Thursday, April 3, 2003

Some Good News


Party matches young with young at heart

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP - More than 300 seniors will dance and party with a group of 20-somethings this Saturday.

The party, "Young at Heart," will be hosted by Give Back Cincinnati, a group of 830 young professionals who volunteer at events throughout the year.

Jamal Muashsher, president of the group and a co-founder, said he formed the group in December 2000 as a way of giving young professionals like himself an opportunity to participate in community activities, and the senior party is an example of that effort.

"It's always important when you have a large percentage of the population over 60 that the younger generation bridge the gap and learn from them," Muashsher said.

Joe Hansbauer, who joined the group after learning about it from a co-worker, said many volunteers benefit from the senior program on a personal level.

"This event allows us to participate in the community with seniors, and it offers a lot to us," he said. "We end up getting more out of it than the seniors do."

The event, in its second year, will run from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Colerain Township Senior and Community Center. Tickets for the party are already sold out, just as they were last year.

Hansbauer said the group is looking for ways to expand the event in the future to make it available to more seniors and to involve more volunteers.

The group, which has grown from about 250 young professionals to more than 800 in the last year, hosts several one-day events a year, including "Paint the Town," a painting project for houses in the Cincinnati area; a carnival for children, and a painting project at a school.

"Often it's hard for young professionals to commit to ongoing projects. So this is guilt-free volunteering. You show up to the events when you can and don't feel bad if you don't make it to every one," Muashsher said.

In the future, the group is looking for ways to expand all of their events to involve more of the volunteers who express an interest in the group and avoid turning them away, Hansbauer said.

"We've gone from scrambling to have enough volunteers to making deadlines for people to commit to volunteering because we have too many," he said.

For more information about Give Back Cincinnati, visit www.givebackcincinnati.org.

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First Baptist Church of Milford is hosting a Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The fair includes free massages, back screenings, chiropractic evaluations, eye and hearing tests, and cholesterol and blood pressure checks.

The church, 1367 Woodville Pike, will also host a blood drive with a Hoxworth van on site.

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More than 20,000 volunteers, including Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls, will be collecting clothing and non-perishable food between 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Volunteers will pick up donation bags, included in the March 30 Enquirer, or bags marked "Food and Clothing Drive" on doorsteps in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Any donations that are missed can be dropped at donation barrels at Kroger stores through the end of the week.

Allen Howard is on vacation. Karen Vance will write "Some Good News" until he returns April 8. If you have a "good news" story you would like to share, e-mail Karen at kvance@fuse.net.




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