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AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo

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AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

For 25 years, the Area Office on Aging, AOA, along with their community partners, have been hosting the Senior Safari at the Toledo Zoo. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, while re-visiting the zoo, all in an entertaining environment is the purpose of the event. But for 2018, participants received much more when the entertainment on Tuesday, September 18, was Motown’s The Vandellas.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
Billie Johnson, President/CEO of AOA, welcomes the seniors to the event, while Jerry Anderson, retired media personality, and the Master of Ceremony, looks on.

Before being entertained by the legends of Motown, Billie Johnson, President/CEO of AOA, told The Toledo Journal that attendees were first, encouraged to participate in a one mile walk around the zoo. September is “Falls Prevention Month,” she said, and the walk is to bring awareness to falls, and ways to prevent them. Also, the walk encouraged exercising, as one of the ways to help build muscle, and bone, both of which, could help decrease the chances of falling.

“We’re hoping those who participate in the walk, each take at least 10,000 steps today,” Mrs. Johnson said. “One of our partners, Silver Sneakers, donated 100 pedometers, so seniors can keep track of their steps,” she said.

Sarah Vandevender, a pharmacist, said, various things can contribute to falls, such as dizziness. Some medications, as well as having low sodium, and potassium, could increase the chances of falling. Low magnesium, she said, could lead to muscle cramps, which could also increase the chances of falling.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
Pete Peterson rolled the dice to see what exercise he had to do. Lunges weren’t a problem for him, being that he works out regularly.

“Always, speak to your pharmacist, or primary care physician, first, about taking preventive measures,” she said.

Following the one mile walk, Silver Sneakers, had four stations set up along the route to the Malawi Event Center, where vendors, lunch, and the performance by The Vandellas would take place. At each station, seniors would roll large dice that had six different exercises on each side. Jumping jacks, lunges, and leg lifts, were among some of the exercises that participants were encourage to do. Every senior that participated in an exercise, at each station, would receive a free gift.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
The Vandellas made their way through the crowd, people stood up and danced, including Billie Johnson, President/CEO of AOA, seen on the left.

Once inside the Malawi Center, numerous vendors focusing on healthy lifestyle, or services offered to seniors, passed out information about what they offered, gave health screenings, or distributed free fruit.

After a healthy lunch, attendees were treated to 30 minute performance by The Vandellas, in which many seniors could be seen dancing to the group’s songs.

AOA Senior Safari at Toledo Zoo | The Toledo Journal
Lucy Mayer had to get a dance in with the Vandellas.

At the entrance into the zoo, seniors prepare for their one mile walk. The goal of the day was each walker tries to reach 10,000 steps.

Dorr St. Live documenting, revitalizing the inner city

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Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal
People brought their folding chairs, and just enjoyed the day’s festivities that carried on into the early evening.

By Journal Staff Writer

The fourth annual, Dorr St. Live was held on Saturday, August 25, at the corner of Dorr, and Collingwood. According to the sponsoring agent, the African American Legacy Project,  said it has a mission to document the history of the area, and help revitalize a once, financially lucrative community.

Local entertainment and some from out of town, kept a crowd that, brought their folding chairs to the event, and sat right in the grass, entertained throughout the day.

Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal
Ronald Jacobs Bay, and Linda Johnson, didn’t know each other, but that didn’t stop them from sharing a dance together.

Food trucks, owned by African Americans, lined Dorr St. to satisfy the hunger needs of those in attendance.

Vendors selling products from fragrances, to unique purses were also on hand.

Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal

A large wooden board sat in the middle of the grass, and was decorated with African American newspapers from far back as the 1940s.

For Robert Smith, director of the African American Legacy Project, this is all just the beginning of a larger scheme he wants to see come into existence.

“This event is not just about having a good time, it’s about documenting our rich history, and helping to revitalize this community,” he told The Toledo Journal.

Partnering with Lucas County Metropolitan Housing, LMHA, the African American Legacy Project, is documenting the life stories of some of those people who grew up in the neighboring housing projects of the Port Lawrence, Brand Whitlocks, McClinton Nuns, and Albertus Browns, and were successful in life.

People such as Frank Goldie, who grew up in the Port Lawrence, and became NW Ohio’s first African American Post Master General, would later become the Post Master General of Chicago.

Dorr St Live 2018 | The Toledo Journal
Liz Watson, volunteer, officiates a game of Connect Four between Mesih Glover, right, and Aaun Scott.

