Lake Kidz Biz Announces Winners of Annual Business Awards

Lake Kidz Biz Winners

Lake Kidz Biz, an organization under the Lake County Chambers of Commerce comprised of local companies focusing on children’s services and products has selected winners for this year’s Kidz Business Awards.

Different from the typical awards program, business owners applying could not be older than 18 and had to attend a school in Lake County or be a Lake County resident.

Now in its second year, the Kidz Business Awards was established to recognize Lake County’s youngest residents for their initiative to undertake a business opportunity and use their entrepreneurial spirit to implement a business concept that either benefits others or is a for profit business endeavor.

The awards program is designed to: recognize Lake County youth for implementing a business concept on their own; identify how youth are having a positive impact in the community; and publicize the importance of youth helping others.

Two young entrepreneurs will be honored for their efforts in a not-for-profit (charitable) endeavor and one individual for his for-profit business.

The winners were selected by a judging panel of five comprised of local business representatives. Each winner was recognized on stage and awarded a $250 check before the December 21st 2 p.m. performance of Willy Wonka at the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby.

Winning in the category of individual not-for-profit (charitable) endeavor for her business, Weekend Walk-Aways is Jenna Guinan, a seventh grader at St. Gabriels.

Jenna fills drawstring backpacks with common household items and essentials along with some fun activities.

The backpacks are then delivered to Families Moving Forward at Project Hope who distributes them to homeless families with children.

In its first year of operation, Jenna’s goal was to fill 100 backpacks. She surpassed the goal and was able to fill 150.

This year she hopes to match last year’s number. Jenna’s belief that all people should have something of their own is what drives her to seek donations and promote her business.

“The business has taught me how to take an idea and follow through with it to the end and most importantly, how one person can make a difference in the lives of others, 150 others.”

Erin Baur, an eighth grade Eastlake Middle School student is also being honored this year in the category of individual not-for-profit (charitable) endeavor.

Erin started her business, Go for the Gold! K-9 for Painesville Police Department in August.

The business focuses on raising money through a series of fundraisers to purchase a second K-9 officer for the Painesville Police Department.

After hearing Chief Powalie express interest in adding a new K-9 to the staff, and being an animal lover herself, Erin decided to set a goal to raise the $11,000 needed to put another K-9 in the community to help find lost children and adults, runaways and people in trouble with the law.

Once achieved, Erin has the naming rights to the K-9 and she has chosen the name Gold. As a special needs child with a heart of gold, the name chosen is perfect.

Erin’s experience to date has increased her self-confidence and taught her that with perseverance and determination she can do anything as long as she puts her mind to it.

Trenton Longstaff is the individual for profit endeavor category winner.

Trenton who is a ninth grader at Riverside started Longstaff LawnCare in May of 2010.

Longstaff LawnCare provides lawn care and landscaping services. Trenton selected a lawn care business because he enjoys it, is good at it and finds that it’s a good way to stay in shape and be outside while earning money.

His customers are pleased with his meticulous work and wonderful customer service. Not only is the lawn cut but if desired, unique mow designs like curve and basket weaves are available.

Trenton’s original goal was to make a little money to do fun activities with his friends. Soon after getting the business started, the goal changed to growing a business, being the busiest mower in the neighborhood and saving for college.

“The awards committee continues to be in amazement with the ambition and well thought out efforts of so many of our local youth,” states Pat Perry, Co-Founder of Lake Kidz Biz. “There are so many students in our local area who have out of the kindness of their heart created a business to benefit others or to assist and ease the financial burden of their parents. These kids are making a difference while using business concepts and we are honored to recognize them.”

It is with sponsorship support from Captains Charities, Fine Arts Association, Lake News, Mandovi Enterprises, Inc. (McDonald’s), Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, PNC and Today’s Family Magazine that Lake Kidz Biz is able to coordinate and host the awards program to honor young entrepreneurs.

ABOUT LAKE KIDZ BIZ

Lake Kidz Biz is a five-year old organization coordinated under the Lake County Chambers of Commerce that brings together companies focused on children’s products and services. Companies join together in the spirit of enhancing business growth through a collaboration of ideas, cross promotion and marketing efforts. Monthly meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month. Membership is open to all members of any chamber of commerce in Lake County. Non-chamber members are welcome and encouraged to participate with the goal of joining one of the Lake County Chambers. For more information, visit the Lake Kidz Biz website.

 

This story is brought to you by Lake Kidz Biz

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Gabe Arnold
Author: Gabe Arnold