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Talbert House 50th anniversary celebration to support Camp Possible program

Talbert House is celebrating 50 years of building a stronger community at its anniversary celebration Nov. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, followed by an afterparty celebration at Horseshoe Casino.

Last year, Talbert House served approximately 100,000 clients through face-to-face interaction and hotline services with the goal of improving social behavior and enhancing personal recovery and growth. 

“Fifty years ago, the founders of Talbert House believed that people would have a greater chance of success when treated in the community rather than institutional settings,” Public Relations Specialist Crystal Decker says. “They believed people would be more successful if they stayed connected to their families, work, and community.”

Proceeds from the event will fund Camp Possible, a therapeutic day camp for children ages 6-16 who struggle with substance abuse and/or behavioral health issues.

The camp helps students overcome academic and social challenges during gaps between school years. Many of them lose momentum and engage in negative behaviors when they have no schedule, direction or intervention. Camp Possible participants receive individual attention from trained staff as well as traditional group therapy sessions and skill-building activities. 

“Through the years, Talbert House evolved to meet the changing needs of clients, their families and the community,” Decker says. “But those core beliefs have remained.”

Do Good:

• Purchase tickets to celebrate Talbert House’s 50th anniversary event. Tickets are $60 for singles and $100 for a couple. The afterparty, hosted by the Talbert House Ambassadors, will feature appetizers, drinks and performances by the Rusty Griswolds and DJ Guinness.

• To learn more about how you can help Talbert House, visit its website.

• For more information on Camp Possible, contact Crystal Decker

Toss for Techs to raise money for Per Scholas IT training

Per Scholas is hosting its inaugural fundraiser in the form of a cornhole tournament, Toss for Techs, Oct. 27 at CityLink Center.

Per Scholas provides free IT job training for low-income or unemployed individuals. Applicants are given technology and professional development skills training needed to get a job, and approximately 90 percent of the jobs Per Scholas graduates are landing provide benefits like medical insurance and paid vacation time.

The fundraising event will help Per Scholas continue to provide job training and job placement.
“We want employers to know we are here as a resource,” says National Director of Communications Jessicah White. “But we also need community support to stay here.”
The fundraiser will feature light food, drinks and general play cornhole. Aaron Mingo, a Per Scholas graduate, will share his experience in the program — he worked in the restaurant industry for more than a decade before going through the program and is now working as a support analyst at The Christ Hospital. 
More than 100 individuals have graduated the Per Scholas program in Cincinnati, but there are hundreds of graduates who have moved through the pipeline at Per Scholas’ other locations in Columbus, New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Per Scholas has been nationally recognized in WIRED Magazine, The New York Times and by the White House
Although Per Scholas has been in Cincinnati for a few years, the organization gained more traction after moving into the CityLink Center earlier this year.
“This move was transformational for us and helped us become more united with the community,” White says. “CityLink provides a holistic community approach, and we want to be a part of it. We want to make the community better.”
Do Good:

• Purchase tickets to the Toss for Techs fundraiser, 5-8 p.m. Oct. 27 at CityLink Center, 800 Bank St., West End. Tickets are $50 for general admission or $75 to play in the cornhole tournament.

• Help Per Scholas by donating or volunteering your time. 

• Follow Per Scholas on Instagram to see student testimonials. 

TriHealth and People Working Cooperatively team up to prevent, reduce falls among elderly

Falls occur for one-third of Hamilton County residents aged 65 and older and are their leading cause of hospitalization, trips to the emergency room and even death.
To reduce the number of hospital stays and ER visits, TriHealth has partnered with People Working Cooperatively to implement a three-year evidence-based study, thanks to a $1.2 million grant from Bethesda Inc.
“With this grant, People Working Cooperatively is poised to play a major role in ‘Population Healthcare Management’ as the aging population accelerates,” says Ron Henlein, PWC’s director of corporate and community partnerships. “PWC has more than 25 years’ experience assessing and installing home modification products, and our close partnership with TriHealth only increases our ability to really make a difference in this community.”
As a part of the joint effort, TriHealth physicians will assess patients to determine their fall risk and then refer them to Stepping On, an evidence-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved educational program aimed at fall prevention.
“Since almost half of all falls occur in the home, this is such a key piece to the puzzle of fall prevention,” says Stephanie Lambers, Injury Prevention Coordinator for TriHealth’s Trauma Services and board member for PWC, which she says adds a unique component to the transformational fall prevention program. “By providing home modifications tailored to individual needs, PWC in partnership with TriHealth will help reduce individuals risk for falls in their home.” 

