AngelaHuston@zoominternet.net   CRHuston@zoominternet.net

The Free Clinic of Medina County welcomed an enthusiastic, sell-out crowd to its 12th annual pig roast August 17 at Buffalo Creek Retreat in Seville.

The entire perimeter of the banquet room was lined with opportunities to purchase tickets on games of chance, or to bid on exciting silent auction items donated by more than 90 businesses and individuals.

Diane Cartwright encouraged guests to select a bottle of wine for $10 from the Goldwine Duck Pond, or they could purchase a ticket to try to win the Booze Barrel raffle manned by Natalie Lapossy. Kimberly Valco was selling colorful plastic eggs for $20; each contained a number that corresponded to a bag in which the prizes ranged from $25 to $75 -- win-win either way.

From Plum Creek Senior Assisted Living, Chrissy Waller and Ryan Boulton, President and Board trustee respectively of the HANDS Foundation, offered chances on a number of sideboards, while at yet another table FCOMC Board member and Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janie Parish invited guests to take a chance on winning $100 worth of lottery scratch-off tickets. Throughout the evening names were called to receive door prizes.

Once again balloon artist Tim Brown delighted the children with his elaborate creations. The youngsters enjoyed eating carnival-type snacks, and participated in many fun activities designed specifically for them. There was even an outdoor play area where they were entertained.

Board member Cathi Carmany encouraged guests to donate to FCOMC. Dave Logsdon, of the Logsdon Family Foundation, donated a challenge grant: if the Clinic raised $25,000, the Foundation would match that amount. The Clinic is at $19,500; all donations to help it reach its goal are greatly appreciated.

Chuck Stiver delivered an invocation before the buffet dinner prepared by Kathy Keller, of Whole Hogg Custom Catering, was served. The crowd-pleasing entree, prepared on-site, included a selection of Keller's own tasty side dishes.

Chuck and Tami Stiver served as auctioneer and clerk for the live auction that featured condo vacations, tickets to sporting events, a trading card plaque with several all-time greats, a load of driveway limestone, and a Cleveland Pear tree.

Volunteer Kim Bowen, M.D., FCOMC Staff Medical Director and Board President, thanked everyone for their support, and asked them to remember three things: in this country, the majority of people filing for bankruptcy are overwhelmed with medical bills; patients at the Clinic often choose between buying medicine or food; and the Clinic, which has been seeing patients for 16 years, could not do it without the support of the community.

The event's Platinum Sponsors ($2,000-$8,000) were Webb-Stiles Company, Medina Hospital Medical Staff, Medina Evening Rotary, Dr. and Mrs. Kim Bowen, and Aerie #2224 Fraternal Order of Eagles Charity Fund.

Gold Sponsors ($1,000) were Digestive Disease Consultants, Greg Dobson Excavating, Jim and Nancy Gowe, Anthony and Mary Ann Messina, Huntington Bank, Western Reserve Masonic Community, and Cleveland Clinic/Akron General/Lodi Hospital.

Silver Sponsors ($500) were Catherine and Ron Carmany, Dr. Richard and Sally Shewbridge, Waite and Son Funeral Homes, and Murray and Susan Van Epp. Bronze Sponsors ($250) were Peter and Sydney Benson, Dr. Bodnar/Medina Eye Associates, Dr. Neil and Ellen Grabenstetter, MDG Flooring America, Dr. Glenna and Mark Jackson, Odd Fellows Lodge #26, Sandridge Food Corporation, and Homestead Insurance.

Proceeds raised will be used for the FCOMC yearly operating budget and medical supplies. To learn more, visit the website at FCOMC.org, or call 330-764-9300.

Nancy Peacock is Executive Director of the FCOMC. Kim Bowen, M.D. is Medical Director, Vicky Hange, R.N. is Nurse Administrator, and Lynn Meyers, Office Coordinator. Board members are: Bowen/President, John Surso M.D./Vice President, Phil Brewer/Treasurer, and Directors Catherine Carmany, Diane Cartwright, Tim Cooper, Joyce Giles, Gail Houk, Tom Carabin, Janie Parish, and Todd Zeiger, M.D.

The Pig Roast Committee was chaired by Linda Pfaff. Working with her were Janie Parish, Kimberly Valco, Kim Bowen, Nancy Peacock, Katie Garra, Vicky Hange, Tim Cooper, and Lynn Meyers.

"The Free Clinic of Medina County is a free medical clinic serving the residents of Medina County. Our mission is to provide free basic medical care to the working residents of Medina County who meet our income qualifications."

To be eligible, applicants must be: 18-64 years of age; receive no government medical care of aid such as Medicaid or Medicare; be working and have an income level that is within 250 percent of the federal poverty level; and live in Medina County.