Mahoning Valley Podcast Transcript Episode 10 for December 27 2016

Listen here.

Transcript 12-27-16

Shepherd of the Valley Plans New Campus in Liberty, YNDC Lots of Green Program, Free Christmas Dinner in Warren draws hundreds, Game of Hope Family Fest, Bike Racks that are also Art in Warren, Bracelet Sales to Support Emergency Assistance to Local Persons in need, YSU Football Team plans Meet and Greet, and Akron Childrens Hospital recognized for Innovative Patient Experience Award.

According to the Vindicator An upcoming facility for the elderly by Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services is expected to create 200 local jobs. Liberty Township trustees last month approved a zoning change for the project, which is on Tibbetts-Wick Road. The venture, which is expected to cost between $26 million and $31 million, is set for completion in spring 2018.

The complex will include between 50 and 80 assisted living units, a 79-bed nursing home, a rehabilitation facility, a wellness facility and a facility for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. The 55-acre complex includes close to 44 acres of green space. Shepherd of the Valley also has locations in Boardman, Howland, Poland and Niles. “It’s a big deal not only for our community, but also for surrounding communities because all around here people are aging,” said township Trustee Jodi Stoyak of the Liberty location. “It’s going to be a phenomenal facility.”

And this a good thing for a couple of reasons. Jobs. If there is one thing we need more of here in the Mahoning Valley it is good jobs that pay a living wage. Few things can drive community development like a well employed work force. But there is more good coming out of this plan. The preservation of Green Space within the development plan. I am all for economic development but when planners ignore the necessity of Green Space within the plan they are dropping the ball. Where there are plants there is oxygen and where there are plants there is the reduction of CO2. Although many people wonder if reducing CO2 is an important part of living sustainably, I am here to attest to the fact that anything you can do to reduce your carbon footprint or preserve green space personally or corporately is not only intelligent and forward thinking it is ecologically responsible.

Speaking of Green Spaces, one of the most active and prolific organizations in the area of Community Development runs a great program right here in Mahoning County. The YNDC (Youngstown Community Development Corporation runs a program called Lots of Green.

According to their website, Lots of Green, the YNDC’s vacant land reuse program, seeks to repurpose all land in a target area, transforming the physical fabric of strategic neighborhoods. These lots are converted to community gardens, native planting sites, pocket parks, small community orchards, a 1.5 acre urban farm and training center, and side yard expansions. All of these strategies for vacant land reuse serve to both improve quality of life for residents and demonstrate best practices for neighborhood projects across the city. The YNDC has established 6 community gardens on vacant land, which provide space for neighborhoods residents, primarily low-income individuals and seniors, to produce fresh foods to feed their families. Vacant land reuse at scale also reinforces our homeownership strategies, fostering a sense of ownership and confidence for new investors in the neighborhood.

According to the Vindicator quite a few people showed up for a Free Christmas Dinner at Aulizio’s Banquet Center in Warren. Hundreds experienced the warmth of the 28th annual Families Helping Families Christmas Day Dinner on Sunday. Some came alone, while others brought the whole family to experience what Christmas is all about: caring about people and sharing the warmth of the holiday together — whether you are strangers or not.

“I have been coming about 15 years,” said Barbara Strother of Warren. “When I first started coming, I did some volunteer work. I liked to help out those who are less fortunate than I am because that’s what Christmas is all about. This time, I came out with my friends to spend time with them. It’s a great blessing to me that I get to sit here with my very best friends.”

The dimly-lit banquet hall gave off a romantic feeling that was enhanced by the sound of a soft flute playing in the background and Santa’s jolly laugh. Children ran around showing off new toys they received from Santa as a balloon maker made balloon animals and passed them out, offering lessons to anyone who wanted them. The hall felt homey.

Around the corner from the main dining and fellowship area were steaming dishes with smiling volunteers scooping the offerings up for guests. On the menu: ham, turkey, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Dunkin’ Donuts, Piccadilly Parlour, Perkins Restaurant and Bakery and Panera Bread all donated to the seemingly never-ending dessert table.

“It’s like clockwork anymore,” said Dan Polivka, Trumbull County Commissioner, of organizing the event. “We have so many good volunteers. They know their job each year.”

And this touches on an ongoing theme of my podcasts. That it is in giving that we become the people we have the potential to be. That goes for organizations and for individuals. I know it seems to be something that we talk a lot about around the holidays, but the truth is that the holidays are a great reason to remind people that giving is a basic function of living in civilized society, but it is a year round attitude of looking for reasons to give and finding ways of giving that brings out the humanity in all of us. It is true that when we give to others, we do receive back. But sometimes we do not get anything back from those we give, but there is always a benefit to giving to each other.

GOT GAME? Want to Play in the Game of Hope Family Fun Fest?

If you do, or even think you do, it’s time to sign up to get on the roster for the biggest charity basketball game of the season, The Hope Foundation’s Game of Hope Family Fun Fest being held on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at YSU’s Beeghly Center.

The Hope Foundation of Mahoning Valley asks that each participant that is selected makes a goal to raise at least $300 through donations, side events, ticket sales, or any other means.

Here’s your chance to hit the court with local celebrities and a number of surprise, big-name ‘walk-ons’ to help raise money for our region’s chronically and terminally ill children.

