Greater Cincinnati volunteers

Voices Of Giving Awards Honor Greater Cincinnati Philanthropists


In our region, we are fortunate to have so very many diverse causes that are each enriching neighborhoods and lives in unique ways. Their important work would not be possible without a team of dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors.

For the past five years, it has been such a privilege to work with the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council committee helping to spread awareness of very generous people who are helping to ensure our community’s valuable nonprofit organizations can be sustainable in the future. They recently honored 27 philanthropists including Jim Huizenga, as a professional advisor, with Voices of Giving Awards. (You’ll be seeing more information in local news print over the next few months.) All philanthropists honored have made a bequest or planned gift to their favorite charity.

Mike and Marilyn Kremzar are examples of our humanitarian leaders who have committed years to empowering people who have been down on their luck

Mike Van Oflen, Tony Lavatori, Tonya Lavatori, Mike Kremzar, Marilyn Kremzar, Kurt Reiber and Mindy Hammer

Mike Van Oflen, Tony Lavatori, Tonya Lavatori, Mike Kremzar, Marilyn Kremzar, Kurt Reiber and Mindy Hammer photo credit: Paula Norton

through the Freestore Foodbank. Since joining its Board in 1984, Mike helped create the hugely successful Cincinnati COOKS!, a culinary job training program that not only provides nutritious afterschool meals to children at risk of hunger but also has seen more than 1,200 adult graduates move on to gainful employment. The Kremzars named the Freestore Foodbank as a beneficiary of their IRA.

There are so many wonderful stories like theirs of why charitable giving is such an important part of their lives. Please click the link to read more about all of the honorees. 2015 Voices of Giving Honoree backgrounds


Other honorees include:

Deacon David A. Klingshirn on behalf of The Athenaeum of Ohio;
Alan and Dianne Thomas on behalf of the Brighton Center;
Marjorie and Roger Santor (posthumously) on behalf of CET – Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation;
Robert Buechner on behalf of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati;
John H. White, Jr. on behalf of Cincinnati Museum Center;
Albert W. Vontz III on behalf of Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park;
Barb and Mort Nicholson on behalf of Cincinnati Public Radio;
Norita Aplin and Stanley Ragle on behalf of Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra;
Jack Kirby on behalf of Episcopal Retirement Homes;
Mike and Marilyn Kremzar on behalf of Freestore Foodbank;
John Isidor and Sandy Kaltman on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati;
Burke Neville on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation;
Peggy Kite on behalf of Life Enriching Communities Foundation – Twin Lakes;
Dr. George Rieveschl, Jr. (posthumously) on behalf of the Lloyd Library and Museum;
Mona Morrow on behalf of The Salvation Army;
Emily Pan on behalf of Saint Joseph Home;
Mary Kay Pastura Hauser on behalf of St. Ursula Academy;
The Calonge Family on behalf of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
Note: one of the honorees did not want to be recognized in Event promotion.

Jim Huizenga, senior program officer at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation,
honored as a professional advisor, was nominated by Saint Joseph Home

Platinum Presenting Sponsors of the 17th annual Voices of Giving Awards are The John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank Trustee, and The Salvation Army.  Silver Sponsors include Graydon, Head and Ritchey LLP, the Johnson Charitable Gift Fund, Life Enriching Communities, Smith Beers Yunker & Company, Inc., and Xavier University.  The Event was hosted by CET and emceed by Local 12’s John Lomax.

“Our Voices of Giving honorees represent the true spirit of philanthropy and their gifts are enhancing the quality of life for our community, now and in the future,” said Sue Ellen Stuebing, vice president of the board of The Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council. “We thank them not only for their generosity but also for allowing us to recognize them.  By doing so, they are inspiring others in our community to demonstrate that everyone can make a lasting impact by leaving a legacy.

Voices of Giving honorees photo credit: Paula Norton

Voices of Giving honorees
photo credit: Paula Norton

The 2015 event was co-chaired by Telly McGaha and Molly Talbot. Committee members included Lori Asmus, Carol Derkson, Bruce Favret, Misty Griesinger, Doug Heeston, Anna Hehman, Bill Hitch, Mary Alice Koch, Michelle Mancini, Tracy Monroe, Carol Serrone, Carol Stevie, Sue Ellen Stuebing and Dan Virzi.

