Kids with Serious Illnesses Visit Camp, Courtesy of PPG
Strongsville employee now volunteers at farm that brought his daughter joy
A Strongsville PPG employee who lost a daughter to cancer at age 12 now makes sure other kids facing serious illnesses get to go to the camp she loved.
John Lewis, market manager of programs and services for the North American commercial coatings group of PPG Industries’ automotive refinish business, helps other children with serious illnesses leave their sickness behind at Flying Horse Farms.
Through a PPG Industries Foundation employee program called Grant Incentives for Volunteerism, Lewis has garnered $1,000 a year for the camp in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, which hosts up to 2,500 ill children each year at no cost to their families, by serving on the board of directors.
In addition, the foundation has donated $5,000 to the organization for each of the last two years and $10,000 this year on behalf of the company’s Strongsville automotive refinish operation, where Lewis works.
“After my daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 at age 9, she attended one of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall camps for children with serious illnesses,” Lewis said. “This inspired my involvement with Flying Horse Farms, and my daughter became very passionate about the organization."
Opened in 2010 and a member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps) since October 2011, Flying Horse Farms offers children a chance to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, archery, arts and crafts, and much more on 200 wooded acres outside of Columbus.
The experience is designed to help campers leave sickness behind while feeling a sense of pride, accomplishment and freedom. An on-site health center provides critical medical services and supervision around the clock.
“PPG is strongly committed to supporting communities where it has a presence, especially by encouraging and recognizing our employees’ volunteerism, and John turning the darkest moment in his life into ongoing joy for others is a true inspiration to all of us. We are very proud of what he has accomplished in honor of his daughter," John Parran, PPG director of marketing, North America, automotive refinish, and PPG Industries Foundation agent for the automotive refinish business, said in a news release.