Do Good: 

• Talk to your elderly loved ones about falls and encourage them to talk to their physician or health care provider about fall prevention. 

• Support People Working Cooperatively's work by donating.

Volunteer with PWC by engaging in home repairs and modifications.

Seniors Who Rock to honor active senior citizens

Pro Seniors will honor four senior citizens at its Seniors Who Rock event Nov. 9: Marty Brennaman, Sr. Rose Ann Fleming, Hon. Nathaniel Jones and Mary Meinhardt. All four honorees are over 70 years old and remain active senior citizens in the community.

The Seniors Who Rock even will also celebrate Pro Seniors’ 40th anniversary. The nonprofit has helped more than 100,000 senior citizens with long-term problems through their three programs — legal services, long-term care ombudsman and Ohio SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) — says Resource Development Manager Brittany Ballard.

Brennaman has been the radio announcer of the Cincinnati Reds since 1974. 

Fleming, who is an attorney, is the special assistant to Xavier University President Michael Graham. She also works with the school's men's basketball players as an NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative.

Judge Jones has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and general counsel of Cincinnati's NAACP chapter.

Meinhardt is a guardian for Cincinnati Area Senior Services as well as a board member of EPIC House and Pro Seniors.

“One of the things we want is to empower seniors with positive images,” Ballard says. “These honorees are proof that you can be active and find inspiration in your life … even when you’re a senior.”
Seniors Who Rock is an invite-only event and will not be open to the public.

Do Good:

• If you know a senior who does great work in the community, contact Brittany Ballard

• To learn more about Pro Seniors, visit its website.

• Be active in your own community. 

Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural project manager awarded $2,500 grant

Felix Rodriguez was recently awarded $2,500 through a grant made possible by School Outfitters, a partner of the Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural.
Rodriguez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, worked as an artist and taught in Santo Domingo for seven years before coming to the U.S. The Fulbright scholar started working with ArtWorks in 2013 while pursuing a master’s degree in art education at the University of Cincinnati. He worked as a teaching artist with ArtWorks in 2014 and returned to Cincinnati this year to become a project manager for the Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural.
The mural, located at the site of a former mural created in 1992, is a collaborative effort among ArtWorks, the Evanston Community Council, School Outfitters and Xavier University. It was designed by Jimi Jones and is meant to engage local residents around themes that are meaningful to the Evanston community.

“The mural is a perfect combination of nice art everyone will enjoy but will also educate people and prepare them to be better citizens, to get involved and be active participants of the city,” Rodriguez says.
The original timeline for the mural was seven weeks, but due to heat and unexpected weather conditions the project was extended to nine weeks.
Rodriguez decided to apply for the teaching grant, which was open to anyone who was part of the staff, to help cover expenses while he was pursuing his master's degree. The required essay called for applicants to explain why they’re involved in the work they are in, what they value and what’s important to the community.
“We are proud to be an active community partner in our area and especially excited to support the educational pursuits of teaching artists by funding the ArtWorks Teaching Artist Award,” says School Outfitters Marketing Director Verna Coleman-Hagler.
Rodriguez, who holds a bachelor’s in fine arts and music theory in education and a master's in art education, is currently pursuing his PhD in art education in central Pennsylvania.
Do Good:

• See the mural for yourself on Duck Creek Road near the I-71 North exit to Dana Avenue and Montgomery Road.

• Learn more about ArtWorks at its website

• Visit School Outfitters' website for more information.  

Beaux Arts Ball to honor Art Academy of Cincinnati supporters & donors who helped with its OTR move

The Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC) is honoring its students, faculty, donors and supporters at its Beaux Arts Ball on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Verdin Bell Event Centre in Pendleton.
The event will celebrate the 10th anniversary of AAC's move from its longtime home base adjacent to the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park to a 112,000-square-foot campus in Over-the-Rhine.
The masquerade party will focus on a central Venice theme, featuring gondolas and masks hand-crafted by AAC students and will feature performances by bands Burning Caravan and Groove Session. Key supporters who helped AAC move its campus in 2005 will be honored at the ball.
“Part of what makes this so special is the people who made it possible to move into our building 10 years ago,” says AAC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Joan Kaup. “We want to publicly and properly thank several of them who either invested financially or helped us making strong connections so that AAC could become an anchor in this creative community.”

