Sisters of St. Francis sponsor Scrapbooking/Crafting Fundraiser

Sisters of St. Francis sponsor Scrapbooking/Crafting Fundraiser

On Saturday, June 4, 2017
from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

the Sylvania Franciscans are hosting a day of friendship, fellowship, scrapbooking, card making, and photo organizing.

The event location is
St. Joseph Hall, Room 110
6832 Convent Blvd.
on the Sylvania Franciscan campus.

Jill Oblizajek will be on hand to help with photo projects. No prior experience needed! Participants can bring stacks of photos to create an album in a day.
Sister Roselynn Humbert will have greeting card kits for purchase at $2.00 per card.

For $35, registrants will receive
four feet of work space,
lunch and dinner.

The cost is $25 for a portion of the day. Scrapbooking supplies are available on-site for purchase and Scrapbooking/Card making tools are available for use throughout the day.

To register contact:
Sister Roselynn Humbert,

or call 419-824-3610.

Proceeds to benefit the Sylvania Franciscan Sophia Counseling Center Charity Fund.

Know Your Risks

The investment risk that many people may not know about 
–by Jeff Bucher

Jeff Bucher
Jeff Bucher







Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks—interest-rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of the investment risks we face can be mitigated through diversification.

As an investor, you face another, less-known risk for which the market does not compensate you, nor can it be easily reduced through diversification. Yet it may be the biggest challenge to the sustainability of your retirement income.

This risk is called the sequence of returns risk. The sequence of returns risk refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor will receive over an extended period of time.

Sequence of Returns
Averages may hide dangerous possibilities. This is especially true with the stock market. You may be comfortable that the market will deliver its historical average return over the long-term, but you can never know when you will be receiving the varying positive and negative returns that comprise the average. The order in which you receive these returns can make a big difference.

For instance, a hypothetical market decline of 30 percent is not to be unexpected. However, would you rather experience this decline when you have relatively small retirement savings, or at the moment you are ready to retire — when your savings may never be more valuable? Without a doubt, the former scenario is preferable, but the timing of that large potential decline is out of your control.

Timing, Timing, Timing
The sequence of returns risk is especially problematic while you are in retirement. Down years, in combination with portfolio withdrawals taken to provide retirement income, have the potential to seriously damage the ability of your savings to recover sufficiently, even as the markets fully rebound.

If you are nearing retirement, or already in retirement, it could be time to give serious consideration to the “sequence of returns risk” and ask questions about how you can better manage your portfolio.

Jeff Bucher is the President and co- founder of Citizen Advisory Group, a comprehensive financial planning company in Perrysburg. You can contact him at 419-872-0204; email at; visit at 770 Commerce Dr., Perrysburg; or visit the website at

Investment Advisory Services offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC. AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC and Citizen Advisory Group are independent entities.


Look Ma, No Knees!

Easy breakfast ideas to fuel your workday! 
by Erika D White, Fitness Motivator & Creator of Fitzone

Erika White
Erika D. White

Whoever coined the phrase “breakfast of champions” obviously has never ridden with me on the way to work; balancing a bowl of cereal while trying to drive with one knee is not easy, nor recommended! Throw in dropping off a kid or two, who also require a morning feeding, and the aggravation of morning quickly minimizes the need for breakfast to be little more than a relaxing glass of wine…whoops, we’re talking about morning, aren’t we? Rewind! …and the aggravation of morning quickly minimizes the need for breakfast to be little more than a relaxing glass of coffee. It was with daily daytime drama that the reality quickly settled in that this “breakfast of champions” fantasy wasn’t quite working out for me. Lying in bed one night, I came up with one of my best ideas ever. I would first, be retiring as the Indie one-knee driving champion; and second, I would be switching to a better alternative for my breakfast routine.

I knew my new and improved breakfast needed to follow the simple rule of the SNAP-E! (Yes, I agree that the “E” is a little vain, but hey, aren’t we all?) Breakfast was now about satiety, nutrition, affordability, portability and being relatively easy. Satiety, because it should be a mortal sin to eat and still be hungry; nutritious, because it is about eating the right foods to fuel the body; affordable, because wine and cute shoes are NOT to be negotiated; portable, because breakfast should be pocket-sized or served on skewers; and easy, because we all need that one thing we can achieve without great effort.

