As families around town adapt to new routines and usher in another school year, annual memorial events taking place this month remind me that there are parents among us whose little ones will never have that first day of school, or whose series of “firsts” were cut tragically short. I’m in awe of the way families who’ve suffered unthinkable loss in our own community have forged a way forward, with newfound joy and purpose, to so beautifully honor the life and memory of their loved ones – and especially, to help others in need along the way.
A year after the 2021 devastating loss of their third son to stillbirth, Hudsonites Katherine and David Corvi launched The Charles Martin Corvi Fund. Contributions to Charlie’s fund are used to assist nonprofit and healthcare organizations in their work to support families who’ve experienced pregnancy or infant loss.
The Corvi family honors the son and brother they lost to stillbirth with a memorial fund that supports others suffering from pregnancy or newborn loss. Photo submitted.
On Sept. 9, the Corvis will host Charlie’s Challenge 2023, a 27-mile, round-trip bike ride on the Ohio-Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Included in this event is a 6-mile, children’s course option. According to David, donations for this year’s challenge will be accepted through Charlie’s birthday on Oct. 26 and will all benefit the work of Charlie’s Fund. Anyone can donate or serve as a “Charlie champion” by fundraising for the ride. David said they hope to raise over $25,000, which would surpass their total from Charlie’s Challenge 2022.
“As parents, we teach our children a lot of things – how to tie their shoes, how to ride a bike, how to be kind, how to be a good friend. We often forget to stop and notice all the things our children are teaching us,” said David and Katherine. “It has been one and a half years since Charlie’s passing. In that time, he has taught us so much about grief, about sorrow, about love, about healing, about joy. Our baby has taught us some of our most important life lessons. Charlie’s Challenge helps our extended family and network of friends come together and spend time in memory of all that Charlie has to offer the world he will never know. He is not here to create and share his story, so we must do it for him. His fund is his legacy.”
To learn more about Charlie’s fund or to donate, visit charlesmartincorvi.org.
“Vincent William Baran – a light in our world from Jan. 9, 2013, to Nov. 7, 2020 – touched thousands of lives. And he’s still doing it, in his small-yet-mighty way,” the Baran family writes in the web page dedicated to their late son, Vinny. Hudsonites Lindsay and Ben Baran lost their son to a tragic accident in November 2020. Upon launching the Vincent William Baran Charitable Fund and dedicating an annual day of service in his name, his family works to keep the memory of his joyful, empathetic, fierce, young life alive, and to carry on the legacy of his namesake, St. Vincent de Paul.
Lindsay and Ben Baran and their children continue to host a September service day and other events in support of nonprofit organizations they partner with to memorialize Vinny Baran, who died in a tragic accident in 2020. Photo submitted.
Contributions to Vinny’s fund are used to partner with organizations that support Catholic educational institutions and access to those institutions, organizations that support the growth and development of children and organizations that serve the needy and vulnerable people of Northeast Ohio. Additionally, all donations to the fund in August and September support the many nonprofit organizations involved in the annual Vincent William Baran Day of Service, which is set to occur for its third year on Saturday, Sept. 23, with additional events set for Friday, Sept. 22, and Sunday, Sept. 24.
“In our first two years of the Vincent William Baran Day of Service, a combined total of 783 volunteers performed 1,929 hours of service at more than 20 nonprofit organizations,” said Lindsay. “It’s obvious that people want to volunteer and make the world a little bit better, and we’re on a mission to make that easy for people and families everywhere. We will have more than 600 volunteer slots available this year, and we look forward to seeing many new volunteers alongside those who participated previously.”
The event includes in-person service opportunities, the Hudson Friends of the Poor Walk, donation drives, and more. Complete details, donation opportunities and registration for all events associated with this day of service are available at mightyvincent.org.
Congratulations to Megan Earp, a ’22 HHS grad who recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award for a graphic novel she wrote, published and distributed about Crohn’s Disease. The project was inspired by Megan’s own experience with Crohn’s, an autoimmune disorder affecting the digestive track.
Hudson High School graduate Megan Earp earns a Scouting Gold Award with her new graphic novel “The Big Kick,” which tells the story of a fifth-grade soccer player living with Crohn’s disease. Photo submitted.
“I got diagnosed when I was about 13 or so. I thought it wasn’t really going to affect me that much,” recalled Megan. As high school began, however, so did complications related to her illness, and Megan found herself in and out of school, swim team and other activities, she said.
“I was really disappointed and had high expectations for myself freshman year,” said Megan. “I was a big reader. I didn’t see a whole lot of books about chronic illnesses, and so I decided I was going to write a graphic novel for Crohn’s Disease awareness, and it ended up being sort of a sports book too.”
Copies of her novel, “The Big Kick,” featuring a main character with the disease, have made their way to libraries, schools, hospitals, and charities around Northeast Ohio. Upon publication, Megan held a workshop at the Hudson Library for students to learn more about chronic illnesses and help break the stigma and isolation patients often experience whose illnesses aren’t well known, understood or represented widely in media.
“I wanted to do a little awareness workshop,” said Megan, who asked her pediatrician and Shelly Grecol, the book’s illustrator and another ’22 HHS grad, to join her. “About 15 to 20 grade-school aged kids attended. I talked a little, Shelly talked a little, my pediatrician talked, and Shelly taught them how to draw. It was really fun.”
Through her fundraising work on this project, Megan was able to donate about $1,800 to the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation. She said she looks forward to distributing more copies of “The Big Kick” to a “cool organization called ‘Athletes vs. Crohn’s,’ run by pro basketball player, Larry Nance Jr., and to studying abroard through the GEARE program at Purdue, where she studies electrical engineering. To learn more about her book, visit thebigkick.godaddysites.com.
Congrats, too, to Nora Howard, a ’23 HHS grad and former high school varsity softball player, who finished her summer tournament softball season with a USSSA National Championship win in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Nora played shortstop for the Velocity Fast pitch 18u team based in Akron. The team finished their season ranked #2 in the state and #16 in the nation, with a final record of 56-14-3. Well done, Nora!
Finally, Hudsonites may notice a large group of parishioners winding along the St. Mary Catholic Church property border in town as part of a Eucharistic procession St. Mary will be hosting on Sept. 9. The Catholic Church in the United States is currently celebrating a three-year Eucharistic Revival, which is an invitation for Catholics to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through the celebration of the Eucharist (Mass). This Revival began in June of 2022 and will conclude in June of 2024. Saint Mary Parish is celebrating this year with a different Eucharistic event every month, and this .35 mile procession is one of them.
“A Eucharistic Procession in an opportunity for Catholics to walk with the Eucharist through a local community, bringing Jesus to everyone along the route,” explained The Rev. Larry Jurcak, pastor of St. Mary. “Catholics believe in what is called the Real Presence – that Jesus Christ is truly present, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. During the procession, the priest carries the Eucharist in a monstrance and walks under a canopy with the people who have joined in the procession singing and praying together.”
The celebration begins with 4:30 p.m. Mass, followed by the procession, which will include two stops along the route for a time of prayer, song and reflection before returning to the church for benediction and repose of the Blessed Sacrament.
“The Eucharistic procession helps remind Catholics that we all have a part to play in the church. We are not an audience watching Jesus go by, but we are a part of the procession of faith that takes Jesus out into our local community,” Jurcak said.
As always, please share your news and adventures with us by emailing Hudson Life at firstname.lastname@example.org. ∞