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Block the Sun Run 5k furthers late Glendale native's mission to eradicate melanoma


Andy Caress endured 22 months of ups and downs — doctor visits, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, new drugs that for some time had seemingly miraculous effects on his body — but took his final breath eight days before his 25th birthday.
 
Melanoma is the fastest growing skin cancer in the world, particularly among young people, and it’s also the deadliest.
 
Caress wanted more people to learn about it and become more aware of its devastating potential, which is why he founded Mela-KNOW-More prior to his death. The nonprofit is now known as the Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation (ACMF), whose volunteers are dedicated to furthering his mission.
 
“My goal is that melanoma will never impact any person the way it has impacted me,” Caress said in 2010. “And I will achieve my goal by educating the world about how melanoma may be prevented and identified.”
 
To commemorate Caress’ life, the ACMF hosts an annual fundraiser, the Block the Sun Run. Now in its sixth year, the 5k takes place in Caress’ hometown of Glendale.
 
All proceeds from the race are used to support Caress’ wish of increasing awareness of the cancer and supporting research to eliminate it. Last year, the ACMF raised $35,000 for the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, which is engaged in groundbreaking melanoma research.   
 
The Block the Sun Run takes place at 5 p.m. May 14, with an after-party to follow.  

Do Good: 

• Pre-register by 6 p.m. Thursday for the Block the Sun Run, or register in-person Friday 12-7 p.m. or Saturday 2-4:30 p.m. at Bob Roncker's Running Spot in Glendale.

• Interested in volunteering at Saturday's 5k? If so, contact the ACMF.

• Can't make it out Saturday? Support the ACMF by making a donation.
 

Cincy-Cinco celebrates culture, honors mothers at region's largest Latino fest


If you’re in the mood for salsa dancing, live music and authentic Latino cuisine, mark your calendars for May 7-8, when the 13th annual Cincy-Cinco highlights Latino traditions, values and culture on Fountain Square.
 
“We want people of all ages and backgrounds to have the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the rich heritage of Latino music, dance, and food,” Cincy-Cinco Chair Alfonso Cornejo says. “And this year we are celebrating Mother’s Day all weekend long.”
 
Children will be sure to have a good time with piñatas and a Conga parade. There will also be opportunities to paint flowerpots as tokens of appreciation for mom.
 
Cincy-Cinco is the largest Latino celebration in the region, with all proceeds benefiting local nonprofits that serve and support the Latino community.
 
“We are so happy and proud that this event is becoming a great tradition in this city to add to the many other wonderful events and traditions,” Cornejo says.
 
Cincy-Cinco takes place 12-11 p.m. Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday.  

Do Good:

• Check out the music and dance lineup, food and children's activities offered at Cincy-Cinco May 7-8. 

• Connect with Cincy-Cinco on Facebook, share the page and invite a friend to the festivities. 

• Brush up on all things Latino by learning more about Cinco De Mayo, Fiesta De Pueblo and the piñata.
 

Hive helps undiscovered musicians reach new audiences


Early stage musicians can now reach a larger audience thanks to Hive, a music discovery and distribution platform that recently released an app to add to its partnerships with artists and organizations in the music industry.

Hive exists to connect the right listeners to artists who haven't been discovered quite yet, allowing music to be delivered in 30-second clips to help listeners swipe through what they do and don’t like. When a user swipes right on a song, it sends that clip to six random users with similar music preferences to help share that music and get the artist discovered.
 
Hive was one of eight startups to graduate from UpTech’s fourth accelerator class in February. 

“The one thing I’m most excited and passionate about — which is the core of what we’re doing — is helping change the way newer musicians get heard and spread the word about their music,” Hive CEO Andrew Savitz says. “The way the industry currently works is very difficult. It can be difficult to make money and get shows booked.

“The thing we’re truly most passionate about is that we’re making it so it doesn’t matter if you have the money or knowledge or not. All you need to focus on is making the best music you can.”

Hive allows independent artists to have a distribution tool that reaches a large network of music lovers and allows musicians to view real-time data on who is listening to their uploads.
 
Do Good:

• Download Hive in the App Store.

• Stay up-to-date with Hive on Twitter.

• For more information, visit Hive's website.
 

Magnified Giving program teaches student philanthropy


Roger Grein had always been a philanthropist, but it wasn't until 2002 that he expanded his reach to college students. 

Grein launched a student philanthropy program, known today as Magnified Giving, at various colleges and universities to help students learn about philanthropy by awarding grant money to local organizations of their choosing. When he found that it worked well for college students, he trickled the program down to the high school level. 

