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Comedy benefit honors women living with breast cancer


Most breast cancer foundations focus on raising money for research or to help cover medical bills, but one is dedicated to putting fun back into the lives of women living with the disease.
 
The Karen Wellington Foundation for Women wants women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, along with their families, to enjoy their lives by taking a break from the exhausting day-to-day struggles of doctor’s appointments, scans and chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The foundation provides these women with miniature vacations, spa visits, dinners and concert tickets.

Sticking with the theme of “Fun Now!” the foundation is hosting a comedy showcase Aug. 11 to raise money to send more women on vacations and allow them to live in the moment.
 
Six top local comedians will take the stage to address the sensitive issue doing what they do best: Andy Gasper, Faith Mueller, Laura Sanders, Mark Chalifoux, Gabe Kea and Chris Weir.
 
“Comedy and humor are such a huge part of the healing process,” says Michael Holder, host, board member and local comedian. “There is tension we can destroy with comedy. Think of it is a way of laughing in the face of cancer.”
 
The foundation was founded eight years ago in honor of Wellington, a young mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and passed away 10 years later. 
 
The benefit will take place 8-11 p.m. Aug. 11 at Go Bananas Comedy Club in Montgomery. All ticket proceeds go to the foundation and its mission.

Do Good:

• Plan to buy tickets and attend Fun Now!; admission is $15.

• Learn more about the Karen Wellington Foundation for Women at its website.

Lend your vacation home, condo or timeshare to the foundation to provide a fun break for a woman with breast cancer and her family.
 

Rescheduled Paddlefest hosts three float events and downtown festival


The 14th annual Ohio River Paddlefest, whose original June dates were swamped by heavy rain and high river levels, is set for Aug. 2. Online pre-registration is closed, but on-site registration is available both Aug. 1 and 2.
 
According to Brewster Rhoads, Paddlefest Chair and former executive director of Green Umbrella — sponsor of the event — the thrill kayakers will experience on Aug. 2 is the same one that will prompt future generations of people to become invested in the Ohio River and all it has to offer as a natural resource.
 
“Sitting just inches above the water line in a canoe or kayak lets one feel the power of the Ohio as it conveys rainfall from seven upriver states to the Gulf of Mexico,” he says. “If you close your eyes, you can just imagine how Lewis and Clark felt as they made their way downriver in 1803.”

Paddlefest offers three opportunities to get in the water Aug. 2: a five-mile stand-up paddleboard (SUP) race, an 11-mile canoe and kayak race and the 8.2-mile paddle. The races begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the paddle start. All boats put in at Coney Island and finish at the Public Landing downtown. Shuttle buses will take participants from downtown to Coney Island before the events (6-8 a.m.) and after (10 a.m.-1:45 p.m.).

The Gold Star Chili Finish Line Festival at Yeatman’s Cove will run 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., featuring live music, racer awards, Global Water Dancers, food, beer and exhibitors.
 
Kayaking between the downtown bridges with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop will undoubtedly be a unique experience and a scene to be remembered. It’s the largest paddling event in the country and one Rhoads says should not be missed.
 
“It is hard to love something you don't know. That's why Paddlefest is so effective in changing attitudes about the Ohio,” Rhoads says. “By giving 2,000 adults and children each year an opportunity to get an up-close and personal experience with the beauty and majesty of the Ohio, Paddlefest is helping to grow the next generation of environmental stewards.” 

Do Good: 

• Interested in paddling the Ohio? Register on-site at Coney Island Saturday, Aug. 1 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) or Sunday, Aug. 2 (starting at 6:30 a.m.). Check here for prices and details.

• If you're feeling competitive, join one of the two races Aug. 2.

• Become an environmental steward by getting involved with Green Umbrella and its other initiatives year-round.
 

Funke pottery studio encourages individual empowerment


Whether you’re looking to hone your ceramic skills or just starting out, Funke Fired Arts is a place where anyone can be an artist.
 
Funke’s instructors teach every level of a smorgasbord of classes: wheel throwing, handbuilding and sculpture. 
 
“People always say, ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body,’” says Ben Clark, director of instruction. “But if you get them to take just one class, it opens a part of them they didn’t know they had. Creating something new makes people feel great. You realize how many talents you have beyond your day-to-day job.”
 
