Happen, Inc. Art Flash Mobs At Cincinnati Pools This Summer


Children Painting At Cincinnati PoolsChildren at area Cincinnati Recreation Centers will get an added level of fun this summer, when Happen Inc’s Community Canvases pop at area pools. The canvases will have an image from Cincinnati Art Museum’s Eternal Summer: Edward Henry Potthast exhibition, and children will be asked to join in on some ART FLASH MOB  fun and help assemble the canvas right there on the spot on the fence at the pool.  Parents you can join in too.  Ten canvases will go up during the ten weeks that the Cincinnati Art Museum celebrates the Tenth Anniversary of the Cincinnati Wing . Those ten weeks are called Cincinnati Summer. Ten Cincinnati Recreation Centers are participating.

The first five are:

Millvale:   Tuesday   June 18th   11 am-1pm.   3303 Beekman Street

Pleasant Ridge:   Saturday   June 22nd   1pm-3pm.    5915 Ridge.

Winton Hills:   Tuesday  June 25tth   11am-1pm.     5170 Winneste Ave.

Hanna:   Saturday June 29th 1pm- 3pm  226 Stark Street.

Bush: Tuesday July 2nd 11am- 1pm.  2460 Kemper Lane.

Community Canvas is a free Happen, Inc. program that turns an average chain-link fence into a famous work of art, literally bringing art into the community. The canvas begins as a collection of long paper strips, each displaying one section of a famous work of art.  Community Canvas is a great way for a school, museum, library, community center, or other organization to bring art into the community. At the opening event, participating children and adults take turns weaving the strips into an empty chain-link fence. When the canvas its up it remains on display for 30 days.

Founded in 1999  Happen, Inc., a nonprofit organization, create a positive environment for parents and children through art-related activities and experiences designed to strengthen both the family structure and the community as a whole. An estimated 7,000 children in Greater Cincinnati each year experience the arts through Happen programs. Happen, Inc recently won the prestigious Cincinnati Post-Corbett Award for Arts Education and Outreach.


Are Parrots Difficult Pets?


NOTE:  I have a new pet behavior blog located at  Thanks!

In a recent issue of online Good Bird Magazine, president of Good Bird, Inc. and internationally recognized trainer and consultant Barbara Heidenrich offers a great answer to the question…

Are parrots difficult pets?

“In my experience parrots are neither inherently good companion animals nor inherently bad companion animals. The behaviors parrots choose to exhibit are the result of what earns them reinforcers or what will cause an aversive stimulus to go away. In other words, parrot behavior is the result of our behavior. If we choose to reinforce behaviors we like, we will see those behaviors exhibited more often. If we try to control parrots through unpleasant experiences we are likely to create agressive behavior or fear responses.

The bottom line is parrot caregivers who are armed with tools and information on training their parrots with positive reinforcement are likely to have great sucess with a parrot in their home. Those who rely on coercion are sure to encounter problems and sadly miss out on the incredible relationship based on trust once can have with a parrot.  The methods we choose to influence parrot behavior determine the outcome, not the genetics of the parrot.”

Barbara Heidenrich has been a professional in the field of animal training since 1990. She is president of Good Bird Inc. providing parrot behavior and training products. Barbara also consults on animal training in zoos and other animal related facilities. She is past president of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators.

Voices of Giving Awards Honored Those Who Give Back


It’s so neat to see people whose lives were touched in a meaningful way, and who, when times got better never forgot and choose to give back.

Brian Brinkmoeller is one of those examples. He was a struggling single father to three curious and active girls who had a love for learning. On his own he wouldn’t have been able to afford the tuition for the Cathedral Child Development Center, a program of Children, Inc., but the organization was committed helping them no matter the circumstances. Now a successful business owner, Brian has remained steadfast to giving back to the agency that helped his family. In addition to serving on its board, he established the Monica Hughes Children’s Fund at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to support families like his own. The Fund commemorates a young teacher at the Cathedral Center who died suddenly at age 32, and the very teacher who treated Brian and his girls as her own.

“Brian’s thoughtful gift will keep giving, ensuring that Children, Inc. will always be able to serve kids regardless of their family’s financial situation,” said Jordan Huizenga, director of development for Children, Inc.

Brian and 23 other warm hearted philanthropists in our area were honored recently by the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council with Voices of Giving Awards. This was the fourth year that I’ve helped them with the post even publicity and it is so inspiring to hear their stories.

The 14th annual Voices of Giving Awards were presented by PNC and were hosted by Local12 News Anchor John Lomax at CET.  The program included featured speaker Lee Carter, co-chair of the 2012 World Choir Games United States, and a performance by the Cincinnati Girl Choir directed by Dr. Eva Floyd. The 2012 event was co-chaired by Mary Alice Koch (PNC Bank) and Chandra Mathews-Smith. Committee members included Sue Ellen Stuebing (CET), Carol Stevie (CISE), Tracy Monroe (Ronald McDonald House), Michelle Mancini (American Cancer Society), Telly McGaha (Redwood), Susan Kulick (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center), Karen Kruer (NKU Foundation), Misty Griesinger (Association Connection), Jim Friedman (The Jewish Federation), Lori Asmus (Episcopal Retirement Homes), and Sally Alspaugh (Xavier University).

 “Greater Cincinnati nonprofits making measurable impact in the communities where we live and work rely on generous donors to help them sustain their mission. Our Voices of Giving Awards is our way of saying ‘thanks’ to our philanthropists for being purposeful in helping to ensure the longevity of causes important to them,” said Lori Asmus, Voices of Giving committee member.

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.

2012 Voices of Giving honorees

To view all of the photos from the event, please click here.


(Note:  photo is of Cindy and Brian Brinkmoeller with Jordan Huizenga in the back)

How Woodfill Elementary School Students Are Helping Others


Great for them!

How thoughtful for these third grade students at Woodfill Elementary School to realize the loneliness of long term hospitalized children who can not have their family at their side. With the help of their teachers, and a little research, they found Josh Cares, a non-profit organization that offers loving support to seriously ill kids  when a parent or family member cannot be there. Josh Cares funds professionally trained Child Life Fellows who provide consistent comfort, care and companionship for a child whose family would be by their sides if they could.  The Woodfill students created a skit in which they role-played the responsibilities of the Child Life Fellow in the life of a child patient and charged admission to see it. They also held a bake sale.

All in all, their project raised $579.05. And not only that, it taught these creative third graders an important life lesson…about caring and responsibility.  I like those kinds of lessons.

I also want to mention this service learning project was made possible by Children, Inc.



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