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Center of Hope Family Services Hosts its 2nd Annual Peace on Earth Event for the Community

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Center of Hope Family Services Hosts its 2nd Annual Peace on Earth Event thetoledojournal.com

Special to The Toledo Journal

On Thursday, December 20th, 2018, Center of Hope Family Services hosted its 2nd Annual Peace on Earth Holiday event. Sponsors included the William Vaughan Company, Apple Inc., and State Bank. “Peace on Earth is our way of letting families and the community know that we are thinking of them during the holidays,” states Dr. Tracee Perryman, CEO. “Our event is welcoming of diverse cultural holiday traditions, hoping that Peace on Earth is of value to all of us. The holiday season can be a joyous time, but it isn’t necessarily joyous for everyone. Each year, we at Center of Hope strive to bring the community together in unity and solidarity. We create a safe, supportive, warm, welcoming space to let our families and community know that we care about them.”

It seems that message is resonating with the community. The 2018 Peace on Earth attendance doubled from the year before, with about 300 guests partying to festive music. The Lucas County Juvenile Court Lobby was transformed into a “Winter Wonderland” to foster joy, hope, and holiday cheer. Children and families were able to participate in an array of activities. Lucas County Juvenile Court provided craft stations, cookie decorating, and an opportunity for each child to take pictures with Santa Claus. Center of Hope hosted a gift giveaway for all children ages 0-14.

Midway through the program, the crowd paused to honor seven of its Parent Support Program participants. These individuals were recognized for graduating from Center of Hope’s Parent Education Program during the month of December. Others were honored for maintaining employment for 90 days or more through Center of Hope’s workforce development program.

The Central Catholic High School Glee club provided live entertainment, followed by Dr. Tracee Perryman. The Center of Hope ELEVATE program, winners of both the 2018 Ohio Department of Education 21st Century Literacy Achievement, and Excellence and Innovation Awards, performed the finale. The ELEVATE students performed their signature song, “ELEVATE,” which they recorded this summer, and is now available on Soundcloud. Center of Hope concluded the program by sponsored a sit-down community dinner for all guests. For more information about Center of Hope Family Services or its programs, visit www.cohfs.org.

2018 Kwanzaa Celebration held at the Fredrick Douglass Community Center

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Special to the Journal by Michael Daniels

After the traditional Christmas holiday ends, many African Americans observe another celebration known as Kwanzaa. A Swahili phrase which means ‘first’ and signifies the first fruit of the harvest. Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and last for seven days ending on January 1, and is based on seven core principals.

These principals are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulla (Self Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) Ujmaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith). These ideals are observed one at a time on each day of the Kwanzaa season in the order listed by the lighting of a candle each day in the Kinara, a stand which holds the seven candles. This is followed by other Kwanzaa related traditions.

Here in Toledo on the first day of the celebration, December 26, 2018. The Fredrick Douglass Center hosted this yearly activity with a community Kwanzaa event. Organized by the Toledo Kwanzaa House Committee, the event lasted for four day instead of seven do to the venue’s availability. Despite its condensed form the program still offered Toledo’s African American community as well as others the opportunity to celebrate Kwanzaa in grand style.

Squeezed into a shorter time period than normal, the four programs covered two core principals with the lighting of two Kwanzaa candles each day. Ending with the last principal and last candle on the final day.

Day one’s opening ceremony was hosted by Master of Ceremony Rodney Gordon Jr. of the Toledo Kwanzaa House Committee, and featured inspirational speakers, traditional African dance performances, audience participation events, community vendors, and food samples.

One of the highlights of the was guest speaker Mrs. Joyce Stubblefield, who educated and amused everyone as she explained the history of collard greens, an African American food staple. ‘Slaves were not given meats very often so they ate vegetables instead’, she said, ‘and they invented different and creative ways to prepare these items’. She introduced the audience to such ideas as the collard greens sandwich, Egg rolls and even brownies, along with many other ways to prepare this favorite vegetable. She also brought along samples of her collard greens specialties for everyone to taste.

