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West Side News & Notes

6/13/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Montgomery becomes deputy director of public service, Williamson retiring

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced June 7 the appointment of Phillip Montgomery, of West Akron, to the position of deputy director of public service. That position is currently filled by Ronald Williamson, who announced he will retire this summer.

“I am very happy to be joining the city in this capacity and welcome the opportunity to serve the citizens of Akron,” said Montgomery. “I have a good working relationship with the mayor and his staff, having worked with them before as a [Ward 8] councilman, and I look forward to this new challenge.”

Montgomery is coming to the city with several years of experience at Time Warner Cable as a senior internal auditor, supervisor and senior manager in finance. He earned a master of business administration from Ohio Dominican University and a bachelor of business administration from DeVry University and has a certification in control self assessment from the Institute of Internal Auditors.

He also is vice chairman of the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, as well as board treasurer of the Community AIDS Network, board member of Towpath Credit Union, 2011 class member of Torchbearers, member of the Gay Games 9 Akron Task Force and one of this year’s 30 for the Future Award winners.

“Phil has immersed himself in the Akron community and has proven to be a hard worker with a passion to serve Akron’s citizens,” Plusquellic said. “He will start in the next few weeks and work side-by-side with Ronnie Williamson to learn the particulars of his new position before Williamson retires. I have no doubt that Phil has the ability to do this job well and competently serve our residents.”

Montgomery’s salary will be $104,353. IBH Foundation starts ACF fund

COVENTRY — The Interval Brotherhood Homes (IBH) Foundation’s Board of Directors established a $12 million charitable fund at the Akron Community Foundation (ACF), making it the largest gift in the ACF’s 58-year history, according to ACF officials.

The IBH Foundation Fund will be used primarily to maintain and improve facilities at the IBH Addiction Recovery Center, a 10-building, 154-acre treatment center in Coventry, officials added.

“While IBH needs money to provide treatment, the IBH Foundation needs money to subsidize the infrastructure and provide supplemental services necessary for long-term recovery,” said IBH Foundation Board Chairman Tim Killian. “It’s more than treatment. It’s about being there for the long-term and creating a permanent lifeline and support system. This partnership with Akron Community Foundation means we will be providing this support in our community forever.”

The IBH Foundation Fund is one of more than 70 agency funds started at ACF by nonprofits seeking a predictable source of income, according to its officials. Agency funds offer the flexibility to meet immediate needs while preserving assets for the nonprofit’s long-term mission.

“As a community foundation, we are uniquely positioned to be an impartial and prudent steward of a nonprofit organization’s funds,” said ACF President and CEO John Petures Jr. “We offer them the peace of mind that their assets are managed responsibly and the assurance that their donors’ gifts are used for the purpose they intended, not just now but forever.”

The IBH Foundation Fund’s establishing gift more than doubles the ACF’s previous record gift of $5 million, which came in February from Medical Mutual of Ohio to start the Medical Mutual Community Investment Fund.

Gifts to the IBH Foundation Fund in honor of a friend or loved one can be made online at www.akroncf.org/give/IBHFoundationFund or by calling 330-376-8522.

For more information about IBH, visit www.ibh.org or call 330-644-4095.


Volunteer Challenge kicks off June 14

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron PeaceMakers and the United Way of Summit County (UWSC) are encouraging local residents to serve others through volunteerism and track their service hours during the “Million Hour Volunteer Challenge.”

The challenge is designed to encourage volunteerism and acknowledge those volunteers already serving in the community. Hours will be logged by the UWSC Volunteer Center on a form at www.uwsummit.org by clicking on the Volunteer tab.

According to the UWSC, local agencies often rely on volunteers to help get the work of their mission accomplished. Akron officials want to count these hours and show off what a giving community Akron is. The challenge will kick off tomorrow, June 14, and run through Sept. 14.

“Many of our citizens already volunteer as individuals, and some in large groups,” said UWSC’s Director of Volunteer Services Andrea Metzler. “Our hope is that you let us know the number of hours you are volunteering so we can meet our challenge goal of 1 million hours served county-wide during a three-month span.”

For those who are not currently volunteering but interested in finding an opportunity, Metzler said they can find current volunteer openings on the website.

The PeaceMakers is a civic/anti-crime program designed to educate Akron youth about their government, community organizations and law enforcement. The group also promotes teen community service and volunteerism through projects and activities. Participants learn about the city’s history, tour city facilities and get a look at how city government works. For more information on PeaceMakers, call 330-375-2712 or go to www.akronpeacemakers.org.

To reach the UWSC, call 330-762-7601.


Community ‘Jewels’ being honored by Leave a Legacy

WEST AKRON — Leave a Legacy® Summit/Portage/Medina will host its 10th annual Voices of Giving Honors Awards June 20 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Portage Country Club.