Katie Bonds, senior vice president of operations at LMHA said, “It’s important for Toledo to know their history. It’s also important for those who are growing up in those projects to know the success stories of those who came before them; it serves as inspiration.”

Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags filled with school supplies

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Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags | The Toledo Journal
Passing out the supplies were front to back, Shirley Taylor, Frances Ester, and Bonnie Ogle.

By Journal Staff Writer

Extending the message of Christ beyond the church walls, was the motivating factor of Calvary Baptist Church, 702 Collingwood Blvd, for hosting their second book bag, and school supply give-a-way. Held on Saturday, August 11, the event featured more than school supply give-a-way.

Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags | The Toledo Journal

Free food, and clothes, as well as games, and horse rides, rounded off the day’s events.

Willie Tucker, chairman of the Deacon Board, told The Toledo Journal that the members of the church wanted to bless the kids who lived in the area of Jones leadership Academy, Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls and Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, by giving away supplies to help with their education.

Last year, the church gave away 150 book bags, and supplies, and Deacon Tucker said they would like to continue to increase that number.

“Jesus asked us to witness to others, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.

Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags | The Toledo Journal
Children were able to ride horses at the event. Oscar Temple gets his grandchildren, Amir and Amira Burks off the horse, while grandmother, Sandra Temple takes pictures.

“Many of the kids, who received the supplies, don’t attend Calvary Baptist Church, which is fine with us,” said Deacon Troy Ogle. “So, under the leadership of Floyd Smith Jr., pastor, what we want to do is bridge a gap between the community, and our church,” he said.

“This event is very beneficial,” said Wardell Adams, who brought five of his children to the event. “Events like this are really good for those parents who have more than one child,” he said.

Co-sponsoring the event was businessman, and member of Calvary Baptist Church, Bryan Williams Jr.

Center for Hope hosts Family Engagement Picnic

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Center for Hope | The Toledo Journal
officials of the court played games of Corn Hole with the children.

By Journal Staff Writer

Walbridge Park, located on S. Broadway, overlooks the Maumee River. The park has swings, and jungle gyms to keep kids entertained for hours.

An air conditioned shelter house, complete with a functional kitchen, provides that escape from the heat, rain, and annoying bugs.

A mild temperature on Saturday, August 11 was perfect for an outing. But the particular outing wasn’t the typical group. Those attending the picnic were officials of the Lucas County Juvenile Court, as well as, the parents, and their children, some of whom are currently involved in the court system.

Center for Hope | The Toledo Journal
Shiloh Bass adjusts the bubble machine, while Ireese and Jaleel Gaines, and Tyrelle Broadnax make and blow bubbles.

The gathering was about building bonds with the families and children, involved in the system, as well as, those officials who work in the court.

Center for Hope | The Toledo JournalAlso, the picnic connects parents with others, who are dealing with similar circumstances, to serve as a type of support group.

Free food, games, and a live band help add more serenity, to an already, peaceful environment.

Sponsoring the event was Center for Hope. Dr. Tracee Perryman, CEO, and her mother, Wiletta Perryman, COO, planned the event. Dr. Perryman told The Toledo Journal that the picnic helps build bridges between officials of the court, as well as families. The festive environment helps establish better communications between all parties, that will ultimately, help lead to a potentially better outcome for the families.

Center for Hope | The Toledo Journal

Denise Navarre Cubbon, administrative judge at Lucas Juvenile Court, was also in attendance. She engaged many of the families in, one on one, conversation.

“This is one of the most important things the court does,” she said. “We bring the families together, and help them to help their kids make positive changes, in their lives, for the better,” said Judge Cubbon.

Ernest Sanders was enjoying the picnic with his children. “I think this is a good event. It really gives the families and the court an opportunity to establish better communication with one another on how to resolve problems.”

Pastor Melvin Barnes celebrates seventeenth Pastoral Anniversary

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The Toledo Journal Greater Faith Fellowship
From left are Pastor Melvin, and his wife, and co-Pastor, Jeanette Barnes, and Robin Wilson, fiancée to Pastor Floyd Smith Jr. of Calvary Baptist Church.

By Journal Staff Writer

Greater Faith Fellowship Church, 1544 S. Byrne Rd, celebrated the anniversary of their Pastor, Melvin Barnes, as their leader of 17 years. Held on Sunday, May 27th, the milestone event featured local leaders delivering the Word of God, and given testimony about the character of Pastor Barnes.

