Thank You New Horizons Academy!

Thank You New Horizons Academy!

New Horizons Academy is an exemplary model of education for students with special needs. You have an outstanding administration who truly listens and cares for your students and their families. You staff is phenomenal and your classrooms and sensory rooms are state-of-the-art. I’m so thankful that my child attends school at NHA!

Then and Now. Ten Years After HBOT.

Then and Now. Ten Years After HBOT.

There are some days you just never forget. For Marjorie (Marj) Monhollen, one of those days happened back in 1998 when five-year-old Brittany Cortez entered her life. After being removed from both her mother’s and grandmother’s care because of unstable living conditions, Brittany came to live with her great-aunt at the age of five and through her entered Marj’s life.

Brittany had been diagnosed with absence epilepsy at the age of three. As she got older her seizures got worse, averaging 150-200 staring spells every day… despite medication. By the time Brittany turned seven she had tried the ketogenic diet and various other treatments, survived a near-drowning incident, and had a vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) implanted. The VNS cut the number of seizures Brittany experienced down to about 50-100 per day.

As she grew, Brittany was forced to take more and more medications to control her seizures. By the time she was 13, Brittany was taking Lamictal, Depakote, and Felbatol. Going into the seventh grade, she was just 56 inches tall, weighed 77 pounds, and was averaging at least one hospitalization every other month. The odds of Brittany succumbing to Sudden Unexplained Death from Epilepsy (SUDEP) were a terrifying 1 in 5.

Marj remembers her feelings of desperation and urgency to find a treatment to save Brittany. “We had to do something, and HBOT was suggested,” Marj recalls. Brittany’s neurologist was not terribly supportive of the idea, feeling that it would be a waste of time and money. After informing him that they would find someone else to write the prescription for HBOT if he wouldn’t, he skeptically gave in. Brittany started Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy on June 13, 2006.

Marj kept a journal of Brittany’s time at Sara’s Garden. In it she wrote, “We have such hope that this will improve things and, at the same time, I’m playing the skeptic, wondering, as always, when the other shoe will drop. Everyone is going into this not knowing what to expect because HBOT has never been investigated as a treatment for epilepsy alone. This could be groundbreaking, or it could be a total flop. Only time will tell…I have to learn to be patient and this is going to be the supreme test. I want this to work so badly that sometimes I can’t wait to see the results. Yet, I know this is a slow process, if we even see any improvement at all. Only time will give us the answers.”

Throughout her treatment process, Brittany had good days and not so good days, but the changes they noticed were well worth the investment of time and money to Marj. Brittany’s seizure activity was greatly reduced! She was able to go several days with no seizures at all. Her appetite also increased greatly and she gained six pounds in just two weeks of HBOT. In her journal, Marj frequently shared her fears of getting her hopes up or hoping for too much. One such entry stated, “I guess I wanted to see this huge change all at once, forgetting that I need to be patient and let this be a process instead of an event. It’s just that I want so much for her.”

Eventually, Marj saw the changes in Brittany that she had been hoping and praying for. Brittany’s hand tremors, fine motor coordination, cognitive ability, and recall all improved. Marj wrote, “Her printing and coloring have really improved. She’s taking her time when she writes and she’s staying inside the lines when she colors. Sara’s Garden is a true blessing. We’ve seen more improvement in three weeks than we could have hoped for all summer – better seizure control, less impulsivity, better recall and cognition, and improved fine motor control. Hopefully, this is only the beginning!” And it was… Brittany celebrated her 13th birthday and her last day of HBOT at Sara’s Garden, complete with balloons, card, and chocolate. Within four months of completing 40 dives, Brittany had grown four inches and started her period.

Current research shows that HBOT, in most cases, will decrease seizure activity, improve cerebral circulation, and provide the brain with more oxygen. In one long-term study, HBOT was found to be effective in reducing seizure activity in 82% of children and was significantly effective in 68%. 43% were able to stop taking their anticonvulsant medication with others greatly reducing theirs. After three years, 53% were seizure-free with an additional 25% only experiencing one to two seizures a year. While HBOT is not effective for everyone, it can improve the lives of many, many epileptic children… children just like Brittany.

In July 2016, Brittany celebrated her 23rd birthday. Marj shared, “Ten years ago, Brittany had her last dive on her 13th birthday. Our success at Sara’s Garden was a major turning point in the treatment of her intractable epilepsy. Since then, she has graduated from Lake High School (2012), completed the Life Skills Program at Penta Career Center (2015), moved into a group home run by Luther Home of Mercy (2015), and started working part-time in the cafeteria at Mercy St. Charles Hospital (2016). Today, Brittany turns 23 years old, and our prayer of thanks includes the staff of Sara’s Garden for the love, compassion and care that we ALL received 10 years ago. I have no doubt in my mind that HBOT started the cascade of successes that we have seen over the past 10 years! Thank you Sara’s Garden for helping to literally save Brittany’s life!”

Thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy services at Sara’s Garden, Brittany’s life is now much different than it was 10 years ago. HBOT was a huge turning point in her treatment and the start of a quality of life that, until then, they only dreamed of. For Marj, some of the days she will never forget now include the days that Brittany started and completed HBOT at Sara’s Garden. No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Cushman Pacemaker Giveaway

Cushman Pacemaker Giveaway

This is your chance to win a piece of American history! We are going to be raffling off a brilliantly restored 1953 Cushman Pacemaker scooter.

The Cushman company started in 1903 in Lincoln, Nebraska, by Everett and Clinton Cushman. The company incorporated as Cushman Motor Works in 1913. Cushman began production of their four-stroke Husky engine in 1922. Cushman produced engines for farm equipment, pumps, lawn mowers and boats. Cushman scooters were widely used by the United States Armed Forces in World War II and as an alternative to automobiles before and after the war. Some late-1950s Cushmans, designated Road King and Pacemaker, had jet-age body styling. Cushman scooters featured an automatic centrifugal clutch, which allowed the rider to twist the right grip to accelerate. Oddly, the throttle twisted forward during acceleration, opposite the usual pattern in most other motorcycles and scooters. Cushman claimed 75 miles per gallon, and advertised penny-a-mile operating cost.

Thanks to a very thoughtful and generous donor, you now have the opportunity to win one of these amazing machines! Single tickets can be purchased for only $10. Tickets can also be puchased in bundled quantities of 10.

All proceeds from this event will be used towards the purchase therapy equipment for our students at New Horizons Academy which will be invaluable resources to the children we serve with motor disabilities!

Casino Night Gala 2016 Reminder

Casino Night Gala 2016 Reminder

Don’t forget!! Saturday, November 5th is fast approaching and there are only a limited number tables left for the 2016 Casino Night Gala.

This marks the 3rd year that Don’s Automotive Group has hosted an amazing Casino Night Gala to benefit Sara’s Garden at Founder’s Hall in Archbold, Ohio. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.  and the fun will last until till 11:30 p.m. All proceeds from this event are being donated to Sara’s Garden’s onsite family housing project!

Casino Night will feature a delicious dinner and appetizers, dancing, prizes and silent auctions and casino time that will be conducted with authentic “Las Vegas” style casino tables, casino chips, and slot machine tokens. Come enjoy a variety of games including Black Jack, Texas Hold’em, Roulette, Craps, War, and token slot machines. Professional and friendly dealers will see that you have an exciting and entertaining experience! You don’t need to be a gambler to enjoy Casino Night.

We’re betting you’ll have a great time at Casino Night! We look forward to seeing you there.

Save the Date!
Event Date:Saturday, November 5, 2016
Event Location:Founder’s Hall, Sauder Village, Archbold, Ohio
Event Time:5:30-11:30 p.m. (Casino Floor Open from 7:30 – 11:00 p.m.)
Event Cost:$75 per Plate ($550 for an Entire Table of 8)
 Dress Attire:Semi-Formal

Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

Dinner Ticket Includes:
  • Appetizers
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
  • Alcoholic Beverages (Qty. 2)*
  • Soda & Water
  • Chips for Casino Activity**
  • Dancing
Schedule of Events
5:30 p.m.
Appetizers & Drinks
Silent Auction Opens
6:15 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Casino Floor Opens
11:00 p.m.
Silent Auction Closes
Prizes & Drawings

*Choose between beer, wine and liquor. A cash bar will be available for additional drink purchases.

**Additional chips can be purchased for a donation if needed.

Sponsorship Opportunities:
Platinum Title Sponsor – $3,000
  • Includes three dinner tables, three casino table sponsorships and program recognition.
Gold Table Sponsor – $2,000
  • Includes two dinner tables, two casino table sponsorships and program recognition.
Silver Prize Sponsor – $1,000
  • Includes one dinner table, one casino table sponsorship and program recognition.
Bronze Meal Sponsor – $400
  • Includes two dinner tickets, one casino table sponsorship and program recognition.
Table Sponsor – $200
  • Includes one casino table sponsorship and program recognition.

A block of rooms at the Heritage Inn at Sauder Village are available for reservation at a special event rate. Rooms must be booked at least one month prior to event. Booking ID# 6850.

For additional information regarding sponsorship opportunities or dinner ticket reservations, please contact Becky Coopshaw at 419.337.3010 or via email at Please join us for a fun-filled casino experience.

