22 ways to get involved in your community

  1. Shared Harvest Food Bank
    We have an acute need in our Retail Rescue Program: rescues perishable, center of the plate foods, from retail grocers utilizing a food safety protocol developed by Kroger and offers it for distribution to partner agencies. We need several volunteers to become proficient at sorting rescued meat into usable and non-usable and then pack into standardized boxes for redistribution to local pantries.
    CONTACT:   Ben Powers  ben@sharedharvest.org.
  2. American Cancer Society Hamilton Relay For Life
    Volunteer opportunities on Planning Committee and Day of the event:  June 13 at Hamilton High School from noon to midnight.
    Info Meetings held the second Tuesday of each month at Hamilton High School Community Room
    This is a community event where everyone participates in the fight against cancer. Participants take turns walking on a track – it is not a race, so participants may casually walk at whatever pace they like. During the event teams sell baked goods, hold raffles, play games and there is music, dancing and entertainment for all ages. Below are some specific volunteer openings we have for this event.
    Team Captains: Form a team of friends, family, or co-workers and hold fundraisers before Relay and during Relay to fund cancer research.  Community Champion: Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings, school board meetings and other local events to spread the word about Relay For Life and recruit new volunteers and cancer survivors.  Cancer Action Network Volunteer: Use your voice to communicate with Senators and Representatives to support funding for cancer research and government funded programs.  Day of Relay Volunteer: Help set up before the event or clean up afterward. We also need help with registration at our check-in tent, serving meals to survivors and more.
    CONTACT:  Elaine Levin at Elaine.levin@cancer.org or 888-227-6446 x4206 and visit our website at http://relayforlife.org/hamilton.
  3. Butler County Historical Society
    We are looking for a receptionist – answer the phone, general questions and possibly some light office work, but probably lots of down time (i.e., reading, knitting…).  Shifts or all day would be welcome!  Tuesday-Friday 9-4.
    We are also looking for tour guides and research help.  Wednesday-Friday 9-4.  Will train.
    CONTACT:  Kathy Creighton, Executive Director, Butler County Historical Society, 327 N. Second Street, Hamilton.  513-896-9930  bcomuseum@fuse.net
  4. Women Helping Women
    New training sessions will begin Feb. 3 for volunteer victim advocates.  Volunteers & Interns Needed:  Looking for a meaningful service opportunity?  Want to help people in crisis?  Have an interest in Psychology, Social Work or Criminal Justice?  Need flexibility?
    The Butler County Rape Crisis Program seeks responsible, mature women and men to become Volunteer Victim Advocates with our award-winning program.  We offer our volunteers comprehensive training using U.S. Dept. of Justice Curriculum; meaningful interactions with sexual assault survivors in 6 area hospitals, on the phone, and in court; flexible scheduling for on-call hours; continuing education and additional service opportunities; internships for Psychology, Social Work, Family Studies, Criminal Justice, and Social Justice,
    CONTACT:  For more information along with an application:  Please contact Donna Holbert, Volunteer Coordinator, at (513) 523-1005 or staff.WHW@gmail.com.
  5.  Opening Minds through Art
    Volunteers needed for Opening Minds through Art, an intergenerational art program for people with dementia, at Cedar Village in Mason and Berkeley Square in Hamilton. No art skills needed. All materials and training will be provided. Sessions meet weekly and you will be partnered with the same elder each week. This is a wonderful opportunity to build a relationship with an elder while assisting them in the creative process.
    CONTACT:  For more information please contact Beth Rohrbaugh at 513-529-7172.  rohrbaea@miamioh.edu  with interest or questions.
  6. Supports To Encourage Low Income Families
    Repair homes and Build-Up a Student in a Construction Career Pathway
    SELF is seeking volunteers to help plan and volunteer with our year-round Neighbors Who Care: Home Repair program and Build-up Academy construction training program.  Last year SELF provided free home repairs for 106 low-income homeowners who were physically and financially unable to provide the repairs themselves.  SELF also provided free construction education and hands-on training to 10 at-risk young adults who earned a nationally accredited certification worth more than $2,600 to start them on a career path.
    SELF is looking for volunteers of all ages and skill levels to help us transform homes and beautify neighborhoods. We especially need site advisors to help manage volunteers and home repair projects at the home sites (training is available).  Volunteers are needed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Second Saturdays from 9am-3pm.
