Community Service 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 20+ years and we want to do our part to give back. Here is what we have been up to... July 2022 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. June 2022 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.Strata Financial Group is proud to support such an impactful and influential organization in our community. May 2022 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. April 2022 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. March 2022 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. February 2022 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! January 2022 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. December 2021 For Strata’s December community service initiative, Strata made a donation to Friends of the Homeless, as part of the 7th annual “Our Hand to Homeless” campaign organized by Anna Rosier. Anna is a Freshman 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 the most items ever – 1,601 total hats, gloves, scarves, socks, and hygiene items. These donations were provided to the following organizations:Out of Darkness – battered women’s shelterStar House – homeless shelter for teens and young adultsFriends of the Homeless – men’s homeless shelterVolunteers of America – supporting 70+ veteransThanks to Anna for her time and effort in putting this together for such a worthy cause this time of year. November 2021 Our 2nd Annual Strata Financial Group 401(K)anned Food Drive ran from November 1st through November 15th and we were blown away by the generosity and support of our clients and community. We collected 944 lbs. of food and $50 in cash donations. Additionally, Goodwill raised another $852.81 as part of their “round up at the register” campaign that ran from November 1st – 15th. All donations were delivered to Goodwill’s “Good Will” pantry that has served 27,567 meals to 1,082 families so far in 2021. The “Good Will” pantry has their next distribution scheduled for Wednesday, December 15th from 10:00AM – 12:00PM. THANK YOU to everyone who donated and supported our food drive. Because of you, hundreds of families in our local community will not go hungry this holiday season. October 2021 According to the Red Cross, there is currently an emergency blood shortage. Chris Hrouda, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services, recently gave the following statement regarding the shortage: “Throughout the pandemic, we have experienced challenges collecting blood for patients from blood drive cancellations to surging hospital demand. Now with decreased blood donor turnout, our Red Cross blood supply has dropped to the lowest it has been at this time of year since 2015.”Mitch and Kyle answered the call and donated blood at the Red Cross, Lorain County chapter in Elyria as part of Strata’s October community service initiative. If you would like to donate, please visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/ and schedule an appointment today! September 2021 Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 14. With September being National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Strata made a donation to the University of Massachusetts Amherst lacrosse team “Vs. Cancer” campaign, benefitting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. We were able to help one of our summer interns and UMass goalie, Dominic Elmo, exceed his personal fundraising goal of $300. The proceeds for this fundraiser will be used to support families in local children’s hospitals as well as fund life-saving pediatric brain tumor research. Thanks to Dominic and the entire UMass Lacrosse team for taking a stand against childhood cancer! August 2021 For our August community service initiative, Hannah and Kyle volunteered as “book sorters” at the United Way of Greater Lorain County. Books are one of the four items collected as part of the United Way’s Collect-Sort-Deliver impact initiative. Books are donated by community members, local businesses, and corporate partners who hold collections. Then the books are sorted, quality checked, and inventoried by volunteers and are made available to the community through the United Way’s collaborative partners, Little Free Libraries, and literacy kits for children. Hannah and Kyle were excited to get out of the office early on a Friday, but even more excited to help get books in the hands of children throughout the community! July 2021 We put our community service initiative on hold for July as we prepared for our inaugural Strata Family Day. Team members and their families met at Rocky River Reservation and enjoyed an all-day picnic filled with plenty of food, games, and water balloons.We couldn’t help ourselves, we also cleaned up some trash around the park in between cornhole and Spike Ball games.A big congratulations goes out to Lynnae and Devan for winning the water balloon toss!From our family to yours, we hope you are enjoying your summer and THANK YOU for being a part of our Strata Family. June 2021 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 26th at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Baker Mayfield was the (virtual) race ambassador and one lucky participant won a Browns jersey signed by Baker himself. 