Patrice Poellnitz, lead trustee, told The Toledo Journal the anniversary celebration started on May 20 when some of the members of Friendship Baptist Church attended the service, while their Pastor, Bishop Dwayne Tisdale, delivered the Word.

May 27th featured two services. Elder Stephen Bufford of Greater Faith Fellowship delivered the morning’s keynote address, while the afternoon service was conducted by Pastor Floyd Smith, Jr. of Calvary Baptist Church.

“Our theme is ‘honoring the leader that watches over our soul,’ and the success of our destiny comes from our Pastor,” Ms. Poellnitz said.

During Pastor Barnes’ 17 year tenor, Ms. Poellnitz said she has seen a tremendous growth in her spiritual development.

“Trust in God, and put Him first in your life, and you will see changes in your life,” she said.

“I’m speechless, and impressed,” Pastor Barnes said, regarding the work put into the celebration. “They put a lot of work into this event, with very little assistance from me,” he said.

Pastor Barnes said that although the congregation is young, they were able to successfully plan and execute the anniversary that people from much more experienced congregations, would be able to do, and that he said, made him proud of his members.

Greater Faith Fellowship Church’s future plans include reestablishing themselves in the inner city in order to better serve the community.

“By having a church, within the inner city, we’ll be able to be a bigger blessing to the community,” Pastor Barnes said.

Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church hosts Pastor Lewis Savage’s 25th Pastoral Anniversary

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The Toledo Journal Lo Salem Pastoral Anniversary
Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church congregation hosted the 25th Pastoral Anniversary for their Pastor, Lewis Savage, on Saturday, June 10, 2018, held at Bethlehem Fellowship Center, 1430 Bancroft.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church congregation hosted the 25th Pastoral Anniversary for their Pastor, Lewis Savage, on Saturday, June 10, 2018, held at Bethlehem Fellowship Center, 1430 Bancroft. The celebration featured a variety of performances, as well as the presence of local religious leaders.

There was a dinner, praise dancing, a gospel comedy show, and the siblings of Pastor Savage sang to him.

In attendance for the celebration was Minister Chris Bryd, and Bishops MC McGee, and Randal Parker.

Arnisha Bush, president of the Pastor’s Aid Committee, told The Toledo Journal why the recognition and celebration was important.

The Toledo Journal Lo Salem Pastoral Anniv
Pastor Lewis, and First Lady Norma Savage, far right, poses with the Pastor’s Aid Committee.

“We have a God fearing man who stepped up to the challenge of leading the church when his father, and our late Pastor, Harvey Savage Sr. passed,” she said.  “I’ve been a member all my life, and I follow a man, who loves God, and is always available to the members of the church,” Ms. Bush said.

Judy Savage, member of the Pastor’s Aid Committee, and sister to Pastor Savage said, “He has done so much for the church, me, and my children; that’s just a few reasons why he deserve this celebration.”

First Lady Norma Savage has also diligently served God in the leadership for 25 years, as well as the members of Lo Salem. Although being the wife of Pastor Savage, she has worked in number of capacities around the church, including Sunday school teacher, fundraiser, and janitor.

“I feel great, and honored by the celebration today,” Pastor Savage said. “One of the greatest things that I or anyone can do is spread the Gospel of Christ throughout the world; there’s no work greater.”

Future plans at Lo Salem Missionary Baptist Church include expanding the church facility, opening a center for senior citizens, and youth, and expanding the Martin Luther King Jr. Kitchen for the Poor, Pastor Savage said.

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church hosts Annual Women’s Day celebration

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Members from People’s Baptist Church, and Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Cleveland, Ohio, participated with Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church’s 66th Annual Women’s Day Celebration.

By Journal Staff Writer

“Women of God embracing our future,” was the theme of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 66th annual Women’s Day celebration, held on May 27th at the church, 2001 Ashland Ave.

Women’s Day services were held in the morning, and the afternoon. Morning services had Elder Teshuana Isaac of People’s Baptist Church as the keynote speaker. Afternoon service featured Lady Sharon Newsom of Greater Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, as the keynote speaker.

Vera Sanders, who co-chaired the event with Abby Lynn Levesque, told The Toledo Journal that the theme was taken from the Bible’s Philippians Chapter 3, verses 12-14, which also speaks on the importance of fellowshipping in order to be better women.

