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Out & About in Cleveland

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Feed the Need at TownHall for St. Augustines Hunger Center; Judge Steven E. Gall Fundraiser

On Tuesday, November 24th, we really wanted to take part in the 3rd Annual "Feed the Need" which is held yearly at the TownHall restaurant on West 25th Street in Cleveland. We called last week and were told that no more volunteers were needed because more than enough were booked as it was. Obviously, this annual event in which 3,000 to 4,000 needy people are fed a Thanksgiving meal from 10am to 6pm has acquired a stellar reputation. But we volunteered last year and really felt good after a hard day's work, so we decided to drive over to the TownHall first thing and see what we could do. Mr. Ryan Hartzwell, the General Manager of TownHall, was impressed by our determination, but told us that so many helpers were expected that he doubted that there would be anything for us to do there. Nevertheless, he said that we were welcome to wait and see, but said, compassionately, that he would hate to see us waste our time by not having anything to do.

Before too long, we found a job to do that involved taking pumpkin pies out of their boxes, unwrapping them, cutting each of them into 8 slices and placing the slices on a plastic plate that went onto a big tray. As more pie was needed throughout the day, we moved each of our big trays to the front counter so that the servers could distribute the slices. Thus we worked on the pie project with Ms. Jackie Schade, the Café Manager, until we left around 2:30pm.

During the day there were a lot of celebrity servers like Ms. Kristy Capel and Mr. Kenny Crumpton of Fox 8 News and quite a few sports stars who generously shook hands and posed for photos; this meant a lot to a lot of people.

When we got home, we scanned the internet for news about the successful event and were directed to the website that enables people to donate to St. Augustine Hunger Center that took part in "Feed the Need" and by itself feeds the need 365 days a year. Here it read that "we are passionate in our feeling that not one person should go hungry, and we are determined to do our part in ensuring that anyone and everyone in the Greater Cleveland Area can enjoy a proper meal, in a loving environment this holiday."

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Our next event took place several hours later at Massimo's on West 25th Street not too far from TownHall.  It goes without saying that after a day of cutting pies, we needed to clean up before we went there, so we ran home and changed our clothes, and then headed off to a fundraiser for Common Pleas Court Judge Steven E. Gall who warmly greeted us as did his bailiff, Mr. Ronald Brown who humorously described his role as "gatekeeper"; whoever wants business with the judge has to go through him first.

Judge Gall's wife, Ms. Debra A. Gall who works for McDonald Hopkins, LLC. told us that she is a good friend of Ms. Margaret W. Wong and her family and has helped Ms. Wong with personal legal matters before. Another person who knew Ms. Wong was Mr. Patrick D. Quinn, a fellow attorney, who remembered that Ms. Wong's son and his son went to the same high school and that Ms. Wong had thrown a beautiful party for the young people when they graduated.

Mr. Tom Regis, an old friend of Judge Gall, said that he was not an attorney himself but knew of Ms. Wong and from what he had heard she was a "good attorney."

Other good attorneys that we met included Mr. Ed Mullin who was troubled by the anti-immigrant/refugee rhetoric that he has been hearing lately. We talked to Ohio State Rep. Nicholas J. Celebrezze about this matter and he thankfully told us that he disagreed with Governor Kasich about not wanting to have any new Syrian refugees settle in Ohio.

Along these lines, Ms. Donna Thomas, staff attorney for Judge Gall, said that in order to raise their awareness more people ought to visit the Heritage Discovery Center in Johnstown, PA because visitors are given the opportunity to state their heritage and then be given facts about the what their ancestors had to go through and the prejudices that they encountered when they first immigrated to the United States.

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