What a great Waynedale Memorial Day Parade we had again this year! While the weather looked questionable early in the morning, by parade time the sun was peeking out and the weather was fine.
I had the opportunity along the parade route to shake hands with many veterans and thank them for their service to our country. I am awed by the sacrifices they have made for all of us and consider it a privilege to be able to meet and thank them.
My friends Bernie and Cyndi Westhoff brought three of their beloved champion Irish Wolfhounds to walk in the parade with the Wayne Township staff. Irish Wolfhounds are the world’s tallest dogs, and I hope all of you along the parade route enjoyed seeing these very large and well-behaved dogs.
Our next parade will be Three Rivers Festival, the first time as far as we know that Wayne Township will be in the Three Rivers Festival Parade. I will be looking forward to seeing many of you at that parade too.
One of the joys I have as Wayne Township Trustee is the opportunity to meet or become re-acquainted with many wonderful people, people who are making and have made a difference in our community. One of these individuals was in our office recently helping out at the Associated Churches Food Bank here.
This great lady’s name is Ruth Russell. Ms. Russell is 90 years old and was the first volunteer at the Food Bank in the Wayne Township office many years ago. Ms. Russell worked with Ellen Graham, now Director of Outreach for the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, to set up the food bank at Wayne Township.
The purpose of establishing the food bank at the Wayne Township office, Ms. Russell said, was to give clients a temporary food supply while they were awaiting receiving food stamps or other types of assistance. Ms. Russell remembered that the food bank was a joint project of Associated Churches, then Wayne Township Trustee Thomas Essex and then Director of the Department of Public Welfare Joan Uebelhoer.
The food bank at Wayne Township still serves much the same purpose as it did when it began. It helps those in need with a few days worth of food to get them by until they can get to a larger food bank or receive other assistance.
Ms. Russell is something of a legend in the volunteer community. She has won numerous volunteer awards dating back to the 1980s.
While Ms. Russell can’t get out very much now due to some physical problems, she has not quit volunteering. She continues to do what she can to help people from her home and gets out occasionally, like her recent visit to Wayne Township when I had the pleasure of seeing her.
Fathers’ Day will be here shortly. We fathers and grandfathers enjoy the attention we receive on our special day. I hope all of you have a great Fathers’ Day.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
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