ArborGen partners with Lions Club

Arbor_Gen_Lions_ClubArborGen, a world leader in the development and commercialization of technologies that improve the productivity of trees for wood, fiber and energy, has partnered with The Summerville Noon Lions Club, District 32-B and donated 100 pine seedlings for the Azalea Park in Summerville, SC. The seedlings will be planted during the town’s annual Flowertown Festival on March 30th. ArborGen recently moved its corporate offices to Ridgeville, but it maintains strong ties with the Summerville community, which was home to the company for over ten years.

“Summerville is known as ‘Flowertown in the Pines’ and has been named a Tree Town USA for 30 consecutive years. Recently, Dr. Tam, Lions Club International president, challenged Lions Club worldwide to plant one million trees to help turn around our environment, and I in turn have challenged our 34 clubs to plant a total of 250 trees,” said District Governor George Jenkins of Lions Club District 32B. “Partnering with ArborGen has been a true pleasure and we are thrilled to plant these 100 pine seedlings in Azalea Park in time for the annual Flowertown Festival which draws about 200,000 visitors each year. Since the Lions motto is ‘We Serve,’ volunteering within our community is very important to the Lions Club, so it’s great to work with another local organization in serving our community.”

The Lions Club is the global leader in humanitarian services, with more than 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.

“The Lions Club is one of the most well respected organizations in the world, serving and volunteering in hospitals and senior centers, in regions battered by natural disaster, in schools and eyeglass recycling centers, working hands on to make our communities and world a better place,” said Nancy M. Hood, director of public affairs and sustainability of 2011 Broadbank Court Ridgeville, South Carolina 29472 ArborGen.

“We were thrilled to team up with The Lions Club by donating these seedlings to ensure there will always be greenery in the ‘Flower Town in the Pines’.” Starting in 1972, the town of Summerville has hosted the annual Flowertown Festival. It is held the first weekend of April in the Summerville Azalea Park, this year it will be occur from March 30-April 1, 2012.

This nationally acclaimed festival is South Carolina’s largest Arts & Crafts festival and has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. This family-oriented 3-day event is a fundraising event for the Summerville Family YMCA and is held each spring set against the backdrop of blooming azaleas in Azalea Park. In 1925, Summerville’s Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan “Flower Town in the Pines” because of the abundance of azaleas in the town.

Pine trees are one of the most valuable and versatile commercial trees because they are a source of wood, fiber and energy and they are grown across a wide range of soil types and geographies. The Southeastern United States is the largest market for planted trees in the United States and pine is the most widely planted species for commercial applications. The Pine species most commonly used for commercial purposes in the Southeastern United States are Loblolly Pine (pinus taeda), Slash Pine (pinus elliottii) and Longleaf Pine (pinus palustris).

Lawyer from Green set to face ‘Toughest Footrace on Earth’

By Sean Patrick  South Side Leader

Richard-DavisFrom April 6 to 16, Green attorney Richard Davies will be in Morocco to compete in the Marathon des Sables — a race that covers 155 miles in seven days in The Sahara Desert.

Davies, 58, said he has never done anything like this before in his life. In fact, Davies said he has yet to even attempt a single marathon.

The idea for running in the race, the British-born Davies said, came from an alumni newsletter.

“I moved to this country almost 40 years ago,” he explained. “I went to a school in England, and I got an alumni magazine from my high school last year with an article about one of the alumni who’d done the 25th anniversary race in 2010. I thought, ‘That sounds interesting,’ and I started to do some research on it.”

Known as “The Toughest Footrace on Earth,” the Marathon des Sables (or Marathon of the Sands), which will take place from April 8 to 14, is equivalent to running approximately five-and-a-half marathons in seven days — in the desert.

Davies said he has been preparing through a variety of means, including “walking, running and doing exercises to build up [his] core.”

“Approximately 20 percent of the terrain will be sand dunes,” he said. “Most of the terrain is very rocky, and there’s a mountain in the middle of the course.”

In addition, runners will carry a pack with them that includes items such as food, clothing, medical supplies and an anti-venom pump.