The real reason for breakfast is to fuel the body for whatever activity comes along the way. The right amount of protein, carbs, and fat, aka macronutrients from whole foods, don’t just get you outside the breakfast box, they smash the box. Make breakfast the best part of your day with some of my favorite fuel combinations. Skip the sugary cereals, buttery breads, and processed meats that feed your face and not your body. Don’t forget to cut your portions into mouth-sized pieces along with toothpicks for skewers and divided plates or bowls for portability. And of course, keep your knee off the wheel, your mom will thank you.

Suggested for the morning when work is away from the desk or on the move

385 Calories
41g Carbs; 11g Fat; 34g Protein

1 medium apple
1 slice whole wheat toast
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 ounces chicken breast
(boneless, skinless)

Suggested for the morning when you need to get in control of your hunger

388 Calories
31g Carbs; 15g Fat; 36g Protein

2 extra-large, hard-boiled egg whites
1-70 gram pouch of tuna, any type
(not to exceed 110 calories a serving)
2-3 avocado slices or 1 oz.
3 oz. each, cantaloupe and watermelon
12 raw almonds


Suggested for a long morning of meetings and/or conferences

330 Calories
34g Carbs; 10g Fat; 27g Protein

1 medium banana
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt*
*your best choice is Fage or equivalent;
if the taste is too bitter, add a teaspoon
of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sweetener
Suggested for the morning where lasting until lunch is not an option

407 Calories
34g Carbs; 16g Fat; 33g Protein

½ cup strawberries
1 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
½ multigrain light muffin
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon almond butter

More Options
If you have a nut allergy or want a few more choices, foods like salmon, avocado, olive oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, olives, hummus, and tahini are great examples of healthy fat substitutions.

For vegetarians and vegans, or anyone looking for more plant-based protein suggestions, foods like tofu, black beans, tempeh, edamame, spinach, and green peas are my favorite choices for their protein content and tastiness.

Fage, or any equivalent brand Greek yogurt, is what I recommend. Focus on the protein and sugar content when comparing to an equivalent. Fage slays the competition with its protein content. One cup, or individual container, ranges from 18-24 grams of protein.

Not a fan of Greek yogurt? I get it. Not everyone likes the creamy, thick texture. Choose a plain yogurt that is low in calories (120 or less), fat (4g or less), and sugar (less than 20g).

Erika D. White is a certified fitness professional who believes in building strong, healthy, ageless men and women.
Connect with Erika at
or every Tuesday at noon on 13abc’s Ask the Expert


Rocky Point Winery is a stone’s throw away
–by Jennifer Ruple


 Jennifer Ruple
Jennifer Ruple







111 W Main St
Lakeside Marblehead, OH
(419) 967-5344

Chris Redfern’s charismatic personality keeps his customers entertained as they wait for their drinks to be poured at his Rocky Point Winery in Marblehead, Ohio. Redfern, and his wife Kim, opened the winery, along with the Red Fern Inn, in the historic 1893 Marblehead Schoolhouse in January 2015. The shift to business owners was a major life change for the couple as Redfern is the former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party and former State Legislator, and Kim was a commercial property investor and a lobbyist.

“I had grown up on Lake Erie; the lake has been in my blood,” said Redfern. “Kim and I were looking for investment properties, and we were looking to fill a niche in Marblehead that was missing. We are not a bar. We’re a winery, and we offer folks a full selection of wine, craft beers and liquor. We’ve built a fun and relaxing environment for adults as well as the whole family, and that was missing in Marblehead,” explained Redfern.

L-R: Unnati Marde, Urvashi Marde Millen and Carrie Millen are served wine by Chris Redfern

Located at 111 W. Main St., just a half mile from the iconic Marblehead Lighthouse, Rocky Point Winery is known for its selection of Midwestern wines. “We use grapes that are grown primarily on North Bass Island, near the Canadian line. There are 65 acres of grapes there,” said Redfern. “We carry 50 additional labels, 25 craft beers, and a wide variety of liquor. We try to focus on Ohio wines and beers, and we have Michigan and Canadian wines and beers as well.”

The patio at Rocky Point Winery is open for the summer season.

For those who’d like a bite to eat with their wine, Redfern mentioned, “We offer a variety of cheese plates, chocolates and crackers. We’ve recently added fresh baked bread, and we are introducing a bruschetta.” The winery also partners with the Marblehead Galley restaurant and nearby Bruno’s Pizza, which will both deliver tableside to guests at the winery.

A newly built 1,200 square foot pavilion is now open for guests to enjoy their wine outdoors under a covered area. “Our goal is to not only accommodate more guests, but to hold a number of special events here like wedding receptions, bridal showers and graduation parties,” said Redfern.

