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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.

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors
Receiving scholarships of $500 each, and standing with Woodward alumni are, standing center, JaRoya Ector, Shamar Williams, and Tayviauna Holmes.

By Journal Staff Writer

Woodward High School All-Class Reunion Committee and C.H. Barnett Construction awarded three scholarships to graduating high school seniors on Tuesday, May 8, at Woodward High School 701 E. Central Avenue. The awarding of the scholarships took place during the annual Senior Banquet.

The scholarships were awarded based on grades, and community, and school involvement, and valued at $500.00 each. The recipients were Tayviauna Holmes, Shamar Williams, and JaRoya Ecter.

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors
Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors

Sheila Daniels-Bell is co-chair of the committee and a 1978 graduate. She told The Toledo Journal they just wanted to give back to the students of Woodward.

“Having scholarships for college is so important,” she said. “The money can go to books, living expenses, or whatever, but the money will make a difference,” Mrs. Daniels-Bell said.

Jeanne Cranon-Fuqua is the owner of C.H. Barnett Construction, as well as serving as the co-chair for the Woodward High School All-Class Committee. She is a 1977 graduate of Woodward High School. Her mom, aunt, and cousins attended Woodward. Two of the three scholarships are being sponsored by her construction company, that’s named after her grandfather.

“It’s an honor to be sponsoring the scholarships in my grandfather’s name. Although he didn’t attend Woodward, he grew up in the area and sent my mom and aunt to the school,” she explained.

“I didn’t know I was getting this scholarship,” Shamar said. “I’m shocked, and grateful.” He will be attending the University of Toledo majoring in music.

Tayviauna said she was happy, and thankful to receive money to go to her college education. She will be majoring in social work at the University of Toledo.

“I’m just really excited,” said JaRoya. She, too, will be attending the University of Toledo majoring in engineering.

The Woodward High School All-Class Reunion committee members are Sheila Daniels-Bell, Jeanne Cranon-Fuqua, Yvonne Harper, Margaret Wiggins, Marion Bell, Burrow Alexander III, Sharon McAlister-Collier, and Kimberly Dixon.

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.

United Missionary Baptist Church celebrates 35th anniversary

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United Missionary Baptist Church celebrates 35th anniversary | The Toledo Journal
The Anniversary Committee with, from left, guest speaker, Pastor Roderick Pounds, Rev. Robert Bass, senior pastor, and Julia Holt, founding member, and chairperson of the Trustee Board.

By Journal Staff Writer

For 35 years, the members of United Missionary Baptist Church, 2705 Monroe St, have been worshipping God, and inviting others to that worship. On Sunday, October 14, they celebrated their 35th anniversary by recognizing how far they’ve advanced as a congregation, and where they still, have yet to go.

Participating in the celebration were some of the members of Second Baptist Church in Akron, Ohio. Their Pastor, Roderick Pounds served as the keynote speaker.

Spearheading that celebration was Julia Holt, chairperson of the Trustee Board, and charter member of United Missionary Baptist Church. She told The Toledo Journal what keeps her actively involved at her church. “The members are very loving, and we work well together, plus, they have a genuine love for God,” she said.

As an extension to their anniversary celebration, the members hosted an afternoon fundraiser to further continue church renovations, as well as add to their scholarship fund, and continue their community outreach programs.

Entitled, “A Taste of Culture,” the fundraiser consisted of members of the church dividing up in four groups, with each group taking one of four regions, of the United States. The group then, preparde dishes that are indigenous to that particular region. Attendees would have the opportunity to taste those particular dishes. Further, each group would highlight the history of African Americans from that particular region of the country.

Rev. Robert Bass has been the head Pastor for 15 years. He said the anniversary celebration gives the members the opportunity to reflect on the challenges of the past 35 years, which helps them better map out, their future endeavors.

“One of the biggest obstacles we had to overcome is paying off a 30 year mortgage, in 16 years, with less people than we originally had,” he said. Rev. Bass said that being free of a mortgage, frees up the minds of the congregation, and puts them in a better position to focus on outreach programs, for example.

Rev. Bass further stated that, one of his short term objectives is having the church serve as a technological, and community focal point. “I want this church to be the center piece of the community, where people can come turn to, and get any kind of help they need,” he said.

Mrs. Hattie M. Allen Celebrates 100 years of Living

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Hattie M. Allen 100th

By Journal Staff

It was a classy and elegant affair for a classy and elegant lady, who also happened to be celebrating 100 years of living, an entire decade. Not too many people have those bragging rights, but Mrs. Hattie Allen does. On her birthday March 28, 2019, she officially became 100 years old.