Another outstanding speaker was from The Toledo Kwanzaa House Committee and went by the self-proclaimed name of ‘Kewate’, he spoke on the second principal of Kwanzaa urging the audience to, ‘figure out who you are and be able to discern what is true and what is not true. You are not who society says you are and everything you see, hear or read is not true. If you want to know the truth read the Bible’, he said ‘there you will find the real truth and discover who you are’.

The program also included the singing of the Black National Anthem, a Recognition of the Elders, an Ancestral Roll Call, as well as several other traditional Kwanzaa customs.

Today’s local Kwanzaa celebration evolved from a small and humble beginning back in 1967 in the house of Diane Gordon: Coordinator of the Kwanzaa House Committee. ‘I started celebrating Kwanzaa with my family first,’ she said, ‘and then others soon joined in with us and it has grown from there to what it is today. Eventually the celebration got too big for my house so we moved it to the Grace Community Center’.

This move however would not be the last. Over and over again as the crowds continued to swell the committee was forces to find larger and larger spaces for the growing audience. Finally, the group ended up at The Douglass Center in the heart of the African American community. A place that has enough room to accommodate the ever-growing audience and all the other activities associated with a true Kwanzaa celebration.

When asked, why is Kwanzaa important and what is the attraction, Diane Gordon said, ‘ Kwanzaa teaches us about our true culture and the importance of our culture. We are a family orientated people of faith and we need to learn our true history. If you know your history you won’t make the same mistake in life. It also instills in us the importance of self-respect and respect for our others. If you understand the principals of Kwanzaa you can utilize them every day and throughout the rest of our life. Kwanzaa inspires us to unite and come together as a people and build a better community. If we adhere to the principals of Kwanzaa, we will have a better way of life because these principals teach us how we should live’.

Kwanzaa was originally conceived during the African American re-identification period of the racially turbulent sixties in 1966. This unique African Americans festival of life and spirit realized it’s 52 year of existence in 2018, and has established its place in the world as a legitimate cultural tradition.

Janece Wooley, the Interim Executive Director of the Fredrick Douglass Community Associations said of the events, ‘we are excited to embark on 100 years of service to this community, and we want to continue to be the epicenter for hope and encouragement. We are very happy and proud that The Toledo Kwanzaa House has chosen us to be bless with this wonderful Kwanzaa celebration for the past three years.

Franklin Park spreads holiday cheer, gives coats, groceries and more

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Franklin Park Holiday Coats The Toledo Journal

By Sean Stewart

A drive through the streets of Northside Toledo on Friday’s mild evening would have usually been like any other, dark and quiet. Though at Word of Faith Ministries on Stickney Ave near Woodward High school, the scene was brought up by a more energetic and cheerful tone.

Cars parked along the street are packed with youth, eager to join in on the affair. Though before they opened the doors to the church, on the corner of Stickney and Russell, they are greeted by a man and a dolly hand truck, packed with items halfway to its top.

The man says with a welcoming yet weighty voice, “watch yourself now, careful”.

The children obey as the man carries past. Though when they enter into the building, the darkness of daylight’s fall resides and the kids embrace the warmth of festivity.They are greeted by smiles, laughs and warmth. Also, by gifts.

Over 120 families gathered to receive donations of coats, gloves, and food boxes December 19th. It is a tradition that has been going on for seven years in which Franklin Park Lincoln car dealership has moved to provide a holiday contribution effort to the community.

Foods like potatoes, apples, whole turkeys and canned goods, along with newly bought winter clothing, were donated to families in need of assistance.

“We try to give back to the community” says event organizer Mike Colbert, who also works with Franklin Park Lincoln.

Families were also welcomed to a hot meal dinner courtesy of community volunteers. On the menu was a generous selection of well prepared chicken breast, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and more served with hot chocolate and tea.

“I just love to cook” said Martin McCabe, who cooked and prepared the hot food. He has been with Mr. Colbert in the annual event’s organization since the beginning. “Unfortunately the world’s gonna keep having poor people”.