“The race involves you carrying everything you need for the week on your back, except for water, which the organizers hand out at control points. The water is rationed,” he said. “And they also provide an eight-person tent. But as far as food, clothing, sleeping bag, bowls, anything like that, you have to carry it yourself. And they limit the amount you can carry. There is a minimum and a maximum amount. Most packs average 20 to 25 pounds.”

Typically, Davies said, 50 to 60 people who enter the race will not finish it. He said he does not plan to be among that group this year.

“I intend to finish it,” he said. “There will be about 1,000 participants this year. About 90 percent of them will run the course, while 10 percent walk it. I have a feeling I will be doing more walking than running. Because it is called the ‘Toughest Footrace on Earth,’ just finishing it is an achievement. Some people try to finish in the top 100 overall or be one of the top 10 Americans or something like that. My goal is just to finish it.”

And even though the Marathon des Sables is considered a race, Davies said he is more interested in the achievement of finishing the race and the experience of taking part in such an event, than he is in worrying about where he finishes.

“There is some money involved for the top finishers, but almost always it’s the Moroccans who win it because they train on the same ground and they train for six months out of the year for the race,” he said. “For most people, it’s just to go out, test yourself physically and mentally, and experience a part of the world that you’re never going to see again in all likelihood.”

Davies said he will be the only runner from Ohio and one of approximately 45 runners from the United States to take part in this year’s event.

“Everybody’s reaction is to ask me if I’m crazy, including my wife and my daughters,” he said. “But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing to do. Honestly, I wanted to do it just to see if I could do it.”

However, Davies said, his reason for attempting the event took on a larger cause when one of his daughters, Amy Troyer, of Uniontown, suggested he do it for charity.

Davies chose to support The Up Side of Downs, a nonprofit organization in Cleveland that exists to provide support, education and advocacy for people with Down syndrome throughout Northeast Ohio.

“My grandson, Ryan, who is 11, has Down syndrome, as does my younger granddaughter, Drusilla, who lives in Portland with my younger daughter, Meredith Hines,” he said. “So I have two grandchildren with Down syndrome and I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea to raise money for Down syndrome and awareness for it.”

Davies said he signed up to participate in the Marathon des Sables last year.

“Normally, it takes two to four years to get in the race. The number of runners who can participate is strictly limited to between 850 to 1,000 runners,” he said. “Usually, the contingency from the U.S. and Canada is between 50 to 60 runners, and they say it’s very unlikely that you will get chosen in your first year. So I signed up to have my name on the list, and I happened to be chosen. It’s strictly a lottery. All they ask for is your name, address, state and country of citizenship.”

Davies said he has received the go-ahead from his doctor to participate.

“I have talked to my doctor, and he said it’s fine for me to go,” he said. “The organization requires that when you arrive in Morocco you have a statement from your doctor that’s no older than 30 days that says you are fit to race it. They also require an EKG to make sure you are physically able to do it.”

And while there will be medical care available throughout the course, Davies admitted he does have some concerns about the race.

“I think I would be silly not to,” he said. “It’s going to be hot in the day — it can get up to 120 degrees — and cold at night. Your water is limited. There is the danger of twisting an ankle or breaking something, and you could suffer dehydration or heat stroke. Blisters are a constant threat and you have to watch out for scorpions and snakes and spiders. Physically and mentally, it can just get very, very tough. Mentally, I think I’m there. Physically, I have eight weeks to go.”

The cost to participate in the race is $3,900. Davies said he is accepting both donations for the Up Side of Downs and sponsorships to help with his expenses.

“I have divided it into donations and sponsorships,” he said. “The donations go directly to The Up Side of Downs; they don’t come to me. If you want to sponsor me, there are sponsorship opportunities. I have had a number of people who have volunteered to help me to defray some of the costs. In return, there will be a banner I will carry with the names on it.”

Donations to The Up Side of Downs can be made online at Mention the Marathon des Sables in the “donate now” comments box so the donations made specifically for this race can be noted. Donations by mail should be sent to The Up Side of Downs, One Independence Place, 4807 Rockside Road, Suite 200, Independence, OH 44131. Mention the Marathon des Sables on the check’s memo line.