On March 30, her daughter Mrs. Jesse Warren and family had a Saturday morning birthday party brunch buffet for her at the upscale Toledo Club on River Rd. In a room overlooking the peaceful Maumee River flowing by, family members and friends gathered to honor Mrs. Allen and her 100 years of life. Can you imagine all the things she’s seen, done and experienced in a changing world in 100 years? And, especially living in the south, as she did most of her life, certainly there some stories that she could tell.

Mrs. Allen was born March 28, 1919, in Athens, Texas to Dorothy Chancellor Barker and Henderson Barker. At an early age, her family moved to Dallas, Texas. In Dallas, she attended N. W. Harlee Elementary School and graduated from the Booker T. Washington High School in the public-school system. After high school, she went on to attend Prairie View A&M College.

Eventually, she got married to Abner Allen and they were married 50 years. Together they reared three children: Edna L. Allen (deceased), Roy E. Allen (deceased), and Jessie Allen Warren.

Family member Pastor Linda Warren said the grace and blessed the food and the day at Mrs. Hattie M. Allen’s 100-birthday party.

In Dallas, she and her husband owned and operated Allen’s Grocery and Market. They both were generous and kind to their customers, it was not unusual for them to let their neighbors and customers have food on credit until they were able to pay their bill.

Also in Dallas, Mrs. Allen was an active member of her church, “Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church” for over fifty years. There she served in the Senior Usher’s Ministry, Women’s Day Ministry, and Deaconess Ministry. She was also recognized as an honoree for a church Women’s Day Celebration.

Outside of family, church and work, her social and civic activities included volunteering with the American Red Cross, a Notary Public, and a poll worker during elections.

She was also considered by many to be a neighborhood and community leader because of her business acumen. Because of this, she was honored by the Dallas Chapter of the NBAPW Club in the area of Business.

In her spare time, she enjoys hobbies including watching sports games, playing cards games especially Bid Whist and Dominos, and using her computer and tablet. An adventurist spirit, she also enjoys traveling and has been to San Francisco/Oakland CA, South Africa, Hawaii and on trips to visit her grandchildren.

Mrs. Hattie M. Allen

She is the grandmother of three: Roy Allan Jr. and Derrick Ross of Dallas, TX. And Melanie Gross of Oakland CA. In addition, she is the adopted grandmother of LaShon Washington, Norita Jones and Shontrice Robago of Dallas, TX, and the great grandmother of four.

In 2013 she moved to Toledo to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Bishop Clifford Warren and became an integral part of their church, The Church of the Living God where she is known as “Mom”.

About her party Mrs. Allen had only one thing to say, “I’m just so happy’, and about living in Toledo she said with a smile, ‘I love Toledo, all except for the weather!”

Her granddaughter Melanie Gross said of her grandmother, “My grandmother is my rock and my everything. She is such an Amazing woman; she has given back to so many people and enriched their lives. To me, this is the perfect time to give her, her roses while she is still living.”

International Human Trafficking Conference exposes, fights the dark world of sex trade

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International Human Trafficking Conference | The Toledo Journal
Dr. Celia Williamson, left, director of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition, talks to conference attendees, Dr. Jesse Bach, and Lisa Belton.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

“Purchasing someone online, from the dark web, for sex trafficking, is as easy as buying a pizza,” Dr. Jesse Bach, of Cleveland State University, told The Toledo Journal. Dr. Bach, on long with numerous professionals from around the world, presented their research about Human Trafficking, and how to combat it, during a two day conference, held on Thursday, September 20, and Friday, September 21, in the University of Toledo’s, Lancelot Thompson, Student Union.

Over 100 workshops were conducted addressing issues either, indigenous to Toledo, and the United States, or more specifically, in countries such as India, or on the continents of Europe, and Africa.

Several workshop topics were, “Romance and Manipulation,” “Characteristics of Federal Offenders Sentenced for Child Molestation and Sentencing Outcomes,” “Early Childhood Sexual Abuse and Foster Care: A Survivors Perspective,” and “Parents as Perpetrators: Intergenerational Sex Trafficking in Rural India.”

Dr. Celia Williamson, director of the Lucas County Human Traffic Coalition said the ripple effect of the conference has been felt around the world. Laws have been enacted, task forces developed, and programs put into place to help victims, and apprehend perpetrators. One of her goals, she said, is to live stream the conference in parts of the world, such as Africa, that’s plagued with human trafficking,

On the topic of the local Pastors accused of human trafficking, Dr. Williamson said, some church members seem to be more concerned with how the girls, who were trafficked, contributed to their situation, as opposed to the fact that Pastors were involved with underage girls for the sex trade.

“No matter what, the lives of the children come first. If the Pastors are found guilty, some can pray that their souls go to heaven, but their asses are going to jail,” she said.