“As we organized, and got closer to the day of the event, all those involved were really excited to be a part of the organizing,” she said. “We prayed and asked God to take control of the service, and He did,” Ms. Sanders said.

She added that women’s involvement in the church is a powerful example to younger women.

“It’s crucial young women see activity in the church from Godly women. Activity shows involvement, and the importance of being a part of those activities. If everyone is involved, in some type of way, it increases their chances of staying in church,” Ms. Sanders said.

Although Women’s Day consists of women organizing the program, and speaking at the event, she said that doesn’t mean men aren’t invited to the church. Prior to the start of service, Ms. Sanders said women, and men visiting the church gave testimony about the greatness of Jesus.

“The message of Christ doesn’t allow you to stay the same; it forces you to change for the better,” she said.

Miss Debutante, Courtney Draper the $115,000+ woman

The Debs-In-Waiting will compete for Miss. Debutante 2019 in one calendar year.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

For 18 weeks, 27 young women participated in various workshops that would prepare them for womanhood, such as etiquette, college preparedness, fitness, and ballroom dancing.

They would attend an Etiquette and Health Luncheon, a Mother/Daughter Luncheon, and participate in a talent show the week leading into the Debutante Cotillion.

The Debutantes, and their fathers, share a dance before announcing Miss Debutante 2018.

There were a few back stories that occurred during those 18 weeks, as well as at the Fifty-third Annual Debutante Cotillion, held on Saturday May 26, in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.  Sponsored by The Toledo branch of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., a few of those stories had never occurred in the 53 years of the event.

Those back stories included four sets of twins participating in the event, 13 year old William Palmer Jr., escorted his sister Essence, and won the first ever, Junior Mr. Escort, and all of the debutantes had scholarships totaling seven million dollars.

But the highlight of the night was the crowning of Miss Debutante, Courtney Draper, who earned over $150,000 worth of scholarships.

Courtney Draper, and her escort, Jose Martinez perform the Waltz prior to being crowned Miss Debutante 2018.

When each of the contestants’ bios was read aloud, Ms. Draper, a recent graduate of Toledo School for the Arts, bio was extensive, as well as impressive. Besides being on the honor roll, since kindergarten, belonged to several organizations including National Honor Society, and the Toledo Excel Scholarship Program.

Tariq Hardiman presents LaTosha Forbes, mother to Centraya, with a gift; a recently added tradition done by the escorts.

Further, two of her 10 volunteer services included Flint Water Drive, and Toledo Children’s Hospital.

Ms. Draper was accepted at Bowling Green State University, Wright State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wittenberg University. She will be attending Wright State in the fall majoring in human resource management, and dance.

“I can’t believe they called my name,” she told The Toledo Journal. “I was like, oh my God, they called my name,” she said.

Miss Debutante 2017, Sara Taite Trail, crowns Courtney Draper, Miss Debutante 2018.

In addition to winning Miss. Debutante, Ms. Draper also won first place in the Outstanding Talent competition by performing a contemporary dance. Ultimately, she said, “I want to be a professional dancer.”

To go along with the title of Miss. Debutante, Ms. Draper won $3000. First runner-up, Nakiya White, won $2000, and second runner-up, Christa Parker won $1000.

Outstanding talent winners were, Courtney Draper, Keyara Edwards, who did an original spoken word piece, and Krista Parker, who performed a science experiment.

Ramona Stephenson won Miss Congeniality, and was awarded with a watch from Henry Triplett, owner of Henry’s Jewelry.

Mr. Escort was Justin Moore, who was awarded $300. And the first ever, Junior Mr. Escort was William Palmer Jr, who was awarded $100.

Receiving The President’s Community Scholarship Awards for $2000, were Simone Black, Marissa Dzotsi, Kennedy Harper, Essence Palmer, and Christa Parker.

The members of The Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

Junior High Afro-Ball; a graduation into maturity

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The Toledo Journal | Junior High Afro-Ball
Being sharply dressed didn’t stop, from left, Dmarea Rankin, Julius Akins, Jaylon Akins, and Damond Robinson from dancing.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Although at first glance, the 35th annual Junior High Afro-Ball may seem like it’s just a dance, but according to organizers, it’s much deeper than a dance; it’s a graduation into maturity.

