Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, and John and Eileen Barrett and Chris Bochenek, were recently honored by the Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati at its annual awards presentation for their commitments to giving back.
Mary was recognized with a National Operation School Bell Award. Operation School Bell is an Assistance League program that provides school uniforms annually to more than 2,500 children in poverty in 35 public and parochial schools in greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky.
Some of the ways Mary has supported Operation School Bell and the Assistance League include: regularly assisting as a volunteer during Operation School Bell uniform distribution; developing a protocol enabling Cincinnati Public Schools to pay for school buses used to transport students to Assistance League distribution sites, which freed the nonprofit organization’s chapter funds, enabling an increase in the number of children served; and arranging for Operation School Bell coordinators to regularly attend staff development meetings with the resource coordinators from each school, strengthening the AL role and program impact on the children participating in Operation School Bell.
John and Eileen Barrett
The Barretts are long-time community leaders and have received many awards for their philanthropic work.
John is chairman, president and chief executive officer at Western & Southern Financial Group. He serves on the board of directors for Western & Southern Financial Group and Cintas Corporation and is a member and former chairman of the Cincinnati Business Committee. He serves on the executive committee of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and is active with REDI Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati and its foundation.
Eileen serves or has served on the board of trustees for Central Clinic Foundation; Barrett Cancer Center; Children’s Protective Service-Families Forward; The Children’s Home of Cincinnati; Cincinnati Country Day School; Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden; and The Springer School. She is co-chair for Ride Cincinnati; former United Way Campaign co-chair; and helped raise more than $1 million in 2011 at the Queen City Ball Gala benefitting the Barrett Cancer Center and the Lindner Center of Hope.
Christine A. Bochenek
Vice president and senior program officer for human services with the Haile/USBank Foundation, Christine has served 28 years with U.S. Bank and has been with the foundation since it opened in 2007. She serves on the board of trustees for the Women’s Crisis Center and the Hamilton County Job & Family Services Family Fund; Scholar House of Northern Kentucky; Homeless to Homes Plan; and Seton High School’s Advancement Committee.
The Assistance League of Greater Cincinnati is made up of volunteers who run programs dedicated to aid women and children in crisis, serving Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont counties in Ohio, and Kenton, Boone, Campbell, Grant and Mason Counties in northern Kentucky.
It has been such a privilege to be working with the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council for the 7th year in promoting some of our region’s incredibly generous philanthropists through the Voices of Giving Awards. This year the organization honored donors on behalf of 25 nonprofit organizations whose important work is supported by their decision to give a planned gift (and much more in heart and time). Those Greater Cincinnati philanthropists are strengthening local neighborhoods, families and individual lives through their actions.
“Our Voices of Giving honorees have such diverse interests, often with deep rooted passion from personal experiences. They represent the true spirit of philanthropy and their gifts will touch thousands of lives directly and indirectly in our region, for generations to come. Their donations will help these important causes that are close to their hearts to be sustainable for future generations,” said Voices of Giving Co-Chair Molly Talbot, VP of Advancement at St. Ursula Academy.
Several hundred guests attended the Awards Event that was held at CET and emceed by Local 12’s John Lomax.
2016 Honorees included: (please note that honorees from two organizations asked to be left out of publicity and are not listed) Carson Smith (honored posthumously) on behalf of the American Cancer Society; Fran Cohen on behalf of CET – Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation; Joe and Sandy Dominiak on behalf of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati; Thomas Ernst Huenefeld on behalf of Cincinnati Museum Center; Digi France Schueler on behalf of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Mary Rose J. Zink on behalf of Cincinnati Public Radio; Mace Justice on behalf of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Dr. Steve and Diane Dumbauld on behalf of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; Patricia Armstrong on behalf of the CISE Foundation; Doug Spitler on behalf of Episcopal Retirement Services; Richard Hildbold (honored posthumously) on behalf of the Freestore Foodbank; Jerome and Suzanne Teller on behalf of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute and Isaac M. Wise Temple; Val Schube on behalf of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Rick and Julie Kantor on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; Rev. Dr. Joseph and Blanch Graham on behalf of Life Enriching Communities Foundation – Twin Towers; Donald L. Neyer on behalf of Life Enriching Communities Foundation – Twin Lakes; Lawrence Klosterkemper on behalf of Mount St. Joseph University and Roger Bacon High School; Jerry W. Warner, Ph.D. on behalf of Northern Kentucky University; Bill and Helene Sedwick on behalf of People Working Cooperatively; Margaret ‘Tuck’ Fraser (honored posthumously) on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati; Ursulines of Cincinnati on behalf of Saint Ursula Academy; Lisa O’Brien on behalf of United Way of Greater Cincinnati; and Dan and Julie Murphy on behalf of Xavier University.
