Erma’s House, Shannon Wahrhaftig

Erin Dickerson’s Prayer

Michell C. Clark wrote, “Negativity is contagious.  Unhappiness is contagious.  Fear is contagious.  But so is happiness.  So is optimism.  So is love.  Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.  And strive to be a reflection of what you want to receive.”


We give thanks to you for the people in this room who help to bring out the best not only in one another, but also in those whom we work to serve and support.  Help us to never underestimate the impact we can have on others, to strive for those impacts to be positive, and to forgive ourselves for the times we fail to be a reflection of what we wish to receive.



  • Kelly Stone announced that Art Hung has volunteered to be an advisor for the Watts Middle School Optimist Club. The club still needs a co-advisor for these kids. These kids really want to be part of an Optimist Club. If you have the bandwidth, let Kelly know!
  • Ohio District Governor Bill Stone announced the Ohio District conference will be run from November 4 to November 5, 2022, in Columbus. He is really hoping that CNO dominates the attendance for the conference. To get the details and to sign up go here.
  • Greg Griffin announced that tree delivery day is November 19, 2022. Two semi-trailers with a total of nearly 1000 trees need to be unloaded, sorted, labeled and stored. We need as many people as possible to show up for this. There will be high school kids to help, but we still need LOTS of members. You get rewarded with your choice of 20+ different hot chilis and soups after the trees are put away. Dates to remember are
    • 11/5/2022, 9 AM – 11:30 AM, Lot setup in preparation for delivery day in two weeks
    • 11/19/2022, 8 AM – 11:30 AM, Tree Delivery Day
    • 11/25/2022, Tree lot opens to the public – see your team schedule
    • 12/17/2022, 8 AM – 11:30 AM, Teardown and Pack Trailers

Erma’s House, Shannon Wahrhaftig

Debe Dockins introduced Shannon Wahrhaftig, the Manager of Erma’s House. Shannon is the Program Manager of Erma’s House, a program with Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley. She has worked at Erma’s House for almost 23 years.  Prior to this she worked in a domestic violence shelter in Greene County and started a program in the domestic relations court helping victims seeking protection orders.  Shannon graduated from Chaminade Julienne High School and Wilmington College with a degree in criminal justice and social services.

Shannon’s brother is the defensive coordinator at CHS and her daughter is a teacher at Fairmont HS. Recently it was an awkward experience watching CHS beat Fairmont.

CNO is a supporter of Erma’s House. They are about to receive another 50 Build-A-Bears and 50 were delivered in the spring. This time, Erma’s House is receiving 50 animals and 50 outfits so the children can select what they want and dress their own bears.  The children really enjoy receiving these furry toys!

Assisting with today’s presentation was Sheree Wilson, the administrative support specialist at Erma’s House.

About Erma’s House

The program is named after Erma Bombeck, with permission of her family.

View Shannon Wahrhaftig slide deck here.

Erma’s House is a program of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV) that came from the community’s need for a safe, structured environment where children could have scheduled contact and maintain a relationship with their non-residential parents.

Erma’s House is celebrating 25 years of service. The program recently made the cover of the summer edition of the “Good News” publication from the CSSMV.

The family visitation center space is made to feel like a home. There are couches, board games, air hockey, and a pool table. There are no electronic devices. Games usually lead to kids and parents interacting and the kids love the attention.

They do things to help avoid awkward confrontations, like staging the parent’s arrival and departure times. They have separate parking lots and entrances. There are police on site, but they do not wear uniforms.

Those they help can use the facility and services for up to 2 years. At that point if the family still needs help, there are deeper issues and they will have to figure out other arrangements.

So far in 2022, 49 families have been served, there have been 573 visits and 1,152.50 hours of service.

Financial support comes from the Human Service Levy, CSSMV community events, private donations and in-kind donations.

Erma’s House operates on the of principle of Neutrality which is intended to convey respect for the potential importance of each parent to their child or children.  Erma’s House provides a safe place for the children to have contact with the non-residential parent with as little conflict of loyalty between the parents as possible.  Maintaining neutrality does not mean that Erma’s House accepts or condones prior or current behaviors of any family member that has been abusive or harmful.

Shannon said that most think that it is the dads that need the service most. The reality is that the split is really close to 50/50 between moms and dads.


  • The agency provides supervised, safe and neutral visitation between the non-custodial parent and the child or children of the relationship.  The visitation periods are closely monitored by the staff of the Visitation Center.
  • The agency offers supervised exchanges for parents who are permitted to have unsupervised visitation periods with their child or children but need to be able to make the exchange without interacting with the other parent. A visitation supervisor monitors the exchanges.


