The Center's Words

2023: A year to thank those who have seen us through

by | Dec 1, 2023 | The Center’s Words

With the holiday season upon us and the cold temperatures underway — life is even more difficult for people experiencing homelessness. The Center for Respite Care (located in the Saint Anthony Center in Over-the-Rhine) provides a place for adults who have been released from the hospital with nowhere else to go. The Center, which turned 20 in 2023, is the only facility of its type in the region.

The Center has spent 2023 paying tribute to people, partners, and organizations who have contributed to positive outcomes for their clients.

“We are honored to have served our community for over 20 years. During that time, we have helped thousands of adults heal, gain more stable housing, and return to their lives after time at the Center,” Laurel Nelson (CEO) said.

Our Annual Campaign and Channel 12

The Center’s annual campaign commenced this month — in the past has been represented by a celebrity spokesperson — former UC President Santa Ono, former Cincinnati Bengal Dre Kirkpatrick, and several FC Cincinnati players. The face of the 23-24 campaign is a Center co-founder and well-known regional physician, Dr. Bob Donovan. The campaign runs through the end of March with public service announcements (PSAs) to air on Channel 12.

Music for the holidays: The Chertock Family and Friends

Music for the holidays: The Chertock Family and Friends Invitation - December 18 at 7:00 pm at the Sycamore Presbyterian Church

At the same time, the Center is proud to announce that on December 18 at 7:00 pm at the Sycamore Presbyterian Church (, famed area classical musician Michael Chertock and his family members and friends will perform with this year’s lineup. This includes son Joshua Chertock along with Kara Shay Thompson (opera singer,) Chris Pell (principal clarinetist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,) as well as Michael Williams, a finalist on American Idol and The Voice (and resident of Mason, Ohio.)

Michael Williams — a favorite of popstar Katy Perry — has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

While this event is free to the public — attendees are encouraged to make contributions. All proceeds are donated to The Center for Respite Care.

Michael Chertock and his family came forward to support The Center for Respite Care beginning in 2014. They were not asked. They just did.

And all of these years later, they endure. The family annually performs a fundraising concert that donates handily to the Center. Their audience gets to hear world-class music and support one of the region’s most important organizations. And this music is provided by serious professionals.

In 2004, Michael Chertock joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he is currently chair of the Piano Department. He made his debut at 17, performing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Andrew Litton conducting.

Chertock made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi received rave reviews.

In 2005, Chertock with Maestro Lockhart and the National Youth Orchestra of London. Later that year, Chertock performed the world premiere of “Jeux Deux” for hyper-piano and orchestra by Todd Machover, commissioned by the Boston Pops expressly for him. 

Along with benefit concerts for Habitat for Humanity, the Michael Chertock and Friends Holiday Concerts on behalf of Center for Respite Care have been held since 2014.

Michael lives in Mason, Ohio with his wife Maaike, son Joshua and daughters Maria and Janneke. Joining the rest of the amazing gathering of musical artists, all three of their talented children have regularly performed at the benefit.

Their relationship with the Center, he explains, has taught them much:

“It opened all of our eyes to the problem to what to do when you are homeless and need continuing treatment.

It is incredible to see all of these ministries occupying this space together.”

“This annual event has become a must-see. Even during the pandemic, a virtual event was offered. We are thankful to the Chertock family for offering such amazing music,” Ed Slater, Center Chief Advancement Officer, said.

Please consider participating in the Center’s annual campaign ( and attendance at the concert. We thank the public for being part of the Center family.

Give Today

The Center for Respite Care is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. View our 2022 IRS Form 990 – Public Disclosure.








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Center for Respite Care
1615 Republic Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

P.O. Box 141301
Cincinnati, Ohio 45250

(513) 621-1868

(513) 621-1872

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