Members of the local Sikh community are extending a special invitation to people of faith to join them Sunday for a prayer service. Use that as a chance to get to know them and stand with them in solidarity.
Like all Sikhs — in America and India — the local community is in great pain, trying to come to grips with the shooting last Sunday at a temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that claimed six lives. The shooter has been identified as 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, who took his own life at the scene.
“A suggested arrival time is between noon and 12:15 p.m.,” Jusleen Sodiwal, Sikh Coalition Advocate, writes about the service at the Sikh Gurdwara, 4220 Broadview Road, Richfield Township.
“However, we will be holding regular service from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by a community lunch (lungar). Come join us for a meal and an open conversation.
“Just a friendly note: Our services require us to be seated on the ground, so long skirts and pants are ideal. Also, we are all asked to cover our heads by scarves for women and bandanas for men. We will have extras on hand.”
Host family needed
Darryl and Mary Anderson, coordinators of the Program of Academic Exchange (PAX), are desperately seeking a local family to house a foreign exchange high school student from Spain for this school year.
Nineteen PAX students have been placed in school districts in Northeast Ohio, Anderson said. Just one more placement is needed, and urgently. The Andersons, in keeping with the Olympic spirit of cross-cultural exchange, are trying to remain optimistic.
PAX is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to building world understanding through educational exchange. “By sharing everyday life with their host families and attending the local public school, PAX students come to know the ‘real’ America,” Anderson said. “It’s an opportunity to experience Halloween, Thanksgiving and the prom, to volunteer in the community and to build lasting friendships.
“Hosts need not have children of their own. Empty- nesters and parents with young children make wonderful host families. A PAX student needs a bed, a quiet place to study, three meals a day, and the love and understanding any teen needs and deserves. … They have full insurance and pocket money for personal expenses.”
PAX students come from more than 70 countries, including Brazil, South Korea, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Spain. The student the Andersons need to place is a boy from Pamplona, Spain, in his last year of high school.
“He’s a baseball fanatic,” Anderson said. “He plays for a regional team in Spain, collects American baseball cards and wants to come learn baseball from the people who invented the game. He wants to play on a high school baseball team and he’s good.”
Interested? Please call the Andersons as soon as possible at 330-256-6127 or Peggy Jackson in the PAX national office at 800-555-6211.
Bravo to Benjamin D. Beals and the 15-member Akron Regional Chamber Orchestra, not only for the great music they’re creating but also the unsolicited good works they’re doing in the community.
Beals, chief operating officer/artistic director, described its vision and outreach:
“The Akron Regional Chamber Orchestra (ARCO) is the group I started a couple of years ago. It started as a thought at dinner [literally] in December of 2009 and the orchestra had its first meet in February of 2010. The group was created under the philosophy that musical opportunities should be available to everyone. That’s why all concerts we have are free and open to the public. We also believe that being a community group should go beyond the stage, which is why we are spending time at Chestnut Ridge Park this summer.”
Beals, who was introduced to the park by its neighbor and former ARCO board member Irene Mack-Shafer, said his group has adopted it. “As part of the project, we will be weeding, staining the pavilion, planting and pressure washing,” Beals said. “And to the end of the day [today] we will be bringing in a couple of vendors and have a wind ensemble perform at the amphitheater at 7 p.m. The wind ensemble is solely made up of volunteers that are donating their time and talent to the project.”
All are welcome. Donations are encouraged as the orchestra, Beals said, is running on fumes. For information, please email benjamin.beals@ arcorchestra.org.
Congratulations to 13-year-old Zaria Garley, who recently received Lake Anna YMCA’s President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor recognizing her commitment to volunteer service: more than 100 hours this summer already, interacting with children in the Childwatch Department.
“Recipients of the President’s Volunteer Service Award are role models for all Americans,” said Brian Bidlingmyer, executive director of the Lake Anna Y. “Each volunteer hour contributed makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others, and I encourage everyone to contribute to our community by volunteering. Through their commitment, volunteers bring us closer together as families, as communities and as a nation.”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.