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Fundraising Sunday and Meeting with The Danish Sisterhood

On Sunday, January 31st, we attended three events, two of which were fundraisers for excellent political candidates; one in Cuyahoga County and the other in Lake County. We started off the day by going to a Sunday brunch fundraiser for our friend Mr. Michael O'Shea, candidate for Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court Judge, that was held in the Metroparks at theIMG_7530 Emerald Necklace Marina in Lakewood.

The person who checked us in at the door was Ms. Jan Galvin who knew Ms. Margaret W. Wong through their mutual efforts on behalf of Services for Independent Living. Ms. Galvin told us that she loves receiving Ms. Wong's holiday card each year.

Among the other people that we saw and talked to while we were there were Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone and former Councilman Michael Dolan. We hadn't seen Mr. Todd LeVeck, former democratic candidate for Ohio House District 16, in a long time so it was particularly good to chat with him again.

On this day we got to meet Mr. O'Shea's charming wife, Gina, and his lovely daughter, Helen.IMG_7557

Mrs. Gina O'Shea told us that she loves going to Pearl of the Orient in Rocky River and has spent a lot of time there over the years. Her daughter, Ms. Helen O'Shea told us that when she was a child she just loved the teriyaki chicken and remembered that our Mr. George Hwang always used to serve her coke in big soup containers.

The second fundraiser that we attended was one for Mr. Kevin Malecek, Lake County Commissioner, who titled it "Commissioner Kevin Malecek's Bowling and Bratwurst Winter Bash" held at the Game of Mentor on Palisades Drive on Sunday night. It was the third day in a row that we have encountered Commissioner Malecek since he was at the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Award Banquet on Friday and at the Harvey High School Athletic Boosters Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction on Saturday.

The Game of Mentor was packed with supporters and even though we couldn't eat the Bratwurst we did enjoy some potato skins and macaroni and cheese balls and tossed several bowling balls down the lanes even though we are admittedly lousy bowlers. IMG_7559We visited with our friend, Ohio State Senator Kenny Yuko, as well as Mr. Tom Jubeck from Pipefitters Local 120, and Ms. Beverly Getzy, Vice President of the Lake County Democratic Women's Club. Ms. Getzy was wearing a "Hillary Clinton" button and would have gladly given us one but, unfortunately, didn't have any more with her.

We were amazed by the number of people there who had known Commissioner Malecek since he was a child or had known his family even before he was born.

The commissioner spoke for a couple of minutes and what interested us the most was what he said about  helping Lake Erie's coastal areas realize their potential. We later asked him about this and he said that there was some avenues that he would like to explore for economic development in Fairport Harbor and there were pending capital improvements that could be of great benefit to the harbor in Fairport Harbor and the harbor in Mentor. IMG_7552 We attended Commissioner Malecek's swearing-in last January and have gone to several fundraising events for him over the past year and we plan to keep going back because we believe him to be a good and honest person who brings these qualities to his job.

The other event that we attended on Sunday was a meeting of the Danish Sisterhood which was sandwiched between the two fundraisers and took place in the afternoon at the Parma-Snow Library on Snow Road in Parma.

We said hello to several people like Ms.Minna Mortensen that we usually see at their annual Christmas celebration but, unfortunately, we were unable to attend last December.

The reason that we wanted to attend this program was that a young AFS exchange student from Greenland, Ms. Nadia Jensen would be speaking about her country and her own experience here in the IMG_7554United States.

Before the program started, we spoke for a moment with Ms. Arleen Janmey who told us a funny story about how her granddaughter, at age 13, didn't know about the famed Danish storyteller, Hans Christian Anderson so Ms. Janmey told her about him. Afterwards, her granddaughter defended herself by saying that at least she knew about sugar and butter and Soren Kierkegaard (the noted theologian/philosopher) so she wasn't exactly ignorant about her heritage.

Another member, Mr. Gerald Kramer, told us about how he when he was in the U.S. Army he was stationed in Greenland for two months in 1960 as a weather observer. We talked for a minute and learned that his grandfather immigrated to the United States from Norway and that he, himself, is part of a Swedish Choral Group in Cleveland Heights. We gave him our contact information and told him to let us know the next time that they perform.

During the program, Ms. Jensen employed slides to help her tell us about Greenland. Basically, it is the largest island in the world and about 1/5 the size of the United States. Approximately 55,000 people live there (mostly along the coast because the interior of the country is quite icy) and 17,000 live in the capital city of Nuuk where she is from. It has 57 settlements and 17 cities and the main industry is fishing/seafood and it is a large industry.

IMG_7531Ms. Jensen talked about the educational system, the various things that one can do in Greenland, what it is known for nationally (the Arctic Winter Games will be taking place there this year), its culture and its government, its relationship with Denmark,and its two languages which are Dutch and Greenlandic although everyone is required to learn English in school. Ms. Jensen said that sometimes her mother talks to her in Greenlandic and she replies in Dutch.

As for herself, Ms. Jensen is six months into an eleven month exchange program. She is residing at the Strongsville home of Ms. Sheryl Whalen and her husband, Michael, and attends Strongsville HighSchool as a senior although in her own country she has completed her freshman year in college and has two more years before completion.

Eventually Ms. Jensen would like to be accepted into the United World College so she can travel but if this doesn't work out she will apply for admittance into the music conservatory in Denmark because she is an adept flute player.

As for the United States, she has really enjoyed her stay here. Culturally, she has been impressed by our the number and diversity of our businesses and industries. Even though fast food is certainly present in Greenland, she admitted to being taken back by our vast amount of fast food establishments.

Ms. Jensen loves studying American history and is very much looking forward to visiting Philadelphia although an excursion to Disneyworld is on the horizon too.



Written by:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.





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