Thursday, January 24, 2002

Network of friends shares generosity

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Helping Hands is a group of friends in Indian Hill spreading its generosity and friendship to families in different communities.

        The group has nearly finished its first project, started last year involving a family in Delhi Township, and has taken on another in Carthage.

        The idea for Helping Hands started at a party at the home of Frank and Toni Bolser.

        “We were counting our blessings and we realized our biggest blessing was our friendship and the willingness to share it with others,” co-founder Mrs. Bolser said.

        The group's first project was to raise money to buy a van for Megan May, 10, daughter of Frank and Peggy May. Megan has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

        “We have bought the van and now we need to get equipment installed,” Mrs. Bolser said.

        The next project will be raising money to build a ramp for Judy Huber.

        “She has a son who is a paraplegic, caused by injuries suffered while he was playing sports,” said Leigh Anne Muerer, a Helping Hands member.

        “They have a ramp at the house, but it is not suitable. We are going to raise funds to build a new ramp.”

        Other couples involved in the group are: Jeff and Leigh Anne Muerer, Dick and Ann Satterfield, Doug and Joy Murphy, and Tom and Lynn Isgrig.

        “We came up with creative ideas on how to raise the money to get the van,” Mrs. Bolser said. “We started by contacting friends on our Christmas list. The drive was a combination of our friendship being spread to a family in need.”

        She said the big boost in that fund drive came in October when Annie's, a restaurant in Columbia Tusculum, let them use the place for a benefit. They raised $16,000.

        “We are looking for worthy projects in any community. Friendship is at its best when it can be diversified and shared with others,” Mrs. Bolser said.

        To make a donation to Helping Hands, send to any Fifth Third Bank branch, account number 37335525. For information, call 513-561-7977 or 513-891-4447.


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