Library trustees updated on fundraiser, gas line & carpet

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library “looks like a department store exploded in there,” Library Director Michael Penrod told trustees Monday. By the end of the week, though, all should be returning to normal, after the Library Foundation’s fundraiser at Schedel Gardens. Penrod reported that the 100 tickets, which are $100 each, sold out as of Sunday. That’s the first time in the event’s 10-year history that it sold out so soon. The Foundation board, he said, has opted not to create a waiting list. The foundation set a goal of $75,000 for the fundraiser though it has raised more than that the last few years. Money raised goes to purchased books in all formats for the library. Penrod said last month that the money supplements the library’s book budget and does not replace money from the state or from the local levy. That was not the only bit of good financial news. Linda Joseph, the library’s finance officer, reported the library received a $5,000 rebate from the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. That money will be listed as “other income” in the library’s budget. Penrod reported that he is adamant that Columbia Gas line work now underway downtown will not disrupt the community Christmas tree that was just planted last year. The library will have a new gas line and meter installed, and it will enter at the southeast corner of the building. There are three burning bushes that were planted in 1974 when the library was built near the spot the line will run through. It’s possible one may have to be taken out, Penrod said, but Columbia Gas is committed to replacing an landscaping it disrupts. Also, Penrod reported that the replacement of the carpeting on the steps has been delayed because the interior designer he is working with is on medical leave. Work selecting carpeting continues. He said the stairway carpeting will be selected with the intent of replacing the carpeting in the circulation area as well as the back hallway. He said the library will also replace the walk-off flooring in the entryways. This is made of tougher stuff – like Brillo pads, Penrod said – but new designs will allow it to be more carpet-like. This area should be about 20-feet long to catch dirt, sand, and salt so most of it doesn’t get onto the library’s carpeting.

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BGSU’s top fundraiser Shea McGrew leaving; Balzer, Kuhlin take on new roles

In the middle of its $200 million Changing Lives for the World comprehensive campaign, Bowling Green State University is changing leadership in a key position. President Rodney Rogers announced Friday that Shea McGrew, vice president for university advancement and president of the BGSU Foundation, “will be leaving the University to pursue new opportunities.” In the letter to the campus community, Rogers wrote: “Shea has been instrumental in the success of our campaign and in strengthening our alumni engagement and outreach. I thank him for his hard work and service to the University over the last five years. The campaign has raised more than half its goal. Today (Monday, March 26) Rogers announced that Dr. Bill Balzer has been appointed to serve as interim vice president for University Advancement and president of the BGSU Foundation. Also, Mike Kuhlin, who is chair-elect of the BGSU Foundation Board, will serve in an advisory role to the president on the campaign. Kuhlin has a long career with AT&T and Ameritech retiring as senior director of corporate relations. Part of his role was guiding the company’s philanthropy. After retiring from Ameritech, he worked as a communications and development consultant for a number of national companies. For five years, he was the director of corporate, foundation and government support for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Kuhlin, a 1986 journalism graduate from BGSU, provided the lead donation for the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Center. Rogers wrote that the search for a permanent replacement for McGrew will begin immediately. Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning, will chair the search committee. The university has retained Issacson and Miller, a well-known national search firm, to help with the search. Balzer is currently vice president for academic affairs and strategic initiatives. He will retain his current duties. He is the former Dean of BGSU Firelands. “His focus in the coming months will be to oversee and, where appropriate, improve organizational structure and processes in University Advancement to ensure that we’re in a strong position to welcome the division’s next leader,” Rogers wrote. As adviser to Rogers, Kuhlin will serve on the search committee and as a liaison with the Foundation Board “to continue and accelerate our momentum on our comprehensive campaign so that we will meet and exceed our goal,” Rogers wrote. “He will also be working with Chief of Staff Lisa Mattiace and me on the outreach and cultivation of major prospects.” .

