MEDINA — A Medina nonprofit was congratulated for its work with youth Tuesday during an open house at Huntington Bank attended by about 110 Medina County leaders.
Michelle Powell, executive director of Let’s Make a Difference, accepted a donation of $2,500 to help with the nonprofit’s work in providing educational and recreation opportunities for nearly 200 youths and children.
“This is truly a blessing,” Powell said. “I’m sure our board will be going … wow. Thank you for believing in what we do.”
Powell was a few minutes late for the event because she said she had given a eulogy at a funeral for her closest friend earlier in the day.
She said the money would help provide tutoring along with field trips and other programs, especially for families in the Union Square apartment neighborhood of Medina. She said the program is working with about 84 families in that area.
“We’re working with some churches on partnerships, too,” Powell added.
She said organizers are planning a Memorial Day picnic 1-4 p.m. May 29 at Ray Mellert Park on North Huntington Street.
Her theme for activities this summer is “Getting out of the box.”
“We want children and youths to know that there are enough opportunities out there (beyond Union Square) that they don’t know about. We want them to see something different.”
She has worked with the organization for 17 years.
“Every day I say, ‘I quit,’ ” Powell said jokingly to the audience as she accepted the donation. “But God says, ‘Here’s something else for you to do.’ So I do it.”
The donation was Huntington’s way of following its corporate philosophy, said Ron Paydo, community president for its Medina unit.
Paydo’s said he has worked 29ﾽ years in Medina banking, dating to the bank’s former identity as Old Phoenix.
“We say, ‘Take care of customers, colleagues and community,’ ” he said.
The open house at 39 Public Square also celebrated the bank’s conversion from FirstMerit.
Paydo noted that in Medina County, the change from FirstMerit to Huntington might be thought of simply as switching corporate identities “from blue (FirstMerit’s dominant color) to green (Huntington’s logo scheme).”
He said that “85 percent of the transition went well and I hope you’re in that group.”
Contact Managing Editor Lawrence Pantages at (330) 721-4065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.