    Not so handy, but want to help?  SELF is looking for businesses, places of worship, professional organizations and/or student groups who would like to donate home improvement gift cards (Home Depot, Lowes & Menards) to offset the cost of building supplies.  We also still need donations of sports drinks and pre-packaged snacks for our hard-working and hungry volunteers.  We also need volunteer to plan these year-round events.  The next Home Repair Coalition meeting is February 25 at 3pm at the Middletown United Way office.  Please join us!
    CONTACT:  Beth Race 513-820-5009 or info@selfhelps.org.
  7. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum
    With more than 60 pieces of outdoor sculpture set in over 200 acres of meadows and forests near Hamilton, Pyramid Hill combines the lure of nature with dynamic, monumental art. The park also features an indoor Ancient Sculpture Museum.
    Volunteers are needed for special events like the Art Fair, programs like the Summer Series for Kids and hosts in the Ancient Sculpture Museum. Other skills you have in computers and writing are a benefit in the office. Gardening and landscaping are a great way to enjoy being outdoors in a beautiful setting. Share your talents and skills.
    CONTACT:   pyramid@pyramidhill.org  or call 513-868-8336.
  8. Animal Friends Humane Society
    Animal lovers needed for walks and cuddles!  The Animal Friends Humane Society is looking for caring individuals 16yrs+ who would like to spend a few hours a week playing with and caring for our shelter animals.  There is no set schedule required and volunteers can come anytime during open shelter hours, (M,T,F,Sa,Su 11 am to 4:30 pm & W, Th 1 pm-7 pm)
    All volunteers must attend orientation before they can begin.   Visit our website to find orientation dates.  www.animalfriendshs.org
    CONTACT:  Theresa Zarobell Outreach Coordinator  513-887 3530   (direct) zarobelltk@butlercountyohio.org   513-867-5727(main) www.animalfriendshs.org
  9. Booker T. Washington Community Center, Hamilton
    Opportunities to engage with youth in several areas.  Specifically, we use volunteers for homework help, art helpers, gym game helpers, board/card game helpers.  We can also use monitors in locker rooms and on the pool deck.  Hours are 3:00 – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Volunteers must be at least high school age.
    CONTACT:  Tanya Lowry, Center Director  GREAT MIAMI VALLEY YMCA  (P) 513 785 2451 ext 12 (C) 513 608 8928.   (E) tlowry@gmvymca.org (W) www.gmvymca.org  (O) Facebook: Booker T. Washington Community Center | Twitter: GMVYMCA | Instagram: Great Miami Valley YMCA | Pinterest: GMVYMCA.
  10. West Chester Hospital
    Information Desk – Friendly, knowledgeable volunteers needed to help visitors navigate hospital, process check-in of outpatients and answer general questions.  Successful volunteers will be able to work well with others, have excellent verbal communication skills and utilize computer resources for campus-wide information.  Shifts available weekdays and weekends, mornings, afternoons and evenings.   Surgical Desk: Compassionate and competent volunteers needed to act as liaison between families of surgical patients and medical staff.  Must be articulate and comfortable using computers.  All training provided.  Shifts available weekday mornings and afternoons.   Medical Records – Volunteers in this area work behind the scenes to scan documents and perform other clerical duties as needed.  Successful candidates will be able to work independently and have basic computer skills.  Openings are weekday mornings and afternoons.
    All volunteers are required to have a TB test and flu shot, as well as commit to one 4-hour shift for a minimum of 6 months.  Please consider joining our volunteer team!
    CONTACT: Applications available at www.uchealth.com/westchesterhospital , search “volunteers.”  Or contact Christine at christine.martin@uchealth.com or 513.298.7728.
  11. Fairfield Township
    Help clean up your Fairfield Township neighborhood on May 2 (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)  Come alone or bring family & friends.  Lunch & T-shirts provided for volunteers.  (EACH volunteer must sign Fairfield Township Release & Waiver form, regardless of age). To secure a T-shirt Release and Waiver form must be submitted by FRIDAY MARCH 27TH.
    Volunteers should dress in comfortable working clothes and shoes.  Cotton gloves, garbage bags & T-shirts and safety vests will be available for volunteers at a meeting in the prior week of the clean-up day.  Lunch will be provided for workers beginning at 11:30 a.m. thru 2:30 p.m.
    Drop-off Location: 6048 Morris Road, just north of Fairfield North Elementary School & Fire Station#1.
    Residents will be dropping off Debris, Tires, Vehicle Batteries and vehicle fluids.
    CONTACT:  Robert McIntyre 513-785-2266.  rmcintyre@fairfieldtwp.org.
  12. Liberty Township
    28 volunteers needed for Easter Egg Hunt at Liberty Park, 6757 Yankee Road, on Saturday, April 4.  Provides children from the ages of 1-8 opportunity to participate in an egg hunt and have photos with Easter Bunny.
