Major kudos again to Tucker Jolly, music professor at the University of Akron and founder of Akron’s TubaChristmas, which last weekend celebrated its 33rd year of existence, with nearly 6,000 fans crowding to E.J. Thomas Hall with 450 tuba players on stage.
Unfortunately, Tucker was misidentified — to the regret of all — in a photo caption saluting his triumphant work.
In the true spirit of Christmas, we do hope he forgives the error.
Meri Skiera, volunteer/media coordinator for Ronald McDonald House of Akron, shared this good news: “This past Saturday, Team Abbey Holiday Huddle [a tribute to Copley’s Abbey Calderone’s leukemia battle orchestrated by her sister Megan mentioned in an earlier column] dropped off a beautiful donation. Many beneficial things for our mission such as pop tabs, wish list items, toys and games, jewelry, fleece blankets and a large amount of cash and gift cards.”
Many thanks to Kimberly Milinkovich, English teacher at Coventry High School, who let me know that Cub Scout Pack #337 sent more than 30 Christmas cards to Andy Holcomb “to brighten his holiday season. “
Andy is the young man who lost the lower half of his body seven years ago in a life-threatening industrial accident but has always maintained a positive attitude; a joy of living.
“The Cub Scouts also visited Greenview Inn nursing home to sing carols, have refreshments and deliver candy jars,” Milinkovich continued.
The pack has about 50 boys who range in age from 7 to 12. Scott Davenport is the Cubmaster.
Group offers support
Pat Summers is a certified registered nurse practitioner from Copley Township who received the ultimate “gift of life” in the form of a liver transplant June 10, 2004, following hepatitis Cobtained during her 30-plus-year nursing career. She is very active in the Akron-Canton TRIO (Transplant Recipient International Organization).
“The group [open to transplant families and friends] meets every third Tuesday at North Canton Medical Center, 6400 Whipple Ave. NW, Canton at 6:30 p.m.,” Summers said. “We all bring covered dishes and have dinner together as a “family” during the meeting. … This is the 25th anniversary of TRIO.”
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Paying it forward
It is when you become stronger and your need for help lessens that we should make it our mission to pay it forward.
So it was with Bobby and Wendy Wilson of Manchester, whose infant daughter Mia was hospitalized the first full year of her life in intensive care in the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The Wilsons and all four of their daughters are traveling there this month to prepare and serve dinner at Ronald McDonald House to families, like themselves, who call it their home away from home.
Grandma Peggy Weaver assured me they also will take presents and toys.
Funds for veterans
Terri Steele-Austin said the Christmas party at the Polish American Club to benefit the Summit County Veterans Service Commission was a huge success: “We had approximately 50 people come. There was amazing food and friendship. Music was provided by the Patrick Mumford Project. And best of all there were lots of toys and gifts for kids of all ages plus nearly $1,500 in cash, checks and gift cards that will go a long way in helping our local veterans.”
Major kudos to Bob Evans No. 68 restaurant on Howe Road, Cuyahoga Falls, for its generous community outreach which began 2½ years ago.
Deborah Chipps, the store’s general manager, said she and her staff were looking for a way to help those less fortunate or dealing with a crisis. It was nearing the Easter season, so they sold paper “bunnies” to hang in the restaurant, and employees paid to wear different colored shirts and held bake sales.
“As a result we raised $1,800 which allowed us to provide Easter dinner (preparing our Farmhouse meals) for families staying at Ronald McDonald House, Safe Landing Shelter for Girls, Safe Landing Shelter for Boys, and our local police and fire departments,” Chipps continued. “The employees enjoyed doing this so much that we decided to do the same thing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Pretty soon the entire company began doing similar fundraisers for the holidays. “As a corporation, Bob Evans now matches donations up to $25,000,” Chipps noted. “Our store alone has raised over $10,000 since we started and we have been able to provide food to many organizations.”
Firefighters deliver big
Big, beautiful bouquets to the area firefighters who helped in the large-scale and tedious-beyond-belief delivery of scores of elaborately decorated Christmas trees — purchased at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Holiday Tree Festival.
Robert Schrop, the festival committee’s delivery chair, was more specific:
“Thank you to the 60 volunteers who gave their time and energy to staff the 23 trucks and deliver 142 decorated trees that were sold at the 2012 Holiday Tree Festival in support of Akron Children’s Hospital.
“Among the volunteers were 20 Cuyahoga Falls firefighters, two Norton firefighters, five from Akron and 16 retired Akron and Cuyahoga Falls firefighters. … Additionally, thank you to the Akron-area businesses that donated the use of their trucks and personnel. Your generous support provided a successful conclusion to the 31st annual Holiday Tree Festival, which generates essential support for burn victims and sick children.”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.