This year's group of students will award grant money to their chosen nonprofit recipients in two more ceremonies on May 9 and 11 at the Mayerson JCC after a first event April 26.

Magnified Giving allows teachers and administration to best fit the initiative with their existing curriculum, whether it’s through a class or after-school club. Students decide on a barrier they want to study or an agency they’re interested in, and each group cross-educates on its topic — homelessness, hunger, veterans affairs, etc. From there, the class decides who gets the grant.

Teachers and students can shape their philanthropy to what they want it to look like.
 
“We're educating the next generation and exposing teenagers to community needs,” Magnified Giving Executive Director Kelly Collison says. “All of the stories touch their hearts and minds so that they can make great change. It gives students the chance to learn lifelong lessons while doing it.”
 
Each school is given $1,000 and is encouraged to raise additional money. Magnified Giving will match up to an additional $250 of what is raised for the chosen organizations or agencies.

Currently, Magnified Giving has 350 registered social service agencies in its system. 
 
“Kids become very passionate about how blessed they are,” Collison says. “They want their work to matter. It really resonates with youth once they have a platform to stand on.”
 
Do Good:

RSVP to attend the May 9 or May 11 awards ceremony at Mayerson JCC, 8485 Ride Road, Amberley Village.

Donate to support Magnified Giving’s mission.

Volunteer your time to a cause you’re passionate about. 
 

Internationally renowned photographer features local families in "ReelBeauty" program


While the ReelAbilities Film Festival won’t return to Cincinnati until March 2017, nonprofit organizer Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD) has put together a series of monthly “ReelPrograms” happenings leading up to the main event.

Intended to build anticipation for ReelAbilities, the region’s largest film festival, and also prompt dialogue about the abilities of those labeled as “disabled,” ReelPrograms will feature everything from encore screenings of past years’ award-winning films to the ReelBeauty photography exhibition that made its debut at Christ Church Cathedral last month. 

The exhibition features the work of Rick Guidotti, internationally known fashion photographer turned activist and founder of Positive Exposure, a nonprofit aiming to shift perceptions of those living with physical, genetic, intellectual or behavioral differences.

“I see beauty everywhere,” says Guidotti, who hopes to challenge viewers to “change how they see,” then “see how they change.” 

Guidotti photographed 12 local families to produce a collection of 22 photos for ReelBeauty. Rather than walking down the street and choosing to stare at someone or make eye contact then quickly look away, he says his aim in photographing those with differences is to showcase the shared humanity one can only recognize after steadying one’s gaze and looking directly into another person’s eyes. 

“There are individuals everywhere in the world that don’t want to be seen as diseased or as a diagnosis,” Guidotti says. “We all want to be seen as human beings.” 

Photos will remain on display through the end of May.

Do Good: 

• Check out ReelBeauty. at Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St. downtown. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday. 

• Mark your calendar for other upcoming ReelPrograms.

Connect with Cincinnati ReelAbilities on social media or by getting involved as a volunteer or supporter. 
 

Impact 100 seeking Young Philanthropist Scholarship applicants


Impact 100 is currently accepting applications for its 2017 class in the Young Philanthropist Scholarship Program

Impact 100 awards more than $100,000 each year to Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky nonprofit agencies, with over $3.6 million donated since its inception in 2001. Every dollar from each $1,000 annual membership fee goes directly to the grant pool.  
 
The Young Philanthropist Scholarship Program is meant for young women who have an interest in philanthropy but can't fund a full Impact 100 membership on their own. Each grant applicant chooses a focus area in one of the following categories: culture, education, environment, family and health and wellness.
 
“The program is a means to encourage young members to experience women’s collective giving,” Impact 100 President Donna Broderick says. 
 
Do Good:

• Do you know someone who would be a good fit for the Young Philanthropist Scholarship Program? Encourage them to apply by the April 30 deadline. 

Donate to the Young Philanthropist Scholarship Fund.

• For more information on how you can get involved, contact Impact 100 directly.
 

"Slavery by Another Name" panel discussion connects with current fair housing issues


The second part in a series of panel discussions focusing on modern-day slavery will take place April 28, with topics pulled from Douglas Blackmon's book and documentary film, Slavery by Another Name.

"We want to educate people about our history and how it's still affecting us today," says Lydia Morgan, event coordinator. "That part of our history is affecting black men and minority men in general. I think a lot of people who have watched that documentary or read the book are totally shocked about what went on."

Slavery by Another Name focuses on issues around the idea of forced labor after most people assumed that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The book/documentary follows the re-enslavement of black Americans from the Civil War to World War II and discusses how forced labor made its way into modern day society. 

