Karen Demangos, then executive director of Joyful Connections, was recently honored with the Larry L. Noblitt Liberty Bell Award. The accolade was given by the Ottawa County Bar Association for outstanding service to the community for her work at the supervised exchange and visitation site in Oak Harbor.
“It was very exciting,” Demangos said, but not just for personal reasons. “I’m just glad for Joyful Connections to get this recognition.”
May is Supervised Visitation Awareness Month and the local organization is using this — and the representative orange ribbon — to get the word out about what they do. There is a coloring contest, the Rally for the Kids event last weekend in Bassett’s Market parking lot and literature being handed out around town.
The board for Joyful Connections was formed in 2007 as a Leadership Ottawa County class project. Next came bylaws, 501(c)(3) status, the hiring of an executive director and securing the site at 8200 W. Ohio 163, Oak Harbor.
“There was nothing here but junk,” Demangos said.