The event will pay tribute to individuals in Summit, Portage and Medina counties who have chosen to leave a bequest or planned gift to charitable organizations.

The nominees, who are being referred to as the “Jewels of Our Communities,” will be recognized for their participation in leaving their own legacy to local nonprofit organizations. The following will be honored:

  • Peggy Lloyd, nominated by Akron General Foundation;
  • Sandra Kramer, nominated by Western Reserve Public Media;
  • Mary Spicer, nominated by PAWSibilities®, Humane Society of Greater Akron;
  • Phil Tobin, nominated by Hudson Community Foundation; and
  • Don and Darlene Utrup, nominated by St. Vincent-St. Mary High School Endowment.

A special award will recognize an exemplary nominee as the “Crown Jewel” for going above and beyond his or her generosity as a donor by becoming actively involved in their charity of choice. The charity will receive a check underwritten by the Lisle M. Buckingham Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation.

Leave a Legacy is a collaborative effort among nonprofits, financial professionals and the media to create awareness, raise interest and motivate individuals to make charitable planned gifts. The Summit/Portage/Medina Leave a Legacy currently has 72 partnerships that support the organization. It targets the general public with the message that anyone can leave a legacy to support his or her community while still caring for loved ones.

For details, contact Marlene Dunford at 330-633-6995 or MarleneDun@msn.com.


Food insecurity issue for 16 percent of county residents

SUMMIT COUNTY — A new national study shows that 16.1 percent of Summit County residents struggle with hunger.

Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” study, which estimates the rate of food insecurity for both the general population and for children younger than 18, found that 87,090 people in Summit County — including 27,280 children — do not always know where they will find their next meal.

The estimates are calculated at both the county and congressional-district level for the entire United States. Locally, Summit County is served by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, which is part of the Feeding America network.

“In order to address the problem of hunger, we must first understand it,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “We truly value this data that provides specific numbers of food-insecure people in each of the counties we serve.”

By analyzing household income levels, the study reveals that approximately 65 percent of children at risk of hunger in Summit County are eligible for federal nutrition programs like free or reduced-price school lunch or breakfast. But statistics show that approximately 36 percent are not eligible, which means they receive no federal assistance and must rely on programs operated by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

This is the third year Feeding America has conducted the study. The findings are based on statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and food price data and analysis by Nielsen, a global information and measurement company. The study was supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Nielsen and The ConAgra Foods Foundation.

Kat Pestian, communications coordinator for the food bank, said this year’s statistics do show a 0.7 decrease in the numbers of those who are food insecure in the county. She added that of the counties served by the food bank, Summit County is still the one with the highest percentage of food-insecure residents.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 50 million people nationwide are food insecure.

“Food insecurity is one of the leading public health challenges in the United States,” said Craig Gundersen, professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, an international food insecurity expert and the lead researcher of the study. “We are particularly concerned about children who are undernourished. A child who does not receive adequate nutrition may experience behavioral problems, have difficulty concentrating in school and have an increased risk of medical problems. Lack of adequate nutrition in children, for even a brief period of time, may also cause permanent physical and developmental impairments,” Gundersen added.


Akron area’s first Death Café taking place this month

FAIRLAWN — Crossroads Hospice and Catavolos Funeral Home will sponsor the first Death Café in the Akron area June 27 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Catavolos Funeral Home, 3653 W. Market St.

The session, which is not designed to be a bereavement or grief support group, nor to be a replacement for professional counseling programs, will allow participants to reflect and discuss death and its related topics.

Death Cafés, according to organizers, have no intention of leading participants toward any particular conclusion, religion, product or course of action.

Refreshments will be served. The session will be facilitated by Hospice chaplains Jeffrey Vidt and Lorie Lerner.

For questions or to register, call Ron Davis at Crossroads Hospice at 330-776-3281 or email Lorie.Lerner@crossroadshospice.com. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/DeathCafesAk ronChapter or www.deathcafe.com/2013/05/death-cafe-in-cleveland-with-efuneral.html.


Red Cross urges residents to include Hurricane App when packing for vacation

NORTHEAST OHIO — The American Red Cross’ free Hurricane App puts important information in the hands of people who visit hurricane prone areas, such as East Coast beaches, according to Red Cross officials.

The app gives access to local and real-time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. The app also includes features that allow people to monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside and share information with others in their social networks who might also need it.

“We want everyone to be ready for hurricanes, including Northeast Ohio residents who travel to the coast,” said Mary-Alice Frank, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Region of the American Red Cross. “Since we don’t live in a hurricane region, we aren’t likely to understand the warning signs, how to prepare and receive and spread emergency information. The app also allows users to share their own status with friends and loved ones through social networks, anywhere, anytime.”

From a mobile phone, call “**REDCROSS” (**73327677) to receive a link to download the hurricane tracking app to an iPhone or Android device, or download the app directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.


Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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