    Prior to event: volunteers donate eggs and candy, stuff eggs (ensuring that they will not open when scattered), shop for age-specific prizes and label & sort the prizes.
    Day of the event: volunteers will set up the “hunting ground,” organize the prize shelter, scatter eggs for each age, staff the prize shelter, escort the Easter Bunny and help with the pictures with the Easter Bunny.
    CONTACT:  Vickie D. Daniel, Secretary / Receptionist (513) 759-7500   vdaniel@liberty-township.com   www.liberty-township.com
  13. Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities
    Hola! We need a Spanish Speaking Interpreter – If you know Spanish, we are looking for a person to volunteer to be an interpreter a few hours a month for a biological mom and a foster mom so they can update each other on how the child is doing.  Gracias.
    Frosty the Snow Man or Woman – help shovel snow for individuals with disabilities who are not able to shovel their driveways.
    Shopping Buddies – take folks with disabilities to the grocery store a couple of times a month,
    Homework Buddies – work with students who have disabilities to help them with homework.
    I-Connect – Volunteers needed for a “Community Connections” Initiative to become “social guides” and “social companions” to help individuals with disabilities become more active in their community, meet new people, join groups and associations and/or develop friendships. Volunteers will be paired with a person with a disability and they will be trained on strategies of community connecting that tap into the strengths and interests of the person and the community where they live.
    Golden “Furniture” Retrievers – pick up and deliver donated furniture and household items to individuals with disabilities in need.
    Parent’s Night Out – The “Pause for Parents, Play for Kids” program gives parents and caregivers of children with special needs a break.  Caring for a child with a disability comes with a great amount of stress. Parents often try to deal with the challenges and stress alone and they slowly get worn down, like a battery losing its charge. To help meet the need for a break, a variety of “PAUSE” events will be set up throughout Butler County.  Parents will register their children ahead of time and will drop off their kids at the event. The events will be fun for the kids and each child will be paired with a volunteer “buddy.” We need volunteers as well as gift cards to bless parents, craft supplies, and dinner donations to feed the kids and volunteers.
    Labor Day is not just a Holiday – Please consider donating some time and labor to help a member of your community in need.  There are folks with disabilities in need of having rooms painted, steps power-washed and leaky roofs repaired.
    Game Night is a fun time for teens with disabilities to play some popular card and board games and to meet new friends. It is also an opportunity for them to learn and practice positive social skills. Staff coordinate the evening, and each session focuses on a different social or friendship skill. We need a variety of volunteers of all ages (at least 13 years old) to join in on the fun and assist the staff in creating a fun and friendly learning environment. Your primary role will be to play games, meet new people, and model positive social skills. We meet on the first Tuesday of every month from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Janet Clemmons Center which is at 282 N. Fair Avenue in Hamilton. We ask volunteers to arrive at 4:00 p.m. to meet with the staff coordinator.
    CONTACT:  Scott Osterfeld at sdosterfeld@butlerdd.org or 513-785-2813 to sign up or get more information.
  14. Partners in Prime
    Meals On Wheels Delivery Drivers – weekdays – 9:30-11:30am.  Deliver Meals on Wheels to home-bound seniors – routes open in Hamilton, New Miami, West Chester & Fairfield
    Brain Fitness Leader – West Chester Activity Center – Thursdays, 9:30-10:30am.  Lead a group of seniors through a fun set of brain fitness games
    CONTACT:  Dianne McEachen  513-737-5752 dmceachen@community-first.org.
  15. Hamilton Rotary Science Fair
    The science fair is one of Hamilton Rotary’ Club’s largest ventures and we need help judging student projects.
    The 6th grade Fair will be held in the Wilks Conference Center at Miami Hamilton on Friday, March 27th.
    Judges should arrive between 9:15 and 9:30 AM. Judging instruction will begin by 9:30 AM and judging will begin at 10:15 AM. We expect to need judges for two hours until 12:15 PM.
    CONTACT:  Linda Yarger at lyarger@community-first.org.  We need many judges. Thanks for your consideration, David Mancuso, Chair, Hamilton Rotary Science Fair.
  16. MetroParks of Butler County
    Forest Run Welcome Center Volunteer (NEW!)   Volunteers Needed: 4 or more!  A couple hours each week at Forest Run MetroPark, Welcome Center (1976 Timberman Road, Hamilton).  Fill birdfeeders, greet guests, share information. Training provided.
    Winter Adventure Camp  Volunteers Needed: 4.  February 16 @ 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  Voice of America MetroPark (7850 VOA Park Dr., West Chester).  Assist with winter outdoor fun, in the snow (or not)! Help with registration, snacks, campfire and active outdoor games.
