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FUN FOR MASON: Your 16-page guide to all the city has to offer

MASON

& DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP

family | community | life FEBRUARY | MARCH 2010

WINE TASTINGS Planning tips to help make yours a success

READY TO SERVE School board newcomer learned by volunteering

Feeding the hungry His mission is helping kids find food and loving homes

Our Town’s guide to …

MEETING THE NEIGHBORS • WHERE TO EAT • THE BUZZ WHAT’S NEW • ALL-STARS FROM KINGS AND MASON CONNECTMASON.COM

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what’s new in mason and deerfield township

COMPILED BY JENNY CALLISON PHOTOS BY CARA OWSLEY AND tony tribble

jos. a. bank clothiers 5355 Deerfield Blvd. 513-229-8970 or www.josbank.com The newest Cincinnati-area location for this upscale men’s clothing store opened in November, occupying 4,800 square feet of space in Deerfield Towne Center. Since its founding more than a century ago, the company has grown to a network of 450 stores nationwide. It sells men’s tailored and casual clothing, footwear and accessories at competitive prices and prides itself on knowledgeable staff members and a high level of customer service. Hours of operation for the new store are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The manager is Kay Briggs.

hats off haircuts 2906 U.S. 22 & Ohio 3 513-697-7000 After 18 years in the hair care business, Joyce Wilson opened her own shop Nov. 30 in the Kroger Landen Shopping Center. Wilson said that she and associates Amy Ryan and Fran Baczyk specialize in men’s hair cutting, but are happy to provide cuts for women and children as well. “We have TVs at each station,” Wilson said. “Many men like to watch sports programs, and kids can watch cartoons.” A session for those 13 and older consists of a haircut, shampoo and conditioner, and shoulder massage, and costs $15. Children 12 and under get a haircut for $11. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

all about kids childcare & learning center 5250 Courseview Drive 513-229-7824 or www.aaklearningcenters.com All About Kids, which opened Nov. 2, is more than just a safe place for parents to leave children during their workday, says franchise owner Jennifer Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has seven years of child care experience. “We consider ourselves a learning center,” she explained. “Each of our classrooms has a schedule and weekly lesson plans.” All About Kids was founded in the Greater Cincinnati area by James and Tracy Kaiser in 2005 and franchises became available soon thereafter. The company’s philosophy involves developing a partnership with children and their parents to facilitate the children’s development and make learning enjoyable. All five locations are “green” facilities equipped with 21st century technology. All About Kids accepts children beginning at 6 weeks of age, and provides before- and after-school care, and summer camps, for children up to the age of 12. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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wise owl wine bar 6206 Muhlhauser Road 513-889-2500 or wise.owl27@gmail.com Wise Owl, a sophisticated and cozy lounge next door to Mesh in West Chester, is the creative collaboration of Bryant Phillips, former sommelier and manager at Chalk, and David Taylor, who was chef at Lavomatic. In addition to offering a wide selection of wines and microbrew beers, Wise Owl also has a full bar with flat screen television. On Wednesdays there is live musical entertainment. Wise Owl is not a restaurant, but it does offer light hors d’oeuvres: a dessert, a cheese plate, a soup, and a few heartier items designed to accompany a mellow or lively beverage. The owners have spent the fall tweaking their menu and their approach before promoting their bar to the public. “We want it to be a nice place to chill out, and we would like to be known as Cincinnati’s best wine bar,” said Phillips. Regular hours are 4 p.m. until last call Tuesday through Saturday. In addition, Wise Owl can be rented for private events.

candy’s dog-o-mat 6896 Tylersville Road 513-593-2797 or www.candysdogomat@aol.com The Cincinnati area’s first do-it-yourself dog bathing facility was born of Candy Hartman’s own need – she and husband Ken have four dogs – and her experience as a pet sitter and dog walker. “We had issues with washing our dogs at home, and I saw a need for this kind of facility among my clients,” Hartman said. So she and her husband opened their Dog-O-Mat at the end of November. The storefront location offers four stainless-steel wash stations in varying sizes. Feed a $5 token into the machine and you can select shampoo, conditioner, flea and tick treatment and a doggy deodorizer. A blow dryer is available to dry and fluff Fido afterward. It may take more than two or three tokens to finish grooming a larger dog, but the Hartmans say that their self-service alternative is cheaper than a professional groomer, and less messy than bathing dogs at home. An enclosed play area keeps youngsters busy if they don’t want to help parents wash the dog. There’s also a gift shop. A full-time groomer, for folks who want help, will join the staff soon, Hartman says. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. No appointments are necessary.

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YOURcommunity

Photo by amanda davidson

ABOVE: Larry Bergeron stacks boxes of food while volunteering. RIGHT: Larry and his family, from left: Bekki, Nadya, wife Elizabeth, and Emma.

Photo by joseph fuqua II

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YOURcommunity

Reaching out

to help kids everywhere By Mark Curnutte

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arry Bergeron was set. He was a highly paid corporate vice president on the East Coast. He played a leadership role in developing Wang Laboratories’ voicemail system, which improved on others on the market at the time. God was calling, though, fighting through what Bergeron calls his “agnostic views” and the “frequent attacks on the veracity of the bible.” Finally, Bergeron left the executive world and its drive for power and money and became a Protestant minister, first in Connecticut and then at Hope Church in Mason. He settled in with his family at the mega-church, pulling down another healthy salary. End of story? Hardly. Actually, it was just the beginning. God wasn’t through with him, Bergeron said. The cries of orphaned, sick and hungry children – across the globe and at home – grew louder. Bergeron, now 61, the married father of seven children – including an adopted daughter, 14, from Siberia, and another 4, from China – stepped all the way out on his faith in 2008. He resigned as the senior pastor at Hope Church to start a non-profit agency, A Child’s Hope International. It’s dedicated

to promoting adoption, getting foster children into permanent homes, the care of orphans and humanitarian relief. The seeds for the adoption emphasis were sewn at Hope Church. When he arrived in 2005, Bergeron started the Hope for Children program, which led to 20 children being adopted by member families from Hope Church and others. He liked preaching in a church, Bergeron said, though the distance from the poorest of the poor – which acted as insulation – “was turning my heart to shoe leather.” “In the pulpit, you can lose sight of a world that’s broken and hurting,” he said. A mission trip to Russia and subsequent journeys to Haiti and other Third World nations deeply affected him. “I’ve never wept so hard,” Bergeron said. The most visible part of A Child’s Hope International is its Kids Against Hunger program. Housed now in a former grocery store in Blue Ash, donated to the ministry by the Kroger Co., Kids Against Hunger assembles ready-to-eat meals from powdered ingredients that are shipped across the globe. “Kroger handed me the keys,” Bergeron said. The company pays all utilities and upgrades on the property. A lot of volunteers want to be part of the process. More than 1,600 people on the weekend of Dec. 6-7 at Christian Life Center in Dayton assembled and packed more than 301,000 meals to be shipped to hungry children in the African nation of Swaziland. In November at the “factory” in Blue Ash, some 600 volunteers packed more than 200,000 meals to be sent to famine-stricken Guatemala. Entire families – ages 3 to 85 – have participated in the process. It combines rice, dry vegetables, powdered vitamins and soy into a high protein product. He is now being paid a small salary after months of stretching every dollar. It’s still a challenge.

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YOURcommunity

Photo by amanda davidson

Larry talks to a group of volunteers before they help out with the Pack-a-Thon in November.

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he and his wife, Elizabeth, would “love to get out from under the mortgage” of their home in Liberty township. “If I didn’t have the partnership of my wife, none of this would be possible,” bergeron said. “She believes in this.” Another element of A Child’s hope International is the Coalition of Care, a group of 28 churches in Warren, butler, Clermont and hamilton counties that is addressing the need of permanent homes for foster children. besides volunteers, bergeron has attracted other people to take unpaid positions on the board and in other roles with A Child’s hope. one of them is board member Mark Morris of Dayton. “Most pastors would not do what Larry has done,” Morris said. “he’s the kind of leader I want to follow … he was very comfortable with a nice salary and benefits. he gave it up to start this.” one of the pieces of motivation for bergeron is the short video “Sam & Esther,” the story of two children dying from starvation in a Ugandan village. they have polio and are bathed by their 8-year-old sister. It is on A Child’s hope Web site by permission of the San Damiano Foundation of burbank, Calif. It never fails to hit bergeron hard. “I melt into a puddle on the floor,” he said. he wants people to share the vision and hope he has to see the world’s suffering children as their responsibility. Still, A Child’s hope International is far more than him. At the blue Ash facility, he will pray with volunteers. he is part minister, recruiter and motivator. “I’m a dreamer,” bergeron said. “I have seen change. We’ve got a great cadre of volunteers. one person can not do this alone. one person can only do so much. together, we can do much.” For more information on A Child’s hope International, go to achildshopeintl.org.


YOURcommunity

Photo provided

Mason Middle School seventh grader Destonee Burks helps Dottie Birt learn how to navigate the internet.

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EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITORS ART DIRECTOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Dave Hofmeister Liz DuFour Joe Powell Jamie Rockwell Carrie Cochran Amanda Davidson Joseph Fuqua II Michael E. Keating Deogracias Lerma Cara Owsley Tony Tribble

WRITERS

Karen Andrew Jenny Callison Polly Campbell Mark Curnutte Michael D. Clark Amber Ellis Sue Kiesewetter Jeannette McClellan Jill I. Solimini Richard Stewart Elaine Trumpey

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Tony Elam telam@cincinnati.com 513.755.4167 Mike Gleason mgleason@cincinnati.com 513.768.8232 Delinda Kennedy Katy Sheehan Will Smith

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february | march 2010

YOURcommunity

18 GetconnecteD! Get Submit your Mason and Deerfield Township stories, photos and events at your community Web sites, connectMason.com and connectDeerfield.com.

• Announce your business • Celebrate your kids’ achievements • Highlight community news • Submit your upcoming events for our free calendar listings

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the buzz What’s making headlines in Mason and Deerfield township.

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5 questions …with Mason school board member beth DeGroft.

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what’s new A round-up of recent additons to Mason and Deerfield.

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reaching out Larry bergeron gave up a promising career to do what was more important to him and the community.

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teaching technology Mason Middle School students teach senior citizens how to use the internet.

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a labor of love Jessica Durham and Zoie Schaefer know that horseback riding is rewarding hard work.

eDItOR’Snote

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eople like Larry Bergeron have earned a special place in heaven. Larry gave up a lucrative career in the business world to enter the ministry, and eventually, to take up the cause of needy and hungry children in far-off places. His work has inspired hundreds to join his efforts. Working together, they help provide thousands of meals in places plagued by starvation and disease. Bergeron also advocates adoption of kids from other countries. He’s making a difference, and you’ll be

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moved when you read Mark Curnutte’s story about him in this issue. Some kids at Mason Middle School have found that they can get as much out of teaching someone as they can sitting in a classroom. Maybe even more. The kids have volunteered to tutor local senior citizens in using personal computers. It’s a deal that cuts two ways: the seniors benefit from the expertise the kids bring, and overcome their fear of using the Internet. And the teens learn and gain confidence as they walk their “students” through the fine points of e-mail, Internet surfing and other computer tools. These kinds of community outreach programs deserve a look at other local senior centers and schools. Everyone wins. Read more about the program inside.


