Chili Cook Off a Success on Many Levels

Chili Cook Off a Success on Many Levels

March 15th, 2014 was a very busy day for the many people who participated in and supported the Trips Ahoy Foundation Chili Cook Off and Disability Awareness event at the LNE Rec Center.  Over 15 people entered the competition with a range of chili  recipes from mild to hot and spicy with proteins varying from beef to venison and chicken.  Thank you to our illustrious judges:  Edward Stark, John Danes, and Paul Rickens…..they tried all of the recipes to come up with their favorite, which was made by the “Red Hot Chili Preppers” – Christy Rill and Kathy Morris.  These fine ladies donated their $120 winnings back to Trips Ahoy, which is very much appreciated.  The winner of the “People’s Choice” award, voted on by everyone who attended the cook off was Jason Freeman.  As you can see from the picture he was beaming with pride.  This is the first cooking competition that Jason has entered and he was very pleased that he won.

The silent auction received a lot of attention from folks in attendance – we had 10 items that were donated by LNE office staff, Trips Ahoy, and friends of Trips Ahoy – thank you very much for your support.  It was funny to watch some people who stayed right by the item they were interested in, making it difficult for others to bid.  It paid off for Misty who won the Avon Gift Bag she wanted so desperately.  I hope that Paul won lots of money on the lottery tickets that he bid on successfully.  I also hope that Stevie enjoys watching TV and movies on her brand new 32″ flat screen TV.  Thank you to everyone who donated and to every one who bid on the items.  The funds raised will be used by Trips Ahoy to fund leisure and recreational activities along with vacations for people with disabilities.   These are events that everyone looks forward to.

We also had an opportunity to learn about the abilities of people with disabilities, specifically their ability to work in the community.  The Fairhaven Program provided a display along with one by Leeda Northeast, Inc., with pamphlets and flyers highlighting the many services and supports that are available for people with developmental disabilities. The focus has certainly changed over the years with a shift from being employed in a “sheltered” workshop to placement in community jobs.   With the over all unemployment rate as high as it is, it is difficult for just about anyone to find a job, and even more of a challenge when one has disabilities.  Organizations like the Trumbull County Board and Leeda Northeast, Inc have developed programs to work with individuals to build on their strengths and teach them skills that translate well to job placement.  We also provide ongoing supports to the companies that are willing to employ people who have disabilities and have seen these partnerships blossom over the recent past.  If anyone is interested in obtaining additional information please contact Megan Sweeney at (330)392-6006.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped to plan  and run this event; thank you to all of the cooks for preparing some great chili; thank you to all those who donated items for the silent auction; thank you to those who bid on the items; and special thanks to everyone who attended to support the Trips Ahoy Foundation, you are all very much appreciated.Jason

Read More

Trips Ahoy, Ability at Work, and a Chili Cook Off

Trips Ahoy, Ability at Work, and a Chili Cook Off

This picture was taken during a trip to Hocking Hills sponsored by Trips Ahoy.  Click on this link to hear more about the steps Trips Ahoy takes to enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities:

Enjoying the outdoors

Read More

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness month….

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness month….

abilityatwork-color jpg

For additional information contact Megan Sweeney at  (330)392-6006 or

“Ability at Work”  is the theme for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2014. Leeda Northeast, Trips Ahoy Foundation and other related organizations celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March and invite you to consider the true meaning of this year’s theme, “Ability at Work!”

Statewide, and across the nation, organizations devoted to serving individuals with developmental disabilities are planning special events in March to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability. “Ability at Work” encourages people to understand that when people with disabilities are welcomed into local neighborhoods, workplaces, houses of worship, and schools,  everyone wins. This is a time when our organization focuses on encouraging the public to better understand the individuals we serve.

“During ‘Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we encourage people to learn more about the people in this community who have developmental disabilities and to recognize that all of us have talents and abilities that we can offer to make this a better place to live.

Leeda Northeast and Trips Ahoy Foundation will kick off its recognition of March as DD Awareness Month with a Chili Cook Off. The Chili Cook Off will be March 15, 2014 at It’s All Fine, 3581 Youngstown Rd., Warren, OH. Explore the opportunities of employing individuals with disabilities while supporting the Trips Ahoy Foundation. (Trips Ahoy is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation working towards enriching the lives of those with disabilities.) During March, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, get acquainted with someone who has a developmental disability. You’ll learn that everyone has something to offer and that when we are all together our communities are stronger, we accomplish more, and everyone wins!

For additional information concerning the Chili Cook Off, or if you would like to enter in order to win a cash prize, contact Cathy Brooks at or call her at (330)392-6006.  Additional information is available on

Read More

A Firsthand Encounter with a Secondhand Secret

A Firsthand Encounter with a Secondhand Secret

Vintage topThis article was posted in the Portage News – a wonderful online newspaper for Portage and surrounding areas – click on the headline below to read the content.

