By Karen Vance
In July 2001, Rachel Pinson was getting ready for her freshman year in high school when she started having serious back pain.
Doctors found a rare form of cancer in a tumor wrapped around the now 15-year-old's spine. She's had five surgeries and numerous rounds of chemotherapy, but doctors believe she's cancer-free.
While the medical news is looking up, the strain the illness has put on the Pinson family has been difficult.
"After she relapsed, there was just so much care Rachel needed. Barb, (Rachel's mother), decided to stay home and take care of her," said Fred Pinson, Rachel's father. "We just continued to hang in there and fight with her."
Now, Mason and Lebanon residents are trying an innovative way to raise money to help her family - a cornhole tournament.
In cornhole, a game similar to horseshoes or bean bag toss that has become popular on the west side, players throw a bag of corn kernels at a box, trying to hit a 6-inch hole.
Family friend Dave Jayne is organizing the event. "I just felt like, as a friend, I've been praying for them, but I thought the prayer needed to lead to action," he said. "I thought a cornhole tournament would catch people's attention."
The competition is 9:30 a.m. Aug. 2 at Countryside Community Church, 1436 Deerfield Road, Lebanon. Deadline for advance registration is July 22. To register, call Jayne at 932-7347.
Enjoy The Arts/START is a gateway to art in the city for thousands of people younger than 30. But getting out the message with four full-time staff and a tight budget isn't easy.
Thanks to volunteers from the city's business world, the group and other small arts organizations got some professional education from leaders in the marketing industry.
The Cincinnati Fine Arts Fund hosted a program to provide workshops to Cincinnati arts marketers, reaching 250 individuals from 100 art groups since June 2001. The program, National Arts Marketing Program, is sponsored by American Express and took place in 12 cities.
"We learned things we never had training in and we could never have afforded to do on our own," said Joelle Daniel, assistant director.
She and the director were selected to attend a "marketing boot camp" and to receive a $15,000 grant to implement their marketing strategy.
Mark Serrianne, CEO of Northlich, co-chaired the steering committee for the three-year program, which concluded last week.
"The city's marketing professionals knew the strength of Cincinnati's art community, but we thought how can we drive the excellence deeper into the smaller organizations. Not everyone has the budget of the symphony or the opera," Serrianne said.
Andrea Dixon, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Cincinnati, co-chaired the effort. All the classes took place in a multimedia classroom at the UC College of Business.
Allen Howard is on vacation. Karen Vance will write "Some Good News" until he returns Tuesday.
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