Driven To Make A Difference
(As Appearing in Ultimate Air Magazine’s July/August Issue, page 10-13)
ON JUNE 5, 2017, a project conceived and executed by the Jeff Ruby Foundation and their advertising/marketing partner, Ben Stallard of MOTOR Brand Marketing, along with amazing support from Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell, made a dream a reality for a local family.
The Bray family from Cincinnati have endured more hardships than most in the last five years. Dwan and Aaron Bray have been dealing with extreme challenges related to the health of several of their children. Their four year old twin boys, Aarion and Aubrey, are seriously affected by autism. Their 18 month old baby girl Ny’Leah has cerebral palsy, is epileptic, legally blind, and faces a host of other health issues. These hardships present formidable challenges to the Brays – yet they remain positive, grateful and inspiring. The financial toll on this family has been devastating. Dwan is unable to work outside the home, as she is needed to provide treatment to the youngest three children as well as home school the two school-aged girls. Aaron holds a full-time position with a large Cincinnati company but must take frequent unpaid leave to assist in the care of the family and his income doesn’t come close to covering their extensive (and growing) financial obligations. Aarion, Aubrey, and Ny’Leah are also treated regularly at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The twins have scheduled appointments at least three times per week.
The baby must be seen several additional times through the month to monitor and adjust her treatment. Daily transportation needs to and from appointments have also added a very real burden upon them. Their 2003 mini-van is intermittently functional and infrequently available to handle the several hundred miles per week round trips to the hospital. Recently, it required and investment higher than its real value and isn’t a reliable option any longer. For them, purchasing a newer vehicle isn’t viable as the funds for either a down payment or ongoing monthly payments aren’t available. Hearing of these needs, the Jeff Ruby Foundation team got to work with an innovative concept to provide the Brays with a new Mercedes Metris Van. With collective efforts and incredibly generous support from WCPO.com, Cincinnati Magazine, Ultimate Air Shuttle, Enquirer Media, Business Courier, Q102/ WUBE, FortThomasMatters.com, City Beat, Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment and MOTOR Brand Marketing, the Bray’s dream of a new vehicle came true.
Britney Ruby Miller, President of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment said, “We are beyond thrilled to have had the opportunity to put this together for such a deserving family. We can’t say enough about the involvement of Mercedes Benz of Fort Mitchell and Dan Bell for their generosity as well as the other amazing partners who each helped make this possible. We’re so proud of our Cincinnati community for coming together in such a huge way to do good”.
“It’s been an honor to provide the Bray family with reliable transportation,” said Mercedes Benz of Fort Mitchell Marketing Manager Dan Bell. “Knowing that we can take one less stress out of their daily lives is priceless. The Bray family is so deserving and our team at Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell is beyond grateful to be able to provide this van. Thanks to the Jeff Ruby crew for bringing this support opportunity to us. We are so happy for the Bray Family!”
The Ruby family has been involved with the Brays for quite some time. Last year, aspiring chef and oldest daughter, Nadjah, appeared on Food Network’s Chopped Jr. Show. She indicated that if she won, there were two things she wanted to do: (1) cook a meal for her family in a restaurant and (2) use her prize money to purchase a special service dog that assists children with Autism.
Nadjah won that competition and in the process, melted the hearts of the Jeff Ruby Foundation with her generosity. The foundation created a special day for her and the Brays last November to help make their dreams come true. They picked up Nadjah in the corporate coach and escorted her to The Precinct restaurant (located in Columbia Tusculum, Cincinnati) where she was presented with her very own personalized chef coat. She worked alongside their culinary team and helped create a delicious meal for her family and the Brays to enjoy that evening. But there was still one more treat in store that night: following dessert, The Jeff Ruby Foundation presented the Bray family with the gift of an autism service dog along with specialized training for it. It was quite a night.
As for the impact the Mercedes Metris van will have on their lives, the Brays summed it up best. “We are so humbly grateful for being blessed with a new van for our family,” said Aaron and Dwan Bray. “The security of traveling safe, with our most precious cargo, is much more important than words can ever describe. This week alone, we will travel 111.4 miles to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. We no longer have anxiety of making it to various therapies, and specialty appointments for our children. We can’t thank everyone involved enough… truly from the bottom of our hearts.”
(To see more photos of the Ruby team and the Brays at Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell, please visit: http://12yzwm3wktmr3f1ste2vux1d-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Ultimate_2017_07-WEB.pdf )