Philanthropy

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 StBaldricks.org 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…


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…


BGSU students fan out through the region on MLK Jr. Day of Service

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Steady snow showers throughout the region Monday couldn’t keep more than 800 university students from answering the call to service. The snow just gave a few of them another way to help. A group of Bowling Green State University students participating in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service came to the office of Downtown Bowling Green. While some of them worked inside creating chalk signs for an upcoming United Way fundraiser, a handful headed outside with shovels and ice melt to clear sidewalks. They just wanted to help, said Jamie Hawkins and Jenna Battaglia. This is the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr, Day of Service coordinated by BGSU. With the students involved this year, the event will have sent about 5,800 volunteers into the field to serve the community. Angel Alls-Hall, one of the student organizers of the event, told the volunteers before they went out that this was a way of honoring King’s own service. “Today we carry on that legacy of activism and service that Dr. King embodied. So let us go out to the community to serve today and in days to come.” Jauntez Bates, a senior political science major and vice president of undergraduate student government, said service has been an essential part of his education at BGSU. He’s participated all four years, including last year as a site coordinator. He is a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy and a fraternity both of which emphasize service. And he’s already founded a clothing company, BossUpClothing, that combines commerce and philanthropy. “You should be a helping hand to others,” he said. The MLK Day of Service, he said, helps expands how students view volunteering because they are assigned places and jobs that they know little or nothing about. “This just shows your dedication to service.” On Monday he was one of the crew helping to building 15 mini-libraries, a project sponsored by Habitat for Humanity and the Rotary Club. Addie Lytle, a first year film student, was also on that crew. As part of the Chapman Learning Community participation in the day was mandatory. Still she was excited to participate, and hopes to be involved throughout her BGSU career. This was her first experience with the Day of Service, but not with volunteering….


Volunteers stepping up to serve on MLK holiday

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Martin Luther King Jr, Day is a holiday for people to step up and serve their community. Though the city’s King tribute scheduled Friday had to be canceled because of the winter storm, volunteers were out Saturday morning going door to door for the 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service “Can” vass Food Drive. Now coordinated by the Brown Bag Food Project, the drive helps stock the shelves for a number of area food pantries. (See related story  http://bgindependentmedia.org/volunteers-needed-to-help-mlk-day-of-service-food-drive-extend-its-reach/) Amy Jeffers, a Brown Bag board member, said as of the noon shift, 75 people had signed in. Groups of volunteers headed out into the northwest quadrant of the city to collect food stuffs. “We’ll move on from there,” Jeffers said. The table in the middle of Grounds for Thought, headquarters for the food drive, was filling up with spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables and more. “It’s been nice and steady,” she said. “It’s really starting to grow. … They’re really filling the bags.” The drive will extend throughout the city through Sunday. The cold weather is slowing progress some, but Jeffers said the amount collected is the same or more than last year. Jeffers has worked every drive since it started in response to President Obama’s call for to service. Anyone interested in donating can drop of food, hygiene products or monetary gifts at the shop at 174 S. Main St. in downtown Bowling Green. Volunteers will be out from noon to 5 pm. Sunday, but the tables will be set up in the morning for anyone who wants to drop something off. The volunteers are both community members and students. “We get a lot of BGSU students” including a contingent from the women’s swim team Molly Wells, a journalism major was on hand, helping to sort food as it came in. She heard about the drive through her sorority, Sigma Kappa. She also knew about the food drive through a fellow journalism student’s story. “My family has always been very big into volunteering,” Wells said. “My dad volunteers at a soup kitchen downtown Toledo. … I’ve grown up with it. It’s part of my family values. … It’s not only good way to get out and experience new things, it’s a good thing to do. I…


Volunteers needed to help MLK Day of Service food drive extend its reach

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Martin Luther King Day of Service “Can”vas Food Drive hopes to extend its reach. Now in its 10th year, organizer Amy Jo Holland, of the Brown Bag Food Project, said she’d like to reach the homes throughout town. That means putting out a call for volunteers, about 300 is what she thinks will be needed. The food drive will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 14, noon to 4 p.m. Last year, Holland said, the canvassers covered the north side of the city and some of the south. “We hope this year we can cover it all.” Volunteer sign up is just getting underway. The organizers have started reaching out to groups at Bowling Green State University as well as community groups. Holland is well aware of people’s reluctance to commit, but is confident as the date nears community members will enlist. Some volunteers will hang back at the collection site, Grounds for Thought, and help sort the food that comes. That means setting aside items beyond their sell-by dates. As long as they are not too old, some pantries can still use those. Most of the volunteers will join small teams of canvassers going door-to-door through Bowling Green neighborhoods collecting non-perishable food and others necessities. Especially needed are peanut and jelly, tuna, and canned meats. They are also collecting hygiene items, baby formula, wipes, and diapers, and pet food. This year seven food shelters will share in the bounty. Those benefiting are: Brown Bag Food Project, the Christian Food Pantry, and pantries operated by St. Aloysius, St. Thomas More, St. Mark’s Lutheran, Broken Chains, and First United Methodist Church. Each received about 30 boxes of food last year. “For us it’ll maintain us through May,” Holland said of Brown Bag. It certainly will not meet all the food needs of the 300 people a month Brown Bag helps, but it’ll provide an essential core of the food deliveries, and means the project will have to buy less to meet the need. The food drive was started in 2009 in the wake of the election of Barack Obama. Some of his supporters wanted to sustain the energy of the campaign through community service. Brown Bag decided to continue it several years…


Salvation Army in need of grocery gift cards

From THE SALVATION ARMY BOWLING GREEN CENTER The Salvation Army will be distributing holiday food baskets and toys to over 250 families on Wednesday, December 20. The food baskets consist of a basic holiday meal, however we rely on gift card donations for our families to purchase the meat for their holiday baskets. Over 600 families have preregistered for Christmas assistance throughout Wood County; many have been sponsored by individuals, businesses, organizations and churches. Families who have not been sponsored will pick up their items on the 20th. We are grateful we are continuing to receive toy donations; however, we are also in immediate need of gift cards from any local grocery store in $10-$20 increments. These gift cards will allow our families to purchase the meat to complete their holiday food baskets. Please drop off gift card donations at The Salvation Army office located at 1045 N. Main St. in the Marco’s Pizza plaza. Our office hours are Monday thru Friday 9:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Thank you for your continued support of The Salvation Army’s holiday programs. For any questions or to learn more about The Salvation Army, please contact our office at (419) 352-5918.


Perrysburg teen to receive philanthropy award

From Association of Fundraising Professionals – Northwest Ohio Chapter As a young woman herself, 22-year-old Afreen Alvi is working to help other young women find their leadership gifts through the Women of Toledo organization. In early 2017, Alvi participated in a strategy planning and development program to establish the Young Women of Toledo program, which provides coaching and mentoring for women ages 15-26 who have personal and professional development goals. After establishing an operational budget, Alvi leveraged her peer network to create a special fundraising event, selling tickets and securing vendor support that generated $4,250 in support of YWoT programs. One of the first programs Alvi helped develop was a Chat & Chew group for millennial women, a safe place for them to discuss and debate constructively, build social awareness and self-esteem, and inspire each other to take leadership action in their own communities. Thanks to Alvi’s efforts, there are now more than 30 youth and young women participating. Nina Corder, Executive Director of Women of Toledo, nominated Alvi for the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 18-23) saying, “Afreen has transformed into a great role model for other youth, and her continued involvement in the Young Women of Toledo program is a tremendous asset to our organization.” Alvi will be recognized at the 30th Annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 9, from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Premier Banquet Hall in Toledo. The annual event is a community celebration of the philanthropic spirit and practice that results when we work together to “Change the World with a Giving Heart.” Space is limited, so those who would like to attend are encouraged to reserve their tickets now. Reservations can be made online at AFPNWO.org or by calling 330-329-2472. Toledo Community Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for the 2017 National Philanthropy Day. Other sponsors include Ambassador Sponsor – Toledo Lucas County Public Library; Signature Sponsors – Bowling Green State University, ProMedica Foundations and The University of Toledo; and Supporting Sponsors – The Andersons, Inc., Mercy Health Foundation – Greater Toledo, PNC and The Trust Company.


Under Friday night lights, homecoming crowd cheers on kickoff of BGSU fundraising campaign

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Under the lights Friday night, President Mary Ellen Mazey summoned up her former cheerleader self to whip up support for Bowling Green State University’s comprehensive campaign, “Changing Lives for the World.” Always a booster of the university she leads, Mazey turned her enthusiasm up a notch addressing a Homecoming Weekend crowd gathered to mark the kickoff of the public portion of the $200 million campaign. Mazey said given the good start she envisions the campaign topping the official goal, maybe raising as much as $250 million. Since the campaign was announced in spring, 2014, the university has raised $110 million in “leadership giving.” Now the university is ready to get the public engaged in the effort. The money will be used for facilities, scholarships as well as named professorships and academic programs. Mazey noted that BGSU is one of the very few colleges in Ohio that doesn’t have a named college. She’d like to see two by the time the campaign wraps up in 2020. Mazey said she and many others in attendance benefited from scholarships when they were students, and now it is time to return the favor. Two students who have benefited from those scholarships testified to their importance. Meg Burrell, former student representative on the Board of Trustees, talked about how she fell in love with BGSU. She arrived for her tour during “the worst weather,” but the tour went great.  It was her first one, and she felt this augured well for the rest. Yet 14 tours later, “I had not found another BGSU.” Receiving Presidential Leadership Scholar made her decision to become a Falcon easy. When Burrell arrived, she missed early activities on campus because she was working. “I realized this was not the kind of experience I wanted. I knew I was going to take advantage of any opportunity I could.” Though Burrell still worked two part-time jobs, she knew she could take time off for mock trial or other activities because she’d have the resources thanks to donors. Burrell said she looks forward to the time when she can join the ranks of BGSU alumni giving back to the university. Jauntez Bates, vice president of undergraduate student government, also a member of President’s Leadership Academy. Getting the scholarship “meant the world to…


