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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.

Over 500 Local High School Students Attend UT Human Trafficking Conference

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Members of the Young Women for Change student organization at Toledo Early College High School.

By Leah Williams

The University of Toledo hosted over 500 local high school students from public and parochial schools on Wednesday, September 18 as a part of their Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

The conference, which celebrated its 16th year, has welcomed high school students to campus for the last six years. Anna Schramm, Research Assistant at the University’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute, said that conference organizers were purposeful in creating an opportunity to address teenagers.

Educator Leah Hudson, center, with students from Jones Leadership Academy attending the conference.

“Six years ago, when we decided to start the high school day, we realized that these were the people we were really needing to get in front of because they’re the ones who are confronting this issue; their friends might be dealing with it, they might come in contact with it,” Ms. Schramm said. “So, we really wanted to make them aware of [human trafficking] and then hopefully they learn something and take it back to their schools and spread the word.”

The day for the high schoolers started en masse with a Human Trafficking 101 session presented by Kizzy Williams, a Toledo area social worker and victim advocate, who provides legal advocacy services to victims of sex and labor trafficking. During the session, Ms. Williams spoke to the students about relationship warning signs, victim grooming, and how predators use social media to target vulnerable youth.

Kizzy Williams presents Human Trafficking 101 during the conference.

Among the sea of students and teachers in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium was Community Activist and Educator Mona Al-Hayani, who attended the conference, with nearly 50 students from Toledo Early College High School. This included members of the Young Women for Change student organization who will be presenting along with Al-Hayani in November at the Ohio State House for the Ohio Human Trafficking Prevention Youth Summit.

“It’s so important to have students come to conferences talking about human trafficking and the risk factors and how social media plays into tracking vulnerable youth,” Ms. Al-Hayani said. “Our students think that they’re invincible. Conferences like this makes them see that they are vulnerable.”

Sarah Sahmarani, senior student and president of Young Women for Change at Toledo Early College, said it was important for students to attend the conference especially for those who identify as female. Ms. Sahmarani said that young women needed to be active in the fight against human trafficking.

Mona Al-Hayani poses before the morning breakout sessions begin.

“It’s really important to empower women and girls to stand up and realize that they have a voice and can make a difference. They can make a change and stand up for themselves,” she said.

Following the opening group session, the high school students’ day rounded out with pre-selected breakout sessions, lunch, and the naming of winners from both the spoken word and visual art contest.

Art contestant and Maumee High School junior Jadyn Greisiger wrote that her digital art piece was meant to highlight the misconceptions that all human trafficking victims are female and victimized by strangers. She said that many victims are males and most people being trafficked were manipulated and abused by people they had come to be in relationship with on some level.

“Sadly, things such as ‘You have nowhere else to go’ or ‘No one else will love you’ and even physical abuse are used to keep the victim captive and vulnerable,” Ms. Greisiger wrote. “I tried my best to show that sex trafficking and abuse isn’t always as black and white as many people view it to be.”

The final two days of the conference were sold out and the University of Toledo saw nearly 1200 people attend 75 breakout sessions that focused on diverse topics including research, direct services, legal and law enforcement, and survivor stories. Dr. Celia Williamson, Distinguished University Professor and director of the University’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute said the following in a statement to the press.

“We are proud so many people want to learn about human trafficking. Our conference brings sex and labor trafficking out of the shadows and helps end abuse. More than ever before, we have the opportunity to educate, collaborate, and save lives,” Dr. Williamson 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.”

Catholic Diocese of Toledo Black Ministries celebrates Black History bestowing Drum Major Awards

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Catholic Diocese of Toledo Black Ministries celebrates Black History bestowing Drum Major Awards
Bishop Daniel E. Thomas (center) Bestows Drum Major Awards to the following nominates (L-R) Vivian Johnson, Malachi Wayne Wyse, Devon Williams and Dr. Helen C. Cooks.

On February 23, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo celebrated a mass for promoting harmony, as our nation celebrates Black History Month. The highlight of the event, which took place at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral on Collingwood Blvd., was the presentation of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo Black Ministry’s Drum Major Award to four outstanding citizens.

Inspiration for this award came from the work Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’ did in his lifetime to promote harmony and justice in the world. The name of the award itself comes from a speech Dr. King’s made where he said, ‘I am a drum major for the peace and justice’. The criterias for receiving this award are also based on the values of Dr. King life and this speech.

