Saturday, February 21, 2004

Cancer group seeks 'heroes'

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

You don't have to tell Sylvia Boczicevich what it means to be an unsung hero.

Boczicevich's daughter, Alyssa, 23, was one of the Cancer Family Care's 2003 Unsung Heroes, and now the organization is seeking nominations for this year's awards.

Here is how Boczicevich described her daughter:

"Alyssa Boczicevich is a hero because everyone she meets rests easier at night," her mother said. "She shows us all that life can and does go on. She comforts our fears that if cancer hits our own life, we will be able to face it. She teaches us that we are exactly the same person inside, even if our hair is gone or we are not quite as strong as we used to be.''

Andrea Herzig, marketing and outreach director for Cancer Family Care, offered some suggestions on whom the agency wants to recognize.

"If you have had cancer or lived with and helped to care for someone with cancer, we want you on the honoree list,'' Herzig said. "We are looking for cancer patients, caregivers and oncology professionals to be honored with the second annual Joslin Haggart Yeiser Unsung Hero Awards.''

Herzig said to nominate a person, write a letter of no more than 600 words to describe the nominee's special traits that make him or her an unsung hero. The nominee must live or work in Greater Cincinnati. Full name, address and phone number should be included.

The letter - with name of the nominating person, daytime phone number and address - should be sent to Unsung Hero, Cancer Family Care, 2421 Auburn Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45219, or e-mail

Deadline is March 12. Information: 731-3346.

Boy Scout honored

Larry Hoffman, 13, a Boy Scout, is a prime example of the Scout motto, "Be prepared.''

He was prepared last year when a 10-pound rock shattered the windshield of the family van while his brother, Chuck, 18, was driving. Chuck was knocked unconscious.

Larry's Scout training and quick thinking took over. Larry unbuckled Chuck's seat belt, climbed into the front seat, removed his brother's foot from the gas pedal and guided the van to a safe stop.

For his efforts in protecting his brother and sister, Amy, 15, who also was in the van, the Pleasant Run Middle School seventh-grader has received the Boy Scouts of America Dan Beard Council Heroism Award.

Larry is the son of Ramona and Chuck Hoffman of Colerain Township.

Latrice Douglas and Tamara Williams, seniors at Miami University majoring in social work, realize it took hard work but also help from others to get where they are today.

Now, the two are giving back by spending time and offering guidance to at-risk high school students.

Douglas and Williams have started a project called Straight Paths Mentor Program. They spend three days a week with students, introducing them to college life, faculty and students at the university.

Activities include visiting the Miami University libraries and helping students write journals about their feelings and experiences.

Williams said they hope to turn Straight Paths into a nonprofit and expand it to include all Cincinnati Public schools. Douglas is a 1994 graduate of Winton Woods High School. Williams graduated from Woodward High School in 2000.

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