Hayden Cook, Shelley Loy and John Moses Honored as ‘Champions of Children’ by Ohio County Family Resource Network
WHEELING – Three community members dedicating their lives and careers to helping youth were honored as “champions of children” Friday.
The 2022 recipients of the Deborah Doleski Allen Champion of Children awards were announced during a ceremony in the Catholic Charities ballroom Friday afternoon.
Winners were Hayden Cook, professor of education at Bethany College and executive director of the Grand View Corporation, a Wheeling nonprofit that serves at-risk youth; Shelley Loy, a speech pathologist with West Virginia Birth to Three; and John Moses, formerly the executive director of Youth Services System in Wheeling.
The Ohio County Partners in Prevention Team sought nominations for the awards during the month of March, then reviewed the nominations and decided the winners in early April.
Cook was nominated by Ron Scott, cultural diversity and community outreach director at YWCA Wheeling. Scott said he mentored Cook when he was a youth, and he recognized him then as “being special.” Cook distinguished himself by being both smart and athletic, Scott said.
“Being a champion of change is important, and it is needed because some of these children are slighted,” Cook said. “They need champions.”
Loy was nominated by Wendy Miller, executive director of West Virginia Birth to Three. She spoke of Loy’s grace, energy and charm, and how she nevertheless always wanted to stay in the background.
“We (youth services providers) don’t do things for recognition,” Loy said. “I am always in the back. I never want to be up in the center.”
Moses was nominated by Lori Bumba-Garrett, director of prevention services with YSS. She said Moses could remember the name and tell a story about every child coming into his care over four decades. Moses said that career began at the Samaritan House in Wheeling on April 1, 1979. He was hired to provide direct care to the children at the youth shelter.
He recently stepped down from his day-to-day work at YSS.
“I was supposed to work for two weeks to fill in for someone who was sick,” he explained. “I thought after more than 42 years, my job was up.”
The award is named for Deborah Doleski-Allen, who previously served as executive director of the Ohio County Family Resource Network and was the team leader for the Ohio County Partners in Prevention Team.
Claudia Raymer now serves in those roles, and presided over the ceremony Friday.
The event was one of many organized by the OCFRN to commemorate Child Abuse Awareness Month. During Friday’s ceremony, Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott read a proclamation recognizing Child Abuse Awareness Month in the city.