Monday, December 03, 2001

Good News: Help for Tri-County shoppers

        Among the hordes of shoppers swarming through the Tri-County Mall this year will be 1,000 “Merry Makers,” helping to make shopping a little easier.

        They are members of the Vineyard Community Church in Springdale who are volunteering to assist the thousands of shoppers during the holiday season.

        They will be wrapping gifts, carrying packages to cars, directing shoppers, acting as escorts for the disabled and carrying umbrellas and shopping bags for customers during bad weather.

        The “Merry Makers” will be wearing red bib aprons. They will be available at the mall customer service desks on Fridays from 6-9 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 9 p.m. and Sun days, noon to 6 p.m..

        A gift wrap station is in front of Lazarus on the first level during mall hours.

        “We started the day after Thanksgiving,” said the Rev. Ren Elgie, an outreach pastor at the church. “This was an idea the mall had and it goes along with our values. This will be the third year we have done this.”

        City of Lebanon employees will be at K mart and Wal-Mart stores from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, collecting donations for children of firefighters who died in the World Trade Center disaster.

        Employees from Lebanon visited Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 in New York City on Oct. 2. This unit responded to the World Trade Center disaster and lost 15 firefighters, leaving 28 children without fathers this holiday season.

        When the Lebanon employees returned they decided to give support to the children.

        Students at Ursuline Academy in Blue Ash each paid $1 to be out of uniform one day this month with the money going to President Bush's Afghan Children's Fund.

        Seniors wore red, juniors blue, sophomores white and freshmen wore white or red.

        They gathered for a photo, assembled to spell USA. The photo was sent to the White House and to the Ursuline School in New Rochelle, N.Y., where two students lost their parents in the World Trade Center attack.

Students at Freedom Elementary School in West Chester are still counting money they raised in a jump rope fund raiser to fight heart disease and strokes.

        At last count they had collected $4,300, said Maggie Brennan, youth manager for the Ohio Valley Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

        She said the 135 schools in the Lakota School District will hold annual jump rope events throughout the year.

        “Jump Rope for Heart is a great aerobic activity for our school,” said Ginger Hemsworth, physical education teacher and Jump Rope for Heart coordinator.

        Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Monday-Friday and Sundays. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are committing random acts of kindness that are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at (513) 768-8362; at; or by fax at (513) 768-8340.


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