Aside from the food and winter wear, local barbers and nail stylists also donated their time and skills for good measure. To the tunes of cheerful music, children were able to get their hair cut and shaped up on the church’s stage and nails polished just off to the side.

Franklin Park Holiday Coats The Toledo Journal

“Lots of people hurting” said Rodney Holmes, an elder at Word of Faith who volunteered to help. “This is a gift in and of itself, of giving back. They need help.” Mr. Holmes moves to serve his community in the way he can. As to the vision of Mr. Colbert of Franklin Park, he gives new winter coats to the families of the community, also food by the box.

He does it all with a hearty and welcoming, yet weighty voice. He also does with a dolly, packed halfway to its top.

Sell Out Crowd of Over 750 Attended the Area Office on Aging’s Senior Holiday Party

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Billie Johnson and Mattie Taylor The Toledo Journal
Billie Johnson and Mattie Taylor

Submitted

Mattie Taylor is seen here with Ms. Billie Johnson, President/CEO of the  Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc.

This was at their Senior Holiday Party on December 14 at Premier Banquet Center . And, they welcomed over 750 individuals age 60 or better.

Mattie Taylor retired in April, 2018, after 40 plus years, as a Nutrition Site Manager for The Area Office on Aging, and Spencer Valley Senior Nutrition Program.  Mattie Taylor states that, she enjoyed  the Christmas Party, and she will continue to attend all the events that the Area Office on Aging will have for the seniors. Everyone enjoyed a formal sit-down lunch, entertainment from singer Marcia Bowen, DJ One TyMe, the Anthony Wayne High School Choir, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus.

Lee Johnson, Jr. celebrates birthday with family and friends

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Lee Johnson Birthday DSC_4136 | The Toledo Journal

On Friday, November 23, 2018, was a day that turned out to be an exciting evening for Lee Johnson, Jr., as he celebrated his birthday with over 40 family and friends, with some coming from out-of-town.

As the youngest and only brother of seven siblings, Lee has five sisters (one is deceased) who celebrated with him and they are Malinda and Yvonne Johnson, Tena Morales, Darlene Booth and Deloris Johnso-Coogler. His cousins, GG and John came from Chicago, Illinois and there were many of his nieces, nephews a great nephew, brother-in-laws, along with a host of other relatives and friends, in attendance.

Although, Mr. Johnson is a Scott High grad, he celebrated his special day with the Libbey all class grads’ annual cabaret in the Garden Lake Banquet Hall. And, as a coincidence, a friend he grew up with, Diane Parker, who attended Libbey, (husband Sylvester) was there and her birthday was on the same day.

Lee said, “I would love to thank my Johnson family, who I was impressed with and friends, plus Francine Coogler-Boyd, for helping me to have a very awesome time and we wish you a Happy Holiday”

As a native of Toledo, Mr. Johnson is a faithful union member of Laborers Local 500.

John S. Scott playwright inducted in Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Toledoana Collection

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Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal

By Eddie B. Allen Jr.
Special to the Toledo Journal

When Toledo native John S. Scott looked out into the audience of the first New York play he’d written only six people stared back.

In some ways he was Tyler Perry decades before Tyler Perry came along, starting from an unlikely background and fueled by a love of storytelling – and a desire to create more provocative black characters than Madea.

Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal
Dr. Scott stands with his family (left to right) Niala Langster, Malaika Bell, Dr. Scott, Neema Bell and Jon’Jama Scott. Front center is Eisley Scott.

Today Scott, 81, is the newest inductee of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Toledoana Collection. The former Bowling Green State University theater professor attended a Nov. 19 ceremony where several of his published works were accepted into the special division of Local History and Genealogy.

Scott, whose plays have attracted countless audience members since that first sparse crowd in New York, joked, “So I guess I’m coming up in the world.”

Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal
Clyde Scoles, Library Executive Director, Dr. John Scott and Jill Clever, library manager of local history and genealogy, stand together

Library officials including Director Clyde Scoles congratulated Scott before a crowd of about 50 family members, friends and colleagues at the Kent Branch for Scott’s success with scripts like Ride a Dark Horse. Scoles called it a special occasion “to honor a Northwest Ohio playwright,” given the library’s frequent recognition of nationally and internationally known authors.

