Bravo to Army National Guard Sgt. Alaina Barnes — a lifetime resident of Cuyahoga Falls and Akron — for medaling three times in the recent Wounded Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.
“She competed in swimming and medaled in every event offered for women in swimming,” her proud mother, Jean Barnes of Akron, wrote. “One gold and two silver medals … I cannot tell you how proud I am of her and all the amazing wounded soldiers who compete in these games.”
Alaina was part of the 1484th Transportation Company of Canton, and was deployed with her unit to Afghanistan. “While there she was injured [September 2011], suffering a traumatic brain injury after being hit in a rocket attack,” Jean Barnes continued. “My daughter is currently at Fort Knox in the Wounded Warrior Transition Unit trying to recover … The 2005 St. Vincent-St. Mary [High School] graduate is so proud to be a soldier fighting for our freedom.”
Alaina also participated in cycling during the games.
In her post-injury bio, she has this to say:
“I enjoy the multitude of exercises that the adaptive sports programs offer, as well as the camaraderie between soldiers that it facilitates. Sports programs allow soldiers with any type of injury to participate in some event which in turn lifts the morale of the soldier; this is by far the most important aspect of the program …
“These fellow soldiers will forever have a lasting impact on the person I am and the person I will become.”
The Lloyd Seifer Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 206 and the Jackson Township Professional Firefighters Local 2280 want to give major-league applause to those in the Jackson Township community and surrounding environs, who donated $13,325.04 over the Memorial Day weekend for the American Red Cross to aid the Oklahoma tornado victims.
Special thanks to acting Police Chief Ty Bissler, who was instrumental in organizing the fundraiser.
Gift cards sought
The Social Action Board of First Congregational Church of Tallmadge is conducting a gift card campaign to aid those who have suffered unthinkable losses and injuries in the recent tornadoes that hit Oklahoma, especially Moore. This campaign is in partnership with Trinity United Church of Christ and Northminster Presbyterian Church.
First Congregational member and registered nurse Denise Hayes, who is serving as ambassador for this cause, will be flying to Oklahoma to assist with disaster relief.
The campaign is hoping for public support for the gift card campaign — using stores like Walmart, Kohl’s, Target, J.C. Penney, Sears, Kmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, which have locations here and there. Also, restaurants like Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Subway, Outback, Longhorn, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, IHOP; prepaid VISA gift cards; and gasoline cards (Speedway, BP, Citgo). Cash contributions are also accepted.
“Each gift card will be given in an envelope with a note of encouragement/support and will include the first name of the donor,” Hayes said. “This will help personalize the support, while allowing the donor to remain anonymous. Contributions will be accepted through Sunday at:
• First Congregational Church of Tallmadge, 85 Heritage Drive, Tallmadge, OH 44278; contact is Nancy Beken at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-633-4931.
• Trinity United Church of Christ, 915 N. Main St., Akron, OH 44310; contact is David Brown at TrinUCC@ATT.net or 330-376-7186.
• Northminster Presbyterian Church, 104 Portage Trail Ext. W., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223; contact is Donna McDonald at Office1@rrbiznet.com or 330-928-8885.
The 33rd annual Jim Klett Memorial Races are set for Saturday at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, on Riverview Road between Smith Road and state Route 303.
A one-mile kids race and a 10K race for adults are on the agenda, with all proceeds going to purchase backpacks and other school supplies for children served by Summit County Children Services. Nearly 1,000 children received backpacks filled with supplies last year.
Race day registration begins at 7 a.m. followed by the 10K at 8:45 a.m. and the kids’ race at 10:30 a.m. All preregistered runners (deadline is Thursday at 11:59 p.m.) receive a T-shirt, and goodie bags will be given to the first 200 runners to check in on race day. The top three male and female finishers overall and in 13 different age categories will receive awards. All finishers in the kids race get ribbons. Post-race breakfast will be available.
Cost of the 10K on race day is $35 (with pre-registered members of the Summit Athletic Racing Club receiving a $3 discount); entry fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable. The kids race is free.
Directing the races is the Summit Athletic Running Club, with support from the Freemasons of Summit County. Sponsor is Benjamin & Trevorrow, Inc., certified public accounts. For more information, please visit www.summitathletic.com or call 330-603-5747.
Bravo to Brian Perusek, a licensed social worker and outpatient therapist at Child Guidance & Family Solutions, who goes the extra mile in his practice every day for children and their families caught in the cycle of mental health and behavioral issues.
But come July 27 and 28, Perusek will be going an extra 100 miles as part of the Burning River 100-Mile Endurance Run to raise funds for the agency. His personal campaign is called Miles2Mend. The run starts at 5 a.m. July 27, at Squire’s Castle in Willoughby Hills, follows the Cuyahoga River and ends at 11 a.m. July 28 in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com