YOURschools

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school news and notes All you need to know from the Mason and Kings school districts.

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sports all-stars these Mason and Kings student athletes take it to the next level.

YOURfreetime

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where to eat: sugar mommies cakery and corner café Café entrees and “cakes so good they make you wanna slap your momma!”

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salute! Why wine tastings make for fundraisers that can generate big bucks.

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events calendar Dozens of great places to go and things to do.

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YOURhome meet the fortsons From Mexico City to Colorado to ohio, this family knows how to have fun.

You can be a HERO!

YOURhealth

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to the rescue Learning bystander CPR could mean life or death for someone in your community. Nikkia and her mother, Lisa,

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C7IED  :;;H<?;B:JEMDI>?F

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H;7:OJEI;HL; School board newcomer learned by volunteering

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You can be a hero to patients like Josh, Nikkia and Lisa by giving the gift of life through blood donation.

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our 16-page guide to all the fun and fitness brought to you by the city of Mason begins on page 33.

FEBRUARY | MARCH 2010

Planning tips to help make yours a success

of reunions and such Call 513-451-0910 to schedule your appointment to donate! Our Town columnist Richard Stewart reevalutes the importance of meeting up with old classmates.

funformason

family | community | life

M?D;J7IJ?D=I

survive sickle cell anemia with the help of Cincinnati area blood donors.

FInalthouGhts

FUN FOR MASON:Your 16-page guide to all the city has to offer

Josh beat cancer with the help of blood donors like his parents, Jim and Sharon, of West Chester.

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DRIVE FOR

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Feeding the hungry His mission is helping kids find food and loving homes

Our Town’s guide to …

MEETING THE NEIGHBORS t WHERE TO EAT t THE BUZZ WHAT’S NEW t ALL-STARS FROM KINGS AND MASON CONNECTMASON.COM

t

CONNECTDEERFIELD.COM

larry bergeron readies up a box to send out to someone who needs it. photography by michael e. keating.


YOURcommunity

thebuzz What’s going on in Mason and Deerfield Township COntributed BY amber ellis

Photo by Carrie Cochran

Kings Island’s troubled 13th coaster, the Son of Beast, may or may not operate next season.

big questions for kings island

cintas chief retires

Kings Island visitors will be in for all kinds of surprises this year. Questions linger about whether admission and parking prices will increase and whether daredevils will once again ride The Son of Beast. There are also plans in the works for Planet Snoopy, a childthemed section at the amusement park giant. Mason City Council is considering a 5 percent admissions and 3 percent parking tax for the amusement park and other attractions in the city. The park waged a public war against tax proponents last year, saying the tax would hurt not only attractions but businesses that thrive because of them. Proponents argued the millions of dollars in additional revenue would cover infrastructure costs for the heavily traveled roads near the attractions. Son of Beast, the luckless 13th roller coaster at the park, was shuttered for about half of last season. Dozens of riders have said they were hurt in the nine seasons since the ride opened. And with the recent trial where a Defiance woman was awarded $76,364 in compensatory damages for injuries she received on the coaster a few years ago, the coaster’s fate is even more uncertain. Kings Island spokesman Don Helbig declined to comment about Son of Beast’s future, except to say that a decision on the ride’s future won’t be made until later this off season. The children’s area, to be known as Planet Snoopy, will include “Peanuts”-themed rides next year. The area will include four kids’ coasters – more than any park in the world, Helbig said.

Richard T. Farmer, the man who built his family’s industrial rag business into the nation’s largest uniform supplier, has retired as chairman of Mason-based Cintas Corp. Farmer, one of the area’s richest people, will remain a member of the board and chairman emeritus of the $4 billion company. His son, Scott, is CEO. Vice chairman Robert J. Kohlhepp was named chairman. “I am confident that (they) will see our company to continued success,” said Richard Farmer, who stepped down as CEO in 1995. Farmer started the uniform company in 1968 and took it public in 1983. The company grew from a few employees to more than 30,000. The business operates facilities in the United States and abroad. Company products include everything from entrance mats and restroom supplies to first aid and safety, fire protection services and document management for 800,000 businesses.

want community news...and more? Discover and discuss the latest news, events and school happenings in Mason and Deerfield Township at connectMason.com and connectDeerfield.com. 6 our town

mason fire station relocates A replacement fire station will be up and running in Mason this summer. The $2.6 million Station 51 will sit off Mason-Montgomery Road, south of Bethany Road and about one mile north of the soon-to-beclosed station. It joins Station 52, which is on Cedar Village Drive. Map predictions show relocating the station will improve response times across the city, especially to the northwest, the area where a fire destroyed a $350,000 home on Crooked Tree Drive after it took crews 10 minutes to arrive. Mason Fire Chief John Moore said the new station will reduce northwest response times to six minutes, about a minute sooner than current times.


With both stations, he said, crews should be able to reach 94 percent of calls within seven minutes. This still falls short of a fire industry benchmark of reaching 90 percent of 911 calls within six minutes. To meet that standard, a third station is needed. Without one, Moore said, the department meets the six-minute mark 68.5 percent of the time. But that facility won’t be built any time soon. The city secured funding to construct it, but voters turned down levy requests to staff the facility in 2008.

p & g research consolidates Procter & Gamble announced plans to shutter its Miami Valley research and development facility in Colerain Township, transferring the 445 scientists and other employees to three other area sites, including Mason. The move is part of a consolidation of P&G’s research and development work that will affect about 695 jobs. In addition, the company will close its pet food manufacturing plant in Preble County, and move 145 employees from that facility to the Mason and Winton Hills sites. P&G is also moving 105 employees at a Boston-area location to Mason and two other sites: South Boston, and Bethel, Conn. The transition will start next year and be completed by June 2012, said P&G spokesman Paul Fox. These moves are meant to bring P&G research closer to its core businesses in Greater Cincinnati, Boston and Connecticut, Fox said.

Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy Ann Taylor Loft Archiver’s Arhaus Furniture Becoming Mom Bed, Bath & Beyond Borders Books & Music Bravo Italian Cucina C.J. Banks Christopher & Banks Cincinnati Bell Claddagh Irish Pub Claire’s Coldwater Creek Dick’s Sporting Goods Game Stop Gymboree Huntington Bank James Wolf Jewelers Jimmy John’s Jos. A. Banks Kay Jewelers Lane Bryant Learning Express Massage Envy McAlister’s Deli Merle Norman Mimi’s Cafe Missy & Jack New York & Company Oreck Vacuums Panera Bread Pure Concept Salon /Aveda Qdoba Mexican Grill Regal Cinema 16 Select Comfort Skeffington’s Sprint Stride Rite Shoes Sunglass Hut Talbots The Children’s Place The Maytag Store The Polo Grille Track-N-Trail Ulta Beauty Urban Active Fitness Venetian Nail Salon White House/Black Market Whole Foods Wild Bird Center Yankee Candle

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YOURcommunity

fivequestions WITH

mason school board member

beth degroft

Photo by tony tribble

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fter years of helping out in Mason Schools, school parent Beth DeGroft decided last fall to try and help run them too. The long-time school volunteer, tax bond campaign official and mother of four Mason school children said the time was right last fall when she entered the campaign for three open seats on Mason’s school board. The board oversees Warren County’s largest school system and one of the most academically proficient in all of Ohio. Despite a crowded field of candidates – including two incumbents – DeGroft won on her first try at elected office and took her oath of office in early January. DeGroft chaired Mason’s successful bond issue campaign in 2007 that led to voter approval for a $30 million tax issue that funded Mason High School’s expansion with new wings and 49 additional classrooms. She is also a member of the Mason Schools Foundation and on the board for the Mason Parks Foundation and a volunteer for the Mason Manta Rays swim team. She paused from her busy schedule to sit down for Our Town’s 5 Questions:


Why was the timing right for you to run for office and how is this new chapter as a school board member a natural next step forward in your dedicated service to Mason Schools? I had very little campaign experience, but extensive volunteer work. Entering into a campaign was a very daunting task. The timing of my entering the school board race was right for three reasons. First, it is the right time for my family. All four of our children are now in school full time. I am fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mother and have the time to devote to the schools as well as my family. It was the right time for me personally. I have spent a great deal of time volunteering in the district and chaired the 2007 bond issue. I have a good understanding of the workings of the district. Finally, it was the right time for the community. I believe the residents of Mason were ready for some fresh faces on the board. I am honored they have put their trust in me.

You won one of three open school board seats in November despite having never run before and competing with a crowded field of candidates that included two incumbents. Why do you think you won? I believe I won because I worked very hard and ran a fair and honest campaign. I think other parents could identify with me and wanted a conservative parent representing their views.

How will your years of volunteering in the schools affect your four-year term on the school board? The volunteering I have done in the past has helped give me a good understanding of the day-to-day operations of the district. I realize there is still much to learn, but I am a hard worker and learn quickly.

What issues are among your top priorities? Initially, I plan on learning about my new role and the issues facing the district from the existing board members. Improving nutrition and physical fitness are important to me. As with all parents and taxpayers I will be looking for ways to stretch the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dollars.

What strengths and insight do you believe you bring as a board member who is also a school parent? I am in classrooms volunteering, attending sporting events, helping at carnivals and serving on committees. I bring a parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s point of view as well as a taxpayerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. I believe we have excellent teachers and staff. I hope to help protect and create policies that help further educational opportunities while providing the community with a great value.