The event is free and open to the public and is presented by Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) of Cincinnati. The discussion comes after the U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced that turning down tenants or buyers based on their criminal records may violate the Fair Housing Act, Morgan says.

Do Good:

Register to attend the Slavery by Another Name discussion at 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 2400 Reading Road in Walnut Hills.

• For more information, contact Chloe Gersten.

• Stay up-to-date on recent discussions on Facebook.
 

Cincy YP and Metro team up to promote public transit to the bar crowd


For the third straight year, Metro and Cincy YP, a Give Back Cincinnati programs aimed specifically at young professionals, have partnered to promote public transportation in a fun and engaging way.
 
The Late Night Test Ride is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 and will run a route through a multitude of Cincinnati neighborhoods that YPs frequent. Over-the-Rhine, the Central Business District, East Walnut Hills, Clifton (near UC’s main campus), Oakley, Hyde Park and O’Bryonville are among the stopping points, while more than 17 popular venues like Hang Over Easy and Below Zero Lounge will offer riders food and drink specials.
 
“Transportation is so important among the millennial generation,” says Kaitlyn Kappesser, Cincy YP Events Director and Metro liaison. “We're the generation that doesn't want to be dependent on cars, but we also like to be social late at night. This is where Metro creating a late night route comes into play — we get the best of both worlds.”
 
The Metro will run 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Participants can take unlimited rides for as little as $5, and event passes that include unlimited rides in addition to drink specials at participating venues are available for $8. 
 
“Cincinnati’s YP leaders truly get how important public transit is to our community, and their commitment to encouraging their peers to use Metro is inspiring,” says Kim Lahman, Metro’s Outreach and Sustainability Manager. “The Late Night Test Ride provides us with a safe, fun and adventurous way of introducing young professionals to Metro’s service, while allowing them to get to know our community and one another better.”

Do Good: 

• Purchase your $8 event pass, which includes unlimited rides and drink specials the night of April 23, here

• Volunteers are needed to staff designated stops along the route from 8-10 p.m. Sign up here. Once your shift is finished, you can join the fun for free.

• Learn more about Cincy YP by connecting on Facebook.
 

Cincinnati NEW to host Wall Street powerhouse for annual speaker series


Carla Harris, senior client advisor and vice chairman of global wealth management at Morgan Stanley, is the keynote speaker for Cincinnati's Network of Executive Women's (NEW) annual speaker series on Thursday, April 21.
 
Founded in 2001, NEW is a national organization that uses leadership development, networking and education events to advance women and men in the consumer products and retail industry. There are nearly 10,000 members from 750 various companies all across the country, says Kim Markle, Cincinnati NEW committee chair.
 
Harris will speak about “The New Way to Start Out, Step Up or Start Over in Your Career," which is based on her recently published book, Strategize to Win.
 
NEW brings in speakers each spring and fall, usually prominent businessmen and women who can offer insights around leadership. The April 21 event will feature a networking event following Harris’ keynote.
 
"It's not always about work," Markle says. "It's about who you get to know that will help you professionally, who can make you more well rounded."
 
Do Good:

Register to attend the Cincinnati NEW event at 1:30-6 p.m. April 21 at Horseshoe Casino downtown.

• Learn more about NEW’s mission and vision.

Join the Cincinnati chapter of Network of Executive Women.
 

Female community leaders mentor girls with 3D printers


Over the course of 10 weeks, a group of female community leaders traveled to South Avondale Elementary every Thursday to mentor fifth-grade girls using a 3D printer. The initiative was a collaboration among United Way's Women of Tocqueville, Women Investing in the Next Generation (WINGs) and the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative.

South Avondale Elementary was just one of 13 local schools participating in the project. The women who served as mentors came from varying fields — consultants, lawyers, coaches, attorneys — and Kelly Dehan, a Women of Tocqueville member, served as project manager. 

The students used the printer to make simple items like jewelry and keychains. But they also focused on what they could invent to solve a problem.

"The 3D printer is especially nice because here you are doing research on what you can invent to make life easier," Dehan says. "It was really rewarding for all of us to watch."

The students came up with the idea of a phone cradle — something that would hold a phone while it played videos — so that instead of leaning their phones up against a hard surface they could use the cradle. 

South Avondale was able to keep the printer for future use by its students. 

"I think the process of thinking problems through, working with others and bonding gave them a renewed sense of confidence," Dehan says. "You could definitely see the confidence and can-do spirit improve over a several week period."

Do Good:

Donate to support United Way's programs. 

Learn more about Women Investing in the Next Generation (WINGs) 

• Find out how you can help support the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative.
 

