Children’s agencies put the ‘fun’ in ‘fund raising’ Featured

Children’s agencies put the ‘fun’ in ‘fund raising’

Ottawa County CASA and Joyful Connections hosted the first annual Amazing Island Raise, Put-In-Bay style, on Saturday. 15 teams raced to be the Amazing Raise champion. The teams solved clues and completed challenges “Amazing Race” style.

First place finishers were the FUNraisers team of Chris Galvin, Marcia Jess, Joy Roth and Mary Coffee, who finished seconds ahead of the second place team from Shrock’s Marina of  Emily Dunfee, Erin Sondvick, Melissa Bonning, Sidsel Halblaub, Brenda Smith and Meggin Weimerskirch. The last place team was E-Raisers:  Carol Gloer, Gary Gloer, Cath Hoogerhyde and Jeff Hoogerhyde.  The winner of the Trivia Challenge was Stealth R Us:  Diane Kurfis, Cheryl Stough, Melissa Malinowski, Alicia Jester and Heather Post. The overall winners were the children served by the two agencies. $4000 was raised by the Raise.

The event began at Catawba Inn, where teams gathered, shirted up and received directives. Once aboard the Miller Ferry, they were given a trivia quiz about Put-in-Bay and the sponsoring agencies. Upon arriving on the island, teams secured transportation and had a hula-hoop passing challenge. Then the Raise began in earnest, with teams scattering around the island, finding clues and solving challenges that included singing Irish tunes at Hooligan’s, giving presentations at Perry’s Victory Monument and Visitor’s Center and passing a grape at the winery. When the challenges were completed, all enjoyed pizza and beverages and the rest of the day on the island. As the racers interacted with Put-in-Bay visitors and businesses, they were often asked about their sponsors. Preprinted cards explained the Raise and told about the agencies.


Connie Cornett, Executive Director of CASA, and Sheila Powell, Fiscal Operations Manager of Joyful Connections organized the event. Said Cornett: “It was a lot of fun and some people learned about CASA and Joyful Connections. A big thanks to sponsors, racers, businesses and all the people who made it a good day.” Several participants commented on what an ambitious undertaking the Raise was. “There were some detours and blips, things we will figure out for next year,” said Cornett. “We have no date set yet, but there are already some exciting plans for next year’s challenges.”

Joyful Connections is a supervised visitation and exchange center in Oak Harbor that provides a healthy, safe and homelike environment where children can interact with family members. To volunteer or contribute to Joyful Connections, located at 8200 West State Route 163, Oak Harbor, phone 567-262-3181 or visit

Ottawa County CASA volunteers are appointed by the court to advocate for abused and neglected children. To volunteer or contribute to CASA, 1848 East Perry St, Suite 80, Port Clinton, or to inquire about next year’s Amazing Island Raise, contact Connie Cornett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 419-301-0225.

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