On the corner of Wilson Mills and Park Street, wrapped around a giant oak tree, is what used to be a shiny red ribbon. It’s been exposed to the sun so long that it’s brilliant red shine has started to turn gold from the beating sun.
When it was first hung there with pride and care, love and tears, we had no idea what the end of the dark day on February 27, 2012 would bring us. Fear, crying, and tears filled our eyes and our hearts. In just a moment’s notice terror had struck home, and we just didn’t know how or why this could be happening in our hometown.
When we are first struck with a tragedy, we often descend into different modes of shock. Many around us in our community went into work mode. Serving those affected by this tragedy seemed like the most natural thing to do. In the midst of all that blazing red, one heartbeat started, and the brilliant gold of this town’s heart started to shine through.
Out of something meant for destruction, this great town of Chardon, in this great county, is making something good. True character is the thing that shines through when we are tested in the fires of hell. If there is gold below, it shows. If there is nothing below but darkness, we disintegrate.
We’ve struck gold. This community is full of gold. From the first responders in our EMS and law enforcement, to those who immediately stepped up to provide financial resources and created the Chardon Healing Fund, there has since been hundreds of leaders that have come forward to leave a positive imprint on this day.
The Chardon Healing Fund was established in response to the events that occurred on that day. Since February 28, United Way Services of Geauga County has been working diligently to recruit a strong and knowledgeable volunteer advisory board to oversee the appropriate use of the resources obtained through the healing fund.