Michael D. Clark


YOURcommunity

Teaching

technology By michael d. clark

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n unusual community outreach program for Mason senior citizens is designed to help them learn about personal computers, but it’s often their student instructors that learn even more valuable lessons, says the program’s coordinator. The Teaching Technology Lessons to the Community continues to grow in popularity with local seniors, who are taught by volunteer Mason Middle School students after school. “The program helps the seniors but it also empowers the students,” says Judi Steward, the school’s media specialist. “It gives them a sense of accomplishment about doing something good for older citizens and the ones that volunteer in the seventh grade often keep doing it in the eighth grade because they enjoy helping others.” That’s more than a fair trade to 88-yearold Dottie Birt, who was among dozens of seniors who recently took part in the free lessons. Dottie had received the first personal computer of her life and now she was enjoying another gift, courtesy of a 12-yearold girl helping her to learn how to use it. Dottie was among a group of residents from Mason Christian Village retirement community who were taking advantage of a popular program. “This is a very beginning sort of class for me, but it’s great,” Birt said as she took

a short break from being tutored about the intricacies of her new computer. “This is a great idea for people like me who want to learn how to use your computer, and it’s free.” Offered twice a month through March 2, the lessons are for senior citizens living within the Warren County school system’s borders. Steward says in recent years the program has helped hundreds of local seniors overcome any initial reluctance about joining the global community on the Internet. The program, which is conducted on computers in the school’s library, has successfully guided seniors through many of the obstacles that nowadays seem to befuddle many adults of all ages but rarely impede children raised in the technology. “More people are getting computers, and that includes more older people. These people want to learn how to use their computers,” says Judi. “But it’s also a great teaching opportunity for the students, who get a chance to work with older adults. Many of the kids do this as part of fulfilling their community service requirements, but some also like doing it just out of the goodness of their hearts,” Steward says. Birt’s “teacher” was seventh-grader Destonee Burks, who said her pupil was learning just fine. “I wanted to help people who want to learn this stuff. And at the same time, when I’m on the Internet I’ll sometimes learn something I didn’t know before and I’ll get to teach them that, too,” Destonee says. Nearby, 86-year-old Bill Kratohvil was being tutored by seventhgrader Ryan Jordan. “I’ve had a computer for a couple of years. These kids pick up these computers so quickly so I figured they could help me learn some things I don’t know how to do,” Kratohvil says. He and his tutor – 12-year-old Ryan – were delving into the world of e-mail. “I like helping out the community and I think I’m learning how to explain stuff,” Ryan says. For more information on the program and to sign up for current or next fall’s classes, call Stewart at 513-398-9035 or e-mail stewartj@ mason.k12.oh.us.

february | march 2010

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YOURSchoolS Sinclair Community College

kings high school

Courseview Campus presents

mason high school BY michael d. clark AND Sue kieSewetter phOtOGRAphY BY tony tribble

SPENCER BERLEKAMP Kings High School senior Spencer Berlekamp starting driving to the hoop young.The 18-year-old point guard for the Knights started playing basketball in kindergarten and last year earned second team All-FAVC for his play. “I like competition and I like running the team as point guard. Everything starts with you and I like that responsibility,” says Spencer, who hopes to play his sport in college. how did you get involved in basketball? “I got involved with the sport at a very early age playing in our local youth basketball leagues. I then began to play competitively, traveling and competing all over. Over the years spending the countless hours of playing basketball I developed a love for the game.” what has been the most exciting moment for you? “The most exciting moment in basketball for me is the Tuesday and Friday night games, having the opportunity to compete against someone new every night. The success is very exciting to me as well showing that your hard work and preparation have paid off, and having opportunity to share that with my teammates is something very exciting and special.”

kaMp spenCer berle ol

kings high scho

how has basketball affected your life? “It has allowed me to travel all over the country, competing in various tournaments as well as being able to visit places that not everyone gets the opportunity to see. These trips impacted our team by bringing everyone closer together.”

basketball

senior

KARA ESLER As far back as Kara Esler can remember she’s been on parallel bars – her favorite part of gymnastics. The Mason High School senior is on her school’s gymnastics team and also competes on the club level at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy. Between the two groups she practices parallel bars, floor routines, balance beam and vaulting from two to four hours a day five or more days a week. Although she loves the sport, Kara says she won’t pursue it in college. how did you get involved in gymnastics? I first started gymnastics because my older sister Holly was doing it. I have been doing gymnastics since I was 3, but competing since I was 7. I like the thrill of gymnastics, the exciting new skills and being able to do a lot of things other people can’t do. what is the most exciting moment you’ve had in gymnastics? I am most proud of being a Level 8 state champion in 2008. It was exciting to win and something really memorable. explain how gymnastics has played a role in your life. Gymnastics has played a huge role in my life. It has made me who I am and a stronger person. Gymnastics took up a lot of time. I work out 20-plus hours a week and still have time for a social life. I have made a lot of friends during the years of gymnastics. I will continue to keep these friends close to me.

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kara e

ler mason highssc hool senior

gymnastics


PAUL RADCLIFFE Paul Radcliffe is ready to take on life’s challenges and wrestle them with gusto. The Kings High School sophomore was attracted to the sport because it doesn’t restrict players by size. “When I was young I wanted to try and it and what I like about wrestling is that it doesn’t matter what size you are as long as you work hard at it,” says Paul. “I love competing in tournaments and it feels really good to win a match,” says the 16-year-old, who hopes to wrestle in college and is considering Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Dayton. how did you get involved in wrestling? “One day my dad drove me to elementary school and told me he signed me up for wrestling. I didn’t know what to expect but when I finally did my first practice it came naturally to me and I really enjoyed it.” what has been the most exciting moment for you? “My first tournament. It was at Mason High School and I got second. I never felt so good in my life until that moment.”

fe adClhif paugls r l o o sc high kin

sophomore

how has wrestling affected your life? “I have never been in better shape from anything else but wrestling. It not only makes me physically capable but mentally capable as well. I now feel like I can do anything I want to achieve. I figure if I can last six minutes on the mat, there is nothing I can’t do.”

wrestling

CHUCK HAMMOND Mason High School senior Chuck Hammond first took up bowling to honor his late grandfather. Now, he plans to continue it after high school at college where he wants to study law enforcement, with the goal of being a police officer. A varsity bowler since freshman year, colleges are beginning to recruit him for their bowling teams. During his junior year, Chuck played on the Comets football, bowling and baseball teams. This year he dropped football. He has a 227.5 bowling average. how did you get involved in bowling? I never was really into bowling until my grandpa passed away. He really loved the sport. I participate in the sport in his memory. I have been bowling since seventh grade. I enjoy it now like grandpa did. what was the most exciting moment you had in bowling? During my eighth grade year I went on a youth tour around Cincinnati. After a couple first- and second-place finishes I qualified for state. I got seeded fifth and had to win out for state champ. I won every game, bowling a 210 for state champion. explain how bowling has played a role in your life. When I am playing sports I feel like nothing else matters. They help me get feelings out that I keep bottled up. I spend much time practicing for tournaments and matches. I am able to keep many close friends. Time is a factor but I look to defy time by making my own time for practicing.

ChuCk haMMo mason high sch

nd

ool

senior

bowling


YOURSchoolS

KAYLA LAMOTTE For Mason High School senior Kayla Lamotte, there was never any doubt she would play basketball. It was a family tradition, with three siblings and both parents playing the sport. An aunt, Angela Turner, played for the United States Olympic team. “I get advice all the time,” Kayla says. “Sometimes it’s welcome, other times a little less so.” She plans to continue playing at Morehead State University where she wants to major in art. Outside of school she works at McGee’s Courts 4 Sports how did you get involved in basketball? Both parents and my aunt played basketball. All my siblings play basketball. I’ve been playing since I was about 7 years old. I played basketball because it was a tradition in my family. what was the most exciting moment you had in basketball? The accomplishment I’m most proud of is getting a full ride scholarship to play basketball at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Also, winning the district basketball championship last year was pretty exciting.

te kayolnahligahMscoht ool mas

senior

explain how basketball has played a role in your life. All my close friends play basketball with me. I play year round and never have time for anything else. When I’m not at practice I’m at a game, training, doing school work or trying to catch up on my sleep.

basketball

KATELYN HARALAMOS Katelyn Haralamos took to hardwood early, helped by her father, who played basketball for Reading High School. “We’re big sports fans at our house and I have grown up watching and playing basketball,” said the junior point guard for the Lady Knights. “I just love the game and I love the camaraderie with my teammates because we’re all friends,” says Katelyn, who hopes to continue playing in college at either American University, Brown University, Northern Kentucky University, Fordham University or Wright State University. how did you get involved with basketball? “I got involved with basketball at a very young age. My dad is a huge basketball fan because he played in high school and was really good. He has taught me most of what I know. When I was 5 years old my parents, being the basketball fans that they are, got me a hoop and I haven’t stopped shooting ever since.” what has been the most exciting moment for you? “My most exciting moment would have to be when I started my first varsity game as a freshman. It was against Little Miami High School in the 20072008 season, and it is always a big rivalry with them. I remember being so excited because I knew all my hard work had finally paid off.” how has basketball affected your life? “Basketball has impacted my life because I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Our team is so close and we pretty much do everything together. It’s fun to be a part of the camaraderie both on and off the court. Basketball has also taught me to be mentally tough. You have to always keep your cool on the court and in life in general.”

28

our town

katelyn haral

kings high schoaMos ol

junior

basketball

s


YOURSchoolS Congratulations to this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

High School All Stars for a job well done!

Strong Transfer Programs in Business & Liberal Arts

success starts here Located off I-71 in Mason, Ohio

To get started call, (513) 339-1212 or go to courseview.sinclair.edu february | march 2010 29


YOURfreetime YOURcommunity

»

Sweet, but not just sweets phOtO BY tony tribble

SUGAR MOMMIES CAKERY AND CORNER CAFÉ 101 East Main Street Mason, OH 45040 513-398-0320

The sign in the window of Sugar Mommies Cakery and Corner Café boasts “Cakes so good they make you wanna slap your momma!” My girlfriends and I lunched there recently, and it was a good thing our mommas weren’t with us because the desserts we ordered were really tasty. A mother-and-daughter duo – the sugar mommies – own and run the bakery and café, and the bakery side of the restaurant specializes in wedding, 3-D sculpted and air brushed cakes. Situated on the corner of Mason Montgomery Road and Main Street, the café features huge windows facing both streets. Though downtown Mason is not the bustling little town that we all wish it was, it’s still fun to sit at a window table and look out onto Main Street. Much of our conversation focused on the downtown area and our wish list of little shops. The atmosphere in the dining area is cozy – burnt orange walls surround just six tables, and a pretty little fireplace is a focal point of the room. We wished it had been lit, though, because the room was chilly, and we left our coats on while we ate. Our waiter, the son-in-law and husband of the owners, was incredibly friendly and quite happy to chat with us about the building and its history. The lunch menu is pretty basic – salads, soups and sandwiches. The only unique item on the menu was the Sweet Bernie ($4.95) – skillet-fried salami with a special sweet sauce on a hoagie roll, but no one was interested in trying it. The best of the sandwiches we ordered was the BLT ($4.95). My friend ordered it on wheat toast, and the bacon was thick-cut, cooked crisp and plentiful. The tomatoes were ripe and flavorful – a pleasant surprise out of season. She also had a cup of the homemade chicken noodle soup ($2.49). It was thick, hearty and full of chicken chunks and wide noodles – the ultimate comfort food.

