Jewell Cardwell

The Derbytown Mens Chorus is part of a rather unique outreach to help military members from the area who are stationed in harms way to give their loved ones back home a special Valentines Day delivery.

Derbytown member Charles A. Rip Wilson, LTC. U.S. Army (retired) explained the project:

The Derbytown Mens Chorus will deliver [gratis] a special valentine to the loved one of any service member in the greater Akron area. Included will be two love songs, sung by a barbershop quartet; a box of candy; a red rose and a personalized card all delivered free to the service members loved one between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Valentines Day.

Thats where you come in, dear readers.

The chorus is asking parents or spouses to have their service member provide the valentines contact information. Email the service member with the program information, asking him or her to contact Wilson at anarmybass@gmail.com with the following info: service members name and rank, name of valentine, place and time of delivery, and a personal message for the card.

Well take it from there, Wilson continued. If possible we will take a photo and email the results to the service member.

For more information, please email anarmybass@gmail.com or call 330-668-8402.

Acts of kindness

Hudsons Marty Hills has asked me to remind my readers that National Random Acts of Kindness Week runs Feb. 10-16.

Hudson has a long-running and active chapter of the National Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. As Marty says, the acts dont have to be big, just meaningful.

Help Ellet coach

Akrons Ellet High School family is coming together 3:25 to 5 p.m. Friday for a Rebuilding After the Fire shower to help the Coleman family whose home, and everything in it, was destroyed in a Jan. 22 fire.

Amy Coleman is one of Ellets girls soccer coaches. Her family, which includes four children, can use everything, the invitation instructs.

Sanfilippo syndrome event

Former Akronite, now of Long Island, N.Y., Danielle OConnor has announced a regional gathering in Uniontown (Green Senior Center) for families and children suffering from the terminal disorder Sanfilippo syndrome.

One of her four daughters Emily, who turns 9 in February, is dying of the illness.

Her buddy, another Emily with Sanfilippo syndrome, will be turning 6, Danielle noted.

We started off having a joint birthday party and decided we should just make it a regional gathering. We even have a Sanfilippo family coming from Wisconsin! We will be celebrating the girls birthdays, but we will also be using this as a time to gather and support other families who are in the same situation. Ohio has a handful of them.

Sanfilippo, Danielle continued, is best compared to Alzheimers except it hits our children usually by age 3 and Type 1 (what my daughter has) usually carries a life expectancy of about 10-14 years.

For more information on Sanfilippo syndrome, please visit www.teamsanfilippo.org.

Food and paper product donations are still needed. Please email lieuslady@yahoo.com.

Victory Gallop benefit

World No. 1 doubles tennis team Bob and Mike Bryan and ATP professionals Steve Johnson and Jarmere Jenkins will be in Akron to participate in a major-league fundraiser Feb. 28 and March 1 for Victory Gallop, a therapeutic riding facility in Bath Township.

The top-ranked players will be participating in two Pro-Ams, conducting a juniors clinic, hosting a demonstration, playing in a singles and doubles exhibition and interacting with the public during an afternoon Meet N Greet on March 1, wrote Laurie Schueler, medical specialist at Akron Childrens Hospital. Its all happening at Springside Racquet & Fitness Club, 215 Springside Drive, Akron.

This is an important fundraiser to support Victory Gallop, a nonprofit therapeutic riding program founded by co-directors Sue Miller and Kim Gustely. Its mission is to provide therapeutic and recreational horseback riding for children with behavioral and/or emotional challenges and life-threatening illness. Victory Gallop is also home to Petie the Pony. Petie visits pediatric patients bedside at Akron Childrens Hospital and Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital.

Fridays exhibition is free.

Saturdays juniors clinic (open to 70 juniors) features participants rotating to seven courts. At noon, seven area restaurants (included in the ticket price) will set up a food court. Activities will take place on three courts (serving returns to Steve Johnson and/or Jarmere Jenkins, serving the fastest ball, and serve to hit target), and the Bryans will do their doubles demonstration with audience participation. Lots of photo and autograph opportunities will be available.

Tickets for Saturdays events, including a silent auction, are $45 for adults, $20 for children by calling 330-666-0300 or at www.victorygallop.org.

Legacy aids animals

Im doing what James had wanted to do. Rescuing and fostering dogs, heartbroken mother Sarah Bennett wrote in a holiday note, referring to her sons dying wish.

James Bennett, the subject of several columns, died July 30, 2012, at 14. His battle to live had started 16 months earlier with a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, then he endured adenovirus (a complicated infection in the respiratory system), the removal of his colon and finally encephalitis. Even so, the Revere School District student remained an incredibly positive force in the community and the lives of his friends.

Only problem with [keeping her sons wish] was that I fell in love with the two foster boys Ray and Merle. That brings, well, at this writing, the doggie count in the Bennett household to four. That includes senior members Woody and Willow.

Something tells me James would be very proud.

Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or jcardwell@thebeaconjournal.com.