The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is a global event that truly highlights Akron's Firestone Country Club and in turn the entire Northeast Ohio area. 

While it's obviously about the sport of golf, there is a much more important effect that is felt among northeast Ohio's non-profit organizations. 

During a luncheon at the Bridgestone Akron Technical Center Thursday, a check for more than $1 Million was presented and diviied up between 38 local non-profits, including Akron Children's Hospital, University Hospitals, the LeBron James Family Foundation, the Humane Society of Summit County, and more. 

1Bridgestone Invitational Luncheon 3

Of the donation, Bridgestone Invitational Executive Director Don Padgett III they reason they do it was on display during Thursday's luncheon: "Over a million dollars going back to Northeast Ohio (and) the fantastic causes that we celebrate here today." Padgett says that more than $26 million has been raised for local non-profits since 1984. 

Also, for the 7th straight year, Bridgestone Invitational has named a local recipient of the $5,000 "surprise grant." This year's grant goes to Pregnancy Solutions Services in Akron. 

See the full press release recapping the grant presentation and highlighting the 2017 Bridgestone Invitational that runs August 2nd through August 6th below: 

AKRON, Ohio – The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and Northern Ohio Golf Charities today announced the donation of $1 million in charitable funds to Northeast Ohio organizations in connection with the 2016 tournament. The announcement was made at the annual Bridgestone Invitational, Northern Ohio Golf Charities luncheon held at the Bridgestone Americas Technical Center in Akron.

Representatives from Bridgestone Americas, Inc., the PGA TOUR and Northern Ohio Golf Charities attended the luncheon to celebrate the tournament’s charitable mission and announce the donation recipients. The luncheon was emceed by Chris Tye, news anchor and reporter for WKYC, Channel 3.

Thirty-eight charities throughout the region benefitted from the $1,015,981 total raised including the tournament’s two signature charities, Akron Children’s Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

“The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational is a special event for this community and the region,” said Rick Burke, President, Executive Committee, Northern Ohio Golf Charities. “It is a world class golf event that generates economic development for the area but more importantly, it enables Northern Ohio Golf Charities to distribute in excess of one million dollars each year to support so many worthy and necessary charitable causes. The tournament has provided Northern Golf Charities the unique opportunity to enhance the lives of so many in our community and we are immensely grateful to our partners Bridgestone, the PGA TOUR and Firestone Country Club for providing our organization a platform to achieve our charitable mission.”

Charities recognized at the luncheon included: Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, the LeBron James Family Foundation, The First Tee Chapters of Akron, Canton and Cleveland, Akron Children’s Museum, Akron General Foundation, Embracing Futures, Inc., Summa Foundation and the Humane Society of Summit County. (Please see attached document for a full listing of grant recipients.)

For the seventh year, Bridgestone Americas, Inc., funded an additional $5,000 contribution to a charitable organization. The 2017 Bridgestone Award was presented to Pregnancy Solutions & Services.

“Bridgestone is a global company with global responsibilities, but we understand the importance of supporting and improving the local communities in which we live, work and play,” said Gordon Knapp, CEO & President, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “It’s an honor to partner once again with Northern Ohio Golf Charities on the Bridgestone Award, which this year we’re proud to present to Pregnancy Solutions & Services.”

Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation is part of a volunteer organization that has partnered with professional golf tournaments at Firestone Country Club for more than 50 years. During this time, the tournaments have provided more than $26 million to local charities seeking to improve the quality of life in Northeast Ohio.

“Bridgestone and Northern Ohio Golf Charities are phenomenal partners that enable the Bridgestone Invitational to give back to worthy local causes ,” said Don Padgett, Executive Director of the Bridgestone Invitational. “This event has a meaningful impact on the area all year long and we have our fans, area businesses and volunteers to thank for their support.”

Among the guests at the luncheon were: Gordon Knapp, CEO, Bridgestone Americas Inc.; Don Padgett III, Executive Director, Bridgestone Invitational, and Rick Burke, President, Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation, Inc.

Not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) organizations can receive funds generated in conjunction with the 2017 Bridgestone Invitational by submitting a grant request to Northern Ohio Golf Charities. Further details can be found at www.nogcf.org.

Tickets to the 2017 Bridgestone Invitational can be purchased by visiting www.worldgolfchampionships.com or calling 330-644-2299.