Funke is one of the largest clay studios in the country. The facility has multiple kilns and more than 50 spinning wheels. There are other studios, a gallery and a children’s education center as well.

But what makes Funke unique is its full-retail service shop, which sells clay, glaze, raw materials, tools, wheels, kilns, bricks, etc. They have formed several relationships with art teachers in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas in order to expand their reach. The money that comes in from art product purchases can be used to invest in education for local communities, Clark says. 

The studio is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m-5 p.m. Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Do Good:

• Get your hands dirty and register for a class at Funke Fired Arts, 3130 Wasson Road, Hyde Park.

• Become friends with Funke on Facebook.

• Support Funke by buying local art products.
 

Strive Partnership receives funding to drive better education results


Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is one of six metro areas recently chosen to receive support from a $15 million fund designed to help local schools reach their education goals faster.  
 
The Cradle to Career Accelerator Fund, launched by StriveTogether, helps communities build a better education system by focusing on collective impact that supports children from birth through college.

Six communities were chosen to join a national network of more than 9,400 organizations helping improve education success for kids across the U.S.: All Hands Raised (Portland, Ore.); Commit! Dallas (Dallas County, Tex.); Graduate Tacoma (Tacoma, Wash.); Higher Expectations (Racine, Wisc.); Seeding Success (Memphis, Tenn.); and Strive Partnership (Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky).   

“This is another example of how Cincinnati is becoming a hub for innovation, particularly social innovation and education,” says Greg Landsman, executive director of Strive Partnership. “I think it’s critically important to tackle some of the most pressing challenges that face the country right here in Cincinnati and to do so in a way that has us leading the nation. It helps to further this momentum this city has.”

Strive Partnership supports local Cincinnati communities and organizations by focusing on getting people to work better together, ensuring data is used effectively and aligning resources to have the most impact. The fund will help the organization strengthen its capacity in focus areas and, in turn, provide support to local groups and partners.

Investments will not be broken up equally but dispersed based on each community's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Each community will have its own way of tackling such an important issue, but the common denominator between all of these communities is to make sure every child is prepared for their education and supported throughout so they’re able to achieve post-high school success.  

More cities will join the Cradle to Career Network during a second round of competitive applications within the next year.

“We want to more effectively engage our partners in a personalized way so that everyone who wants to be part of this larger collective impact approach knows what’s happening, where they can plug in and where they can have the most impact,” Landsman says.
 
Do Good:

• Learn more about the Cradle to Career roadmap by visiting the group's website.

• Follow StriveTogether's progress on Facebook.

• Do your part by getting involved with your community and your schools.
 

Local kids to learn basketball skills from NBA star Tayshaun Prince


Local kids will learn the basics of basketball from NBA star Tayshaun Prince at his annual basketball camp hosted by Kicks for Kids.

Prince, a forward for the Detroit Pistons and previously a three-time team MVP at the University of Kentucky, brings his staff of top high school coaches and guest speakers to Thomas More College for a three-day camp beginning Aug. 3.

Participants will learn the basic skills needed to play basketball, including ball-handling, passing, scoring, rebounding and defense. Campers will also learn a valuable asset of being an athlete — how to be competitive but also a good sport — says KFK Executive Director Christine Sebastian.

Each camper will take home a photo with Prince and an instructional DVD featuring coaching tips and different drills that they can review in the future.

“The best part about this camp is that not only is their coach an NBA player but by the end of the camp he knows everyone’s name,” Sebastion says.

The camp will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 3-5 at Thomas More’s Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills and other local gymnasiums. Transportation between each venue will be provided for campers.

Do Good:

• There is still time to register for Tayshaun Prince’s camp; admission is $100 for each camper.

• For more information on sponsoring a child or program, contact Christine Sebastian.

• Become friends with Kicks for Kids on Facebook
 

Students build social skills at unique music/art camp


This summer you might find kids sitting in a drum circle working together to create music. The next hour, you might see them standing around a table creating a sculpture together and presenting it to their class.
 
These kids all have one thing in common: a social skills camp collaboration between Melodic Connections and Visionaries + Voices.
 
The camp is designed to give kids with different types of special learning needs a place where they can practice their social skills in a structured environment. The camps prevents a “summer slide” that often happens between academic school years, when a child's mind sits idle during the summer months and loses valuable reading and social skills. 
 