Backpacks of Hope

Backpacks of Hope

Backpacks of Hope began in March of 2014. This program was started in order to help the families of students attending New Horizons Academy at Sara’s Garden.  All of the students who attend New Horizons Academy have a special learning need. A majority of our students have varying degrees of Autism and the others have more of a physical disability, such as Cerebral Palsy or Traumatic Brain Injury.

If you know anyone with a child with special needs, you understand that they are often short on money partly due to the many appointments with Doctors and other specialists.  The purpose of Backpacks of Hope is to help the families of students who attend New Horizons Academy by giving them food for 1 meal per week.  Families are given the opportunity every week to fill out a slip to indicate they need help with food for that week. Between August 2015 and May 2016, Backpacks of Hope distributed over 200 backpacks of food to 20 different families.

In May of 2015, we began to realize that these families were also struggling to buy school supplies. In August of 2015, Backpacks of Hope added school supplies to the donation list and began distributing these items to children in need.

Backpacks of Hope has been blessed by numerous families in the community who have donated non-perishable foods and school supplies over the past few years. On the back side of this letter is a list of non-perishable food items and school supplies that we could use for our children and their families at New Horizons Academy at Sara’s Garden. We are asking you to prayerfully consider helping by donating items from this list. If you feel God nudging you to help, there is a box under the mail boxes in the lobby for donations or donated items can be dropped off at Sara’s Garden

If you have never heard of Sara’s Garden or New Horizons Academy, we would be happy to speak with you about the many services we offer.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give!

Valerie Nafziger
Backpacks of Hope coordinator
Client Services Director at Sara’s Garden

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me,’  Matthew 25:44-45 NIV

School Supplies
  • #2 pencils (Ticonderoga brand)
  • Big size pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencil Cap Erasers
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Kleenex
  • All sizes of zip-lock baggies
  • Glue Sticks
  • Bottles of Glue (Elmer’s)
  • Crayons
  • Rulers
  • 2” – three ring binders
  • 1 ½” – three ring binders
  • Pencil bags for three ring binders
  • Tabbed subject dividers for three ring binders
  • 3×5 ruled index cards
  • 3×5 un-ruled index cards
  • White out tapes (not liquid)
  • Large metal index card rings
  • Large pink or white erasers
  • Pencil Box
  • Zippered Trapper Keepers
  • Pocket folders with prongs
  • Composition Notebooks
  • Earbuds or Headphones
  • Construction Paper
  • Colored Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • Rolls of Paper Towel
  • Boy and Girl Backpacks
Non-Perishable Food Items
  • **Canned Fruit
  • **Canned Vegetables
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Spaghettios
  • Pancake mix (just add water)
  • Canned Tuna
  • Tuna Helper
  • Pudding Cups
  • Jello Cups
  • Ramen Noodles
  • **Canned Beef
  • **Canned Chicken
  • **Spaghetti
  • **Spaghetti Sauce
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Rice Sides packets
  • Pasta Sides packets
  • Baked Beans
  • Crackers
  • Noodles and Pasta
  • Banquet Homestyle Bakes (complete meal kit)
  • Betty Crocker Helper Complete Meals
  • Any other non-perishable food items

**Backpacks of Hope has the greatest need for these items.

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ October 2016

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ October 2016

One of my favorite quotes is, “Was it five minutes of awful, or was it five minutes of awful you milked all day?”

Dr. Caroline Leaf writes in her book, Think and Eat Yourself Smart, that she often presents on the negative effects of drinking a soda… a soda with 10 teaspoons of sugar.  She gives a detailed explanation of what happens in our bodies, the first minute we drink it up to hours later.  Nothing about her rendition of the effects of soda is positive; but at the very next break of the training, there is a line of people out in the lobby – buying soda!

I know as a parent I have experienced the same thing.  I would say something over and over to my kids… and it didn’t seem to matter, whatever I am saying to do, or not to do, just seemed to (as my mother used to say) “go in one ear and out the other,” and they would do what they wanted to do anyway! (Okay, not ALWAYS, but often!).

Dr. Leaf says that what I know about soda is based on the commercials about soda that are stored in my brain.  “If I drink soda, I will be satisfied and I will be happy.”  This is what is already stored in my brain, so when I hear someone say “soda”, I immediately need one… because I want to be “satisfied and happy.”  It takes some time to learn something other-than what we have been told over and over.

Probably, most of us don’t think about how we think.  But what if this is the way our brains work with everything?