    Conservation Connection Workshop (Citizen Science Project)  Volunteers Needed: Many.  February 21 @ 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Forest Run MetroPark (1976 Timberman Road, Hamilton).  Attend free workshop and learn how you or your organization can best connect to conservation programs and initiatives in the parks. Training and potluck provided.
    Walk on the Wild Side WOWS Hike Volunteers Needed: 1.  February 28 @ 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.   Rentschler Forest MetroPark (5701 Reigart Road, Fairfield Twp,).  Assist with registrations and bring up the rear as part of this monthly hiking series at various park sites throughout the year.
    Stepping Forward: Service Day   Volunteers Needed: Many. February 28 @ 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.   Rentschler Forest MetroPark (5701 Reigart Road, Fairfield Twp,).  Trail improvements, habitat improvement, broad landscaping needs and possible indoor projects maintenance. Tools and snacks provided.
    Conductor Training (Support “Escape on the Underground Railroad” Program)!  Volunteers Needed: Many.   February 28 @ 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.   YMCA Camp Campbell Gard (4803 Augspurger Road, Hamilton).  Connect to history – become a leader for the Underground Railroad experience! Volunteer training to help with the exciting “Escape on the Underground Railroad” to be held March 14th.
    CONTACT:  Call the MetroParks office 513-867-5954 or email ctrammell@yourmetroparks.net for more info.
  17. LifeSpan
    Are you analytical and detail­oriented? Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity in a fun and fast­moving agency?  If you answered yes, you have found your match. LifeSpan’s Elderly Services Program is looking for the perfect volunteer to help us with client filing.  You can set your own schedule as you like while helping us catch up on very important work – client files. If you are able to pick up on details and are able to catch mistakes on paperwork, are fast yet efficient and want to work in a fun group, then give us a call.  We can’t wait to hear from you!
    CONTACT:  Teka Reinhold, Volunteer Coordinator, 513-785-4186 or reinholdt@lifespanohio.org.
  18. Woodlands of Middletown
    We are looking for volunteers to help residents with items such as reading the paper, painting nails and playing games and Bingo.  Weekdays and weekends.
    CONTACT: Mary Riley, activity director, mriley@capitalseniorliving.net.  513-423-2322.
  19. PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA
    Want to speak up for an abused child?   For details about becoming a volunteer at PARACHUTE: Butler County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) go to www.parachutecasa.org or 513 867-5010.
    The rewards are immense!   Please act today – a child (and your future) is waiting!
  20. Senior Independence Hospice
    Hospice seeks to provide support and comfort to those facing a life limiting illness. Senior Independence Hospice volunteers support our patients and their families in a variety of ways: companionship, spiritual support, bereavement support, music/art therapy, pet therapy, photography/videography, life review, share interests/talents, vigil volunteer, respite visits, etc. Ongoing.  Flexible schedules.  Age 16 and up.
    CONTACT:    Kate Moore, Volunteer Coordinator at KAMoore@seniorindependence.org  or  513-509-2748.
  21. St. Raphael
    The following opportunities are available from 11am-2pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday or as often as you can.
    Pantry Volunteers: Assistance with donation pick-ups ~ Lunch Window: passing out lunch bags between 12pm-2pm ~ Client Intake-data entry.
    Clinic Support Volunteers needed: Pick your day!! Opportunities include Faxing, filing, general clerical duties ~ Follow-up phone calls and referrals ~ Verifying client eligibility for assistance with medication costs ~ Assisting patients with pharmacy applications ~ Front desk support during clinic ~ Checking in patients for their appointments,
    CONTACT:  B. Gail Emmons, Volunteer Coordinator, St. Raphael, 610 High Street, Hamilton   513-981-4211  BGEmmons@health-partners.org
  22. Cedar Village Retirement Community
    We are currently seeking volunteers for Cedar Village Hospice program. Volunteers are a vital and valued part of our Hospice Team. Volunteers are needed to visit with residents, engage them in conversation, share special talents or skills and offer comfort and emotional support to the patients and their families.
    Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Commit to a minimum of 2 – 4 hours per week of service. Volunteers will participate in a volunteer orientation program specifically designed for Hospice Volunteers.
    If you have recently experienced a loss of a loved one we ask that you wait 12 months before applying to be a Hospice Volunteer.
    CONTACT: For further information please contact Diane Slovin (dslovin@cedarvillage.org) or 513-336-3162.