Sponsorship contributions can be made payable to Richard Davies and sent to 3572 S. Arlington Road, Suite 2-4, Akron, OH 44312. For a list of sponsorship levels, contact Davies by email at rdl@rich or by phone at 330-899-8846.

And for those who would like to keep track of Davies on his journey, the official website of the Marathon des Sables,, will post updates on all of the runners through a GPS tracking device located on the runners’ ankles. Davies will be listed by his number, which is 962.



Lions club dedicates Good Will Monument

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News

Lions club dedicates Good Will Monument“On February 8, 1950 the Canadian Sault Lions Club commemorated the relations which for a century and a half, have made a fortified border unnecessary, and to dedicate our countries to this relation henceforth.
The symbol of goodwill and mutual understanding existing between the Dominion of Canada and the Sault Ste. Marie, Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada. The geographical location of the Lions Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan defines this monument as a true beacon of International Good Will.
The dedication of this memorial is by the Lions Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, for and in behalf of the Lions Club of Canada: and the acceptance by the Lions club of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, is for and in behalf of the Lions Clubs of the United States, so that all may know that nations can live as peaceful and friendly neighbors without fortified borders.”

These were the words describing a monument placement at a ferry boat landing on the American side of the St. Mary’s River, some 61 years ago. Invitees to the event inaugurating the placement of this Good Will Monument, were Melvin Jones, founder of Lions International and Lions Clubs International President Walter C. Fisher of Queenstown, Ontario Canada.

With the construction of the International Bridge connecting the twin Saults, the ferry service was discontinued and somehow the monument was destroyed and the plaque was misplaced.

After 50 years, the plaque was discovered in a garage and Tom Brown and Bill Munsell, both Lions, made sure the plaque was cleaned and a re-dedication of the monument went into the planning stages.

The official commemoration ceremony took place on November 6, with over 80 in attendance.

Munsell, the Master of Ceremonies, introduced Lion and Mayor Tony Bosbous, along with former Sault, Ontario Mayor, Stephen Butland, SD 10, DG Jim Wash, 1st VDG A-5, Andy McRae, 2nd VDG Jerry Stephens, SD-10, Lion President Glenn Thompson, and Sault, Michigan KL Ron Beacom.

Each speaker praised the eternal link between our two nations and the monument was unveiled. The inscription on the monument for all visitors reads:

“Eternally linked through Lionism by a bond of international fellowship as infinite as the universe and as everlasting as time itself, the Lions of the Dominion of Canada dedicate this monument to the Lions of the United States of America as a symbol of good will and mutual understanding among all nations.”

After a first time visit to the new City Hall on the old Federal grounds, the crowd adjourned to the Cisler Center on the campus of Lake Superior State University and listened to a highly motivated speech given by Lion Chief “Buzz” Melton of Wyoming, Illinois. This charismatic former Fire Chief of Baltimore, captivated the audience with his “Do Something” speech, and comments.

The ceremonies continued as Buzz Melton met with Lions from Pickford, Drummond Island, and the Les Cheneaux Lions from Cedarville at noon on November 7. All Lions benefited as he continued his speaking engagements that evening at the Dafter Lions Club and the Fire Science students at LSSU the next day.

The celebration of the Sault Lions Club’s 76th anniversary was a success, with the Lions  re-dedication of the “Good Will Monument.”

Veterans Day 2011: Why It’s Today, How It’s Changed, More

Ker Than | for National Geographic News

At Veterans Day events across the country, people in the United States gathered today to honor the millions of men and women who have served or are serving in the nation’s armed forces.

But why was November 11 set aside for the holiday, and how has its meaning changed over time?

Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, and the date was chosen for its symbolic significance, John Raughter, communications director for the American Legion, an organization of veterans helping other veterans, said in 2010.

“November 11 was intended to observe the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which marked the armistice of World War I,” Raughter said. (Related: “Veterans Say Dogs of War Deserve a Memorial.”)

