Friday, August 27, 2004

Club a comfort during recovery



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Daniel Rape sits at a piano and starts banging out the song "Happiness.''

He doesn't need music.

"I just need to hear a song once,'' he said.

He then joins others for a game of 500 Rummy at the Just For Us Social Club.

That is a typical routine for Rape and about 20 others suffering from mental illnesses.

"I love this place,'' Rape said. "We can socialize, talk with each other about our problems; and this is a place for us to viewpoint ourselves to society and to ourselves.''

ON THE DEAN'S LISTS
These students have been named to the spring term dean's list at their college or university:

Tiffany Wilson, a freshman in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. The Ursuline Academy graduate is the daughter of Paulette and Hop Wilson of Symmes Township.

Margaret Niehaus-Sauter, a freshman at the Kenyon College. The Summit Country Day School graduate is the daughter of Carol Niehaus of Hyde Park.

Ty Hogan, of Milford, a sophomore attending Fordham University, New York City. He also won a varsity letter in football playing tight end for the Rams.

Janelle Wagner, a senior social work major at Northern Kentucky University. She also has been inducted into the Alpha Delta Mu Chapter of the National Social Work Honor Society. The Sycamore High School graduate is the daughter of the late David Wagner and Leslie Demar of Sharonville.

Funds for research

Natasha Beranek, a senior at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, was awarded funds from three benefactors totaling $1,175 to complete research at the University of California, Berkeley, this summer. Her research of late cretaceous mammals includes a paleontology dig at the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming.

Beranek, a Fairfield High School graduate, also earned a $2,500 Ethel M. Buzby Scholarship.

Wins scholarship

Kevin Simowitz has been awarded a Jefferson Scholarship, providing full tuition and room and board, to attend the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Only 30 awards are offered nationwide.

Kevin, who plans to major in political science and theology, accumulated more than 500 hours of community service while attending high school at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

He is the son of Pat and Steven Simowitz of West Chester Township.

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They call it their rap session. It is a little quality time that gives them comfort.

Tammy Forkner is the club coordinator.

"It is designed for people who are recovering from some form of mental illness,'' Forkner said. "... It makes them feel comfortable being around someone they can share their feelings.''

She said they gather six days a week at the Mitchell Center at 5041 Oaklawn St., Madisonville, between 2 and 6 p.m.

The center is part of the Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services.

They talk about themselves and each other. In between they get in games of cards, checkers and pool; do crafts and sing.

"There are a lot of people who don't know they have a place to go and not be alone,'' Forkner said.

"This is all free. We put up a bulletin board of current events. We let them know they can still vote, regardless of their illnesses. We have outside activities, such as bowling, the Shrine circus; and we give fund-raisers.

"The purpose is to help them get back in to society.''

Rape, 43, lives in Price Hill.

Forkner said the members come to the center from all over the city.

"They range in age from 18 to 65,'' she said.

True gentleman

Chris Speelman, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the Ohio Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, has received the "True Gentleman of the Year'' award.

The honor was given to Speelman at the commencement ceremony at the fraternity's 69th Leadership School in St Charles, Ill., Aug. 3.

The award is the highest honor bestowed upon an undergraduate, said Nick Ziegler, coordinator of publications for the fraternity.

"It is open to any of the 9,000 undergraduates of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in good standing,'' Ziegler said.

"Speelman is an extra ordinary individual and is deserving of this award.''

Speelman, 23, graduated from UC in June with a double major in marketing and finance. He finished in the top 20 of 717 seniors.

He is a member of the undergraduate funding board, order of Omega, Alpha Phi Omega, Golden Key Honor Society and the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society .




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Murray Weiner, doctor, writer, pharmacologist