Common Good benefit celebrates diversity within community

One of the models for the Arthenticity fashion show to benefit The Common Good.

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

The Common Good of the UCF is what those it serves make of it.
The house at 113 Crim St. is the vortex of activities aimed at bettering the lives of people, and the community they live in. That can involve picking up the exterior spaces with neighborhood cleanups, or it can mean the clearing of interior spaces through meditation. That can mean growing sustenance for the body at two community gardens and a food pantry, or providing sustenance for the mind through discussions about spirituality and current event. And at dinner dialogues those two missions meet.
The Common Good of the UCF embraces this broad mission because that’s what people have told them their needs are.
The organization’s own needs are simple, but real. On Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. the Common Good will present “Expressions of Arthenticity,” at the Clazel, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $25 and $15 with a student identification. One beverage and a dessert bar come with admission. The show includes a fashion show, live jazz and an auction. Tickets are available at Common Good and Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., or by calling 513-314-4489.
Caroline Dawson, the financial developer for Common Good, said that the fashion show, which will start at 7:30p.m., will feature clothing from local boutiques and hair and makeup by local salons. The models will be of all ages, body types and ethnicities. That reflects the philosophy of the Common Good, she said. “We offer diversity here and embrace diversity.”
Those who participate range in age from kids in after-school art classes to someone in their 90s attending a dinner dialogue. They have, Dawson said, “different perspectives and different learning abilities.”
“Our space is a space in which people embrace who they are, and learn about other people doing the same things,” said Megan Sutherland. “We’re all art work in our own way. We have all these different expressions, experiences and backgrounds and are able to come together as a community. That’s what makes communities rich. This fundraiser is reflecting that and celebrating that.”
While the Common Good has had annual fundraisers in the past, Dawson said, this is the first time it has taken this form.
“If this goes well,” Sutherland said, “we’d like to make it an annual event.”
The fundraiser draws on the talents of the community it serves.
The desserts will be provided by Gingers Goodies and The Cookie Jar in Bowling Green and the Speedtrap diner in Woodville.
The art, which can be bought through a silent auction, is being donated by artists from the university, Bowling Green community and Toledo.
Scholar and percussionist Rob Wallace is coordinating the live jazz. He’ll be joined by Nick Kiekenapp, guitar, Andrew Binder, bass, Christina Wehr, saxophone, and vocalists Estar Cohen and Emily Hunt.
The Common Good started as the United Christian Fellowship in 1946. When that building at the corner of Thurstin and Ridge was torn down, the organization moved to the Crim Street house and started using the Common Good name to highlight its interfaith mission.
The offerings have changed depending on what people need. “It depends who’s in the community,” Sutherland said. “So if someone comes through the community and they want to utilize the space for a meeting, group or project, as long as they understand that this is a place that respects diversity, the ground rules, we’ll help them organize that.”

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