This year’s award recipients were Dr. Helen C. Cooks, Vivian Johnson, along with and two students, Devon Williams and Malachi Wayne Wyse.

Dr. Cook is best known for her work as an educator, a graduate of Scott High School and The University of Toledo where she received her Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral degrees. She has impacted the lives of thousands of students through the Toledo Excel Program at the University of Toledo. This scholarship program is her crowning achievement.

Upon receiving her award Dr. Cook said, ‘This is the second Drum Major Award I received this year and I am proud to have received these awards. Dr. King was the drum major and the person of our time, and he still is today. It’s an honor to receive an award in his name.”

She added, “The work that I’ve done is about justice and peace and for that I’m very proud. They say he kept up trouble and they say I keep up trouble, and on that accord, we have something on common. To the young people of today I say be prepared for that which is coming ahead. The road is not easy, but the road is worthwhile, let God order your footsteps and you will make it.”

Also honored was Vivian Johnson is a lay leader at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church here in Toledo. She has served with dedication and grace for many years as chairperson of St. Martin’s Evangelization Ministry. Other ministries that she participates in are Liturgy and Consolation as well as being a Eucharistic Minister and Lector. Her prayer ministry for those who are imprisoned touch all who have been impacted by a loved one’s imprisonment.

She leads by example and is a role model to many. Her service to the church and her impact on the younger generation is immeasurable.

Davion Williams, a well-rounded honor student, has impacted his St. John’s High School community through his leadership in the school’s Social Justice Alliance, where he helps raise awareness on subjects such as housing inequality and gentrification. His activism for social causes includes his participation in the 2018 Washington D. C, “March for Our Lives” His service for credit hours include serving food to those in need, volunteering in a nursing home and participating in an Appalachian Immersion project in West Virginia where helped to run a camp for youth. He is also a talented
composer of hop music.

Malachi Wayne Wyse is known for seeing the good in people and brings the best out in others. He prioritizes relationships, scholastic achievements and downplays his prowess in athletics. His character and personality marked him early as a youth with potential for leadership; leading to his selection to attend Salesian Leadership Camp. He is described humble, but his vibrant personality is brought to bear on everything he touches, including mock trial participation, performing in student musical productions, the Afro Club, Asian Culture Club and campus ministry. He fulfills his service credit responsibilities and for two years has served as a camp counselor for
incoming St. Francis de Sales High School students, where he is also the senior class president.

The Drum Major Awards are given out every year, if you know someone who you think is worthy of such an honor, call Ellen Jones at the Catholic Diocese of Toledo for further instructions on the nomination process.

Toledo host to fifth Annual Great Lakes Jazz Festival

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By Michael Daniels
Journal Staff Reporter

On Saturday, September 7, 2019, the weather was impeccable as was the setting for an outdoor concert and one last summer season fling. On that day deep in the woods at 11:00 am, in The Ottawa Park’s Amphitheater, the 5th Annual Great Lakes Jazz Festival got underway with a ten-hour jazz concert.

Relaxing and enjoying the warm sunny day and live Jazz were (L-R) Dennis and Jackie Springs with Dorothy and Ronnie Weathers.

The audience was exposed to several types and styles of jazz music and it was like the old saying, ‘How time flies when you’re having fun.’ This evidently was the motto for the majority of the audience, who attended the concert, the bulk of the audience stayed for the entire ten hours. It was like a mini version of the Woodstock concert in Toledo, only with a different genre of music and different kind of audience.

The musicians on the roster were all accomplished, polished, professionals, a fact that would be very evident doing their performance. Also, if you got hungry, there were vendors selling food and beverages at the door. Again why leave, it was the perfect event on a perfect day.

Audrey Northington (AKA SCAT DIVA) lights up the crowd at The 5th Annual Great Lakes Jazz Festival

The show kicked off with The Skip Turner Band featuring vocalist and recording artist, Deborah Gardner. She has also performed here in Toledo with Rev. Dr. Derrick  E. Roberts (deceased), the Sir Kalvin Hughes Trio, The Jamm Band and many others all around the United States.

Skip Turner also granted a guest spot in his set to Toledo’s self-taught musical child prodigy Gregory Buchanan Jr., who sings, plays the piano and the organ, several types of guitars, and the drums. He’s only just beginning and we are sure to hear more from him in the future.