Typically, when difficulties come up in our lives, we immediately pull up the things we already know about “life is difficult”. For many of us, this is frustrated and angry thinking that leans hard toward hopeless.  Well, “that is how it always is”.  Anyone identifying with this?? It is easier to pick up the hopeless message when our lives feel too full and we are nearly overwhelmed.  You know, the days or weeks where there seems to be more financial issues than normal, the kids seem to be having more problems, and “I just can’t seem to get anything done.”

But what if we start teaching our brains how to think differently? In previous newsletters, we’ve talked about listing 3 things we are thankful for every day.  We could do this at the family dinner table – everyone taking a turn.  The great news is – when we are thankful, we can’t be hopeless.  Also when we think of things that we are thankful for, our biochemistry becomes positive and our whole body becomes healthier and our outlook becomes more positive.

Something else we can do…Maybe on the way home, or at dinner, or while doing the dishes, we could think about the best thing that happened today.  Why?  Because this will cause that positive memory to become stronger, and it shifts our biochemistry to positive, which is life-giving to every cell of our body.  Some days – nothing seems to be going well; so on those days, I review a favorite memory.  It might be something someone said to me, an accomplishment, a wedding, a baby, you get the idea.  Just by thinking about it, I can make that memory stronger; and again, I have positive biochemistry so I am healthier.  At the same time, I am teaching myself to focus on the positive.  I am not suggesting we live in denial and ignore the issues.  But I am inviting you to consider focusing on the positive.

It is easy to carry around the “five minutes of awful” and dwell on that. (“Ruminate” is the professional term.)  This is that constant focus of going over and over something.  And funny thing, that “something” is rarely positive.

I invite you to stop, several times a day and consider what you are thinking about.  Where is your focus?  Is it on the five minutes of “awful” or are you celebrating the joy, even when it might be hard to see at the moment?

Janet Miller  MA LPCC


2016 Walgreens Trick or Trot

2016 Walgreens Trick or Trot

On Saturday, October 22, Walgreen’s will be hosting its seventh annual Trick or Trot 5K & Zombie Walk. Funds from this year’s event will benefit Sara’s Garden. We are so grateful to be a part of such an amazing community event!

Be sure to mark your calendars. You don’t want to miss this event.

Event Date:Saturday, October 22, 2016
Event Location:Fallen Timbers Mall, 3100 Main Street, Maumee, Ohio 43537
Event Time:8:30 a.m.
Sponsored by:Walgreens and Dave’s Running Shop

Race registration is fast and easy; simply scan here with your smart phone or tablet and you can register today!


Race Awards

  • Overall male / female runners
  • Master male / female runners

Age Group Race Awards (Male / Female)

  • 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29,
  • 30-34, 35-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+

Costumes Encouraged!

  • The first 100 runners to check in on race day with a costume will receive a special treat!

Early Packet Pick-up

  • Dave’s Performance Footwear, Perrysburg
  • Thursday, October 20 6PM – 8PM

Race Day Registration

  • 7:15 am – 8:15 a.m. (Fallen Timbers Mall)

Entry Fees

  • Advanced registration includes t-shirt and other “treats”!
  • $20.00 for registration postmarked on or before Friday, October 2, 2015
  • $25.00 race day registration
  • (Minimum Shirt Sizes Available – Register early!)

Mail registrations & payment to:

28727 Oregon Rd.
Perrysburg, OH 43551
Attention: Sheryl Grauman

Please make checks payable to WALGREENS


  • Sheryl Grauman: 419-662-4001
  • Jen Enck : 419-662-4010
Sponsorship Levels

Green Level Sponsor

  • Donation of gift cards or goods up to $49.99 (example: first-aid kits, granola bars, apples, bananas) for each participant; or
  • Donation of $25 – $49.99 in cash; or
  • Donation of time and/or services

Benefit:  Business name listed on the “Green Sponsor” board on the day of the event

Orange Level Sponsor

  • Donation of gift cards or other awards for each prize level ($50.00 value or greater); or
  • Donation of $50 in cash or greater

Benefit:  Business name listed on the “Orange Sponsor” board on the day of the event

Black Level Sponsor

  • Donation of $100.00 in cash or greater

Benefit:  Business name listed on the “Black Sponsor” board on the day of the event
Benefit:  Business promoted on 5K Facebook Page
Benefit:  Business name listed on the race t-shirt*

Purple Level Sponsor

  • Donation of $250.00 in cash or greater

Benefit:  Business name listed on the “Purple Sponsor” board on the day of the event
Benefit:  Business name and logo listed on the race t-shirt*
Benefit:  Business promoted on 5K Facebook Page

To make a donation, please contact:

Sheryl Grauman
Human Resource Generalist
Walgreens Distribution Center
28727 Oregon Road
Perrysburg, OH 43551