RICHARD A. STEVENSONCongratulations to The Waynedale News’ own, Alex Cornwell, who is being honored by the University of St. Francis with the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. Since Alex became co-owner of The Waynedale News in 2009, he has been a tireless advocate for our Waynedale area. We at Wayne Township consider Alex a friend and appreciate that he promotes Waynedale in such a positive way in both his newspaper and website.

Our office first became acquainted with Alex prior to his purchase of The Waynedale News. At that time, he was serving on the Board of the Brenda Hanchar Foundation, a non-profit agency which helped persons who did not have the funds to obtain necessary medical equipment. We were impressed then with Alex’s volunteer work for the less fortunate.

Alex serves on the Waynedale Community Improvement Team too. This Team, chaired by Ed McClure, already has made a difference in our community by sponsoring several events and is planning more events in the future. Our office plans to coordinate with the Community Improvement Team for a big Christmas event on December 15. Watch this column for more details as the event get closer.

We also must congratulate a young Waynedale resident. She is Brianna Hargis, a second grader at Maplewood Elementary School. At the Waynedale Picnic, we had a jar filled with M&M’s, and the person who guessed the number of M&M’s in the jar would win it. Brianna guessed the exact number of M&M’s, 134, and even wrote down the number for us. We thought this was very impressive for someone so young.

At our Board meetings, I often update the Board members and others attending the meetings about the number of requests for assistance we have handled during the past month. Our numbers really shot up during August when we addressed over 1,400 assistance requests. This is almost 300 more requests than we handled in July.

Our assistance clients, who are able, are required to perform work hours at non-profit or government agencies as a way to give back to the community for the Township Assistance they received. In August, our Wayne Township clients performed 3,200 hours of work for local agencies. Agencies are very appreciative of the help they receive at no cost from our clients. Some of our clients performed their work hours by helping out with the Waynedale Picnic.

The average number of persons seeking services every day at our office in August was 129. As you can understand, trying to help this number of people in one day is quite an undertaking for me and my staff. We work very hard to be efficient, yet still give personal attention to each client and treat all clients with respect.

A number we are particularly proud of this month is the number of jobs our clients have obtained. Twenty-one of our clients found jobs in August. For the year, 122 of our clients have gotten jobs and moved from assistance to independence. We are so proud of them and of our staff in the Employment Training Center for helping our clients get back to work. We now are working with 336 clients enrolled in our Employment Training Center to help them become employed too.

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of a strong advocate for the poor in our community, Joan Uebelhoer. Ms. Uebelhoer was well-known for her work in the area of women’s issues, but a little less known for her passion for helping children and the poor. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee