World Water Day makes waves across Cleveland
CLEVELAND, March 22, 2013 – The existence of water is essential for life on earth, and no one understands this better than Erin Huber, the Executive Director of "Drink Local. Drink Tap.," (DLDT). On March 22nd, Huber and DLDT will team up with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to celebrate the United Nation's International World Water Day.
Water--something that so many of us take for granted--is a remarkable resource. It makes up 65 percent of the human body, and covers 70 percent of the earth's surface. Yet, an astonishing 780 million people lack access to clean water, triggering many to call it the "new oil," as shortages increase.
DLDT is a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization, with a goal to reconnect people to our water resources in Cleveland. According to Huber, "There are numerous reasons to pay attention and protect our community water sources." World Water Day is an opportunity to do so and spotlight and educate the public.
Each year, Huber and DLDT do their part to participate in World Water Day. Themes around the world for the national holiday exist in order to bring attention to the importance of freshwater resources. This year's international theme is "international water cooperation."
Together, DLDT and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium will bring approximately 300 students from area schools to the aquarium for a day of water education, celebration and awards (including special guest, councilman Joe Cimperman The event, which is the largest celebration of water in Cleveland, will take place from 10:00am-1::30pm on March 22nd 2013, and students will be able to explore the aquarium, visit interactive learning stations provided by multiple local companies, including the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland Division of Water, Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners and the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Students will also carry with them throughout the day a two-liter water bottle to honor children around the world that who are forced to carry these large jugs, just to have access to clean drinking water, which can be miles from their home. This helps tie in this year's global connection theme. From 12:30pm-1:15pm, students will receive awards for their actions for water and, weather permitting, the students will go outside to pour water into the Cuyahoga River while having a moment of silence to remember their friends in the world who are suffering without safe water access.
Later that night, the World Premier FUNdraiser for the DLDT's documentary, "Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda," will be held at Terminal Tower from 6:30pm-10:30pm. To celebrate the occasion and World Water Day, the city of Cleveland is also getting involved. Terminal Tower will be lit blue that evening to mark the international holiday and DLDT's mission. The documentary captures the connection of water-rich Clevelanders to a rural village in Uganda, Africa, and shows DLDT's journey to Uganda for 30 days in 2011 to build a borehole in the community to allow clean water access to the town. This project was completed at an orphan school during a 40-day trip in 2012.
The private screening of "Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda" is expected to be attended by 100+ people, and will be followed with a celebration including African dancers and a DJ. All funds raised throughout the day will help support the DLDT's next water project.
Drink Local. Drink Tap. is a non-profit organization that focuses on reconnecting people with local water in tangible activities. These activities include educational events, beach cleanups, World Water Day celebrations, public speaking, art and filmmaking. For more information of the organization visit www.drinklocaldrinktap.org.
American Red Cross to Honor Geauga and Lake County Heroes
The American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio will honor local heroes in Geauga and Lake Counties at a breakfast on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 8 a.m. at LaMalfa Centre, 5789 Heisley Road in Mentor, Ohio. The Red Cross will recognize and pay tribute to those who have shown extraordinary courage, compassion, character or humanity by saving or improving the lives of others. These values mirror those that motivate and inspire the work of the Red Cross. The breakfast is presented by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and the Wernick Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.
Additional sponsors include Lakeland Community College, Lake Health, BNY Mellon, Lubrizol, University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, Fairmount Minerals, Matthew Dolan, and Cohen and Company.
During the event, the Red Cross will also recognize Jack Sherwin as its 2013 Community Leader Award recipient. Mr. Sherwin’s outstanding leadership and service to community promotes the values that motivate the work of the Red Cross. Mr. Sherwin has been a loyal philanthropic partner of the American Red Cross, the Cleveland Foundation, Hawken School and the Holden Arboretum, among others. Past recipients of the award include Dr. Morris Beverage, Jr., Harry Allen, Jr., and Fairmount Minerals.
The following Geauga and Lake County heroes will be honored for their good deeds and actions:
Thomas Benda, Nominated by Lubrizol
Thomas Benda was employed for many years with The Lubrizol Corporation in Corporate Environmental, Health, & Safety where he was recognized for his achievements within the organization. After retirement Tom put forth his energy and experience, serving the community by volunteering for a variety of organizations.
Tom has served on the Chardon St. Mary's Parish Council, volunteered for the Lakeland Foundation, served as a board member for the Lake County United Way Services, is on the University Hospitals Board of Directors, and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of University Hospitals Extended Care Campus at Heather Hill. If that’s not enough, Tom is also a lifetime Eagle Scout and has served on the Greater Western Reserve Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Tom’s leadership and participation throughout the community have had an impact on many lives in both Lake and Geauga Counties.
Cardiac Response & Catheterization Team, UH Geauga Medical Center, Nominated by LouAnn Marx
The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is part of University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center’s (UH GMC) Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute. Part of the program’s success is a team focus on the most important factor when working with a patient: Time is muscle.
The lab treats patients suffering from an ST-Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) using Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), meaning patients receive treatment faster and the hospital is able to serve the community more effectively.
UH GMC has been part of a C-Port study that allows cardiac intervention without surgical backup, and is one of a few facilities in the country to practice this method. To minimize the time from when the incident occurs to when treatment is received, multiple departments must be organized to coordinate the rapid deployment and transfer of care.
Since hiring interventionist Dr. Gregory Stefano, the average door-to-balloon time for the lab is 60 minutes, and the ability to perform needed angioplasty within 90 minutes of arrival is at 91 percent. At UH GMC, there have been more than 350 interventions with a 0% mortality rate along with no emergency open heart procedures. In January of 2013, UHGMC was re-designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center – Cycle IV; due to the great work of the Cardiac Response Catheterization Team. To receive this designation, a facility must exemplify an operational model for the care of cardiovascular patients;
Jim Channell, Nominated by Eugene Lutz, Jr. Fire Chief, Madison Fire District
On Sunday, May 27, 2012 a seven-foot wave crashed over the break wall at Madison Township Park, surprising beachgoers and sweeping four children out into Lake Erie. The wave was the result of a phenomenon on Lake Erie and other lakes called a seiche which is similar to a tsunami.
The seiche pulled the kids about a half-mile off shore, past the break wall. As they struggled to stay afloat, bystander Jim Channell utilized his Jet Ski to quickly reach the children and pull them to safety. When the fire and EMS crew from the Madison Fire District arrived at the scene they found four young children who were frightened but healthy and uninjured.
Brent Gardner’s 3-6 grade English Language Arts Students, Nominated by Dr. Gina Symsek
Twenty-eight students from the Berkshire Local School District were inspired to creatively integrate reading and citizenship to raise funds to support the Superstorm Sandy and chose to support the relief efforts of the American Red Cross. To accomplish this, their teacher, Brent Gardner, put forth a challenge to increase the number of books they read. The students secured monetary donations and sponsors based on the number of pages they read. The students were self-motivated as well as motivated as a group, often discussing the books they were reading and the money they raised. This creative approach to reading simultaneously encouraged a sense of community and charity.
The students read approximately 3,462 pages throughout the semester and collected $3,400. The students were proud of their reading accomplishments and enthusiastic about making their total donation. This group of students and their teacher are great examples of what engaged learners and community participants can accomplish when inspired.
Giving Hearts Food Pantry, Nominated by Dr. Morris Beverage, Jr.
“Students helping students” is the motto of Lakeland Community College’s Giving Hearts Food Pantry, established by the Hispanic Union student organization during the fall semester of 2011. The pantry was created to aid current Lakeland students who are experiencing challenges in life and cannot afford food. The program provides a convenient location on campus for those in need of assistance. The easy access encourages students to remain in their classes, continue learning and accomplish their educational goals without worrying about the basic need for food.
Since the November 2011 launch, the pantry has assisted over 150 students and has distributed more than 2,000 food items. The Hispanic Union receives donations from faculty, staff, students and community members and receives guidance from their advisor, Hispanic Program Coordinator, Ana Garcia Snider. Departments such as the Lakeland Library support the program by allowing students to donate nonperishable food items in lieu of fines for late books. Through Ana’s guidance and the dedication of the students, this program is providing much needed assistance and inspiring others to respond.
Richard Kessler, Nominated by Cynthia Vidmar
Since retiring from his role as CFO of Oglebay Norton, Richard Kesslar has helped many individuals and organizations through his personal involvement, financial assistance and his devotion to seeing projects to completion. As a volunteer, Dick serves as the Executive Director of the Society for Rehabilitation, a board member at Lake Erie College, trustee of the Lakeland Foundation, and as an advocate for Lifeline Inc.