Do Good:

Register for tickets to attend the Beaux Arts Ball 7 p.m.-midnight Oct. 23 at Verdin Bell Event Centre, 444 Reading Road.

• Visit AAC on Final Fridays for art exhibits that are free to the public.

Enroll in Community Art Education classes at the AAC.

Library's Homework Help program plans to expand thanks to donation

Homework Help, a program providing free after-school assistance for students K-8 at various Cincinnati Public Library locations, will be able to expand thanks to a large donation from the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation.

The donation was announced at the Library Foundation’s recent annual donor recognition event. It will help expand and support the library's after-school program and its growing number of students. Per the donor’s request, the amount of the donation will not be released.

The Homework Help program started at the William Hueneke Homework Center at the main downtown branch in 2008 and continued to grow after successful pilots at other branches. The program provides assistance mostly between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Last year, there were more than 15,000 student interactions, a 14 percent increase from the previous year, says Education and Homework Support Manager Keith Armour.

Homework Help mentors come from a variety of backgrounds — high school students, college students and retired teachers. Each mentor is trained and dedicated to helping students K-8 with homework assistance and tutoring.

“It’s a really great program for them,” Armour says. “The kids are happy there is someone there to help them.”

Do Good:

• See a list of all the locations offering Homework Help.

• Apply to be a Homework Help mentor.

• For more information about the program, email Keith Armour.  

Newport barber gives back to the community with free haircuts for the homeless

When Sean Caudill isn’t cutting men’s hair in his Newport barbershop, he’s venturing through the city in search of those in need who would appreciate it for free.

Caudill, better known as Spanky, has been a licensed barber and cosmetologist since 2010. His nickname came from an uncanny resemblance to Spanky from The Little Rascals as a child and was an easy choice when naming his barbershop, Spanky and Co., which he opened earlier this year at 439 W. 12th St.

The Union, Ky. native loves what he does for a living and strongly supports giving back to the community, specifically the homeless. 

“The homeless has always held a special place in my heart,” Caudill says. “Some of these people just need someone to talk to. It makes their day and gives them hope for tomorrow.”

His inspiration for cutting the homeless’ hair came from stylist Mark Bustos, who cuts hair of the homeless for free every Sunday. Bustos is currently on a national tour that started in New York and will end in Los Angeles.

Caudill will approach people on the street and offer to cut their hair. Afterward, he shows them before and after photos so they can see the difference. He has plans to team up with a close friend and local photographer to bring a mobile printer to provide a hard-copy photo they can hold onto.

Caudill encourages everyone to help the homeless in their own way by giving some of what they do for a living back to the homeless community. But most of all, he wants to show others that everyone deserves to be treated equally.

“It’s a lot harder for some people to bounce back after a tough time,” he says. “Talk to them, ask them how they’re doing, hug them.”

Do Good:

• Help the homeless in your community in your own way.

• See some of Spanky's work on Instagram.

• Visit Spanky and Co.’s Facebook page.

ReSource, Phillips Edison launch "On the Rise" initiative to connect YPs with nonprofits

When ReSource isn’t helping area nonprofit organizations by distributing corporate donated furniture and office supplies, it's connecting them with talented young professionals.

ReSource’s new YP program, On the Rise, is the product of a partnership with Phillips Edison real estate investors.

Maybe a nonprofit needs help setting up its website or taking a closer look at its finances. Maybe it need someone who knows a little about marketing or event planning. On the Rise will pair those non-profit organizations with Cincinnati area young professionals who have experience in relevant subjects.

“This allows young professionals to help nonprofits in a meaningful way beyond just volunteering,” says ReSource Executive Director Christie Brown. “They might not have money early in their careers to support a cause, but they do have talents and skills.”

ReSource plans to host a series of networking events designed to pair its nonprofit members and their business needs with skilled young professionals, essentially playing matchmaker.

“We are excited about this partnership because it allows us to impact multiple organizations at the same time while also accessing a key talent base in the Cincinnati area that we will need to engage in order to support our growth as a company,” says Phillips Edison COO Bob Myers.

Do Good:

• Like ReSource on Facebook to learn more about how they serve the nonprofit community in Cincinnati.

• For more information about the On the Rise initiative, contact Christie Brown.

• ReSource is always looking for gently used donations to redistribute to nonprofits in need.

