Jewell Cardwell

Frank and Jen DeLorenzo may not be in uniform, but they’re still soldiers.

The DeLorenzos, founders of the Brecksville-based nonprofit Wags 4 Warriors train dogs to be companions to military veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The beauty of this is that it costs the veteran nothing.

“As a veteran myself with a service dog, I know what it means to have my service dog [Nina] with me at all times,” Frank DeLorenzo says in the Wags 4 Warriors mission statement. “The service dogs can be trained for all kinds of tasks to help the veteran get through the day …

“The mission of Wags 4 Warriors is to unite veterans who suffer from PTSD or TBI [traumatic brain injury] with an appropriate dog, and to provide all of the training.”

Ashley Beadle, a disabled Air Force veteran (Operation Iraqi Freedom) from Massillon, sent this glowing endorsement of the project:

“The ultimate goal is for the service dog to take away the struggle the veterans face with everyday life.

“Frank is prior Army and an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who has been in war and now suffers with everyday life. Jen is his wife and co-founder. They have five kids and still find time to help others. They are a nonprofit group that needs help with spreading the word and donations.

“They rescue dogs from shelters and place them with disabled vets and help train them. They rescued my service dog Keaton from being put down in two hours! They also supplied his cage, a leash, a vest, food, toys and other items. They usually don’t supply food but they are just that awesome that they wanted to place me and the dog together ASAP and got me everything I would need until I got paid.”

They offer group training in Brecksville and one-on-one out in the community,” Beadle continued. “These people are dedicated and really care!”

Interested in learning more about the program? Please visit www.wags4warriors.org.

Red Cross nominations

The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties is asking you, dear readers, to get a jump start on your nominations of lifesaving heroes (human and non-) to be honored at the Acts of Courage and Real Heroes breakfast.

The Red Cross provides this template: “A firefighter who entered a burning house to rescue a trapped family? A passerby who dived into a frozen lake to pull a drowning child to safety? A neighbor who administered CPR to a total stranger? A dog that alerted its family to a fire?”

The group is seeking nominations for the 2012 calendar year. Nominees must reside or be employed in Summit or Portage counties.

I know someone is already writing on behalf of Summit County sheriff’s deputies William McKinney and Mark McElroy who saved a drowning 3-year-old when they were in Phoenix on business.

The pair were at the Embassy Suites hotel restaurant when they spotted the father pulling the boy’s body from the swimming pool and sprang into action, performing measures that resulted in a life being saved.

The heroes will be selected by a judge’s panel to be honored next spring.

Please visit www.summitcounty.redcross.org and click on the “Nominate Your Hero” icon. Nominations will be accepted online, or via mail/fax with forms that can be downloaded from the website or obtained at Red Cross headquarters, 501 W. Market St., Akron. For more information, please call 330-535-6131.

Quilt making

The Quilt Ministry at The Chapel is at full speed producing quilts, many with patriotic themes, to be delivered to our soldiers at a variety of locales.

The quilters, along with our congregation and several others, have made or donated more than 150 quilts, writes project spokesman Edward Davidian:

“It was my good fortune to deliver quilts to 15 veterans at a home in Kent and to six vets living on Carroll Street near our church. These are homes for veterans who are homeless and need a place to stay.

“Wednesday a large number of the donated homemade and store-brought quilts will go to the Veterans Home in Sandusky, and on Friday the rest will go to wounded or ill soldiers and veterans at the VA Hospital at Wade Park …

“The women who make the quilts pray over each quilt that is made; they pray for the person getting the quilt.”

Interested in donating fabric to this cause? Please call Davidian at 330-620-5668.

And there’s this. “The cooks who helped prepare 1,200 meals for the Project Homeless Connect were the result of great volunteers and a great kitchen in our church,” Davidian said.

Mentors needed

Big Brothers & Sisters of Portage County is urgently looking for a few good men and women to volunteer as mentors to children.

“We have over 80 children all over Portage County waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister,” said Andrea Neidert, executive director.

“Big Brothers & Sisters is not your typical organization. We help children realize their potential and build their futures. We nurture children and strengthen communities. And we couldn’t do any of it without you.” For more information, please call 330-296-6655 or visit www.bbsportage.org.

Autism golf outing

The Autism Family Foundation of Northeast Ohio is sponsoring the second annual “Team Donnie” Golf Outing at noon June 9, with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start, at Brookledge Golf Club, 1621 Bailey Road, Cuyahoga Falls.

The $90 fee includes golf, lunch, dinner, prizes and a post-links party. Proceeds go to the Family Child Learning Center and the Autism Family Foundation of Northeast Ohio. For more information, please contact Rick Rockich at 330-608-5438 or rick.rockich@gmail.com or Donnie Zwisler at 330-949-6667 or zwisfamily@hotmail.com.

Bouquets to donor

Beautiful bouquets to Leigh Ann Combs who donated her late father’s power chair to 16-year-old Casey Miller. Casey was paralyzed from the chest down three years ago by a mass on the spine while he was a student at Akron’s Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts.

“I live here in Akron, but I had the chair sent to Ohio from Arizona where my father lived,” Combs said. “He passed away the day before he was to get on the plane to move back here May 2, 2011.”

Glatz benefit

The Joshua Glatz Golf Benefit is planned for July 20 at Cherokee Hills Golf Course in Valley City. Joshua is a 13-year-old cardiac patient who over the years has undergone three major heart surgeries and six catheterizations. The fund is to help with future treatment.

Early registration fees are as follows: golf and dinner, $105; golf only, $70, and dinner only, $35. Payments should be received by June 22. For more information, please email Tricia Hamad at joshuaggolf@gmail.com.

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