The first Armistice Day in the U.S. occurred on November 11, 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson declared that “to us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory. … ”

Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday by Congress nearly 20 years later. In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans Day, following a national campaign to have the day honor all veterans, not just those who served in World War I.

(Also see Veterans Day in National Geographic: “The Nation’s Cemetery.”)

Why Poppies for Armistice Day?

Veterans Day is still celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom and other past and present nations of the British Commonwealth.

World War I veterans are remembered by the wearing of real and artificial red poppies, like those found in Belgium, in reference to “In Flanders Fields,” the name of a popular World War I poem eulogizing fallen soldiers. Armistice Day is also marked with two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m.

For honoring service members in general, the U.K. has its own Veterans Day—renamed Armed Forces Day in 2009—which falls in June of each year.

How Veterans Day Stands Apart

In the U.S., Veterans Day was moved, by a 1968 act of Congress, to the fourth Monday in October.

This shift of Veterans Day—as well as similar moves for Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day—started in 1971 and was designed to create a three-day weekend for government employees.

The Veterans Day long weekend, though, was resisted by many states, localities, and veteran’s groups. By 1978 Veterans Day was again rescheduled for annual observance on November 11.

Veterans Day remains a related but unique holiday from Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May each year.

“Veterans Day is to honor and observe the sacrifices made by all veterans, whereas Memorial Day is to honor the fallen—those who have given their lives for the defense of this country,” said Raughter, who served in the Marine Corps from 1983 to 1990.

Veterans Day Visits

Today Veterans Day in the U.S. is marked by parades and remembrance events across the country. (See pictures of Arlington National Cemetery, site of the annual U.S. national Veterans Day ceremony.)

Not surprisingly, it’s also a busy day for war museums, such as the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

On November 11, 2011, all veterans will receive free admission to the museum, which is also hosting a Celebration of Heroes to honor the service of all veterans in attendance, according to the museum’s website.

(Related: “U.S. Veterans Day Marked by Release of Vets’ Stories.”)

On any day, museum spokesperson Kacey Hill encourages people to seek out and spend time with a veteran, especially WWII vets, a population that is slowly disappearing. In 2000 the number of living U.S. WWII veterans was estimated at 5.5 million. Today there are fewer than two million WWI veterans thought to be alive.

“I think, in general, it’s a holiday that a lot of people don’t necessarily think about,” Hill said in 2010.

“But something as simple as finding one veteran and saying thank you, it doesn’t just light up their life, but it’s amazing how good you feel when you see their reaction.”

And the American Legion’s Raughter believes that Veterans Day is “a day to teach young people about the sacrifices made by their fathers and grandfathers, uncles and neighbors, and mothers and grandmothers.”

“It’s about making sure that when the children of today hear the history lessons and traditions of our great country, they know that it would not be possible without veterans.”

It’s only a test! Nationwide alert goes live Wednesday

By Lori Monsewicz | staff writer

National Test of the Emergency Alert System to Take Place on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST No, the aliens haven’t landed. But if they even try — and everything goes off without a hitch at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday — the U.S. President will be able to tell everyone.

Sirens are expected to blare coast-to-coast and across Hawaii and other U.S. territories at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday as part of a national public alert system test.

The system is being tested so that, in the event of “an extreme emergency,” the President may address everyone in nation simultaneously, said Tim Warstler, Stark County Emergency Management Agency director.

“It’s just never been tested before, not on a national level,” Warstler said. “We do the local test, but they’ve never done a national test of the system, and that’s part of the issue. That’s something the public’s not used to. So we don’t want to create any concern for the public.”

To quell undue public anxiety and avoid mass hysteria, such as what took place in 1938 when Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” Martian invasion story was broadcast over public radio, participating government agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, want everyone to know ahead of time that the public alert system is merely being tested.

The message will last three minutes on TV, radio and satellite broadcasts, and then regular programming will resume, Warstler said. “It’s just going to be the standard warning message. The test will look like the regular local test that most people are already familiar with.”

Warstler said he did not know whether the voice providing the alert is computer-generated or that of a known person.

