Monday, March 15, 2004

'Pig' will tour to fight illness

Good things happening

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Sudsie - the 7,500-pound pig made of Ivory soap - will go on tour in Nicaragua starting in mid-April.

The "Cleaner World, Healthier Kids" tour is sponsored by Matthew 25, a worldwide humanitarian relief organization, and the American Nicaraguan Foundation.

Designer Bev Kirk shows off her latest creation, the world's largest Ivory Soap sculpture of a flying pig, weighing in at close to 7,000 lbs.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
"Plans are to kick off a hand-washing program throughout schools in the Central American country, starring Sudsie," said Brian Bertke, director of corporate donations for Matthew 25. "We are starting a collection of bar and liquid soap nationwide, hopefully to be used for 100,000 children. We need to realize that a simple product like soap can save millions of lives by preventing something as simple as diarrhea."

Bertke said soap collections may be sent to the drop boxes at the Cincinnati Visitors Center at Fifth Third Center where Sudsie is stationed.

Soap may also be mailed to or dropped off at Matthew 25 outlets at 2940 Highland Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45212 and 1425 Loveland-Madeira Road, Loveland, OH 45140

For more information, call 774-9444.

Bertke said Sudsie will visit several large cities in Nicaragua.

The Rev. Wendell Mettey, founder of Matthew 25 Ministries, said after Sudsie makes its final trip, it will be dismantled and distributed to schools in Nicaragua to be used as hand soap.

The giant Boar of Soap pig was sculpted by Bev Kirk of Sharonville last September for the International Economic Development Council conference to show off Cincinnati's history as a producer of soap and swine.

Students get involved

For some Tristate students, community service is becoming a bigger part of their education.

The sophomore class of Mount Notre Dame visited more than 20 community service sites recently. They also took a trip to the Milford Spiritual Center for a day of reflection.

On March 3, the students visited the Civic Garden Center, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Meals on Wheels, where they delivered meals in Blue Ash and Norwood.

They also stopped by the FreeStore/FoodBank; Tender Mercies; Washington Park Elementary School; Cedar Village; The American Red Cross in Blue Ash; Sunrise Assisted Living; Our Daily Bread and Cincinnati Housing Partners.

Cancer awareness

The Witness Project of Cincinnati, an affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, has awarded a $25,875 grant to the Gospel AME Zion Church of Lincoln Heights to develop a cancer awareness program.

GIVING BACK: Steps toward health

Teachers in the Northwest School District are taking a hands-on approach to better health.

The Health Assistance for Northwest District Schools (HANDS) health center started monthly walking challenges for staff members in the elementary schools in the district after it was approached to offer some type of weight or exercise support group.

The health assistance program arranged to buy pedometers from the Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati. The pedometers count each step the teachers take.

Each month, schools compete for the highest step count and the highest daily average per person.

The schools vie for the "We Walk Farther Than You" trophies, which rotate among schools with the highest total count and highest daily average per person each month

In February, Colerain Elementary School had the highest total step count with 9.5 million steps, while Taylor Elementary School finished with the highest daily average step count per person.

"It is really exciting," said Thane Lorbach, director of the school-based health center. "It started with six people and now has grown to about 250 teachers and staff."

Lorbach said the program started at Taylor in December. "We set up an imaginary shopping trip from here to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. We walked about 2.5 million steps in the school before the holiday."

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