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NCRF receives $25,000 grant to support VHP

Marcia Ferranto and Judge Michael Cicconetti

On Sept. 20, the Hon. Michael Cicconetti of the Painesville Municipal Court, Painesville, Ohio, presented NCRA CEO and Executive Director Marcia Ferranto with a $25,000 check in support of the National Court Reporters Foundation’s (NCRF) Veterans History Project efforts during a visit to the Association’s Reston, Va., headquarters.

The grant was generated from money remaining from a class action suit. Funds that go unclaimed in such suits are typically placed in a trust fund by the legal firm representing the plaintiffs. Once the funds have been disbursed, any remaining money is either distributed as grants to nonprofit and charity organizations, or in some cases, returned to the defendants.

“The work that NCRF and the members of NCRA do to help ensure the valuable stories of our war heroes are preserved for generations to come through the Library of Congress Veterans History Project is priceless,” said Cicconetti, who is a past NCRF Trustee and longtime supporter of the court reporting and captioning professions. Cicconetti suggested that the Foundation apply for the grant.

“This grant will go far in helping these committed volunteers to continue to be able to capture these important historical stories for our children and their children to read and better understand and appreciate the many sacrifices those who serve in our military forces make to keep this nation safe and free,” added Cicconetti, who has been recognized nationally and internationally for his creative sentencing strategies.

“It is an honor to have Judge Cicconetti as such a good friend and supporter of the Foundation and its programs and of the court reporting and captioning professions. He understands how important the human factor in these professions is to ensuring an accurate record is made and in the benefits these stenographic skills can provide to the Deaf and hard of hearing,” said NCRF Deputy Executive Director B.J. Shorak.

Since 2003, NCRA members who volunteer their services have worked with NCRF and the Library of Congress to record and transcribe the moving stories of nearly 4,300 U.S. war veterans, building a lasting legacy of the diverse group of men and women who have served our nation during wartime. The interviews are then submitted to the Library of Congress, where they are archived for later use by scholars, students, and future generations.

The interviews have been taken during special VHP days held around the country and hosted by state and local court reporting associations, firms, and individuals. Nationally, NCRF has hosted a number of VHP events as well that have captured the unique and telling stories of veterans from World War II forward, as well as Purple Heart recipients. NCRF has also hosted three Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project events, supported by a grant from the American Society of Association Executives, that used volunteer captioners to enable veterans with varying degrees of hearing loss to be interviewed so their experiences could be chronicled.

“The VHP allows us to highlight a way that we can give back to society as court reporters and captioners by helping to preserve history,” said NCRA Executive Director and CEO Marcia Ferranto. “It also allows us to build a greater awareness of the important work and skills of court reporters and captioners around the country.”

The Foundation will host a VHP event at the Ginger Cove Retirement Community located in Annapolis, Md., near the U.S. Naval Academy, on Sat., Nov. 10. For more information or to volunteer to participate, contact Sharon Davoren, Foundation Assistant, at NCRA members who volunteer for VHP events can earn Professional Development Credits.