Photographers feel money should be no object in capturing family memories

By. DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Alyssa Stahl has been sponsoring a family for Christmas for the past several years. This year the professional photographer has decided to give her philantrophy a different look. Stahl said she follows a number of other photographers on social media and she was inspired by Jeremy Cowart, a photographer and activist, who sets up his gear in low income neighborhoods to take portraits of the residents. So this year, Stahl to put her photographic skills to work through The Memories Project.  Stahl and two other photographers, China Parry and Katie Heuerman will set up shop at three locations on the grounds of the Wood County Historical Center on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will take photos of families or individuals who couldn’t otherwise afford to get pictures taken.  The event is a collaboration with the Brown Bag Food Project, which will help spread the word and line up participants. Those wishing to make an appointment should call Brown Bag at (419) 960-5345. They will receive a CD with several images, and a photo release that will give them permission to get the portraits reprinted. The CDs will be available at Brown Bag’s office at 115 W. Merry Ave., Bowling Green. “This is a way to help multiple families,” Stahl said. “It doesn’t have to be a family. It could be elderly person. Just anyone who wouldn’t have the means to get that done,” Stahl said. Her love of people is what led her to take up photography. She grew up in Liberty Center. Her mother and her aunt did sports photography for local papers.  Stahl said she got started manipulating photos using Photoshop and doing digital design. She attended Bowling Green State University to study graphic design. While at BGSU seven years ago, she started taking photos, especially of families and friends. Four years ago she started her own business Alyssa Danielle Photography and Design. “It’s really cool to do a wedding or watch somebody’s kid grow up and to take pictures over a period of time and capture their personalities,” Stahl said. “It’s just nice to have that updated picture of themselves. People don’t take pictures that often and don’t think about it until something happens,” she said. “Being able to give that to somebody is heartwarming.”

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Schedel Garden benefit harvests dollars for library books

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library is filling up. New treasures arrive every day, said Library Director Michael Penrod. That includes a grill and a bicycle. There’s hand-crafted wooden box by John Calderonello and glass by Dominick Labino and Joel O’Dorisio. Hidden among them are gift certificates from numerous local business. The items are arriving in advance of the 10th Annual Library Benefit at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, Thursday, July 19, 6-8 p.m. Attendees will also feast on hors d’oeuvres catered by Swig’s and tour the gardens. The price of a ticket is $100 and only 100 are sold. Tickets are available at the library. The focal point is the live auction, said Clif Boutelle, president of the Library Foundation, sponsor of the fundraiser. The bidding gets “very spirited.” People enjoy trying to outbid each other. Items also include a week at a Florida Gulf Coast condo, a family portrait session with Cheryl Hagemeyer, and golf with BGSU coach John Powers, either a 45-minute lesson or a nine-hole round. Then there are Sue Shank’s cookies, Boutelle said, which “seem to be very popular.” Shad Ridenour returns as the auctioneer. Attendees aren’t there trying to get an item on the cheap, Penrod said. Rather they bid enthusiastically. That spirit is fueled by an understanding of what the library contributes to the community and a desire to help it continue its mission. The purpose of the Schedel benefit is to raise money to buy books, both printed and ebooks. Last year $116,000 was raised. Penrod said that money does not replace money from the library’s levy or state funding. It supplements that funding. Boutelle said the fundraising is a way of thanking the community for its support of the library. The money raised has allowed the library to spend $442,000 on materials last year. Boutelle said the goal is always set at $75,000. They never want to take the generosity of those who attend for granted. That generosity starts, said Penrod, with the 15 members of the foundation board who reach out to friends and business associates to get the auction items Penrod said those efforts were “a blessing.” The Schedel fundraising started at the initiation of Bob and Patricia Maurer in 2009. The deepening recession was starting to take a toll on the library budget. So the Foundation, which was created in 1994, decided to stage the auction. “It’s allowing us to make a tangible difference in serving the community,” Penrod said. That allows the library to buy enough print and ebooks, which are more expensive per unit, to meet demand. Even with a popular best seller, the goal is for patrons get their requested book within five days. Penrod said he’s competing with Amazon to meet patrons reading needs. And as director, he instructs the librarians in charge of collections to maintain a non-fiction print collection as complete as what existed before the internet. Peoples still want books on writing resumes and finding a job, or finding new recipes. Travel books, he said, continue to be very popular. Penrod said when he attends library conferences he’ll go to sessions on fundraising – a topic not taught in library school – and he’s yet to see a library the size…

