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Seneca Friendship Club creates meaningful connections for young adults




Seneca Friendship Club helps at Seneca County Opportunity Center's Hoot in the Park. (Contributed Photo)

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca Friendship Club, an initiative of the Seneca County Family and Children First Council, is making a significant impact on the lives of young adults in the community.

This social club, specifically designed for individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 who struggle with social connections, particularly those with high-functioning autism, provides a safe and encouraging environment for fostering meaningful friendships.

Led by Gabby Cesareo, the club’s coordinator, the Seneca Friendship Club has been operating for the past two-and-a-half years, attracting approximately 20 members thus far.

Cesareo, who gained valuable experience working at the Impact after-school program through Tiffin University’s work-study program, has been instrumental in guiding the club’s activities since its inception. Her dedication and passion for creating an inclusive space have resulted in positive transformations within the group.

One of the club’s members, Dominic Consolo, has experienced personal growth and enhanced social connections since joining the Seneca Friendship Club. Consolo, who attended North Central Academy, has been employed full-time for two years.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, he serves as an assistant youth leader for a local youth group and volunteers at Kids for Christ church and Vacation Bible School.

Consolo said Seneca Friendship Club has helped and changed him as a person the past few years, and he feels like he opened up and connected with people a lot more.

Another member, Seth Miller, recently completed the Independent Living Program at Sentinel Career and Technology Center. As he prepares to enter the workforce, Miller is participating in a summer work program and plans to attend Project Life in the fall to further develop his job skills. He also actively participates in volleyball at the Seneca County Opportunity Center, thoroughly enjoying his time spent with fellow club members.

“Seth has enjoyed his time with his new friends at SFC and is looking forward to their next trip to the Toledo Mudhens,” said his mother, Laura Miller.

Tanner Gitcheff, a cum laude graduate of Columbian High School in 2016, holds a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in religion from Heidelberg University, which he obtained in 2020.

Currently employed as a courtesy clerk at Kroger, Gitcheff’s passion lies in singing, a talent he has cultivated since the age of 5. He has even secured victories in a couple of talent shows.

Apart from his professional pursuits, Gitcheff volunteers at the Seneca County Museum and serves as a back-up singer for the worship team at Bascom United Methodist Church. He is also preparing to write a biographical essay, showcasing his diverse interests and accomplishments.

Timothy Culver, an active participant in the Seneca Friendship Club, finds joy in his involvement with the group. Culver works at Concordance, attends the Optima program, and competes in basketball and track and field as part of the Seneca Arrows. His mother, Lori Runion, emphasized the positive impact the club has had on her son, stating, “He enjoys hanging out with all his buddies at Friendship Club. The club has given him people to connect with.”

Alex Gill, another dedicated member of the Seneca Friendship Club, holds a full-time job and spends his spare time in his shop and riding his ATV. Together with his brother, Gill operates a sawmill, engaging in meaningful work. He actively participates in family activities and cherishes quality time spent with his niece and nephews. “Alex enjoys spending time with his Seneca Friendship Club members. Alex enjoys all of the outdoor activities and club events that lead him to new adventures,” said his mother, Gail Channing.

For more information about the Seneca Friendship Club, individuals can visit their Facebook page at or the Seneca County Family and Children First Council’s website at

Inquiries can also be made by calling (419) 447-2927. The Seneca Friendship Club welcomes young adults seeking connections and friendship in a supportive and inclusive environment.

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