CNOtes 8/31/21: Lisa Hansford with The Castle – A safe haven for adults with mental disorders

CNO Officer Installation Dinner, No Lunch Meeting that Day

The annual CNO officer installation dinner will be on Tuesday 9/28/2021 at Yankee Trace. There will not be a CNO lunch meeting that day. The cost is $20 per person which includes appetizers, full buffet, and dessert. There will be a cash bar. Please send your payment via check or cash to Sarah Umbreit no later than 9/20/2021. There are no sign-ups at the door.

No lunch meeting will be held on 9/28/2021.


  • Bob Lawson, Fishing Derby, thanks to all the volunteers who helped on 8/28/2021.
  • Debe Dockins announced that the Avenue of Flags will be delivering flags on Wednesday, September 1 – and we will extend the display in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – retrieval will be Tuesday, September 14th. If you can help, please give Tom Novak a call – they are always looking for more help.
  • Debe Dockins announced that CNO is holding a Membership Drive where participating members will share in $400 based on the number of points received.  Receive 1 point for bringing a guest to any meeting, 3 points for a returning guest and 10 points for a guest application.  The contest runs through 9/21/2021.
  • Debe Dockins announced that the next CNO 2.0 meeting will be 9/16/2021 at 5:30 PM at Tuscany’s Italian Restaurant with speaker DJ Terrance Dorsey. Every member of all CNO related clubs is invited. You are encouraged to bring a guest.

Committee Meetings

  • 9/21/2021, 6 PM, Monthly Board of Directors Meeting

Happy Birthday Jim Mogan

Bob Duffy led us in singing Happy Birthday to Jim Mogan. Jim generously brought everyone cupcakes for dessert today and they were delicious. You might think we would have sung like a reasonable human since Jim was so generous. Well, you would be wrong. It was probably the worst version of Happy Birthday that has ever been sung in the history of humans. Have a great year, Jim, and thanks for the cupcakes!

Lisa Hansford, The Castle in Centerville

Mike Fanelli introduced Lisa Hansford, the director of “The Castle” for the past 5 years. She has a master’s degree from Antioch College in conflict analysis. Lisa says, “Inner conflict is what keeps us from becoming our best self.” Lisa was in sales for the first 20 years of her work life before switching to social work in 2000.

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

Lisa said that sometimes the general population have unnecessary concerns about people with mental illness. Lisa wants to overcome the stigma of mental illness. Lisa is here today to spread the word of what The Castle does and the good they do.  The Castle has existed in Centerville since 1993 and they have not caused an issue. The sense of belonging is a basic human need. Their programs help change lives.

About 1 in 4 adults have a mental illness and 5% suffer with a severe mental illness.

About The Castle

The Castle first opened its doors October 11, 1993. It was started by a group of parents and citizens who recognized the scarcity of services for the adult mentally ill population. Read the full history here. The Castle is operated by the Friends of the Castle, a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Their target members have severe mental issues including: Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety. All members receive disability payments. People with developmental delay are not the main people they help, though some members have both.

The Castle is a haven for adults with mental disorders. It is located at 133 N Main St, Centerville, Ohio. They are open 10-4 Monday to Friday. It is a social club and no one lives there. The Castle offers breakfast and lunch to members, as well as daily activities ranging from creative writing, art projects, movie days and more! Those that cannot get there on their own pay a nominal fee for a bus that picks them up.

Daily activities include peer-to-peer support, games and activities, field trips, crafts, life skills training, companionship, and conversation. There is an activities room, a recreation room, patio, enclosed yard, and garden. In addition to learning, fun and games they also do chores in the house and the garden.

They go to a camp each year where they can zip line. Riding a zip line is very challenging for those with mental illness. After successfully riding the zip line they realize, “If I can do this I can anything!”

Members of the Castle

Since 1993, over 1100 members have signed up. There are 250 active members. On average before COVID, 35-40 members came to The Castle each day. Right now, it is 20 per day which is above the lowest point several months ago.

Members live with their parents, group homes or spouses. A lot of members also work part time. Some have trust funds. Mental illness does not discriminate. Members include artists, college graduates and just about every level of education and financial background.

