December marks the last month Jennifer Reider will be a member of the North Canton Jaycees, as she transitions out of the group for those 18 to 41 years old.
Reider describes her upcoming departure as bittersweet.
"I was at and I kind of stepped back and thought 'Wow, I'm kind of done!'" she said. "But it’s so great we have such amazing new people who have joined in the last year or two. It’s definitely a good time for me to back away and let them go on in do great things here too.”
Reider, chairman of the board for North Canton Jaycees and teacher at , joined the North Canton Jaycees in 2005 after seeing a story in that talked about low membership numbers and how that would affect the events she knew and loved growing up.
“I knew I wanted them to be around for other kids, too,” said Reider, who is profiled on North Canton Patch as this week.
NORTH CANTON'S GREATEST PERSON
Patch viewer Megan Hoerig, whose son was student of Reider's at Faith Friends Preschool, nominated Reider.
"She was such a great teacher for Dominic," Hoerig said. "It was the first time he’s ever been away from home, and she always made him feels so comfortable, because he had a little bit of separation anxiety."
Reider also passed along Jaycees' news to Hoerig and encouraged her and her family to participate in Jaycees' events, like the Easter egg hunt, Hoerig said.
"She’s so community oriented and she really does care about this area," Hoerig said. "To me that means a lot."
Faith Friends Director Alina Dorto heralded Reider for being positive and encouraging.
"She works with our 2-and-a-half and 3s and the thing that I think of when we talk about Jen is she’s always got a smile on her face and the kids love her," Dorto said.
It seems the Jaycees always have an event to plan for. They host an annual Easter egg hunt, the July 4 fireworks, the North Canton Jaycee Fair and Stark County Special Olympics every year, just to name a few things.
It’s that level of community involvement that really appeals to Reider, she said.
“Once I got involved, I really realized how much they do for the community,” Reider said. “This is a community that always rallies around someone when they need to.”
She’s enjoyed giving back to the community and meeting people who enjoy the same, she said.
“We’ve all become very close friends, and we wouldn’t be friends without that organization."
When asked about what she’s most proud of, Reider points to her leadership roles in the North Canton Jaycees. The first came when she signed on as secretary. From there she tried out a few other roles and eventually served two years as president, which, from what she tells us, comes with some poking and prodding from other members.
“Everybody in the organization teased me about it and called me Madam President instead of my name,” she said, laughing. “But that’s obviously a big moment (being president) that I look back on and am proud of.”
The roles required her to step out of her comfort zone and talk to people she didn’t know and speak in public.
She also takes pride in the Special Olympics, which takes place each May.
“That is such an important event for everyone in our community and everyone in the county who participates. That’s a huge emotional moment for me. It’s just so wonderful to see all the athletes so excited to be there and be generally happy to get any type of recognition at all in any meet that they have.”
Reider was nominated for the North Canton Patch profile story because of her giving nature, so of course we had to ask where she gets those qualities from. Turns out, they were instilled in her by her parents, she said.
"They were both very giving people and wanted me to go out and try new things and to help as much as I can in the community," she said. "In middle school, I started as a Safety Town volunteer, and then on through college I was on student government there. It was shown to me by my parents that you need to give back to where you came from, and also put yourself out there and put yourself in some groups."
Name: Jennifer Reider
Hometown: North Canton
Family: Husband Jeff, sons Nick, 15, and Matt, 9; daughter Grace, 13
Education: 1990 Hoover High School grad; 1994 Bowling Green grad, majored in international business and marketing
Do you know someone who we should feature as North Canton's Greatest Person? Send North Canton Patch Editor Morgan Day an email at Morgan.Day@patch.com.