Source: Community Volunteer Force
Check for updates at:

For questions or comments contact Dan Schlosser at volunteerforce@earthlink.net

Featured image: Volunteers at Shared Harvest Foodbank, via its Facebook gallery



Miami Regionals host Black History Month Events

Miami University’s regional campuses are sponsoring a number of events for Black History Month. All are open to the public and many are free.

  • Feb. 2, African-American Read-In, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Dr. Andrea L. Sutton, Founder and Director of Distinguished Eagles, will moderate and share a variety of literature representing the African-American experience. Audience members are encouraged to bring materials to share with additional resources onsite for impromptu readings in Room 114 Rentschler Hall, the Multicultural Resource Center at Miami Hamilton.
  • Feb. 10, Film Presentation: Dear White People, from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center at Miami Hamilton’s and on Feb. 11 from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Campus Community Center at Miami Middletown.  In this dramedy, a campus culture war between black and white students at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween party.  Light refreshments will be provided.
  • Feb. 21, A Taste of Soul, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Miami Hamilton’s Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Enjoy traditional soul food, entertainment and vendors with merchandise, arts and crafts. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+), and $5 for children under 12. If interested in being a vendor, call513.785.3024.
  • Feb. 15, Meditations of the Freedom Summer: The Voting Rights Act & Freedom, 3 p.m., Miami Middletown’s Dave Finkelman Auditorium. Experience the power and passion behind the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project with local performers for a lively celebration of the fight for justice and equality.  Performances to include Miami University Professors Dr. Tammy Kernodle and Dr. Paul Jackson, Miami University Gospel Singers (MUGS), The Kip Moore Theatre Company and SMAG Dance Collective and Kiyaa Bowens. Co-sponsored with 3 R Development, Inc.
  • Feb. 25, Sojourn to the Past, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Room 136/137 of the Campus Community Center at Miami Middletown and on Feb. 26 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in Harry T. Wilks Conference Center at Miami Hamilton. Jeff Steinberg, Executive Director and Founder of Sojourn to the Past, takes audiences on a moving classroom journey of the Civil Rights movement through various sites in the South.
  • Feb. 26, A Taste of Soul Food Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Miami Middletown’s Campus Community Center. Enjoy fellowship and traditional soul food. This year’s menu includes fried chicken, fried catfish, collard greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, potato salad, cole slaw, red beans and rice, pound cake, sweet potato pie, cornbread, dinner rolls and punch. The public is invited to attend and carryout is available. Admission is $7.
  • Feb. 26, Speak Out! A Community Conversation, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Miami Hamilton Downtown. Join your neighbors to explore three approaches to working towards racial equality in our local and national communities. Discussion and conversations will be moderated, and guidelines provided for civil discourse on this important public topic. Join us to Speak Out! and share your thoughts. RSVP by email at muhcce@miamioh.edu or phone at 513.785.3005.