United is still the way to help charities in changing times, new CEO Wendy Pestrue contends

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Wendy Pestrue is a not complete newcomer to the United Way. Less than a month on the job as the president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Toledo, she explains she has not made her career with the charity. But, she said, when she was a teenager in her hometown of Lubbock, Texas, she was the United Way Flame. “I went to the luncheons for the fundraising campaign, and when they allocated funds, I got to visit the agencies and help celebrate their good work,” she said. “It was an interesting exposure to United Way at a young age.” She went on to work her way through college as a vocational nurse, then worked in education and earned a law degree. Her career has been with education and health care non-profits. That included working at Defiance College and living in Perrysburg. She and her husband, Justin Pestrue, moved to the area when he took a job in analytics with Michigan Medicine. She was happy to return to the region, and plans to move soon into the Toledo area. Pestrue, 51, stopped by the United Way office in Bowling Green last week to introduce herself. She takes over an agency at a time of change. The old way of doing things doesn’t necessarily work anymore, and the trail forward has yet to be blazed. The United Way model has lived for 100 years, she said, “but what does it look like in the next 100 years?” Donations are down, not only in the Greater Toledo area, but nationwide. “Trend been going down the last few years,” she said. That’s a result of many changes in society. Sue Clanton, area director for Wood County, said “stagflation” has played its part. Also, changes in the work place has made the company-based approach, where the United Way makes a pitch to assemblies of employees, no longer sufficient, Pestrue said. Companies downsize, and many more workers, especially younger workers, aren’t employed in offices. The way people give to charity has changed, especially among millennials. Crowd sourcing for particular causes continues to grow. That’s how millennials give, Pestrue said. They tend to be intensely involved, and then move on. And they like events, both attending and working at them. Clanton said the recent Chocolate Crawl is an example of such an event. It drew college kids, young adults, and those younger and older to visit shops throughout downtown Bowling Green sampling a variety of confections. “Chocolate works for everybody,” Pestrue said. Clanton made…

Exchange Club kicks in $10,000 for Wooster Green

From THE EXCHANGE CLUB OF BOWLING GREEN The Exchange Club of Bowling Green has donated $10,000 towards the development of the Wooster Green Project.  “Wooster Green is an important community effort that will greatly enhance the quality of life in Bowling Green and the Exchange Club is pleased to support this project,” said Club President Jenny Swope.  “We think it will be an exciting addition to our city and we are proud to join other community groups and individuals in helping Wooster Green become a reality,” she added. Since its 1946 founding in Bowling Green, the Exchange Club has a long history of supporting community organizations and programs, including scholarships for Bowling Green High School students, charitable work, donations to community organizations, and participating in community events. Prevention of child abuse is a prime club focus. Funds to support its philanthropy efforts comes primarily from the Exchange Club’s annual pancake breakfast, which this year will be March 17 in the Bowling Green High School cafeteria, and a Reverse Raffle. The Exchange Club meets at noon on Tuesdays at Stone Ridge Golf Club. Visitors are welcome to learn more about the Club and its upcoming events.

Dozens ready to go bald for a cause at BGSU St. Baldrick’s event

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of children’s cancer research, will host one of its signature head-shaving events at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union at Bowling Green State University Feb. 18, when more than 60 people will shave their heads to raise money for lifesaving childhood cancer research. The event will include barbers from Ambrosia Salon & Spa, Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards, BGSU Interim President Dr. Rodney Rogers, BGSU Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost Dr. Thomas Gibson, the St. Baldrick’s Honored Family the Roszmans, additional speakers, musical performances and a raffle. Over the past 6 years, BGSU has raised more than $108,000 for St. Baldrick’s, shaving 635 heads and donating 343 ponytails. Every 2 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide, and in the U.S. one in five kids diagnosed won’t survive. Those who do survive often suffer long-term effects from treatments too harsh for their developing bodies. As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer. From its beginnings, St. Baldrick’s has believed that kids deserve the chance to be kids – fun-loving, carefree, refreshingly honest, and always a little goofy – and deserve the chance at a healthy future. That’s why donations raised at events like this have made it possible for St. Baldrick’s to fund more than $232 million to support the best childhood cancer research, wherever it takes place. About St. Baldrick’s Foundation As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer by funding some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at to help support the best cancer treatment for kids.

