By Karen Vance
For some residents of the Madison Villa housing complex, getting home is about to get a little easier.
That's because the three-story building for residents 55 and older is soon to get an elevator with the help of some local foundations.
Madison Villa, 5615 Madison Road, received $50,000 from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation last week, and this week, the Ohio Valley Foundation, with Fifth Third Bank as its trustee, announced a grant of an additional $20,000 toward the $300,000 project.
"We're well on the way, and we expect to have the elevator up and going within the next six to 12 months," said Paul Booth, general manager of the complex.
The 108-unit housing development was built in 1971 by four local churches, Trinity Baptist, Gaines United Methodist, Madison United Methodist and St. Anthony Catholic Church. Church leaders still sit on the complex's board.
"It's really a multicultural, ecumenical environment," Booth said.
But the original designers didn't think the absence of an elevator would be a problem.
"Now the elderly are living longer, and the elevator is a necessity," he said. "Some of our residents have been here since the building opened."
Stephanie A. Smith, program officer of the Fifth Third Foundation, said she first learned about Madison Villa's need through a letter and went to the complex to talk to the residents.
"It's been there forever. It has a strong community presence, and the residents have lived there a long time," Smith said. "All we're doing is allowing them to continue to live in the place they call home."
Shannon and Lee Carter of Hyde Park recently received the 2002 Alexis de Tocqueville Award from the United Way. The couple was honored for their volunteerism for the organization.
Mrs. Carter started Crayons to Computers, a free store for teachers in impoverished schools to obtain school supplies. And Mr. Carter chairs the board of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and is an executive committee member of Every Child Succeeds. Both are United Way organizations.
Students at Archbishop McNicholas High School raised $4,500 to benefit an inner city school, St. Joseph Catholic Church and School, 745 Ezzard Charles Drive, in the West End.
The money will go to build a playground at the school.
Beth Barnhorn, a third-grade teacher at St. Joseph and graduate of McNicholas, told school officials about the need for the playground.
Then the 925-student Catholic high school conducted its annual penny drive as part of Catholic School Week to raise the money necessary for the project.
Allen Howard is on vacation. Karen Vance will write "Some Good News" until he returns. If you have a "good news" story you would like to share, e-mail Karen at email@example.com.
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