FEMA’s website says that in 2006, then-President George W. Bush signed an act ensuring that U.S. residents be alerted and warned “in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster or other hazards to public safety and well-being” through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

“This (national alert system) is a way for the President of the United States to address the entire nation on any incident of national significance,” Warstler said.

End of Daylight Savings Time 2011

Daylight Savongs Time EndsDaylight Savings Time 2011 ends in the United States on Sunday, November 6. Before going to bed on Saturday, November 5, people will be advised to turn their clocks back one hour (“spring forward, fall back”) and consequently gain an hour of sleep.

Daylight Savings actually ends on October 30 in the United Kingdom and other countries, but the later date began in the U.S. in 2007. The U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 changed the start of DST to the second Sunday of March from the first Sunday of April, and extended the end date by one week.

But why? What is Daylight Savings, and why do we have it?

As featured on I-Am-Bored, this lengthy but surprisingly educational video takes you through the history of DST, first proposed by proposed by George Hudson in 1885 to give people more sunlight in the summer. The narrator covers the confusion the hour gained/lost causes as well as modern debates that suggest technology (air conditioning, TVs, video games, smartphones) has outgrown our need to continue changing our clocks.

Some studies say DST now costs more electricity with the hour change, while others suggest it saves — but both agree that the difference is minimal, costing or saving less than 1 percent (or $4) per household.

Perhaps the most interesting thing you may learn is that most of the world does not make any changes to their clocks all year long and two states in the U.S. also don’t recognize Daylight Saving Time. According to the video, Arizona and Hawaii ignore the clock change due to excessive year-round sunlight. The same is true for the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands.

And lastly, did you know that “Daylight Savings” is technically called Daylight Saving Time, without the plural? Crazy!

National White Cane Safety Day

White Cane DayThe Greencastle Lions and Lioness Clubs will team up Friday, Oct. 14 to raise funds for local sight projects through the White Cane Project. Members will be located at Tower Bank, Sunnyway Foods, Sunnyway Diner, Family Restaurant and Mikie’s Ice Cream throughout the day and evening.
The White Cane concept began with James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol, England.  In 1921, he became blind following an accident.  Because he was uncomfortable with the amount of traffic around his home, he painted his walking stick white to be more easily visible.  In 1930, George Bonham, president of the Peoria Lions Club in Illinois, introduced the idea of a white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility.  The Peoria Lions approved the idea.  White canes were made and distributed.  The Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right of way to cross the street.
News of the club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions Clubs throughout the United States.  Their friends, with visual handicaps, experimented with  the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance of the white cane idea by individuals, blind and sighted alike, quickly gave cane users a unique method of identifying their special needs for travel considerations among their sighted counterparts.
Today, White Cane Laws are on the books of every state in the US and many other countries, providing a person who is blind a legal status in traffic.  The white cane now universally acknowledges that the bearer is blind.
To make the American people more fully aware of the meaning of the white cane and the need for mororists to exercise special care for the person who carries it, on Oct. 6, 1964, the US Congress approved a resolution authorizing the President of the US to annually issue a proclamation designating Oct. 15 as National White Cane Safety Day.
The Greencastle Lions and Lioness clubs look forward to community support of this fundraiser. All donations received will be used toward local sight projects.

Sweetest Day is October 15

Sweetest Day Editorial (1922)Sweetest Day is an observance celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes region, and parts of the Northeast United States, on the third Saturday in October.[1] It is described by Retail Confectioners International as an “occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember husbands, boyfriends, the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed.”[2] Sweetest Day has also been referred to as a “concocted promotion” created by the candy industry solely to increase sales of sweets.[3]


Sweetest Day was a promotion concocted by Cleveland confectioners in 1921.[3] The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s October 8, 1921 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker C. C. Hartzell. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor” in Cleveland, Ohio.[3] The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara and Ann Pennington.[3]

