Life is better with SPICE!
To recognize and support the various charities that are close to the hearts of our employees, Resch, Root, Philipps & Graham is providing each staff member an opportunity to select their favorite charitable organization, introduce the charity in a blog post, and then make a donation in the employee’s name to that special cause.
This month, Jen Crabtree (who manages our programming and communications) shares the story of how she came to know the Ryan family and the organization that is known as SPICE.
By Jen Crabtree
Nearly 25 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the Ryan family. We met through a connection my husband had made at work, and by a wonderful stroke of luck, we have remained friends – despite the fact that my husband’s time at that particular job only lasted two years.
The Ryan’s story is unique in many ways, but the part that stands out to most is the fact that they have 11 children – yes, ELEVEN!
They are all grown now, and even though some have moved out of state, they remain close. I look forward to their Christmas card every year so I can see the latest additions to this ever-growing, wonderful family.
Parents Bob and Mary Ginn Ryan had sent ten of their children to St. Catharine School in Columbus, but were concerned their 11th child, Megan – who was born with Down syndrome – may not have an opportunity to receive the same Catholic education their other children were receiving. (Historically, Catholic schools haven’t always had the resources needed to provide additional educational supports for individuals with special needs.)
When Megan was of age, Bob and Mary Ginn scheduled an appointment with the principal to enroll Megan in Kindergarten at St. Catharine. Their apprehension and countless questions were quickly put to rest when they were greeted with open arms. Together, they designed a plan that would work for Megan and provide her the opportunity to attend the same school as her siblings.
Over time, they developed a program that would also benefit other children with unique needs at St. Catharine School. That program is called SPICE – which stands for Special People in Catholic Education.
"As spice adds flavor to food, so do children with special needs add richness to the classroom – encouraging a dimension of understanding and acceptance in even the youngest students."
Today, the SPICE program stretches well beyond the walls of St. Catharine and now provides support and services to students with special needs in Catholic schools throughout the entire country! As important as raising funds, SPICE has also increased awareness – that those families touched with special needs now realize they are not alone – and provides an example that special needs can be served in a Catholic School and Parish.
Megan Ryan, now 28 years old, went on to attend Bishop Hartley High School, where she was named Homecoming Queen in her senior year. Later, she attended Ohio State as part of the TOPS program (Transition Options in Postsecondary Settings) and is now working as a teacher’s assistant at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center.
I am proud to work for such an amazing company that not only supports its staff, but also the causes that are close to our hearts. The SPICE program has been special to me since the day I learned about it. I hope that after reading this inspirational story about the Ryan family, readers are compelled to learn more about SPICE, and perhaps donate to this wonderful cause as well!
Upcoming Event - OKTOBERFEST, September 17, 2022
On September 17th at 6:00 p.m., the SPICE program will host its inaugural Oktoberfest, an awareness event that will feature beer from well-known breweries, including local favorites and some German selections.
All guests will receive a green mug, allowing them to try samples of 10 different beers! They will also have wine, pop, and water options. To top it all off, Berwick catering will be providing amazing German food….
what’s an Oktoberfest without a brat? Prost!