Sunday, April 18, 2004

Event to honor donor families

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

As Melissa Holliday coordinated the Donor Family Recognition Ceremony set for 2 p.m. today, she could reflect on an incident that changed her life 13 years ago.

Her sister, Dee Dee Mitten, then a student at the University of Cincinnati, became an organ donor.

"She was injured in a car accident and was brain dead. The organs she donated saved the lives of five people," Holliday said. "At the time, I was a pediatric care nurse."

Holliday is now manager of family services at Life Center Organ Donor Network, the Tristate organ recovery agency.

The donor family recognition ceremony will be at the Oasis Conference Center, 902 Loveland Miamiville Road, Loveland.

Melissa Holliday, the manager of family services for Life Center Organ Donor Network, sits next to a photo of her sister, Dee Dee Mitten, who was killed Jan. 27, 1991, in a one-car accident. Melissa's sister was an organ donor. Melissa is the chairperson for the Donor Family Recognition Ceremony to be Sunday in Loveland.

The event is held each year during April, which is Donate Life Month, said Jeff Lueders, public affairs manager for Life Center.

"It will feature a donor remembrance slide show," Lueders said.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. E. Steve Woodle, a transplant surgeon and director of the Division of Transplantation at the UC Medical Center.

Woodle also is a liver transplant recipient.

Team members of A Ride Across America are scheduled to appear.

They are Kevin Monroe, a kidney donor to his late brother, Elliot Monroe; Chad Monroe, son of Elliot; Greg Monroe, a diabetic; Erin Erdahl, heart recipient; Victor Halada, kidney and pancreas recipient; Brian Hinsley, liver recipient; Tom Zech, brother-in-law of Elliot; Adam Pendergast, a friend; Steve Strunk, a diabetic; and Brian Kootz, son-in-law of Elliot.

A Ride Across America is a nonprofit organization formed to raise public awareness for the need for organ and tissue donors.

The 15-city tour started in Santa Monica, Calif., and will end in New York City in April.

Education fellow

A former Cincinnatian is one of 35 people to be named an American Council on Education Fellow for 2004-05.

She is Holly Stadler, head of the Department of Counseling and Counseling Psychology in the Auburn University College of Education.

Stadler is the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Stadler of Mason.

She is a 1967 graduate of Walnut Hills High School. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1970, a master's degree in 1972 and a doctorate in 1975, all from Purdue University.

Stadler was also presented with the Auburn University President's Award for Excellence.

Dinner honors church spirit

For 79 years, the Wesley Foundation United Methodist Campus Ministry in Cincinnati has been reaching young people on college campuses to spread the Gospel.

This year, the organization will have its first Spirit Award Dinner to honor those who have helped it reach about 250 students each year.

The organization will honor Elizabethtown United Methodist Church, the Rev. L.H. Mayfield and a layperson, Robert Vandegriff.

"We wanted to hold up a smaller church and honor them for their commitment to our causes and their contributions," said Paul Sittason Stark of the decision to honor the 200-year-old Elizabethtown church. Stark, director of the Wesley Foundation and campus minister, said the 37-member church has been donating $100 per month for the last four years to the organization.

"It's a wonderful congregation of people, and they've always found ways to be involved," said Pastor Jack Marsh.

Mayfield was a pastor of the Mount Auburn United Methodist Church and a chaplain at Christ Hospital while serving as a member of the board of directors for the Wesley Foundation during a time when the ministry built a house near the University of Cincinnati campus.

And Vandegriff, who attended UC after serving in World War II, was the organization's treasurer for 42 years.

"He's one of those people who is reliable and constant," Stark said.

The dinner is May 4. Call 861-2929 for more information.

Young adults to meet

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati's Young Adult Ministry Series "Theology on Tap" begins this Thursday at the Village Tavern, 9390 Montgomery Road, Montgomery. The series, which has events scheduled through June 10, runs at 7 p.m. every Thursday with dinner and drinks, followed by speakers on a variety of religious topics.

For more information, visit

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