30

our town town

My other friend ordered the chicken salad on a croissant ($5.95). The chicken salad was piled high and the croissant was fresh – all in all a good tasting sandwich. Adding fruit, nuts or veggies to the chicken could have made it even better. I ordered a turkey and provolone sandwich on a hoagie roll ($4.95). While there was nothing wrong with the sandwich, there was nothing special about it either. Basically, it tasted like the sandwiches I make at home every day. For me, bread makes the sandwich, and the roll was cold and store bought, surprising from a bakery. I also had a cup of the homemade white chicken chili ($2.49). Chicken and white beans were coupled with a nicely spiced broth. It was actually more of a soup than a chili and was quite good. Another friend ordered the Border Wrap special ($5.95) which consisted of chicken, rice and corn wrapped in a tortilla. Unfortunately, it was served cold and its lack of salsa made it dry. It came with a side of soup, and she also chose chicken noodle and enjoyed it. We split two the of the cakery’s signature desserts, and not surprisingly, this is where they shine. We tried a Sugar Baby ($3.50) which is an oversized cupcake topped with a generous dollop of rich buttercream icing. The chocolate cake was moist and not too sweet, the perfect foil for the decadent white icing. We also tried the Whoopie Pie ($3). Two pancake-shaped and sized chocolate cakes formed a sandwich around a thick whipped cream filling. One of my friends and I are from the East Coast , and we immediately had the same thought – Devil Dogs – a devil’s food and whipped cream snack cake that you just can’t find here. We devoured it and contemplated getting another one. I’ve always loved the saying, “Life is short, eat dessert first.” Good advice when dining at the Corner Café. JILL I. sOLIMINI


Seconds

»

BY pOLLY CAMpBELL

ANTONIO’S RISTORANTE ITALIANO 7165 Liberty Centre Drive, Liberty Township 513-755-7242 Most things in Liberty Township are new, but Antonio’s Ristorante Italiano was one of the first things built on its exit from the Michael A. Fox Highway. It feels like it’s been there even longer, with its traditional dining room and classic Italian menu. Start a meal here with tri-colored tortellini, move on to veal saltimbocca or a Mediterraneo pasta, and end with tiramisu. Open for dinner only.

»

M CAFE AND BISTRO 7500 Tylers Place Blvd. 513-777-1101 Hotel restaurants usually keep their traveling customers happy with generic food in a safe, bland setting. M Cafe and Bistro in West Chester Township breaks out of the box with a contemporary menu in an attractive modern/ retro space. They welcome the community as well as travelers. Tapas, appetizers, salads and sandwiches share the menu with daily specials. There’s a burger, of course, and light pizzas on crackery-thin crusts.

Dr. Cassinelli Voted Top Dentist in Cincinnati Magazine For 2008 and 2009

0000372153

For more restaurant reviews or to rate and review where you’ve eaten lately, visit connectmason.com or connectdeerfield.com.


YOURfreetime

Salute!

Wine-tasting fund-raisers are growing in popularity. Here are some expert tips for throwing a successful event. By Karen Andrew

I

> 32

our town

f you combine wine, friends and an auction, what do you have? A charity wine tasting fundraiser that can rake in the big bucks if a few rules are followed. Jay Cohen, president of Miami University Alumni Association, Middletown Area Chapter, held a wine tasting and auction on Nov. 7 at the Voice of America Learning Center. His advice for setting up a successful event includes:

• Find a quality vendor • Set a budget • Match food selections carefully with wines • Get all the required permits • Avoid conflicts with other big events • Identify your target market • Publicize the event widely. He says vendor representatives need to be experts who don’t act like experts. “You want them to be able to converse with the guests at the gathering so people will feel comfortable with them,” Cohen says. He also says food should be paired well with the wine; ideally, both should come from the same vendor. Sara Straight Wolf, co-chair of The Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty’s Wine & Beer Gala that took place Nov. 14 at the Manor House, agrees that the wine vendor is important to the success of the event. “That person needs to pick interesting wines at reasonable prices and pick out a star wine, thereby inducing attendees to buy bottles.” Their vendor, Gina Ahrens, co-owner of Little Sonoma Fine Wines and Gourmet Foods in West Chester, not only brought the wine but led the tasting. She recommends a pour of two ounces per taste when appetizers are served. The servers need to be

educated on what a pour looks like so they don’t overpour. The types of wine to serve is determined by what type of audience is present. If they are an older crowd and seasoned wine drinkers, more reds should be served, says Ahrens. “But, for a mix, I’d recommend two whites: Chardonnay and a pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc; and three reds: Cabernet, a red blend, red zinfandel, pinot noir or Australian shiraz,” says Ahrens. Anna Sevier of Maineville joined the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training and agreed to raise $1,900 last February. Because she needed the money by the time she ran the Flying Pig Marathon on May 3, she had her work cut out for her. Sevier went to Keitha Todd, owner of River’s Bend Wine and Spirits in Maineville, who told Sevier that she could hold a fundraising wine tasting at her store. “She didn’t do one, she did two,” says Sevier. “We raised over $200. It was fantastic. People came in and whatever they paid she donated as well as all the wine. She really went all out for me.” Todd says she loves to help individuals in the community and it’s a lot less expensive doing an event in-store, versus renting a hall. “We have big enough spaces in and outdoors for seated or standing tastings. It all depends on the goal of the person,” says


YOURcommunity

A labor

of love

Horse ownership inspires pride, skill By elaine trumpey photos by tony tribble

J

essica Durham and Zoie Schaefer are, like many other high school athletes, dedicated to their sport. It’s just that these Mason High School juniors have a passion for a sport that is a little out of the ordinary for a student coming from a suburban school district like Mason. Jessica and Zoie took up the sport of horseback riding years ago when each was in the fourth grade. They have improved their riding skills since then to develop into the equestrians they are today. Each has gone beyond learning to ride well. These 16-year-olds own their own horses. Jessica owns Cali, a dark brown, almost black, mare with a white spot on her neck and another in the shape of a heart on her flank. The heart describes her horse’s personality, she said. Cali is “caring,” said Jessica. “If I’m having a bad day, she knows to be calmer and behave.” Zoie owns Dreamer, a white pinto with brown markings. Her horse is fast, strong and small, according to Zoie. “She’s sweet, sometimes selfish,” she said. “She’s kinda crazy – with a mind of her own.” Owning a horse is more than a hobby, said Zoie. It’s also a lot of work. She heads out to the barns at 3-C Farm in Salem Township almost daily – weekends included – to groom and exercise Dreamer. Jessica does the same for Cali, a horse that measures 16 hands in height – a big horse for a petite rider like Jessica. The girls put their horses through a

18

our town

regular workout routine to see that they stay healthy. They brush the horses and then warm them up before putting them through their paces. Zoie has been interested in horses “forever,” but the Mason High School junior didn’t really think about owning one until she started riding Dreamer as a lesson horse at 3-C Farm. About 2½ years ago, her connection with the pinto translated into ownership. Candy Schaefer, Zoie’s mother, doesn’t hesitate to support her daughter’s interest in horses. Going out to the barn is something Zoie never complained about, she said. It’s a mentoring environment where the older students look out for the younger ones, she said. Jessica had to choose between a horse and a car when she was turning 16. Her family was willing to purchase one or the other. Almost two years later, she has no regrets. “The horse is a blessing,” she said. The two girls have forged a fast friendship since they discovered their shared interest. The two love to ride the trails on the farm together. They also participate in about six shows a year at 3-C Farm. They are taking some steps to be more competitive. Zoie’s family recently purchased a horse trailer that enables them to transport the horses to regional competitions. One of those might be a local county fair next summer. Their membership in a newly formed 4-H Club aptly named More Than Horses Of Course will give them an opportunity to compete at next year’s Warren County Fair in Lebanon.


YOURcommunity

ABOVE: Jessica Durham (left) and Cali hang out next to Zoie Schaefer and Dreamer.

february | march 2010

19


YOURschools

Mason Schools

schoolnotes By Sue Kiesewetter

Castner is Mason football coach A familiar Mason face is taking over duties as Mason High School’s head football coach. Strength trainer and high school health teacher Brian Castner was appointed football coach in December. He

has been with the district for eight years, serving as head girls’ softball coach the past three years and an assistant varsity football coach five years before that. It was Castner who led the Lady Comet softball team to the Final Four twice in the past three years. After leaving the Comet football program, he joined the St. Xavier football coaching team in 2007 as the passing game coordinator – the same year the Bombers claimed the Ohio Division I state football title. He also coached the running

For The Fridge MASON SCHOOLS

February

concert, 7 p.m.

1 Homerun & Touchdown, 7 p.m., high school

23 School board, 7 p.m., high school;

2 Swim Team & Track/Field boosters, 7

24 Middle school mens/mixed choirs

middle school women’s choirs, 7 p.m.

p.m., high school

concert, 7 p.m.

3 Cheer, Women’s Lacrosse boosters, 7 p.m.; high school

25 High school band concert, 7 p.m.

4 Teen Dating Violence talk, 7 p.m., high

school

26 Fine Arts Fun Festival, 4:30-8 p.m., high

school; College 101, 7 p.m., high school

5 Spaghetti dinner, 4-7 p.m., middle school 6 ACT test, 8 a.m., high school

March 1 Homerun & Touchdown, 7 p.m., high

9 Mason Heights PTO, 6 p.m.; school

school

board, 7 p.m., high school

2 Cross Country/Track & Field Boosters, 7

10 Taste of Mason, 5 p.m., high school; Western Row PTO, 6:30 p.m. 11 High school orchestra concert, 7 p.m. 12 The Crucible, 8 p.m., high school 16 DARE graduation, 7 p.m., high school 17 After Prom, 7 p.m., high school; softball boosters, 7 p.m., high school

18 Wrestling Booster, 7 p.m., high school; After Prom Market Day, 6 p.m., Western Row; middle school early release, 1:30 p.m.

19 Talent show, 5 p.m., high school; middle school social, 7 p.m.

22 Homerun & Two Point Club boosters, 7 p.m., high school; high school winter choir

20

our town

p.m., high school

3 Western Row PTO, 7:30 p.m.; kindergarten registration, 6 p.m., high school; cheer & women’s lacrosse boosters, 7 p.m., high school

9 Heights PTO, 6 p.m.; school board, 7 p.m., high school; boys lacrosse boosters, 7 p.m., high school

15 Mason Athletic Boosters, 6:30 p.m., high school; Homerun boosters, 7 p.m. 17 Winter Sports Banquet, 6 p.m., high school

18 Wrestling boosters, 7 p.m., high school; After Prom, 6 p.m., Western Row; middle school early release, 1:30 p.m.

backs and assisted with offensive game planning for St. Xavier from 1998-2000. “As a teacher and coach, I have learned the importance of being a life-long learner, the importance of holding student athletes accountable, the impact I have on a student-athlete when I show them I care about their well-being on and off the field, and the ability to manage change competently and confidently,” Castner said. “For the past seven years, I have worked as hard as I can to teach the young men and women of Mason the importance of each of those aspects. I am grateful for the opportunity to have an even bigger impact on the future of young men who choose to become part of Mason football.” Athletic director Scott Stemple said he is pleased with Castner’s approach to coaching – grounded in self respect and community. He is “developing leaders not only on the field, but off the field,” Stemple said. “I am confident that he will continue the tradition and commitment to Mason’s student athletes.” Castner has two children, C.J., 3, and Jaxson, 1. His wife, Andrea, teaches fifth grade language arts and social studies at Mason Intermediate School.

