Many times when someone we love dies — especially when it’s unexpected — we pull down the shades and focus solely on the death; the ending; the period, if you will.
And our veil of tears prevents us from moving forward, to run the next leg of the journey, to do the good deeds we should for others in our loved one’s name.
Girl Scout Troop 1016 from Stow’s Holy Family Catholic Church gets that.
For the last year, its members have been working on a tribute they call “A. Rose Project” honoring one of their own, the late Andrea Rose Teodosio, who was killed in a skiing accident Feb. 12, 2011. She was 22, a graduate of John Carroll University and worked as a research/strategy development assistant and member of the Green Team for Hitchcock Fleming and Associates, an Akron marketing and communications firm.
“For the last year, these girls have been collecting gently worn formal and semiformal dresses, accessories, makeup and more to give girls in foster care and otherwise in need everything they need to participate in their school’s homecoming activities,” said Linda Teodosio, Andrea’s mother and Summit County Juvenile Court judge.
When the Girl Scouts came to her with their vision for the project, Teodosio wasn’t merely overwhelmed by the gesture; she also knew it was something her daughter would have endorsed.
“Andrea participated as a Girl Scout while a student at Holy Family School for approximately six years,” Teodosio said. “While she didn’t know the girls who put their project together, they certainly captured her spirit.
“As I watched the day unfold, I was able to witness Andrea’s loving spirit inspiring others to do something that brought so much happiness to their peers.”
Teodosio spoke poignantly not as a veteran of the bench but as a mother: “I know that many of the young people I speak to who have aged out of foster care were never able to purchase these special occasion dresses.”
So, the fact that the dresses were donated and presented in such a special way meant as much to her as it did to the girls receiving them.
The dress giveaway party, which took place at Summit County Juvenile Court, was supported by the CASA-GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocate and Guardian Ad Litem) board, which provided refreshments. Beth Cardina, coordinator for CASA-GAL, estimated that 45 girls in foster care or in the permanent custody of Summit County Children Services were served that day. “I was just thrilled for them,” she said.
Other support came from Coit Cleaners, which cleaned and fluffed the dresses for free, and several local hairstylists who performed their magic.
“It was a special day that made an experience available to girls who, through no fault of their own, would not be able to go through the racks of dresses to find that special occasion dress,” Teodosio said.
“Tom [her husband Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tom Teodosio], Chris [the couple’s son] and I are so grateful for the amazing amount of work and love that went into their project,” she continued.
“It brought us to tears many times throughout the day.”
Tears of joy, I hope. For Andrea — as shared in her obituary —was always fond of saying, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Happy birthday, Jean!
Fran Howell and Barb Uhall are planning a major-league 90th birthday party for longtime dance instructor and studio owner Jean Shepherd at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bath Manor, where Jean now calls home.
Friends and former students are encouraged to attend or send cards. Mail to Jean Shepherd, Bath Manor, 2330 Smith Road, Akron, OH 44333.
Local hoofer and dance studio owner Don McCardle said Jean taught him and he later taught for her before moving to New York, later returning to Cuyahoga Falls.
The Women’s Endowment Fund has partnered with local fitness instructor Jeananne Siegferth to host a Zumba benefit from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Bath United Church of Christ fellowship hall, 3980 W. Bath Road, Akron.
Proceeds support the fund’s “For Women, Forever” endowment campaign, whose mission is to raise $2.013 million by the fund’s 20th anniversary in 2013, significantly increasing its grants that keep women and girls healthy, safe from violence and help them achieve financial independence.
Programs assisted have included the Battered Women’s Shelter, the International Institute, Victim Assistance, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Project GRAD and more.
The minimum donation for the Zumba benefit is $15 at the door. Raffle tickets for themed gift baskets also can be purchased. For more information or to make a donation or a reservation, please call Laurel Held at 330-436-5612 or email her at email@example.com.
The Women’s Endowment Fund is an affiliate of Akron Community Foundation.
‘Kick for the Cure’
The “Kick for the Cure” benefit, which will pit Green High School boys and girls varsity and junior varsity soccer teams against North Canton Hoover teams, is planned for 1 p.m. Sept. 29, at Green Memorial Stadium, 1737 Steese Road.
Both schools are coming together as one to raise funds and awareness of cancer.
The inaugural event, held in 2007, honored Shawn Basone, wife of Green’s soccer coach and middle school teacher Jeff Basone. Sadly she died of breast cancer the following year. But the games continue in her memory and to help others touched by cancer.
To date, the event has raised more than $38,000 for various cancer campaigns. Last year’s recipients were Akron Children’s Hospital’s cancer division; Susan G. Koman Foundation and the American Cancer Society. This year’s proceeds will go to Stewart’s Caring Place.
In addition to the soccer games, 50/50 raffles, prize drawings (including an Apple iPad 3), basket raffles, carnival games, music, food, a dunk tank, face painting and more are planned. There will be performances by Green High School Ensemble, dance team and majorettes.
Gate admission is $5 for adults or $2 for students.
Special “Kick for the Cure” T-shirts are on sale for $10; students and youth soccer players wearing them will be admitted free with a paying adult. For more information, please call Brenda Vaccaro at 330-714-2073 or Neil Harlock at 330-608-2122.
LaSalle Harris, executive director of the soon-to-open nonprofit JoAnna House II, a home for women in recovery from addiction, is in need of the following items: three twin-bed frames; full- and twin-size bed sheets and blankets; a gas kitchen stove; and an electric clothes dryer.
Harris, who describes herself as “an alumnus of the prison system,” credits Akron Bible Church with leading her to Jesus and sobriety. “I want to share the message of deliverance to others,” she said.
JoAnna House II, she said, incorporates Bible study and the 12-step program.
For more information, please call Harris at 234-678-9805 or email her at Joanna firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com.