“This summer was loaded with all of these awesome creative mediums for kids to be their silly selves together and thrive but really have some structured practice at the same time,” says Betsey Nuseibeh, executive director of Melodic Connections. “They learn how to work together and work on making friends but also finding out what that means and looks like.”

In the past, kids had the opportunity to work on their social skills through music and art. This year, yoga and dance were added to the agenda. Ensemble Theatre also had a hand in this summer's round of one-week camp sessions. 
 
The summer social skills camp is a place for kids to not only show off their abilities but to also take that camp experience and use it to create more positive experiences in their lives, Nuseibeh says. 
 
Do Good:

• Melodic Connections is always looking for volunteers.

• Be a Facebook friend of Melodic Connections and Visionaries + Voices.

Donate to help Visionaries + Voices' mission.
 

Macy's Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival returns, celebrates 10 years


Thousands of people gather at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden each summer to enjoy the Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival.
 
The July 22 event will mark 10 years since Learning Through Art started bringing neighbors from all across the region together. LTA is a local organization committed to encouraging multicultural awareness understanding and commits to increasing community participation in the arts and in communities.  
 
“We want to let the world know that it's not just about visiting the zoo,” says Kathy Wade, LTA co-founder and CEO. “It's also about seeing and meeting your neighbors right in the middle of our city.”
 
In an effort to support early childhood literacy, LTA is asking patrons to join the Read to Me! Movement. Visitors can buy a book or make a $10 donation to help build a future for a child.
 
Entertainment is slated throughout the day July 22, ranging from music and cultural dance to puppeteers and hands-on opportunities for kids. The festival is introducing an international craft corner this year where kids will be able to make native crafts from six different countries, ranging from Mexico and Egypt to Russia and France.
 
Admission to the event is $1. You can ride Metro's Route 46 bus to the zoo for 50 cents for a one-way trip or $1 round trip. 
 
Do Good:

• Attend the Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival at the Cincinnati Zoo 9 a.m.-6 p.m. July 22.

• Donate to the Read to Me! Campaign on GoFundMe.

Support Learning Through Art.
 

The Carnegie announces six diverse shows for its 2015-16 gallery season


The Carnegie recently announced the exhibition lineup for its 2015-16 gallery season, which runs from September until late June. Shows range from an examination of the history and communities of Covington to experimental cinema to the use of abstract art. 

How does Exhibition Director Matt Distel and his team determine which exhibitions make the final cut?

“That’s the social component of what The Carnegie is trying to do — organize shows that people will respond to, that challenge people and their conceptions,” he says. “The challenge of putting on shows is to make the unfamiliar familiar and sometimes take something you know and turning it on its head, making the familiar unfamiliar."

Each exhibition's opening night, except for the Art of Food events, includes a free informal conversation with Distel and participating artists, light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

After opening night, each exhibition can be viewed 12-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Here is the 2015-16 gallery season:

Sept. 11-Nov. 21
I am, I be, but we don’t: site-specific works by Terence Hammonds, Anissa Lewis and Tim McMichael
New works examine Covington’s history and communities.
 
Extra Credit: Documenting Higher Level Art 2008-2015
Documentation of the 50-plus murals created for Covington Independent Public Schools plus new installations and other projects by Northern Kentucky's Higher Level Art organization.
 
Dec. 4-Feb. 6
Modern Living: Objects and Context
Co-curated with BLDG, a two-part exhibition explores the intersection and conflation of design and art objects with artists and designers Keith Benjamin, Such + Such, Brush Factory, Matt Lynch, Matthew Metzger, Chris Vorhees, Taryn Cassella, Colin Klimesh, CVG Made, Grainwell and Ampersand.
 
Feb. 24 & 26
10th Annual Art of Food
The popular event returns bigger and better than ever.
 
March 11-April 23
The Mini (Microcinema)
The Carnegie is transformed into an experimental movie theater with rotating galleries and screenings programmed by C. Jacqueline Wood.
 
May 6-June 11
Formal Function: Strategies of Abstraction
Regional survey examining the use of abstraction in painting, sculpture and other media with artists Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Justin Hodges, Rick Wolhoy, Jolie Harris, Joe Winterhalter, Mark Dejong, Scott Bellissemo, Jimmy Baker, Paige Williams, Frank Herrmann, Kim Krause and more.

