Ohio Chapter

Formed in September 2006 by the friends and family of Kaylee Halko, the Ohio Chapter has had tremendous success with its signature event, Kaylee’s Course. The support for PRF continues to grow and in October 2011, the Kudzia family and Team Carly-Q officially joined the Ohio Chapter. For updates on Kaylee and Carly, sign into Facebook and join the Sweet Kaylee and Team Carly-Q pages. To find out about upcoming PRF and Ohio Chapter events click here.

The Progeria Research Foundation, Ohio Chapter Board Members:

  • Marla Halko
  • Tim Halko
  • Heather Kudzia
  • Ryan Kudzia
  • George Halko
  • Sue Halko
  • Barb Murray
  • Susan Ross Wells
  • Jill Peternel
  • Dr. William Suarez
  • Natalie Decker
  • Kari King
  • Jennifer Smith

CONGRATULATIONS TO Marla Halko, leader of PRF’s Ohio chapter and Kaylee’s mother, who in February 2008 was awarded the Presidential Service Award for Volunteerism for her fundraising and public awareness efforts for Progeria. Marla has appeared in several TV pieces, interviews regularly for newspaper articles, and goes to the local schools to talk about Progeria. A deserving recognition for all the time and effort Marla devotes to furthering PRF’s mission.

Here are some stories about Ohio Chapter Miracle Makers:

Hats Off to Lial Elementary School!

After Kaylee and her mother visited Lial Elementary School in Whitehouse, OH to spread awareness about Progeria, students at the school decided to hold a “Hats-On Day” to raise money for PRF. Each student got sponsors to support “Hats-On Day”, and wore those sponsor names on their hats. The special day raised nearly $700 for PRF. Please join us in saying “Hats Off” to Lial Elementary School!

Park Street Intermediate School Spreads PRF Message

During February 2007, Mrs. Lee’s 5th grade class at Park Street Intermediate School, in Grove City, OH, put on a presentation about Progeria for the school’s 800 students. The students had a variety of events including a bake sale, coin boxes, a pajama day, a professional sports wear day, and sold bracelets, all to benefit PRF! The students invited Kaylee and her family to accept the check for nearly $2,000. The event was such a success that Columbus TV stations and newspapers showed up to get the scoop. Amazing job, kids!

Ohio’s Cub Scout Pack 205 Father/Son Cake Bake Cooks it Up for PRF!

November 2006: This year’s annual father/son cake bake was truly special for Tim Halko and his sons. Their Cub Scout pack chose PRF to receive the proceeds from the goodies, raising almost $1,000! Tim and his family and friends run the Ohio chapter, in honor of his daughter Kaylee, and are overwhelmed by the kind of support they have gotten from the Cub Scouts and others. Thanks to all who baked and bought!

Defiance Bake Sale Raises $500 for Progeria Research

In October 2006, staff from Mercy Hospital of Defiance and Defiance Clinic raised $500 for PRF at a bake sale and raffle to benefit PRF’s Ohio Chapter. Mercy Children’s Hospital, a sister health care facility, was also a sponsor of the September 30 walk in the Toledo area to benefit this research effort. In addition to baked goods, Tami Cupp made breakfast burritos and donated some home decorating items for a raffle. Many thanks to Tami, Tammy Olivo, and Cindy Wiles for coordinating the effort.

PRF spirit (and our wristbands) take over an Ohio elementary school!

Allie, a 4th grader and neighbor of Kaylee Halko’s family, was wearing her PRF wristband at school in early 2006 when her teacher noticed it and asked about it. Not only did he buy some wristbands, but also allowed Ali to tell her classmates about Progeria and sell wristbands to them. When Kaylee’s brothers Timmy, 8 and Brendan, 6, heard the story, they got excited and wanted to sell the wristbands in their classes. So far, the children have made over $350, and sold 40 youth bracelets in just 2 days, WOW! Way to go kids!

Fourth Graders Choose Progeria for Class Project and PRF for Fundraiser Proceeds

Kaylee Halko’s brother Timmy and his Monclova, Ohio elementary school classmates complete a community service project every year. They raise money and donate it to a charity they have researched and chosen. This year the class overwhelmingly picked The Progeria Research Foundation, and held a bake sale that raised over $250 – wow! They also asked Kaylee’s parents, to come and talk to them about Progeria. The local news station filmed the event, and the story was shown on the local ABC News. Kaylee enjoyed meeting and giving high fives to all the students!