Sunday, March 21, 2004

Champions for Children named

Good things happening

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Two local educators and child advocates will share the 2004 4C Champions for Children awards with Madcap Productions Puppet Theatre founder Jerry Handorf.

The awards will be presented to Milton Hinton and his wife, Betti Hinton, at the 4C Champions for Children Lecture April 1 at the Phoenix, downtown.

"I think it is meaningful because we are receiving the award together,'' said Betti Hinton. "We have worked all our lives doing things for children.''

She is president and CEO of Children's Protective Services' Families Forward. She is responsible for developing and coordinating protective and prevention programs for preschool through adolescent children for non-profit agencies.

She was also a Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year in 2001 and was a Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Award winner in 1996.

Milton Hinton retired as vice provost at the University of Cincinnati in 1992. He was president of the local chapter of the NAACP from 1994 to 2000.

He helped to negotiate a $750,000 settlement of a discrimination lawsuit against Nationwide Insurance in 1999. Part of the money has been used to establish a scholarship program for African American children.

"This is something that will go on even when I am not there,'' Hinton said.

Handorf is a puppeteer with Madcap Productions, which combines giant puppets with actors to create a unique kind of puppet theater. Madcap tours and productions reach more than 462,000 children each year.

The event supports the work of 4C, this region's child care resource and referral service since 1972.

Nigerian now U.S. citizen

A Nigerian native working in the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati congregation was sworn in as a U.S. citizen last week. Sister Victoria Anyanwu said she believes it is part of God's plan to become a naturalized citizen.

"It was a big decision at first about taking my oath,'' she said. "I love my country. It is a part of me, and I will always be Nigerian because it is who I am. But I feel this was God's plan.''

The ceremony took place in the federal building in downtown Dayton, Ohio. She was among 58 people from 16 countries taking the oath.

"It was beyond my expectations. I realized that I could become one of the people who have freedom. I can be who I am without worrying about what might happen. I am grateful I was able to take this big step.''

Sister Victoria lives in Price Hill. She said she is looking forward to voting in November.

Gut-bucket blues at Mad Frog

The lineup resembles a blues singers' Hall of Fame: H-Bomb Ferguson, the Medicine Man, Sweet Alice Hoskins and her band, the Unfinished Business, and Wildey Lane.

They will bring back the gut-bucket blues today at the Mad Frog, 1 East McMillan Ave., Corryville, at 6 p.m.

"We hope to have it two more Sundays,'' said Pete Weast, who is lining up the talent. "Eventually I hope to have it every Sunday.''

FAITH MATTERS: Safety workers honored

Next Sunday, one local congregation is doing more than saying it supports police officers and firefighters.

The members of Covenant Apostolic Church in Springfield Township are having a day devoted to public-safety workers.

The "Back the Badge" service begins at 10 a.m. followed by a reception for officers, firefighters and their families at the church, 7630 View Place. The congregation has sent invitations to Cincinnati-area fire and police stations.

"These people need a blessing because they are in harm's way everyday," said Ruth Fogle, a member of the church. "They have dedicated their lives to going out and protecting us. These people are an arm of Christ reaching out to help us."

The service and appreciation day was something Pastor Shelly R. Hendricks had done successfully in congregations he has led in other cities and wanted to bring to Cincinnati.

"When you do a service like this, we're speaking to them and letting them know that even though we don't always say it, we appreciate their commitment to keeping our families safe," Hendricks said.

In his sermon Sunday, Hendricks said he plans to talk about men and women in the Bible who are called to serve others, the way police and firefighters answered a call to serve in their communities.

Also, several area businesses have donated items to be given as gifts and door prizes at the reception, Fogle said.

"We want to bring people together and say, 'We thank you,' " she said.

For information on the service or reservation-only reception, call the church at 821-1529.

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