The garden at the winery is a lovely setting to relax and enjoy a glass of wine.

For those wishing to extend their stay in Marblehead, the Red Fern Inn, located on the second floor of the schoolhouse, is a perfect setting for a romantic retreat or for a trip to the lake with the family. The inn features two, 1 bedroom suites and two, 2 bedroom suites.

In addition to cozy accommodations, guests have access to bicycles, a private lounge on the grounds of the winery and several fire pits where they can enjoy a view of the lake.

The Pink Perch boutique offers whimsical and fun gift items.

Before heading home, don’t miss The Pink Perch located right across the street from the winery. The gift boutique is the Redfern’s newest venture. “We wanted to offer a unique gift shop where one can enjoy whimsical gifts and fun items. It’s geared toward the traveling public with a more critical eye.”

The historic Marblehead Lighthouse is 1/2 mile away from the winery.

The winery is open seven days a week through Halloween and features live music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Plenty of parking is available and bus tours are welcome.


Rock Matters JUNE 2017

Truckin’ to Woodstock … 48 years too late
–by Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander; his dog Chico; and Jeryl Abramson, the owner of Yasgur’s Farm, are at the site of the Woodstock Festival in Bethel, N.Y.

On August 14, 1969, the call went out to Jim and Ed. “We’re leaving in 45 minutes.” I picked them up in my 1969 Volkswagen Squareback, and “The Dharma Bums” were on the road to Yasgur’s Farm in Bethel, N.Y. But somewhere in N.J., I turned the VW around. Warnings on the radio convinced us that the police had closed the roads leading to the Woodstock Festival. Missing the most famous rock concert in world history became a lifelong regret.

Forty-eight years later, I knew what I had to do … road trip to Woodstock. So, Stephanie and I and our loyal companion, Chico, our 100-pound black Lab, packed up the RV and headed east.

Would we find empty, mud-covered fields where the stage stood that once held Joplin, Hendrix, Cocker and Havens? Would we find Big Pink, the home where Dylan and The Band recorded The Basement Tapes? Would we be able to visit Levon Helm’s garage? Or would we find that Woodstock is just a sleepy rural town that once hosted a hippie dream of peace, love and understanding that with time, “didn’t burn out but just faded away?”

Woodstock Legends, a vintage clothing store in Woodstock, N.Y.

After a decade, rock ‘n’ roll had come of age, from Elvis to the Beatles with rockabilly, doo-wop, dance, soul, girl groups and Motown along on the journey. But the 60s were a dark period of American history with the struggle for civil rights, political assassinations and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. The music expressed the anxiety, paranoia and dissent of the young boomer generation. Rebellion against authority and distrust of anyone over 30, led to freedom marches, peace rallies and dropping out. The Age of Aquarius had begun! The time was ripe for a celebration of love, peace and freedom.

What started as a fundraising concert to develop a rock music studio in Woodstock became a 500,000-participant event that featured sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. From England came The Who, from San Francisco came the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane flew in, and The Band, well, they were in the neighborhood. In all, 32 different acts performed including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez, Country Joe and the Fish, Johnny Winter, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

After three days and 722 miles, we pulled into Yasgur’s Farm (the site of the Woodstock Festival, 43 miles from Woodstock). Today, there is just a beautiful alfalfa field, a barn and two farmhouses, but the owner, Jeryl Abramson, invited us to come back for the reunion concert on August 11. Maybe we’ll return in 2019 for the 50-year celebration.

Robert Alexander finds Big Pink, the home where Dylan and The Band recorded The Basement Tapes.

On to Woodstock, an idyllic small town featuring art galleries, cafes and shops that attract tourists and rock and folk music fans from around the world. In Saugerties, the neighboring town, we traveled up Overlook Mountain on a dirt road and there it was… Big Pink! My rock ‘n’ roll Pilgrimage was complete.
The Playlist   

  • “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield
  • “Freedom,” Richie Havens*
  • “Reason to Believe,” Tim Hardin*
  • “Evil Ways,” Santana*
  • “Going Up the Country,” Canned Heat*
  • “Truckin’(What a long, strange trip it’s been)” Grateful Dead
  • “Bad Moon Rising,” Creedence Clearwater Revival*
  • “Stand!” Sly and the Family Stone*
  • “Piece of My Heart,” Janis Joplin*
  • “My Generation,” The Who*
  • “Somebody to Love,” Jefferson Airplane*
  • “With a Little Help from My Friends,” Joe Cocker*
  • “The Weight,” The Band*
  • “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” Crosby, Stills & Nash*
  • “Born Under a Bad Sign,” The Paul Butterfield Blues Band*
  • “Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix*
  • “Woodstock,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (written by Joni Mitchell)

*songs performed at Woodstock

Get Grilling!

