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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Safe in the Shade Walk/Run to benefit cancer patients
To mark the beginning of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, “Safe in the Shade,” the Second Annual Walk/5KRun for Melanoma, will be held May 1 at 9 a.m. at shelter #3 at Maumee Bay State Park, 1750 Park Rd., Oregon.

Event organizers Cindy Pickett, of Elmore, and Eleanor Riffle, of Millbury, are dedicating the event in honor of Pickett’s son, Micah, a 2000 graduate of Lake High School, who was diagnosed with melanoma in 2005.

“Though Micah is doing well, we wanted to increase awareness about melanoma and to raise funds for the Victory Center,” said Riffle, who is Micah’s mother-in-law.

The registration fee is $20 in advance (www.thevictorycenter.org) and $25 the day of the event (8 to 8:30 a.m.). Ronald McDonald will be on hand to get the event started. There will also be raffles and other special activities.

All proceeds raised will go to The Victory Center, which supports and educates cancer patients and their families.

Organizers offer these tips for protecting yourself from skin cancer:

• Limit direct sun exposure during midday (10 a.m. and 4 p.m.);

• Cover up – dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors;

• Use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher;

• Wear a hat and sunglasses;

• Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.

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April opens the door to the garden season ahead

April, named for Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love, is here and it will not be long until Northwest Ohio’s full garden season will be in bloom.

April’s flower is the sweet pea, which, in the language of flowers, means “good-bye” or “departure,” and this month does say good-bye to winter weather and hello to the warmer months ahead.

Yes, the sweet pea seems a good choice for this intermediary month.

With the warm days we have enjoyed this month, many gardeners have had the chance to get out to clean and prepare their beds and gardens for May. Right now, with very little growth in the garden, it is easier to see what needs to be removed, pruned and cleaned out. Dried plants and foliage from last year can be trimmed and dead plant material should be dug out and discarded. Avoid actually working your garden soil until it is thoroughly thawed and dried out enough to form a ball that will hold its shape when squeezed in your hand, but which will break up easily when pressed with your finger.

As soon as the soil can be worked, you can divide late-blooming perennials such as daylilies, asters and sedum. These will have time through the summer months to put on new growth and get established in their new locations.

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A new “twist” in the law may save your Mom some cash

Mom has always been there to nurture and take care of you. Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give back and look out for her. If she’s having a hard time paying for her prescription drugs, tell her about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and the extra help available through Social Security.  If your mother or any special woman in your life is covered by Medicare and has limited income and resources, she may be eligible for extra help to pay her monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. The extra help is worth an average of $3,900 per year.

Perhaps you’ve looked into the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for Mom before, and discovered that she did not qualify due to her income or resources. In 2010, the law has changed. As Chubby Checker will tell you, a new “twist” in the law makes it easier than ever to qualify for the extra help. It’s easy to figure out whether Mom is eligible for the extra help. To qualify, she must be receiving Medicare and:

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minimum wage

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800636328 [{"id":"5","title":"Yes","votes":"23","pct":50,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"6","title":"No","votes":"22","pct":47.83,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"7","title":"No Opinion","votes":"1","pct":2.17,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /communitypolls/vote/1-root.html?Itemid=182&id=3 No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...