The annual “Dog and Suds” party to benefit the Safety Forces Chaplaincy Center is planned for 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Akron’s Lock 3.
Lots of fun activities are planned to support a noble cause, said the Rev. Robert Denton, executive director of the center. Fire Engine 3 with a crew of firefighters, the Summit County Bomb Squad, Metro Life Flight and an Akron Police K9 Unit will be there.
“In addition to many silent [auction] items, [Summit County] Sheriff Steve Barry has provided a half day at the Sheriff’s Academy, which includes a ride in the urban tank and training on the ‘FATS’ machine, which presents simulated incidents with shoot-don’t shoot interactions.”
Akron fire Lt. Brian Weaver will be the DJ. The program’s new logo shirts also will be on sale. Tickets are $10 at the door, or buy in advance at the Chaplaincy Center (150 Furnace St.), Akron Police Credit Union (attention Rita Chambers), Akron Fire/EMT quality control and Akron Fire Department.
“We rely on the event to help meet our budget and need to let people know what we are doing for our safety personnel and, of course, sell tickets and have people present,” added Denton, former longtime executive director of Victim Assistance.
“Safety Forces Chaplaincy Center is a unique, confidential, cost-free vehicle which addresses the impact of the first responder profession on police, fire, dispatch personnel in Summit County and their families. It is a token of the debt owed to those who keep us safe. The counseling is provided by professionals with firsthand experience in police and fire work.”
The center provides cost-free counseling, help with substance abuse, and material and spiritual assistance.
“In 2012 there were more than 100 therapy sessions, 250 hours of substance abuse counseling and almost 1,000 hours of assistance,” Denton noted. “At least four safety personnel are alive because of it.”
Denton said the center also is home base for ASSIST 77, the joint Akron Police-Summit sheriff’s critical incident stress management team.
Anne Collins, executive director of Ronald McDonald House of Akron, wanted me to know that La-Z-Boy was recently honored at the 2013 Ronald McDonald House Charities Global Conference in Chicago: “Every year [La-Z-Boy] provides us free of any charge four pieces of furniture for our House as well as every house in the U.S.A. and Canada.”
“Our families love to come back to a nice comfy chair to relax after a long day at the hospital. They also hold many fundraisers throughout the year with the proceeds coming to the House in their region. They also work with Houses on expansions and new builds to help furnish these Houses at a considerable savings.”
Mental illness walk
No, your eyes won’t be deceiving you in the event you see folks dressed up like President Abraham Lincoln, author Ernest Hemingway or artist Michelangelo walking next month in Munroe Falls Metro Park.
It’s not a costume party. It’s the National Alliance on Mental Illness/Summit County’s ninth annual NAMIWalks on Oct. 5, to raise awareness and funds for persons experiencing mental illness.
Those famous folks, earlier referenced, suffered with mental illness but were still able to achieve great success.
Proceeds will be used to fund programs for NAMI’s clients:
• Housewarming — Bedding, dishes, glassware, pots, pans and housewares for clients moving from group homes into apartments.
• Needy Soles — Shoes and boots for clients unable to afford them.
• Hair care — Haircuts/styling for clients, since the better they’re groomed, the more accepted they are.
Creative Kids is a program that Ron Rett, NAMI’s executive director, is putting particular emphasis on to help children diagnosed with mental illnesses who present behavior problems in the classroom.
Rett touted NAMI’s alternative activities to direct the children’s energy and provide therapeutic social and learning environments: martial arts, dance, music, art, camping and horseback riding among others. NAMI provides scholarships to qualifying children “who must have a mental health diagnosis, must be receiving services in Summit County, must need financial assistance in the activity as verified by the provider making the nomination, and must have a commitment to the requirements of the activity,” Rett said.
“A nomination from a mental health provider [physician, nurse practitioner, counselor, therapist, psychologist, social worker or other licensed professional involved in the care of the applicant] must accompany every application for a scholarship.”
NAMI — which receives no federal, state or United Way funds — hopes to raise $75,000 through this year’s walk. Check-in is 8:30 a.m. with the walk getting underway at 10 a.m.
For more information on organizing walk teams, to make a donation or for information on NAMI programs, please call 330-252-1188.
Food center donations
Good Neighbors Food Center in Akron’s Goodyear Heights has found a good neighbor in the Bob Evans restaurant on Gilchrist Road which will be donating 15 percent of the receipts of customers dining there on Monday to the food center.
Customers need only present the flier (available at the Good Neighbors Food Pantry, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily; or on the Good Neighbors Facebook page) to the restaurant.
“Good Neighbors has provided free groceries to the needy families of the Akron area since 1957,”said Good Neighbors’ spokesman George Camilletti. “This one food pantry is presently providing groceries and personal items to about 935 Akron families each month. Good Neighbors is a volunteer run organization with only one paid part-time employee serving seven Akron area locations. Good Neighbors has no fundraising expenses except postage and stationery.”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org