Fire up the barbecue for Father’s Day
–by Jennifer Ruple

In honor of Father’s Day, treat your dad or that special man in your life to an al fresco dinner that’s fit for a king. Liz Donaldson, assistant chef at Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee, created the recipes for this three-course meal that will keep you out of the kitchen and cooking in the great outdoors.  

Red, White and Blue Salad
1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
Salt and ground black pepper
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
Balsamic glaze

Brush the romaine thoroughly with olive oil. Oil the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Over medium heat, grill the romaine and the tomatoes until tender, turning frequently.
Remove from the grill and slice the romaine down the middle. Garnish with blue cheese, tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Vegetables
12-ounce flat iron steak
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Minced garlic
Baby potatoes and carrots
Balsamic glaze or Avocado Vinaigrette
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

In a shallow pan, marinate the steak in oil, salt, pepper and garlic, overnight or at least 2 hours.
Give the vegetables a quick boil just to take the stiffness off. Coat the vegetables in olive oil.
Heat the grill to 375-400 degrees. Grill the steak for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.
Remove the steak to a cutting board, cover with a towel and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, place the vegetables on the grill. Close the lid and grill for about 8-10 minutes, turning frequently.
Slice the steak thinly and arrange with the vegetables. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or Avocado Vinaigrette. Sprinkle with parsley.

Avocado Vinaigrette
2 avocados
1 tomatillo
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, squeezed
½ bunch fresh cilantro
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Grilled Rhubarb Crisp
5 stalks rhubarb, peeled and cut in ½ inch pieces
½ cup white sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened, plus more for the pan
Vanilla ice cream for serving

In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with the white sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
To prepare the crumble, in a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Cut in half of the butter.
Rub the bottom of a metal cake pan with soft butter. Add the rhubarb. Top with the crumble.
Place on the grill at medium heat. Grill for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with ice cream.


Flea and tick season has begun-how to protect you and your furry friends

by Mary Helen Darah

4801 N. Holland-Sylvania Rd.
Sylvania, OH 43560

Black-legged tick.
—Photo courtesy of the CDC

Dr. Bob Esplin of SylvaniaVET, located at 4801 N. Holland-Sylvania Rd., believes that 2017 has the potential of being a challenging flea and tick season. “We saw ticks during the winter on animals that did not have a tick infestation in their house,” said Dr. Esplin. “This correlates with recent literature stating that ticks are adapting to the changing environment more effectively than people. For example, we have diagnosed a Gulf Coast Tick infestation, named for its habitat, here in northwest Ohio.”

Dr. Esplin believes ticks are a more pressing concern than fleas. “Everyone freaks out about fleas,” stated Dr. Esplin. “They bite and get on people, but we do not have many diseases transmitted by fleas. Tick transmitted diseases, on the other hand, can become a public health issue for pets and humans.” There are two strains of parasites associated with ticks, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Tick season begins in the spring and flea season is at its peak in summer and fall. “These seasons appear to be merging and becoming longer,” explained Dr. Esplin. “You are not going to get fleas in January because it is too cold, but you could get a tough tick year-round.”

The life cycle of the flea plays a critical factor in treatment. Esplin said, “Your pet may pick up fleas from your yard that have been contaminated by stray cats and wild animals while visiting other animals at the dog park or walking around the neighborhood.” Places where your pet lays down inside or out are prone to flea infestations. “It is vital we treat the animal before the pupa stage of the flea cycle,” stated Dr. Esplin. “The pupa is resistant to anything we throw at it.”

There are five types of common ticks in Northwest Ohio. Ticks attach to animals while walking in the tall weeds or grass, but animals are susceptible just by being outdoors.” Ticks attach themselves to the animal, get situated, and begin to ingest blood in four hours leading to the injection of bacteria-laden anti-salviants into the dog. A flea and tick comb is a really good diagnostic tool to see if your pet is infected.”

“There are old theories of how to remove a tick, such as touching it with a match. This could injure the animal and is not a good idea,” explained Dr. Esplin. “It is also not wise to hold a tick with your bare hands. Use a baggy and gently squeeze and pull the tick off, being careful not to twist and yank. Slow and steady is key. If it bleeds, you know you’ve gotten it all.”

