The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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It only took one presentation by Joy Grayczyk to the East Toledo-Oregon Kiwanis Club, and they civic organization was impressed.

Members of the club took it upon themselves to nominate her for the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year, and judges, too, were impressed. Grayczyk was honored by the chamber with the POY award at the 23rd Annual Prism Award Ceremony at the National Museum of the Great Lakes Thursday night.

She was preceded by another person who impressed — this time a Clay High School student, Callie Snyder. She was one of three students nominated for Young Person of the Year, but Snyder’s nomination by Clay counselor Andrew Ramsey was enough to put her over the top.

Both Grayczyk and Snyder not only received Prism Awards, they received proclamation from Governor John Kasich’s office, a first for the Prism Award ceremony.

It was the 2015 Person of the Year, Lisa Pavley of Eggleston Meinert Pavley Funeral Home, who presented Grayczyk, a Cardinal Stritch graduate, with her Prism Award.

Grayczyk had originally spoke to the Kiwanis Club about the human trafficking epidemic that is spreading across the United States and around the world.

“Her compassion and empathy was obvious as she spoke of the scourge upon us,” the Kiwanis nomination stated.

In the fall of 2015, Grayczyk embarked on a mission trip around the world to educate others of the epidemic. She had been working with young children who had been pulled out of human trafficking, “trying to transition them back into education, the community and into life,” the nomination continued, adding that “She along with 40 other like-minded individuals also addressed other issues ranging from prayer and Bible study to gardening, housekeeping and construction.’

She told the Kiwanis that one of her stops was in Greece to assist the refugees coming from Syria.

“Families were displaced from their homes and their country that they loved. (They had) very few belongings and unfortunately, no country willing to take them in,” they Kiwanis club stated, continuing to relate her story.

Another stop was in Africa to help children that are HIV positive.

“In a country where they are shunned for being HIV positive through no fault of their own is a very lonely existence. The group Joy was in had fun activities for the children to participate in. They also had a Christmas party for them,” said the Kiwanis nomination.

When the group was in The Philippines, they helped young children that had been rescued from human trafficking.

“They needed to be re-acclimated to a normal life, this included prayer and faith,” the Kiwanis continued. “They worked in the community to warn others of the dangers of human trafficking.”

Grayczyk is now back home and has decided to attend the University of Toledo to pursue a registered nursing degree. Her plans include medical missions and to help children with special needs when she is in the United States. She is also writes for her blog (http://joygrayczyk.theworldrace.org.)

“Joy is a big-hearted young woman who deserves recognition for all that she has already accomplished and for what she is likely to do in the future,” the Kiwanis nomination stated.

Role model
When Ramsey first heard about the Young Person of the Year award being offered by the chamber, he jumped on it. Snyder was the first person who came to mind.

“Callie embodies the commitment and reoccurring generosity to her community and is a role model who raises the standard for those around her,” Ramsey wrote in his nomination.

Ramsey continued, “Many students participate in volunteer experience, but Callie initiates and orchestrates her volunteer experience from beginning to end. The most profound example of this is a fundraiser who organized for a Clay student named Tylor Smith.”

After hearing that Smith needed a kidney transplant, Snyder came up with an idea to get the entire school staff, students and community to rally to help a student in need. She asked several staff members if they would be willing to get a spray tan, dress as an elf, or dye their hair depending on the dollar amounts received.

Several members of the staff, including the assistant principal and principal, agreed, and the fundraiser took off.

“Snyder worked tirelessly in the building and through social media to be sure that it was a success,” Ramsey stated. “In the end, after setting a lofty goal of $6,000 to raise for Tylor, Callie orchestrated a fundraiser from beginning to end that generated more than $10,000 for Tylor and his family’s medical expenses.

“It was an incredible accomplishment for anyone, let alone a high school student, and it culminated with a pep rally organized by Callie where a check was awarded to Tylor and the school staff displayed their new spray tans, dyed hair, and elf attire in front of the student body.”

Ramsey continues, “Callie wasn’t just a one-hit wonder, though.”

The counselor adds, “She has been instrumental in helping me complete my job assisting students with academic concerns. I have had Callie work with four of my toughest students every day to develop better study habits and organizational skills while monitoring their success.”

In addition, Ramsey says Snyder has spent years setting up, working the booths and cleaning up the Relay for Life event. She also created the “12 Days of Giving” that began this past year over the holiday season.

“Each day, Callie orchestrated a different activity in an effort to give back to students, staff and the community,” Ramsey wrote. “Among the activities she organized were passing out popcorn to high school students, decorating the middle schools with positive words of encouragement, organizing a movie night for students and volunteering at nursing homes.”

Ramsey said Snyder also organized a color run at Clay High School for students, parents and friends, and she helped organized Clay High’s annual Haunted Hallways event.

“Finally, she has consistently volunteered her time at the Clay youth cheer clinic,” Ramsey continued. “We have many students with a lengthy background in volunteer experience, but the leadership, initiative, depth of involvement and success that Callie has had are unmatched.

“Callie is a role model who raises the standards of social responsibility. Each year at Clay, we have a student government president, class president and homecoming queen. Never in my time at Clay have we had one person hold all three positions. Because homecoming queen, class president and student government are all voted on by students, I can with 100 percent certainty that Callie is absolutely a role model who is looked upon highly by her peers, staff and community.

“Throughout 10 years in education, I have had great fortune to work with unbelievable students. When it comes to generosity of community spirit, leadership, social responsibility and being a role model though, Callie Snyder stands head and shoulders above any other in all of those 10 years. The things that Callie has accomplished in the last year would make her eligible for person of the year regardless of any age.”

Genoa Banking Company President Marty Sutter presented Snyder with her Prism Award.

 

 

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