STRONGSVILLE, OH – Inspired by the grace of a daughter who succumbed to cancer at age 12 and strengthened by a father’s unwavering love, John Lewis, Market Manager of Programs and Services for the North American commercial coatings group of PPG Industries’ automotive refinish business, now helps other children with serious illnesses leave their sickness behind while enjoying a transforming experience at Flying Horse Farms.
Through a PPG Industries Foundation employee program called Grant Incentives for Volunteerism by PPG Employees and Retirees (GIVE), Lewis has garnered $1,000 a year for the camp in Mt. Gilead, OH, which hosts up to 2,500 ill children each year at no cost to their families. These grants recognize Lewis’ service as a Flying Horse Farms board member; he is currently the board’s chair. Separately from this direct support of his involvement, the foundation has donated $5,000 to the organization for each of the last two years and $10,000 this year on behalf of the company’s Strongsville, OH, automotive refinish operations, where Lewis works.
“After my daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 at age nine, she attended one of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall camps for children with serious illnesses,” Lewis said. “This inspired my involvement with Flying Horse Farms, and my daughter became very passionate about the organization. She would do speaking engagements with me to promote the camp, and she was such an engaging speaker. I consider my continued involvement part of my daughter’s legacy. We really do create magic there.”
Opened in 2010 and a member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network (formerly the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps) since October 2011, Flying Horse Farms offers children the opportunity to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, archery, arts and crafts, and much more on 200 wooded acres outside of Columbus. Every detail of the experience is designed to help campers leave sickness behind while feeling a sense of pride, accomplishment and freedom. An on-site health center provides critical medical services and supervision around the clock.
“We are pleased that PPG Foundation grants can help support the exceptional services of Flying Horse Farms,” said John Parran, PPG Director of Marketing, North America, Automotive Refinish, and PPG Industries Foundation agent for the automotive refinish business. “PPG is strongly committed to supporting communities where it has a presence, especially by encouraging and recognizing our employees’ volunteerism, and John turning the darkest moment in his life into ongoing joy for others is a true inspiration to all of us. We are very proud of what he has accomplished in honor of his daughter.”