Rope-skippers in Macy’s Parade A group of Mason High School students made history last fall by marching in the nationally televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This past Thanksgiving 50 million television viewers got to see firsthand the talent of eight members of the Comet Skippers Jump Rope Team. The group was selected to be highlighted, performing a one-minute routine on Herald Square in front of the NBC cameras. It was the first time since the group was formed that the rope jumpers were in the parade. Those who participated included Stephen Simpson, a 2008 Mason High School graduate; Brendan Kelly, Alexandra Simpson, Patrick Vorbroker, seniors; Runa Falkhausen, Ally Haidet, Katie Simpson,


juniors; and Symran Robinson, freshman. The Mason teens were part of a group of 150 rope jumpers from across the United States. They were representing the sport and USA Jump Rope, a national organization.

14 are Merit Scholar semifinalists Fourteen Mason High School seniors – or about 2 percent of the Class of 2010 – are in the running for prestigious National Merit Scholarships that will be announced this spring. The students were named National Merit semifinalists last fall based on their scores on the 2008 Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, taken by more than 1.5 million students nationally. The students are among 230 semifinalists in Greater Cincinnati and nearly 16,000 nationally. They are: Alexander Chernyakhovsky, David Chrzanowski, Andrew Grage, Alyssa Howard, Prithvi Jami, Amanda LaRue, Rohit Rao, Paul Sommer, Joseph Starnes, Robert Starnes, Dennis Tseng, Anjana Venkatesan, Robert Vorbroker and Margaret Zhang. Another 18 students were named commended students, ranking in the top 5 percent nationally. They are: Nithin Banda, David Dehner, Emily Drake, Ellen Duffer, Nisha Giridharan, Megan Hanschke, Nathan Hartshorn, Robin Igney, Sneha Kolli, Aditi Lele, Tianhang Lu, Trevor Maxim, Suprasanna Mishra, Anna Reuter, Cody Rutowski, Zachary Schaefer, Rachel Schowalter and Kyle Van Blaricom. Two other students, Nadira Long and Danielle Simms were named semifinalists in the National Achievement Program, which recognizes the top African-American students in the nation, also run by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. Seniors Olivia Jordan, Kristian Ogungbemi and Brianna Terrell were recognized as Outstanding Participants in the National Achievement Program. That puts them in the top 3 percent of more than 160,000 black Americans who took the test.

This one-of-a-kind run/walk will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2010 in Landen-Deerfield Park on US 22 and 3 (Montgomery Road). The 3.1 mile trail winds through grass fields and densely wooded. dirt/mud trails within Landen-Deerfield Park, with elevation changes of up to 50 feet, with two calf-deep creek crossings. It’s fun, fast and a great way to support Deerfield Parks, with all proceeds benefiting our park system.

For complete information, course map, directions and online registration, visit www.RunningTime.net.

WINTER FURNACE CLEANING SPECIAL $9995 C ustom er S ervice P lans - O ne tim e fee of $187 includes 2 cleanings & 365 day coverag e


YOURschools

Kings Schools

schoolnotes By Sue Kiesewetter

South Lebanon school gets blue ribbon South Lebanon Elementary School is one of the top schools in the nation. It was one of just 314 schools nationally that were named a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education

for the 2008-09 school year. Schools are honored because they are either academically superior or have made significant improvements in closing the achievement gap. “The Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award is a tremendous honor for South Lebanon Elementary, the Kings Local

For The Fridge kings SCHOOLS

February

March

2 Columbia parent/teacher conferences,

1 Kings Kids summer registration

4-7:30 p.m.; J.F. Burns PTO, 7 p.m.; Kings Music Association, 7 p.m., high school band room

begins

6 Kings Kloset open, 9-11 a.m., education center

8 Columbia Freedom Train presentations

9 Columbia PTO, noon; South Lebanon PTO, 7 p.m.

11 Junior high spring pictures 12 Third quarter interim reports; junior

2 J.F. Burns PTO, 7 p.m.; Kings Music Association, 7 p.m., high school band room; Kings Mills PTO, 6:30 p.m.

3 Junior high parent council, 6 p.m.; junior high conferences, 4-7:30 p.m. 4 Incoming freshman orientation & academic fair, 6:30 p.m., high school 5 South Lebanon spring bingo & arts fair, 5:30-8 p.m.; Columbia spring pictures

high dance, 7-9 p.m.

6 J.F. Burns Krazy Karnival, 11 a.m.;

15 No school; Kings Kids closed

Kings Kloset open, 9-11 a.m., education center: Kings Mills dance recital, 5 p.m.

16 School board, 6:30 p.m., education center

17 After Prom, 7 p.m., high school 18 High school conferences, 4-7:30

9 South Lebanon PTO, 7 p.m. 11 Kings Mills conferences, 4-7:30 p.m. 12 Columbia Fun Night, 6-10 p.m.

p.m.; Kings Mills spring pictures

13 J.F. Burns dance recital, 5 p.m.

20 Columbia Puttin’ on the Hits, 7 p.m., auditorium

15 Ohio Graduation Testing begins

23 J.F. Burns first grade musical, 6 p.m.

center; Columbia choral concert, 7 p.m.

16 School board, 6:30 p.m., education

25 Junior/senior high jazz band concert,

17 J.F. Burns spring pictures; After

7:30 p.m., auditorium; Kings Mills first grade program, 6:30 p.m.

Prom, 7 p.m., high school

27 Kings Mills Extravaganza, 11 a.m.

18 Elementary conferences, 4-7:30 p.m. 19 Junior/senior high school Knight of Knights, 4:30 p.m.

22

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School District and the South Lebanon community,” said Principal Randy Willis. “This national award not only represents the excellent instruction that takes place in our classrooms each day, it also highlights the true partnership that exists between the SLE staff, our students and their parents.” Willis and staff members Peggy and Dave Allen represented the school at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. There they were given a plaque and flag. The last time a Kings school received the Blue Ribbon award was in 1993 when J.F. Burns was honored.

Bringing laptops to school Don’t be surprised if your teen wants to bring the family laptop to school. In mid-November Kings High School started a pilot program that allows students to bring personal laptop computers to school. Wifi stations have been set up in the school’s main lobby, study hall and media center. Students can go to those areas before and after school or during lunch and study halls, said Principal Doug Mader. It will be up to individual teachers whether to allow the laptops in the classroom for notetaking or other educational endeavors. “If they use the Internet, they’re still protected by our filters,” Mader said. “They can do their own research or find answers to questions if they’re working on homework.” Mader predicts a year from now using personal laptops will be routine instead of novel. “These kids know technology a lot more than we do. Computers to them are what encyclopedias were to us,’ Mader said. “We wanted to catch up to the 21st century. They’re another resource for them that we need to accept.”

Girls golf team wins title The Lady Knights golf team captured the district’s first Fort Ancient Valley Conference


title for the school year. They clinched the title at the 10th annual tournament held at Fairfield’s golf course. The team was led by Chelsea Wright, who got the league’s first ever hole-in-one in a girls or boys tournament. She got the holein-one on the seventh hole with a 118-yard shot. Chelsea was also named the FAVC Player of the Year and Kathy Abrell was named the FAVC Coach of the year.

CoaCh olds is baCk – and healthier Kings Head Football Coach Andy Olds is back into the swing of activities – but this time with a new appreciation for his health and his students and athletes. Last fall the physical education teacher and coach suffered a heart attack, missing eight weeks of work while recuperating, gradually returning to his full schedule by mid-November. “Getting a second chance like this was a wake-up call,” Olds said. “I didn’t realize how much I would miss the kids. I light up now when I come into the school every day.” One of the best things to come from the experience, he said, is a new-found appreciation and enjoyment of the elliptical machine used by his athletes. “I was always around the opportunity to exercise with all the equipment we have and now I take advantage of it,” Olds said. “I was always afraid of the elliptical machine. Every time I got on it, it made me hurt so bad. Now that I know how to use it properly, it’s better than running because there’s not the pounding on my legs and back you get with running.” Olds said he’s healthier now than before the heart attack and was left with zero heart damage. He exercises about 30 minutes before or after his athletes do five days a week. Olds is back to a full teaching and coaching schedule with his doctor’s blessing with one admonition: “If my body says stop, I stop.”

{That’s why my doctor and I chose minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.} When it comes to gynecologic surgery, women want less. Less pain. Less scarring. Less chance of infection. Shorter hospital stays — and a faster return to their lives. The experts at The Christ Hospital Women’s Surgery Center perform more minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries than any other hospital in the region, including laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive hysterectomy and even robotic-assisted surgery. We strive to always offer women more — or in this case, less — through our commitment to the newest procedures, the latest technology and to Caring Above All. SM

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promotion

E

>> The Montessori Academy of Cincinnati Information: 513.398.7773 or visit http://montacademy.org Learn more: Montessori Discovery Day, 9:30 a.m. Jan. 13 Open house: 1-3 p.m. Jan. 24

ven teachers who are student-centered often have classrooms that are teacher-focused. Teachers are at the center or front of the class. Students listen, and respond to stimuli and prompts from the teacher. The Montessori Academy of Cincinnati is different. “We try to have a child-centered environment rather than a teacher-centered environment,” said Ken Elder, chairman of the Montessori Academy of Cincinnati and its sister program for infants and toddlers, The Child’s Place. He operates the schools with his wife, Pat, who is head of the schools. Classrooms have learning centers where students can learn by doing and at their own pace. There are often multiple teachers in a classroom helping a range of students in ability and age to best develop their intellect, life skills and love of learning. “We utilize Montessori materials which are very unique,” said Elder. “They’re designed to be manipulative and help children learn basic concepts by doing. The children are hands-on with materials and teachers help them use the materials to learn mathematical concepts or reading or science or another subject. We involve as many senses as possible and know the students will learn best by doing.” The Montessori Academy focuses on competencies so students can move ahead in areas in which they excel while they don’t feel held back in other areas they may need more work in. “You’re not really called out as being different or being held back,” said Elder. “You may be doing third grade work in one area and first or second in another. And in situations when a child goes beyond and demonstrates extraordinary competency, we may be able to move him or her to the next class up at certain times.” This works because in any given classroom there may be children a few years in age apart. The lower elementary classrooms accommodate first through third grades while upper elementary includes fourth through sixth. Middle school areas include seventhand eighth-graders. Though the methods of teaching and learning may be different, students respond in a positive way. “We do an Iowa test for the children in elementary and middle school,” said Elder. “For each of our grade levels, our children are usually testing in the 95th to 99th percentile, so they’re really achieving even though we don’t prep them on the test at all, that’s just what their learning level is.”