For more information on any of these events, call Miami University’s Regional Offices of Diversity & Multicultural Services at 513.785.3024 or emailkinggm@miamioh.edu. Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd. Miami Middletown is located at 4200 N. University Blvd.

Featured image: scene from “Dear White People”

Schools getting ready to FILL THAT BUS!!!

FILL THAT BUS!!! annual Food Drive

The Hamilton City School District’s annual FILL THAT BUS food drive campaign to benefit Shared Harvest Foodbank begins Monday, February 2 through Friday, February 13.  All schools will be collecting non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items for these two weeks.

We encourage our entire community to join us in showing compassion for those less fortunate and restocking the food pantry shelves.  You may drop off your donations at any school or at the board office.  For more information, please call 868-4438 and help us FILL THAT BUS.

Pyramid Hill Announces Summer Series for Kids

Specialized events for children, aged 5 through 12. These events are programs designed by local educators, artists and staff members to offer entertaining, interactive and educational experiences for students and adults. The programs are free with paid admission and free to members. Participation in some programs is limited. Daycare organizations and summer schools are welcome and should call for information and registration. Programs start at noon and last about an hour.

  • June 10 – An American Indian Trail
    Kids will get to see and touch genuine artifacts, many of which were found in the park and surrounding areas. Learn what life was like for Native Americans by exploring a miniature village, using replica tools, and playing customary games. Class size is limited.
  • June 17 – Sounds Like Fun
    Hands on fun as students explore the science of sound.  Come and learn things about yourself and how the world hears you that will rock your world.  Teaches all the concepts of pitch, volume, acoustics, energy changes, biology of our ears, types of instruments, Doppler Effect.
  • June 24 – Cool Critters
    This fun and educational program teaches children about reptiles and invertebrates. Cool Critters is a Cincinnati based organization that rescues and teaches the public about these animals. There will be several animals visiting that may be observed as Cool Critters shares fun facts and teach about the treatment of animals.
  • July 1 – Wonderful Water
    Floating and Sinking and Flinking OH MY!  A perfect program to engage kids as they “get their feet wet” studying the chemistry and physics of water.  Teaches density, properties of matter, states of matter, water cycle, surface tension, water conservation.
  • July 8 – Looking at Leaves
    Families will be introduced to plants through games, discussion and art. We will examine tree rings, play a tree game focusing on basic needs, and create various leafy critters using plant parts. – Butler Soil and Water Conservation District
  • July 15 –What is your Spark?
    The Spark Catcher is an activity for prompting young people to think about their passion, or “spark,” whether it’s painting, soccer, or helping other people. A person’s spark is what they are really passionate about doing, an activity that unleashes their energy and joy, one that may allow them to really express their personality and perhaps make their own unique contribution to the world.  – Coalition for a Healthy, Safe and Drug-Free Greater Hamilton
  • July 22 –Magic and Fun
    Charlie Cadabra’s show includes magic tricks, audience helpers, silly fun, and music. Harvey, the live rabbit, will magically appear for everyone to pet after the show.
  • July 29 – Soil Painting  Get down and dirty with soil, learning about what soil is made from, why it is important, and why there are so many different types of soil. We will wrap up the program with a great art project; painting with a multitude of colors of soil.  – Butler Soil and Water Conservation District.