Benefit at Schedel Gardens provides essential funds for library materials

On July 19 the WCDPL Foundation will host its tenth annual Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. Over the past nine years, this event has raised funds to purchase new books that our patrons use to move into a new career, gain a new skill, teach a child to read, learn about nearly any other topic of interest, or read for pleasure.  Every dollar from this event goes to purchase new books, large print books, audiobooks, e-books, and picture books. Despite some saying the Internet and e-books replace libraries, the core function of the library as the “People’s University” (where anyone can explore, learn, and discover) remains vital.  In 2017, community members visited the library more than 4,200 times per week, attendance at programs and author visits grew another 11 percent, the number of cardholders grew another 3 percent, and borrowing books and other materials remains at all-time record levels. This high rate of usage requires continuing investment.  The importance of private fundraising to meet community demand is critical.  Your financial gifts make a difference! I ask that you consider giving a monetary sponsorship for the Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in any amount from $20 to $20,000.  Simply send a check payable to WCDPL Foundation (with “Schedel sponsorship” in the memo line) to A.J. Heilman, 251 N. Main, Bowling Green, OH 43402.  Sponsorships over $1,000 will be recognized on a plaque in the library. Also, please plan to attend the July 19 Benefit!  Come enjoy a relaxing evening with garden tours, fine beverages, delicious food, live and silent auctions, and lots of fun and laughs with other library advocates! Tickets are $100 each and are on sale at the library. Please support the library so that it can remain “the place to be” for the community to learn, discover, explore, and read. Michael Penrod WCDPL Director

Unmasquerade to mark Cocoon’s 13th year

From THE COCOON This year, The Cocoon’s first Unmasquerade will be held on June 22 at Nazareth Hall, 21211 West River Road in Grand Rapids, Ohio from 6-10 p.m. From its humble beginnings in 2005 with just six beds, the event celebrates The Cocoon’s thirteenth anniversary, to include dinner, live and silent auctions, and a guest speaker. Guest speaker Leslie Morgan Steiner, a writer, editor, publisher, business professional, and survivor of domestic violence will be sharing her story, facilitating a more nuanced understanding about the experiences of survivors and how to make a difference. About the event theme, “Violence is a very taboo topic,” explains Arielle Patty, Shelter Manager at The Cocoon. “I always get excited when people who are passionate about unmasking these issues come together to celebrate those of us who are working to end violence. The theme Unmasquerade honors the topic with elegance, in addition to celebrating the amazing growth we see our survivors make every year.” “We are very fortunate to be in a community whose generosity allows us to continue providing services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence at no cost to them,” says Kathy Mull, Executive Director of The Cocoon. “100% of funds raised from this event will go directly toward supporting programs and services at The Cocoon.” Registrations and additional information are available at, but space is limited. The Cocoon provides safety, healing, and justice to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. In 2017, the organization responded to 5,739 service calls and provided more than 3,100 nights of emergency, safe housing.

Project Connect begins hooking up volunteers & donations

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Project Connect Wood County is more than a one-day event. Project Connect provides direct services to people who are homeless or in poverty, or in danger of becoming homeless or in poverty. The benefits accrue to the guests all year, and to the volunteers who make it happen. “It’s very gratifying. I see people in the store, and they ask if we’re doing this again,” said volunteer Marisa Hutchinson. She’s happy that she can answer yes. And she’ll be there to help out again. “Once you volunteer,” she said, “you start planning for the next year.” Planning for Project Connect gets started months in advance. About 30 people gathered for the kickoff meeting Thursday morning at St. Mark’s Church. The church will host Project Connect on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Project Connect was started in 2013, launched by the Continuum of Care Wood County. It was spurred by concern about homelessness. But shelter insecurity has many dimensions. People also need food, sanitary products, mental health services, legal assistance, and haircuts. Rhonda Stoner, a social worker with the Wood County Community Health Center, said she was surprised to see the change in people after they’d gotten their hair cut. The guests reported just that made them feel so much better about themselves, she said. Last year project volunteers cut the hair of 118 guests. Those seeking help are not clients, they are guests, neighbors stopping over for a helping hand from other neighbors. “We approach everything from the aspect of hospitality,” said Erin Hachtel, one of the co-chairs for the event. Each guest first talks with someone to determine what they and their families “need to be healthy, safe and secure,” Hachtel said. Then they are assisted by a host who guides them through a maze of stations to help find just what they need most. What brings them in varies. Last year, the biggest need was help getting through the holidays, Hachtel noted. That was the first time this was mentioned. The survey of the top reason they came included seeking employment, desire for more education or training, stress management, legal assistance, mental health treatment, housing, and internet connectivity. By having hosts and guest navigate the event together, Hachtel said, “we’re saying we’re all in this together. Let’s walk together to find what will help you and your family.” In 2017, Project Connect helped 574 individuals from 278 households. More than 200 people volunteers and 52 providers and agencies set up shop. During the day 235 bags of food were distributed. Also 44 people had their vision checked and 84 received blood pressure and blood sugar screenings. More than 200 hygiene kits were distributed, and 110 people were able to get birth certificates. The ability to get their birth certificates “was extremely well received,” said co-chair Felicia Otte. “We hope they can get their needs met the day of the event,” Otte said. That includes wholesome meals through the six-hour event as well as childcare. But doing that takes a lot of volunteers the day of Project Connect and the weeks leading up to it. Service providers must be lined up. Donations solicited and collected. Susan Clanton, of United Way, said that coats for kids as well as in adult…