Empowered

learning: Montessori Academy of Cincinnati By Jeanette McClellan

Jennifer Vallarautto, of Mason, said she has been thrilled with the education her three children, Lauren, 16, Lindsey, 5 and Michelle, 4, have received at the Montessori Academy. “All three have gone through Montessori,” said Vallarautto. “Lauren graduated eighth grade there when she was 14 and is now at Ursuline Academy. Lindsey and Michelle are still attending.” Vallarautto couldn’t be happier with her family’s experience. “If you want an excellent education for your children, go in and evaluate it and see the kids. See what they do. That’s what I did and I found just by watching I could see how incredible it is. There were three teachers in the room and all these kids and everything is always under control, there’s no chaos and that’s with it being a less structured environment than a typical classroom.” But what about the transition to a nonMontessori high school? “It was incredibly smooth,” said Vallarautto of Lauren. “She has always been taught that she could do things, so it never dawned on her that she couldn’t. So it was easy, she stepped right into it as though she’d always been in a big school environment and she loves it. She’s doing very well and was accepted with honors from the entrance exam.” This is the goal of the Elders for every child who goes through their schools. “We want to instill a love of learning in every child and ensure a grounding in the basics of education,” Elder said, “so they will be able to maximize their education and achieve their potential in the educational field and in life.”


If it’s important to you, it’s important to us. That’s why we’re the fastest growing destination for local moms. Visit us today and join the conversation! You won’t believe how much we have in common!


photo By tony tribble

YOURfreetime

>> Have some wine! Here is a sample of upcoming wine tastings. Call ahead as schedules might change.

Casual Wine Tastings, 3-7 p.m. Fridays, 50 cents

per taste, no reservations; and After Hours Wine Tasting, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Fridays, five or six wines with appetizer, $30, reservations required, Little Miami River Wines, 10490 Loveland-Madeira Road, Loveland. 513-677-3333; www.littlemiamiriverwines.com.

Gina Ahrens of Little Sonoma Fine Wines, Rotary president Susan Hendel, Jeff Ahrens, and Rotary member Doug Robbins enjoy some vino. Todd. Of course, large groups will likely have to rent a space unless they can get it donated. The venue and other costs need to be considered when organizing a fundraiser. “What we recommend first of all is to charge an entrance fee,” says Kathee Van Kirk of the Wine Merchant, who assisted Lauren Scharf, director of development at Cancer Family Care, with their annual wine tasting on Nov. 6 at the Manor House. “I also recommend giving the people at the event the option of purchasing the wines for retail price and the wine stores will give the 10 percent discount back to organization. That way people get something out of their donation.” Donated wine, merchandise and experiences such as spa services also help to raise a large portion of the funds. “We have items such as jewelry, art and gift baskets,” says Scharf. “But also our

board members and donors go into their wine cellars and pull out wine and put in our silent auction so somebody else buys it and puts into their own wine cellars. And the proceeds all go to Cancer Family.” In the case of the Rotary Club’s event, Wolf says, “Our first goal was to raise funds for our charities.” They cut their expenses by doing a wine tasting instead of a sit-down dinner. “It also made the evening more social and we learned about wines in the process.” Although Cancer Family has been holding wine auction fundraisers for about 30 years, Scharf says this is now the trend in fundraising. “Wine tasting events seem to be happening every weekend now,” she says. “This wasn’t happening 10 years ago.”

Casual Wine Tastings, 4-7:30 p.m. Fridays and 10

a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, The Wine List, 7731 Tylers Place Blvd., West Chester Township. 50 cents per pour. 513-7553300; www.thewinelistwc.com.

Uncorked, 6-8 p.m. Fridays, Whole Foods Market Mason, 5805 Deerfield Blvd., Deerfield Township. Five wines paired with five dishes and souvenir wineglass. Bring glass back to next tasting and receive $1 off punch card. $5. 513-398-9358. Weekly Wine Tasting, $20, Fridays and Wine Down Wednesdays, $10, both 5-7 p.m., Mesh Restaurant, 6200 Muhlhauser Road, West Chester Township. $20. 513-777-7177. Wine Tasting at bigg’s, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fridays,

bigg’s Hypermarket, 9600 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason, 513-459-8809.

Casual Wine Tasting, 4-11 p.m. Fridays, Mama Vita’s, 6405 Branch Hill Guinea Pike, Loveland. Pub. $5. 513-697-9705; www.mamavitas.com. Wine Tastings, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays and 3-6 p.m. Saturdays, Little Sonoma, 6078 West Chester Road, West Chester Township. $10-$15. Wine by the glass $6.99-$7.99. Reservations required for groups or six or more. 513-942-9463; www.littlesonomawines.com. Wine Tasting, 5-8 p.m. Mondays, Troy’s Café and

Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. $12. 513-860-3206; www.troyscafeandcatering.com. More at Cincinnati.Com. Search: tastings

february | march 2010

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YOURhome completely a part of the family. “ During the years she lived in Mexico City, Carol taught English to children, Spanish to American businessmen and maintained a thriving craft business. When she moved back to Colorado, she spent eight years with the Coors Brewing Co. in their corporate affairs department before purchasing her Hallmark store. “The greatest part about being in this family is still feeling useful,” says Carol. “I belong to an online retirement group, and many of the people say they feel like they have outgrown their usefulness – that they have been thrown away by society. I never feel like that.” With three children in many activities, the Fortson house is bustling, and there is plenty for everyone to do. Some nights, Sasha gets one child to an activity while Carol stays home with the others, and some nights they are both on the go getting Hailey to horseback riding lessons and Alex and Diego to football and soccer practices. Walter works a full week and coaches Alex’s select soccer team. And each night, Carol prepares dinner for the family. “It’s not dinner,” corrects sixth-grader Hailey, “it’s a feast! When Nanny leaves for a vacation, its back to Pop-Tarts.” On weekends, Walter and Carol pair up in the kitchen, and they often joke about having a mother-in-law/son-in-law cooking show. “I’m not sure this arrangement would work for everyone,” says Carol. “I’m very lucky to have such a good relationship with Walter.” For Walter and Sasha, the benefits of having Carol as part of the immediate family are apparent every day. Not only does having an extra pair of hands give Sasha the freedom to be room mom for Diego’s class, head up the yearbook for MECC and volunteer in the boys’ classes, Carol being a part of the children’s day-to-day life has created strong bonds between them. “She is so close to the children,” says Sasha. “They really know her, and she helps them know the rest of our family. There was a time when every evening we would have hot cocoa, and she would tell stories about our family.” “My favorite thing about Nanny is that she teaches me history,” says fourth- grader Alex. A history major at the University of the 42

our town


Enrichment.

Welcome to Cedar Village. We are a retirement community located in Mason, Ohio, featuring 105 independent and assisted living apartments and 162 healthcare beds. Formed by the merger of two longtime Cincinnati Jewish nursing homes, Cedar Village opened its doors in March 1997. It’s about caring. It’s at the core of everything we do. It’s the gentle touch of a hand, the soft words of comfort. It’s reaching out to steady and support, to encourage and console. It’s the hallmark of all that we do at Cedar Village. Services Provided:

• Driving Assessment Program • Cedar Village Home Care • Independent and Assisted Living • Rehabilitation After Hospitalization • Nursing Care • Specialized Dementia Care

Cedar Village Retirement Community 5467 Cedar Village Drive Mason, Ohio 45040 Tel: 513.754.3100, Fax 513.336.3174 www.cedarvillage.org


YOURhealth Americas in Mexico City, Carol has maintained her love of history and is now sharing this passion with her grandchildren. “We go on ‘Nanny Adventures’ all the time,” says Carol. “Before moving here, I had never been to this part of the country, and there is so much to see.” Last summer, she and Hailey visited southern Kentucky and toured the Lincoln Heritage Trail, visiting the replica of the one-room log cabin Lincoln was born in. And she and Alex drove to Canton to see the NFL Hall of Fame. “I made him a deal,” Carol laughs. “He could spend as much time as he wanted there, but the next day he had to go to the National First Ladies Library with me. Then we hit Amish Country on the way back.” Diego, who is in kindergarten, has gone with his Nanny on her hunts for covered bridges – another of her passions. While he enjoys these outings, his favorite thing about Nanny is a simple pleasure. “She gives me orange juice with ice, “ he says, smiling at her. The kids maintain that when their parents go out, the fun begins as soon as the garage door closes. That’s when the “Nanster,” as she is fondly known by the kids, breaks out the snacks. When Walter’s job as IT manager for Johnson & Johnson took him to Switzerland on business, Sasha joined him, and they extended the trip to visit Italy. “We left the kids at home with my mom, and at one point they sent me a picture with my mother tied up in a chair surrounded by the kids. She puts them up to all kinds of jokes,” says Sasha. The one thing the Fortson family takes seriously is football. Each family member has their favorite team, and fall and winter weekends are devoted to watching the games and keeping up with the friendly rivalries that occur when one family contains fans of the Broncos, Eagles, Cowboys, Chargers and Colts. “We have a lot of laughs in this family, and we joke around about everything,” says Carol. “Being a part of this family keeps me young.” 44

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YOURhealth

To the

rescue

Mason Community Organizations Can Celebrate National Heart Month with Free CPR Training Kits, Compliments of TriHealth THE IMPORTANCE OF CPR AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Only 6.4 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive, in part because the vast majority of those witnessing a cardiac arrest are people who do not know how to perform CPR. In an effort to improve this statistic, TriHealth and the American Heart Association (AHA) have teamed up to provide free CPR training kits to community organizations that are willing to facilitate a self-directed approach to CPR training of their members. The revolutionary approach to CPR training, called CPR Anytime, was developed by the American Heart Association. The research-proven “practice while watching” technique allows users to practice CPR on a personal mannequin while watching a DVD. CPR Anytime was created to increase the incidence of bystander CPR by making training more accessible. Now through the support of TriHealth, kits will be distributed free of charge to community groups that will commit to training at least five people per kit. The impact of providing bystander CPR is profound. It more than doubles the chance that a sudden cardiac arrest victim will survive. Yet victims receive bystander CPR in only about 27 percent of cases. Each CPR Anytime kit includes an inflatable CPR mannequin, a skills practice DVD, instruction manual and program accessories. CPR Anytime coordinators are required to facilitate the education of members in their program, training as many individuals per kit as possible (minimum 5 per kit).

To order CPR Anytime kits, community groups must complete an application, available from the American Heart Association by calling 513-281-4048 or online at www.TriHealth.com. Applications must be submitted by Friday, February 26; kits will be distributed in March. “Bethesda North Hospital Emergency Department routinely sees more patients with acute heart attacks than any other in Greater Cincinnati, so we know first-hand how important CPR really is, and we want to partner with the community to make a difference,” said Nancy Dallas, administrator of Cardiovascular Services for TriHealth, the community partnership of Bethesda North and Good Samaritan hospitals. “Heart attack care is a top priority for TriHealth, and we believe that working together as a community will allow us to have a bigger impact on survivability and postattack quality of life.”

