By Tricia Lucido, November 18 2015
On October 27, 2015, Montgomery County Juvenile Court, Judge Nick Kuntz and Judge Anthony Capizzi hosted the 12th annual Natural Helper Recognition Banquet. As one of the ten original Reclaiming Futures sites, this year marked our twelfth year of our Natural Helper program. Our volunteers and community partners that make our initiative a success were recognized for their
achievements. This year’s event was held at the Presidential Banquet Center in Dayton, Ohio. Approximately 200 community leaders, partners, Natural Helpers and Juvenile Court staff were in attendance, including members of the Lucas County Reclaiming Futures team.
The evening started with entertainment provided by the talented Novae A Capella Group, a student cappella group at Centerville High School whose motto is, "Shine like stars, work like bees, and sing like angels." Their performance was enjoyed by all in attendance. Special guest speaker, Brian Jenkins, a local businessman, author and motivational speaker provided a wonderful story of addiction, incarceration, recovery and the impact two special mentors had on his life. One particular part of his message really resonated with the audience: “For all of you who are mentoring and wonder if all of your efforts are ever recognized by the people you are working with, I am here to tell you that they are. Please don’t give up.”
Judge Kuntz and Judge Capizzi honored thirty-two Natural Helpers with special recognition. The recipients of awards are nominees for their years of service, support on special projects, and for their distinguished service to the youth and families of Montgomery County.
This year the banquet ended with the presentation of a new award, the Living Legend Award.
This award was given to David Henderson, Sr. Mr. Henderson is a dedicated Natural Helper who has been serving in this role for over two years. Not only does he mentor multiple youth, he also takes an active role in assisting with recruitment of new Natural Helpers. Mr. Henderson’s acceptance speech was heartfelt and was received with a standing ovation, as well as quite a few tears of joy and inspiration.
Each year, we are reminded of the gracious service these community volunteers give for the youth and families we serve. Additionally, we are also reminded of how lucky we are that we live in Montgomery County, Ohio where the citizens still believe it takes a village to raise a child.
Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Ohio, Reclaiming Futures
Updated: February 08 2018