Service award helps Mariana Mitova rally support for sports program for kids with special needs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Receiving the Faculty Senate’s Community Involvement award wasn’t just a boost for Mariana Mitova. It was also a boost for the causes she espouses, especially RallyCap Sports. Mitova, who teaches in Bowling Green State University Apparel Merchandising and Product Development Program, said that in addition to being a personal recognition – “the glass plaque is proudly displayed in my office” – being honored last year has greatly benefited RallyCap Sports. The program, which was founded by alumnus Paul Hooker, offers the chance to be active in sports to young people with special needs. BGSU was the first campus to host the program.  (click for related story.) Mitova is the BGSU chapter advisor, and her son, who is blind, is a participant. Mitova told Faculty Senate Tuesday that her recognition has increased awareness about the program, donations have increased to RallyCap, and more faculty became interested. They then promoted it to other families who may benefit. Her receiving the award is being used by this at national headquarters who are trying to find campus advisors at the 12 other RallyCap locations. Mitova said she used the monetary award to host a dinner for 22 core student volunteers. (More than 1,000 students volunteer putting in more than 5,200 volunteer hours.) Those broader effects, said Mitova, are the reason faculty members should take seriously the calls for nominations. If Associate Dean Mary Murray had not nominated Mitova this would not have happened. She conceded faculty get a lot of emails, and it’s easy to delete them. Mitova said she deleted the first two calls for nominations herself. “Guilty as charged,” she admitted But after being asked to address senate, “I started thinking more about what would have happened if Dr. Murray hit the delete button,” she said. “Instead she took the time to solicit support, write the nomination letter, and submit the nomination package.” That time is valuable, Mitova said. “However, she thought this nomination is worth the time.” In addition to RallyCap, Mitova is also active with the Cocoon Shelter, Victim’s Services, the Giving Store, and other charities. She said the deadline is approaching, and urged her colleagues to act. “I would imagine there is at least one person in your immediate unit, your school or college who deserves to be nominated. I am constantly inspired by the most amazing things people on our campus do. Let’s get them recognized.”

Haitian musician Mona Augustin battles for justice with his voice, guitar, & imagination

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For the poor of Port au Prince, Haiti, life was always hard. Then came the earthquake in 2010. Mona Augustin was not one of those poor. He is a musician who lived with his bandmates. After the earthquake he went to an open area in the city where people once played soccer. Now it was occupied by a city of rudimentary tents occupied by people driven from their homes by the earthquake. For the next five years, Augustin set aside his music to take on the role of helping this community, which came to be known as Mozayik. Now he’s back making music in the service of the people of Mozayik. The Haitian singer-songwriter is visiting Bowling Green this week with his wife and fellow activist Candice Welsh. Augustin performed Wednesday night at the First Presbyterian Church and will perform another free show tonight (Feb. 8) on the Bowling Green State University campus. The presentation, which includes a performance by Augustin preceded by the screening of a short documentary film by Jon Bougher about Mozayik, will be at 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room (228) of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Life in the makeshift village was hard. The residents barely had the essentials for life. The film shows them trudging through narrow muddy alleys between canvas tents to bathe and fetch water. Yet that subsistence living itself was threatened. A large commercial building was being constructed in the next lot, and the company, Arcotec Haiti owned the land, and working with the government sought to evict the residents, offering them $125 in US dollars to leave. Little of the millions in aid dollars that flowed into Haiti found their way to the poor. Augustin tried to work with the mayor for some reprieve, but in the end the project trumped the interested of the residents. The company sent workers in to destroy the village. Augustin was able to locate land in a development called Canaan outside the city where the government had granted a commission the right to give land to displaced people. The ocean front property was like paradise, though water and other necessities had to be brought in from the city. Turns out the ownership was disputed, and in time police and thugs arrived to tear down what was built, sending the Mozayik community to a more inhospitable hillside plot. Every time Augustin was ready to leave the community, a new crisis would arise that needed his attention, and people would beg him to stay. In the…