Boost local economy by shifting your buying habits


Green Umbrella’s Local Food Action Team, the Central Ohio River Valley Local Food Guide and Northside Farmers Market have teamed up to inspire individuals to eat local, an idea the community will both promote and celebrate at “Eat, Shift, Party LOCAL” April 20.
 
Green Umbrella will launch a campaign at the free event encouraging individuals to pledge a 10 percent shift in their food budgets.
 
“If 10 percent of our Greater Cincinnati population pledges to shift just 10 percent of their food budget to locally produced food, it will infuse over $52 million into our local economy,” Green Umbrella Executive Director Kristin Weiss says.
 
In addition to building the local economy, eating local promotes good health, tastes better, allows local families to feel and be supported and preserves open green space, according to Green Umbrella’s Top 5 Reasons to Eat Local. It’s also affordable and more doable than you might think.
 
“For the average family, taking the shift means spending only $12 a week on local food,” says Marian Dickinson, local food advocate with Green Umbrella.
 
The Central Ohio River Valley Local Food Guide will release its 2016 publication of local food directories at the event, educating eaters and growers on how to promote a more vibrant local food economy, and festivities will take place within the setting of the Northside Famers Market at North Presbyterian Church, so individuals know of at least one place to return to for local products after pledging their 10 percent shifts.
 
In 2016, specifically, the Farmers Market — a year-round effort — is promoting its Get Local Food Challenge, which features a different local item each month. Cooking classes for both children and adults are also offered throughout the year to encourage patrons to buy local but to also feel empowered when preparing food.
 
All parties involved are working collectively to direct people’s attention toward locally sourced products, and Green Umbrella is making it easy to follow-through after pledging by distributing a monthly newsletter with tips, recipes and updates on the local scene.
 
“It’s a decision you can feel good about,” Dickinson says. 

Do Good: 

• Plan to attend Eat, Shift, Party, LOCAL at 5-7 p.m. April 20 at North Presbyterian Church

• Make the pledge.

• Check out other available resources for eating local
 

DePaul Cristo Rey seniors achieve 100 percent college acceptance for second straight year


For the second consecutive year, DePaul Cristo Rey (DPCR) High School seniors have achieved a college acceptance rate of 100 percent. The senior class of 39 individuals met the school-wide goal months in advance of graduation and has earned nearly $1.7 million and counting in merit-based college scholarships. 

“To do something this significant one time is an accomplishment,” DPCR Principal Andrew Farfsing says. “To do it twice creates a tradition.”

Last year’s graduating class was the school’s first since DPCR opened in 2011 as Greater Cincinnati’s first new Catholic high school in 50 years, and all 48 seniors were accepted to college. Farfsing acknowledges the first two classes have set the bar high, but he’s confident future classes can continue the legacy.

“With our school's focus on college-preparation and the commitment and zeal of our teachers and students, I have no doubts future classes can reach that bar,” he says. 

Students have committed to universities like Purdue and Xavier so far, but not everyone has finalized his or her decisions. 

Paige Yaden, for example, has been accepted to five colleges and is weighing her options. 

“For me, being accepted to five schools is awesome,” she says. “A few years ago, I didn’t think I would be accepted anywhere. My freshman year grades were bad; sophomore year was worse. But I got it together junior year and have been on the honor roll every quarter this year.”

Students like Maggie McDonald, who will attend XU’s School of Nursing, credit their teachers’ compassion and dedication for pushing her classmates to strive for greatness.

“The teachers make everything happen here,” McDonald says. “They love us. They made sure we knew we had this goal, and they wanted us all to get accepted. I was proud of everybody for reaching this point. There were some students in the beginning who slacked off, but as they started to believe we could do it like the seniors last year they really started working.”

According to the Cristo Rey Network, which comprises 30 schools nationwide, 96 percent of its student population comes from families with an average annual income of $34,000.

Do Good: 

• Support DePaul Cristo Rey's mission and learn about ways to give.

• Learn about volunteer opportunities at DPCR.

• Connect with DPCR on Facebook.
 

Brazee Street Studios looking for artists to join Mini Bead Marathon and Art Supply Swap April 23


Brazee Street Studios will host its first-ever Mini Bead Marathon April 23 to back Beads of Courage, a national arts-in-medicine program that supports children coping with serious medical issues.
 
Artists gather at Brazee every September for National Bead Challenge Day, when they create glasswork that enables children to record and share their own stories of hope through jewelry creation. The Oakley-based studio is extending its support for Beads of Courage, however, by asking skilled volunteers to stop by for a two-hour shift April 23 to utilize their talents for good.
 
