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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.

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.”

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.

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.

City of Toledo hosts Annual Pumpkin-A-Rama

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City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

By Michelle Martin, Journal Staff

Toledo citizens gathered together as parents, goblins, fairies, and  princesses at Ottawa Park on Saturday, October 20th, at the Liz Pierson Open Air Shelter in Ottawa Park from noon until 2 p.m. This was the 10th Annual Pumpkin-A-Rama sponsored by The City of Toledo's Department of Recreation.

Phyllis Johnson, who has attended a few Pumpkin-A-Rama events in the past says, “I love when the time comes around for the Pumpkin-A-Rama. Its just an awesome, awesome  for the family. And I’m enjoying it!”

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

A mother who attended for the very first time, Kaitlynne Grey,  says “It’s nice. Really nice. The kid’s favorite part was the horse ride. They really enjoyed it.”

Children and even a few adults were dressed in Halloween costumes to take advantage of the FREE festivities provided by the City of Toledo. Families could ride in a horse carriage around the park. Free pumpkins and apples were given to the community and candy was collected as an early trick or treat! There was also a line for buttery popcorn, donuts of many tastes (including apple donuts!). Of course there was a line for the famous fall drink, apple cider.

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

DJ services were provided by Michael Baginski from Decorative Sound, which kept the Pumpkin-A-Rama fun and relaxed. Children and adults danced to many songs and DJ Michael Baginski’s voice over kept the crowd hype, happy, and involved.

Toledo’s FREE Pumpkin-A-Rama is planned and put together each year by The City of Toledo Department of Parks and Recreation. All food and drinks were purchased from various vendors.

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal

City of Toledo Pumpkinarama | The Toledo Journal
Rihanna_knighten, age 3, stands with her big brother, Romaile Knighten, age 7

Aaron Meyers, Division Supervisor of Department of Recreation explained, “The purpose of this event is to bring the community out and to enjoy the fall atmosphere. We just want to bring smiles to kids’ faces and have a family-fun event that all citizens of Toledo can enjoy together.”

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.

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.

Books 4 Buddies has give-away for students at LMHA Weiler Homes

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Books 4 Buddies has give-away for students at LMHA Weiler Homes | The Toledo Journal
Ambassador, and spokesman for Books 4 Buddies, Mondo Arce, right, and Jordan Topoleski, read to the children.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

“I don’t let me kids read from the internet, unless it's school related. I want them reading from an actual book,” Maryah McIntosh told The Toledo Journal on Wednesday, July 25.

Ms. McIntosh was one of many parents, who attended Books 4 Buddies event, held at the Weiler Homes, on Toledo’s east side. Throughout the year, the organization hosts similar events around Toledo. The object is to encourage literacy through reading actual books. The event was a collaboration between Toledo Public Schools (TPS) and Lucas County Metropolitan Housing (LMHA).

Books 4 Buddies has give-away for students at LMHA Weiler Homes | The Toledo Journal
Leticia Bermejo said, “I want my son, Xavier Johnson, to love reading like I do. So I thought this event would be good to further encourage him.”

In addition to giving away books, free food, face painting, games, and a boxing lesson made up the day’s agenda.

Mondo Arce, 17, is the spokesperson, as well as an Ambassador for Books 4 Buddies.

“Events like this are so important,” he said. “When you read from a book, instead of your phone, you avoid distractions like texts messages, social media updates, etc. Although books may be considered old fashion, they still work. And it’s important that kids have role models encouraging, and showing them the importance of reading a book,” Mondo said.

Books 4 Buddies has give-away for students at LMHA Weiler Homes | The Toledo Journal
Dr. Romules Durant, superintendent for Toledo Public Schools, and Laneta Goings, founder/president of Books 4 Buddies discuss ways of encouraging children to read during the summer months.

Jordan Topoleski, 18, is also an Ambassador for Books 4 Buddies. He said that, many people may not have the resources to buy and keep books in their homes; therefore, their effort helps fill a much needed void.

“Over the years since I’ve been in the program, I’ve got a better perspective on the entire city, and not just where I live,” he said.

 

Books 4 Buddies has give-away for students at LMHA Weiler Homes | The Toledo Journal

Joaquin Centron Vega is vice president of assets management for LMHA. He said, “We like to take pride in our community by helping to provide positive things for it, especially for the children.”

“This event encourages kids to read during the summer months,” said Dr. Romules Durant, superintendent for TPS. “We’re always looking for ways to encourage literacy,” he said.

Race for the Cure

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Race for the Cure | The Toledo Journal

By Michelle Martin
Journal Staff Writer

One in eight women are affected by breast cancer and five of these affected women will pass away each week. African American women are also 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Race for the Cure_Brown-Mickels Family | The Toledo Journal
Brown-Mickels Family

While these numbers may be frightening, there is still hope. Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio has donated over $17 million to breast cancer research and local services, providing for thousands of local women. Twenty five percent of the collected donations are donated to cancer research, while 75 percent supports breast cancer awareness and preparedness in Northwest Ohio.

Race for the Cure FI_Aerobic Exercise encouragement | The Toledo Journal
Aerobic Exercise encouragement with Erika White

Race for the Cure_Children of the community volunteer | The Toledo Journal
Children of the community volunteer during the event.

This year, thousands gathered at the 25th annual Toledo Race for the Cure Sept. 30 in downtown Toledo. The event is held to raise breast cancer awareness and to celebrate survivors.

The 2018 race specifically honored survivor Rena Raga and the memory of Kelli Andres, wife and mother, who passed away this year.

Race for the Cure | The Toledo JournalThe day's events included a Kid Zone at Fifth Third Field, a Survivor Parade, and a survivor ribbon photo taken with a flying drone. New this year was a survivor’s trolley that transported those who could not participate in the race.

About 20,000 people came to walk, run, volunteer, or watch the race which continues to support the foundation's $1 million fundraising goal each year.

That goal is well on its way to being reached, considering the 10,000 paid participants as well as a $55,000 donation from Ford Motor Company towards the continued research for the cure.

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.”