MORE HEART-HEALTHY OPPORTUNITIES FOR MASON RESIDENTS Community support for heart care is nothing new to TriHealth or the City of Mason. The City of Mason, Group Health Associates and Bethesda launched a wellness-based programming partnership in November 2008 to provide free

february | march 2010

45


YOURhealth

>> Get Healthy! health screenings, physician presentations and other educational tools to empower people to take charge of their health and wellness. Examples of past efforts include: cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and body comp screenings; health risk assessments; physician experts discussing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and what individuals need to do to be prepared; heart-healthy cooking demonstrations; a physician presentation about innovative treatments for arrhythmia; a 10-week Health Improvement Program; and more. See the programming listing that accompanies this article for information on upcoming offerings. TriHealth also recently partnered with local paramedics, including those in Mason, on a project to improve heart attack care throughout southwest Ohio. The project involved the donation of EKG (electrocardiogram) transmission devices to Advanced Life Support (ALS) squads in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties who needed and wanted the technology. The new equipment has given the ALS squads the tools they need to partner more closely with hospitals and better serve the community. The Emergency Heart Attack Response Project enables paramedics who are still in the field to transmit EKG data to emergency physicians, cardiologists and other healthcare professionals, which allows hospital personnel to activate the cath lab team to be ready for the patient upon arrival. That efficiency, in turn, reduces the time it takes to open blocked arteries via balloon catheterization—known as doorto-balloon time—which has proven critical in minimizing damage to heart muscle and increasing the patient’s chance of survival. The equipment can be used to transmit EKG data to any hospital that has receiving capabilities. As a result of initiatives such as this one, Bethesda North Hospital is able to speed heart attack patients to heart-saving angioplasty in an average of 68 minutes, much faster than the 90-minute national standard.

Your Partners in Wellness—the City of Mason, Group Health Associates and Bethesda—are offering a variety of free programs through the Live Well in Mason series to help you develop and maintain healthy habits:

February 3 >>

7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Heart Smart: Free Cholesterol and Glucose Screenings

Mason Community Center To register, call: 229-8555, x5547

February 5 >>

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Go Red for Women: Informational Booths Mason Community Center Registration not required.

February 5 >>

10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Celebrate your Heart Health with a Wellness Walk

Meet at the Mason Community Center Gym To register, call: 229-8555, x5547 This is a community walk with a suggested donation of $5 to benefit the American Heart Association. Don’t forget to wear your red!

February 24 >>

7 p.m.

Putting the Pieces Together: Whole Approach to a Well Heart Mason Community Center To register, call: 229-8555, x5547

For more information or to see a full list of Live Well in Mason programs, visit online at www.imaginemason.org (click on the Partners in Wellness logo).

March 4 >> 10a.m.-11a.m. February Nutrition 24 >> presentation: “Is What You’re Eating Really FOOD?”

Mason Community Center How do your nutritional choices match up? Join our TriHealth Dietician for an interesting discussion of the transformation of FOOD. You can also sign up for a 30minute one-on-one nutrition consultation in the month of March. To register, call: 229-8555, x5547

March 28 >> MiniHeart Marathon: Join Team Live Well For more information on how you can be a part of Team Live Well, call: 229-8555, x5547

For more information or to see a full list of Live Well in Mason programs, visit online at www.imaginemason.org (click on the Partners in Wellness logo).

46

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Finalthoughts

Of reunions and such By richard stewart

I

drive through my old neighborhood once every few years, never certain if I am nostalgic for what once was or vainly searching for another chance at what might have been. In some measure, I suppose it is a mix of both. I think back to when possibilities were more numerous than absolutes, when it seemed somehow not crazy to believe that I really could become anything I set my mind to being. I laugh now at the memory of being so committed to escaping the very place to which I compulsively return, seeking some affirmation or evidence that I have somehow risen above or beyond what was so eagerly left behind. You could characterize all of this as some sort of middle-aged angst, I suppose – if you subscribe to the fantastical notion that I will be around until I am 96. (But, having first-hand knowledge of the assorted versions of self-abuse inflicted along the journey thus far, I advise betting against it.) More than three decades have now passed since I graduated from high school and a few months back I dared to participate in that most puzzling of human rituals, the class reunion. Acknowledging that it has, in fact, been over 30 years since I took my first ridiculously miscalculated steps into adulthood is rendered impenetrable to denial by my sagging eyes and graying hair, but it is still quite a slippery concept to truly fathom. It was both forever ago and, I swear, only yesterday. Nonetheless, re-union is the correct word since it had been at least 15 or 20 years since I had so much as laid eyes upon, much less spoken with, the overwhelming majority of my classmates. Actually, since the size of my graduating class exceeded 850 people, I didn’t really know most of them even when we walked the same overcrowded halls. So, it is genuinely hard to understand why the acceptance and affirmation of this group of randomly connected individuals still mattered or would be sought. But, my attendance serves as something of a testament to the gnawing, persistent fear that I might be forever thought of only as who I was rather than who I am. What if none of them knows or realizes that the awkwardly selfconscious short kid with the unmanageable hair might have actually turned out to be something other than a miserable failure? What if, just as they are all stuck in my memory at 18 years of age, I am likewise

48

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recalled by them only as I was all those years ago? Or, worse, really, what if they never think of me at all? To be sure, I am not above human pettiness. Like many a secretly insecure alumnus, I strode into the rented ballroom carrying more pounds than I intended and harboring a fairly typical set of perverse hopes – that the smart guy would somehow be bankrupt, that the pretty cheerleader would be morbidly obese and twice-divorced, that the object of my high-school affections would drop dead from regret at the very sight of me, that my rightful claim to the Prom King throne would, at long last, be acknowledged. As you might guess, though, none of these things came to pass – the smart guy did end up ridiculously wealthy, the cheerleader is still positively stunning, there was no swooning of any kind, and outside of stuffing the ballot box, I think you probably sensed that I never had even a remote shot at prom king. Yet, oddly, once in their midst and in the afterglow of our gathering, I recognized how much I had missed them all. I missed being within the bosom of unconditional friendship that was left behind in the wake of ambition and traded away far too easily for things. To be clear, my commentary here is not an expression of regret. I don’t wish to go back and do it over. I just wish I had possessed the ability and the grace to do it better – then and now. Somewhere along the way, through some combination of fortune, fate, and folly, I somehow became who I am; which is neither who I would have predicted nor who I strived to be. But, the truest friends I’ve ever had seem to think I came out all 1right. Or, at least they told me that. Of course, it was a reunion. And, I’m pretty sure they were drunk.

Richard Stewart has been a resident of Mason for the past 15 years. But, he did not attend high school here so this story is not about you or anyone you know. He is not the same guy who sent you those creepy notes in geometry class back in 1979. Really.


YOURfreetime

Events calendar For even more event listings, visit connectMason.com or connectDeerfield.com.

Feb. 1

FEB. 3

feb. 7

Karaoke/Open Mic

Support Group

Theater

Open Mic Night, 7-11 p.m., Mama Vita’s, 6405

Child Loss Support Group, 7-9 p.m.,

Crimes of the Heart, 2 p.m., Top of the Shoe Theatre, 120 E. South St., Lebanon. Tragic comedy revolves around three sisters surviving one crisis after another in a small Mississippi town. Presented by Lebanon Theatre Company. $16. Through Feb. 14. 513-228-0932.

Monday

Wednesday

Branch Hill Guinea Pike, Loveland. Pub. Hosted by Jerome. 513-697-9705.

Food & Drink Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. For those who have suffered death of a child. All welcome. Registration required. 513-755-9433.

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

feb. 4

Support Group

Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Perinatal / Neonatal Loss, 7-9 p.m., St.

Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township. For those who have suffered the death of a child very close to birth. All welcome. 513-870-9108.

Story Time Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

feb. 5

FEB. 2

Friday

Tuesday

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891 Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Support Group Survivors After Suicide, 7-9 p.m., St.

Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township. For those who have suffered death of a loved one, friend or close associate by suicide. All welcome. 513-870-9108.

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Thursday

our town

Food & Drink

Sunday

feb. 8 Monday

Karaoke/Open Mic Open Mic Night, 7-11 p.m., Mama Vita’s, 6405 Branch Hill Guinea Pike, Loveland. Pub. Hosted by Jerome. 513-697-9705.

Food & Drink Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

Casual Wine Tasting, 4-7 p.m., The Wine List, 7731 Tylers Place Blvd., West Chester Township. Fifty cents per pour. 513-755-3300.

feb. 9

feb. 6

Karaoke/Open Mic

Saturday

Theater Crimes of the Heart, 8 p.m., Top of the Shoe Theatre, 120 E. South St., Lebanon. Tragic comedy revolves around three sisters surviving one crisis after another in a small Mississippi town. Presented by Lebanon Theatre Company. $16. Through Feb. 14. 513-228-0932.

Tuesday

Gravy Karaoke, 7-10 p.m., Gravy, 1513 Ohio 28, Loveland. 513-576-6789.

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891 Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.


YOURfreetime

Cincinnati International Wine Festival Winery Dinner Visiting winemakers from around the world join area’s finest chefs in own restaurants to create multicourse dining and wine-tasting experience. $150, Ages 21 and up.

Clubs & Organizations Southwest Ohio Crochet Guild Monthly Meeting, 7:30-10 p.m., Community

of Christ Church, 623 Paxton Ave., Loveland. Promoting heart and soul of crochet for crocheters of all skill levels. $20 annual membership. 513-6831670.

Farmers Market Foster’s Farm Market, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,

Foster’s Farm, 1295 U.S. 22 & 3, Maineville. Produce, local jams and honey, mulch, landscaping rock, flowers and firewood. 513-4599663.

Support Group Open Grief Group/ Parent/Sibling/ Friend, 7-9 p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township.

Group designed to help anyone who has suffered death of a parent/ sibling/ friend. Ages 18 and up. Call before attending first meeting. 513-870-9108.

feb. 10

Wednesday

Support Groups Living Again Widowed Support Group,

7-9 p.m., Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those widowed persons who are typically a year and a half into healing process. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

New Beginnings Widowed Group, 7-9 p.m., Huff Realty West Chester, 6192 Mulhauser Road, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those who have been widowed more than or less than one year. 513-870-9108.

when 6:30 p.m. March 11 where Carlo & Johnny’s registration 513-723-9463

Young Widowed Support Group, 7-9

p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 HamiltonMason Road, Liberty Township. Father Porter Family Life Complex. For widowed persons ages 20-early 50s. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

feb. 16 Tuesday

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

february | march 2010

35


YOURfreetime

Winter Walk: It’s cold out there

when 9 a.m., February 27 where Dudley Park, 5700 Yankee Road, Liberty Township. info 513-777-4761

Free, vehicle permit required.

