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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Residents of Lake Township are being asked to recall their experiences during and after the June 5 tornado for an oral history of the storm and its impact on the Wood County community.

Richard Welling, a township trustee, said he’ll be recording the experiences of residents.

Michael Sibbersen, county auditor and local history buff, suggested the township compile an oral history of the storm and the aftermath while the trustees were attending a reception sponsored by the Black Swamp Humanitarian Awards Committee, he said.

“He said we should start recording the histories of people involved in the tornado,” Welling said.

Sibbersen last week said he thought the project had “great promise.”

A member of the Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, he helped research and write “A History of Lake Township, Wood County, Ohio” to commemorate the township’s sesquicentennial.

Anyone interested in sharing their tornado experiences should call Welling at (419) 838-6536 to arrange an interview.


Humanitarian award
The Black Swamp committee recently recognized all the residents of Lake Township for their response to the tornado.

The award was presented to the township trustees Nov. 12 during a reception/dinner at Nazareth Hall in Grand Rapids.

Melanie Bowen, a trustee, said the award plaque will be presented during a planned June 5, 2011 ceremonial opening of a new township administration building.

The storm destroyed the former building located on Cummings Road.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held last month.

Seven persons were killed in the township as a result of the tornado and Bowen said during the groundbreaking the township will never forget them.

She lauded the efforts of residents during the weeks after the storm to help neighbors in need as well as the assistance offered by other communities to help the township.

“Northwest Ohio wrapped their arms around us and helped us,” she said.

The Black Swamp committee was formed in 1988 to recognize persons in the Wood County area who take extraordinary action to help others.


Victim awarded
The Ohio Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (OHPCO) has recognized Ryan Walters, a victim of the June tornado, posthumously for his outstanding contribution to Hospice of Northwest Ohio and also for significant and repeated achievement in hospice and palliative care at the state level.  For 10 years, Walters served as Information Technology Director at Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

The Heart of Ohio Award is given each year to a person who has made a notable impact by significantly strengthening hospice and/or palliative care programs and the lives of the patients and families served, and who serves as an inspiration to others.

“Ryan’s successful collaboration in developing a computerized program to enter, collect and analyze data to better serve patients of Hospice of Northwest Ohio and across the state made a profound impact on the quality of end-of-life care in Ohio,” said Marcia Bergfeld, director of education at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, who nominated Ryan for the award.

“We are very proud that Ryan Walters was selected to receive the Heart of Ohio Award. We miss him every day – especially his enthusiasm and energy – and owe him a debt of gratitude for the many, many innovative software programs he created,” said Hospice of Northwest Ohio Executive Director Judy Seibenick.

Ryan’s brother, Robert, accepted the award on his behalf at the Nov. 12 ceremony.

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