Local business owners are like the root system of a tree. They nourish and support maintenance and growth, allowing all the life processes that take place in that tree to thrive. As all gardeners and homeowners know, the importance of developing strong, healthy root systems is crucial to achieving the desired outcome – whether that be a beautiful landscape or a nutritious cost effective way of feeding a family. Just because the root system is not visible does not make it less significant. In fact, if regular, focused attention is not provided, the effects of that neglect can be devastating, bringing even the mightiest 100 year old oak down!
Our support of and loyalty to our local businesses are the equivalents of sunshine and rain to the tree’s root system. As we shower them with our business, they in turn can give back to the community so all the processes therein can thrive. All involved receive the blessing of a closely-knit community that fosters a genuine neighborliness.
Your ‘buck’ doesn’t just end up in the company’s pocket! For the majority of business owners in Geauga County, they are deeply concerned about the value they offer their customers. They are here, not because they thought it would be a lucrative place to set up shop, but because they love the quality of people, the land, and the uniqueness of the area. They are here because they wanted it to be home – a safe, friendly, fun place in which to plant their families. That’s why many have stayed here for decades and decades! The ‘bang’ from the ‘buck’ you hand over to that company comes right back to you in the form of support for individuals, organizations, and schools. Where would some of our most important and loved programs and features of Geauga County be without the generous donations provided by our local businesses who give back?
We at Geauga News want to highlight one such business owner in this article. His name is Pat Preston. You already know him because he has been involved in so many of your lives. You drive by his car dealership everyday on your way in and out of town. You have bought a car there or have had one serviced. You see him at the Great Geauga County Fair, Chamber of Commerce, local schools, festivals, in local shops and stores, and countless other places. He has been in Burton selling and servicing new and pre-owned vehicles for two decades. But what you may not know, is that he is part of the strong root system of this community. Many of you who participate in local programs that have been an integral part of your family’s lives have been able to do so because Pat has supported the efforts of those programs through his generous donations. The DDC Clinic for Special Needs Children in Middlefield, the Geauga Achieve program based in Chardon, and the S.T.A.R.S program, also based in Chardon, can testify to that fact.
Preston Superstore donated $1,100 to DDC Clinic to help them meet its 2012 fundraising goal of $30,000. The DDC Clinic is a non-profit primary-care and research facility for special needs children with rare genetic disorders. “This initiative is vital to growing our services and further strengthens the impact of our research while keeping our commitment to our 600 patient families – continuing to serve them regardless of their ability to pay,” said Blake Andres, DDC Executive Director.
This year, Geauga Achieve, an educational program for school-age students with multiple disabilities, is incorporating 14 new iPads, donated by Preston’s, in its classrooms across the county to help students achieve Ohio’s new academic content standards.With help from the new iPads as part of its Back To School Charity Challenge, Geauga Achieve provides students opportunities to participate in academic and social experiences with peers, as well as innovative learning experiences in classroom, school, and community settings. “Achieve” is an acronym for All Children Included in Educational and Vocational Experiences.
S.T.A.R.S – Specialized Teaching for Children with Autism and Resource Services – is indeed a dream come true for parents who often have few other options for their children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The S.T.A.R.S. classrooms are in the Cardinal Local School District and provide each student access to speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more. They, too, were the grateful recipients of iPads donated by Pat’s business. “Through our curriculum, we emphasize the development of attention, imitation skills, communication and language, social relationships, symbolic play, self-regulation, motor skills, adaptive behavior, and skills to meet learning standards,” says Dana Jancik, the program director. The S.T.A.R.S. program is available to any autistic child in grades K-12 who resides in Geauga County at no cost to families. April is also Autism Awareness Month and on April 6 at Century Village in Burton, there will be a Balloon Launch to celebrate those who struggle with autism and to honor their accomplishments.
These are all people and organizations that matter to Pat Preston and only represent the more recent few of the many who have been direct recipients of Pat Preston Superstore’s value-based, ‘bang for your buck’ business. We at Geauga News think Pat and his staff deserve a heart-felt thank you for their ongoing commitment to serve all the residents of Geauga County. Their roots are deeply embedded here and we encourage you to extend your own words of thanks here in our comment section or, better yet, in person next time you drive by their store. It only takes a few minutes, but it is just another way to help maintain this family- friendly community atmosphere and continue the thriving processes of life that dwell in this place we call home.
13600 West Center St.
Burton OH 44021