Thursday, January 1, 2004

Never too late to help others


Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

Christmas 2003 is now in the past, but the spirit of giving continues. Just ask an Over-the-Rhine family that was paired with a Northern Kentucky family five days after Christmas, thanks to an Adopt-A-Family program coordinated by the Rev. Raymond Jones.

Patricia Price and her nine children met with Dan and Kami Wegman of Burlington after the Wegmans decided to help provide Christmas to the Price family almost a week after the holiday.

"We usually get involved in helping people out every Christmas, but this year things were so hectic we didn't get to do it,'' said Kami Wegman. "After hearing about this program, we decided to call Rev. Jones and get involved.''

Kami Wegman is a housewife, and her husband is an engineer for the Norfolk Southern Corp.

"We had matched 500 families with sponsors, but we had 20 people who called on Christmas Day,'' Jones said. "Some we were able to get sponsors immediately. I visited the house of Patricia Price in Over-the-Rhine and saw a refrigerator with absolutely nothing in it. I immediately came back to the office and got on the phone to get help.''

Jones, director of Concerned Citizens Association/Vision, said he will ask his board of directors if he can run the Adopt-a-Family program year-round.

"This way we can match families and have them stay together as long as they want to,'' Jones said. "We hear a lot about racial problems in the city, but through this program we have whites and blacks helping each other.''

On way to degree

Steven Michael Kuess, 23, just earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in the recent quarter at Ohio State University. He spent a few days home for the holiday and is back at the university, getting ready for his final quarter. He plans to earn a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in March.

Kuess, a 1999 graduate of Sycamore High School, is the son of Charles H. and Ann Kuess of Evendale.

"At one time my son talked about getting out of engineering," the father said. "I didn't want him to get out, but I left it to him. I told him if he wanted to get out, do it because you don't like engineering, but not because it is a hard subject."

Charles Kuess is a retired vice president of Structural Dynamic Research Corp. of Milford. "I retired three years ago, and I am teaching a class at Raymond Walters (a branch of the University of Cincinnati) and also a class at Mount St. Joseph College,'' Charles Kuess said.

Acts of kindness

By checking your coat at the upcoming Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show, you can help the St. Vincent DePaul Society raise money for its annual coat drive for the needy.

The show, sponsored by Dodge, runs from Jan. 9-18 at the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center, downtown.

Liz Carter, executive director of St. Vincent DePaul, said the organization is conducting the coat check - and coat collection drive - during the show.

The aim is to raise funds and collect coats for needy neighbors. She said visitors to the show are asked to check their coats for a $1 fee.

New or gently used coats can be donated in specially marked bins inside the lobby of the convention center.

"In addition to the coat collection, the cash proceeds from the coat check will help us provide emergency assistance to those who need help with heating bills and other necessities, until they can make ends meet,'' Carter said.

She said high-school-age or older volunteers are needed to help make the program a success.

St. Vincent DePaul will supply donated coats to their own clients and to other agencies that also work directly with those in need.

Carter said the coat drive and coat check partnership will continue at the Auto Expo, Feb. 25-29, and the Home & Garden Show, March 6-14.

Information: www.hartproductions.com




TOP STORIES
Revelers ring in 2004 under tight security
Direct help coming for sewer woes
Health Alliance, Anthem talks failing
Plan takes on 'black-on-black' crime
2004: Looking Ahead

IN THE TRISTATE
Addyston losing stalwarts
Warren County ballot sparse
From the state capitals
SUV, city house combed for clues
She spends her life helping those who need it the most
Inspector moved on complaint of conflict
History teacher focuses on role of bystanders during events of note
Knowledge game played on local TV
Mason store manager gets police award
Neighbors briefs
Drunken driving statute toughened as 2004 begins
New Year's Day closings
I-270 shootings clues sought
A year of weird headlines puts Ohio on the map
Fertility expert may run for coroner
Former hunters, they focus now on conserving species
Nuns' pizzeria gets breather
Tax repeal try is thorn
Public safety briefs
Discussion, workshops open to community
Tristate Briefs

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Good Things Happening
Crowley: Restaurants want helping from levee

LIVES REMEMBERED
Carol Easton Fox, planner, analyst
James Williams' pastry showed artistry

KENTUCKY STORIES
New crib, playpen law takes effect
Mother, 2 kids killed in blaze
N.Ky. chamber counts ways to find road money