first started collecting items for the homeless. This year she collected 1,263 total hats, gloves, scarves, socks, and hygiene items. These donations were provided to the following organizations:
This is the third year in a row Strata has been able to contribute to “Our Hand to Homeless.” A huge “thank you” goes out to Anna and her friends and family for all of their time and effort spent putting this together for such a worthy cause.
Our 3rd Annual Strata Financial Group “401(K)anned Food Drive,” benefitting Goodwill of Lorain County, ran from November 1st through November 15th and we were, once again, blown away by the generosity and support of our clients and community. We were able to collect 776 lbs. of food! Although we fell short of our 1,000-pound goal, we collected a record $300 in monetary donations, and Goodwill raised another $1,202.48 as part of their “round up at the register” campaign. The donations were delivered to Goodwill just in time for their November “Good Will” food pantry distribution, which is open to families in need every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at 145 Keep Ct. in Elyria, OH. The donations from the Strata food drive provided nearly 4,000 meals to over 440 people in our local community.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to everyone who donated and supported our food drive this year!
For our October community service initiative, Mitchell A. Romeo, CPWA®, CPFA, was invited to be a guest speaker at the Cleveland State University Beta Alpha Psi International Honor Organization for Financial Information Students and Professionals. This student-led organization consists of CSU students who are interested in pursuing a career in the finance industry.
Mitchell gave a similar presentation at Eastern Michigan University earlier this year for the Financial Management Association. Mitchell really enjoys mentoring and providing professional guidance to students interested in the finance field. A big thanks to Mitchell for taking the time to talk to the students and hopefully help them along their professional journey.
For our September community service initiative, Strata made a donation to the 8th Annual Dick Goddard APL Telethon hosted by Fox 8. This year, the telethon ran from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM on September 15th and raised $170,951! The donations will go towards Tremont-based Cleveland Animal Protective League’s mission of fostering compassion and ending animal suffering by providing shelter to homeless animals and animals that have been rescued from abuse or neglect.
If you’re looking for a furry friend to adopt, feel free to stop by the Cleveland Animal Protective League located at 1729 Willey Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113.
You can find out everything you need to know about adopting here!
Our August community service initiative featured our second 5K race of the year, this time as participants rather than volunteers. Kyle and Lauren, along with their kids, Will and Lucy, ran (and rolled) in the Fat Head’s Brewery 5K in North Olmsted, benefitting the North Olmsted Kiwanis Club. Over 400 people participated in the race and enjoyed some delicious refreshments afterwards on the patio.
A little bit about the North Olmsted Kiwanis Club – they provide educational scholarships to high school students, sponsor boy scouts, assist elderly and disabled citizens with repairs, and provide funds and supplies to local food pantries, among other things in the community.
Unfortunately, other Strata team members were unable to make the race so Strata made an additional donation.
We are always looking for ways to help and give back to our community. Let us know if we can help an organization or a cause that is near and dear to you!
We took a pause on our community service for July as we celebrated our 2nd annual Strata Family Day! Good times were had by all as we enjoyed some delicious food on the banks of Lake Erie at Huntington Reserve in Bay Village. The only footage captured from the event was a video of the water balloon toss competition (blurry screenshot pictured below). Kyle and Lauren Hancharick won the first round and Nate Harmych and Ava Kalonik won round two. It was great to get outside and enjoy a beautiful day with our extended Strata Family.
For Strata’s June community service initiative, Kyle and Mitch volunteered as route marshals for the “Race for Kids,” a 5K race and 1-mile walk benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio. The race took place on Saturday, June 25th at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Triston McKenzie, starting pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians, was the race ambassador and spoke to all the participants and volunteers after the race. All proceeds will go towards helping to provide safe, fun places for kids, ages 6-18, to go after school throughout Northeast Ohio.
Boys & Girls Clubs are able to offer programming that focuses on healthy lifestyles, academic success, and character development. The CEO of the Northeast Ohio division, Jeff Scott, announced at the race that they are planning to open eight new clubs across the region this summer, including sites in Euclid, Lorain, and Elyria. This is the first phase of a strategic plan to double the number of kids served by 2025.
For our May community service initiative, Strata Financial Group was a Gold Sponsor for the Butch Wagner Memorial Golf Outing at Mills Creek Golf Course in Sandusky, OH. Strata’s own Ron Jurczynski and Nate Harmych teamed up with Chris Harmych and Brent Baumgartner to shoot 10 under par for the scramble.
For 64 years, Charles “Butch” Wagner was a devoted sports writer and editor at the Sandusky Register. During his time there he passionately highlighted thousands of local student-athletes and their accomplishments on and off the field. His name is synonymous with sports in the Sandusky area. A scholarship fund has been established in his memory to continue supporting local student-athletes and their endeavors.
Strata was honored to be a part of the memorial golf outing and to support the Butch Wagner scholarship fund.
The unprovoked war in Ukraine has caused so many innocent lives to be lost and families to be broken. To do our small part, Strata made a donation to Save the Children for our April community service initiative. Save the Children is a worldwide organization that works “to ensure children have healthcare, food and shelter, as well as learning and child protection services when children need it most.” Currently, their focus is, of course, on Ukraine – working to support children and their families in the country, as well as those that have been displaced by the war. We hope and pray for a quick and peaceful resolution to this awful tragedy happening overseas.
April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to help Americans get educated on their finances. In preparation for this very important month (in our eyes at least), one of our advisors, Mitchell Romeo, partnered with Goodwill of Lorain County to host a 2-part Financial Literacy presentation series for the local community to attend throughout March. Based on feedback from last year’s presentations, the focus this year was on taxes.
In his first presentation, Mitchell went over all the tax basics, including federal tax brackets, deductions, filing status, contribution limits, gathering tax documents, and different ways to file your taxes.
In his second presentation, Mitchell actually went through a full hypothetical tax return filing using TurboTax. He was able to help out a lot of individuals who had questions about their own returns.
A big THANK YOU goes out to Mitchell for volunteering his time and making a difference in our local community.
Over the past couple months, Kyle has been volunteering at the May Dugan Center in Cleveland. The Center is a lifeline for 6,500 individuals and families who rely on a multitude of services to improve their lives and communities. Services include food and clothing distributions, educational resources, behavioral health resources, support programs for teenage mothers, trauma recovery services, and social programs for senior citizens. Kyle has been helping with the food distribution program by preparing food pantry bags for needy individuals and families in the Cleveland area. Bags include canned vegetables and fruit, milk, cereal, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, rice, spaghetti, and a few other miscellaneous items. Distributions are handed out (via drive-through) and delivered to over 800 families, twice a month, and this is only one of the many services the May Dugan Center provides. They are always looking for volunteers so feel free to visit their website to see if there are any opportunities that might sound interesting to you!
For our first community service initiative of 2022, our very own Mitchell A. Romeo, CPWA®, CPFA, was invited to be a guest speaker at the Eastern Michigan University Financial Management Association. This student-led organization consists of EMU students who are interested in pursuing a career in the financial services industry. Mitchell started off his presentation by going through all the different fields and opportunities in finance. Then he gradually narrowed it down to talking specifically about Strata Financial Group and the work that we do helping individuals, families, and companies with wealth management and financial planning. The most rewarding part, according to Mitchell, came at the end of the presentation during the “Question and Answer” session. He was able to answer a myriad of questions from eager and enthusiastic students – questions ranging from what general skills and requirements are needed for certain jobs to personal experiences that Mitchell has gone through over the years. A big thanks to Mitchell for taking the time to talk to the students and hopefully help them along their professional journey.