Connecting for Kids honors Westlake business owner
Connecting for Kids will honor Ellen Spear, MA, CCC-SLP, as its Professional of the Year. This award is given to individuals who have helped fulfill the organization’s mission to provide education and support to families with concerns about their child. The award will be presented at the organization's annual fundraiser on Feb. 24 at Ahern Catering & Banquet Center in Avon Lake. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 and available at connectingforkids.org.
Spear is a speech language pathologist and co-owner of Lakeshore Speech Therapy in Westlake, helping numerous children to improve functional communication skills. In her free time, she started “Running with the Cats,” a program which connects St. Ignatius High School students to children with special needs for the purpose of training together for 5K runs. The program has grown from four kids to more than 50 participants.
The person that nominated Spear commented, “My son needed this program. He loved his match and looked forward to his time with him. I love that it was a free activity for my son and it got him active!” Running with the Cats, which is open to those with many different diagnoses and concerns, has helped children with special needs gain confidence in both athletic and social skills. The high school students have also benefited from being peer models in this program.
Spear has also helped to educate families about communication and social skills issues by presenting at Connecting for Kids Speaker Series programs.
Lorilynn Wolf serves as the Communications Director for Connecting for Kids.