Tuesday, April 20, 2004

3,166-mile trek to mark his 50th


Good things happening

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Next month, Jim Ray, director of recreational sports at Xavier University, plans to be biking across the country, celebrating his 50th birthday and raising money to benefit Hamilton County Special Olympics.

He will ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla., crossing eight states and covering 3,166 miles.

"My goal is to raise $25,000 from sponsors,'' he said. "I will ride 100 miles a day.''

His wife, Donna, will follow him in the family car, helping him with directions and providing support.

If this task seems insurmountable, remember this is the same Ray who completed an iron man triathlon for his 40th birthday in Clermont, Fla., which included a 21/2-mile swim, 112 miles of biking and 26 miles running. He said he has always been touched by the work he did with Special Olympic athletes.

"I used to work with Special

Olympic athletes who wanted to learn how to swim,'' Ray said. "I would like to raise money to help continue to provide opportunities for our local athletes.''

Hamilton County Special Olympics provides year-round training and competition for the mentally and developmentally handicapped in 24 sporting events.

LifeCenter honors

Several individuals and corporations have received honors from the LifeCenter Organ Donor Network.

The Hoxworth Blood Center and Check 'n Go each received the corporate award for dedication and innovation in helping to increase organ and tissue donation, said Jeff Lueders, manager of public affairs for LifeCenter.

Nancy and Jerry Hollenkamp received the Paul Hackman Award as ardent supporters of LifeCenter and organ and tissue donation.

The award is named after Paul Hackman, a kidney transplant recipient and a LifeCenter volunteer. Hackman was on the relay team in Cincinnati that carried the Olympic torch in 1996 on its way to Atlanta.

Also honored for their contributions were volunteers David Young, a heart transplant recipient, and his wife, Marilyn, of Oxford; Leonard Larry, a heart transplant recipient, of Bond Hill; and Ann Byrd, a member of a donor family from Walnut Hills.

This column, "Good Things Happening," received the media award for helping to increase awareness of organ and tissue donation.

LifeCenter Organ Donor Network is the Greater Cincinnati organ recovery agency.

Generous with the lettuce

White Castle System Inc. presented Easter Seals of Southwestern Ohio with a $53,845 contribution in its mission of helping children with disabilities.

The donation was presented at the White Castle restaurant at 125 Plaza Drive in Cold Spring.

The company has donated more than $350,000 to Easter Seals since 1990.

Positively kids: Leadership forum

India Chambers of West Chester Township was selected to participate in a National Youth Leadership Forum on Law in Washington.

She was chosen based on her academic achievements and interest in the legal profession. The curriculum is based on actual events, allowing participants to learn from examples set by attorneys and court officials from municipal court to the U.S. Supreme Court.

India also was nominated to participate in the Presidential Classroom program. A junior at Summit Country Day School, she hopes to study corporate law in college.

Honor band

These McAuley High School students were selected by audition to the Ohio Music Education District 14 Honor Band: junior Christine Fuchs, of White Oak, clarinet; and senior Angie Nuhn, of Springfield Township, bassoon.

Drill competition

Brad Koon, a junior at Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville, Ga., is a member of the Riverside Drill Team, which placed first overall at the Georgia State Drill Team Championships in March. The team will compete in the National Drill Competition in Daytona Beach, Fla., on April 30.

Brad is the son of Donna and David Koon of Loveland.

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3,166-mile trek to mark his 50th

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