Stow-Munroe Falls Lions Club is a quiet force for good, doing major good deeds, many of them life-changing.
On Feb. 1, the club will celebrate 75 years of doing business of the heart with a formal wine reception at 6 p.m. followed by a buffet dinner at the Stow Youth Baseball Hall, 4157 Hudson Drive, Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $25.
Local Lion Marty Dennis gave this insight on the club’s projects:
“As part of the International Lions Clubs, the [local] club has been an active entity within both communities through annual fundraisers and contributions to visually impaired foundations; Pilot Dogs; Red Cross blood drives; eyesight screenings within preschool and elementary grades; the annual StowLion Awards to all schools; three annual scholarships to high school seniors; the recent Safety Bucket program for each school classroom; Good Neighbors and many other organizations.”
For more information on the celebration, please call Cindy Pribonic at 330-686-6218 by Jan. 15.
Traveling to Brazil
Patreece and Dennis Welser, and eight friends from Lakeview Christian Church in Akron and Southwest Church of Christ in Barberton, are about to embark on a brave new adventure with a noble goal: providing medical and dental care in remote villages.
The beauty of it is that this group is not asking for a handout to finance their journey; they’re hosting a series of fundraisers to make it all possible.
The group will be traveling to Brazil, joining a medical team on a mission down the Amazon River. “We will spend two weeks on a boat going from village to village providing medical and dental services to the villagers,” Patreece Welser said. “Those of us in Ohio have been raising money for the mission [Central Brazil Mission — www.cbm.org.br] as well as collecting over-the-counter medications and hygiene products. It is our hope that each of the 10 of us will take an extra carry-on bag filled with 50 pounds of supplies for the people! We are raising funds for the mission and to cover the cost of the boat crew and fuel during our trip.”
Here are the fundraisers in the works so far:
• A 2 p.m. auction on Saturday (snow date Jan. 18) at Lakeview Christian Church, 4613 S. Main St., Akron. Up for bid: P. Graham Dunn paintings, an Amish outing, golf outings at Firestone and Prestwick country clubs, a hot-air balloon ride for two, tools, Kalahari combo suite plus water park passes for eight, gift cards and certificates, and other items.
• Zumbathon, 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Tallmadge Recreation Center, 46 N. Munroe Road, Tallmadge. Registration at 5:30 p.m., $10 donation. No dance or Zumba experience is needed, “just a fun-loving spirit and a willingness to laugh,” Welser said. Each person will be entered in a drawing for a hot-hair balloon certificate and gift baskets. A 50/50 raffle is planned. Tickets to both raffles are $5 for six. Water and light snacks will be provided.
“When I spoke to our 5-and-under Sunday School classes they could not believe there are people [children] who cannot go to a doctor or dentist when they need to,” Welser continued. “These families have to wait for an occasional boat to bring their needs. … We are all excited to have the opportunity to share God’s love as well any help we can bring.”
Help with headstone
Thank you to the readers who made anonymous donations to Cynthia Ivery, the Akron mother who was the subject of my Dec. 21 column about holiday gifts from the Victim Assistance Program’s “Gifts of Hope.” They were delivered by local police departments to families whose lives were changed forever by the loss of a loved one to violence.
Mrs. Ivery’s son, Henry Ivery III, was shot to death Dec. 11, 2011. He was 25.
During the course of my conversation with this heartbroken mother, she said her greatest wish is to see the person or persons who took her son’s life brought to justice. She’s also trying to save enough money to buy a headstone for her son’s grave.
Two readers stepped forward with contributions to help with the latter. “This morning I read your article about the Ivery family,” one wrote. “I am a retired Akron Public Schools teacher and had the pleasure of working with the Ivery family for over 12 years.”
Shoes make difference
Looks like 8-year-old Sophia Parks of Wadsworth is following the same good-deed-doer path as James Bennett. Her grandmother and cheerleader Lori Adkins called her recent outreach to my attention:
“I recently saw your article about Micklos Blake [a Jamaican-born University of Akron multi-degree graduate] collecting shoes for the poor. This reminded me of another small hero in Wadsworth. Her name is Sophia Parks. She is 8 years old and told her mom, Anna, she wanted to collect shoes for poor people for Christmas …
“Sophia is the kindest, sweetest girl who has overcome her own adversities. She has some really severe food allergies that can kill her. Sometimes the kids at school are not very nice to her and exclude her because of her condition. She holds her head high and always puts others before her own needs. I’d like to show the community what a wonderful little girl she is.”
Sophia, a third-grader at Wadsworth’s Overlook Elementary School and the daughter of Anna and Matt Parks, collected over 200 pairs of shoes. “She came up with the idea when she said she wanted Santa Claus to bring her shoes for the needy for Christmas instead of toys,” her mother said. “She gave many of the shoes to Soles for Souls, some to Marian’s Closet in Wadsworth [an organization that provides items at no cost to those in need], and some are going to an elementary school in Ravenna where I teach.”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.