The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council is a professional association for people whose work includes developing, marketing, and administering charitable planned gifts for non-profit institutions and a variety of other legal and financial settings.
It is one of the most unique and broad reaching efforts to inspire lifelong wise and generous philanthropists. In its seventh year, nonprofit Magnified Giving kicked off the 2014-2015 school year by giving money to groups of students from a record 52 regional schools, with the charge of extensively researching, debating, discussing, and ultimately investing it wisely into causes of value to them. It all culminated with those more than 2,500 students collectively granting nearly $100,000 to 70 diverse charities in a series of awards ceremonies.
This is the second year that I have helped Magnified Giving spread the word about its impact. (You will probably be reading about it in a community paper near you soon.)
Four students were also recognized with Roger Grein Spirit of Philanthropy Award, nominated by teachers and selected for exemplifying the meaning of philanthropy as expressed through essays. Honorees included: Julie Gyure from Perry High School, Alex Deters from St. Xavier High School, Becca Faeth from Holy Cross High School and Katie Perry from Roger Bacon High School.
To truly understand the power of this organization is to read what these honorees had to say about how participating has changed their outlook, changed their life. Below are excerpts from their essays.
“This program has shown me that philanthropy is all about fixing our society’s problem of inequality from its roots, not just with monetary donations, but with time. Volunteering at organizations and taking your own time to get to know them and make personal connections. Using your talents, finding what you personally do well and then applying that to an organization, such as using an eye for fashion at Dress for Success, or culinary skills at a soup kitchen. A quote that my dad always says is ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ The meaning of philanthropy is use your time, talent, and treasures to do something you love that the common good can benefit from. Magnified Giving taught me that philanthropy isn’t just a definition written in my notebook, but it is a feeling that you demonstrate through giving back to the community.” – Katie Perry
“Mr. Grein came to speak to my service class at St. X, and I paid close attention to every word of his life’s story, especially the parts concerning his service and work for the common good. He was describing a particular moment in his life, in which he came to realize his love of service and the call he felt to serve, and realizing it or not, Mr. Grein articulated the exact conversion that was taking place in my heart….Deep within my heart, I began to feel a call to selflessness, a call to help my fellow man, but more than anything, a call to service. This call has changed my life irreversibly. I will never be able to see the world the way I did before, and I have decided I will live out this call to service wherever it may take me in my life, following Mr. Grein’s example.” – Alex Deters
“Roger (Grein)’s story touched my heart and I want to do something good for the world just like Roger did! The Magnified Giving program is just my first step! The program gives me the opportunity to go out in the world and lend a helping hand to those who need it. I can give my time, support, and love to people who struggle every day. Magnified giving has raised my confidence in becoming a better person. The program has helped me to see how easy it is just to help someone out whether by money, time, etc. I feel like I am an important part in this world because of this program. It helped me see that I want to help people and have a passion for helping others. The program has brought me closer to the outside world, it has brought my school community closer, and it even brought my family together.” – Becca Faeth
“By participating in civic and volunteer activities, I found my niche. I absolutely love working with people, especially when it is for the betterment of society. This has led me to an undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati in organizational leadership with a minor in human resources and nonprofit work. Now I believe that as long as one follows their passion; the size of a paycheck does not seem so important. Fast forward ten years. I plan to be working at a nonprofit such as Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or Make-a-Wish. I’ll be working alongside individuals who are all there for the same reason; to address an issue occurring in the community, working for justice. My team should consist of human resource gurus that not only focus on community needs, but the needs of their fellow co-workers. Together we will be able to apply our skills and talents to create a positive environment in the workplace and for the people we serve. Magnified Giving has set the path for my future and I will forever be indebted to this amazing organization for doing so.” – Julie Gyure