Rhonda Sewell, external and governmental affairs manager for the library, recalled getting to know Scott when he gave her an adjunct position at Bowling Green State University where he chaired the ethnic studies program in the 1980’s.

“He is the most creative, intellectual person that I know,” Sewell told the audience.

Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal
(Left to right) Laneta Goings, Dr. Scott, Jill Clever, and Rhonda Sewell pause for a photo.

Dr. John Scott
Laneta Goings (left), president of Books4Buddies and Rhonda Sewell (right), Toledo Library Manager of External and Governmental affairs, speak at the induction.

District 4 Councilwoman Yvonne Harper was joined by District 1 Councilman Tyrone Riley and Council Member-at-large Larry Sykes in presenting Scott with a City of Toledo resolution.

Scott received additional praises and accolades from Books 4 Buddies co-founder Laneta Goings, program mentor Christopher L. Smith and Dorian Myers, a Books 4 Buddies youth ambassador. As part of Books 4 Buddies programming, Scott conducted the “Hook It Up” eight-week writing workshop for about 16 young men at the Birmingham Terrace homes this year.

Smith and Myers honored Scott with a presentation that included a Books 4 Buddies t-shirt.

Scott’s writings for the stage have featured performers who went on to become some of today’s most popular black actresses in television and film. Among Scott’s works included in the Toledoana Collection are: Afternoons at the A.O. Café, My Little Black Book: A Memoir, Shorty: Six One-Act Plays, and Lizard Therapy.

Along with his literary achievements, Scott carved out a successful career as a director and educator, teaching theater and fine arts at Bowling Green, Jackson State University, Florida Memorial College and other higher learning institutions.

He cited the famed novelist James Baldwin and an elementary school teacher who introduced him to classic literature as among his career influences. Being honored by friends and peers in his hometown is more humbling than other formal recognition, the past recipient of the Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts told the audience.

“I guess I want to say that the poetry of the community is the best poem out there,” Scott said, “the very best.”

Third Baptist Church celebrates 150 years of service to God, community

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Third Baptist Church celebrates 150 years | The Toledo Journal
From left, Pastor Willie Harper, keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. K. David Johnson, Rev. James Willis, senior pastor at St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church, Catherine Crosby, chief of staff for Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, and Tyrone Riley, Toledo City Council, District One.

By Journal Staff Writer

Since January, the members of Third Baptist Church have been commemorating their 150-year anniversary by hosting monthly events. The nearly year-long celebration came to an end during the weekend of November 10th and 11th when they hosted their anniversary banquet on Saturday evening at the Radisson Hotel at the University of Toledo, 3100 Glendale, and concluded with church service the following day, at their church, located at 402 Pinewood Ave.

Sirlema Crowley anniversary chairperson told The Toledo Journal that the banquet would feature musical selections by “Women of Genesis,” members of Third Baptist Church, and Debra Gardner, a member of St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church. Further, the keynote address would be delivered by Willie Harper, pastor of Jesus Christ for All Nations, located in Dublin, California. The former native of Toledo spoke on the topic of generational building.

Third Baptist Church celebrates 150 years | The Toledo Journal
Third Baptist’s ‘Women of Genesis’ performed during the banquet.

“It’s an honor to be the keynote speaker for a church that’s been around for 150 years,” said Pastor Harper. “When many churches fail within a few years, Third Baptist continues to shine throughout the city,” he said.

Third Baptist Church celebrates 150 years | The Toledo Journal“Third Baptist develops leaders for Toledo, and the rest of the United States,” said Rev. Dr. K. David Johnson, senior pastor at Third Baptist. “We have teachers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals that are members. That’s one of the things that distinguishes us from other churches; the fact we develop leadership for the country. This unique combination continues to make Third Baptist relevant in a time when other churches fall off,” he said.

Also, proclamations from the Mayor’s office, as well as, city council were presented.