Published articles suggest that if a dog is diagnosed with tick transmitted diseases, pet owners should see their physician. Thankfully, there are diagnostic and preventive measures available.” We do our annual blood testing, 4DX plus, that includes tests for five tick-transmitted diseases. We do not have to wait for an animal to exhibit symptoms,” stated Esplin. “There are great medications available. We recommend Simparica, given year-round for dogs. It is an oral medication, not topical. There are no issues with it being washed off or having an animal being handled by young children. The oral chew is really terrific. It has a kill time of less than four hours. It is a full 30 days of protection. It is safe, nontoxic and does not have any cumulative effects.”

For cats, we recommend a topical product. We recommend dosing the cat at night so the medication dries while your children are sleeping.”

Dr. Esplin believes it is important to keep your pet safe by taking preventive measures this flea and tick season. “I came across a quote I really liked that explains veterinary medicine and the relationship between pets and people,” he said. “Pets are not our whole life, but they make our life whole.”


In Honor of Stroke Awareness Month Malcolm Richards Urges Survivors to Never Give Up





by Mary Helen Darah

Peggy and Malcolm Richards

Malcolm Richards, founder of Supplemental Staffing, went for a stress test in 2007 that led to having a cardiac catheterization and other diagnostic tests. “I was told they wanted to admit me to the hospital after discovering I had 95% blockage in two arteries,” recalled Richards. “I remember telling them I could come back on Tuesday and they said I may not make it until then. I ended up having a triple bypass. In 2009, two years after surgery, I was at the YMCA and told my doctor friend who was with me, that I was not feeling well. I passed out and my heart stopped beating. Thankfully, they revived me but the years ahead would be interrupted with hospital stays due to failed bypasses.”

In 2013, Richards faced a new challenge—a stroke. “I remember being at work when the stroke happened,” he stated. “We were collaborating to buy a business through a conference call. Our conversation ended yet one person remained on the line. She asked if I was OK and told me she thought I could be having a stroke. I remember thinking ‘what a terrible thing to say.’ I then did what many stroke victims do. I got in my car and drove home. Once home, I began vomiting violently. The last time I went to get up to go to the bathroom, I fell flat on my face. I couldn’t feel anything. By the time my wife came to me, I was paralyzed on one side. I was so focused on getting up. I broke the toilet in my efforts to get upright. After that, I remember waking up in the hospital and seeing my grandchildren. The little girls jumped up in bed with me. I recall them telling their mother that, ‘Everyone knows you get better with hugs and kisses.'” I was so cold. I couldn’t communicate but remember their warmth.”

A hemorrhagic stroke occurred above Richard’s right ear where the brain controls emotions. He required surgery to eliminate the pressure and leakage in the brain. “I had 92 staples in my head,” recalled Richards. “I had to learn to feel emotion, I couldn’t smile due to the paralysis and had to learn math again. Thankfully, my grandchildren helped me with my math skills. They even made me flashcards.” In addition to neuropathy, fatigue and migraines, Richards also had to learn how to walk. Having no feeling below the knees has made the process extremely challenging. “I can’t tell when my feet hit the floor,” he stated. “I found marching is the best and safest choice.”

The stroke survivor equates his success in recovering to his faith, wife and family. “I have been married to Peggy (Richards) for 49 years,” he stated. “Four friends of mine were getting married. At one of the functions, I spoke with Peggy and she jokingly told me that she thought she would be an old maid and asked if I would marry her. I said ‘yes’ and after our fourth date, we were! She is my rock.” His son-in-law has also gotten him back on the bike—literally. “One month before I had the stroke, my son-in-law bought me a trike since I was having difficulty getting on and off my motorcycle. When I got on the first time after my stroke, I was so happy I wanted to scream but nothing came out but a ‘whoopee!’”

Richards has some words of wisdom for others who have suffered a stroke. “It’s a process,” he said. “Remember, no two strokes are alike. I have friends who are 18 years out and still recovering. Be around other people. Go to support groups. I was a workaholic. I would cancel trips at the last minute. Today I don’t miss a trip. I appreciate life and especially the family and friends who cheered me on. Above all, never, ever give up. I vividly remember my grandchild asking the doctor if he helped save my life. She said, ‘God loves my grandpa. He was going to take him but he has more work for him.’ I truly believe I do.”

