I don’t normally do shoutouts for 95th birthdays, as I can’t get to all the centenarians and super-centenarians among us for profiles.
However, after learning how exceptionally active Georgia (Peters) Garrison of Springfield Township — who celebrates her birthday today — still is, I just had to make an exception.
Georgia, as she prefers, bowls on four winter leagues and two summer leagues. Depending on when you’re reading this, she may be out on the lanes right now. Her average is 155-160. When she’s not bowling, she gets her exercise walking.
Widowed in 2007 after 63 years of marriage to Johnny Garrison, Georgia, who takes no medicine, is a retired executive secretary with Goodyear Aerospace. The couple has two children, Sandy James of Seattle, Wash., and Darrell Garrison of Manning, S.C.; three grandsons; and two great-grandchildren, with another on the way.
Georgia Garrison truly does, as her daughter remarked, give new meaning to the phrase “growing old gracefully.”
Returning the Favor
Major kudos to Akron’s Romeo Travis and his “Returning the Favor Foundation,” which sponsored and picked up the tab for an inaugural outdoor social the day before Father’s Day at Lane Field, drawing an audience of nearly 200.
Giveaways and raffles included Nike and University of Akron apparel, gift certificates to Sola Salon in Fairlawn, movie tickets, ESPN book bags and a pair of LeBron James shoes.
Travis was a member of the “Fab Five” (with two-time NBA national champion James, Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III and Willie McGee) who led St. Vincent-St. Mary High School to the national championship in 2003.
He went on to play at the University of Akron, where he became an Associated Press All-American and was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. He now excels as a power forward for the Zadar basketball team in Croatia.
“I’m a firm believer that charity begins at home,” Travis said, calling the Father’s Day event “an opportunity for me to provide a great environment for members of our community to spend time with the people who matter the most: family.”
And there’s this: “I’d like to help kids in our community who don’t have fathers still enjoy the day. I also want to help young fathers be involved in their children’s lives even if they are not financially stable.”
Safe at Home
Big beautiful bouquets to the Westfield Insurance Foundation for helping Rebuilding Together Greater Cuyahoga Valley keep low-income seniors “Safe at Home” by committing $25,000 as a premier sponsor.
“Through upcoming volunteer days this month, July and August, Westfield employees will help Rebuilding Together improve the safety of homes by installing grab bars, handrails, improving lighting, changing faucets and door handles to lever-type handles, installing high-rise toilets and more,” Rebuilding’s executive director Paul Holm said. “The modifications are critical to helping seniors avoid falls in homes that present new accessibility challenges as they age. Each year, more than 11 million Americans over age 65 — one out of every three — fall down. Most alarming, falls are the leading cause of death from injury to people over 65.
“The goal of our partnership [with Westfield] is to prevent falls and increase their independence.”
Given that Westfield Insurance “is in the business of putting people’s lives back together after the unexpected occurs,” said Jani Groza, community investment leader, it’s a great fit.
Rebuilding Together is presently taking applications for the program from Summit County residents on a “fee-for-services basis.” For more information, please email email@example.com or call 330-773-4100.
Golfing for a Cure
All for the love of a little boy named Brodyn Leslie and others like him.
That’s the motivation behind the second annual “Golfing for a Cure” July 15 at Rosemont Country Club (3777 Rosemont Blvd., Fairlawn) sponsored by Northwestern Mutual Northern Ohio-Akron. All proceeds go to Brodyn’s Friends Foundation.
“Brodyn Leslie was born five years ago to Northwestern Mutual Akron managing director Dan Leslie and his wife Heidi,” Patricia L. Quirk, operations manager at Northwestern Mutual said. “He was diagnosed with nonketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH) shortly before his first birthday … NKH is a rare and still incurable metabolic disease affecting less than 200 children in the U.S. The disease is characterized by the accumulation of large amounts of amino acid glycine in the brain. The prognosis is poor and most patients die in the first few weeks of life. Those who do survive have intractable seizures and poor neuro-developmental outcomes.”
Fundraising efforts, including the Cooking for a Cure cookbook, have raised more than $20,000 used for NKH research and to support families affected by the disease, she said. “We have been expanding our volunteer ranks from friends at Northwestern Mutual to the community at large, which has allowed us to plan even bigger events like the golf outing.”
By the way, Heidi Leslie was recently tapped by Northwestern Mutual as its 2013 Community Impact award recipient; with it comes a $10,000 grant for Brodyn’s Friends Foundation.
Entry free for the golf outing is $125. That includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, beverages, box lunch, dinner, party and prizes. Check in and range time is 10 a.m.
For more information, please contact Heidi Leslie at 330-414-9949 or Heidi@BrodynsFriends.com.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.