As a member of 48 years, Ms. Crowley said it was an honor to serve as the chairperson. She described Third Baptist Church as a family. “We’re a very close to each other. The members are just like family,” she said.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation by honoring members from the community

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Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
HONOREE'S LEFT TO RIGHT THOMAS STOVALL JR, JESSICA LaValley, WILLIAM RIDDLE, ANN

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

The staff of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union honored members from the community who’ve helped make the union a success during its 22 years of existence. That show of appreciation took place on Saturday, November 17 at the Pinnacle in Maumee, Ohio, at the Union’s Appreciation Banquet.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
FIRE CHIEF BRIAN BYRD SPEAKS TO AUDIENCE AFTER BEING AWARDED

Honored guests included Chief Brian Byrd, Toledo Fire Department, First lady Sheila Cook of New Life Church of God in Christ, Bernard ‘Pete’ Culp, retired school administrator, Jessica LaValley, nonprofit expert, Randy Oostra, chief executive officer of Promedica, Ann Riddle, executive director of Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund, Celeste Smith, community and minority health supervisor at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, Michelle Fleetwood, wife to David Fleetwood, head of Local 500, and Tommy, and Tina Butts, business owners.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
SUZETTE COWELL CEO TUFCU

Suzette Cowell, President/CEO of Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, told those in attendance that the honorees have helped make the union a success over the years, and felt it was necessary to publicly honor those individuals.

“I believe in giving people their flowers while they’re still alive,” she told her audience.

Ms. Cowell further shared the trials the union went through over the years, some of which, may seem hard to believe, she said.

Ms. Cowell spoke of the many obstacles that her, and the other founders had to go through to get established.  Closing down, and receiving bad press from Toledo’s daily newspaper, were just two obstacles the union faced during its infancy.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
R&B SOUL SINGER KEITH WASHINGTON

But it was the honorees that helped make the transition from infancy, to a fully established financial institute within the African American community.

Although it was the credit union honoring members of the community, the honorees quickly praised Ms. Cowell.

“The union is honoring us, but we should be honoring them,” Chief Byrd said. “They’re using their skills, and abilities to empower others who were blatantly denied by other financial institutes,” he said.

“After 22 years of existence, the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union is proof that black businesses can survive, and thrive,” said Pete Culp.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet focuses on getting people to vote

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NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
Members of the NAACP stand with the honorees. From left is, Michael Alexander, first vice president, Rev. Willie Perryman, accepted the award for Rev. Dr. John Roberts, Anita Madison, committee member, honorees, Dr. Crystal Ellis, Tina Butts, and David Fleetwood, with Ray Wood, president.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

With the current political climate in the United States, the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, themed their 103 Freedom Fund Banquet, “Defeat the Hate-Vote. ” Held in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theatre, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd, African Americans’ oldest Civil Rights organization focused their event on celebrating accomplishments of young people, and using their expertise to encourage others to get politically involved.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
Kristian Brown, left, media personality, and Tyrone Riley, Toledo Councilman for District 4, recognize the winners of the Crispus Attucks Essay Contest.

Partnering with Councilman, Tyrone Riley, and the NAACP recognized the winners of the Crispus Attucks Essay Contest that, Mr. Riley founded, and hosts annually. Over 100 young people throughout the county, male and female, black, and white, participated in the contest. Of the 100, 14 were selected as the winners, with each splitting a cash prize of $2000.00.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
During her talk, Zuri Hall, co-host of E! News, used humor, and personality to drive home messages such as financial literacy, and the importance of voting.

Then, the organization awarded four individuals with the Freedom Fund Award. Honorees were selected based on community activism, as well as their impact, and the longevity of that impact within the community. The 2018 recipients were Dr. Crystal Ellis, former Toledo Public Schools, TPS, Superintendent, Tina Butts, business owner, and community activist, David Fleetwood, head of Laborers Union Local 500, and Rev. Dr. John Roberts, senior Pastor of Indiana Missionary Avenue Baptist Church.