Do Good:

Visit The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington.

• Keep track of what's next during the 2015-16 gallery season.

Donate to help maintain The Carnegie's mission. 
 

UC, Hughes High School team for summer bridge STEM program


The University of Cincinnati is empowering and educating students at Hughes High School through a bridge program focused on college and career readiness in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field. 

The program, known as the UC Scholars Academy, allows Hughes juniors and seniors to experience three weeks of college immersion classes, hands-on activities, field trips and speakers that will better prepare them for STEM careers and post-high school life. The hope is that the bridge program can serve as a national best practice model, says Kathie Maynard, director of community partnerships in UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services and a leader in the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative.

The program began with an application process for students who were interested, which lead to an essay and panel interview. Of the 30 who applied this year, 12 were chosen.

UC President Santa Ono and UC Provost Beverly Davenport have each committed $100,000 to help the program flourish. The program plans to grow and reach into lower grades, garnering attention from students just starting high school.
 
“We’re bridging not only the gap to college but showing them where that leads on the other side,” Maynard says. “If we can make a difference in these juniors’ and seniors’ lives, then we can extend into lower grades.”

Do Good:

Contact Kathie Maynard to find out how you can support the UC Scholars Academy.

• Become a friend of Hughes High School on Facebook

• Advocate for more mentoring/learning connections among businesses, community and education. 
 

Watch the Cincinnati Art Museum restore outdoor bronze statue


The Cincinnati Art Museum's conservation department is in the process of restoring and re-installing The Vine, a bronze statue that used to live in its Alice Bimel Courtyard. The sculpture was kept outside for decades and was damaged by wind, rain and other elements.

Restoration is open to the public in the courtyard. Museum visitors can watch Assistant Objects Conservator Kelly Schulze revive the statue using a multi-step process that will remove any previous treatment and corrosion products. She will apply a new protective layer to protect the statue from future erosion. 

"Our conservation departments are experts in restoring paintings and structures," says Jill Dunne, marketing and communications director. "Schulze is restoring this famous, beautiful structure to its former glory." 

The Vine is one of six sculptures that stand at an 86-inch scale. Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, its Philadelphia-born sculptor, is famous for creating bronze work based on dancers who posed for her. The museum has other works of her's in the courtyard as well — one statuette and four large scale bronzes.

Restoration is expected to last through July but might go into August, depending on the weather. Visitors can view the restoration in the Alice Bimel Courtyard Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m.

Do Good:

Visit the Cincinnati Art Museum to see the restoration progress.

• Become a Cincinnati Art Museum friend on Facebook.

• Support the museum by adopting a piece of art
 

Faces Without Places raffling off two All Star Game tix to support its kids programs


If you haven’t yet snagged a ticket strip for the 2015 All Star Game festivities, your odds of finding one for less than $500 at this point are few and far between.
 
Faces Without Places, a nonprofit whose mission is “to empower lives by removing educational barriers and provide enrichment opportunities for children and youth experiencing homelessness,” is giving you a chance at tickets for just $20. 
 
Thanks to a donation from John Burns, local businessman and former president of Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, Faces Without Places is raffling off a pair of Diamond Seats — just behind home plate — for the July 10-14 events.
 
The tickets are valued at $2,500 apiece and include food along with access to all All Star Game activities, including the game itself, the SiriusXM All Star Futures Game, the All Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and the Gatorade All Star Workout Day, which features the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.
 
“This donation will enable Faces Without Places to continue on our trajectory of expansion,” says Mike Moroski, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We have some new things in store that will enable us to broaden our impact by keeping children experiencing homelessness connected to their education.”
 
Some of the ways the organization has done that thus far are through its annual Yellow Bus Summer Camp (YBSC) and ZooMates, a year-long mentoring program that pairs children from St. Francis de Sales School with students from Xavier University.
 
According to Moroski, 95 percent of children at last summer's YBSC increased or retained their math and/or reading skills, and a large majority of the children involved with ZooMates (87%) planned on attending college after participating in the program.
 
“We have raised a little over $16,000 thus far, and our goal is to reach $20,000 by July 10,” Moroski says. “Mr. Burns' donation of these tickets will help us to expand and grow more comfortably, and we could not be more grateful for his generosity.”