Support Group

Support Group

Young Adult Grief Support Group, 7-9

Child Loss Support Group, 7-9 p.m.,

p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 HamiltonMason Road, Liberty Township. Group designed for ages 19-29 years of age who have suffered the death of a loved one or friend. Call before attending first meeting. 513-870-9108.

feb. 17

Wednesday

Civic Warren County Democratic Party Executive Meeting, 7-9 p.m., Warren County

Democratic Party, 1975 N State Route 42, Lebanon. Public welcome to attend. Ages 18 and up. 513-2282400; www.warrencountydems.org.

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Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. For those who have suffered death of a child. All welcome. Registration required. 513-755-9433.

feb. 22 Monday

Food & Drink Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

feb. 19

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

Rock

feb. 23

Friday

Shucking Bubba, 9:30 p.m., Bar Seventy-One, 8850 Governors Hill Drive, Symmes Township. Ages 21 and up. $5. 513-774-9697.

Tuesday

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s


Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Support Group Open Grief Group/ Parent/Sibling/ Friend, 7-9 p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church,

5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township. Group designed to help anyone who has suffered death of a parent/ sibling/ friend. Ages 18 and up. Call before attending first meeting. 513-870-9108.

Feb. 24

Wednesday

Business Meeting West Chester OH Networkers, 5-7 p.m., Office Suites Plus, 9075 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 450, West Chester Township. Open networking and round table discussions. Share ideas and promote you business. Food and drink provided. Free. Email registration required: jgonzalez@ brsinsurance.com. 513-276-1983.

Health / Wellness recognizing Symptoms of a Heart Attack, noon to 1 p.m., TriHealth Fitness and

Health Pavilion, 6200 Pfeiffer Road, Montgomery. Information on signs and symptoms of heart attack. $15. Registration required. 513-985-6732.

Support Groups Living Again Widowed Support Group,

7-9 p.m., Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those widowed persons who are typically a year and a half into healing process. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

New Beginnings Widowed Group, 7-9

p.m., Huff Realty West Chester, 6192 Mulhauser Road, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those who have been widowed more than or less than one year. 513-870-9108.

Young Widowed Support Group, 7-9

p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 HamiltonMason Road, Liberty Township. Father Porter Family Life Complex. For widowed persons ages 20-early 50s. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

Feb. 25

Recreation Teen Night, 7-11 p.m., Blue Ash YMCA, 5000

YMCA Drive, Blue Ash. Hang out with friends and meet new ones, participate in basketball, soccer, swimming, cornhole, rock climbing, movies, YMCA Dance Club, Guitar Hero and Sing Star. Pizza and drinks available for purchase. Bring school ID. $6, $4 member. Registration required. 513-791-5000.

march 1 Monday

Thursday

Food & Drink

Story Time

Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Feb. 27 Saturday

Nature Winter Walk: it’s cold out there, 9 a.m., Dudley Park, 5700 Yankee Road, Liberty Township. Free, vehicle permit required. 513-777-4761.

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

Support Group Perinatal / Neonatal Loss, 7-9 p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township. For those who have suffered the death of a child very close to birth. All welcome. 513-870-9108.

march 2 Tuesday

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Support Group Survivors After Suicide, 7-9 p.m., St.

Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Township. For those who have suffered death of a loved one, friend or close associate by suicide. All welcome. 513-870-9108.

march 3 Wednesday

Support Group Child Loss Support Group, 7-9 p.m.,

Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. For those who have suffered death of a child. All welcome. Registration required. 513-755-9433.


YOURfreetime

Southwest Ohio Crochet Guild Monthly Meeting Promoting heart and soul of crochet for crocheters of all skill levels. $20 annual membership.

when 7:30-10 p.m. February 9 where Community of Christ Church, 623 Paxton ,Loveland. info 513-683-1670

march 4

march 8

Story Time

Food & Drink

Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

march 6

march 10 Support Groups

march 11

Living Again Widowed Support Group,

Food & Drink

Thursday

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Saturday

Classical Cincinnati Community Orchestra, 7:30

p.m., Church of the Saviour United Methodist Church, 8005 Pfeiffer Road, Montgomery. “Symphonic Romance.” 513-791-7815; www.thecco. org.

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our town

Monday

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

7-9 p.m., Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those widowed persons who are typically a year and a half into healing process. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

New Beginnings Widowed Group, 7-9 p.m., Huff Realty West Chester, 6192 Mulhauser Road, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those who have been widowed more than or less than one year. 513-870-9108. Young Widowed Support Group, 7-9

p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 HamiltonMason Road, Liberty Township. Father Porter Family Life Complex. For widowed persons ages 20-early 50s. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

Thursday

Cincinnati International Wine Festival Winery Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Carlo

& Johnny, 9769 Montgomery Road, Montgomery. Visiting winemakers from around the world join area’s finest chefs in own restaurants to create multi-course dining and wine-tasting experience. Ages 21 and up. $150. Registration required,


available online. 513-723-9463; www.winefestival. com.

suffered death of a child. All welcome. Registration required. 513-755-9433.

Cincinnati international Wine Festival Winery Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Jag’s

march 18

Steak and Seafood, 5980 West Chester Road, West Chester Township. Visiting winemakers from around the world join area’s finest chefs in own restaurants to create multi-course dining and wine-tasting experience. Ages 21 and up. $150. Registration required, available online. 513-7239463; www.winefestival.com.

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891 Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

march 15 Monday

Food & Drink Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

march 16 Tuesday

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Mom’s Club Northeast Cincinnati Mothers of Twins Club, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Swaim Park, Zig

Zag and Cooper roads, Montgomery. Monthly meeting for mothers of multiple birth children. Meets at Swaim Lodge. www.nemotmc.com.

Support Group Young Adult Grief Support Group, 7-9 p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 HamiltonMason Road, Liberty Township. Group designed for ages 19-29 years of age who have suffered the death of a loved one or friend. Call before attending first meeting. 513-870-9108.

march 17 Wednesday

Civic Warren County Democratic Party executive Meeting, 7-9 p.m., Warren County

Democratic Party, 1975 N State Route 42, Lebanon. Public welcome to attend. Ages 18 and up. 513-2282400; www.warrencountydems.org.

Support Group Child Loss Support Group, 7-9 p.m., Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. For those who have

Thursday

Story Time Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

march 24 Wednesday

Support Groups Living Again Widowed Support Group,

7-9 p.m., Indiana Wesleyan University, 9286 Schulze Drive, West Chester Township. Sign in in lobby. For those widowed persons who are typically a year and a half into healing process. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

New Beginnings Widowed Group, 7-9 p.m., Huff Realty West Chester, 6192 Mulhauser Road, West Chester Township. Sign in at lobby. For those who have been widowed more than or less than one year. 513-870-9108. Young Widowed Support Group, 7-9

p.m., St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 HamiltonMason Road, Liberty Township. Father Porter Family Life Complex. For widowed persons ages 20-early 50s. Registration required. 513-870-9108.

march 25

march 29

Story Time

Food & Drink

Thursday

Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Nature Timberdoodles really Fly, 6:30 p.m.,

Monday

Wine Tasting Monday’s, 5-8 p.m., Troy’s

Café and Catering, 4877 Smith Road, West Chester Township. Includes three glasses of wine and food that compliment wine. Weekly tastings feature wines from around the world. $12. 513-860-3206.

march 30 Tuesday

Dudley Woods, 5591 Hankins Road, Liberty Township. Free, vehicle permit required. 513-8675835.

Story Time

Support Group

Waterstone Blvd., Deerfield Township. Children’s Department Stage. New, popular and obscure favorites read with matching activity to help get involved in story. 513-683-5599.

Motherless Daughters Support Network, 7-8:30 p.m., Montgomery Community Church, 11251 Montgomery Road, Montgomery. For adult women who have lost or missed nurturing care of their mother. 513-677-5064.

march 27 Saturday

High School Sports Lakota West Men’s Lacrosse, 1-5 p.m.,

Lakota West High School, 8940 Union Centre Blvd., West Chester Township. Firebird Stadium. Junior varsity at 1 p.m. and varsity at 3 p.m. Vs. Moeller High School. $5. 513-874-5699.

Children’s Morning Story Time and Activities, 10:30-11 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 9891

march 31 Wednesday

Business Meeting West Chester OH Networkers, 5-7 p.m., Office Suites Plus, 9075 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 450, West Chester Township. Open networking and round table discussions. Share ideas and promote you business. Food and drink provided. Email registration required: jgonzalez@ brsinsurance.com. 513-276-1983.


YOURhome

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our town

Meet the Fortsons


YOURhome Meet the Fortsons: (opposite page) Carol, Alex, Hailey, Walter, Sasha, and Diego.

by Jill I. Solimini | photography by deogracias Lerma

T

he evening meal begins the same way each night at the Fortson family table. As a group, the family shouts, “One, two, three – thank you for dinner, Nanny!” And “Nanny” – Carol Perdomo – shouts back, “You’re welcome, family!” Carol came from Colorado to live with her daughter, Sasha, son-in-law, Walter, and three grandchildren, Hailey, Alex and Diego almost three years ago. After closing the Hallmark store she had owned for 15 years, Carol was at a crossroads in her life. “Walter and Sasha said, ‘Come live with us,’ ” Carol recalls, “but it wasn’t an easy decision for me.” For Walter and Sasha, it just seemed right. Originally from Mexico City, the couple met in high school and both attended college in Colorado before returning to Mexico City, where they were married 14 years ago. Both sides of Walter’s family are native to the country, and Carol moved to Mexico in college,

met her husband and lived there for 21 years before moving back to her native state of Colorado. Sasha and her brother, Andre, were born in Mexico, but both have dual citizenship. Though they have lived in the United States for nine years, coming from a country with a culture that views the family structure very differently has given Walter and Sasha a different outlook on extended family. “When we grew up, there were no retirement homes – it was customary for the parents to live with the youngest daughter,” says Walter. “You might see some now in the bigger cities in Mexico, but in rural areas, it is still the same.” “We wanted her to come, so we used the grandchildren to get her here,” says Sasha. “She used to see them just a couple times a year, now she sees them every day.” “I was worried that moving in would be an imposition,” says Carol. “But they immediately made me feel at home and

february | march 2010

41


Shimmer

GOLD It’ll dazzle your socks off! Exhibit Opens February 6.

UNDER

THE SEA An OMNIMAX® Film

Opens February 12


You can be a HERO! Josh beat cancer with the help of blood donors like his parents, Jim and Sharon, of West Chester.

Nikkia and her mother, Lisa, survive sickle cell anemia with the help of Cincinnati area blood donors.

You can be a hero to patients like Josh, Nikkia and Lisa by giving the gift of life through blood donation.

DRIVE FOR

Call 513-451-0910 to schedule your appointment to donate!


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