Looking for ways to be a special blessing to others during this season of Thanksgiving?
Please consider the folks and worthy causes that are the focus of today’s column. I know they would be grateful beyond words.
The community is invited to a free concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Fairlawn Lutheran Church, 3415 W. Market St., Akron, honoring a dear friend of the Summit Choral Society, Dorn Younger, who is a professional composer and conductor. Younger has been diagnosed with the always-fatal amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The beauty of this concert is that Younger is expected to be on hand to witness the choral society performing a world premiere of one of his compositions. “Also at this special concert, the Summit Choral Society will launch the Dorn Younger Scholarship fund for high school seniors,” said Margaret Jordan, director of marketing and development for the group.
“Over the past 10 years, the Summit Choral Society has awarded over $50,000 in college scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have participated in the Summit Children’s Choir for three or more years to help them further their education. This scholarship fund will support this very important program in the future.”
A dessert reception will follow. For more information about the Summit Choral Society or to contribute to the fund, please call 330-434-SING (7464).
“The Summit Choral Society was organized by founder/artistic director Frank C. Jacobs in 1990,” the invitation reads. “It is currently comprised of two major divisions, the 75-plus voice adult Masterworks Chorale performing three to four subscription concerts with orchestra annually and the Summit Children’s Choir Program with a present enrollment of over 200 children (second through 12th grades). These children represent nearly 100 different schools located in six neighboring counties … Membership to the program is extended after an interview/audition with each individual candidate…
“Dorn Younger — composer, arranger and conductor — was born in Pittsburgh. His early passion for music was nurtured by his parents who enjoyed all kinds of musical styles from classical to jazz. From the time he was old enough to hold one, trombone was his first love and he continued studying it throughout his educational career.”
Roschelle Wilt, a subject of past columns, has undergone more than 60 surgeries since 2006 for Crohn’s disease and a raft of other complications. Here’s an update from her:
“I think that my last message to you I’d been in ICU and on life support for 11 days in July. Afterwards I came back to ManorCare of Akron. About a month later, my PICC line again was infected and I was in the ICU again, but thankfully it was caught early. I was in AGMC for a few weeks, then transferred to Select Specialty Hospital on East Market Street. I was there for a few weeks, and came back to ManorCare a couple days ago.
“I will be here through the holidays. I need to get my energy back and once again start trying to walk. Once everyone feels I’m ready I will transfer to Edwin Shaw where it’s mandatory to have three hours of physical therapy a day. Right now I can only do 20 minutes, but I improve each time I get up.”
The next step on this very long journey, once Roschelle regains her strength, is a liver and intestine transplant.
Please send her a holiday card, cheering her on. Mail to: Roschelle Wilt, ManorCare of Akron, 1211 W. Market St., Akron, Ohio 44313.
• Always, always keep the cards and letters of encouragement coming to Andy Holcomb, the now 27-year-old Akron man who lost the lower half of his body in an industrial accident nearly eight years ago. His mailing address is: Andy Holcomb, P.O. Box 6209, Akron, Ohio 44312.
• Also to Phyllis Cottle, who is battling Stage IV cancer. She was beaten, robbed, raped, blinded with a knife and left to die in a burning car March 20, 1984, by Samuel J. Herring, who was on early release from prison at the time.
In spite of all that they’ve been through and continue to go through, Andy and Phyllis have remained incredibly positive and an inspiration to all know their stories.
Mail cards to Phyllis to my attention: Jewell Cardwell/Phyllis Cottle, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, Ohio 44309.
• Please keep the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina counties on your donor list. For we know there seem to be more incidents of domestic violence during the holidays with women needing to seek emergency shelter, oftentimes with their children and sometimes with only the clothes on their backs. For more information, please call 330-374-0740.
Big beautiful bouquets to Dr. Brian Donelan and his wife, Beth, for their untiring dedication to Gennesaret’s Family Nutritional Center in Akron, which benefits the needy and homeless and serves nearly 600 hot meals weekly.
Brian is a cardiologist at Summa Health System, and Beth is a pharmacist. Yet, when they come to help at Gennesaret they are just a wonderful extra pair of hands, humble servants, if you will.
Pat Kunklier — a spokesman for Gennesaret’s Family Nutritional Center who is in the throes of preparing for the center’s annual Thanksgiving morning “Home Run for the Homeless” — shared this thankful list of duties the Donelans have regularly performed over the last seven years they’ve been volunteering:
• Cook, serve, clean up and do pick-ups.
• Help with set-up and day-of-event support for the Home Run.
• Donated their van to Gennesaret.
• Conducted CPR training and provided a cardiac machine for the Family Nutritional Center.
• Help maintain Gennesaret’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
• Made a video for Gennesaret’s submission to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
• Helped make arrangements for Summa Health System to provide parking shuttle service for the Home Run.
• Send volunteers to Gennesaret on a continuing basis.
“Brian and Beth Donelan and their family are good examples of how we all can effectively change the world for the better,” wrote Bob Dirgo, founder and president of Gennesaret. “We pull together the God-given gifts and resources that we have been given and freely share them with those in our community who are less fortunate.
“This paradox of giving — you shall receive more than you could possibly give — is evident by the example of the Donelan family, and if replicated others who hear their story could have the effect of changing the world for the better.”
If you decide to join the Donelans and hundreds of others who will be converging Thursday (Thanksgiving morning) on the center, 419 W. Exchange St., Akron, for the one-mile fun run/walk (8:30 a.m.) or the four-mile race (9 a.m.); please bring a pair of gently used running shoes for the poor, a toy or a gently used blanket. For more information please call 330-923-2222.
Sleeping for a cause
Crossroad Unity Church (Firestone Park), 920 Brown St., Akron, is again sponsoring its annual three-day “Homeless Sleep-Out” Dec. 14, 15 and 16.
This invitation is extended to the homeless, providers of services to the homeless, all religious denominations and anyone interested in helping. You are welcome to “come sleep in the church” with refreshments provided — coffee, hot chocolate, tea and food.
Drive-up donations — gently used tents, tarps, foam cushions, sleeping bags, blankets, winter coats (especially plus sizes), socks, thermals, earmuffs, gloves (men’s, women’s and children’s), waterproof boots, pocket and feet warmers, easy-open canned snacks — will be accepted those days.
For more information, please call William M. DiPaolo Sr. at 330-310-5787; or Richard Irwin at 330-945-0993.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org