The following non-profits split the more than $1M from the 2016 Bridgestone Invitational: 

1. 91.3 The Summit 2. Akron Children's Foundation 3. Akron Children's Museum 4. Akron General Foundation (Edwin Shaw Golf) 5. Barberton Area Community Ministries 6. Blessings in a Backpack 7. Cleveland Kids Book Bank 8. East Akron Neighborhood Development 9. Embracing Futures, Inc. 10. Emerald Development & Economic Network 11. Family Promise of Greater Cleveland 12. Flashes of Hope 13. Forever Amber Acres Animal Sanctuary 14. Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity 15. Hiram Farm Living Learning Community 16. Humane Society of Summit County 17. Humility of Mary Housing 18. Interval Brotherhood Home 19. LeBron James Family Foundation 20. Lift Up Ministries 21. Pregnancy Solutions & Services, Inc. 22. RABAB Ministries, The Well Akron 23. Regina Health Center 24. Ronald McDonald House of Akron 25. Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland 26. Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs 27. Stewart's Caring Place 28. Summa Foundation 29. Summit Choral Society 30. Summit Metro Parks 31. The First Tee of Akron 32. The First Tee of Canton 33. The First Tee of Cleveland 34. True Freedom, Inc. 35. Truly Reaching You 36. United Disability Services, Inc. 37. UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital 38. Urban Vision

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Less than one week after a 19-month-old Akron boy overdosed on opioids in his home, and then eventually died as a result, Akron Police are investigating another child overdose. 

The latest happened Tuesday night. Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards says officers responded to Akron Children's Hospital where the boy was taken by his mother. He was given NARCAN at the hospital and revived. Last check he was in stable condiiton at the hospital. 

Lt. Edwards says the boy's mother told them she left her son with her 5-year-old and 7-year-old daughters outside for just a moment. When she came back outside, the mother noticed her son was stumbling and acting funny. It was when the boy started going in and out of consciousness that she drove him to Akron Children's ER. 

No charges have been filed in the case, but while the investigation is ongoing, all three children have been placed in the custody of Summit County Children's Services. Lt. Edwards tells 1590 WAKR that this is a safety precaution as the investigation continues. 

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North High School's Academy of Health and Human Services got a big boost from Akron Children's Hospital this week.

The hospital pledged $400,000 to the Akron Public Schools. $250,000 of that will go to the health care academy, while the other $150,000 will come in the form of internships, teacher externships, and other experiential learning opportunities.

Children's Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine joined Jasen to talk about the donation and the business community's thoughts on the career academy model being rolled out at North.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Summit County Health officials say there may have been exposure to TB at a hospital here in Akron. About 50 families are being notified by Akron Children's Hospital for potential exposure at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Summa Akron City Hospital from mid-November through mid-December of last year. The Summit County Health Department says NICU patients at Akron Children's Hospital were not at risk of exposure. Doctors want to reach out to those potentially exposed since tuberculosis can be more serious in children, and treat them with proactive antibiotics.

In a press conference at the Summit County Public Health building Friday morning, Dr. Margo Erme, Medical Director with the county, emphasized that there is no risk of infection to the public. Measures have been and continue to be taken among those who were exposed, but the general public shouldn't be concerned. The county has added a list of Frequently Asked Questions to their website here

- - -

news release updated 10:02 a.m.

(Summit County Health) 

REVISED news release

(Summit County Health Department) Summit County Public Health has confirmed a case of pulmonary tuberculosis in a Summit County resident on Jan. 3, 2017. In the course of the tuberculosis (TB) investigation, Summit County Public Health works with the individual to identify persons who were potentially exposed and would benefit from evaluation and testing.

Before being diagnosed with TB disease, this individual visited the Akron Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit at Summa Akron City Hospital in mid-November through mid-December, 2016. Summit County Public Health shared this information with Summa-Akron City Hospital and Akron Children’s Hospital, which operates the neonatal intensive care unit.

Infants who were in the NICU at the Akron Children’s Hospital campus were not at risk of exposure.

The three organizations have worked collaboratively to identify approximately 50 families of infants who were patients in the unit during this time and may have been exposed to the disease. Akron Children’s has begun notifying these families directly.
“The risk for infection is low, but because TB can be more serious in young children we would like to evaluate these infants and begin them on a protective antibiotic,” said Dr. John Bower, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital. “We have set up a clinic and are providing this care at no cost to our patient families.” 

In the United States TB disease is an uncommon and potentially serious illness that usually involves the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. In rare cases, people with TB disease can spread the disease to others. TB is spread through the air by
close prolonged contact when a person coughs, speaks, laughs, or sings. It is not spread by casual contact or contact with surfaces.

Almost all cases of TB disease are curable with proper treatment and medication. Active cases of TB disease are uncommon, even after exposure. While TB is contagious, it is difficult for the disease to spread from person to person. Therefore, there is minimal risk to the greater public.

“Adult care givers, older children and other individuals who may have visited the unit only during this time period are also encouraged to have a TB test in 6 to 8 weeks to see if they have been infected,” said Dr. Margo Erme, medical director of the Summit  County Health Department. “This would be about 10 to 12 weeks after the last potential exposure which is the time for the body to develop its response to the TB bacteria. If testing is done earlier, the person would still need to return in 6-8 weeks to be retested. Testing can be done by their private physician or at Summit County Public Health by calling the Clinic Appointment Line, 330-375-2772.” 