Do Good: 

• Support Faces Without Places by purchasing raffle tickets for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the 2015 All Star Game and related festivities. Entries will be accepted through July 10 at 5:15 p.m., with the drawing to follow at 5:30. Winners will be contacted immediately.

• Attend a free event at the Contemporary Arts Center July 30 at 6 p.m. to introduce Faces Without Places' rebranding campaign and announce what's in store for the future.

Get involved with Faces Without Places by donating, volunteering or attending/hosting an event.
 

Students work creatively with glass, learn and grow through art


If you missed the opening for Brazee Street Studios’ fifth annual Kids Exhibition, 513 Penguins, you’ll have a second chance to view students’ work at a reception taking place July 10 at C-LINK Gallery.
 
Students from 13 local schools worked to create more than 500 glass penguins — an activity made possible by the staff at Brazee along with 13 teachers who learned the project and then taught it remotely at their respective schools. Bullseye Glass Co. donated all of the glass.
 
According to Chelsea Borgman, C-LINK gallery coordinator and communications specialist, one of Brazee’s core missions is to help children not only express themselves through art but also appreciate the art-making experience.
 
“The annual children's exhibition is not only about the end result — it’s just as much, if not more, about the process,” Borgman says. “Children get to experiment with a material they may not otherwise have an opportunity to use, see how the glass transforms through the firing process, then have their work on display, realizing their connectedness to the smaller community of the classroom and the larger community of Cincinnati.”
 
The process also teaches students trust, Borgman says, as glass is oftentimes viewed as dangerous.
 
“When we trust the children to handle the glass safely, it helps them to trust themselves and take ownership over the responsibility to use this ‘dangerous’ material,” she says.
 
Perhaps most importantly, the program provides an opportunity for children to express their uniqueness without fear of judgment, as no two penguins are crafted the same.
 
“Each one has its own personality, which is a reflection of the choices made by the child during the creation process,” Borgman says. “We hope we have provided an opportunity for children to express themselves without the worry of finding the ‘wrong’ answer. There is no ‘wrong’ way to make their penguin, which I think can be quite liberating.”
 
Do Good: 

• Attend the second reception for 513 Penguins at 6-9 p.m. July 10 at Brazee's C-LINK Gallery in Oakley. Live penguins from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will be on site. Guests will also have the opportunity to create a penguin of their own.

• If you can't make the reception, show your appreciation for students' creations by viewing the exhibition, which is on display through Aug. 6. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays; 12-8 p.m. Thursdays; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. 

• Check out Brazee's class offerings for students of all ages and abilities. 
 

Envision Children delivers interactive learning experiences to local kids


About 100 children between the ages of 4 and 10 just finished learning about the Greek alphabet and will continue their Summer Academic Enrichment program, offered through Envision Children, as they acquire knowledge about the origins of things like fire, medicine and the telephone.
 
This year’s “Great Inventions, Great Discoveries II” theme is designed to elevate students’ math and reading levels by at least 11 percent as they participate in hands-on learning and attend weekly field trips.
 
“Our summer program is meant to engage students in such a way that they become more excited than their parents about their own future, because they will see possibilities in many career fields,” says Sheryl McClung McConney, president and founder of Envision Children.
 
McConney saw a need for educational assistance — particularly among middle-class working families as well as those living in poverty — after running a for-profit tutoring center that provided federally funded tutoring under the No Child Left Behind initiative.
 
When Ohio was approved for the No Child Left Behind waiver, families were still in need of educational assistance, McConney says, so she converted the facility into a nonprofit to continue serving their needs.
 
In addition to Academic Summer Enrichment, Envision Children also offers tutoring and activities throughout the year: ACT Bootcamp, Power Saturdays and Academic Showdown, where fourth-grade students recently competed in an academic game show with support from some of their favorite Bengals players.
 
It’s all designed to fulfill Envision Children’s mission, which is to produce measurable results by engaging youth “in real life learning, where students see how their education benefits them through interactive and fun activities.”
 
“I love children, and I recognize their importance in the future of our communities locally and globally,” McConney says. “My life's work has been to help maximize the potential of children to excel academically and to succeed as adults as responsible, contributing citizens, whatever career field they pursue.”