There were also several attempts to start a “Sweetest Day” in New York City, including a declaration of a Candy Day throughout the United States by candy manufacturers on October 8, 1922.[4] In 1927, The New York Times reported that “the powers that determine the nomenclature of the weeks of October” decreed that the week beginning on October 10, 1927 would be known as Sweetest Week.[5] On September 25, 1937, The New York Times reported under Advertising News and Notes that The National Confectioners Association had launched a “movement throughout the candy industry” to rank Sweetest Day with the nationally accepted Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and St. Valentine’s Day.[6] In 1940, another Sweetest Day was proclaimed on October 19. The promotional event was marked by the distribution of more than 10,000 boxes of candy by the Sweetest Day Committee.[7] The candy was distributed among 26 local charities. 225 children were given candy in the chapel at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children on October 17, 1940.[7] 600 boxes of candy were also delivered to the presidents of the Jewish, Protestant and Catholic Big Sister groups of New York.[7]


Sweetest Day commonly involves women giving their husband or boyfriends candy. While it is not as large or widely observed as Valentine’s Day, it is still celebrated in parts of the United States, despite persistent allegations of being a “Hallmark holiday.”[8]

Retail Confectioners International describes it as “much more important for candymakers in some regions than in others (Detroit and Cleveland being the biggest Sweetest Day cities)”.[2] The popularity in Detroit was greatly perpetuated by the Sanders Candy Company. Frederick Sanders of Detroit, Mi was a large promoter of the holiday. In 2006, Hallmark marketed 151 greeting card designs for Sweetest Day. American Greetings marketed 178.[9]


Since Sweetest Day was invented by commercial interests which stood to profit from such a holiday, dissenting Cleveland residents refer to it as a “Hallmark holiday[8] (although it was not invented by Hallmark Cards company). Due to its relative historical insignificance, adherence limited to the Great Lakes region and commercial origins, many Clevelanders do not celebrate Sweetest Day


  1. ^ Cridlin, Jay (2006-10-21). “A sweet day for Hallmark”. St Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  2. ^ a b Sweetest Day, Retrieved on 2007-02-21.
  3. ^ a b c d The Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 15, 2005.
  4. ^ The New York Times, October 8, 1922.
  5. ^ The New York Times, October 10, 1927.
  6. ^ The New York Times, September 25, 1937.
  7. ^ a b c The New York Times, October 18, 1940.
  8. ^ a b Arnett, Lisa. “Sweet wine o’ mine”. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-02-21.[dead link]
  9. ^ Orsborn, Kimberly (2006-10-20). “Sweetest Day born in Ohio”. Mount Vernon News. Archived from the original on 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2007-02-21.

Rochester Lions describe healthy diet project

By JOHN DAVENPORT Rochester Lions Club

 Rochester Lions describe healthy diet projectROCHESTER — Lions are known for their work with sight and hearing, so why are the Rochester Lions getting their hands dirty in a plot of land on Franklin Street?

Their newest project is a garden that is providing fresh vegetables to Gerry’s Food Pantry. It all started when the local club realized that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and that a diet filled with fruit and vegetables was one way to prevent the disease. With this fact in mind, Lions adopted diabetes awareness as a long-term commitment. They knew that the cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery but diet and a lack of exercise, appear to be correlated to its diagnosis. The garden project became a way to get high fiber fresh food to people who may lack them because of cost.

The project started in the spring when Sharon Davenport contacted the Rochester School Department and asked for permission to raise vegetables on a plot of school land on Franklin Street. With the School Department’s permission Lions started preparing a 30′ by 30′ plot in April. Members started plants in their homes. Plant donations were made by Martha Whitehouse at the Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center. By May, they were ready to plant. Into the ground went 40 tomato plants, zucchini, summer squash, sweet corn, butternut and acorn squash, and potatoes. Soon the effects of sun and rain could be seen from the street as plants grew and bobbed in the breeze.

Asked about the project, Davenport said, “Approximately two percent of all people who have had diabetes for 15 years become blind, while about 10 percent develop a severe visual impairment. Lions are committed to changing those figures.”

Ralph Brock, who has been a Lion in Rochester for over 50 years, said, “It’s a fun evening to get together with club members and get a little dirt under your nails.”

