Parishioners at Akron’s St. Vincent Parish are encouraging the community to participate in its “Ready, Set, Serve” 5K and one-mile fun run benefit Saturday.
This year’s event, sponsored by the school’s Parent Association, honors the Rev. Joseph Kraker, the pastor who will be retiring from the ministry at the end of this school year. He has asked that proceeds go to nearby ACCESS, which is dedicated to helping homeless women and children, and to St. Vincent Elementary School.
“Father Kraker has served 49 years in the Cleveland Diocese and 18 at St. Vincent,” wrote longtime parishioner Gina Mendiola.
“He is known for many things, like his warmth and humor, but some things are very particular to him. His wonderful homilies often include him singing a song he has chosen to illustrate a point. … He can be seen all over Akron walking his dog, his latest, Minnie. He and [his dog] lead the St. Vincent Elementary Halloween parade every year and are both in costume. … He has written two books based on experiences with his previous dog, also beloved by St. Vincent parishioners and school children. …
“Recently, Father Kraker’s columns have been telling a little of his history. He was born and raised in West Akron, was a member of St. Sebastian Parish and attended St. Sebastian Grade School. He was a member in the first classes at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe when it opened. He was previously associate pastor at St. Jude Parish in Elyria and pastor at St. Timothy Parish in Garfield Heights. He turned 75 on Palm Sunday. … He will say the blessing to start the race.”
Registration fee is $25 with all participants receiving a shirt. Registration forms at www.stvincentelementary.com or call 330-329-5936.
Helping hurricane victims
Sharon Deitrick is president of Akron’s Deitrick & Associates Interiors and the founder of the HALO (Hope Always Lives On) Foundation, whose mission is to “offer hope to the afflicted through the generosity of service and charity.” She is now filling totes to help the still-suffering victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.
“The goal,” according to Deitrick, “is to organize, sort and pack gathered items so the victims can readily access the items they need so much.”
The foundation is gathering items for:
• Clothing and shoes starter kits — new undergarments (all ages), clean shoes and socks, etc.
• Home and hygiene starter kits — soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, razors, wash cloths and towels, shampoo, feminine hygiene, toilet paper, tissues, flashlights, batteries, tableware, cookware, cleaning supplies.
• Toys, books, school supplies starter kits for all age groups.
“FedEx Ground has donated a large truck to deliver the totes to the many residents with the need in the barrier islands in New Jersey, and a smaller truck will deliver school supplies and other items to Long Beach, N.Y.,” Deitrick noted.
“We are asking teacher and parent volunteers to sort the starter kits with items that are new and nearly new (laundered, graphically appropriate content and in working condition) into the totes. The totes are sturdy and have the added benefit of multiple uses for the recipient. …
“We request a $7 donation for the purchase of each 18-gallon plastic tote used for a starter kit. Please mail checks to: The HALO Foundation, 134 Western Ave., Akron, OH 44313.”
Deadline is April 24.
Reverse raffle, auction
“Keepin’ It Renal,” a reverse raffle and auction to help Fred DeBellis with his kidney transplant, is planned for May 14, at The Venue, 10 Tallmadge Circle, Tallmadge. Social hour is at 6 p.m. followed by 7 p.m. dinner and raffle.
The $60 ticket gets you dinner, two beverages and a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $2,000 grand prize. Checks — payable to St. Nicholas Outreach Fund — should be mailed to: Keepin’ It Renal, c/o Barb Bezbatchenko, 562 Green Valley Drive, Tallmadge, OH 44278.
DeBellis is a life resident of Akron, a graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School and the University of Akron. He is an active member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Mogadore and Knights of Columbus Council No. 3410, and an employee at Akron Hardware.
Described by friends as a “doer and supporter of many causes … Fred is the kind of guy who changes his oil before 3,000 miles, pulls off the road to answer or make a cellphone call, always on time if not customarily early and sports a flat-top haircut that’s trimmed like clockwork, dresses for the weather, and his Christmas card is always the first to arrive following the Thanksgiving holiday!”
Many thanks to his team of friends — Martin and Barbara Bezbatchenko, Nina Biscan and Annette Carlisle who are helping Fred on this journey.
Auction items — goods, services, gift certificates — are being sought. Contributions, questions or pickup arrangements can be directed to: Nina Biscan at 330-896-0689, 330-283-1122 or NinaVolunteer1@aol.com; or Annette Carlisle at 330-527-2220, 330-310-5875 or annette.carlisle. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cancer Club silent auction
The Falls Cancer Club, which provides medical equipment and helps with hospital, medical and pharmacy costs for Cuyahoga Falls residents battling cancer, is sponsoring a Reverse Raffle/Silent Auction April 20 at Emidio & Sons Banquet Center, 48 E. Bath Road, Cuyahoga Falls. Social hour is at 6 p.m. followed by 7 p.m. buffet dinner. Cost is $85 per couple (includes two dinners and one raffle ticket) and $55 individual (one dinner and one raffle ticket).
Event chair Joanne Sam announced the grand prize is $1,000 with sideboards available. Also on the menu: 50/50 raffle, treasure chest and gift wheel.
For more information, please call 330-929-2796.
A straight-from-the-heart, albeit belated, bouquet to Kara Mayner for the huge good deed she commandeered on behalf of not only her brother Bryan Roberts who is serving in Afghanistan but also his unit, the 2-3 BSTB “Titans.”
Kara — who owns Round 2 Kids, a children’s resale business in Cuyahoga Falls — with the help of friends, family and customers, sent scores of large boxes of goods to the troops.
“She offered a 20 percent discount on their purchases” to those who donated items, Kara’s aunt Monica Warren wrote. “Her customers stepped up to the plate and brought in items such as ChapStick, Q-tips, baby wipes (this is how they shower while out on missions), car magazines, crackers, candy, cookies, shampoo, deodorant, razors. Several local schools and Girl Scout troops brought in handmade cards, letters and valentines. … The response was overwhelming.” Store employee Venessa Ruggles and friend Mary Testa helped out.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or email@example.com.