Motivated by the fact that her stepfather was a human trafficker, was a social worker who, asked that her identity be kept anonymous. She said she grew up watching her stepdad manipulate, and abuse her mom. She learned first-hand the tactics, and language used by perpetrators of human trafficking.

“Traffickers will say things such as, ‘No one else will take care of you, or your daughter, but me.’ Traffickers will also become the main supplier of toys, school supplies, and other things, in a child’s life, in order to keep the mom dependent, and loyal to him.”

Dr. Tyffani Manford Dent, a licensed psychologist, has been working in the field of sex trafficking for over 20 years, conducted a workshop on, “Not #MeToo: How Gender-based Work and Micro/Macro-aggressions Impede Trafficking Survivors of Color from Accessing Services.”

International Human Trafficking Conference | The Toledo Journal
Dr. Tyffani Manford-Dent explains how the #MeToo movement has intentionally neglected African American women who are victims of sex crimes.

She explained that, although the #MeToo movement was developed by an African American woman, for African American women, once it went nationally, and accepted by white women, African American women haven’t gained the benefits of it.

Dr. Manford-Dent said the services, and benefits that have come about, due to the movement, have been geared toward white women.

Counseling, and other services for the victims of any type of sexual crime, has been established in white suburban areas. Even those who work in the field are recruited from white suburban areas, Dr. Manford-Dent said.

“Sadly, some survivors lives, white suburban women, are more valued then African American women who are survivors of sex crimes; which is all deliberate,” she said.

“The first step at resolving this problem is recognizing it exist; only then can we move forward to resolution,” Dr. Manford-Dent said.

UT Excel sponsors 35th Annual Conference For Aspirating Minority Youth

By Michael Daniels
Journal Staff Reporter

On January 26, The University of Toledo’s office of Toledo Excel and the UT Joint Committee presented the 35th Annual Conference for Aspirating Minority Youth. This year’s theme was, ‘Onward and Upward, Persisting Through Barriers and Obstacles’.

Indeed, a fitting topic for the ambitious minority youth of today. Like most of us, when we dream our dreams, we only dream the good things. We never imagine something bad might happen, or something or someone may try to stand in our way. For many this is knowledge that only comes with age and experience.

This year’s conference sought to give the young folks a heads up, as well as, solutions to the problems they might face as they venture into the world to pursue their goals in life. Understanding that those situations which seem impossible to solve at the time and try to block your way can be overcome with persistence and sheer determination is valuable knowledge. Knowing these facts and other methods of survival is definitely an advantage in life and that was the message of the day.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn drove this messages home even more during his address, telling the students, “You must learn how to persist. Persisting requires us as aspirating minority youths to be willing to change and adjust to our environment. You must persist through barriers.”

Adding, “Someday you will encounter something or someone, who tries to keep from reaching your goals. You must understand that you must not let anything or anyone come in between you and that, which you are designed to do. Persist through the barrier and discover your why. Why you are here and what you are designed for and find your inner light. As we pursue our greatness in the face obstacles and barriers never forget that deep inside if us there is a light that will always be there, and even in our darkest hour we must turn inside and connect with that light and let that light shine,” he said.

Dr. Strayhorn is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of, ‘Do Good Works Educational Consulting LLS’. He has written over 10 books and is internationally recognized as a student success scholar and the foremost authority on issues of equity and diversity.

Following Dr. Strayhorn, in the second session of the program, was speaker and UT graduate Christopher Scott who showcased his new book, “7 Secrets to Surviving College.” Mr. Scott who has a Masters of Education Degree said, ‘I’m here today to uplift and teach our high school and college bound students the 7 secrets that it takes to navigate college and be successful in this world. I say take no losses in life. Mr. Scott is the founder of Reach to Teach National, an organization that provides motivational service to youth across the country.

An estimated crowd of over 350, seventh through 12th grade students, parents and members of the community attended this annual free event.

Knowing that his students would benefit from the Excel program, Dr. Romulus Durant, Toledo Public Schools (TPS) superintendent, brought students from his TPS program called, ‘Young Men and Young Women of Excellence,’ a peer to peer mentorship group.

Dr. Durant said, “I try to get our students involved in community activities so they can become a part of the community, and one day contribute even more to the community as an adult. We want our youths as well as all youths to continue to aspire. We are TPS proud and very excited to be here today.”

Toledo Excel was established in 1988 and is a community project bringing various groups together for a common purpose. That purpose is to help underrepresented students including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans go to college, be successful there and graduate.

Director of Toledo Excel is David Young

The first Annual Conference for Aspirating Minority Youth was held in 1985 and continues to grow in popularity ever since.

