Friday, April 16, 2004

Idol's grant used to make gifts

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard
Clay Aiken is the top American Idol for local youth with disabilities in the high tech program at the Work Resource Center High School. The students are observing National Youth Service Day today through Sunday.

Students at the center received a $1,000 grant from the Bubel/Aiken Foundation for a class project. The foundation was started by Aiken, who was runner-up on American Idol last year. It promotes inclusion of youth with disabilities.

Resource Center students Carolyn Fitzpatrick (left) and Daphne Debardelaben are participating in National Youth Service Day. They made flower vases that also hold fish and a hydroponic plant that will be given to residents of a nursing home.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/MICHAEL E. KEATING

The grant was used to cover expenses for a project to coincide with National Youth Service Day, a three-day event that mobilizes millions of young Americans to identify and address the needs of their community.

Students at the center used their knowledge about hydroponics and aquatic life to design and make 50 fish and flower vases. The vases will be donated today to the residents at Lincoln Crawford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Walnut Hills.

"I want to give back to people in the community who don't have a lot," said Justin Kuttler, one of the students in the project. "Pets make people happier. We are giving them something to brighten their day."

Aiken was a special-education teacher at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His experience with Mike Bubel, an autism student, led Aiken to set up the foundation.

Top operator

Faymon Roberts, utilities superintendent for the village of Waynesville, has been honored as the top plant operator in Ohio.

The Ohio Rural Water Association has named him "2004 Operator of the Year." Roberts received the award for his innovations at the plant and for teaching other operators.

He has incorporated a process for removing phosphorus and sludge from water in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

"I didn't think I would get this kind of honor because I am just doing my job," said Roberts.

Roberts, 44, has been with the department for five years.

Rod Smith, village manager, congratulated Roberts on behalf of Village Council.

Swimmer speaks

Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. will speak at the American Diabetes Association's America's Walk for Diabetes corporate breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. April 23 at Anthem Blue Cross Anthem & Blue Shield in Mason. The walk will take place Oct. 2 at Sawyer Point.

For more information, call 759-9330 ext. 6668.

On deans' lists

These students have achieved 4.0 grade-point averages and were named to the fall term dean's list at their college or university:

Laura Merk, a sophomore majoring in inter-strategic communications at the University of Kentucky. The Seton High School graduate is the daughter of Lynne and Kevin Merk of Delhi Township.

Kristin Renzi, a senior English literature and creative writing major at Denison University, Granville, Ohio. She has maintained a 4.0 average each semester attended. The Mason High School graduate is the daughter of Deborah and Anthony Renzi of Mason.

Kelly McDonald, a sophomore at Elon University, N.C., who has achieved a 4.0 each semester attended. The Wyoming High School graduate is the daughter of Anne and Timothy McDonald of Wyoming.

Katherine Hunter, a junior psychology major at Wright State University. The Oak Hills High School graduate is the daughter of Jan and Scott Hunter of Bridgetown.

Colin J. Rademacher Jr., a sophomore at Indiana University, Bloomington. The Sycamore High School graduate is the son of Sarah and Colin Rademacher of Symmes Township.

Bryn Nealis, a junior electrical engineering major at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. He is a Mason High School graduate.

To submit an item, please call 755-4165.

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