Over 950 students throughout the Toledo Metropolitan Area, and representing Toledo Public Schools, Charter, and Parochial, attended the annual event held at the Seagate Convention Center in downtown Toledo, on Saturday, May 19. Themed, “The future belongs to those who prepare,” the ball was just the icing on the cake, with preparations beginning months in advance.

Junior High Afro-Ball

Weeks leading up to the ball, letters were sent out to area high schools asking the principals to nominate two students, who would represent their school, at the 2018 Afro-Ball. A total of 40 kids, from 20 different schools were then invited, along with their parents, to attend a banquet at Scott High School, days before the event. Students were celebrated for their character, and accomplishments. Both students, and parents were reminded that Grace Community Center, and their partners, wanted to work with the students the coming year, as well as throughout high school, in order to better prepare them for college, or being career ready. Then, while at the ball, those 40 students had a special VIP section reserved for them.

Junior High Afro-Ball
Dancing, centered, and facing each other are Danae Brown, with her back facing, and Mariah Searcy; Jada Willis, left, looks on.

Elaine Page, executive director of the Grace Community Center, which organizes the event, told The Toledo Journal, “Besides being a celebration of diversity, which we have diverse groups of students, in attendance, it’s also about togetherness,” she said.

Junior High Afro-Ball
Besides dancing, kids could play various games. Patrick Huggins, left, and Lonnie Williams play a game of Jenga.

Ms. Page added by saying that the more important part about the Afro-Ball comes when Grace Community Center, as well as their partners, pairing up with the schools, the principals, the teachers, students, and parents, to help them be better prepared for the future.

“Tonight is rites of passage,” she said. “The students are here, without their parents, and they have to make the right decisions, while here, without them. The correct decision making process will help them later on throughout school, and life,” Ms. Page said.

Junior High Afro-Ball
From left are, Bryce Harbaugh, chairman of Grace Community Center Board, Jay Shavers, youth director at Grace Community Center, and three Afro-Ball attendees, Carmello Taite, Moriah Robinson, and Reona Pryor-Allen, and Elaine Page, director of Grace Community Center.

Bryce Harbaugh, chairman of Grace Community Center’s Board said, “If we can get students to think it’s cool to be responsible, and mature, then we would’ve helped make a better person.”

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys
LaTasha Poole and her son Marvell Curtis boogie on down the Soul Train line. Marvell began reminding his mother, regularly, one month prior to the event.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Heading into the week of the Third Annual Mother/Son Dance, with the theme, ”A King’s first Queen,” which was held on Friday, May 11, at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, 1300 Forest Avenue, the halls, and classrooms were filled with chatter about the upcoming dance. Overly excited boys constantly talked about what they and their mothers were going to wear, according to Sheila Cook, planner of the event, and community family resource coordinator, at the school.

Willie Ward, left, principal, and William White, assistant principal, show the boys they still know how to dance.

As the mothers were escorted in by their kings, both walked down a red carpet leading into the gymnasium, where the event was being held. And similar to red carpet events in Hollywood, both had the opportunity to pose for the paparazzi’s pictures.

The king, and his first queen, would do line and slow dances, as well as the always popular party favorite Soul Train line, before finally sitting down to a catered dinner by J’Maes Home Cooking.

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys
Lanette Peacock, and her son William, show off their dance moves. Ms. Peacock said going into the event, her son wouldn’t stop talking about it.

Ms. Cook told The Toledo Journal that since the school was for boys, it would be a good idea to have a mother/son dance. And since it was two days before Mother’s Day, it would also be a good idea to serve dinner; a type of early Mother’s Day gift, Ms. Cook said.

Lanette Peacock was with her son William. She also has two girls, and doesn’t get to spend as much time as she would like with William.

“This is so awesome,” she said. I really love attending this event with him. All week, he was so excited about it, and kept constantly reminding me about the dance. As long as he’s attending, we will be coming,” Ms. Peacock said.

A King’s first Queen hosted by MLK Academy for Boys
A total of 140 kings, and their first queens were in attendance; a number that grows yearly.

LaTasha Poole was with her son Marvell Curtis. She said he started talking about the dance a month ago, and didn’t stop reminding her about the event.

“I love it,” she said. “We come every year, and it gets better and better,” Ms. Poole said.

Willie Ward, principal, said, “The moms are always there for their sons to help with their education, and just to love them; so tonight is for both the moms and their sons. Here, at Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, one of our objectives is to teach the boys how to treat, and respect a woman,” he said.