Greenhouse Rock! fundraiser supports musicians with developmental disabilities

Melodic Connections hosts its annual Greenhouse Rock! event Oct. 10 at Krohn Conservatory to support its music therapy services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The fundraiser will feature food, raffle baskets, a silent auction and performances by local bands SwampthangJody Stapleton and Chris Comer Trio.

The fundraiser will also feature performances from Melodic Connections’ own student musicians.

“This is a night where we celebrate them and highlight their abilities as musicians,” says Communications Manager Lynn Migliara. “It’s a place where they finally get to play for all their friends and family.”

Students chose their own songs to perform and have been rehearsing every day. 

The fundraiser is a great time for the students as well as for their parents.

“Most of these parents have spent a lifetime advocating for their child with a developmental disability and always wonder what adulthood is going to be like,” Migliara says. “They are so grateful that they get to see them up on stage with confidence. A lot of them never thought this would happen for their kids.”

Greenhouse Rock! will take place at 6:30-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Dr. 

Do Good:

Purchase tickets to attend Greenhouse Rock! at Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park. Tickets are $75 each.

• Melodic Connections is still looking for event sponsors.

• To learn more about Melodic Connections, visit its website.

Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition raising money for Earth Day 2016

The Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration isn’t typically celebrated until April, but the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition (GCEC) is raising money now for next year’s event. The fundraiser is scheduled for Oct. 9 at City Barbeque locations in Blue Ash and Florence.

Not only will 25 percent of purchases go toward the April event, but customers will be educated on what Earth Day is really about and how to have a better impact on the environment.

“There are different approaches to ‘being green,'” says event chair Standish Fortin. “We want to educate people on what they can do to be a better steward for the Earth. They can come and learn about what they can do and what others are doing.”

Do Good:

• Visit City Barbeque in Blue Ash (10375 Kenwood Road) or Florence (8026 Burlington Pike) on Friday, Oct. 9 and help raise money for Earth Day 2016.

• Check out the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition’s Facebook page to learn more about how you can help the environment.  

• The 2016 Earth Day event is looking for sponsors. There are a few different levels of sponsorship to choose from. 

Mt. Healthy studio teaches dance, life skills

When Kelli Harmon-Dobson formed the Highsteppers Studio 16 years ago, she had no idea how much of an effect it would have on young girls in the community. The structured program uses dance and drill to form positive self-esteem, interpersonal skills and help girls ages 3-18 uncover their leadership abilities.

There’s no doubt the dance teams are talented — they’re state, regional and national champions in the high kick, pom and hip hop categories. Still, Harmon-Dobson doesn’t want dance competitions to be strictly about winning.  

“Competition or not, we don’t tell them to be better than another team,” she says. “We tell them to do an amazing job and be better than the team they were the day before.”
The structured program is a little underhanded, as most of the girls don’t realize what the program is really about until they graduate.

“We want them to have a different outlook on themselves and what they’re doing,” Harmon-Dobson says. "We try to have our girls become leaders and express themselves better. We want them to better respect themselves, each other and the community.”
The Mt. Healthy studio goes far beyond just dance, drill and building leadership skills. After spending hours together after school each week, the girls form a close bond, much like sisters do.  

“We’re more than just a dance team,” Harmon-Dobson says. “We’re family. The studio is our home.”

And the girls treat is as such. They keep a tight schedule between practicing, studio chores ad doing their schoolwork. The program requires a minimum required grade point average of 2.0.
Many of the girls participate in the bridge program, the Highsteppers Sisterhood, once they graduate high school and make the transition to college or the workforce. They come back to the studio as mentors.

The Highsteppers’ next performance is Oct. 10 at Tri-County Mall, where they’ve been performing since 2007. Their performance will incorporate breast cancer awareness, something that touches many lives of the girls and their families.
“They could be doing plenty of other things, but they're doing this,” Harmon-Dodson says. “They're choosing to be positive.”

Do Good:

• Attend the Highsteppers performance on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Tri-County Mall, 11700 Princeton Pike. Performances will take place at 2 and 5 p.m. and last approximately one hour each.

• Like Highsteppers on Facebook.

• For more information, email Director Kelli Harmon-Dobson.

CityLink partners with Red Bike, offers member passes for $5

CityLink is able to provide annual bike sharing passes at a discount to its members thanks to a recent partnership with Red Bike.

