Since the beginning of 2020, Starfish or one of our Assignments has been featured in the news 26 times. This includes every major network in the city multiple times, the Columbus Dispatch twice, and in other online/print publications including 614Now, This Week News, and the West Side Messenger. There were also four other times that we can think of that reporters wanted to cover stories with us but were prevented from doing so by things that weren't under their control. (For example, it wasn't a good idea for one of the involved parties to be on camera.)
We think this is a lot of coverage, especially when you consider that we don't send out press releases. Our partners sometimes do, but mostly reporters who want to feature the good work we do with police officers have to put effort into keeping track of us. (Sorry! We're small--no paid staff!)
We're not saying this to brag, but to shine a light on the good things that journalists in our city are doing and to thank them for trying to spread positivity. It's been a tough year for them, too.
So...thank you, all! We really appreciate everything you do.
On our In the News Page you can read all that positivity yourself. (Let us know if you notice a missing story, please.) We've also included links to a few stories below you might want to read again or may have missed.
On July 10, Maria Durant joined us for our first in-person Books & Badges reading since March 13, when Covid-19 shut down Ohio schools, and our first event since the civil unrest of May/June. We joined forces with Columbus Division of Police and Columbus Recreation & Parks Department to have an event for the summer campers at Milo-Grogan Community Center that they'll remember for a long time to come. (And so will we!)
Cops & Barbers co-founders Officer Pete Casuccio and Rob Cayson join with Starfish Board Member Mario Dovell to discuss the beautiful simplicity of bringing people from different backgrounds together and the profound implications that can have on our society today. Thanks to Bryant Somerville for this touching piece.
Our founder and president, Nicole Banks, was highlighted by NBC4 as one of four Remarkable Women who make a difference in the lives of people in Central Ohio. Nicole was nominated by Columbus Division of Police Sergeant Dana Hess, who has worked with Starfish multiple times in the past, including on Cops and Barbers and on an Assignment to help a victim of human trafficking. We'd like to thank Monica Day for this beautiful portrait of Nicole, the Division, and of the work we've been doing together.
Bethany Bruner wrote a touching piece about our Assignment with Columbus Division of Police Officer Tony Roberts and his partner, Netcare Clinician Phil McGeorge. Ms. Bruner's beautiful closing had us in tears: "Roberts, who worked as a domestic-violence detective before moving to the mobile crisis unit, said he has a soft spot for people such as Domonique. 'Thinking of anyone mistreating her just makes you angry,' he said. 'We were able to wrap the arms of the city around her to make her life a little happier.'"
Thanks to Kevin Corvo for this lovely story, which focuses mostly on our Books & Badges program, both the online and in-person versions. We love Books & Badges, and are grateful to Kevin and This Week Community News for getting the word out about this program that connects officers and children, while encouraging literacy.
Lacey Crisp spoke to neighbors in the South Linden neighborhood of Rosewind, which has been very hard hit by violence this year, about what our Cops & Gobblers Assignment meant to them. Cops & Gobblers provided 150 turkeys and sides for every home in Rosewind.