Volunteers will work specifically on birthday beads, beads for the upcoming holidays, transportation beads and dream beads.
 
“These beads are tangible signs of hope and progress for the kids who receive them,” says Chelsea Borgman, Brazee’s gallery coordinator. “They show the kids, their families and the world just how much they’ve overcome.”
 
The event runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Food and non-glass bead making activities will be provided by Brazee, which is also supplying glass artists with free torch time and, of course, glass.
 
In addition to creating beads, the new Beads of Courage Volunteers Superstars program will be introduced. The goal is to foster skill building and community not only among bead makers in the studio but also between bead makers and bead recipients.
 
“We’re proud to work with Beads of Courage each year to brighten the days of brave children undergoing difficult medical treatments,” Borgman says.
 
In conjunction with the Mini Bead Marathon, Brazee will also host its fifth annual Art Supply Swap, in which creatives can drop off unwanted supplies in exchange for useable materials. Drop-off begins at 9:30 a.m., and leftover supplies will be donated to Indigo Hippo, which makes art more accessible to children and other local artists in need of added support when it comes to obtaining supplies.

Do Good: 

• If you're a skilled glassworker, contact Brazee Street Studios to volunteer at the Mini Bead Marathon April 23.

• Even if you're not a glassworker yourself, the event is family-friendly. Stop by between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to join in festivities and watch the artists in action. 

• Bring any unneeded art supplies to swap out for materials that may be of use to you. Drop-offs begin at 9:30 a.m.
 

CYC alum a testament to impact of mentorship


Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) is a testament to the impact mentoring plays in a student’s life. For the past five years, an average 95 percent of its students have graduated high school — a statistic Gov. John Kasich acknowledged last week when discussing statewide education initiatives.
 
Why did he mention CYC, in particular? Because its students succeed while the districts CYC serves are, on average, graduating 63 percent of their high schoolers.
 
Upon graduating high school, many CYC students continue their path to success by enrolling in college, enlisting in the armed forces or securing gainful employment. Take Shandreanna Martin, for example.
 
“My graduation from college began in the sixth grade, when I sat down across the table from my mentor for the first time,” Martin says.
 
She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2015 and remains close to this day to her mentor, Lori Meyer, who has since relocated to Wisconsin.
 
“Prior to first meeting Lori, I felt she wouldn't have much to do with me,” Martin says. “I felt for a short time it was a pity party — as if she only did this to help and that (our relationship) would be over after that school year.”
 
So when the two continued to meet year after year, the relationship blossomed into more than Martin could have ever expected.
 
“She really touched a part of my life,” Martin says. “My self-confidence and self-value has skyrocketed because of her. I feel I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and am currently looking forward to returning to school for a Computer Technology Communications degree, be it a Master’s or even another Bachelor’s.” 

Do Good: 

Change lives by becoming a mentor.

• Support the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative by participating in the United FORE Youth Golf Classic May 10. 

• Connect with CYC on Facebook.
 

Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam gives voice to local teens


Students from all across the tristate area will participate in the final round of the world's largest youth poetry slam, Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB), on Saturday, April 9 at the School for Creative and Performing Arts.

DePaul Cristo Rey, Walnut Hills, Hughes and Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center students, as well as 15 individual students from various schools, will use spoken word and poetry to describe their experiences growing up in the Queen City. LTAB, born in Chicago in 2001 as a way to give ostracized and disenfranchised youth a platform to share their unheard stories through poetry, allows youth to engage with one another, tell their own stories and listen to the stories of their peers. 

Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley is a spoken word artist, poet, author and community organizer who has worked as a LTAB coach since 2014. 

"I love working with these amazing teens because I get a chance to be that ear for them," Hosley says. "They just want to be heard. Being a teaching artist that focuses on performance, I was able to connect on a level that made their poem come to life and, not only did it come to life, it helped everyone see the fight in their eyes and sincerity of their poetry."

Coaches work with students, mentoring and guiding them as they find creative ways to tell their stories on stage. Hosley herself has seen teens speak about hard-to-discuss issues like poverty, race and sexual orientation in front of a bunch of strangers.

Being able to have a platform to be heard gives students a boost of self-confidence. 

"One thing that separates each teen poet from the masses is that they had the courage to step on stage and become vulnerable in room of people who don't know their story," Hosley says. "And in that moment, they will grow an inch taller and stronger in who they are."

Do Good:

Register for free tickets to Louder Than a Bomb at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at SCPA's Corbett Theater, 108 W. Central Pkwy., Downtown/Over-the-Rhine.

• Read about previous Louder Than a Bomb competitions winners

• Find out how you can get involved with Louder Than a Bomb by visiting its website
 
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