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News to Digest, October 2012


  • Online Auction - NOW LIVE!
  • Volunteer Spotlight - Hallie Fisher & Alana Munro
  • Akron/Canton Support Group launched
  • Call to Artists

Chapter Director’s Note

Lesley professional photo A.jpg 

As fall begins winding into the holiday season, I find myself reflecting on what we have accomplished so far this year and thinking about how our local chapter can round out the calendar year and position ourselves for next year.

As many reading this are aware, CCFA was founded as a volunteer-led organization. Like many nonprofits, we operate with a small team – 3 full time and 1 part-time staff. Without our generous volunteers, CCFA would cease to operate as we know it today. We are grateful for the time, talents, and treasures of volunteers who help us fulfill our mission in a variety of ways: serving on our Board of Directors, leading support groups, as event committee members, on our Chapter Medical Advisory Committee, providing introductions for corporate sponsorship, helping out at events, providing pro-bono services, providing administrative support in the office and more.

I’m pleased to welcome the Board class of 2015 who were voted in at the October meeting: 

  • Elizabeth (Liz) Cross, Treasurer. Controller at WBC Group/Meyer Distributing
  • Cindy Torres Essell, Associate Director of Professional Development& Diversity at Thompson Hine, LLP
  • Robert (Bob) Westfall, Owner of Rubber City Machinery

Welcome, Liz, Cindy, and Bob, I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years! In addition, I’d like to welcome Shelly Kending and Margaret Frazier, Co-Facilitators of the new Akron/Canton support group.

There are countless ways to get involved with CCFA – both locally and nationally.  I hope you will consider it! Earlier this year we created this Volunteer Interest Form for prospective volunteers to share their interest and get a snap shot of current opportunities. Please take a look and see if any of these areas interest you.

Thank you to all our past, present, and future volunteers! In the words of Elizabeth Andrew,

‘Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.’ 

Lesley Hoover

Lesley Hoover, Chapter Director


Online Auction is LIVE!

Great Lakes Auction

Don’t miss out on these and other wonderful items, visit our site today and register to receive regular updates on the auction and for the opportunity to watch and bid on items here and in other nearby chapters. Visit:

 Hot items include:

  • Gift cards to Flemings Steak House & Western Reserve Cooking School
  • Vacation packages & sports memorabilia
  • Taste Cleveland Food Tour at the West Side Market
  • Skincare items
  • New CCFA purple silicone bracelets


Volunteer Spotlight:  Hallie Fisher & Alana Munro

Thanks goes to Hallie Fisher and Alana Munro of The Adcom Group for providing pro bono services.   Both women are seasoned public relations professionals in Cleveland who have provided their expertise to promote our local chapter through social media, blogging and other marketing communications.  We are grateful for their dedication to CCFA and our mission!


Hallie Fisher is Vice President of social influence at The Adcom Group. In this role, she provides strategic counsel, oversees major accounts and manages the social influence practice area . With more than 16 years of public relations agency experience, Hallie has developed  multi-faceted internal and external marketing communications programs for some of the world’s leading brands.  A Chagrin Falls resident, Hallie is an alumni of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2010, a board member of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, immediate past 1st vice chair of the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters Association, and volunteers for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America – Northeast Ohio. A mother of two, Hallie is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.


With more than six years of social media experience, Alana Munro not only manages the agency and client’s social media channels, she is also passionate about the ever-changing medium and staying up-to-date with emerging trends and best practices.  Alana formulates social media plans, campaigns, contests, sweepstakes, promotions, content calendars and more for The Adcom Group’s clients.  Prior to The Adcom Group, Alana was the Social Media Producer at, Ohio’s number one online source for news.  At, Alana established’s presence (100+ active accounts) across a variety of social platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Fark.

FREE Webcast for Patients, Families & Caregivers


CCFA will be hosting a FREE teleconference/webcast titled Breakthroughs in IBD Research on Thursday, November 15 from 8:00-9:15 PM ET presented by our current NSAC Chair, Dr. Jim Lewis of the University of Pennsylvania. The program will cover the latest research initiatives, including microbiome and biomarker studies. This webcast will be more advanced and assumes a baseline knowledge of IBD and its causes.

There are two convenient ways for to join:

  • By teleconference: Dial the toll-free number to hear the presentation and participate in an interactive question-and-answer session.
  • By Webcast: Log on to your computer to hear the presentation, see the program slides, and submit questions. 

Register Now! by visiting 

Design Services By:

Jack Rugan


Akron/Canton Support Group Launched!

Support Group 

We are pleased to announce that the Akron/Canton support group is now up and running!  The group, led by Shelly and Margaret meets on the third Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m. at the Shaw JCC of Akron: 750 White Pond Drive. If you have questions or would like additional information, please email Shelly at or call the Chapter office at 216.524.7700. We hope you will consider joining us!  For information about our other support groups click here.

Interested in support groups, but not able to participate? Check out the newly launched Online Support Group program! With over 8,700 visitors per month, the Online Community continues to be a valuable resource for patients and families. If you are unable to attend in-person support groups, this may be a great resource for you!

The Online Support Group will provide patients with a platform to connect with their peers and support one another over four weekly support group sessions covering key topics in IBD. Prior to each live session, participants will review educational material related to that week’s topic, including disease education, medical management, diet and nutrition, and everyday living. The participants will then meet via a live moderated online chat session to share their experiences and support one another. 


Take Steps Akron Reaches New Heights!

