First NEO grief summit is Monday in Berea

Staff report


Parents, caregivers and community groups from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties are urged to attend Northeast Ohio’s first grief-support presentation for children Monday.

The event, sponsored by Church Street Ministries and Joel’s Place for Children, will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Church Street Ministries’ outreach center, 398 W. Bagley Road, Suite 11-12.

The center is next to McDonald’s and across the street from Marc’s on West Bagley. The agency’s telephone number is 440-826-4603. Refreshments will be served.

The presentation will offer parents, caregivers and family members of children who have lost a loved one the opportunity to obtain information about Joel’s Place grief- support programs.

Church Street Ministries is a nonprofit outreach agency which has served the Greater Cleveland area for 27 years. Frannie Millward founded the agency in 1986 to assist families in crisis situations.

Joel’s Place for Children was founded in 2003 by Mary Willhite, a licensed social worker, and Kathy Stellato, a registered nurse, as a nonprofit, free, bereavement center for grieving children. Joel’s Place is the namesake of Joel Willhite, Mary’s late husband, who died in 1998.

Autographed copies of “Heaven is All Around You,” a book written Lydia Esparra, Youngstown native, local author and Emmy Award-winning WOIO television news anchor, will be available at the presentation.

Esparra wrote the book after her sister, Minerva “Memby” Esparra, died in 2007, leaving behind two young daughters. The book was designed to have an uplifting message for children and to be helpful to families dealing with the death of a loved one.

For more information about Joel’s Place or registration, contact Willhite at 440-934-1353 or Stellato at 440-248-4412.

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