To assist and support the children and families of Montgomery County who have been affected by divorce, separation, abuse, or neglect; in maintaining or rebuilding their family relationships through a program of safe, structured, community-based visitation services.

Staff Student Interns, and Volunteers

Erma’s House could not operate without the involvement of student interns and volunteers.  All interns and volunteers participate in an extensive training program to prepare them for neutral monitoring of supervised parenting.

Referral and Intake Process

  • All families utilizing Erma’s House services must be referred by the court, guardian ad litem, social worker, caseworker, and/or mental health provider.
  • At least one party must live in Montgomery County.
  • Upon receipt of the referral, Erma’s House staff forwards an application packet to both parties.
  • When both parties have returned their application, the staff will schedule separate Intake Interviews for the parties.
  • Upon completion of the intake Interviews the parties are placed on the waiting list for an appropriate parenting time.

Thank You

Thank you, Shannon Wahrhaftig and Sheree Wilson, for educating us about the services of Erma’s House.

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Troy YoungBeth Duncan3rd Reading
Judy A. TellisMike Bevis3rd Reading
Berneta DaleyMike Bevis3rd Reading
Lisa MaciejewskiEmily Duke & Gail Aiken3rd Reading
Eric ParsleyMike Bevis1st Reading

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Jeanne PorterCindy Gaboury
Marilyn CaporiniCindy Gaboury
Salli DuncanBeth Duncan
Shannon WahrhaftigSpeaker
Sheree WilsonSpeaker
Tom DuncanBeth Duncan

Happy Bucks

Debe DockinsWon the Euchre tournament last Friday.
Myron RheaumeThis October makes the 24th anniversary of being cancer free.
Erin LauritoPicked out a book to read last night to her daughters and they said, “Hey look mommy it is yours.” The book was from the school library and it had note in the front that it was provided by CNO.
Gail Aiken$5, her 8th grade grandson’s football team won the GWOC, her Freshmen grandson’s football team won the GWOC and the Haunted Trail is completed for 2022!
Vida McDowellHer tennis team of ladies 40 and over rated 4.5 went to Nationals in Oklahoma City and finished in the middle of the pack.
Barbara SantoShe had a customer at her store make a large purchase and is also a guest at CNO. The woman is 91 years young.
Tom NovakSouth Minster Presbyterian church has a bunch of pumpkins left over from their pumpkin festival and is giving them away for free.
Sue JesseeFinished sorting 1500 pounds of can goods from the Haunted Trail donations for the First Dawn Food Pantry at Restoration Church.
Kelly StoneThe UD Optimist  Club was very helpful at the Haunted Trail with 19 students showing up to be trail guides
Larry LyndeThank you to Gail Aiken for the Haunted Trail. It was a huge success with 1000+ the first night and 650+ the next night even with all the rain.
Mike CreechDaughter-in-law Brooke is staying with them for a week while she is on a temporary duty assignment at WPAFB. It is great having her.

Sergeants at Arms

Greg GriffinAnne Kohls is not wearing her name badge because there is no clasp on it.
John SpeersHad Jerry Stahley retrieve his name badge.
Beth DuncanTime typos on the Haunted Trail Flyer.
Sue Brubaker and Mike BrubakerPlaced second and third place at the Euchre tournament last Friday.
Debe DockinsWon the Euchre tournament last Friday.
Stan FronzagliaDid not return his Haunted Trail guide flashlight until today. He gave it to Sergeant Gail Aiken, now she has to figure out what to do with it and she started with a fine!

Membership Anniversaries

Aaron CampbellOctober 20, 200913
Steve CampbellOctober 20, 200913
Tom HendersonOctober 20, 200913
Monty ZinckOctober 20, 200913
Evelyn GriffinOctober 21, 20157
Carrie MillionOctober 21, 20157
Mike FanelliOctober 22, 200319
Bob FosterOctober 22, 200319
Abby BranhamOctober 23, 20193
Louise HaunOctober 23, 20193
Andy HigginsOctober 23, 20193
Lacy OwensOctober 23, 20193
Carol SmerzOctober 23, 20193
Dan ThalheimerOctober 25, 20202


Greg GriffinOctober 19
Gary AndersonOctober 20
Sam HolmesOctober 21
Jackie PowellOctober 22
Ray DaleyOctober 27

CNO Donations – 2013 through September 2022

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

Thank You Notes Received

CLICK HERE to see this Week’s Thank You Notes

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

All Photos taken at this Week’s Meeting are here

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