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20th annual Top o' the Towers Benefit for St. Augustine Health Ministries

On Friday evening, March 3rd, we were attended the 20th annual "Top o' the Towers" benefit for "St. Augustine Health Ministries" which was held at LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility on Detroit Road in Westlake. "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" purchased a full page ad for this event and we represented our firm here as we have often done over the past several years.

As its website states, "St. Augustine Health Care Ministries is a mission-driven, faith-based, not-for-profit organization founded by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, dedicated to providing a continuum of health care and social services within our community. Throughout the Health Ministries, we ensure that the needs of every individual are met with dignity, comfort and love. We have been a leader in serving senior adults and the chronically ill for nearly 50 years, with special attention to the poor and the most vulnerable....Our continuum of care celebrates and empowers each person to live a life of purpose, independence and well-being..."

The services provided includes home health care, assisted living, independent living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, long-term care, hospice, home delivered meals, and early learning child care.

When we arrived, we spoke to Mr. Rick Meserini, the President and CEO, who graciously expressed thanks for our support. He then showed us an illustration of a beautiful tribute garden that is being planned for its Holy Family facility in Parma. Monies raised this evening would be directed towards the realization of this beautiful project as well as the home delivered meals program, and "supportive" beds (i.e. hospital/specially designed beds) for those in need of them.

During the program, we listened to a touching testimony from a woman whose mother was initially diagnosed as having only six months to live but thanks to the care she received at "St. Augustine" she enjoyed physical, mental and spiritually comfort for 18 months and her family will always be grateful. 

At this gathering, there were some great meatless options like egg rolls, mashed potatoes, raviolis, salad and fish that we really appreciated as vegetarians; in fact, we had to restrain ourselves from eating too much and, alas, we didn't do a very good job at it.

We mostly walked around and said hello to people like Ms. Alicia Mazzi who has been conducting the "wine pool" for the past several years. This contest consists of the person paying a fixed amount and then choosing a wrapped-up bottle of wine and not knowing its vintage until the covering is peeled off. The end result is that the contestant may have gotten a wine that would sell for $15 or he/she may have really one worth $75!!!

Of course the centerpiece of the "Top o' the Towers" yearly happening is its powerhouse auction conducted by Mr. Bob Hale, an auctioneer that we often encounter at community get-togethers. One the more interesting items to be auctioned off was a tree composed of lottery tickets that really heightened our curiosity but we chose not to bid on it.

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Instead we had a good time listening to the music of the "Portersharks" and talking to those who are always a safe bet to be found here like Mr. Jim Goggin, Mr. Jimmy Craciun, Mr. Tom and Ms. Anita Scanlon, Mr. Gio DiLalla, Sister Susan Durkin, Dr. Margaret Lynch, Mr. Tom Corrigan, Father Lyimo of St. Augustine, and Mr. Dan and Ms. Kathleen Chambers from the West Side Irish American Club with whom we finalized our attendance at the Claddagh Ball coming up on March 11th.

The topic of immigration did come up in a conversation that we had with Sister Anna Kaszuba who immigrated to the United States from Poland around twenty years ago. Sister Anna was familiar with the work of Ms. Margaret W. Wong and believed that Ms. Wong did a great job advocating on behalf of the foreign-born. We also gave our contact information to a person who knew someone from Latvia who was very concerned about what might happen to her if she left the United States temporarily to visit her family. 

We would like to now close by expressing our thanks to Ms. Dana Carns from the Advancement Department at St. Augustine who is the primary force behind the formation and execution of this wonderfully successful annual event. As Mr. Jim Goggin, who has been involved with St. Augustine for many years now, told us, "the reason we are where we are today is Dana Carns."

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC