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Marsh Thanks Van Wert Community for Amazing Celebration Weekend

VAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation held their alumni reunion and 100-year anniversary celebration September 16 and 17. The weekend began with an alumni dinner and program on Friday evening. On Saturday, campus was open for a myriad of fun activities, tours and demonstrations highlighting the many strengths of the organiza

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Established more than 100 years ago by George H. Marsh’s last will and testament, The Marsh has spent a century serving children and families. Established as a children’s home and orphanage, the campus has served more than 2,514 children in those years. The impact the Marsh family has had is far-reaching and the organization looked at the 100th anniversary as an opportunity to thank the community that has supported their mission for the past century.

“At The Marsh Foundation, we do not stand isolated. We rely on many in the community to be successful. We are very grateful for the generous support of the Van Wert community,” said Kim Mullins, executive director of Child and Family Services at The Marsh. “In addition to thanking the community, we also wanted to take this opportunity

to educate individuals about the services and programming we offer,” she said.

Saturday featured open fishing at the pond, facepainting, horse program demonstrations, open houses and tours, inflatables, a book signing by author Tori Hope Petersen, food trucks, corn hole, a concert featuring Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, fireworks and more.

“Our goal was to have something for everyone,” said executive secretary and treasurer Jeff Grothouse. “We wanted the weekend to be spectacular and we feel that it was,” he added. The concert in the Bagley auditorium was well attended and enjoyed by many. The boisterous fireworks display was a fantastic conclusion to a meaningful weekend.

“We are honored to be continuing the work and legacy of George Marsh and his family,” said director of education and school principal Robbie Breese. “We couldn’t do what we do without the dedicated support of our staff and the continued generosity of our community. We are so thankful that so many people came out to support us and enjoy our 100-year celebration.”

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Photo caption: Hundreds of people visited The Marsh campus and for the alumni reunion and 100-year celebration.

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Marsh Foundation Holds Annual Horse Program

VAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation recently held their annual horse program fhorseshowor youth. Over the past year, clinicians at The Marsh Foundation had the opportunity to go through the certification process in equine assisted learning and/or equine assisted psychotherapy. Equine assisted therapy incorporates a variety of treatments that involve activities with horses to assist in the promotion of physical and mental health for troubled youth. This certification will allow therapists, case managers and equine personnel to work together to provide an enriched therapeutic learning experience for the boys on campus.

With this addition to The Marsh’s summer horse program, it will provide a hands-on experience for the youth to showcase what they have been learning in treatment and apply it in the arena. As a result, the youth learned complex communication skills, “real-time” problem solving techniques and how to effectively work as a team.  “Watching the kids take everything they had been learning and apply it in a different arena was priceless, stated clinical supervisor Annette Herrmann. “The pride that the kids had in what they had accomplished was truly unmatched.”

Equine assisted learning teaches youth how to effectively manage their emotions and behavioral responses. The horses are considered extensions of their riders and often mirror what is being non-verbally communicated by the riders. They respond to the physiological cues that the youth are presenting and reciprocate with the appropriate behavior response. “The instructors have seen children grow to care for the horses and learn more about themselves in the process. They engage in their treatment at a much higher level than they would have previously,” commented wellness case manager, Abigail Neville.

“They say when you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. That holds true for the Equine Department at The Marsh Foundation. Being able to help and watch the children grow in all aspects of life is one of the most rewarding jobs,” said summer horse program instructor, Leah Lichtensteiger. “This year has been one for the books. The growth these kids made was amazing. I am looking forward to what the future years bring,” she continued.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members throughout western Ohio.

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Photo caption: Marsh youth showcased their skills at a recent end-of-summer horse program.

The Marsh Foundation to Celebrate 100 Years with Anniversary Weekend

August 30, 2022

For Immediate Release

VAN WERT, Ohio - The Marsh Foundation is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and is honoring the milestone in a big way. To honor all those individuals we have been blessed to serve and the community which has supported our mission for the past 100 years, we will be hosting an Anniversary Celebration Weekend, on September 16 and 17, 2022.

We will be welcoming our Marsh Foundation Alumni and their guests for an alumni-only evening on Friday, September 16. Saturday, September 17’s activities will begin at 10:00 a.m. and are open to the community. The Marsh campus and buildings will be open during an open house, we will have food trucks available with items for purchase, inflatables, entertainment and more. The evening will culminate with a concert in the Bagley Auditorium. Denver & the Mile High Orchestra will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. A fantastic fireworks show will close out the memorable weekend at 9:15 p.m.

“We are excited to host an event for the public and invite the community to experience our campus and join us in celebrating a century in Van Wert,” said executive secretary and treasurer Jeff Grothouse. “The Van Wert community has always been so supportive of our organization and this is part of our effort to say thank you,” he continued.

To purchase tickets for the concert and for full event details visit www.marshfoundation.org.

The Marsh Foundation has a rich history within the Van Wert and surrounding communities, thanks in part to the legacy left by George and Hilinda Marsh. Two individuals who were compelled to find a way to serve the youth in our area. “We are proud of our efforts to continue the vision of the Marsh family for the past century and the fact that we have been able to impact thousands of children and families in that timeframe,” Grothouse said.

We invite you to be part of our history and join us as we celebrate that legacy. We are looking forward to serving for another 100 years.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children's services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members throughout western Ohio.

 

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Marsh Foundation to Unveil New Foster Care and Adoption Center

new foster buildingwebVAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation will hold an open house to unveil the new Foster Care and Adoption Center location on Thursday, April 7 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The building, located at 1151 Westwood Drive in Van Wert, has been renovated and updated by The Marsh maintenance staff. The public is invited and welcome to attend the open house and tour the facility.

The expansive facility is equipped to hold office and training space for The Marsh’s growing foster care and adoption division. “As our agency continues to grow and serve more children, we are fortunate to have sufficient space that is easily accessible to the community,” said Kim Mullins, executive director of Child and Family Services at The Marsh.

The Marsh has been focused on growth and recruiting more foster and adoptive families. The foster care and adoption division is serving a record number of youth. The additional space will make scheduling training events, treatment meetings and family visits easier and more convenient for all involved. “It is a great feeling to see our number of dedicated foster and adoptive families growing,” said Melissa Snyder, foster care and adoption supervisor. “We are excited to move into this new office space. It will allow us to continue to grow and give us a convenient, accessible location to meet with prospective and current parents.”

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members.

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Photo caption: The Marsh Foundation’s new Foster Care and Adoption Center is located on Westwood Drive in Van Wert. A public open house will be held on April 7 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Marsh Foundation Receives New Facility Accreditation

VAN WERT, Ohio – For years, The Marsh Foundation’s clinical and counseling department has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). They have now received their first accreditation for their residential services division.

According to the executive director of Child and Family Services at The Marsh, Kim Mullins, this is a great accomplishment. “Through accreditation, The Marsh demonstrates value and quality of our services as well as meeting internationally recognized organizational and program standards,” she said. “The surveyors look at all of our services and methods for demonstrating positive outcomes and our business practices.”

This accreditation is critical to The Marsh Foundation’s transition to a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP). CARF accreditation is one of the State of Ohio’s requirement for QRTPs. The agency also officially received their QRTP certification last week. According to Mullins, this was a large undertaking and a long process for the organization that involved many staff members. “I particularly would like to thank LeAnn Patterson, compliance specialist, for her dedicated work which led the way for this to happen for our agency” she said.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members.

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Marsh Foundation to Hold Open House

IMG 266web7VAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation is excited to reveal the new dining and fitness facilities that have been added to campus. On Saturday October 16, an open house will be held that will highlight several important areas of The Marsh campus and history. It will be held from 1 until 6 p.m. and will include tours of the Administration Building, the new gymnasium, Clymer Hall, and a memorial tribute in honor of Ron Bagley at 3 p.m.

According to Jeff Grothouse, executive secretary and treasurer, this is an exciting opportunity to showcase the new areas and facilities at The Marsh Foundation. “We are thrilled to invite the public to tour our new fitness area, dining facilities and gymnasium,” he said. “Because of the mutual love and respect between Ron Bagley and The Marsh, this also seems like an ideal time to honor his memory.” At 3 p.m., a tribute service for Bagley will be held in the Bagley Auditorium. The day’s event will conclude with fellowship and refreshments in the cafeteria.

Campus tours will include the 15,000 square foot addition to the Administration Building which includes a gymnasium, locker rooms, kitchen, dining area and more. Clymer Hall will also be open for tours. As The Marsh transitions to a QRTP facility, Clymer now houses boys, the same as Vance and Marsh Halls. “We are very proud of these facilities and the additional opportunities that they represent for our youth,” said Grothouse. “We think the community will be equally as proud.”

Bagley dedicated much of his life to The Marsh Foundation. His passing in December, left a large void for those at The Marsh. From 1962 to 1991 he worked at The Marsh as a teacher, principal and director. Most recently, he served as the organization’s official historian. The Bagley family will be on hand October 16 to honor their husband, father and grandfather at 3 p.m. “Ron touched numerous lives and was loved by many” Grothouse said. “We are excited for this opportunity to honor him, his life, and legacy.”

The public is invited to attend. For more information, please contact Jeff Grothouse at 419.238.1695 ext. 120.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members.

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Photo Caption: In May of 2019, ground was broken on the newest addition to The Marsh Foundation campus. The 15,000 square foot area holds a kitchen, dining area, gymnasium and more. It will be open to the public on October 16 beginning at 1 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Several areas of campus will be open for tour as well as a Ron Bagley tribute at 3 p.m. All are invited.

Marsh Foundation Hires Bridges Liaison

Headshot Claire FleckVAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation has hired Claire Fleck as the new Bridges Liaison for the Northwest Ohio Region. Bridges is a statewide program administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services through a grant agreement with The Child and Family Health Collaborative of Ohio.  As a member of this Collaborative, The Marsh Foundation provides services through the post-emancipation support program to eligible former foster youth.  

Fleck holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Ohio State University and has worked as a school family teacher and family teacher at The Marsh most recently. Before that, Fleck worked for ten years investigating child abuse, neglect and dependency cases for several Northwest Ohio counties.

Fleck said she enjoys work at The Marsh for several reasons. “I chose to work at The Marsh Foundation because of the variety of opportunities not only for staff but also for the youth we serve,” she said. “The greatest reward is seeing the youth I have worked with successfully discharged and doing well after they leave.”

She has several goals for her new position and is looking forward to helping youth transition into young adulthood. “I hope to continue to build a program that meets the needs of the young adults in Northwest Ohio. I hope to build stronger community relations to be able to assist these young adults to feel supported in the communities where they live,” Fleck said. She also hopes to work toward program expansion.

The Bridges program was established in December 2017 to extend housing and case management services to eligible young adults who leave foster care on or after their 18th birthday but have not yet turned 21.  Fleck will continue to work with young adults in this age range who have recently emancipated from foster care. She’ll supply them with resources and help them with tasks such as finding affordable housing, finding a job, creating a budget and transportation. Essentially, she’ll assist with anything that helps them transition to adult life.

Fleck is a mother to two teenage children and enjoys spending time with them, her boyfriend, family, friends and her dog. In her free time, she enjoys refinishing vintage or worn furniture, listening to all types of music and enjoying hot tea.  

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members.

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Photo caption: Claire Fleck has been promoted to Bridges Liaison at The Marsh Foundation.  

Marsh Foundation Hires Physical Education Teacher

LongstrethSeptember 21, 2021

For Immediate Release

 VAN WERT, Ohio – The Marsh Foundation has hired Kevin Longstreth as a physical education teacher and intervention specialist. With the addition of the physical fitness area and gymnasium on campus, this is another opportunity to expand the opportunities for youth at The Marsh.

Longstreth holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University, a teaching license for physical education grades K-12 and an intervention specialist degree from The Ohio State University. Longstreth’s experience involves casework at Westwood Behavioral Heath as well as crisis intervention and vocational rehabilitation. He has also worked for the City of Van Wert Parks and Recreation Department. This summer, he was hired as a fitness instructor at The Marsh. 

Longstreth said he is looking forward to the opportunity to make a positive impact on students each day. “Physical education is an important class for students because it teaches them how to work as a team, strengthens their social skills and teaches them the value of staying active,” he said. “I am excited to be able to teach and utilize the new facilities at The Marsh and with that comes the flexibility to hold classes in a variety of different spaces.”

As the first physical education teacher at The Marsh, Longstreth said he has several goals. “As I work directly with students, I hope to influence and connect with them in a meaningful way. In addition to sharing my love for physical fitness, I want to promote inclusiveness, responsibility, cooperation and diversity.”

Longstreth and his wife Danielle have three children; Grady 10, Nora 8 and Quinn 4. He enjoys watching and participating in all types of sports and physical fitness. He spends most of his free time with his family and watching them participate in many different activities.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members.

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Photo caption: Kevin Longstreth

Marsh Foundation Foster Care Division Holds Successful Summer Day Camp

VAN WERT, Ohio – This summer, The Marsh Foundation Foster Care Division held a successful day camp for youth in their clinical program. There were a total of 14 youth ranging in age from 5 to 15 who participated. The camp was held for one week from 9 a.m. until noon each day. The camp featured a theme each day, friendship, kindness, emotions, choices and leadership.camp2web

According to Melissa Snyder, foster care director, the purpose of the camp was to allow the youth to come together, participate in fun activities, while also learning positive character traits. “It was an amazing adventure and all of the kids were very well behaved,” she said. “It was great for our staff to get to know the kids on a more personal level and it was also cool to see them form friendships among themselves.” An additional perk to the camp, was the free time the foster parents got those mornings.

Each day, the activities coordinated with the theme and included activity pages, deep breathing, yoga, dance parties, games, reading, crafts and group parachute activities. Some crafts included friendship bracelets and heart sun catchers. Each day, lunch was provided by The Marsh kitchen staff. Friday included zip lining and rock wall climbing at Camp Clay for the older kids. This was part reward for helping throughout the week, but also emphasized leadership, teamwork and being a good role model.

Beth Dye, foster care clinician, along with the rest of the department staffed the camp. They considered it a huge success for their first camp. “Several of our parents commented that it was an incredible experience for their kids,” Dye said. One of the biggest benefits of the camp, according to Dye, was that kids got to meet other kids who are in similar situations to their own. “These are kids who understand better than anyone what they are all going through, as there are different sets of concerns and anxieties that kids who are unable to live with their biological parents experience.”

Dye took the lead when it came to planning the camp and according to Snyder did an excellent job. “I also think it’s important to make note of all of the extra work she put in to make this possible. She went above and beyond to give our kids this amazing experience,” Snyder said.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children services agency that provides services for youth and families in a variety of settings. Services include residential care, family foster care (ages 0-17), adoption and independent living services. Located in Van Wert, Ohio, the organization is licensed to provide on-campus services for up to 30 children, offers an on-campus school for grades 2 – 12, and provides a variety of clinical services to campus residents, foster care children and community members.

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Photo caption: Activities at The Marsh foster care day camp included rock climbing, dance parties, crafts and much more.