Dick is also a former board member at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School and Hospice of the Western Reserve, former president of Boys and Girls Club, and a campaign cabinet member at United Way of Lake County.
The best example of Richard’s devoted service is his role as Executive Director of the Society for Rehabilitation, a full-time position he fills as an unpaid volunteer. The Society for Rehabilitation is a nonprofit organization that serves adults with physical disabilities. In addition to the day-to-day administration of the organization and fundraising, Dick takes a personal interest in their clients by teaching people how to use public transportation, enabling clients to read, arranging transportation when public transit is closed and cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the clients each year.
Lake County Superintendents, Nominated by Lake Health
Perhaps one of the most valuable attributes leaders can possess is good judgment. School superintendents are leaders who must use good judgment in setting clear goals of educational success for their community. Regardless of social and economic challenges, the twelve superintendents of Lake County Educational Service Center continually work to rally, unify, and focus their communities toward improving student opportunities for knowledge, technology, and successful personal growth. Recognizing the importance of the teachers in each school, they work closely with the educators to provide the most benefit to students.
By implementing the essential elements of: understanding the ever-changing educational landscape, providing open communication and idea exchange, allowing for greater creativity and offering wise foresight and timing, they were able to meet their many challenges. E-classes, improved nutrition and safety, and advanced learning opportunities such as the “post-secondary option” programs are just a few examples of how the school system is working towards meeting high demands with extremely limited budgets.
The proof of their success is that, year after year, Lake County is among Ohio’s highest performing counties for education.
Patricia Mackey, Nominated by Lake County Council on Aging
Patricia Mackey has been a volunteer with Lake County Council on Aging (LCCoA) since 1995 when she joined the board of trustees. Patty’s extensive work in the community has created a strong network of resources which she uses to help both individuals and organizations.
“It’s all about helping others,” stated Patty. “I am blessed to have connections with the Council on Aging and the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging and to be able to tell others where to turn when they need help.”
Patty’s devotion to helping those around her is exemplified in her friendship with a woman we will refer to as “Anna.” Anna, a retired nurse’s aide, does not have family in the area so Patty made a point of regularly checking in, taking her to doctor’s appointments and stopping over with dinner to visit. Even while Patty went through her own battle with cancer she checked in on Anna regularly and used her network to ensure that Anna was always cared for.
Patty’s unwavering devotion to friends and her community has made a difference in the lives of countless individuals.
David E. Ripple, Nominated by Wells Fargo
After 36 years of service as a Technology Manager with Lubrizol, David Ripple retired and made volunteering an important part of his life. For the past nine years David has been a loyal volunteer with AARP and RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program). In his volunteer role as a tax preparer for elderly, disabled and low income individuals in Lake County, David has completed over 1,300 tax returns.
As part of this service David meets with individuals who are in need of his time and expertise at the Willoughby and Fairport Harbor Senior Centers and the Mentor and Kirtland Public Libraries from February through April each year. To maintain this role David must annually attend twenty-four hours of classroom instruction and pass an IRS qualifying test. David’s guidance and the gift of his time and expertise takes a great burden off of many individuals who would struggle to complete their tax forms each year.
Sue Wisdom, Nominated by American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio Emergency Services Team
Sue Wisdom, a longtime resident of Lake County, has been a Disaster Action Team volunteer with the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio for eight years. Beginning with Hurricane Katrina, Sue has responded to nineteen Disaster Relief Operations. Seven of these responses were within the state of Ohio including the 2006 Lake County Floods, 2007 Train Derailment in Painesville and the 2011 Fairport Harbor Explosion. Most recently Sue was deployed to assist with relief efforts for Superstorm Sandy.
Over the years Sue has taken on leadership roles within the organization including volunteer work as a Disaster Instructor, acting as a team leader during Perry Nuclear Power Plant drills, and regularly heading up volunteer responses as a Disaster Action Team Leader. Sue’s primary responses are to house fires within Geauga and Lake Counties, where in 2012 alone, she assisted with 47 client cases.
For further information on the Geauga and Lake Counties Heroes event, contact Manager of Special Events, Andrea Bender at 216.431.3060 or email@example.com or visit redcross.org/greatercleveland. You may also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio saves and improves the quality of lives as the community leader in emergency preparedness, responding to disasters with humanitarian aid and providing health and safety training.