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Area resident giving back on unique birth date

12/6/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Copley resident Beth Leipold is hosting a party to celebrate her unique birthday date and benefit Ronald McDonald House of Akron on Dec. 12.
Photo courtesy of Beth Leipold
COPLEY — Beth Leipold thought her unique birthday date this year deserved a celebration.

Leipold’s birthdate is Dec. 12, which mans this year she’ll be blowing out the candles on the 12th day of the 12th month in the year 2012.

“It never occurred to me until a couple of years ago when someone said, ‘Your birthday is going to be 12-12-12,” said the Copley resident. “I thought, I should do something; I should have a party.”

But she didn’t want family and friends to feel obligated to give her presents, which she didn’t need, she said.

Leipold decided to move forward with her party idea and instead use it as a way to bring attention to the needed funds and items for the Ronald McDonald House of Akron, which provides a place to stay for families with children at Akron Children’s Hospital.

As a member of the Junior Women’s Civic Club, Leipold said she has headed up the organization’s annual Charity Golf Classic, which is one of the biggest fundraisers supporting the local Ronald McDonald House. She’s also helped serve meals and cook there over the years.

While she didn’t use the services of the home herself, she did have a personal experience that showed her how important the home is for families of hospital patients.

When Leipold’s first child was born 20 years ago, she had jaundice, which resulted in serious complications that required a blood transfusion when she was 8 days old.

“A friend of mine who was on the board at the time at the Ronald McDonald House said, ‘I know your daughter is in the hospital. If you want to come and put your feet up and grab a soda, you can.’ I didn’t take advantage of it, but I saw then how having that would be an advantage,” she said.

Leipold’s event will take place on Dec. 12 at 12:12 p.m. at St. George’s Family Center, 3204 Ridgewood Road. The cost for the luncheon event is $12.12. The deadline to reserve a seat is Dec. 10.

Those who attend are asked to bring items that are on the Ronald McDonald House’s list of the top 12 needs. The list includes gift cards (for retail and grocery stores), Clorox wipes, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, dishwashing detergent, juice boxes/pouches, individually packaged snacks such as chips or pretzels, individually wrapped candies, individually wrapped granola bars or fruit snacks, condiments, children’s toys and lip balm.

To register to attend, go to www.evoplanning.com/reg istration/chooseCategory/28. Donations also may be sent to Leipold at evoplanning LLC, P.O. Box 14503, Copley, OH 44321, with checks made payable to evoplanning LLC.

Meri Skiera, volunteer and media coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House, said the organization is touched by Leipold’s efforts.

“We’re excited and honored that Beth has decided to do that and make Ronald McDonald House the beneficiary,” Skiera said.

She added she will be at the event to represent the house, and Ronald McDonald also will make an appearance.

The donations will help as the house looks to the future, Skiera said. As part of Akron Children’s Hospital’s plan for a $200 million expansion in the next few years, the Ronald McDonald House also is planning a major addition that will more than double the number of beds — from 20 to 50 or 60 — in the coming years, Skiera added.

She also said the organization will accept items in person at the house between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. The house is located at 245 Locust St. in Downtown Akron.

“We’re also happy to give tours to people who bring donations so they can see our mission and see who it is they are helping,” Skiera said.

The house also accepts donations of items beyond the top 12 list, she said, and that information is available at its website, www.rmhakron.org. For additional information, call 330-253-5400.

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