To get on a team, Click Here to Fill out the Information Form. Space is limited and registration closes QUICKLY so reserve your spot today! With the RETURN of the Game of Hope, the effect will be that everyone is in this together will raise money for chronically/terminally ill children.

According to their website, The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley (H.F.M.V.) a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2007 after the increasing success and popularity of the Game of Hope Charity Basketball Classic. Unpaid staff, volunteers and supporting individuals and organizations are committed to our mission. We improve the quality of life for our community’s chronically and terminally ill children and their families through charitable support. With money raised from donations and our signature fundraisers The Foundation provides grants up to $5,000. For more information about The Foundation please visit the website at www.HopeMV.org.

According to the Tribune Chronicle Warren has commissioned some artwork that will also serve a public purpose; Bike Racks. It wasn’t bicycle weather as Doug Meyer and Carl Henneman worked to install the first of four bike racks that will double as public art projects in the city. Meyer, a metal artist who lives in Warren and has a workshop in Garrettsville, had to shovel away snow before securing the 12-foot long sculpture made from 1-inch tubular steel outside Trumbull Family Fitness near the corner of High Street NW and Mahoning Avenue NW.

He was commissioned by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, which received a $4,000 grant from the Ohio Arts Council to finance four dual-purpose pieces that would be both functional and artistic. “I’m familiar with Doug’s work,”said Henneman, who is working with TNP through AmeriCorps VISTA, a federal program that works with communities to overcome poverty. “He was one of the first artists who came to mind, and I contacted him to get a proposal in. He made a scale model of this, and it blew everyone away.”

“He was really good to do first, because he’s done this kind of work a lot and on a pretty big level. He has his own workshop. I just knew he could do it and pull it off,” Henneman said.

This is the kind of project that everyone in this Valley should support rigorously. Arts are one of the important activities that everyone benefits from. The Artists benefit from the fulfillment of creating. The patrons benefit from setting an example for generations upcoming. And the public benefits from the exposure to the different perspectives and opinions so as to help all of us understand that although we are all individuals, we all have more in common then we have differences.

Bracelet sales to support Emergency Assistance programs throughout the Diocese.

When you purchase a bracelet in support of our Emergency Assistance Program, you will be providing help, and creating hope to a family in need. Without the continuous support of our community our doors would close, and we would be forced to turn away those in critical need. Without you, we are nothing.

Our Emergency Assistance Programs combine material and financial assistance with advocacy efforts for people in need of food, shelter, clothing, transportation, utility payments, homeless outreach and other services essential to well-being.

Extending help and hope in times of crisis and need to families and children is a vital part of Catholic Charities mission and identity.

Won’t you please join us to support our neighbors and friends of the Diocese? 

Catholic Charities served 10,693 children through the Emergency Assistance Program in 2015.  We also assisted 754 people in finding shelter/homes in 2015 to prevent homelessness.  Thank you for your continued support.

According to Youngstown State University, The 2016 NCAA Division I-FCS National Finalist Youngstown State football team will have a meet and greet prior to the men’s basketball game against Milwaukee on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 6 p.m., the YSU Athletics Department announced.

The student-athletes will greet fans, take pictures and sign autographs before the game in the general admission section on the West side of the Beeghly Center. Fans can also participate in the Rulli Bros. “Holiday Hoops” promotion for December where fans can receive a buy one, get one free offer on general admission tickets by asking for the “Holiday Hoops” special upon ordering their tickets. The Penguins face James Madison in the national championship game on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Noon Eastern. It marks Youngstown State’s seventh appearance in the national title game.

Although many people may not give much thought to this, supporting college sports through attending the games helps to defray the costs of running the entire College. So when you go out to see a basketball game or a football game or any YSU sporting event, you are helping to keep the cost of a higher education down for all students. So get on out there and cheer for our student athletes.

Although this happened last month, I think it is important to recognize one of the premiere children health facilities in the nation. Akron Children’s Hospital was recognized for Innovative Patient Experience. According to their website, Akron Children’s has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review, a leading source of cutting-edge healthcare news, as one of 50 hospitals nationwide with innovative patient experience programs.

According to Becker’s, “The hospitals and health systems on this list are among those committed to keeping up with – or getting ahead of – the pace of change in healthcare by forming dedicated centers and institutes for innovation.” One of the ways the hospital’s patient experience program is innovative is in its approach, which the center’s director, Stefan Agamanolis, PhD, refers to as human-centered design.

“An increasing body of research illustrates how delivering a positive experience in healthcare can improve medical outcomes,” Agamanolis said. “For example, reducing stress and anxiety strengthens the immune system, which in turn impacts infection and recovery rates. If an institution is to fully embody a mission to solve medical problems and improve health, it cannot merely provide a technical service – it must also be able to deliver thoughts and feelings in the same way any other business working with human beings must do so.”

The Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation works to ensure that the hospital can continue to uphold its three promises: treat each other the way we’d want to be treated; treat each child as if he was our own; and turn no child away because of a family’s inability to pay.

Your financial and in-kind donations help support our mission, and we’re grateful for your support. Each gift, regardless of its size, makes a difference in the patients we care for every day.

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