A Firsthand Encounter with a Secondhand Secret!

Read More

Recreation Center offers Social Opportunities

Recreation Center offers Social Opportunities




Published on June 11, 2013 | by Patty Arnold


Leeda Northeast Offers Quality Recreation Opportunities For Everyone!

Sharing is caring :)


Did you know?

It is estimated that about 4.6 million to 7.7 million people are affected with developmental disabilities? Exact figures are hard to collect, but one thing is for sure – there are millions of people affected, and individuals generally need special supports that are of lifelong or extended duration. These supports ideally should be individually planned and coordinated to help with learning, mobility, self-care, self-direction, and capacity for independent living.

What is a ‘developmental disability’?

According to the Developmental Disabilities Act, the term ‘developmental disability’ means a severe, chronic disability of an individual 5 years of age or older that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments and is likely to continue indefinitely.

Leeda Northeast in Portage, Trumbull, and several other counties, works to ”expand opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities to pursue their hopes and dreams and to establish valued relationships in our communities.” They do this by offering training programs in both Portage and Trumbull County where those with DD can learn important life and work skills in a compassionate and caring environment. They also provide a place where these same individuals can be employed at their It’s All Fineconsignment shops located in both Warren and Ravenna.

Recognizing and catering to the need for recreational activities has always been important to Leeda, and they began 2013 excited about the opening of a new facility in Warren. Megan Sweeney, who is program coordinator at the Trumbull location, (and who is full of enthusiasm, I might add!) has been enjoying the fun as she schedules events.

“It is equipped with Wii on a large screen TV, foosball, air hockey, ping-pong and pool tables. It is a place where people can come to hang out, have fun and meet new people. We also offer event nights such as a cooking class, dance class, game nights, and more. These events are open to all!” Check their event calendar for a list of current happenings.










Leeda is currently hiring staff for their residential settings in Portage and Trumbull locations.

“Every individual that we assist and train deserves impressive service each and every day by every single employee. We depend on our employees to always be courteous, friendly and efficient toward the individuals we serve.”

Does this describe you? If so, find applications on the website by clicking HERE then click on employment in the menu bar or by visiting their Tallmadge office.

LNE Rec Center
3581 Youngstown Rd SE,
Warren, Ohio.

Leeda Northeast
4123 Tallmadge Rd
Rootstown, OH 44272


 You can also check out the Portage News website by clicking on this link:


Read More

Compassionate Support and Training for individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Compassionate Support and Training for individuals with Developmental Disabilities



Published on June 4, 2013 | by Patty Arnold


Leeda Northeast: Compassionate Support & Training for Developmentally Disabled Adults

Sharing is caring :)

If you visit the Leeda Northeast, Inc. website, a residential and day service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD), one of the first things you’ll sense is the genuine compassion and care for each individual. After reading several statements including this one,

“Individuals are treated with dignity and courtesy at all times. They are encouraged to participate in making decisions about their day to day activities at all times. Boundaries are respected, optimal independence is encouraged and teamwork is the order of the day,”

it was so refreshing and positive, I was prompted to call and find out more!

I was directed to Megan Sweeney, who is program coordinator at the Trumbull location and in charge of recreational activities for their new Warren recreational center. Two seconds on the phone, and it was evident just how much she loves her work! Though the rec facility is still under some construction, she was delighted to share photos and explain a bit more about both the Portage and Warren programs. “We provide services in Trumbull, Portage, Ashtabula and Mahoning counties. The main goals of our day program in Portage County are to promote independence and community integration while learning important skills necessary for community employment. We offer habilitation and vocational training, as well as training in daily living skills. We opened a consignment and gift store in Warren, as well as a storefront in downtown Ravenna called It’s All Fine. Here the individuals of the program are able to use the training they received in a retail setting.”

Leeda has been providing services for 15 years with an original focus on residential living so those with DD can avoid living in nursing homes or institutions. In 2007, they opened a day program for adults as well so they could train individuals and provide them with community employment opportunities. It has since grown into a very successful undertaking for both programs.

Leeda is currently hiring staff for their residential setting in Portage.

“Every individual that we assist and train deserves impressive service each and every day by every single employee. We depend on our employees to always be courteous, friendly and efficient toward the individuals we serve.”

Does this describe you? If so, find applications on the website HERE or by visiting their office at 4123 Tallmadge Road, Rootstown, Ohio 44272

Here’s a glimpse into life at Leeda’s day program! If you find yourself wanting to know more, give them a call at (330) 392-6006.

Visit:  for more information and photos.

Read More