Charities honored for their work building community

Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 4/25/18

ORANGE PARK – One of Clay County’s oldest nonprofits was honored this week for serving citizen with intellectual disabilities.

The Paul & Klare Reinhold Foundation awarded Challenge …

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Charities honored for their work building community

Posted

ORANGE PARK – One of Clay County’s oldest nonprofits was honored this week for serving citizen with intellectual disabilities.

The Paul & Klare Reinhold Foundation awarded Challenge Enterprises of North Florida the top prize of $10,000 for outstanding community service at its 25th Celebrate Clay breakfast on April 24. The event was held at the Thrasher-Horne Center on College Drive.

Challenge Enterprise’s Katie Vineyard said the funds will go towards the nonprofits’ mission of empowering those with disabilities to rise above their challenges and become enterprising members of the community. This has been their mission since the beginning.

“We’re proud to be able to do this for 45 years and be recognized by our peers,” Vineyard said, who has been with the organization for 27 years.

The big win came as a bit of a surprise for Vineyard, who felt honored to be in the same room as some of the other nonprofits attending the breakfast.

“This is such a surprise,” Vineyard said. “It’s humbling and it’s incredible, but it’s important to know that this [award] could have gone to anyone in this room – everyone here is so important for [Clay County].

“We are honored to be recognized and we want to thank the foundation for providing these awards all of these years,” Vineyard continued.

While there was only one $10,000 award, there were several other nonprofits who took home awards for their role enriching Clay County. Chief among those were the Judges’ Choice Program Award winners – Clay Action Coalition and Teen Court of Clay County.

The Judges’ Choice Program Award winners are nonprofits selected by a panel of five judges, made up of three independent volunteers from the community and two Reinhold family representatives, who take home $5,000 each.

Donna Wethington of Clay Action Coalition is already excited to get this money back to the nonprofit so it can begin work on their upcoming programs.

“I’m just so grateful and excited,” Wethington said. “This will go towards our drug-free calendar, implementing our hidden-in-plain sight vehicle and continuing our education of issues in the county that teenagers face today.

“Our entire goal is to make [teenagers’] lives safer. We want our community drug-free and our kids away from tobacco,” Wethington said.

Teen Court of Clay County’s Deborah Mueller was surprised to receive the award as she didn’t see it coming.

“I’m honored, blessed and most of all, surprised,” Mueller said. “There are so many deserving organizations in this room and everyone here deserves this.”

Mueller isn’t quite sure what Teen Court of Clay County, which holds counseling programs, mock trial camps and more for Clay youth, plans to do with the $5,000 but knows what the nonprofit chooses to do, it will be for the good of the county.

“We do a lot of different things but to be honest, we weren’t planning on getting this so we’re going to need some reflection to figure out how we can do the most good with this money,” Mueller said.

Paul & Klare Reinhold Foundation Executive Director Amy Parker said that still, after 25 of these events, the foundation is still reeling from the love and support of nonprofits in the community, and she hopes that feeling never leaves.

“Every time, it’s fantastic and that’s because of the support in this room,” Parker said. “It’s inspiring, really, to see all of these organizations that do so much for the county come together to celebrate each other. It doesn’t get old.”

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