Skip Turner started playing trumpet as a teenager here in Toledo. He went on to become the lead trumpeter playing tradition jazz standard at Toledo area clubs.

(L-R) Trina McCoy, Samuel Peoples, and Caroline Lewis enjoying the atmosphere and the music at this years Jazz festival.

Next up was from Detroit, MI. was Jerome Clark and Friends featuring Dave McMurray on Sax and vocalist Audrey Northington. Guitarist Jerome Clark is well known in the Detroit, MI music scene and he has performed at Bakers Keyboard Lounge for the past two decades as well as many other engagements in the area. In 2009 he completed ‘Water’ his first CD.

Audrey Northington (AKA the Scat Diva), who is currently appearing at Bakers Keyboard Lounge, has been referred to as the female Al Jarreau or little Ella Fitzgerald because of her sassy approach to the blues.

Jazz Festival raffle winners were (L-R) Bruce Cock, Mark McBee, and Marlene Davis shown here with Brandy Jackson and show producer Hugh Ross.

They were followed by the Latin Jazz Players a group from Lorain, OH. They call it the Latin infused Jazz Sound and currently have a CD available.

Next came the Mike Fageros Quartet. Guitarist Mike Fageros is a headliner at Bakers Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, which is the oldest jazz venue in America. His style of playing is best described a cross between postmodern bop, soul jazz, acid jazz straight ahead and the avant-garde without belonging to any the above categories.

Special Guest Performer Toledoan Gregory Buchanan Jr., a multi-talented musician who performed early in the shows displays his raffle tickets during the Jazz Festival show raffle.

Appearing last but not lease was the headliner of the show, Dean James of Houston TX., who is both an alto and soprano saxophonist, and he is about to release his filth solo project entitled ‘GROOVEY SAX’,. Here he introduces another level of original compositions, combined with all the elements that make up a diverse and exciting listening experience. This project is a unique blend of Smooth Jazz, R&B, Latin and Popular music that sets apart his own signature style and sound. Born and raised in San Francisco, Dean James began to play the saxophone at the age of fifteenth.

Toledo musical prodigy Gregory Buchanan Jr. (back right in white shirt) and. his family at the 5th Annual Great Lakes Jazz Festival

Somewhere between all the music the Great Lakes Jazz Festival committee took care of business and awarded the’ Great Lakes Jazz Enthusiast Award’ to Toledo’s own Clifford Murphy of the nationally recognizes Jazz Club, Murphy’s Place in downtown Toledo. They also awarded the ‘Great Lakes Jazz Festival Scholarship Fund’ to the Central Academy of Ohio. Monies for this educational scholarship are derived from a portion of the ticket sales of the Great Lakes Jazz Festivals itself. In addition, three audience member won cash prizes in the raffle that was going on during the show. They were Marlene Davis, Bruce Cock, and Mark McBee.

The 5th Annual Great Lakes Jazz Festival was produced by Jazz Enthusiast, Radio Host, and DJ, Hugh Ross, who is also known as, The H-Factor. He said, “My dream was to have a festival in Toledo with four or five different genres of jazz, and here it is today. I’m glad the weather cooperated with us and hopefully, this will continue to grow. Toledo has a rich history of jazz such as Art Tatum Jr. and others. My goal is to reach everybody and turn them on to the world of jazz.”

This group having a good time at The 5th Annual Great Lakes Jazz Festival.

He went to say, “Toledo has all other genres of music on the radio except jazz, so soon I will have the H-Factor Jazz Show online @ hfactorjazzshow.com. Hugh Ross also said, “Keep your eyes open because we have more Jazz Events coming in the near future!”

The 54th Annual Debutante Cotillion

Cotillion 2019

By Michael Daniels
Journal Staff Reporter

Saturday, May 25, at the Stranahan Theater in the Great Hall, Faith Rogers was crowned Miss 2019 Debutante at the 54th Annual Debutante Cotillion. Ms. Rogers, who is a senior at Saint Ursula Academy, was overjoyed, yet in disbelief, and surprised, that she had just won the top honors of the evening. She said, “I feel really thankful and happy, and I’m so grateful for my mom and for everything I’ve experienced in the Cotillion. I didn’t even think I was going to win, and honestly, I had only prayed and hoped for third place ( the second runner up to the crown).”