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The charitable arm of Akron's Goodyear is giving money to help child safety programs.

The Goodyear Foundation is spending a half-million dollars over three years for the "Safe Mobility Project" at Akron Children's Hospital.

Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer says the project will expand programs that keep children safe in cars, on bikes, on foot and as new drivers.

The project will distribute 25-hundred child passenger safety seats and over 27-hunder bike helmets, and will conduct car safety seat and bike helmet safety events in Akron neighborhoods.

(Akron Children's Hospital and Goodyear, news release) Akron Children's Hospital today announced a three-year grant from The Goodyear Foundation to support the "Safe Mobility Project," enabling the hospital and community partner organizations to expand child safety programs focusing on child passenger seats, bike helmets, pedestrian safety and teen drivers.

At an announcement today, Richard J. Kramer, chairman and CEO of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, said the Safe Mobility Project will build on Goodyear's long support of Akron Children's Hospital, engage Goodyear associates in promoting safe mobility, and expand programs that keep children safe in cars, on bikes, on foot and as new drivers.

"The Goodyear Foundation is excited to collaborate with Akron Children's Hospital on the new Safe Mobility Project to increase the hospital's reach with existing childhood injury prevention efforts, such as child passenger safety seat and bike helmet programs and to add a new teen safe driving program," Kramer said. "We're committed to helping promote safe mobility to make our communities stronger, and ultimately help prevent childhood injuries in our community."

The Safe Mobility Project will distribute 2,500 child passenger safety seats and more than 2,700 bike helmets and conduct car safety seat and bike helmet safety events with parents and caregivers in Akron-area neighborhoods where children are at high risk for injury. The teen driving program will be new to Akron Children's safety programs and will become sustainable after the grant's conclusion. The Goodyear Foundation will contribute $500,000 to support the project over the three year period.

"Advocating for kids and keeping them safe and out of the hospital has always been part of Akron Children's mission," said Bill Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children's. "We see many injuries that can be prevented and greatly appreciate The Goodyear Foundation's generous financial support and commitment to keeping the children in our community safe."

The program's effectiveness will be measured on a regular basis, using Summit County statistics on pediatric unintentional injuries.

"We have made great progress in getting safety information to more parents and removing the barriers to getting bike helmets and child passenger safety seats to those families who need them," said Heather Trnka, Akron Children's injury prevention coalition coordinator. "But we know from research that young children still ride in cars without being secured in a car seat or booster seat and as many as 73 percent of child safety seats are not properly installed in cars."

Trnka said the grant will enable Akron Children's to partner with more child care facilities, Head Start programs, and government agencies to reach children in high risk communities.

As an example, last year Akron Children's held a car seat safety event in Akron's North Hill neighborhood, which has a large population of refugees.

"We were able to remove some of the barriers – transportation, language, financial – in bringing the information to the parents and it was well received," Trnka said. "Car seats and bike helmets are proven – and affordable – means to protect children from serious harm. We just need to get them to more families. It's wonderful that this grant from The Goodyear Foundation will help us do just that."

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Dr. Bruce Cohen at Akron Children's Hospital says he doesn't watch much TV.

But tonight, his knowledge plays a role on the TV show "Chicago Med".

Producers of the medical drama needed some information on mitochondrial disease, and Dr. Cohen is a recognized expert on the topic...so, they gave him a call.

Cohen tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol that show producers asked him some "open ended" questions in a 30 minute phone conversation, but he doesn't know anything about the script or how the episode will turn out.

Dr. Cohen says microcondria is crucial in cells that drive the entire human body's functions, and says mitochondrial disease can show up as early as 3 months after a baby is born, to someone in their 60s.

You can see what TV learned from Dr. Cohen tonight at 9 on NBC (WKYC Channel 3 locally).

Published in Jasen Sokol

Akron Children's Hospital's mission isn't just to serve over 800,000 patients a year.

The hospital also needs to train pediatricians and specialists, and part of the recently passed federal budget will help keep that going.

The year-end spending bill includes $295 million for training nationwide. That's $30 million more than last year.

The money amount for the coming year is estimated to be at around $3.5 million to $5.5 million for Akron Children's Hospital.

Children's president and CEO Bill Considine says that the money won't fund all training, but will help make their program "top notch".

"We are always looking for support, so we can turn out the specialists that serve about 90 percent of the country," Considine tells WAKR.net. "Yet, we have not received federal dollars, so that's why this line item is so important to us."

