We Couldn’t do it Without You; Channel 12 and our Spokespeople
The Center for Respite Care was previously located in an old home in Avondale. While the location did the job for us, we needed to become better known in order to serve more Individuals experiencing homelessness. This included raising funds and enhanced visibility.
Laurel D. Nelson, CEO and Liz Bonis, Channel 12
Our relationships have contributed to our expansion to OTR and our rise in visibility. Our success is directly tied to our community.
Enter Channel 12, arguably the most generous media outlet in the region. It started with Liz Bonis and her interest in the work that we do. She lovingly understood our mission, our hopes and our dreams. Like us, she cared for the individuals who came through our doors. For nearly ten years, Liz has both covered our work and been our annual emcee for the Transformation Awards. For two years, during the same time period Meghan Mongillo was our emcee and demonstrated the same level of caring and interest.
These two women have ensured that the public-at-large understands what we do and who we are. Thank you to Liz, Meghan and Channel 12.
Liz Bonis is the Local 12 Health Anchor & Medical Reporter. She reports daily on breaking health headlines, cutting edge research and in-depth health and medical procedures and stories. Liz has been at Local 12 since 2002.
She is a registered dietitian, a certified personal trainer and a former certified diabetes educator. Liz has a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Applied Science And Technology in Dietetics & Nutrition and a Master of Science Degree in Public Communications and Journalism in Radio/Television News from Syracuse University.
Meghan Mongillo joined Local 12 in March 2016. You can find her anchoring the 4 5:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts. She says Cincinnati is home now. She moved to the city and worked at another news station as a morning reporter/anchor and never left town. Her husband grew up on the West side and that’s where the family now resides. Meghan said, “He told me on our first date that he’s never moving from Cincinnati. I couldn’t be happier to spend my life with him here.” Meghan and Adam have three sons.
About eight years ago, we added a most important component. We sought “celebrity spokespeople” to work with the Center and Channel 12. As such, the station produced and aired annual public service announcements (PSAs) that featured me with one of our stars.
We commenced with Santa Ono, then President of the University of Cincinnati. Ono’s winning personality and commitment drew attention to us from new places. Ono, along with several other spokespeople wrote opinion columns that ran in The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Cincinnati Bengal Dre Kirkpatrick followed Dr. Ono. The affiliation with The Cincinnati Bengals was powerful and included filming PSAs on the field. Through Dre, we also developed interest in food scarcity and hunger.
We then were fortunate to be able to work with FC Cincinnati. This is thanks to FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding and head of marketing Kate Solomon. This commenced while the team was still located at UC and continues as our strongest spokesperson ally. Jack Stern, goalkeeper coach, new dad and truly committed Cincinnatian continues to serve as a multiyear friend to the Center.
Jack comes to our cause from parents who supported their community since he was a young boy. Jack’s wife, Elizabeth, has also worked with us in her role as a therapist.
The Center demonstrates that it does take a village.
We are who we are because of our allies.