Sunday, January 09, 2000

Wish List donors break the record

$196,987 raised to help others

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Terry Walls now has furniture in his Price Hill apartment.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
| ZOOM |
        Terry Walls moves slowly around his Lower Price Hill apartment on crutches. Empty a few weeks ago, it's now furnished with sofas and chairs, lamps and end tables, a desk, television, linens and kitchen housewares.

        “I appreciate it,” said Mr. Walls, 33, who has lingering neck and vertebrae problems from a 1991 work-related injury and June car wreck. “It was nice of them to donate all this. It helped me out.”

        Many of the donated items came from Globe Corporate Stay International and Globe Furniture Rental, but many other people responded after reading about Mr. Walls in the Wish List. The annual project for the needy is sponsored by The Enquirer and administered by United Way.

        The project's 14th year has been its most successful ever, with 2,117 donors contributing a record $196,987, enough to fulfill the wishes of all those profiled in the Wish List. Whatever money is left will be divided among the 19 participating social service agencies so that other disadvantaged people can benefit.

        Last year's total was $142,661 from 1,819 donors. The previous record was $170,964 from 2,342 contributors in 1989.

        Contributions will be accepted until Jan. 31.

        A record-setting amount — $2,200 — also was raised by St. Michael School in Bellevue, Ky., which has been collecting money for the Wish List for at least six years. Last year, the school's total was $1,200.

        Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 began making fund-raising plans in November, said teacher Mary Jo Puglielli, one of the organizers, along with teachers Nancy Sharp, Paula Myers and Sue Rahali.

        Through a “rent-a-student” project, children raked leaves, ran errands, provided baby sitting, cleaned homes and washed cars. Other projects included a craft and bake sale; bagging groceries for tips on two occasions at a local grocery store, and selling hot chocolate before school.

        The spirit of giving spread, Miss Puglielli said. “Everybody in the school decided they were going to be part of it. We couldn't do it without everybody, including parents.”

        Among other Wish List recipients:

        • Lillie Ward of Avondale now has a lymphedema pump that will allow her to reduce swelling in her right arm and hand. The condition occurred when 21 lymph nodes were removed after she was diagnosed with cancer.

        To purchase the pump, Mrs. Ward's surgeon, Dr. Perolof Hasselgren, used money from a fund started by another of his patients. The grateful patient had stipulated that the money be used to help a needy cancer survivor.

        • A half-dozen dentists offered to provide dental work for Emma Peeks, an 84-year-old Walnut Hills resident whose weight has dropped because of problems with her teeth. Once Mrs. Peeks' blood pressure stabilizes, Dr. Steven Reubel, an oral surgeon, will remove her bad teeth; dentist Michael Rolfes will fit her with dentures; laboratory services will be provided with an assist from the Greater Cincinnati Oral Health Council.


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