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Steve Ash

Matt Chimera, Steve Ash and Tino Cimato

Steve Ash is a retired educator who is the driving force behind the annual Jerry Starr Ken-Ton Schools' SleepOut, which takes place each year on the first Friday in February. Participants sleep outside in refrigerator boxes to collect donations for families in need while also raising awareness about the importance of helping the less fortunate. In 1988, Steve joined his colleagues at Kenmore West, Jerry Starr and Charles Kohler, in founding the SleepOut which quickly became a much-anticipated annual event. They had a name for themselves: Educators Totally Committed, or E.T.C. Over the years, they also advocated for making the first Friday of February a worldwide day that emphasizes awareness, commitment, and action for those in need. This year alone, the SleepOut raised nearly $9,000 for the Ken-Ton Closet and Ken-Ton Family Support Center. Steve is humble and always credits E.T.C. and the legacy of Jerry Starr for what the SleepOut has accomplished, but Steve's devotion to this work is what keeps this 35-year tradition alive in Ken-Ton.