2014-2015 Participating Schools:
Participating Schools include Aiken High School, Anderson High School, Aurora, Badin High School, Bellevue High School, Bethel-Tate High School, Bishop Brossart High School, Bishop Fenwick High School, Catholic Central High School, Chaminade Julienne High School, Cincinnati Country Day High School, Colerain High School, Covington Catholic High School, Dater high School, Deer Park High School, DePaul Cristo Rey, East Clinton high School, Elder High School, Highlands High School, Holmes High School, Holy Cross High School, Indian Hill High School, Lakota East Freshman School, LaSalle High School, Loveland High School, Madeira Middle School, McAuley High School, McNicholas High School, Mother of Mercy High School, Milford High School, Mt. Notre Dame High School, Moeller High School, New Bremen High School, Notre Dame Academy, Perry High School, Purcell Marian High School, Reading High School, Roger Bacon high School, School for Creative & Performing Arts, Seton High School, Seven Hills High School, Shroder High School, Springer School, St. Henry High School, St. Xavier High School, Summit Country Day, Taft Information Technology High School, Taylor High School, Villa Madonna high School and Wyoming High School.
Cincinnati Bell, a partner of Taft Information Technology High School, donated the seed money for Taft’s grant funding.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation recently honored dynamic people whose commitment to philanthropy is helping to make our Greater Cincinnati community a better place for all of us.
Ed and Carole Rigaud are this year’s recipients of the Jacob E. Davis Volunteer Leadership Award, recognizing their leadership and generosity of time toward improving the quality of life in our region. The Award was named in honor of Jacob E. Davis, GCF’s first Governing Board Chair and Volunteer Director from 1978 to 1987.
The Rigauds’ names are synonymous with generosity and dedication. They have demonstrated these qualities in their professional, volunteer, and family lives. I have been fortunate to have seen Carole’s heart in action first hand during my eight year tenure working with Lighthouse Youth Services, one of her charitable causes.
During his 36 years at Procter & Gamble (P&G), Ed became the first African-American line vice president, eventually serving as vice president of government relations in North America. In 1998, he became the first president and CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, on loan from P&G. Today, Ed is a co-director of Taft Business Consulting LLC. He is also the president and CEO of Enova Premier, LLC, automotive product supply and services.
Ed’s numerous volunteer roles include being a past member of the National Museum and Library Services Board, appointed by President Bush in 2002. His many volunteer activities include Honorary Chairman of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and serving on the boards of the Williams College of Business at Xavier University, and UC Physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical College.
Carole has a long list of volunteer commitments and awards. She serves on the Lighthouse Youth Services and 4C for Children gala committees. She volunteers for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Lighthouse Youth Services, Advocates for Youth, The Women’s Alliance, The Healthcare Connection, and Cincinnati Youth Collaborative. Carole has served as the co-chair of the 2013 National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s International Freedom Conductor Awards and on the boards of GCF, Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati May Festival, Dress for Success, The Mercantile Library, Interact for Health, Cincinnati Museum Center, Northern Kentucky University Foundation, and The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education.
Carole has been honored as an Enquirer Woman of the Year, a Girl Scouts Great Rivers Council Inc. Women of Distinction, and with the Lighthouse Youth Services 2010 Beacon of Light Humanitarian Award.
The GCF honored Foster & Motley Wealth Management with GCF’s Bridge Builder Award. The Bridge Builder Award is given each year to a professional advisor(s) who has been a supporter of the Foundation in multiple ways over many years.