Requirements to Become a Member of The Castle

  • Over the age of 18
  • Be diagnosed with mental illness
  • Live in Montgomery County

Source of Funds

  • Private donations are what sustains them
  • Art and Wine fundraiser; the next one will be held in October 2021 at Benham’s Grove
  • The Dick Neff and Gene Westendorf Memorial Golf Tournament held at the Golf Course at Yankee Trace
  • Donations from local grocers and churches
  • A portion of their funding comes from the Montgomery County Human Services Levy, but it is not nearly enough

Volunteer and Donation Opportunities

The Castle has a staff of 6 and only one of them is full time. They need a lot of help. Volunteers can help in the house and in the gardens. The Castle welcomes volunteers who come in to play games with members and members love this.

The Castle Strong Optimist Club

The Optimist Strong Club, whose members are members of “The Castle,” was chartered in July 2021. They are a club within the CNO club. Attending today’s lunch from the Optimist Strong Club were club officers: Cathy – President, Beth – Vice President and Mark – Secretary.

Watch the Video

Lisa showed us an 8-minute video. You will see CNO’s own Mike Fanelli many times in this informative video. You can find the video in the bottom left of the home page of their website.

Members are interviewed in the video. One member said, “It is a family outside my family.” Another said, “His anxiety just goes away when I go to The Castle and play my guitar.” Another said, “The Castle gives me the chance to socialize and play games.” It was mentioned that they have meetings where they exchange ideas.

Mike Fanelli

CNO member Mike Fanelli volunteers a lot at The Castle. He is drawn to the place. He thinks it is good therapy for him and he gets as much out of volunteering as the members get. Many members live in group homes and they really enjoy having a place like The Castle to go to.

Thank You

Thank you, Lisa Hansford, for speaking today and informing us of all the good that is done at “The Castle” in Centerville, Ohio!

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Mitchell BodenmillerTom NovakInduction
Deanna NesbitMike BevisInduction

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Beth WilliamsCastle Strong
Betsie MolinskyJulie Noeth
Cathy WoodCastle Strong
Lisa HansfordSpeaker
Mark ParadiseCastle Strong
Susie HagermanJulie Noeth

Happy Bucks

Carolyn TaylorBecame a grandmother for the first time and it is her 41st wedding anniversary
Tom NovakA great article  about  Mike and Terri Bevis is in the latest Centerville-Washington Neighbors publication. They are on the cover as well.
Tom NovakJust had successful surgery on the outside of his ear.
Evelyn GriffinFellow optimist Pete Gabriel (Austintown Club) passed away at the age of 83. Pete had volunteered to be a Lt. Governor starting October 1, what a wonderful example of service and Optimism.
Kelly StoneShe had a successful booth at UD for club day where 95 students said they were interested in joining the restarted UD Optimist Club.
Bob Lawson$5 for all the help with the Fishing Derby.
Brian NolanThe Castle is an amazing place.
Julie NoethTo Kelly stone for getting the UD Optimist Club up and going again.
Jim MoganIs having a great birthday. He was glad to bring the cupcakes today and he had a phone call with his twin brother.

Sergeants at Arms

Gary SmigaPublished picture taken of him without his Optimist pin.
Mike FanelliPicture in the paper without his Optimist Pin.
Julie NoethShe was not present to greet her guest at the front door.
Greg GriffinHelped out sergeants today by gathering their items from the basement for them, but he didn’t bring up the bell and the gavel.
Debe Dockins$5 to pay for Bell and Gavel who were graciously returned by Bill and Kelly Stone’s grandkids.
Bob DuffySaid it was way too cold at lunch today. (well he put it another way but we will not quote exactly what he said here)

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
Jeff BuschAugust318/31/200120
Ken PeacockAugust318/31/200120
Drew MckenzieSeptember19/1/198734
Frank DePalmaSeptember19/1/197942
Gary AndersonSeptember19/1/197942
Jerry StahleySeptember19/1/198635
Larry LyndeSeptember19/1/198833


Julie CochranAugust 31
Jesse LightleAugust 31
Chris McAlpineAugust 31
Jim MoganAugust 31
CeAnn ChalkerSeptember 3
Bob CollinsSeptember 4
Beverly DunningtonSeptember 6

CNO Donations – 2013 through August 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

Click to see this week’s Thank You Notes

Links to PowerPoint and Pictures

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

The photos taken at Today’s Meeting are here.