Red Bike memberships typically sell for $80, but the partnership allows passes to be sold to CityLink for $20. From there, CityLink is selling passes to its members who are in good standing and actively working on their goals for just $5. 

The new bike sharing station, which sits on the corner of Linn and Banks streets right in front of the center in the West End, was built with grant money from Interact for Health.

“Bike sharing is something that is really taking the country by storm,” says CityLink’s Director of Development and Communications Marissa Abernathy. “But historically across the country bike sharing hasn’t been very successful in engaging low-income communities.”

CityLink recently piloted the bike sharing project with 15 of its members. Each member received bike safety training from Riding Forward and instruction from Red Bike on how to use their new membership card.

Transportation is just one of the issues that many individuals face that prevent them from reaching their full potential.

“Our hope is that the CityLink Station and partnership with Red Bike could serve as a catalyst for creating a model to cultivate new physical activity habits and overcome transportation barriers for our clients,” CityLink Executive Director Johnmark Oudersluys says. “This program promotes the spirit of health equity when health disparities are at record highs right here in our own city.”

Instead of taking the bus, members can now ride a bike to Findlay Market for fresh food or to the library to use a computer. Having quick access to a bike can also help them when looking for a job.

Red Bike Executive Director Jason Barron agrees.

“We want as many people benefiting from Red Bike as possible,” he says. “CityLink is a perfect partner to test this collaborative new approach. This is a great example of how Red Bike can help connect people to job training, then job interviews and ultimately actual jobs.” 
Do Good:

• Become a friend of CityLink on Facebook.

• Help support CityLink’s mission by donating.

• Learn more about Red Bike at its website

Purple Light Walk raises domestic violence awareness

The Purple Light Walk asks the community to talk about something that's really difficult to discuss: domestic violence. A countless number of women are forced into sex and/or beaten and abused throughout their lifetimes, and that number is rising every day. 

This year’s Purple Light Walk will take place Oct. 2 at Washington Park beginning at 7 p.m. and will loop through downtown Cincinnati. The annual event, which takes place every October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is returning for its third year.

“The Purple Light Walk is one of many ways that Women Helping Women strives to support survivors of abuse,” says event co-chair and Women Helping Women law enforcement advocate Ellen Newman.

The walk was created by Women Helping Women to help raise awareness and empower domestic violence survivors. The organization provides crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The Purple Light Walk is a collaboration between Women Helping Women, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Police Department, KeyBank and Zonta Club of Cincinnati.

There will be a raffle, food and music prior to the walk as well as a program beginning at 6:30 p.m. emceed by Officer Princess Davis, who coordinates Citizens on Patrol at Cincinnati Police District 1.

Registration for the Purple Light Walk is free. The first 250 participants will receive a free 2015 Purple Light Walk event T-shirt, and everyone who walks will receive a purple glow stick to carry during the walk, Newman says.

Do Good:

• Walk for someone you know or a stranger who has been a victim of domestic violence. Registration is free.

• Follow the Purple Light Walk page on Facebook.

Contact Ellen Newman for more information. 

Clovernook Center aims to tackle problem of illiteracy among blind and visually impaired

Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired has operated its Braille Printing House since 1914 and has been consistently recognized as an industry leader, producing more than 30 million pages each year.
According to Clovernook, though, only 10 percent of individuals who are blind or visually impaired are able to read braille. More than 50 percent of students who are blind end up dropping out of high school, and 70 percent of adults within the community are unemployed.
“They lack the skills necessary for most jobs and many everyday situations,” says Christopher Faust, President and CEO of Clovernook Center. “We want to stem that and focus on promoting literacy for all.”
To target the problem of illiteracy specifically, the Center recently launched braille literacy classes in which participants meet four times each week to gain needed skills. Clovernook also has plans in the works for a book club, set to launch in late fall, in which participants will have the chance to apply their knowledge in a practical and enjoyable way through literature.
“Many people don't realize that a person who is blind and unable to read braille is similar to a sighted person who is unable to read print,” Faust says. “Our goal is to empower each individual we serve so they can be self-sufficient and participate fully in their community.”

Do Good: 

• Spread the word about braille literacy classes. For more information, contact Debbie Albert, who teaches 4-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, at 513-728-6247. Classes are free and open to the public.

Support Clovernook Center.

• Make a difference in the lives of the blind and visually impaired by getting involved as a volunteer.
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