The current Director of Toledo Excel is David Young.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat

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Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Men of all ages participated in the retreat.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Men from three area churches, Calvary Missionary Baptist, United Missionary Baptist, and Shiloh Baptist participated in a two day retreat, and conference. The event was held on Friday and Saturday, October 5th and 6th, at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, in Perrysburg, Ohio.

With the theme, “Men standing up for Christ,” which was taken from Matthew 5: 13-16 of the Bible, attendees participated in interactive discussions on topics such as, “Let your light shine,” and “Make your calling and election sure.” Further, group prayer was held both days, there was entertainment by Darryl Earl, a comedian out of Detroit, Michigan, and Rev. Dr. Jerry Boose of Second Baptist Church, delivered the keynote address.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Darryl Earl, comedian from Detroit, Michigan, kept the men laughing with jokes about church life

Deacon Willie Tucker of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, told The Toledo Journal the amount of men participating for the 2018 retreat had doubled from last year.

“This is an opportunity for men to come together to fellowship, and see how we can implement into the community, what we learn these two days.”

Rev. Troy Brown of United Missionary Baptist Church shared, “This is our second year, as a church, participating in the retreat. The men were really excited about attending.”

Rev. Avearn Ford of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church added that, the young men, who participated in the retreat, gave tear jerking testimonies on how they need Christ in their life.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Committee members for the retreat are, from left, Rev. Troy Brown of United Missionary Baptist church, Deacon Troy Ogle of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Deacon Willie Tucker of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. Avearn Ford of Shiloh Baptist Church.

When it came time for Rev. Boose to deliver the keynote address, he told the men that he wanted to give them information that not only tied into the retreat, but could be utilized once they returned to their individual church, and surrounding community.

He asked them, “Do you know who you are? What’s your purpose with Christ? If you understand your purpose, you’ll get in the right position to cause change.”

Rev. Boose continued, “Religion is only mentioned twice in the Bible, but the word kingdom is throughout the book. God rules Heaven. We rule ourselves; the kingdom. And if you notice, kings are never in need within their kingdom. They’ve been given authority in the land, and we, as men, need to recognize we’re kings of our land, granted that authority, by God. When we truly believe we’ve been given that authority, our lives will begin to change for the better.”

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.

Mothers, locally, and from surrounding cities and Michigan treated to fine dining and musical tribute

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Mother's Day
Family members of Rev. Dr. John Roberts, pastor of Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church are, clockwise Deacon Elmore Sturdivant, Deborah Roberts, Jelise Roberts, David Smith, and Barbara Jones, Makalah, and Orvil Robinson.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

The Social Butterfly, LLC, and OMG Productions collaborated to host a citywide Mother’s Day Dinner, and musical tribute, on Sunday, May 12. Held at St. Clements Hall, 2990 Tremainsville Rd, the event featured musical artist, Darius Coleman, and saxophonists, CJ Manning and Company.

Mother's Day
Three of the mothers present, Rachelle Roy, Vernetta Glover, and Marissa Schoenegge, receive a personal serenade from Marcia Bowen.

According to organizers, attendees traveled from Findlay, Defiance, and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Detroit, Michigan, to attend the sold out event. Guests also had the opportunity to win various gift bags that were raffled during the event. A portion of the proceeds, $500, was donated to the YWCA, in effort to give back to the community, according to Donnetta Carter, CEO of The Social Butterfly, LLC.

Mother's Day
From left, Larry Jones, Master of Ceremonies, Tracy Roberts of OMG Productions, and Donnetta Carter of The Social Butterfly, LLC, sponsored the event, and Deacon Marvin March, committee member, all helped make the event a success.

She told The Toledo Journal that they wanted to do something special for mothers that included fine dining, as well as good entertainment.

“Many of the restaurants that people attend will charge at least $40 per person, but won’t offer entertainment. Our event was cheaper, and offered good entertainment,” Ms. Carter said.

She said the reason they chose to donate to the YWCA is the many beneficial programs the agency offers to the community.

Tracy Roberts, CEO of OMG Productions, said he immediately jumped at the opportunity to help host an event for mothers.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the community; they’re asking us to do another one,” Mr. Roberts said.

Marissa Schoenegge, said, “This is really a good event. The music is good, and the singer is really good. It has been totally worth my time, and money.”

CJ Manning, saxophonist, entertained those who attended the Mother’s Day dinner.

Anna Davis was one of the winners of a gift bag. She said, “I love this event. The food is good, and the music is good. I’m so glad I came. We need more events like this in Toledo.”

Ms. Carter thanked everyone who attended. She also added a special thank you to her assistant, Danielle Schoenegge, who helped make the event go smoothly, as well as successful.