Considine says about 20 years ago, Children's, which doesn't get Medicare money since it treates children, got a small fraction of the training funding those other hospitals received.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 15:52

Marathon Growing -- Including The Name

Get ready for a mouthful; The Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series Marathon, Half-Marathon and Team Relay will become the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series Marathon, Half-Marathon and Team Relay presented by FirstEnergy. And that's a good thing.

It may take a few breaths to get the name out, but it does show the deep level of support and backing one of the premier events showcasing Akron enjoys locally from the Akron business community. Two of the business community's heavyweights reinforced that message as Bill Considine, CEO of Akron Children's Hospital and Chuck Jones, CEO of FirstEnergy, teamed with Akron Mayor Jeff Fusco and Akron Marathon founder Steve Marks to announce the event's new sponsorships.

ACH AMA RaceSeries 13REL26 RGB FirstEnergyAkron Children's Hospital stepped in last month and FirstEnergy signed up as a presenting sponsor, something the Akron-based utility wanted to do before Time Warner first led as presenting sponsor in 2003. Jones said the utility sees the sponsorship as continuation of what it's done giving back to the communities it serves across it's five-state footprint.

"Our headquarters is here, this will always be our home, it's been our home for over a hundred years," Jones said. "Akron's a great community...I'm proud of the growth that it's seen, how it's transformed itself from the rubber capital of the world to a vibrant city."

Considine is a key player among Akron's corporate and community leaders.

"We're pretty excited about it. It unites the community," Considine said. "It's a national event...we're a national hospital, seeing patients from all 50 states at Akron Children's Hospital. An event like the Akron Marathon shows the community cares." Considine called Akron a "champion city" and said the Marathon is an "image builder" for Akron. 

"The Akron Marathon has always been about community, and we're extremely happy one of the largest employers in Summit County has stepped up," said Marathon founder Steve Marks.

The Akron Marathon drew more than 20,000 participants during it's events in 2015 with events including the full marathon, half-marathon, relay and other races.

- - -

(Akron Marathon)FirstEnergy Corp. has signed a three-year agreement with the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series to serve as the presenting sponsor of the Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay held each September. The announcement was made Tuesday at a special event at Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron.

FirstEnergy replaces Time Warner Cable, which had served as presenting sponsor since the Akron Marathon's inception in 2003.

"The Akron Marathon has always been about community and we're extremely happy one of the largest employers in Summit County has stepped up to become presenting sponsor," said Steve Marks, Akron Marathon founder. "At the same time, we'd like to thank Time Warner Cable for being a great partner for the first 13 years of the event."

Headquartered in Akron, FirstEnergy has more than 15,000 employees who serve six million customers across six states.

"We're thrilled to partner with Akron Children's Hospital to increase our sponsorship of the Akron Marathon," said Chuck Jones, president and CEO of FirstEnergy. "This race has become a nationally-respected event, both because it's so well-organized and because of the tremendous ways this community has embraced it. Many of our employees and customers run, volunteer and cheer for this event every year, making this a perfect fit for FirstEnergy."

FirstEnergy has been a major sponsor of the Akron marathon since its inception in 2003.

The inaugural Akron Marathon featured 3,775 participants and has grown to more than 14,000 across the weekend's events. The marquee event generates more than $6 million in economic activity and generates thousands of dollars more in contributions to countless charities.

"FirstEnergy has been a longtime partner of Akron Children's Hospital, and we are delighted that they accepted our invitation to step up to presenting sponsor of the marathon as we become the race's title beneficiary in 2016," said Bill Considine, Akron Children's Hospital president and CEO. "We are grateful to FirstEnergy and all the individuals and organizations who are so civic-minded and make Akron such a great place to live."

Known as the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series in 2015, more than 20,000 runners participated across the three events. The series dates were developed to help guide runners through a typical training schedule leading up to the marquee events. The 2016 events will be held June 25 (8k & 1-Mile), August 13 (Half Marathon & 10k) and Sept. 24 (Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay & Kids Fun Run). Registration is scheduled to open this winter.

Published in Local
Monday, 26 October 2015 13:39

Another Name For Running

The Akron Marathon's official name is getting even longer, with official word coming Tuesday afternoon.

It was a mouthful when the Akron Marathon Race Series became the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, and now you can add another title name sponsor into the mix.

Officials from Akron Children's Hospital, the Akron Marathon and FirstEnergy will be announcing even more support for the event that's grown into a national race. All are tight-lipped ahead of the announcement Tuesday afternoon but FirstEnergy will take title of one of the Akron Marathon signature races.

There is a delicious irony to FirstEnergy's sponsorship; the utility already sponsors the All-American Soap Box Derby by name, meaning it'll be a title sponsor on two Akron-based races -- one billed as a thrill down the hill thanks to and the other based on human-powered motion, both unaided by engines or motors. Neither race needing electricity.

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