Do Good: 

Learn more about the ways in which Envision Children works to bring education to life for children.

• Connect with Envision Children on Facebook.

Contact Envision Children to volunteer, enroll your child or support its mission.
 

Stages for Youth seeks funding to create year-round filmmaking program for teens


For Frank O’Farrell, the ways in which society traditionally measures educational success can sometimes be limiting.
 
“It sets boundaries and expectations that some kids just cannot understand or relate to,” he says.
 
O’Farrell experienced this frustration personally raising his now 17-year-old son and as a result founded Stages for Youth, whose mission is twofold: to help youth find their voice and express their individuality through digital and performance arts and to change the trajectory of their own lives, those around them and their community.
 
“I felt strongly that I just needed to give my son, and kids like him, an alternative avenue for self expression, another way to experience success,” O’Farrell says.
 
So he spent his vacation days from work planning and developing a pilot program, bringing in mentors and volunteers, hiring staff and fundraising — all for the purpose of teaching kids video production.
 
Twenty-four teenagers between the ages of 12 and 19 came together to create, shoot, edit and produce six films in five days last summer. The free film camp’s success has become apparent, as the group won an honorable mention at The White House Student Film Festival for I Am Urban Art, two Golden Lion awards and an $8,000 scholarship.
 
But the story doesn’t stop there, as O’Farrell is committed to making sure other students receive similar opportunities.
 
“The skills these kids learn through the film production discipline include creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, project management, collaboration, thinking on their feet, working against deadlines,” O’Farrell says. “These are 21st-Century skills that our young people will need in order to be successful. Employers are demanding it (but) schools are not teaching it, and the result is a ‘skills gap’ which is limiting our kids’ opportunities when they do enter the workforce.”
 
These skills don’t come naturally for all, but it’s these types of skills that do seem to be more innate in those who don’t relate to a more traditional educational setting, O’Farrell says, so he wants to build Stages for Youth into a year-round after-school program to “level the playing field” for all students.
 
“Kids will walk away with a finished project, a digital portfolio for their resume, awards, 21st-Century skills in creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, a network of industry professionals and a more clearly defined career roadmap,” he says. “And as these kids write a story for their film, they are also writing their own personal story, and that's what can change their lives.”

Do Good: 

• Help Stages for Youth expand to a year-round after-school model by donating.

• Connect with Stages for Youth on Facebook.

• Check out students' films by clicking "Summer Camp Productions" at the top of the page.
 

World Refugee Day celebrated with companionship, resources and fun


The Junior League of Cincinnati’s RefugeeConnect program, in collaboration with the Red Cross, hosted its second annual World Refugee Day Cup Soccer Tournament recently as a way to welcome our region’s newest neighbors.
 
According to the JLC, there are 12,000-25,000 refugees living in Greater Cincinnati at any given time, so RefugeeConnect works to “unite and engage” the community for the purpose of assisting newcomers with a smooth transition as they get acclimated to a new culture and a new home.
 
“We are a nation of immigrants,” says Robyn Brown, co-chair of RefugeeConnect, which constructs a sustainable system of support for those making their way out of countries in turmoil.
 
About 600 individuals attended the June 13 soccer tournament, which, in addition to fun and gameplay, matched resettling refugees with various resources in the community — everything from free dental screenings on-site to valued connections with job training services. These are the types of connections that RefugeeConnect works to create on a yearly basis.
 
This past Saturday on World Refugee Day, for example, cyclists participated in a charity ride to fund the Dean Razzak RefugeeConnect Scholarship, which provides those entering higher education with a means of “finding meaningful employment as contributory members of our community and adopted country.”
 
And RefugeeConnect makes education a priority, as ESOL training courses are offered throughout the summer as a way to mitigate the language barrier.
 
“While many of our ancestors came to America generations ago,” Brown says, “others arrived more recently to seek a better life in this country,” and it’s RefugeeConnect’s mission to assist them in doing so. 

Do Good: 

• Support the educational and career goals of young refugees by contributing to the Dean Razzak RefugeeConnect Scholarship.

• Learn more about how to help refugees adjust to a new community by attending the next Refugee Empowerment Initiative meeting, July 17 at 3 p.m. at Xavier University's Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue.

• Connect with the Junior League of Cincinnati on Facebook.
 
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