NDA announces new principal

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Notre Dame Academy
3535 W. Sylvania Avenue Toledo, Ohio 43623
Phone: 419.475.9359
Fax: 419.724.2640

Sarah Cullum

Notre Dame Academy announced that Sarah Cullum is its new principal, effective July 1. Cullum brings fifteen years of experience with Toledo Area Catholic Schools to Notre Dame, most recently serving for six years as principal of Rosary Cathedral Catholic School. Under her leadership, Rosary Cathedral Catholic School improved its infrastructure, integrated technology into every classroom and built strong community connections.

“Sarah has a proven record of innovation and commitment to Catholic education that will ensure NDA continues to carry out the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame and provides the highest level of academics,” said Kim Grilliot, President of Notre Dame Academy.

“I feel called to lead students forward with Gospel values,” said Cullum. “I look forward to continuing the important work of the Sisters of Notre Dame and impacting these young women on an even higher level. NDA’s strong sense of community has led to its successes, so building meaningful and positive connections with NDA students, families, faculty, staff and alumnae will be a top priority for me.”

Cullum has principal and teaching licenses. She holds a Master’s of Educational Leadership and Supervision from the University of Notre Dame as well as a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toledo. She, her husband and son are members of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral parish.


Christ Child Society volunteers offer HUGS for infant caregivers

–by Mary Helen Darah


Janet Kimble

Janet Kimble has plenty of “hugs” to give to infant caregivers. Kimble, a member of the Christ Child Society and retired pediatric nurse, is one of the certified instructors for the organization’s new program called HUGS (Help, Understanding and Guidance). The program is a supportive, educational class for infant caregivers that covers everything from feeding to recognizing common infant behaviors. Kimble, who worked in a pediatric neonatal unit believes she found a way to utilize her assets through the Christ Child Society. “Most of my career–90% of it—has been with pediatrics. I came in as a new member of the Christ Child Society and heard Katie Hughes speak about the HUGS program,” recalled Kimble. “It seemed like a perfect fit for me.”

The new program was initiated locally by Katie Hughes, a doctoral student at the University of Toledo, as part of her doctoral program. “Katie (Hughes) was looking for someone to sponsor her doctoral thesis,” explained Kimble. “She reached out to the Christ Child Society and it was a fit. Basically, our mission is to serve the underprivileged population and children in need with the love of Christ.”

Being a Baby
Hughes and Kimble are the only people in the area that are currently certified to present the HUGS program. “We will need to certify one more,” stated Kimble. “Katie’s original thought was that we would have presentations three times a year. So far this month, I have made three presentations. We developed an outreach letter to send out to folks to see if there was any interest and received many replies. The program has grown very rapidly. We are very pleased. Usually with a new program, it takes time to grow. It has quickly become well received and desired.

The program lasts roughly two hours and covers a variety of issues and is geared for prenatal and postnatal mothers and/or infant caregivers. “We encourage moms to bring their family members,” said Kimble. “Everyone involved in a child’s life will benefit from learning how to decipher what babies are telling us when they cry, how to prepare formula, shaken baby syndrome, crib safety and tips on successful breastfeeding. The program is fairly scripted but it is not verbatim. We have liberties to add information while keeping up with the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is a two-hour presentation but keeping it within those parameters can be difficult to do. We encourage new moms to bring their babies so we can show them how to calm babies down. Moms have many questions about feeding and sleeping. We have known for a while that babies need to sleep on their back. One of their new guidelines is to put a baby to sleep with a pacifier for naps and bedtime to reduce the incidents of SIDS. Also, experts are now recommending that a child sleep in the room with their parents for a year—not in the same bed but in the same room. For the clients we service, this usually is not an issue because they only have one room. Another new thought is to utilize ‘bed boxes’ which are boxes that you put in the bed with you that the baby that are used as a bed. They vary in size. Most of what I read about them is that babies can be in them for 5-6 months. Many doctors are expressing varied opinions on them. I take a survey when I begin the program, and nine out of 10 times, the parents are using pack and plays as cribs. We give layettes to moms in the program.”

Reaching out
The Christ Child Society continues to look for organizations to partner with. “We continue to extend our scope and reach,” stated Kimble. “With the current heroin epidemic, we have been working with many grandparents, through the Area Office on Aging, that are raising their babies and young children due to this crisis.”

Hughes and Kimble have received positive feedback from the agencies that have utilized the HUGS program. “Their clients have walked away with a better understand of how to look at things a bit differently. The program opens the box for dialogue and that really helps,” stated Kimble.“Our goal is to reach as many people as we can.”

For more information please see