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.




People Working Cooperative Volunteers Helped Area Seniors


It’s that time of year again when thousands come together to help others in need with fall home repairs and clean up.

People Working Cooperatively Repair AffairPeople Working Cooperatively’s Prepare Affair was Saturday Nov. 15 where 3,000 volunteers helped 1,000 senior clients by raking leaves and cleaning gutters and other small repair tasks. It was the 27th annual event with many heart-warming stories. The oldest client served was 105 – the youngest volunteer was 3. Many volunteers adopt the same clients year after year, making them part of their family.

“This has become a family tradition for us,” said volunteer Valerie Robinson, who brought her 80-year-old father. Bill to rake leaves. “We really enjoy giving back.”

PWC serves Greater Cincinnati seniors  and underserved 365 days a year with professional home repairs, modifications, weatherization and other services to keep the homeowner safe in People Working Cooperatively Repair Affairtheir homes where they want to be. To learn more or make a donation, visit

Cincinnati Rotary Club Opens Jefferson Award Nominations


It is such a wonderful gift when people gift selflessly to enhance lives and their community. So often those individuals do their work quietly, without need or want for recognition. Still, their efforts most certainly are worthy of being honored.

Rotary Club of CincinnatiOne special program aimed at doing just that is the Rotary Club of Cincinnati Jefferson Award (with leading sponsor, the American Institute of Public Service (AIPS).  The Jefferson Awards pay homage to Greater Cincinnati volunteers who have gone above and beyond.

In partnership with the Enquirer Media and Local 12, The Rotary Club is looking to recognize ordinary people who do extraordinary things without the expectation of recognition or reward.  These are individuals that are changing and improving our community, while addressing an important issue facing our area.

The Jefferson Award, which is recognized as the Nobel Prize for public service, was created in 1972 by Cincinnati’s own U.S. Senator Robert Taft and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and is presented annually to recipients in more than 90 cities in the United States.  The AIPS’s mission is to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.

On March 13, 2014, the Rotary Club of Cincinnati will host the annual Jefferson Award presentation luncheon during their weekly meeting and will announce this year’s winner.  The winner will then go to Washington, D.C. in June to represent our region for the National Award.  The nomination form is available in a printable and online application on the following two websites:  The Rotary Club of Cincinnati:  Rotary Club of Cincinnati Jefferson Award Printable Application and Enquirer Media:  Enquirer Jefferson Award Online Application.

Deadline for nominations is 3:00 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Please click here to download a nomination form: Jefferson Award NominationForm 2014

ABOUT CINCINNATI ROTARY CLUB: The Rotary Club of Cincinnati is the preeminent professional service organization for men and women, supporting children, particularly those with disabilities throughout the Tri-State area through its partnerships with Stepping Stones/Camp Allyn and the Roselawn Condon School. The Rotary Club of Cincinnati also supports the global effort to eradicate polio worldwide through its PolioPlus program. For more information about the Rotary Club of Cincinnati, go to Questions? Call The Rotary Club of Cincinnati at (513) 421-1080.


Nonprofit Spotlight – FUEL Cincinnati Providing Micro-grants


Fuel Cincinnati, part of Give Back Cincinnati Have you heard about FUEL Cincinnati?  It is an all-volunteer committee of young professionals in Greater Cincinnati that is part of Give Back Cincinnati.

Fuel Cincinnati provides micro-grants in amounts ranging from $250 to $2,000 to fund non-profit projects in the Greater Cincinnati region, including the city of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and contiguous communities. Its central mission is to involve young professionals in the region in nonprofit projects in four core areas: (1) education, (2) community building, (3) the environment, and (4) diversity.

If an applicant has a great idea for improving the greater Cincinnati region through a nonprofit project related to one of FUEL’s core areas, and if all that’s standing in the applicant’s way is the lack of a few hundred or a couple of thousand dollars, FUEL exists to remove that obstacle. This is why FUEL prefers to provide the majority of the budget for projects it funds; FUEL’s mission is to make great things happen that wouldn’t happen without it. FUEL fills a gap by making capital available for projects smaller in scale than those typically funded by traditional foundations.

Fuel is supported by generous grants from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile US Bank Foundation and from The Mayerson Family Foundations.

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