“Being the Superintendent of TPS was the most rewarding job I had,” Dr. Ellis told the audience after receiving his award. “When I was in that position, I didn’t look at color; I saw all the children as my children,” he said.

When Ms. Butts received her award, she thanked the NAACP, and quickly applauded those whom she works with, for getting people registered to vote.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
Applauding the honorees were people from all diverse political, and employment backgrounds.

Serving as the keynote speaker of the event was Zuri Hall, co-anchor of E! News and former host of a variety of MTV shows, as well as Toledo native. In a talk seasoned with humor, and a cheerful personality, the 30 year old spoke about her life in Toledo, and ultimately in Hollywood, where she would host her first television show at the tender age of 25.

Ms. Hall told the audience that most people would think, because she attended Ohio State University on a full scholarship, graduated, and started working in Hollywood, she was financially literate, but she quickly dispelled that belief.

She spoke of being in debt, which started in college with getting credit cards, and racking up that debt. Ms. Hall said that debt followed her to Hollywood, and continued to stress her out.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal

“Thank God that the NAACP offers courses in financial literacy, so others don’t have to go through what I experienced. Financial education lays the ground work for freedom,” she said.

Ms. Hall also encouraged all people to educate themselves on political candidates, and issues. She said when she first voted in 2008 for then, Senator Barack Obama, she was excited. But when it came time to vote in the midterm elections, two years later, she didn’t have a clue about candidates, and issues.

“Now I study candidates and issues like I was back in college,” Ms. Hall said.

“Our big push this year is getting people out to the polls to vote,” Ray Wood, president of the local chapter of the NAACP told The Toledo Journal. “Part of our effort in encouraging people, especially young people, to vote is utilizing, and recognizing the talents of our young people, like Zuri Hall,” Mr. Wood said.

Geraldine Scrutchins given surprise birthday party

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Geraldine Scrutchins given surprise birthday party | The Toledo Journal
Ed and Geraldine Scrutchins, center, surrounded by a few family members and friends in attendance.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff writer

Geraldine Scrutchins suspected her husband, Ed, was doing something special for her on her birthday, Wednesday, October 24, when he told her he was taking her out for barbeque. But what caused the suspicion was when he told her that needed to stop by Braden United Methodist Church, 4725 Dorr St. which she told The Toledo Journal, “We, at St. Paul AME Zion Church, rent out their facility for various occasions.”

It was her curiosity that caused her husband, of 49 years, to say, “Stop butting in, and let people do something for you.” Mrs. Scrutchins said she didn’t say another word, and just enjoyed the ride, and enjoyed arriving at the church being greeted by family, and friends.

Geraldine Scrutchins given surprise birthday party | The Toledo Journal
Ed Scrutchins surprised his wife, Geraldine with the party, even though her curiosity almost derailed the surprise.

Mr. Scutchins said, “She always helps others, and we wanted to do something for her.” His words about his wife would be a common theme echoed throughout the night by family, and friends.

“I remember when my wife was sick, and in the hospital, Geraldine would fix me dinners. I didn’t ask her to do it, she just did it and I really appreciate that gesture,” said Richard Earley, who was the best man at the Scrutchins wedding, 49 years ago.

“She kept me in line with discipline, and helped make me the man I am today,” said Scot, Mrs. Scrutchins’ son.

“She’s such a sweetheart. She opens herself up to help others, and today is our day to do something for her,” said Sean, Mrs. Scrutchins’ son.

Geraldine Scrutchins given surprise birthday party | The Toledo Journal
From left are, Sean Scrutchins, son, Betty Williams, sister, Geraldine Scrutchins, Scot Scrutchins, son, and Iyanna Scrutchins, granddaughter.

“I’m surprised this many people came out tonight,” said Mrs. Scrutchins, who took her time to greet, and thank everyone, who was in attendance. The secret to a good healthy, and vibrant life, she said, “Always be prayerful, and love, and care for others,” Mrs. Scrutchins said.

She added, “My husband is amazing. Tonight is beautiful. He never ceases to amaze me. I love him, my sons, and family, and I’m truly grateful for everyone attending tonight.”