Jewell Cardwell

It’s fast approaching the time when 75 eligible low-income elderly, veteran and disabled homeowners in Summit County residents get treated to free furnace checks.

It’s all happening the morning of Oct. 6, with participation by more than 100 volunteers from organizations throughout the county.

“We enthusiastically give our support and services to causes that promote community pride and revitalization,” said Lynne Black, executive director of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Akron-Canton chapter, which provides volunteer certified service technicians, service trucks, donated furnace parts and more. “We recognize that healthy, thriving communities depend on involved citizens, organizations, government officials and corporate partners for momentum. Every community has its own challenges, and we strive to be part of the problem-solving initiative with this project. By supporting this event we are giving back to the communities where we have prospered. The joy it brings to those who volunteer and support this effort are indescribable.”

In addition to the local chapter of Air Conditioning Contractors, this campaign is a collaborative effort of Rebuilding Together Greater Cuyahoga Valley, the city of Akron, and Summit County.

Homeowners receive a free furnace check, new filter, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and in many cases on-the-spot repairs. Rebuilding Together executive director Paul Holm called the project “a lifesaver for many people.”

It’s on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 330-773-4100 as soon as possible or email to be considered.

Generous readers

Big, beautiful bouquets to those who reached out to assist the 32-year-old father who lost his night-shift factory job (due to absences related to caring for his three daughters) and in turn his apartment.

Josh’s story in Saturday’s column received overwhelming responses from the local community, many with information on job possibilities, permanent places to stay, backpacks and offers of financial aid.

Josh and his girls — an 8-year-old and 5-year-old twins — are receiving lodging courtesy of Family Promise, which houses families in his situation for up to 90 days in churches and synagogues. Family Promise also provides job leads; many of those I received were passed on to the organization.

He’s very grateful for the community support. As soon as he has a clearer path on what direction his life is taking, I’ll share that information. In the meantime, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Late judge to be honored

The Love Akron Network will honor “three passionate Akron leaders” at its inaugural awards breakfast 7 to 8:30 a.m. Sept. 25 at Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway, Akron.

“The event will recognize the extraordinary leadership, deep faith and community contribution of the late and beloved Honorable Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh,” said Love Akron executive director Mark Ford. “Named in her honor, the Burnham Unruh Servant Award will be presented to an individual who exemplifies the values and leadership traits she modeled so well.

“The event will also acknowledge the collaborative leadership of the Rev. Dr. Ronald J. Fowler and Pastor Knute Larson, co-founders of the Love Akron Network, through the presentation of the Fowler-Larson Allies Award to individuals who embody their guidance and service to our community, as well as their ‘allies’ friendship — despite cultural or denominational differences.” Fowler is pastor laureate of Arlington Church of God, where he served for 42 years, and Larson is the former senior pastor of The Chapel, where he grew attendance to over 8,000, started three new Chapels in neighboring areas and built a second campus in Green.

“The Love Akron Network is all about what our name implies — loving Akron and its people,” Ford continued. The winners of these two new awards will be announced at the breakfast.

Judge Unruh — who served on the Summit County Common Pleas Court and was a valued community leader — lost her cancer battle March 13, 2011. She was 53. She was married to Bob Unruh for 31 years and was the mother of Bradley and Brittany. A portion of the breakfast proceeds will be used to launch One Life at a Time Prison Ministry in her honor.

To RSVP or to make a donation, visit or 330-384-8124. Open seating is $50, with reserved seating options and sponsorships available. Deadline is Sept. 18.

Alzheimer’s board member

Major, major kudos to Hudson resident Joan Uronis, who has been appointed to the National Alzheimer’s Association Early Stage Advisory Board.

“Mrs. Uronis, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s just over a year ago at 61, has been involved with the programs of the Greater East Ohio Area Chapter and will be speaking around the country,” wrote Helen T. Paes, community development coordinator of the Greater East Ohio Area Alzheimer’s Association.

Uronis will serve as an advocate and create greater awareness of this disease “which is at epidemic levels,” Paes noted.

Fuzzy friends

Big, beautiful bouquets to the Bridge Adult Day Services program — operated by Siffrin Inc. —for donating 19 personalized teddy bears to Akron Children’s Hospital this week.

“The Bridge — which provides services to adults with developmental disabilities — visited Build-A-Bear Workshop to create unique, individualized stuffed animals as their donation,” said Siffrin spokeswoman Melanie White.

“The idea to donate stuffed bears to the patients was developed by a staff person at the Bridge, Jody Boyd. Boyd’s previous experience as a mother of two sons as patients at the hospital provided the inspiration for the donation.”

The Bridge program participates in many service projects. Its goal is to help empower people with disabilities to become more involved and independent.

Golf outing

A golf outing is planned to benefit programs of the Stark Social Workers Network.

The Mulligan Golf Classic is planned for Sept. 12, at the Fairways at Arrowhead, 1500 Rogwin Circle SW, North Canton, with registration at 10 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and golf at noon, dinner, basket raffle, 50/50 drawing at 5 p.m.

Golfers play 18 holes. There will be hole-in-one contests, prizes and more.

For more information, please call 330-455-2260 and ask for Teresa. For information about Stark Social Workers Network, please visit

Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or