Thursday, August 5, 2004

Tragedy brings 5 grandchildren into their home

Good Things Happening

Allen Howard

Overnight, the Rev. Rudy Rousell and his wife, Anita, both 52, gained five new members to their household.

The couple took custody of their five grandchildren after their daughter, LaKeesha Tait, 30, was killed June 11 by a gunshot outside her workplace on State Street in Lower Price Hill.

Fred Wills, father of two of the children, has been arrested and charged with shooting Tait.

Rev. Rudy Rousell and his wife, Anita, with their grandchildren, Markayla Tait, 9 (left to right); Dominick Wills, 1, being held by Brandon Tait, 13; Djuan Wills, 2; Arthur Crumpley III, 10; and the Rousells' son, Rudy, 16.
The Enquirer/TONY JONES

"She was just beginning to turn her life around,'' Anita Rousell said of her daughter. "Right now it is our responsibility to take over. We have to start from scratch and do the things she didn't do - and undo some.''

The children range in age from 1 to 13. "I have to go back and train myself how to take care of a 1-year-old,'' Anita Rousell said.

Rudy Rousell, who is on the ministerial staff at Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple in Finneytown, said his background in the church will help them get through it.

"We have received lots of support from friends and church members,'' said Rousell, who was recently appointed chairman of the church Prison Evangelism Committee. "We travel all over the state visiting prisons. It is ironic that ... you are preaching against violence and suddenly your family becomes a victim of what you are preaching against. We have faith that the Lord will get us through this.''

The children are: Dominick Wills, 1; Djuan Wills, 2; Markayla Tait, 9; Arthur Crumpley III, 10; and Brandon Tait, 13.

Rudy Rousell is a manufacturing operator at the Barrs Manufacturing Co., Pleasant Ridge.

Anita Rousell is a homemaker. They have one son, Rudy Jr.

"I was trying to finish my GED when this happened. I had to drop everything and devote my time to the children. What we need now is a bigger place. We have turned our living room into one big bedroom,'' Anita Roussell said.

Free haircuts at Seton

Children who live in the 45204, 45205 and 45238 ZIP codes are offered free haircuts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Seton High School, 3901 Glenway Ave., Price Hill.

The free haircuts are offered by local hairdressers and the Project Daymaker mobile salon. They will be given in conjunction with the sixth annual Price Hill Back to School Fair at the school.

The event is coordinated by Gregg Martini in memory of his brother, Scott Martini, who was killed along with his wife, Pam, and Ken Middendorf in a boating accident in 1999.

"Scott loved working with children who came to his Price Hill salon,'' Gregg Martini said. "We are trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Last year, we had about a dozen cutters and were able to give haircuts to 108 children. We expect about the same number this year.''

Donations can be made to the Price Hill Back to School Fair and sent to The Women's Connection, 4042 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45205.

Gourmet Sensation returns

`A Gourmet Sensation, benefiting Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash, will be held 7-10 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

The event is co-chaired by Lee and Hazeleen Brewster, Kathy and Michael Brown, Chip and Robin Nielsen and Jim and Vivian Schwab.

A wine auction will be held 7-9 p.m., followed by a raffle featuring such prizes as round-trip business-class airfare to any Delta destination in the continental United States, dining and jewelry.

Twenty-one chefs from around the country, including six from Cincinnati, will put on a culinary display of pastries, salads, fish, beef, pork, lamb and rare game.

The four-star Cincinnatian Hotel will offer its services to the event for the out-of-town chefs.

General manager of the Palace Restaurant, Denise Vandersall, will host a dinner on Sept. 10 for the celebrity chefs and upper-level sponsors.

Hospice of Cincinnati is the nation's fourth-oldest hospice and the first to open in Cincinnati, more than 25 years ago.

More than $2.5 million has been raised in 15 years for Hospice of Cincinnati through A Gourmet Sensation.

For sponsorship or ticket information, call 745-1621 or e-mail

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