Sunday, September 23, 2001

Individuals raise a lot of money


Some good news

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OK, Tristaters, cheer up. Things are not as bad as they seem.

        Yes, we all were shocked into numbness over the disasters in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11. We had never seen anything like that and God help us, we hope we never will again.

        There are silver linings, although nothing can erase the suffering of and sadness for the victims. But Americans are showing a lot of compassion and a lot of patriotism.

        Look around at the good that is being done on your street, in your community, among churches, civic groups, Scouts, lodges, businesses and people who are pitching in to help the disaster victims.

        That is good news and that is what I will be writing about.

        It is time for a breath of fresh air. It is time to talk about the good side of a nation and its people, not just in response to the disaster, but in a year-round chronicle.

        In this column, called “Some Good News,” I am going to write about the good deeds, the acts of compassion, the good Samaritans, the Tristaters working together, the outstanding achievements.

        You tell me and I will tell the world.

        Even in the midst of the tragedy, we could see goodness flourishing: firefighters and police, volunteers, emergency workers risking their lives to save others.

        We witnessed a miserable picture of destruction, but our hearts were touched when we saw a white fire fighter leading a blind black man through the mess.

        Maybe, just maybe, it's time to start looking every day at the good things we do in this land of liberty.

        Here is a sampling:

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        Two couples sat outside of Kroger in Hyde Park Plaza for six hours last Sunday and collected more than $6,000 for the American Red Cross.

[photo] Children help assemple flag pins at the home of Marci Wheeler (right) in Loveland. Families in the neighborhood are selling pins to raise money for AmeriCares.
(Michael Snyder photos)
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[photo] Curtis Bonhoff, 11, of Loveland assembles a flag pin made of beads on a safety pin.
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        Tonya Cowan enlisted her husband, Aaron, and her best friend of 22 years, Karen Peter, along with her husband, Dave, a Norwood firefighter.

        Mrs. Cowan picked up disaster relief stickers from the Red Cross and spoke to the manager at the Hyde Park Kroger about setting up a table.

        “It was amazing how quickly donations started pouring in. It was so heart-warming to see the good that was coming out of this tragedy,” Mrs. Cowan said. “Almost no one passed without donating something. Little kids brought money from the piggy banks. We made red and blue ribbons, and everyone wanted to wear them to show their support.”

        After six hours, they had collected $6,079.96.

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        READING — Sister Judith Wessels said SS Peter and Paul parish collected $500 for the Red Cross at last weekend's festival. Donors were given flags and lapel pins.

        One donation was a man's $125 winning lottery ticket.

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        SYMMES TOWNSHIP-The Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, 11381 Montgomery Road at Harpers Station, spread its wings in an act of kindness. Employees started raising money for disaster relief. Their plans are to raise $911.01 (the date of the attack), said Lexie Smallwood, a manager.

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        GOSHEN — Lives lost in the attack on the World Trade Center are being remembered with white ribbons at Goshen High School. Student council members also collected $477.39 for the American Red Cross.

        The caring fever spread in Goshen's schools. After getting permission from her principal, Courtney Mulvaney and a friend gave up recesses to collect money at Marr-Cook Elementary (grades K-4). They collected $165.79. Spaulding Middle School (grades 7-8) collected $387.35. They are still collecting.

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        Office manager Teresa Miller of the law firm of Lerner, Sampson and Rothless downtown, collected from employees for the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. Owners of the firm were so impressed they tripled the amount. Ms. Miller would not say the total amount, but that it is in five digits.

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        MONTGOMERY — A lemonade stand turned into a collection station for Red Cross disaster relief last Sunday. Five young girls started collecting from people who drove by. For each donation, the donor received a free soda, tea, water or lemonade.

        Kelli Green of the 12000 block of Cooperwood Lane said the girls had stayed up all night, making mini-American flags with straws, paper and markers. They gave each donor a flag. One motorist gave $20.

        The girls continued collecting after school this week and by Thursday had raised $230. They are Brittany, Kelsie and Sydney, daughters of Ted and Robin Larkin; and Alexandra and Christina, daughters of Noreen and Kurt Bouley.

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        The Maisonette and La Normandie restaurants donated all tips, and kitchen staff, management and owner salaries from Sept. 18 to the American Red Cross. With patrons writing checks at the table, and others tipping the cost of their meals, $8,000 was raised before salaries were tallied.

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        FORT WRIGHT — The 55 employees of Xpedx are donating money and blood and preparing and selling breakfasts to raise money for the American Red Cross Relief fund.

        The home office of the company has pledged $1 million to the fund and will match money each office raises.

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        WASHINGTON — Maj. David Grob, who grew up in Fairfax and now serves in Army Intelligence, expressed his thoughts about the Cincinnati area last week:

        “As a Cincinnati native stationed in D.C. and assigned to the Pentagon, I am thankful for the support that has come from family and friends in Cincinnati. This is the city I know and remember, not the one created by distorted images that were shown in the national media last spring. Not to say that there were and are not real problems, but Cincinnatians can and will forgo those when it really counts. I am proud of you, Cincinnati.”
       

        Allen Howard, who for 25 years has covered the Tristate for The Enquirer, will write “Some Good News” Monday-Friday and on Sundays. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements and about people and groups who are committing random acts of kindness and are working to uplift the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com, or by fax at 768-8340.

       



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