Instead, she won the top spot, which comes with a generous college scholarship, and Ms. Rogers is headed to Kent State University. There she plans to major in political sciences with a minor in pre-law. Her ambitions are to become a lawyer in family court and eventually a judge in the Juvenile detention area.

About the evening itself, she added, “Tonight was beautiful and all the girls did such a great job and they all looked so pretty and nice, and once again I’m just so happy!”

Other winners for the evening were the second runner up to the crown Whitney Hughes from Jones Leadership Academy of Business, and first runner up Lauren Baker from Springfield High School.

Cotillion 2019
Talent Award winners were (L-R) K’Allie Riley: Bowsher High School, Lauren Baker: Springfield High School, and Faith Rogers: Saint Ursula Academy

Mr. Escort of the year was John Reynolds with runner up Russell Chapman III (L). Miss. Congeniality Award sponsored by Henry’s Jewelry went to Chloe Smallwood from Perrysburg High School. Talent Award winners were K’Allie Riley: Bowsher High School, Lauren Baker: Springfield High School, and Faith Rogers: Saint Ursula Academy.

Cotillion 2019
John Reynolds won Escort of the year (R) shown here with Escort of the year runner up, Russell Chapman III (L)

Seven Debutantes also received a University of Toledo President Community Scholarship. They were Cinecere Blackburn and Daviana Estis: Toledo Early College, Jasmine Fox and Alexi Moore: Springfield High School, D’Asia Grover: Scott High School, Kiaea Gowdy: Start High School, and Chloe Smallwood from Perrysburg High School.

In addition an array of certificates of appreciation given out to Debutante, Escorts, and the Debs-In-Waiting.

2019 Debs-In-Waiting present Pearls to the 2019 Debutante.

The evening consisted of a two-hour ceremonial program beginning with a welcome address from Cotillion Co-chairman Karen Jarrett and greetings from The Toledo Club President Dr. Frances Collins. This was followed the presentation of Miss 2018 Debutante Courtney Draper and the introductions of the judges.

Next came the presentation of the Debs-In-Waiting, they are Junior High School girls who aspire to be Debutantes in their senior year. All dress the same on beautiful red formal gowns they marched in the hall and presented themselves before the judges. They were followed by the main event, the presentation of 2019 Debutantes.

One by one dress in stunning white formal gowns they were escorted into the hall by their fathers and introduced to the judge’s table. Then the father took their daughter to their Escort for the evening, young men wearing white tuxedos and white shoes. Once they were all assembled in the hall, the Debs-In-Waiting presented each debutante with a string of white pearls and put them on around their necks.

This was followed by the couples dancing the traditional Cotillion Waltz all around the room. Next came the parents Waltz, this is where the fathers danced with their daughters and the Escorts dances with the Debutantes mother. It all was a very formal and elegant affair, the only thing missing was the champagne!

After the dancing was the award ceremony when all the awards were presented culminating with crowning if Miss Debutantes 2019.

The Annual Debutante Cotillion was started in 1965 by The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club’s, Inc., The Toledo Club. It’s purpose, according to a statement published by the Toledo Club of the NANBPWC, Inc, ” Is to present outstanding young ladies to society clothed with the finer thoughts of living and endowed with a complete sense of responsibility. To accomplish these ends The Toledo Club has added life Skill workshops, Financial Scholarships and Etiquette training whereby the Debutante can step on the threshold of womanhood with success”.

Cotillion 2019
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club’s, Inc., The Toledo Club.

To enter into the Debutante program the ladies must meet a rigorous list of qualification and be recommended to The Toledo Club by their High School Counselor. After which the ladies are invited to an Introductory Tea where they learn all they have to do to become a Debutante and how to win the crown.

It’s a year-long process that includes screening, Etiquette Seminars, workshops, photo sessions, talent rehearsals, a talent show, and of course the final night of the Cotillion. At each event, they are rated on a point system all the way to the end. The lady who accumulates the most points by the end becomes the next Debutante of the year.

Mrs. Wilma Brown the chairman of the Cotillion for forty years said, “What’s special about the Cotillion is that we give the young women and men the opportunity to go to college and the chance to learn about other things that they don’t experience in their everyday lives. I really hope the Cotillion continues because it is a worthwhile event in our community.”

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.”

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.”

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.”