SELF seeking nominees for Janet Clemmons Award

Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families (SELF) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Janet Clemmons Community Service Award, which is given annually in honor of the late founder of SELF. Founded in 1995 by Butler County Commissioner Janet Clemmons, SELF offers services designed to help low-income individuals gain and retain employment and build and maintain financial assets so they can achieve long-term self-sufficiency.

Mrs. Clemmons understood the challenges faced by disadvantaged families and those who serve them. The award is presented in her memory and honors community members who have provided significant support and service to the low-income people of Butler County, primarily through their volunteer efforts.  The 2015 Janet Clemmons Community Service Award nominees will be honored at SELF’s Night at the Derby, Kentucky Derby-themed annual awards dinner on April 17, 2015 at Receptions Banquet Hall in Fairfield.

If you know someone who has gone above and beyond in helping low-income people in Butler County, please nominate them today!  A nomination form and instructions are available at http://www.selfhelps.org and at all SELF offices. Nominations are due February 13, 2015.  For more information, contact Beth Race at 513-820-5009 or brace@selfhelps.org.

Past Recipients of SELF’s Janet Clemmons Community Service Award

  •     2014: Jim Lusk, Middletown Police Officer and Community Volunteer
  •     2013: Butch Hubble, Hamilton Community Council
  •     2012: Stephen Bernat, Hamilton attorney with Legal Aid Society’s Volunteer Lawyers Project
  •     2011: Christine Birhanzl of Trenton and the American Red Cross, Butler County Office
  •     2010: Bill Fugate, SHALOM in Middletown
  •     2009: Bill Teets, Lebanon
  •     2008: Joel Fink, Butler County United Way, Hamilton
  •     2007: Jeanene Cotton, Hamilton
  •     2006: Roy & Pat Ickes, SHALOM, Middletown
  •     2005: Thomas Fritsch, The Maureen L. Fritsch Cancer Assistance Fund
  •     2004: Carla and Robby Rice, Fairfield
  •     2003: Roscoe Riddell, Living Word Church’s Food Pantry
  •     2002: Linda Kimble, Serve City, Hamilton
  •     2001: Bobbie Chapman, Open Door Food Pantry, Hamilton
  •     2000: Robert “Sonny” Hill, Middletown City Council
  •     1999: Iris Abbott, Job Club Coach, Butler County Joint Vocational School
  •     1998: Nancy Caudill, Hope House, Middletown
  •     1997: Janet Clemmons, Butler County Commissioner

The Janet Clemmons Community Service Award for 2015 will be presented at SELF’s annual awards dinner April 17, 2015 and all nominees will be honored for their service to the community. Nominations are due by February 13, 2015.

To nominate a special community member, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FORM, fill it out and send it in with a Letter of Nomination (three page limit) which addresses the following topics:

  • List any and all committees, organizations or boards the nominee is actively supporting and how they are supporting them.
  • Highlight how the nominee goes above and beyond in helping low-income individuals and families in Butler County.
  • Provide any personal information that supports your nomination.

Nominations should be sent to: Beth Race, SELF, P.O. Box 1322, Hamilton, Ohio 45012 or brace@selfhelps.org. Nominations must be received by Feb. 13, 2015 by 5 p.m.

Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre presents “Sordid Lives”

Telling the story of a Texas family that comes together in the aftermath of its matriarch’s death, “Sordid Lives” is a play sure to invoke deep thought and some laughs.

Based on a 2000 independent film by Del Shores, the play includes elements of Shores’ life and is a cult classic in the LGBT community.

The play being performed by the Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre contains adult themes and is geared toward a mature audience (read: leave the kids at home).

GHCT will perform “Sordid Lives” on stage at Parrish Auditorium, Miami University Hamilton, at 8 p.m. Feb. 5, 8 p.m. Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Feb. 7 and 2 p.m. Feb. 8.

