By Kim Breyley
Recently, Keith Scherzer, managing director of KraftMaid in Middlefield and Middlefield Mayor Ben Garlich took time out from busy schedules to meet with an incredible 7-year-old, Ella Tryon, of Montville. For weeks, KraftMaid employees headed by Marcy Bodnar, production control developer, had been collecting coloring crayons that were to be presented to Ella along with her parents Chris and Jackie Tryon.
Several months ago, Ella initiated a drive to raise 10,000 boxes of crayons. She has Celiacs disease and during one of her many visits to Rainbows Babies and Children’s in Cleveland, discovered that the hospital is short on crayons. She had asked her mom to bring her some crayons so she could color a rainbow, as she was confined to her room during treatment. “They had a ton of coloring books,” said Jackie, “but not nearly enough crayons.” This inspired Ella.”We need to collect crayons so that when each child arrives at the hospital they will have a pack of crayons and they can keep it forever,” she told her mother. A Facebook page was initiated and the effort called “Color Me A Rainbow” took off.
Local fire departments, churches and Karate studios were glad to participate as drop-off points. Bodnar, a family and Facebook friend was inspired by Ella. “I wanted to help for two reasons,” she said. “One, I am an artist and appreciate the need, and two, KraftMaid supported my education, building me as a leader; Ella shows many leadership attributes.” Bodnar put the word out to a few colleagues at KraftMaid and many contributed. Scherzer welcomed Ella to KraftMaid; he and Mayor Garlich commended her effort and presented her with 579 boxes on behalf of the Kraft Maid workforce. She was also given a KraftMaid shirt and hat. KraftMaid Logistics volunteered to deliver the crayons. A KraftMaid truck arrived at Ella’s home the morning of Oct. 24, loaded the truck, and delivered them to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Ella attends St. Mary’s School in Chardon, is a first degree black belt in Karate and is teaching herself sign language. The Color Me A Rainbow campaign has surpassed their goal of 10,000 boxes and Ella does not want to quit. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Thecrayongirl. Ella’s tenacity and drive provides inspiration to all who meet her. Editor’s Note: We have since received notice that Ella’s total was 12,178 boxes of crayons and 254 coloring books.