Wednesday, March 17, 2004

'Out of the blue' came a miracle

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

Musician Eric Bair has arranged a benefit concert to raise money to help United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati get a new van.

On Jan. 21, the handicapped-accessible van that sat at the agency's office on Victory Parkway was broken into, hot-wired and driven away.

Bair heard about the theft and decided to help the agency pay for a new set of wheels.

The concert is planned for 8:30 p.m. March 26 at the Southgate House, 24 E. Third St., Newport.

Bair's band, New Machines, will be joined by Shepherd's Pi, Worth, The Mini Thins, Mohenjo Daro, Pawpaw's Dawg, Krinj of Lexington and We Electricity of Dayton, Ohio.

Singer Dave Hawkins will also perform.

The cover charge is $5.

Bair said part of the money will be used to help provide assistance to riders who were affected by the recent Metro price increases for Access service for people with disabilities.

Effective Feb. 1, Metro added a new weekday Access zone charge of 50 cents on trips that cross a Metro zone boundary or are outside the city of Cincinnati. Access service for people traveling within the Cincinnati city limits did not increase.

"I started thinking of a benefit concert when I heard about the Access rates going up because of a lack of funding," Bair said. "Then when the UCP van was stolen, I knew they also depended on Access.

"I decided to have a combined concert, to raise money to get a van and to set up some kind of fund to help people who have to depend on Access for transportation."

Patricia Gaines, development director for the local United Cerebral Palsy unit, said the van provided rides to people with moderate and severe disabilities to a wide range of functions, including job interviews, meetings on benefits and Social Security issues, medical appointments, community events and grocery shopping.

She considers Bair's offer to help a miracle.

"He just came out of the blue and said, 'I want to do a benefit concert to help get another van,'" Gaines said.

"This means a lot to us. It is also good to see a young person concerned about making things right."

Clean house for cancer

The new manager of the Discovery Shop, the American Cancer Society's resale shop in Dillonvale, is counting on spring cleaning to help in the fight against cancer.

Emily Fagel of Anderson Township hopes donations of gently-used clothing, furniture, accessories and knick-knacks will pour in this spring.

Fagel has a long relationship with the Cancer Society and has lost close friends and relatives to the disease.

She has a degree in organizational communications from Xavier University and retail experience in sales and visual merchandising from the Gap.

"I am hoping to bring my retail experience to the Discovery Shop to bring in more business," Fagel said.

"We would love to have everybody think of us during spring cleaning."

Fagel has set up a partnership with Hercules Moving & Storage, which will offer free pickup at scheduled times.

Fire officer finishes program

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP - Veteran Deerfield Township Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Nathan Bromen recently completed the Executive Fire Officer Program.

The program is designed to provide senior fire officers with a broad perspective on various facets of fire administration and offers them expertise. Each of the four required courses mandates a written applied research project to demonstrate application of course theory and concepts to real-life situations. After completing the courses, participants are required to complete a research project in their own agencies.

Bromen has been with the Deerfield Township Fire Rescue Department since it was formed in 1998.

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