Tickets are $17 per person, with discounts for seniors and students. Group rates are

also available. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (513) 737-PLAY or go online to http://www.ghctplay.com.

Follow the GHCT on social media at facebook.com/ghctplay.


As Staci Way evaluated the various preschool options for her child, she found herself remembering fondly the days when she attended Colonial Schools.

From Christmas programs to time with “grand friends,” who engaged with students as part of the intergenerational curriculum, bits and pieces of the lessons she learned there began to come back…

READ MORE about Colonial Schools and its intergenerational programming here…


IceFest 2015 Highlights

Here’s some of the photos and videos we found posted on Facebook from IceFest 2015: Hamilton Goes Hollywood!!!

Video with music by Ryan Boyd

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Study says Champion Sports Complex could work

The preliminary results of feasibility studies conducted by two national firms are showing positive indicators for the proposed redevelopment of the SMART/Champion Paper facility, according to Project Manager Frances Mennone, executive director of the Great Miami Rowing Center.

The Sport Facility Advisory and Ripken Sports, hired by a team put together by developer MB Glick, are wrapping up their comprehensive studies of the core market and the region.

SFA has served a portfolio of more than $4 billion in planned and operational sport initiatives. Ripken Sports,  now The Sports Force, is the national leader in amateur and professional sports consulting, planning and programming.

Together the two firms have determined positive feasibility for the proposed project in Butler County.

The project envisions the adaptive reuse of the former factory into an indoor and outdoor multisport complex. Developers intend for the project to encapsulate the unique history of the site, using the former factory as a backdrop.

The development includes a proposed multi-use stadium and a substantial indoor sports arena that could be one of the largest in the United States.

Already existing on the former campus is a rowing center development underway with the Great Miami Rowing Center. GMRC recently engaged a new national management firm Row America to assume programming responsibilities.

“Butler County has seen huge growth and development, with sports participation trends that mirror national growth, providing sporting facilities for a country that hosts an estimated 56 million families that participate in organized sports and non-school youth sports nationwide,” Mennone said. “Facilities like the proposed development in Hamilton could impact positively impact our region.”

Last fall, Mennone told the Cincinnati Business Courier that the property could be home to a number of different sports facilities, such as indoor track and field venues, baseball and soccer fields, volleyball and basketball courts, and tennis courts:

The owners of the Champion Paper facility… want to copy the success of Spooky Nook Sports, the largest indoor sports complex in North America located in Manheim, Pa. This complex was built in an old Armstrong World Industries distribution center that sits on 65 acres. Spooky Nook Sports has 700,000 square feet of indoor space, including a full-sized turf baseball/softball diamond, six cushioned tennis courts and 10 hardwood courts, plus 50 acres of outdoor fields.

The Champion Paper plant sits on 42 acres and includes almost 500,000 square feet of available space. The property was developed by Champion Paper, which became Champion International Paper, between 1894 and 1906. In 2001, Champion sold the plant to Smart Papers, which operated the plant for 11 more years. In March 2012, Smart Papers closed the plant and laid off the entire workforce. Green Reclamation bought Mill 1 in December 2012, and the city of Hamilton owns Mill 2.

A “fit plan” has already been designed, showing what could be built in the existing space, but that plan doesn’t include results from the feasibility firms.

If developed, the new facility would be one of the largest indoor sports complexes in the country. Mennone said the facility would retain the look and feel of a manufacturing plant.

In addition, the property has room for an outdoor baseball stadium as large as 5,000 seats. Mennone said the investors believe the stadium could host an independent or minor league organization.

The sports center would partner with affiliates to include water programming through a waterfront recreational facility at the Great Miami Rowing Center. The nonprofit rowing center is rehabbing an adjacent space and plans to expand to other water-based recreation such as canoeing and kayaking. They also believe the sports complex could connect with a proposed 2.7-mile Hamilton Belt Line bike path, a rail to trail conversion of property owned by CSX.

A Community Design Alliance rendering of a possible sports complex on the site of The Champion Coated Paper Company.
A Community Design Alliance rendering of a possible sports complex on the site of The Champion Coated Paper Company.



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