Sponge bobAkron Childrens

THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Take Steps Akron and helped us to reach new heights! We hosted 300 people at Lock 3 Park on the beautiful fall day of October 6thand are still reeling from the excitement and energy.

The day was highlighted by inspirational remarks from Akron Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic, Gary Garfield of Bridgestone International, local Board President Joe Prada, and the talented young Aislinn Frazier, our local hero. It was truly inspirational to see the strength and positive attitude of Aislinn and all our attendees! Special thanks to the folks who added a special touch to make the day perfect:

  • DJ Jason Macklin of Sounds of Entertainment by Terry Macklin for keeping the music and energy going

  • Rainbow Rae from Flower Clown for making balloon animals and keeping our spirits high

  • Everyone at  team ‘Bridgestone America’ – thetop fundraising team at $55,082

  • Sarah Pickett and all of ‘Pickett’s Posse’ – the number two fundraising team at $5,930

  • John Murphy and everyone on Team ‘Hatrick Murphy’ – the number three fundraising teams at $3,191

Together, we raised a total of $93,377 for cutting-edge research and other CCFA programs! We are incredibly proud of the Akron community and look forward to building on this year’s success. As the decorated fan above instructs, we’ll fight until the mission is done’. Together, we work to improve treatments and find cures. Stay tuned for details about Take Steps in 2013.

To see pictures from Take Steps Akron visit our Facebook Page to view the album.


Murphy Team 


THANK YOU to our Take Step Akron Sponsors!

Akron Banner 


Chapter Partner Spotlight: Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute

Cleveland Clinic DDI Logo sized small

CCFA is honored to have the continued support of The Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease. Our two organizations have a rich history of working together  with the shared goal to one day beat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

“While medical and surgical advances in recent years have dramatically improved life for those who suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, there is much work that remains to be done,” says Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologist Jean-Paul Achkar, MD, who serves as Medical Advisory Committee Chair and sits on the Board of Trustees for the CCFA’s Northeast Ohio Chapter.

Collaborations range from supporting the annual Cleveland & Akron Take Steps Walk and the Northeast Ohio Research Initiative to community education events and Team Challenge. “Our physicians also have played active leadership roles in the CCFA and continue to advance the field with research, surgical innovations and advanced treatment options” continues Dr. Achkar.

To learn more about Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease Institute, visit


Campus Connection for College Students

We’re excited to share that CCFA’s first interactive, college student focused website is now live!

Students can log on, plot themselves on a map, post events on campus, find events on campus and more! There are great resources for students to use and share with others. Share this site with all college students with IBD so they can connect with others around the country.


awareness week

As declared by Senate Resolution 199 last year, every December 1-7 is Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week. This year, CCFA will also be part of a congressional Crohn's & Colitis Caucus briefing that will take place on December 5.

As stated in the resolution, Senate Resolution 199 expresses appreciation to the family members and caregivers who support people in the United States living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It also commends health care professionals who care for these patients and biomedical researchers who work to advance research aimed at developing new treatments for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Having this resolution passed was a significant coup for the Foundation as well as IBD patients in the US. For CCFA, it’s a chance to help remind people that these diseases need attention. Please stay tuned for more information on what we are doing locally and nationally to raise awareness.


Art Opening - Call to Artists & Save the Date!

Bear painting

Local artist Chrystal Robinson is hosting “Fighters”, an art exhibit about chronic illness at Jupiter Studios in Alliance, Ohio ( to raise awareness of Crohn’s and colitis.Artists of all ages and skill levels encouraged to submit work.

Proceeds from the opening reception on Friday, March 1st will benefit CCFA Northeast Ohio. Reception to include live music by Michelle Ferguson plus the Jovian Sound Escape, food & drink, speakers, and art auction. Admission is $5, available for purchase soon. Visit for updates.

Calling All Artists:

Entries of original artwork welcome: all media including short stories and poems, paintings, and drawings, etc. Artwork on all subjects accepted, those related to journeys with chronic illness prioritized. You need not be a professional artist or writer to participate! Please submit two - three visual pieces, including one of your choosing for to the art auction. For poems and short stories, please specify whether you plan to recite or if you would like another artist to read it in your honor (or anonymously). Visual artists from far away are responsible for the shipment of their artwork both ways. Deadline for submissions is January 28th. Contact Chrystal Robinson with any questions andwith submissions at


 Team Challenge - Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon

 TC training

Our participants are always looking for great race sponsors for the season. We are five weeks away from the big race and it is coming down to the wire for the fundraising efforts. Collectively, they have a goal of $80,000 and are 35% of the way there! You can donate to our Team Northeast Ohio page safely and securely online by visiting or you can simply send a check to our office at the following address along with this donation form:

ATTN: Lindsey Boyd

Team Challenge Northeast Ohio

4700 Rockside Road, Suite 425

Independence, OH 44131

All of your donations are tax deductible and will help our participants cross the finish line, bringing us 13.1 miles closer to a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Go Team Northeast Ohio!

 Donation Flyer for Newsletter.jpg  

Be our Fan!  Follow Us!

illinois facebook

Help spread awareness while staying updated on what's happening at CCFA with social media sites.  Become a Facebook fan by selecting a link below and clicking "Like!"

You can also follow us on Twitter or join the CCFA Northeast Ohio Group on LinkedIn.

Thank you to our Lead Chapter partner: 

Cleveland Clinic DDI Logo sized small

Need help?


Contact our Information Resource Center: 888.694.8872 or For tips, sharing, and support from other people with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, join our free CCFA Community site.

Our mission


To cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.

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