Project Connect holds kickoff meeting June 7

From PROJECT CONNECT WOOD COUNTY Community members and local organizations are joining together again to plan for the sixth annual Project Connect Wood County. On Thursday, June 7, event planners and interested community members will meet at 8 a..m at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for breakfast and the start of the new planning year. It will be a time to highlight goals for the upcoming event, showcase past results, and recruit new community volunteers. A dedicated team of volunteers from the community, churches, and social service agencies are organizing Project Connect, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 315 S. College Dr., Bowling Green. The event provides a broad range of free services to families and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness or poverty. The Wood County Continuum of Care Coalition began holding what was then called Project Homeless Connect in 2013. Since that time, hundreds of people in Wood County have received critically-needed services, and many others have been impacted through volunteerism. Commissioner Doris Herringshaw will again serve as the event’s Honorary Chairperson. For more information and continuing updates, visit our Facebook page:

Michael Hoskins thinks the world of BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In talking about growing up in Bowling Green, Michael Hoskins described a lost world. He moved around campus just before Anderson Arena was built and with the football field was located where the College of Business now stands. He spent days at the natatorium and the “old” men’s gym – he was confused why it was called that because he never saw any old men there. “It a very perfect kind of college town life” that included pals such as Mike Marsh. Marsh was there to greet him Thursday when Hoskins returned to campus. The middle child of three, Hoskins moved here at 11 when his father William Hoskins took a position at the College of Business in 1965. His father had been recruited by then President William T. Jerome and Dean William Schmeltz, who were interested in bringing top scholars, especially in international business, to campus, President Rodney Rogers said. Hoskins said his father was “desperately recruited,” and could have made more money elsewhere, but stayed in Bowling Green. His work extended from founding the International Business program at BGSU to co-founding the Academy of International Business, the leading organization in the field, Rogers said. Hoskins attended BGSU, first in computer science, before changing his major to finance, graduating in 1977, before heading off to work at IBM. But then he moved to his passion, as, in Rogers’ words, a “serial entrepreneur.” Taking his father’s lead, he traveled the world. He lost touch with his alma mater for some time. That happens, Hoskins said. Then 12 years ago through Marsh, he reconnected with campus. And as he started to follow what was going on at BGSU, he became more impressed. He made donations. He founded the Hoskins Global Scholars program He said he’d reached that stage in his life where he started wanting to give permanency to his contributions. After talking with Interim Provost John Fischer, Hoskins decided not only to permanently endow the scholarships, but to contribute to the renovation of University Hall. On Thursday the university celebrated the naming of the Michael E. Hoskins Grand Foyer. Also, the “fifth generation” of Hoskins scholars were introduced. They are: Quinn Eberhard, a chemistry major; McKenzie Moss, forensic science and Spanish major; and Hannah Finnerty, international studies. Eberhard is a first-year student who will travel to Cambridge, England, to work at the European Bioinformatics Institute. This is a direct outgrowth with her research with BGSU faculty Neocles Leontis and Craig Zirbel. She got involved after hearing a presentation by Leontis on his work. “I felt it was intensely fascinating and was outside my current understanding,” she said. Eberhard is the only undergraduate working on the research team. They work with RNA and proteins, and the institute in Cambridge has the largest online database of proteins. Now “we have to do a lot of manual labor to compile this data and analyze it,” she said. Her plan is to go to England to develop a program that will “automatically grab” the needed data from the EBI database. That information will also be available to other researchers through the institute’s site. Eberhard has been fascinated by chemistry since high school in Columbus, where she studied the subject for three years. It offers “a deeper understanding of…