They’re celebrating at the Plain Township home of Chris and Diane Kyriakedes, and with good reasons — three of them, in fact.
The couple recently attended major graduations of their children, all in a span of seven days, that yielded a doctor, a lawyer and an accountant:
• Jamie, their eldest, graduated May 18 from the University of Cincinnati Medical School and plans to continue training at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, specializing in orthopedic surgery. His father is an emergency room physician at Akron General Medical Center.
• Sarah, a year younger than her brother, graduated the next day from the University of Cincinnati School of Law and has landed a position in the district attorney’s office in Charlotte, N.C.
• Alexis, the couple’s youngest, graduated May 12 from Miami University in Oxford with a dual accounting and management information systems degree from the Farmer School of Business, and is relocating to Chicago for a position with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
‘Flower the Fight’
Big, beautiful bouquets to Graf Growers, 1015 White Pond Drive, Akron, for hosting its first “Flower the Fight Ladies Night” 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
“The event features an evening full of food, finds, friends and hope,” wrote Graf’s spokeswoman, Karlie Graf.
“Ladies will enjoy treats from DeVitis Italian Market, the West Side Bakery, and Shisler’s Cheese House as they shop with Graf Growers and their partners Thirty-One, Lindt Chocolates, Boston Meeker Photography, Pampered Chef, Tupperware and more … Attendees can also go on a Pink Treasure Hunt where they can win prizes in the Pink Raffle Bucket.”
Twenty percent of the purchases from Graf’s will be donated to Susan G. Komen 3-Day team “Breast Man Walking,” led by Akron’s Kathy and Lee Giller. Lee, diagnosed in 2005, falls into the rare 1 percent of men with breast cancer, currently Stage IV.
“We are honored to support Kathy and Lee Giller and their efforts to fight for a breast cancer cure,” Lisa Graf said.
The Gillers have already raised an incredible $250,000 for the cause.
Admission cost is $5; preregistration is preferred. To sign up, please call Graf Growers at 330-836-2727. For more information, please visit www.grafgrowers.com.
D-Day story clarifications
I have William Pavkov of Cuyahoga Falls to thank for telling me about his late brother John Ivan Pavkov’s day before D-Day heroics during World War II. John, a member of the 82nd Airborne 507, was a medic and a pathfinder. He was captured right after he jumped and was held as a prisoner of war until the Russians liberated him.
And this clarification from Charles G. Ikins, Colonel USMCR (Ret.) from Clinton:
“The French award you mention is the Legion of Honor. The Legion of Merit is a U.S. award. I was awarded the latter. I believe the highest valor award is the Medaille Militaire while the LOH can be awarded for a variety of meritorious services to France. The French government awarded the LOH to every living American World War I veteran [who had served in France] they could locate before they all passed.
“It’s a matter of writing style, but one does not ‘win’ the Silver Star or any other combat decoration [which is different from a medal]. It is awarded.”
Foster parents honored
Summit County Children Services had no shortage of reasons or persons to celebrate at its recent 63rd annual Foster Parent Recognition Dinner, which honored hundreds of local foster parents who willingly open their homes and hearts to area children in need of stability.
Keynote speaker Melinda Sykes Haggerty — lawyer and director of Children’s Initiatives from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office — spoke of her background as a foster child and her firsthand understanding of the child welfare system.
Singled out for special recognition were:
• Retiring foster parents — Helen White of Akron, 27 years of service; David and Pamela Patterson of Norton, 21 years; Donna Roberson of Barberton, 20 years; Frances Davis of Akron, 18 years; Wilfred Burwell of Canton, 17 years; Dennis and Janieta Tarter of Uniontown, 17 years; James and Katherine Weaver of Hudson, 16 years; Richard and Carrie Brown of Akron, 15 years; Nichelle Alexander of Akron, 14 years; Bonnie Morris of North Canton, 14 years; Marietta Sypherd of Clinton, 12 years; and Joan Monroe of Akron, 11 years.
• Longevity awards — 20 years: Ronald and Crystol Sullivan of Akron; Cheryl Mathys of Rittman; and Marla Brown of Akron.
15 years: Steven and Kathleen Hendrix of Sagamore Hills; Ernestine Parnell of Akron; John and Thelma Phillips Sr. of Uniontown; Lynnise Wells of Youngstown; Steven and Tracy Wilmington of Fairlawn; and Angelique Yost of Vermilion.
10 years: Nancy Lidge of Akron; Ruby Lidge of Akron; John and Deborah Messenger of Akron; and Mary Alice Pelton of Minerva.
Also recognized were 26 area foster parents with five years of service, and 46 marking their first year.
• Foster care month slogan contest winners were Bradley and Sherry Teuton of Streetsboro — “Foster Care: Mission Possible” and Joshua and Kristen Patton of Ravenna — “Fostering Makes the World a Better Place.”
“As of May of this year, Summit County Children Services had nearly 250 children in foster care, approximately 500 licensed foster parents and nearly 230 licensed foster or foster to adopt homes,” wrote Chris Vasco, director of public relations. “However, there is always a need for more foster parents.” To learn more, call Summit County Children Services at 330-379-1990 or visit www.summitkids.org.
Diamond Oak run
Big, beautiful bouquets to local students who participated in the Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis’ recent “Diamond Oak” 1K fun run. All participants received a ticket to an Akron Aeros game, and those who raised a minimum of $35 received T-shirts. More than 750 took part.
“Georgia Martin, a preschooler, raised $1,100 in support of her ‘Mema,’ Pam Milhoan” of Manchester, clinic spokeswoman Tricia Jones said. “Pam’s other granddaughter, Madison Bird, raised $125 in her honor. Five-year-old Sean Crighton from SCOPE Academy raised $250 for the Oak Clinic.”
Other schools well represented included Schrop Intermediate School, Cloverleaf Local Schools, St. Hilary Parish School and Walsh Jesuit High School. Proceeds totaled nearly $27,000.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org