BGSU kick off public phase of $200 million comprehensive camapign

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host the premiere of its Changing Lives for the World comprehensive campaign Oct. 13 as part of Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct.  from 7 to 9 p.m. in University Hall. The special event will include inspirational stories from students, faculty and alumni who are changing lives for the world; tours of the renovated University Hall and Moseley Hall; and musical entertainment.   Guests will also learn more about the four campaign priorities, which include scholarships to support students in all majors, endowed faculty and staff positions to recruit and retain outstanding educators and coaches, creating state-of-the-art facilities and named academic programs and units. Campaign committee co-chair and 1984 BGSU alumnus Larry Benz will give a welcome, and remarks will be made by BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, campaign committee member and 1975 alumnus Paul Hooker, political science/pre-law student Meg Burrell and political science student Jauntez Bates. More than $104 million has been raised for this comprehensive campaign, which has a goal of $200 million, as of September 2017. Nearly 14,000 individuals made outright gifts, new pledges, gifts-in-kind and new planned gifts in 2016-17.


Hockey tournament raises funds for Habitat for Humanity

Submitted by HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF WOOD COUNTY In support of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, celebrity hockey players and Wood County-area residents competed in the 2nd annual Hockey for Habitat charity ball hockey tournament on September 30. Taking place at Bowling Green City Park, the event raised thousands of dollars to support Habitat for Humanity’s home building and home repair programs. The event featured several celebrity players including Kyle Rogers (Walleye, retired), and Ryan Wichman of WTOL. “Hockey for Habitat is all about mixing mission with fun, and we’re thrilled to be able to present this event once again,” said Mark Ohashi, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County. “Last year, it was a huge success, so we’re looking forward to raising even more money this year.” The tournament weekend kicked off with a celebrity hockey player “draft night” on September 29. At the event, teams were able to select from former professional hockey players to add to their teams. Draft order was based on fundraising totals, with the highest fundraising team awarded the top draft pick. Ryan Wichman of WTOL helped MC the event as well as serving as a celebrity free agent. Hockey fans had an opportunity to meet and greet with the celebrity hockey players in an intimate setting before the Saturday tournament. The Hockey for Habitat tournament featured a number of children’s games, silent auctions, raffles, and food. Dozens of volunteers helped support the event, including the BGSU Alpha Phi Omega chapter, BGSU Habitat for Humanity Chapter, BG Aktion Club members, and members of the BGSU IT Department staff.


Jazz guitar master John Scofield takes wing at BGSU festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jazz guitarist John Scofield is devoted to the art of improvisation, even when he’s presenting a master class. “Improvising to me is as natural as music,” he said at Bowling Green State University Saturday, The headliner for the Orchard Guitar Festival said he was there to answer questions. “I don’t have any teaching system,” Scofield said. “I do talk a lot” Everyone, whether or not they go to music school, is self-taught, he said.  “You have to teach yourself especially jazz. “ Ultimately, the self-described “music nerd” went into music because he liked it. “The more you learn about music, the more you learn it comes out of you, not the instrument.” The doors of Bryan Recital Hall were locked, he said in jest, and no one gets out without asking a question. Scofield said questions could be about anything, and even include “a plug for your band.” He told the first person who posed a question that he could leave now. He didn’t, and none of the other 100 or so attendees did either. For an hour Scofield, 65, talked about the lessons he’s learned in his almost 50 years as a professional musician. “I haven’t had a real job since Arnold Palmer’s Dry Cleaners.” Here was someone those in the audience, at least half of whom were guitarists, had heard on record, both his own, and with legends such as Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, and Charles Mingus. Asked about advice for prospective professionals, he said being able to get along with other musicians was key. “It’s a group effort,” he said. “If you make someone else sound good, they’re going to want to work with you.” He was asked what the most important element for jazz was rhythm, harmony or melody. “Melody that’s the la-la-la?” he responded, before saying unequivocally, “rhythm.” That’s the roots of the music. “Jazz is first of all song and dance,” he said.  “Jazz came from African-Americans playing this way, this different kind of music. They took the same songs and swung them and made American music.” Scofield then started singing “Stars and Stripes Forever,” at first as John Philip Sousa intended, then gradually loosening the rhythm, and swinging, ending with a dollop of improvised melody. “That rhythm thing is so important. ……


