Will Sukenik, Cleveland native and community leader, has been actively involved in various causes throughout Northeast Ohio for more than 50 years.
When Milestones co-founder Ilana Hoffer Skoff first reached out to Sukenik, nearly 15 years ago, he was immediately drawn to the organization’s mission. Though he doesn’t have a personal connection to autism, he was familiar with the challenges it presented to families.
“The work that Milestones does in the community is very important,” he says. “There are a lot of families who are struggling and the organization has helped in so many ways. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Ilana. I think she and her staff are doing an absolutely fantastic job.”
Sukenik recognizes the importance of campaigns like Milestones’ Annual Fund and encourages individuals to get involved and give back. Serving as co-chair of the Milestones planned giving committee alongside Steve Rudolph, he is consistently considering the future and an organization’s support in perpetuity.
“Without the support of the Annual Fund, Milestones would not be able to do what they are doing,” he says. “I’m also trying to encourage others to leave a legacy so an organization can be continually supported even after they are no longer around.”
In addition to his involvement with Milestones, Sukenik serves as President of Beachwood-based Properties Management Co. and has held multiple leadership positions in the community including serving as a past board member of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, honorary and life trustee of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, and life trustee of the Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland.
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Molly Mack was at a crossroads.
As a parent of a child on the spectrum, she felt like her family had successfully navigated Daniel’s early childhood years thanks to support and local resources. But Daniel’s teenage years and his looming transition to adulthood presented a whole other set of challenges.
“With this new season of life, I felt like didn’t have someone to turn to,” Molly remembers of that desperate time two years ago. “It was the first time I truly felt alone.”
Had a friend not told her about Milestones, Molly says she would not have found such life-changing resources for her son – and empowerment as a parent. “They have helped me be a better mom to Daniel,” she says. “They are right there, helping me every step of the way.”
How did you first get connected to Milestones?
My husband Tom and I moved our family from a smaller town in Ohio to a western suburb of Cleveland when our son, Daniel, was three. We believed there would be more resources and a greater level of services for him in a bigger city. This was back in 2005. But more recently, with this transition piece to adulthood, I felt at a loss.
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We’re able to do what we do because of you.
Each year, Milestones serves more than 2,400 parents and professionals throughout the region. We strive to support and enrich the local autism community through our annual conference, workshops, trainings, coaching services and referrals, as well as providing thousands of resources on our website, milestones.org. Since our founding in 2003, the mission is simple yet significant: to help individuals with autism reach their potential.
We believe there is a spectrum of possibility within every individual with ASD.
Your generous support has enabled us to become the preeminent autism resource in Northeast Ohio. Families with children on the spectrum come to us for information about an individual’s social, emotional, educational, recreational, therapeutic, vocational and housing needs from birth through adulthood. World-renowned author and speaker Temple Grandin kicked off our 15th Annual Autism Conference, which attracted over 1,500 attendees this year. We expanded our workshops to include such panels as “How ASD Impacts Children of Color and their Families,” “In Love and On the Spectrum” featuring couples where one partner is on the spectrum, and “Working with Individuals with ASD Who Identify as Transgender,” all highlighting the need for more awareness and understanding from social service, medical and other providers of care.
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