Jewell Cardwell

Big, beautiful bouquets to volunteers with Robinson Memorial Hospital’s Visiting Nurse and Hospice, who have lovingly sewn more than 320 “Memory Bears” since 2008 for families of its hospice patients.

The volunteer seamstresses — Judi Krieger, Karen Terrill, Linda Black, Carol Pillsbury, Karen Hogan, Patti Eichler, Dorothy Wojkiewicz and Ann Mack — sew the bears as something tangible to give to a bereaved family member to ease a hurting heart.

“Many times the bears symbolize and represent a memory of the deceased through a favorite shirt, hat or other item of clothing,” writes Andrea Pettit, the hospital’s marketing and public relations coordinator.

“Over the past years, the volunteers have sewn golf bears, Harley-Davidson bears, Disney bears, Knights of Columbus bears and clogging bears, just to name a few.”

Social worker and bereavement counselor Juanita Greenwood knows firsthand how meaningful the Memory Bears are: “When I deliver the bears, people immediately take them to their hearts and hug them. It seems to be an automatic reaction.”

Bernadette Thomas is coordinator of Hospice Volunteer Services.

Cooking camp kudos

Major kudos to campers at Akron’s Shaw Jewish Community Center’s cooking camp, who not only had a great week learning recipes and trying out new ideas with instructor Julie LeFever, but also prepared a meal for families staying at Ronald McDonald House.

LeFever, who prepares a meal once a month for Ronald McDonald House, worked with the 30 campers on a meal of lasagna, salad, garlic bread and cookies as a mitzvah (good deed) for the house.

Among the campers delivering the huge meal, which served between 50 and 60 people, were Lucy Choken, Nicholas Kil and Haley Cymerman. “Along with the meal, they delivered bags of cookies hand-decorated by the campers with well wishes for the families,” event spokeswoman Megan Simone shared.

“The lettuce to make the salad was homegrown from the Shaw JCC Early Childhood Department’s community garden.”

Hospital donations

Big, beautiful bouquets to Akron General Medical Center’s Women’s Board, which recently distributed more than $250,000 to hospital departments and services:

• Labor and Delivery (for new beds) — $112,295.

• Nursing/Nurse Call System — $50,000.

• Reflections Breast Health Center — $37,297.

• Wound Center — $26,000.

• Visiting Nurse Services Hospice Spa — $20,000.

• Simulation Learning Center — $5,310.

Since its inception 80 years ago, the Women’s Board has raised and donated some $6 million to the hospital.

Bereavement classes

Akron General’s Hospice of Visiting Nurse Services (VNS) Center for Loss and Hope is offering free bereavement classes next month:

• Men Facing Grief — 5 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 13 and 20 at the Hospice of VNS Care Center, 3358 Ridgewood Road, Copley Township.

• When Will I Stop Hurting: Grief and Healing — 1 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 14 and 21 at First Presbyterian Church, 636 W. Park Ave., Barberton.

• The Role of Humor in Grief Recovery — 2 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Hospice of VNS Care Center.

Enrollment is limited. So, please register early by calling 330-668-4662 or 800-335-1455, ext. 4662.

Montford Point Marines

I recently unearthed the names of two more local Montford Point Marines.

They were the first African-Americans to join the U.S. Marines after President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 8802 on June 25, 1941, establishing the fair employment practice that extended to the armed forces. They served in World War II and integrated the military long before President Harry S. Truman formally did so in 1948. It was an ugly time in this nation’s history.

The Montford Point Marines were recently honored for their service and sacrifice with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Missing from my earlier list were Aurelius McMillan Sr., who also worked 40½ years at the U.S. Post Office and died in 1999; and Raymond Jones (no information available).

Clothing needed

Summit County Children Services’ Clothing Center — which distributes new and gently worn clothing of all types to needy families served by the agency — is seeking donations to fill its closets for the start of the school year.

The center desperately needs toddler clothing; boys’ and girls’ clothing sizes 2, 3, 4 and 5; and school clothes and uniforms.

Clothing Center hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays; 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; and 8 a.m. to noon Fridays. Simply come to the agency at 264 S. Arlington St., Akron, and follow the access road to the security entrance.

Pajama Program

The Eastern Ohio chapter of the Pajama Program will set up shop 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Buehler’s (Great Oaks Trail) in Wadsworth to sell hot dogs, chips and beverages on the patio.

The fundraiser benefits the mission of supplying pajamas and books to needy children. Please consider dropping off new children’s pajamas at this time.

For information, contact Patty Gillespie, Eastern Ohio chapter president, at 330-253-5109 or

Spaghetti fundraiser

A spaghetti dinner is planned for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Eugene’s Catholic Church in Munroe Falls to benefit Shield House in downtown Akron, transitional housing to benefit alcohol- and drug-addicted women in early recovery.

Cost is $8. Also on the menu are raffles and pastries. Donations will be accepted. For tickets, please call 330-962-4851.

Golf outing benefit

Cassidy’s Hope Foundation is sponsoring an inaugural golf fundraiser Sept. 29 at Cherokee Hills Golf Course, 5740 Center Road, Valley City, with a 12:30 p.m. registration.

Tickets for the four-person scramble are on sale now. Before Sept. 10, the individual cost is $80; after that, $95. Bagged lunch for golfers and dinner buffet for guests. Dinner is $35. Activities are planned: raffles, 50/50, games and prizes. Hole sponsorships are available.

Mail checks to Cassidy’s Hope Foundation, P.O. Box 434, Valley City, OH 44280. For information, please call 330-483-3232.

The event salutes the memory of Cassidy Erin Jackson, daughter of Pam and Butch Czech. She was 12 when she died of cancer in 2006. Her parents have instituted several programs to promote awareness of childhood cancer and to ease the journey for other families whose children are battling cancer. That includes helping them with finances, donating to research facilities and more.

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