A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Redwood to honor winners of inaugural Celebration of Abilities Awards at ‘Redwood at the Reds’ June 17

Redwood, a nonprofit that serves children and adults with severe and multiple disabilities, is excited to announce the winners of the inaugural Celebration of Abilities Awards, which recognizes people and organizations that work to shatter barriers to full inclusion for individuals with disabilities.

“At Redwood, we’re always looking to highlight what individuals can do, rather than what they can’t do,” said Sharon Fusco, CEO of Redwood. “We received amazing nominations that shared stories of people and organizations who are making a difference in the community for those with disabilities. It brings us joy to recognize, honor and celebrate those doing this important work.”

The 2022 Celebration of Abilities Awards winners are:

Growing Abilities Award – This award recognizes an individual and an organization on the cutting-edge of innovative, personalized care that helps individuals with distinct abilities shatter barriers.


Danielle Rice is the Director of Special Education for the Kenton County School District and has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to children and youth with special needs, as well as to their families, throughout her 17 years with the school district.


Cincinnati Parks Foundation puts their mission to practice every day by creating free, inclusive programming in parks for children and adults with disabilities. Its partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has created the be.well program, which gives children with disabilities the opportunity to be active outdoors, make new friends, and improve their health. They also founded a partnership with Luke5Adventures allowing wheelchair-bound individuals the ability to go hiking once a month using specialty wheelchairs.

Shattering Barriers Award – This award recognizes empowering employers who demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace for individuals with distinct abilities. These employers focus on what individuals can do so that they can contribute to the success of the community.

Small Employer (less than 500 employees)

Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired was designated as an Essential Supplier of products to both the State of Ohio and Federal Government and continued to employ members of the Blind and Visually Impaired community through the pandemic as they performed crucial tasks for organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the State of Ohio Unemployment office.

Large Employer (more than 500 employees)

Nehemiah Manufacturing has shown a true dedication throughout its history to removing barriers to success for employees with a range of backgrounds that traditionally would prevent them from entering and progressing in the workforce. The company continually supports the most vulnerable individuals in Greater Cincinnati through different neighborhood programs and philanthropic endeavors.

Shining Bright Award – This award goes to individuals with distinct abilities who have overcome barriers and serve as role models to our community. These individuals inspire us by what they can do.

Child (Age 21 & under)

Destiny Owen is a community volunteer who displays the six pillars of character: caring, responsibility, respect, diligence, honesty and service. As a young lady on the Autism Spectrum, she uses her talents and testimony in her volunteer work and community involvement to help others understand that individuals with Autism have strengths and diverse abilities that improve and enhance their community.

Adult (Over Age 18)

Roger Grein is a lifetime overcomer of cerebral palsy and exemplifies what it means to put others before yourself. The founder of his own accounting business, Grein has used his profits to provide to the community through philanthropic endeavors for years. In 2008, he started Magnified Giving which has taught thousands of youths in the Cincinnati area how to give of their time, talents, and treasures to service those in their community.

The event’s World Series Sponsor is Heritage Bank.

“With the support of our sponsors, Redwood is able to honor those who are constantly working to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to grow their abilities, shatter barriers and shine bright,” said Stacy Cole, Graydon Law partner and the event chair. “We are so thankful for all our sponsors and supporters and the part they play in making this event and others like it possible.”

Celebration of Abilities Award winners will be recognized during the nonprofit’s Redwood at the Reds event on June 17 with an evening of baseball and fireworks in the Machine Room at Great American Ball Park. Tickets are $125 and include admission to the game, food, unlimited soft drinks and two adult beverages.

To purchase tickets for the Celebration of Abilities, visit bit.ly/RedwoodAtTheReds.

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