An early Valentine’s Day wish to Mary Ellen Yeager and Mary Beth Palmer, volunteers at Hospice of the Visiting Nurse Services and Justin T. Rogers Care Center in Copley, for their over-the-top service.
For the past two years, the women have provided an ice cream cart every Tuesday, making sundaes for patients and their families.
Now help is on the way for them to jazz up their service.
“They always just put the ice cream tubs on a kitchen cart with shelves, but another one of the hospice’s volunteer groups, the Junior Women’s Civic Club, has donated money for a woodworker, Doug Tweed, to build an ice cream cart to their specifications for the Hospice Care Center’s use,” wrote Kelly Ward-Smith, Akron General Health System’s media and public relations specialist.
“The J.M. Smucker Company donates the sundae toppings. Family members and patients love the special treat and say it makes them recall birthday parties and other happy occasions. Also, it has a special place in Mary Ellen and Mary Beth’s hearts, as both had loved ones die at the care center and remember how special treats were during those difficult times, which is why they started Ice Cream Night.”
And there’s this, too.
“The Massillon Recreation Center is donating special handmade quilts to hospice patients who are veterans, plus another one for a female patient as part of their ‘Valentines for Veterans’ program,” Ward-Smith continued.
The delivery is being coordinated with the American Legion so a veteran can provide a personal touch alongside the center’s volunteers.
Backpacks for kids
Big, beautiful bouquets to Ohio Kiwanis Clubs, which banded together to collect items for “Project Backpack” as a way to ease the trauma of children being removed from their homes in an emergency.
The backpacks are filled with basic personal-care items such as toothbrushes/toothpaste; shampoo/conditioner; combs/brushes; deodorant; small stuffed animals; blankets and more.
The Kiwanis Clubs distributed more than 11,000 backpacks statewide, including to Summit County Children Services.
Mardi Gras fundraiser
Victim Assistance Program of Summit County is finalizing plans for its annual Mardi Gras gala, its biggest fundraiser, to be held at 6 p.m. March 2, at Todaro’s Party Center, 1820 Akron-Peninsula Road, Akron.
The event, chaired by Ann Manby and Bev Walter, features an open bar, sit-down dinner, band and dancing, auctions and presentation of the Bernard L. Rosen Community Service Award to Frank Harvey, a past board president, and Volunteer of the Year to Mosher Media.
And there are exciting raffle items: a 46-inch Vizio LED TV and Sony Blu-ray player with tickets at $10, or three for $20. (Winner need not be present.)
Also on the auction block: Men’s Grilling Dream Gas Grill with everything you’ll need for a barbecue; Queen for a Day package (includes a day at the spa, housekeeping service and dinner at a restaurant); diamond pendant; Omar Vizquel baseball; Cleveland Cavaliers tickets; homemade Italian feast at the home of Brian Fortney; a cocktail party; and much more.
Tickets are $85 if purchased by today, $95 after. For more information, please call Shelley Koch, director of development, at 330-376-0040, ext. 201 or by visiting www.victimassistanceprogram.org.
“Victim Assistance Program is a nonprofit organization providing free holistic services to victims of crime and trauma throughout Summit County,” Koch noted. “Victim Assistance Program is the only crime organization in Summit County that does not discriminate by crime type and the only program that is on scene at homicides, suicides, traffic fatalities and death notifications.” More than 8,000 people were assisted in 2012.
Rotary Club event
Rotary Club of Fairlawn will host its third annual “Speakeasy Charity Casino” fundraiser 6 to 10:30 p.m. March 2, at Portage Country Club, with proceeds going to help local organizations that support children’s education, health and welfare.
The atmosphere will be fun-filled with poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and slot machines; gourmet food stations; raffle entries; a cash bar; and a best-dressed costume contest.
Jason Milczewski, a Revere High School teacher, will be recognized as an honorary Paul Harris Fellow for his work in connecting Revere’s International Club with Rotary’s Interact Club. A $1,000 donation will be made to the Rotary International Foundation in his name.
Rotary Club of Fairlawn has raised more than $1 million for children locally and worldwide since 1964.
Tickets are $75 and can be ordered by contacting Nancy Kropko at 330-658-8201 or Andy Troutman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Corporate and table sponsorships still available. Donations also accepted; make checks payable to Fairlawn Rotary Foundation Inc., and mail to P.O. Box 13063, Fairlawn, OH 44334.
Norton man gets help
Major kudos to Carol Heiser, who is hosting a rigatoni dinner and auction with live music to benefit Rob Ross, 6 to 11 p.m. March 8 at the Houston Pub, 3069 Houston Road, Norton. Cost is $20.
The 57-year-old Norton resident — a severe diabetic since his late teens — is in dire need of a kidney transplant.
Donations in the form of cash, gift cards and baskets, tickets for sporting events, plays, movies and more are needed. Please call 330-696-9548 or 330-620-4157.
Local students honored
Hats off to high school seniors Andrew Appleby and Ben Tiemann, both named Ohio’s top youth volunteers for 2013 by Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. They will receive $1,000, engraved silver medallions and all-expenses-paid, four-day trip to the nation’s capital along with 100 other youth volunteers from across the nation.
Andrew, from Cuyahoga Falls High School, raised nearly $25,000 to create the Akron chapter of USA Swimming’s Make-A-Splash program, a program to teach at-risk youth how to swim. He has helped 158 kids receive swimming lessons, swim suits, caps and goggles since 2010. He recruited varsity swimmers and local sponsorships, and hosted a graduation ceremony for the young swimmers and their parents.
Ben, from Hudson High School, raised $3,000 to support the building of the memorial to the victims of Flight 93 with his “93 Cents for Flight 93” fundraiser in 2011, when his school’s homecoming fell on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. He also led his student government in a series of fundraisers that netted nearly $5,000 to support the building of a veteran’s home in Akron.
St. Joseph students step up
Big, beautiful bouquets also to St. Joseph School in Cuyahoga Falls and its great work on behalf of the recent Akron Children’s Hospital’s and WKDD’s Have a Heart, Do Your Part Radiothon.
“This is our eighth year,” writes teacher Deneen Watson, “Every year I am moved because of the empathy that St. Joseph students have for other kids in the community. Each grade collected money. The second-graders wanted to use their change to ‘blanket the world with kindness, starting with the kids in Children’s Hospital,’ so they bought material and made 11 blankets.
“The third-graders had their annual read-a-thon and raised a huge $954 on their own. The fourth- and fifth-graders used their change to purchase 70 stuffed animals ‘so the kids would have a furry friend to get them through.’ Our sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Huber donates $122 each year because her 6-year-old son spent 122 days at the hospital 13 years ago after being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. He is 19 and doing great! The eighth-graders raised $1,150.50.”
Watson sold so much candy over the holidays that she became known as the candy/lollipop lady.
The total being presented to the hospital by this small group of only 326 students is an impressive $4,145.77. So, a heartfelt congratulations to one and all.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com.