All you had to do was call and Gary Vincent would be there to help anyone in need. Friend or stranger, it didn’t matter. Lots of his efforts were on behalf of veterans and those battling cancer, mostly working behind the scenes, helping in the kitchen at fundraisers, playing Santa Claus for disabled children and more.
Now the Cuyahoga Falls resident is the one in need of our collective prayers and support.
“He just found out he has Stage IV colon cancer. … He is just 61 years old and is not able to be on Medicare yet,” said Gary’s daughter Annette Miner, who is helping with one of the fundraisers.
“He was working for R & R Sanitation, which just sold to another company, leaving him with no income. He is now, of course, not able to work, trying to get back to some normal health with the burden of extensive medical bills coming in from treatments. He is married but his wife [Carol] doesn’t work and is taking care of him at home.”
Friends and family are hosting a donation-only picnic benefit to help Gary from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Cuyahoga Falls Moose Lodge 918, 4444 State Road. There will be hot dogs, burgers and lots of side dishes, a DJ, 50/50 raffle and auctions.
It will be followed by Don Sitts’ Labor Day Car Show on Monday on Front Street Mall in Cuyahoga Falls. Sitts is donating all proceeds from tickets to the cruise-in, as well as half the 50/50 drawing that night, coordinator Cozy Richard noted. The car show, which will feature three DJs, is open to any cruiser.
Inspired by Isabella
Macedonia’s Kristina Dooley has decided not to live life in a blue mood because one of her triplets, 3-year-old Isabella, was diagnosed just before her second birthday with Type 1 diabetes.
Kristina and her husband, Greg, have not only reached acceptance, but also are trying to raise awareness and research dollars.
“Isabella will likely grow up without memory of life before diabetes and the uncertainty that each day holds as she battles the disease,” her mother wrote. “As a triplet, Isabella has already discovered that she is different than her siblings [Max and Mia] who don’t get daily injections and finger pricks.
“Beginning preschool has also uncovered many questions from curious classmates as Isabella sits calmly for each pre-snack and lunch blood-sugar check.”
To commemorate the date — Aug. 28, 2012 — the Dooleys are today hosting what they call her “Diaversary,” a blue-themed party (the color of diabetes awareness), where everyone wears blue, with blue food (including sugar-free blue cupcakes), blue decorations and all.
This is a prelude to their involvement in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Cleveland Walk, which will take place Sept. 29 at the Cleveland Zoo. The Dooleys have already raised $12,000 for research through fundraisers and individual donations since their daughter’s diagnosis. The family recently launched a website, http://InspiredBy Isabella.com, to share their story and to connect with other Type 1 diabetes families.
According to figures from the National Institutes of Health, more than 15,000 adults and 15,000 children are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year in the U.S. alone.
Type 1 means the person is insulin dependent, must follow a restricted diet and monitor glucose levels several times a day. Its cause is unknown and there is no cure.
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes events, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, are scheduled for Sept. 22 in Hudson at Hudson Springs Park, and Oct. 6 in Akron at Quaker Station. Sponsors are needed. For more information, please call 330-647-0815.
Clothing to be distributed
The Stow United Methodist Church will distribute clothing collected through Stow-Munroe Falls schools from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at the church at 4880 Fishcreek Road, Stow.
The event — which features clothing for toddlers to teens, with several Stow spirit items like jackets and athletic wear — is free to the public. Each child is invited to take enough clothing to fill one large paper grocery bag.
Acme Fresh Market and Printing Concepts Inc. have also supported this endeavor. For more information, please call the church at 330-673-7752.
Benefit for pajamas
The Eastern Ohio chapter of the Pajama Program hopes you have an appetite for helping to provide pajamas to homeless or low-income children in preparation for colder times.
It’s hosting a fundraiser 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 13 at Bob Evans restaurant, 3489 Hudson Drive, Stow. Fifteen percent of the sales during this period will go to the Pajama Program.
Please email Patty Gillespie, president of the local chapter, at email@example.com for a flier (valid for dine in or carryout) to ensure the organization is credited.
Deaf athlete competes
Three cheers for Jasmine Simmons of Pickerington, a sophomore at the University of Akron and a STEM scholar. She competed over the summer in the Deaflympics in Bulgaria, joining other deaf athletes representing the U.S.
Jasmine — who has cochlear implants and is a thrower — wrote: “I took my final [discus] throw and landed 137.8. I was so happy. It was not enough to medal but it was enough to land me in fifth place. It was a full 9 feet better than my personal highest throw and I broke an 11-year record for deaf women in discus. I had an amazing experience. … At the start of my effort to go to the Deaflympics I was amazed at how generous people were with their contributions and support. I was given a tremendous opportunity to meet other deaf athletes from all over the world. I had the opportunity to represent my country in a sport I love and I am now the U.S. Deaf Female record holder for discus. …
“One of the most interesting things I learned is the fact that although we came together as ‘deaf’ athletes for Deaflympics our paths to our deafness varied so much. I was born deaf and have lived my life as a deaf-oral cochlear recipient. My roommate wore hearing aids and was born with normal hearing but because of a disorder she has lost her hearing and will someday be totally deaf. She knows what it is like to have normal hearing and I will never know what that is like.”
Jasmine’s dream job is to become a pediatric audiologist working to help deaf children hear.
Big family reunion
Congratulations are in order for Connie (Sullivan) and Francis “Frank” Fearon of Medina. The couple — she taught French for 33 years at Walsh Jesuit High School and he retired from a pharmacy career after nearly 40 years — celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary Sunday.
That’s not why the spotlight is on this family.
“We have nine children spread over seven states,” Connie Fearon wrote. “Our family group, which numbers 40 or so, has held a biannual weeklong reunion for the past 20 years.
“No one has missed one until this year when four grandkids couldn’t make it. … We stay in tents or cabins or a mix of the two, usually in mountainous areas with access to long hikes of scenic grandeur and usually to white-water rafting. These trips — ‘Fearonfests’ — have created a family cohesiveness with the many cousins knowing each other.”
This year’s adventure took them to a fancy ranch lodge near Glacier National Park in Montana. “We try to make a decision a year in advance about where we want to go so people can get the vacation time and save up the money,” Mrs. Fearon shared. Because 15 of her 26 grandchildren are at the marriage age with possible weddings in the near future, that will figure into the planning.
But the reunion will go on if the Fearon children — Patrick of Oakland, Calif.; Tim of Phoenix; Kevin of Fairlawn; Peggy Melhus of Fairlawn; Connie Sliwinski of Salt Lake City, Matthew of Sammamish, Wash.; Mary Huscroft of Carmel, Ind.; and Megan Fearon of Cuyahoga Falls — have anything to say about it. Son Frank (formerly of Cumming, Ga.) is deceased.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.