Antrone “Juice” Williams takes a shot at helping kids & raising awareness of stroke dangers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Five years ago Antrone “Juice” Williams almost died on a basketball court in Maine. He was doing what he loved playing basketball. He was good enough to have played college hoops and semi-pro ball. And then in an instant he was down, just aware enough to know this may be the end. It wasn’t. After he came out of an induced coma, Williams started the long road to recovery. On Sunday Williams (formerly known as Moore) will be back on the court again. He’s not playing for fame or glory, but to help raise awareness about stroke disease and support his efforts to mentor young people. Williams is hosting his second H.O.W. We Hoop! Celebrity Basketball Charitable Game Sunday, Oct. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bowling Green Community Center. The game may be for fun, but Williams said that he expects School Superintendent Francis Scruci is intent on avenging a very serious beating by the team led by Williams. Williams said he “scored a few buckets,” but his concern is people may have been going easy on him. He doesn’t want them to. He’s proud that five years after nearly dying he’s able to “hobble” down the court, again playing the game he loves. Sometimes people don’t understand the lasting toll a stroke can take, he said. He lost more than two million brain cells on the way to the hospital on the day he was stricken. His outward appearance can belie the damage that’s  beneath the surface. Still he persists. “It’s all about how you perceive your strengths,” he said. “I want to be here ‘til the Lord calls me home.” The donations collected at the door will go toward helping his charitable organization Team H.O.W. – Helping Others Win – file the paperwork to secure 503C tax exempt status. The organization supports Williams’ youth mentorship through basketball efforts. He’s particularly concerned, he said, about helping the children of single mothers. “When I came back in this world I had a plan to help inspire kids,” he said. Others joining him on the court will include educators, trainers, Parks and Rec employees and politicians. State Sen. Randy Gardner, last year’s MVP, returns. Others on the court will be for Team Scruci – Stacey Lucas, Jadon…


BGSU students set sights on breaking Guinness record

The Bowling Green State University Homecoming Student Steering Committee is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of toothpaste tubes. The current record, set in China in December 2016, is 3,018 tubes, or 3.22 miles. The committee hopes to collect at least 3,019 standard (3 oz.) tubes of toothpaste by Oct. 5. If this goal is reached, the world record attempt will be recorded on the field in Doyt Perry Stadium following the Homecoming football game Oct. 15. After the official attempt, the toothpaste will be donated to America’s ToothFairy: The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation. As a resource provider, the organization works to increase access to oral health care by supporting nonprofit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention and treatment services for underserved children. Donations can be dropped off at the Office of Campus Activities, 401 Bowen-Thompson Student Union.


Gathering Volumes to host Wishing Day event, Sept.28

From GATHERING VOLUMES BOOKSTORE What is your wish for your community?  In Katherine Applegate’s new book, “Wishtree,” no wish is too small as long as it comes from the heart. Ms. Applegate is the author of Newberry Medal winning “The One and Only Ivan” as well as “Crenshaw” which spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In preparation of the release of “Wishtree” Macmillan Publishing Group is partnering with independent bookstores around the country to host a Nationwide Wishing Day to engage communities and help others. Gathering Volumes Bookstore in Perrysburg will be partnering with Macmillan and hosting a Nationwide Wishing Day event in Perrysburg in partnership with The Promise House Project. The Promise House Projects works to promote and advance the dignity and safety of all housing insecure and homeless youth through barrier free direct service, advocacy, service infrastructure, and housing support. Since 2014, they have led efforts to raise awareness about Youth Homelessness in Northwest Ohio. The event will be from 6 to 7 pm on Thursday, September 28 at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg.  “Wishtree is about the power of wishes and hope to transform a community, and the importance of helping others,” says Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes. “The story revolves around and is told by an old oak tree that is in danger of being cut down after being in the community as a Wish Tree for over 200 years.” Many cultures have some sort of Wish Tree as part of their folklore. In the United Kingdom townspeople and tourists would drive coins into Wish Trees as far back as the eighteenth century, believing that they would be granted a wish or cured of an illness once the coin was through the bark. One of the most famous Wish Trees is in Lam Tsuen in Hong Kong, where people travel from all over the world during Chinese New Year to cover its branches in wishes written on paper. New Zealand has a famous Wish Tree in the Rotoma Hills near the Bay of Plenty.  Per legend, a Maori princess hid with her baby in its hollow trunk to escape enemy warriors.  When the baby grew up, he became head of one of the great Maori tribes.  Today people place gifts and money in the tree’s hollow trunk and hope their…