Sunday, August 22, 2004

Bake sale helps hurricane victims


Good Things Happening

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Five girls in Mason are learning to help others at an early age.

They have been holding bake sales in their neighborhood to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Charley in Florida.

"The idea came while a group was passing out petitions about the war in Iraq, and someone said, 'What about the victims of the hurricane,' '' said Juliette Wheeler, 11, one of the organizers of the bake sale. "We decided we would start baking stuff and sell them to help the victims.''

Joining Juliette are sisters Kelly Snider, 9, and Amy Snider, 12; and twin sisters Lizzie and Jessica Pilsner, 11.

The girls then set up a stand in Juliette's front yard on Nottingham Way Tuesday to sell the baked goods.

"The response from the neighborhood was great,'' Juliette said. "We raised $70.15 the first day.''

Over three days, the kids raised $210, which will be matched by General Electric in Evendale. The money will be presented to the Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Neighbors helped bake goods and run the sale.

"I am just so proud of them,'' said Karen Wheeler, Juliette's mother.

"I think it is great that they have started to learn about what it means to be charitable at a young age."

Raymond Walters scholar

Jennifer Cohen, 19, a 2003 graduate of Milford Christian Academy, has completed her freshman year at the University of Cincinnati's Raymond Walters branch with high honors. She received the 2003-2004 Dean's Academic Summer Scholarship. Her freshman grade-point average was 3.9.

Cohen was elected Student Council representative of the school's Early Childhood Education Learning Community, vice president of the Learning Communities of the college, vice president of the Student Activities Committee and vice president of the college's International Academic Society.

She is the daughter of Steve and Lisa Cohen, Milford.

WWII vets honored

Thirteen local veterans were honored by Montgomery at the city's 15th annual Bastille Day celebration Aug. 3.

Honored were Edward J. Beel, Harry R. Burdick, Donald S. Clark, Paul R. Clark, Vernon D. Clem, Richard J. Flynn, Harold A. Gray, Harry J. Henderly, John W. Holsinger, Walter G. Kistner, Bernard G. Roskopp, James W. Tarvin and Louis E. Thomas.

The veterans had served in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and the liberation of France in 1944.

The event was part of Montgomery's Sister Cities Celebration. It drew praise from Neuilly-Plaisance, France, Montgomery's sister city.

FAITH MATTERS: Synagogue explores heritage

A local synagogue is looking to reach out to people with Jewish or mixed ancestry.

Adath Israel Congregation, 3201 E. Galbraith Road, Amberley Village, will host Open Dor on Tuesday and again on Aug. 31 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. to explore Jewish heritage.

Dor means "generation" in Hebrew, and the program is aimed at people with a Jewish parent or grandparent who have lost touch with Judaism.

"We're trying to attract inter-married people and people who are interested in learning more about Judaism, unaffiliated families and those who have lost interest in religion," said Gary Smith, 55, of Symmes Township, the chairman of Adath Israel's Men's Club.

Often inter-married couples feel awkward in Conservative synagogues because the denomination does not allow rabbis to perform inter-religious wedding ceremonies, Smith said.

"In Conservative Judaism, there's a bit of a wall there, and that wall for non-Jews can be intimidating," he said. "We're trying to dispel that and let them know there's a place for them in Judaism and in Conservative Judaism."

The talks are a part of the synagogue's larger effort to reach out to inter-married couples and families through a national movement called Keruv.

The Hebrew word means "bringing close" or "drawing near," and the program is sponsored all over the country by the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs to give guidance to people touched by inter-marriage in the Conservative denomination.

After the Open Dor program, Adath Israel intends to continue the Keruv program with a four-part discussion group beginning in October for people with children or grandchildren who are or will be inter-married.

"There are a lot of people who have pent up questions about inter-marriage and their family members, and we want to help people deal with those," Smith said.

For more information, call the synagogue at 793-1800.

Girls donate hair to Locks of Love

Three sixth-graders at Blessed Sacrament School, Fort Mitchell, showed love for children who have lost hair because of cancer.

The girls, Kelly Kleier, Hannah Gronotte and Ellen Williamson, all 11, have been letting their grow since third grade to donate to Locks of Love, an agency that collects hair to make wigs for cancer patients.

"It was an emotional moment for the girls,'' said Jane Kleier, Kelly's mother. "I think each girl felt very strongly about donating the hair to such a worthy cause.''

The girls had 10-inch pony tails cut off July 28 at Shabby Chic Salon in Fort Mitchell.

"It was a great example to their friends and family to see three young girls who appreciate their own good health enough to want to do a good deed for kids their age who are not as fortunate,'' Jane Kleier said.

Scrabble star

A game of Scrabble in the Blevins household was a common thing when Ted Blevins grew up in North Fairmount. Practically every night, Blevins and brother Bill, dad Bud, and mom Minnie would turn their attention away from television or anything else and a game of Scrabble would take over.

Ted Blevins, now a sixth-grade science teacher at West Hardin Middle School, Cecilia, Ky., credits that experience for his winning 10th place in the National Scrabble Association's Tournament in New Orleans last weekend.

"I ran against pretty tough competition, but I toughed it out,'' Ted Blevins said. "It was a national tournament, but it seemed more international because the top five winners were from Canada and Taiwan. I have to credit my family for my getting that far in the competition, although playing with my family was much easier than the competition in New Orleans.''

Ted Blevins said he started playing Scrabble at Taylor High School. His brother, Bill, at one time had the highest Scrabble score in North America.

"I have attended five national tournaments and this is the best I have scored,'' Ted Blevins said.

He attended Miami University, Morehead State University, and Murray State University.

He leads a Scrabble club in Elizabethtown.

Monitoring water quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a collaborative agreement with Thomas More College to establish a stand-alone, streamside water-quality monitoring station.

The project incorporates physical, chemical and biological data from the Ohio River at the Center for Ohio River Research & Education at the Thomas More College Biology Field, California, Ky. It is the first of its kind.

U.S. EPA covers expenses for research and pays a fee to lease space.

The package amounts to $15,000 and provides for student interns Jo Hartig and Nathan Klar to participate in the project this summer.

POSITIVELY KIDS: Grant teen competing

LeeAnn Kenney, 14, a freshman at Grant County High School, will be singing the song "Walking on Sunshine" at the Coca-Cola Talent Classic Semi-Finals Competition at the Kentucky State Fair this weekend in Louisville.

The event is a competition for young performers ages 13-21. Preliminaries are held in nearly 40 counties across Kentucky and surrounding states.

The semifinal competition will include an array of talents including singers, dancers, bands and instrumentalists.

LeeAnn sings in her school choir and with youth groups. She is a climber on the varsity cheerleading squad.

Last year, she played Charlotte O'Mara as the lead female actress and singer in the play Magnolia. LeeAnn will graduate from the Barbison School of Modeling and Acting in September. She plans to pursue a career in modeling. She is the daughter of J.R. and Vicki Kenney, Dry Ridge.

Presidential scholars

Seven students from Boone County and 10 from Campbell County will attend the University of Kentucky under presidential scholarships, valued at $20,000 each.

Boone County students are: Joshua Allen Ball, Jennifer L. Baumgardner, Jared W. Bulach, James Marshall Clements, Trajen R. Head, Ryan Hendrickson and Samantha Marie Wenger.

From Campbell County are: Allen Rust, Andrew Edgington, Kristen Frommeyer, Raymond E. Kremer, Jonathan Taylor Manker, David F. McMurray, Elizabeth Munninghoff, Ryan Alexander O'Rourke, Erika Reitano, and Kate Zimmerman.




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