Saturday, January 3, 2004

Veteran to enjoy bit of pampering

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Ibrahim Sahli has served his country for four years and now plans to go to school with help from the G.I. Bill. But before returning to civilian life, he will enjoy a little pampering from a group of downtown businesses.

Sahli was the winner of "Stars and Stripes, Thank You Campaign."

"We wish we could have pampered all the nominees,'' said Nancie Florian, one of the campaign organizers. The campaign took place in November to select a serviceman to receive the package, valued at close to $3,000.

"We had 23 nominees. The winner was selected randomly by a computer. Four people nominated Sahli,'' Florian said.

Sahli, 24, said he was surprised and gratified. "This is great. I had no idea what was going on until I received a call that I had won,'' Sahli said.

Sahli, a 1998 graduate of Little Miami High School, was born in Beirut, Lebanon. His first assignment in the military was in Japan, and he has served in Kuwait and participated in the liberation of Baghdad, Iraq.

His package includes dental and eye care services, retail merchandise, an overnight stay at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, dinner at the Palace Restaurant and tax preparation services.

Florian said the group will conduct the campaign quarterly, selecting a firefighter, police officers and two service workers.

The businesses are Salon Urbanity, Dr. Walter E. Gay Jr., Richter & Phillips Jewelers, Clark, Schaeffer, Hackett & Co., Drs. Richard and Ira Abrahamson, Lazarus-Macy's, Hilton Netherland Plaza and the Palace Restaurant.

8 local arts finalists

Eight local students were among 22 finalists in the Ohio Arts contest.

They are Brittany Lee Wheeler of Anderson High School, finalist in voice-mezzo soprano; April H. Yee, Cincinnati Country Day, a finalist in nonfiction writing and merit award in short-story writing; Lindsay Margaret Scheer, Walnut Hills High School, a merit award in voice-soprano; Megan E. Freshley, School of Creative and Performing Arts, merit award in poetry; and Lauren Kimberly Shipp, Turpin High School, honorable mention in poetry.

Jeremy Alexander Williams, Walnut Hills High School, honorable mention in voice-contralto; Richard Winkelmann, Walnut Hills High School, merit award in jazz-double bass; and Zach B. Albers, Western Brown High School, honorable mention in voice-tenor.

Completes training

Second Lt. Daniel Boeh Jr. has completed his pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., receiving the Air Force Association Award for the highest grading in his class. After survival training, he will fly the C-17 Transport out of Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

The Archbishop Moeller High School and Ohio State University graduate is the son of Deborah Boeh of Morrow and Daniel Boeh Sr. of Milford.

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NKU frat entertains kids

Many of the programs of Northern Kentucky University's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity involve volunteer work with area kids.

For the third year, the fraternity sponsored the Christmas Buddies Party in December for the Cincinnati Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. With the help of Steinford Toy Foundation, Covington, and the Kappa Delta Sorority at NKU, the fraternity was able to give 115 kids Christmas presents.

Tye Mortensen, president of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter, said the children were mostly from underprivileged families, and many from single-parent homes.

"These kids have a hard time getting what they need to get by in life, much less things for fun,'' said Mortensen, an NKU senior. "That is what we are trying to do here - give them some fun.''

Mortensen said kids from the Dayton, Ky., school district enjoyed food, drinks, games, movies, music and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

He said they chose to host the party on the NKU campus to give the kids exposure to a college campus life.

"Putting the idea of college in the minds of youth is never too early,'' said Micah Preston, a frat member.

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