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:Over 367,865 meals are served to kids in Northeast Ohio every year.91% of Club Members graduate on time.54% of alumni said the Boys & Girls Clubs “saved my life.”Strata Financial Group is proud to support such an impactful and influential organization in our community. May 2021 Now that it is finally summer, some Strata team members were able to get outside and participate in the 12th annual “2FGR Run for Down Syndrome,” benefitting the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO). DSACO’s mission is to support families, promote community, and encourage a lifetime of opportunities for people with down syndrome. The event was once again “virtual” this year, allowing the Sheffield Village office to participate in the Dublin, OH-based 5K race in their own communities. Thanks to Strata for sponsoring the runners and for supporting the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio. April 2021 For Strata’s April community service initiative, we donated to the Blessing House “Be Part of the Heart” Campaign. Blessing House is a shelter located in Lorain that helps families who are in crisis by providing shelter for children and support for their families. There is a constant waiting list for the shelter, sometimes reaching up to 50 children.The “Be Part of the Heart” campaign is raising money to build a new facility that will expand the capacity by 3x, allowing Blessing House to help all children who need it. Strata is proud to support such an impactful organization and we are excited to see the positive effect this new facility will have on our community! March 2021 April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to help Americans get educated on their finances so as to avoid making costly mistakes. 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 4-part Financial Literacy presentation series for the local community to attend throughout March. Mitchell presented a number of financial topics to help educate and prepare community members for tax season and beyond. These topics included:Budgets: Building a Budget for You, Your Family, or Your BusinessCredit: Understanding, Building, Obtaining, and Reviewing HistoryTax Season: Gather Your Documents, Understand Your Filing Options, and Review Keeping Adequate RecordsInvestments: Understanding Empoloyment Retirement Plans and Additional Personal Options18 people attended the classes including multiple Goodwill employees. A big THANK YOU goes out to Mitchell for volunteering his time and making a difference in our local community. February 2021 This February marked the second anniversary of the passing of our dear friend, Rino Romeo. As a founding partner and co-owner of Strata Financial Group, he played an instrumental role in shaping the company that we are today. Throughout his career, Rino’s unmatched work ethic and calming demeanor helped so many of his clients reach their financial and retirement goals. His legacy will forever be a part of Strata Financial Group as we continue to grow and expand. Rino literally changed peoples’ lives and that is what we are striving to do every single day in his honor.Rino loved basketball, watching college football, traveling, fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle. He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Amanda (nee Tromczynski); parents, Fred and Iolanda Romeo; brothers, Carlo (Beth) Romeo, of Avon, and Dr. Fred Romeo, of Columbus; sister-in-law, Maria (Tim) Yurick; nephew, Mitchell Romeo; nieces, Cecile Romeo, Kelly and Amber Yurick; and his beloved dogs, Gia and Renzo.In loving memory of Rino, Strata has made a donation to St. Peter Parish in Lorain to help with the repair and renovations of the vaulted ceiling in the sanctuary/nave. January 2021 Strata kicked off the new year by volunteering with the Lorain County Office on Aging (LCOOA) to deliver meals to local seniors in the community. The LCOOA delivers meals on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to local seniors in need, specifically those that lack reliable transportation. During the pandemic, this service has been especially important for older residents as it allows them to stay home and avoid contact with other people. There are a total of 133 senior citizens that receive meals on a weekly basis throughout Sheffield Lake, Sheffield Village, Avon, and Avon Lake. Employees and volunteers prepare the meals at the Joyce E. Hanks Community Center in Sheffield Lake, which serves as the “command center” for the meal deliveries. Kyle helped out on a Friday in January and delivered 23 meals to 10 seniors in Avon Lake. A big thank you to the LCOOA and all the volunteers that provide this vital service to the elderly in our community. December 2020 Anna Rosier is an 8th grader in Dublin, OH who throughout December collected items for her drive called “Our Hand to Homeless.” Anna began this drive 6 years ago when she was just 7! Over the years she has made lunches for the homeless and handed them out at the various shelters around Columbus. This year, due to COVID, she focused