LIMA — Now it’s up to the community to decide which local nonprofit organization deserves $10,000 in free advertising in The Lima News.
The MyOwn Community Service Partner Campaign begins its final round of voting Monday on MyOwnLima.com, a community website launched in November. The campaign is sponsored by The Lima News and The Union Bank Co., along with Lawson Brothers Construction and Busy B Realty.
The five finalists include the Equestrian Therapy Program, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Humane Society of Allen County, Lima City Schools Career Tech and Partnership for Violence Free Families. Readers online chose them from a group of 10 by giving them the most votes.
“The $10,000 in free advertising will help a local charity deliver its message online or in print, however it chooses. The new website will bolster our already robust print and online products,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Civitas Media, owner of The Lima News.
MyOwnLima.com allows readers, schools, community organizations, local governments and others to post their favorite photographs, such as vacation or sports photos; share upcoming events, such as Scout meetings and bake sales; and even write blog items.
Voting concludes Feb. 21. There is one vote per person. The winning organization will be announced in The Lima News and on MyOwnLima.com.
The final five offer a variety of community services, according to their nomination forms:
•The Equestrian Therapy Program tries to improve the quality of life for the disabled by providing equine-facilities activities and therapies in Lima and the surround area.
The program operates Fassett Farm, where riders enjoy indoor and outdoor arenas, as well as woods and trails. Students are referred through area hospitals, schools, therapists and physicians who believe people with disabilities should be challenged and develop new abilities.
•The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio offer a deep commitment to timeless values, building girls of courage, confidence and character.
Girl Scouts actively help in their communities while developing their own civic responsibility and leadership skills. Girls try remarkable Take Action projects with a sustainable impact on their communities and beyond.
•The Humane Society of Allen County is dedicated to the elimination of cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment of animals. It shelters animals in times of need, locating lifelong homes and promoting responsible pet ownership.
Its projects include Operation Catnip to reduce the stray and feral cat population in Lima and Allen County, a pet food pantry for families struggling to feed their pets and a programs for foster pets, seniors-to-seniors and volunteerism opportunities.
•The Lima schools’ Career and Technical education program gives students hands-on work experience, often resulting in students working in the community.
Projects that helped the community included the Spartan Inn student-run restaurant preparing food for Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, culinary students visiting the Children’s Development Center at Lima Memorial Health System, patient care technology students helping the American Red Cross with blood donor days and construction trades students building restrooms at Cook Park this fall.
•The Partnership for Violence Free Families pushes for violence prevention through awareness campaigns and evidence-based programs focusing on child abuse, teen dating violence, bullying, active school shooting, sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, suicide, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual issues, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness and problem gambling.
The organization facilities seven support groups. It also creates public displays to draw awareness, such as the annual Pinwheels for Prevention display during April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month or sharing local suicide data each January to bolster awareness of the HOPEline Crisis Center.