Foster & Motley, Inc. is an independent SEC Registered Investment Advisor established in 1997. Its focus is to help its clients reach their financial goals. Its team of 32 employees provides the highest quality, customized, fee-only financial planning and investment services. They assist clients in managing well over $950 million in assets and provide comprehensive solutions to their complex financial and investing needs.
I am so fortunate that my public relations work allows me to help such truly special causes. Magnified Giving is among them. The nonprofit works with schools to teach young people about being educated philanthropists. I have been helping them with their recent year end awards events.
Below is more about them…
They are from different neighborhoods diverse by ethnicity, cultures, religions and economic backgrounds. And for the past year, they were the more than 2500 students in groups from 50 regional schools who were given more than $1000 by Magnified Giving to extensively research, debate, discuss, and ultimately come to a decision on a worthy cause for whom to grant that money. Some also volunteered their time and even raised additional funds to give to organizations that speak to their hearts.
It was a process that taught students leadership and life skills, how to work together as a team toward a common goal, and how to be wise donors to causes important to them. Before filled auditoriums at four events, those students walked on stage to share their experiences and present checks that collectively totaled more than $75,000.
Ian Dollenmayer, a 2012 graduate of Covington Catholic High School and Magnified Giving alumni, shared his thoughts at one of the events.
“Looking at this program’s title, I believe it is that first word—“magnified”—that truly makes this experience unique. What are magnified are our perceptions, our knowledge, and ourselves. Discovering charities around this area requires us to exit our comfort zone, to journey beyond the conceptual academia of the classroom into the harsh pragmatics of the world around us. Outside the walls of our schools, we find a world that is plagued with problems, but we also are able to see working solutions. We see what it is that different organizations are trying to alleviate and how they are going about doing so.
Above all else, we meet people. Some are the ones afflicted by the ills of an imperfect world, while others are the ones trying to help. It is these meetings and relationships that have the capacity to fundamentally change us. We see in those around us a struggle to make ends meet and live healthy lives, and we in turn see those fighting to give those very things.
What I believe this ultimately gives us, at least what it has given me, is vision. We are among the fortunate, so it is our duty to use the advantages given to us to assist those who are in need. This vision allows us to see where our advantages can be used, where our fortune can be shared, where we can change someone’s world. This day, I challenge us all to use the lessons we have learned from the Magnified Giving program as we advance forward in our lives because no matter where we go, no matter what we become, these are the ideas that can carry our world to a better tomorrow. Be you a politician, a doctor, an accountant, a biologist, an engineer, an artist, or any one of a million different professions and vocations, the world will still need improvement. People will still need our help. It is here our mission begins, and it begins today.”
Roger Grein, founder and CEO of Magnified Giving, shared this note he received from one of the participating teachers – Heather Campbell, national board certified teacher at Butler Tech at Lakota East High School.
“I work with some kids who have been disengaged in school, have low self-esteem, have been sometimes marginalized by our education system, and are often times challenged by overwhelming circumstances. I am blessed to have the opportunity and support to teach these students in ‘my way’ through ‘my methods’.
Today as my students had a contentious, intense debate- on task for 1 ½ hours- I realized just what an important part Magnified Giving has played in their process of evolving, scholastically and on a personal level. I was outside of the room, but I could not help but hear them- they expressed their thoughts, their passions eloquently and respectfully. They called me in when they needed help in organizing their thoughts, but I merely listened and summarized what I heard. I did not put my two cents in. I have never seen this group- individually or together take something so seriously. EVERY one of them weighed in. EVERY one of them had definite thoughts and contributions to the discussion.
I assured them that they could not make a wrong decision. In the end, they felt the difficult bending that sometimes must come when a group cannot meet unanimity, but must come to consensus. I think they will volunteer for other organizations who did not receive their award. They know now that awareness is the first step, and that they can be messengers.
Most importantly, I feel that they truly were affected by this process and have become more evolved, more aware, kinder citizens of their community and their world. For this, I am truly grateful to you.”
If you believe in the cause of Magnified Giving, you can support their work with a monetary donation. Please visit http://www.MagnifiedGiving.org to learn more.
To view more photos from the Magnified Awards events, please click here.