Heartfelt congratulations to retired Akron cardiologist Dr. Terry Gordon, who has been wisely tapped by the Akron Community Foundation to receive the prestigious Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award.
The high honor — to be bestowed in October at a gala dinner — is presented annually to the person or couple who best exemplifies Mr. Polsky’s selfless dedication to humanitarian causes.
Gordon is single-handedly responsible for raising funds to place life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in every junior high and high school in our community. There are now more than 2,300 AEDs in schools throughout Ohio and in every police, highway patrol and sheriff’s vehicle in Summit County.
The married father of four is the co-founder of United Way of Summit County’s hugely popular and not-to-be-missed “Docs Who Rock” talent show featuring local physicians. He is at the heart of the show’s success, acting as master of ceremonies and performing as Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Austin Powers, John Lennon and Tina Turner over the years.
He’s also the author of the soon-to-be-released No Storm Lasts Forever, with a foreword by self-help author and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer.
It wasn’t the happy ending Heather Skinner envisioned.
Yet she is to be commended for the role she played last Saturday, responding to frantic calls to help a worker who was unresponsive on a roof.
“It was probably around 5:45 [p.m.] and I was outside, getting ready to get in my car to go to Wadsworth to my 7-year-old daughter’s dance recital,” Skinner said. “That’s when my stepdad told me somebody on the next road behind us was yelling for help and for someone to call 911 …
“So I took off running, kicked off my sandals and climbed a ladder in my dress to help the man lying on the roof of the house on Sherwood off South Hawkins.
“I was told he had been working in the hot weather all day with three other guys and had become unconscious. Another man was trying to perform CPR.”
Skinner is CPR certified and started performing chest compressions until the paramedics arrived.
“As soon as they arrived I got down and they took over,” said Skinner, who had never climbed a ladder or been on a roof in her life.
“That roof was so hot!” she continued. “I still have burns and scrapes on my knees to prove it.”
The 27-year-old mother said her two children — who were waiting in her car and saw what she had done — told her how proud they were of her. “Hopefully, they will never forget the lesson: To help people who need it even if you don’t know them.”
Skinner said her heart broke the next day when she was told the man had died.
“We all have to be so cautious in this heat,” she warned, adding, “Anyone can get CPR certified. So please do it.”
Charity game at North
Excitement is building for the All-City Classic Charity Basketball Game at 4 p.m. June 30 at Akron’s North High School, 985 Gorge Blvd.
The event — hosted by Team OKBNU, Working In Progress and Ladies First Akron — is sponsored by Mike Pruitt Honda, DeVitis Italian Market and Mattucci Construction and benefits youth organizations. One is Project RISE, a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools, homeless shelters and the community to serve homeless youth.
Players include Devin Green, an Akron native who played for the Los Angeles Lakers; and former University of Akron players Dru Joyce, Romeo Travis, Matt Futch, Derrick Tarver and Jeremiah Wood.
“The first 50 children will receive Cavs merchandise courtesy of Larry Nance and the Cleveland Cavaliers,” said Tammy Monroe, president/CEO of Working In Progress Inc. The MC is Haz “D.J. HazMatt” Matthews of WZAK (93.1-FM). Raffles, lots of other giveaways and more activities are planned.
Tickets are $7 for adults; $3 for students. Presale tickets are available at 2 Live Music and Next Clothing. Students can get in free with one article of donated clothing (shirts or pants only; new or in good condition). For information, call 330-475-4777. Monetary and in-kind donations may be sent to Working In Progress, P.O. 22057, Akron, OH 44302.
Let’s go, Vikings!
Speaking of North High School, I’m hoping to get alumni and others on board to spruce up the inside before the start of school in the fall.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such dark and depressing hallways. Clearly it doesn’t have to be that way. We owe the students there a better, more inviting environment.
Remember School Pride, NBC’s reality show where volunteers are organized and the needed repairs get done? So, how about it, Vikings family? Put your heads together and come up with a plan to attack the walls with paint and/or murals.
Golf event is classic
Big, beautiful bouquets to all of those involved with the recent Ronald McDonald House Charity Golf Classic, held by the Junior Women’s Civic Club at Brookside Country Club. It raised more than $36,000 to support Akron’s Ronald McDonald House. To date, that effort, now in its 27th year, has raised more than $685,000 for the cause.
“Last year alone, nearly 13,000 people stayed at ‘The House That Love Built,’ which provides inexpensive housing and food for parents of critically ill and terminally diagnosed children who are patients at Akron Children’s Hospital,” said Nora Houser, club spokesman. “The Golf Classic’s profits go to enable those parents to sleep, rest and eat at Akron’s RMH with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Junior Women’s Civic Club Charities as well.”
Underwriters included Ernst & Young, Akron Children’s Hospital, APTERYX Custom Software, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Rubber City Arches LLC, and Junior Women’s Civic Club.
Young artist honored
Congratulations to Aza Swansinger, 12, whose artwork was selected for Benihana’s 2012 Children Helping Children Coloring Contest. Aza was one of several children whose works were featured, showcasing their vision of how children can help others. She is the daughter of Lisa Swansinger of Norton and is home-schooled.
“For each entry form collected, Benihana restaurants donated $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases,” wrote Benihana representative Maureen Faulkner. “Additionally, each restaurant (78 nationwide) selected a winning entry to receive dinner for eight — a $250 value.
“The coloring contest was part of Benihana’s broader initiative to celebrate Japanese heritage while supporting St. Jude. Every year on May 5, Japan celebrates the happiness of the nation’s children with a day of fun and games known as Children’s Day. … The total collected funds — more than $55,000 — from Children’s Day Kids Meals on May 5 and the coloring contest entries were presented during a private party for the patients and families of St. Jude on May 8. As part of the celebration, guests were treated to a special evening and complimentary teppanyaki dinner prepared by top Benihana chefs.”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org