YMCA Teen Leaders & GentleBrook Clients Work Together to Disable the Label

GentleBrook and the Teen Leaders from the Lake Community YMCA have joined together to take a stance on the use of the “R” word.  Natalie Mudd a Teen Leader from the YMCA said, “The “R” word is very hurtful to those who are called it and disrespectful to the developmentally delayed!  I am so happy to be a part of this project because we are a voice for the voiceless.”  The Teen Leaders accepted the challenge to take part in the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign.

Joining forces, GentleBrook and YMCA together started a campaign and then made a video to help further their impact.  “We are making a difference and spreading the awareness to others about their choice of words that they use.  One small act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.  I am thankful to be in YMCA’s Leaders Club to take a stance!” Hunter Bussey said.  The video was made to emphasize that all people should be accepted and respected.  It is very apparent in the video that there is mutual acceptance, love and respect between the YMCA teens and the GentleBrook staff, workers, and residents.  There is a great amount of pride to see the progress that is being made!  “At GentleBrook, we are so inspired by this young group of individuals, they truly are making their mark on the world by spreading the word and embracing differences.” Dianna Huckestein, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, GentleBrook.

About GentleBrook

GentleBrook is a not-for-profit organization that offers residential services, day habilitation, vocational services and supportive employment programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Since September 1974, the organization is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, with their mission of maximizing each individual’s potential and independence.


In addition to the organizations core services, GentleBrook also operates 3 retail store locations (Stark, Coshocton, & Holmes Counties) for product sales, offer community event rentals at their GentleBrook Centre, Woodshop & Craft Production Program, Farming & Horticulture Programs, along with many community partnerships to further enhance and enrich the lives of their clients and the local communities in which it serves.

GentleBrook’s corporate offices, one of their residential-intermediate care facilities (ICF), and one of their day habilitation sites are located in Hartville Ohio, their other residential facilities and day habilitation work site is located in West Lafayette, Coshocton County.  All of GentleBrook’s facilities are licensed and certified by the State of Ohio.

GentleBrook currently provides residential, day habilitation, and vocational services to more than 250 clients.

For more information about the services and programs GentleBrook offers visit www.GentleBrook.org.

 About Lake Community YMCA

The Lake YMCA building opened in September of 2004. The facility is located within the Lake Community Center complex along with Lake High School and Middle School, Mercy Medical Center, the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce, and the Stark County Public Library. These community partners give the Lake YMCA a very unique opportunity to collaborate on various programs and share resources that provide high quality services to the communities of Uniontown, Hartville and Lake Township.

lake y logo

Since opening, the Lake Community YMCA has continually strived to serve the needs of the community through programs that focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Key program areas include child care (before/afterschool), youth and adult sports, health and wellness, swimming, teens, families, and seniors. Lake YMCA currently serves over 7600 members.

The Lake YMCA is a branch of the YMCA of Central Stark County, which was founded in 1866.  Today the YMCA of Central Stark County serves nine communities:  Alliance, Canal Fulton, Canton/Canton South, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Meyers Lake and Minerva.  YMCA Camp Tippecanoe, located in Harrison County, offers residential camping programs each summer.

The YMCA of Central Stark County serves over 90,000 program and membership participants each year.  These participants are served by over 800 full and part-time staff.  Over 2,500 people volunteer their time every year at the YMCAs as board and committee members or assisting with various programs.

OUR VISION: For Youth Development

  • For Healthy Living
  • For Social Responsibility
  • OUR MISSION: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all programs.
  • OUR PROMISE: No one is turned away from the YMCA due to an inability to pay.
  • OUR CHARACTER PILLARS: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship