The People Who Transform Our Community
We are very excited to announce TRANSFORMATION AWARDS 2022 — a VIRTUAL event that premiers on September 15 at 7:00 PM. Please join us by watching this event that can be viewed from the safety and comfort of your home. We honor those who have made a positive difference in the lives of people in our Greater Cincinnati community. Importantly, we pay tribute to volunteers who have significantly supported the Center’s clients throughout this past decade.
This overview is the beginning of information that we will provide about these remarkable people and organizations as we lead up to the event.
Annie Timmons, President of Friars Club
Timmons has been the executive director of the Club for over 40 years.
Friars Club is a 161-year-old non-profit social service organization dedicated to serving the special needs of Cincinnati’s at-risk children through organized sports, education, nutrition, and fitness. Friars Club was established in Over-the-Rhine in 1860 to help German immigrant parents keep their children safe and busy after school. Friars Club broke ground on its new 3.5-million-dollar facility located next to Roger Bacon High School in October 2013 and opened its doors in September of 2014.
Today, Friars Club continues to provide organized athletics (basketball, baseball, and volleyball), education and leadership programming for over 1000 boys and girls ages 4-17. All programs focus on values of respect, responsibility, leadership, and good sportsmanship. These programs are athletic in nature but academic in purpose, resulting in long-lasting fun memories and friendships, teaching valuable life skills.
La Soupe was founded by Chef Suzy DeYoung.
During her 25 years as a restaurateur and caterer, Suzy began to feel the need to change the trajectory of her clientele. And so, she gained a new sense of purpose by redistributing catering food overages to those in need. Then in 2014, she made a huge leap of faith when she sold her ownership in (her for-profit company) to her sister and officially launched La Soupe. In its early years, La Soupe was a small soupe shack cooking for a few people in need and rescuing 100 pounds of produce a week.
In time, it became evident that La Soupe had outgrown the shack and needed a larger facility if they were to continue to fill the growing gap for the food insecure community. Suzy and the La Soupe Board began an ambitious capital campaign to raise funds. Through the hundreds of dedicated and generous financial supporters, La Soupe in April 2020, was able to move into their new home, a professionally designed 10,000 sq. ft facility in the heart of Walnut Hills. The future of La Soupe is yet to be written, but its mission remains the same: to Rescue – Transform – Share. Each week, La Soupe is rescuing over 20,000 pounds of perishables and sharing approximately 15,000 servings created at La Soupe and another 15,000 through partner restaurants as a part of the Community Kitchen program. These meals are shared with over 100 partner agencies across Cincinnati.
Mary Magdalen House
In 1985, Reverend Dohrman Byers, of Old St. Mary’s Church, and his parishioners began examining ways to help the people living in the neighborhood around the Church. Mrs. Mary Heller and Jim and Joan Gardner led the effort. As they observed the needs of the people in the area, it became clear that a bath house would fill a critical void. After examining many options, they purchased a nearby building, at 1221-1223 Main Street. Remodeling began in late 1985 and on March 25, 1988, Mary Magdalen House opened. They haven’t lacked for guests ever since. In order to accommodate more guests, on November 4, 2017, Mary Magdalen House opened in its new location at St. Anthony Center, located at 1629 Republic Street in Over-the-Rhine!
Mary Magdalen House refreshes and renews its guests in body and spirit from the hardships of living on the streets. Their goal is to maintain and help restore human dignity. Each of their guests leaves feeling better, knowing that “it is truly good for me to have been here.” Mary Magdalen House provides over 17,000 showers to guests annually. This includes thousands upon thousands of loads of laundry, many thousands of bars of soap, and enough underwear to fill the bed of an F-150! Their donors, staff, and volunteers work hard to ensure that every guest in need of a shower and clean clothes can receive exactly what they need.
Diana Klinedinst and Martha Schueler (Volunteers of the Decade)
These two women have been the Center for Respite Care’s top volunteers and extensively provided their time, treasure, and talent to the Transformation Awards since they founded the event in the Center’s behalf. They are our beacons and have ensured that we are financially viable – all while introducing many community leaders to the Center.
To understand the success of the awards and this level of community commitment, one must understand the tenacity of both Martha and Diana. Together, they quietly have ensured a solid revenue stream and put the work of the organization on the map, all on behalf of the Center’s clients. We are excited to relay much more about these dedicated volunteers in the time ahead.
Thank you to all who make our community the vibrant place that we call home.