William Shoecraft is not sure whether he's a "kid magnet," as some say, or if he just gravitates to young people.
But one thing's for sure - where he is, there's usually a bunch of young people, and he's helping and inspiring them.
For two decades he's volunteered many hours weekly as a youth basketball coach, currently for an AAU team at the Wyoming Recreation Center. He's often busy working with the Robert Flowers Scholarship Fund, a program to reward academic excellence, which he chairs at New St. John the Baptist Church in North Avondale.
Shoecraft, 47, a former Wyoming councilman who lives there with his wife, Jeanette, and two children, is dedicated and generous with his time because he loves kids and wants them to succeed.
Mike Pearl, program coordinator at Wyoming Recreation Department, said Shoecraft made an impact on his life through his encouragement and mentoring, and he does the same today for many other youths.
"I enjoy these things. I know there's a real need to be there to help people," said Shoecraft, a publisher and author who owns Did You Know Publishing, Cincinnati.
"I believe we're put on the face of this earth to help others."
Do you know a Hometown Hero - someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at email@example.com, or fax to 513-755-4150.
SOME GOOD NEWS
The air transport team at Shriners Hospital for Children in Avondale has been chosen to receive an Award of Excellence for transporting critically burned children to the hospital.
The team was developed in 1988. It is staffed by 18 of the hospital's burn care nurses and respiratory therapists and supervised by the medical team.
The award is given by the American Association of Medical Services.
The service is provided free with local Shrine centers from the referring hospital, said Rodney Plapp, respiratory therapist and flight team member.
Bears on parade
About 50 people participated Sunday morning in the inaugural Nikki's Bear Walk-A-Thon at the Kenwood Towne Centre.
The money raised by the walk-a-thon, which was hosted by the Build-A-Bear Workshop, will benefit treatment programs for cancer at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Build-A-Bear spokesman Andy Ernsting said the amount has yet to be totaled officially.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Elizabeth Shelleby was named to the fall and spring semester dean's lists in her sophomore year at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. She is studying in the College of Arts and Letters.
The Wyoming High School graduate is the daughter of Diane and Ed Shelleby of Wyoming.
Sycamore High School graduate