Jim Brock, treasurer, pointed out that in this economy there are people without insurance who need glasses. He hopes that the Lion project will lower the need for glasses in the long run, and that in the short term people in Rochester will help the Lions by joining and supporting the club. Anyone wishing to join can come to a meeting on the first Wednesday of the month at the Rochester Library in the meeting room on the top floor. They can also call 332-5627 for more information.

Now that a frost is just around the corner, the Lions Club is about to harvest the last fruits of their project. The summer squashes are all picked and some of the tomatoes still have a few green fruits. The pumpkins and winter squash are ready. The Lions Club is about to show that a diet to fight diabetes is one that’s naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. In fact, it’s the best eating plan for everyone.

Akron Marathon winner celebrates with hometown support

By George Thomas Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron MarathonBecki Michael of Akron could feel the love. The winner of the women’s portion of the Akron Marathon crossed the finish line at the 2:45:57 mark and one of the first people she looked for was her mother, Denise Calabretta of Alliance.

Michael, an Alliance native, former runner for the University of Akron and Olympic trial qualifier, came to Akron with specific goals for her first run in this event.

“I wanted to break the course record of 2:39:09, but it was apparent at the halfway mark that wasn’t going to happen,” she said. “Ultimately, the goal was to win. I wanted to win the hometown marathon, and I did.”

On a Saturday morning that featured cool, cloudy weather, the kind tailor-made for this type of race, Michael beat her nearest competitor, Kent’s Shanna Ailes, by 15 minutes.

But her statements betrayed a hint of regret.

“It wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but I’m going to the Olympic trials, so I’m happy,” she said.

From the cheers that greeted her arrival at Canal Park, it was apparent that she had significant support in the stands.

“I can say that I had a city behind me, that’s for sure,” she said.

The weather may have offered cover for local runners, but for men’s winner Peter Kemboi, who lives in Hebron, Ky., but hails from Eldoret, Kenya, it was akin to running on a frigid December day.

“It’s too cold,” said Kemboi, who finished the run in 2:22:46.

Kemboi, 31, spends three months in the United States competing, then returns to Kenya to train for four months. The conditions in his native country are drier and more arid, and the slight African felt the chill in his frame.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Kenyan has run the race. Last year, he placed third.

“I’m very happy today. I ran good today and improved my time from last year,” he said.

Still, he said he felt as if he could have run the race at a better pace.

“If I had stronger guys to boost me, I would have run faster,” he said.

Kemboi and other competitors said that the course challenged them in areas where hills played a prominent role.

Cuyahoga Falls’ Dave Petrak came closest to giving Kemboi a run for his money with his 2:30:27 finish.

He ran the race with his twin brother, Dan, who placed eighth overall with a time of 2:39:45. Five Petrak brothers ran in some form or fashion.

“It’s probably in our genes,” he said. “We just have that stubborn element.”

That trait served him well, as he hung with Kemboi before his competitor finally broke away during the second half of the run.

“Right at the beginning of the first parking lot at Sand Run is when he first started to put some distance on me,” Petrak said. “He just kept increasing. He ran very well.”

Petrak took four years off from competitive running, primarily because his school schedule would not allow the dedication that it required. The Akron Marathon was his first race back.

“It definitely wasn’t the time I wanted. I went out ridiculously fast and I wasn’t able to maintain that pace, so I’m quite disappointed with my finish,” he said. “But I still ended up second, so it wasn’t that bad.”

Other results: Andrew Musova (2:38:07) of Santa Fe, N.M., won the men’s masters division. … Tracy Wollschlager (3:03:57) of Novi, Mich., won the women’s division in that race. … Akron’s Michael Capriolo won the men’s half marathon in a time of 1:10:56. Canton’s Brandi Howard finished first in the women’s division in a time of 1:28:18. … In the masters division, Brian Mazur of Jackson, Mich., won the half with a time of 1:21:33 and Marlene Bloomfield of North Olmsted placed first in the women’s division with a time of 1:32:32.

Results from the 2011 Akron Marathon can be found at