Earlier this month Bennie Lewis announced his retirement from the Wayne Township Trustee Office. Lewis was one of the people here who helped make the annual Holiday Celebrations successful as he had previously worked with the Fort Wayne McMillen Center where the party has been held for the last three years. He helped us with fundraising and organizing both the Holiday Celebration and the two scholarships we award annually, the Recognizing Achievement Scholarship and the Academic Encouragement Award.
During his time with our office Bennie was in charge of our Employment Training Center, where he ran the weekly Orientation classes to help clients successfully enter or re-enter the workforce. He also went out into the community recruiting potential employers who might have open positions and would be looking for qualified job candidates. This is a department I’m particularly proud to have here at Wayne Township, as it forms a core part of our mission to help our clients move from assistance to independence.
Bennie will remain active in his retirement, especially with coaching youth basketball and with his travels Down Under. He plans to return to Australia next month where he will be inducted into their Basketball Hall of Fame. He played there professionally from 1981 to 1990, and his son is currently there, as a professional player with the Frankston Blues in Melbourne. Bennie’s father was a legendary basketball coach in East St. Louis, Illinois, and several of his players went on to become important players and coaches in their own rights.
Speaking of the Holiday Celebration, we will be holding our next event at the same time, same place, from 1 to 5pm on December 15th at the McMillen Park Community Center. We have been planning and fundraising for several months now, and I’d like to invite you to consider making a tax-exempt donation to this event—new toys or other educational items for young people. Cash donations are welcome as well. This is event has become the highlight of the holiday season for so many of our community children. We also welcome volunteer to help with games and other light duties. Put it on your calendar to come out and join us and see what all the talk is about.
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