her efforts on collecting winter clothing and general hygiene items for women. With the support of numerous local donors she was able to collect 1,517 items this Christmas! Strata supported the drive by donating a $500 Amazon gift card to Out of Darkness, a Columbus, OH chapter of Atlanta Dream Center’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Department. The gift card will go towards helping and supporting victims of commercial sexual exploitation. We would like to recognize Anna for her selfless work during these holidays and for making a difference in so many lives. November 2020 A huge THANK YOU to everyone that donated and helped support our inaugural Strata Financial Group 401(K)anned Food Drive. We were blown away by everyone’s generosity. We raised 754 pounds of food as well as $200 in monetary donations. That equates to 1,628 meals provided to those in need in our local community. Thanks to the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio for handling the logistics and making sure the food gets to where it needs to go. These donations will make such a meaningful impact during this time of need for so many. Thanks again, and we really set the bar high for next year! October 2020 For our October community service initiative, we decided to go with a Halloween theme. A few of the Strata team members went to the local American Red Cross center to donate blood. With COVID-19 cases surging and Hurricane Zeta (and other previous storms) hitting the U.S., blood donations are in extremely high demand right now. If you are interested in donating, please visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/ for more information. September 2020 The University Hospitals Rainbow Babies Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) hosted their first annual NICU Read-A-Thon last month. The event was in honor of their beloved former NICU unit manager, Ann Reitenbach, who passed away last year after a battle with cancer. It was Ann’s dream to create a reading program for the Rainbow Babies NICU.Strata was a proud donor for this book drive and helped make the innagural event a great success. In 10 days, a team of moms, dads, grandmas, nurses, doctors, and therapists recorded 663 reading sessions! Thanks to the UH NICU staff and all the donors who helped make this event possible. August 2020 Strata’s office manager, Emily Dohnenko, is the President of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) for Park Place Early Learning Center, a 501(c) nonprofit daycare in Elyria, OH. Emily’s daughter, Livia, attends the daycare. The PAC put on a “Calendar Raffle” fundraiser for the month of August, which is a contest where people buy a calendar for a chance to win a prize every day of the month. Strata was a top 5 sponsor for the raffle, along with countless other local businesses who generously donated cash and prizes for the fundraising campaign which raised over $3,000! 100% of the proceeds will be used to purchase much needed classroom materials for the children as well as new outdoor playground equipment for the daycare. July 2020 For Strata's July community service initiative, Kyle, Mitch, Devan, and Lynnae (Devan’s mother / Ron’s sister) volunteered at the local food bank and helped weigh and sort items that were donated as part of a food drive put on by Hooks for Hunger. As is the theme of the summer, the Hooks for Hunger fishing tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, so they decided to hold a “Fill da Boat” food drive instead. Over 2,000 pounds of food was collected for the Community Resource Services (CRS) food bank which serves as the designated emergency food pantry for Avon and Avon Lake. It was Strata’s job to help CRS weigh and sort the items so they could be distributed to local families in need. June 2020 Our community service efforts have gotten off to a “fast” start so far – pun intended. Kyle, Mitch, Devan, and Emily participated in the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio’s 18th Annual Walk, Rock and Run. The mission of the Diversity Center is to eliminate bias, bigotry, and racism through a number of different community programs, events, and consulting services. Due to COVID-19, the event went “virtual” this year so the team ran the 5K together after work throughout Waterford Place. Although it may seem otherwise based on the picture, we did not win the race. Nevertheless it was for a great cause and we got some nice exercise and fresh air! May 2020 For May's community service initiative, one of our advisors, Kyle Hancharick, along with his wife (Lauren) and son (Will), participated in a virtual 5K benefitting the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO). DSACO’s mission is to support families, promote community, and encourage a lifetime of opportunities for people with down syndrome.Kyle has been involved with the Dublin, OH-based race since 2012 as one of his friends, Nick, has down syndrome. Kyle has been unable to participate since moving from Columbus to Cleveland a few years ago, but due to COVID-19, the event was changed to a “virtual” 5K this year, which allowed Kyle and Lauren to sign up and participate in their own neighborhood!