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A weekend focusing on compassion locally ended with the MultiFaith banquet for 300 Sunday.
The greater Toledo area was designated a compassionate region by Charter for Compassion. But local leaders said that’s just the beginning of what they aim to do.
“We are now committed to 10 years of educating around this goal,” said Judy Lee Trautman.
Mrs. Trautman, co-chairman with her husband, Woody, of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio, spoke at the 13th annual MultiFaith Banquet.
The weekend of events included Mayor D. Michael Collins, City Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson, and Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak signing a ceremonial copy of the international Charter for Compassion Friday morning at One Government Center.
By doing so, they pledged to conduct their offices with compassion.
There was also an eight-hour compassion networking convention at SeaGate Convention Centre on Friday. The banquet recognized local heroes of compassion, offered opportunities to learn about different faiths, and presented a program about compassion.
In the keynote speech, the Rev. Jim Bacik, the former pastor of Corpus Christi University Parish, spoke about four points to focus on in keeping the compassion commitment.
Sustain motivation, work in solidarity, keep “full-blown sense of what compassion is all about,” and “collaborate on what we are all about.”
He said that “compassion is not just benevolence, it’s not pity, it’s not having sympathy; it’s to suffer with, it’s to be close to, it’s to participate in the pain of others in the world.”
Father Bacik cautioned that “we don’t want to let this compassion put guilt feelings on anybody. We want to celebrate the good stuff that’s going on.”
The third annual group of the Heroes of Compassion Gallery was introduced prior to the dinner.
State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) was inducted for her legislative work fighting human trafficking.
Janice Grimes represented Quilts of Compassion.
Alice Mosniak was awarded posthumously for starting the Seagate Foodbank.
Dr. Anne Ruch was noticed for her leadership in SewHope and Kids Against Hunger.
And Yusuf Ali and Melinda Sutton received an award for their efforts at Masjid Al-Islam to feed people in the mosque’s neighborhood.
Ms. Mosiniak’s daughters accepted the award to her mother.
She was “a very giving person, a sharing person,” daughter Deb Vas said. “For all these years we have worked, we consider it her legacy, really, her vision to help everyone and to see that we combat hunger.”
Daughter Mindy Rapp added, “It took both of us to fill her shoes, really.”
Before the dinner, people representing about 18 religious and faith-oriented organizations displayed information and answered questions at a reception.
At one table the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a torch relay that takes place around the world, was promoted. It will pass through Toledo July 26, and participants can run with the torch.
The late Sri Chinmoy was a Hindu and his global organization is “a Hindu kind of tradition,” Pamela Summons said, but “we have people from all faiths.”
Elders Burt, from Seattle, and Payne, from Salt Lake City who are attached to the Toledo First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, stood at a table promoting the Mormon faith. They don’t use first names when they are on missions.
“We’re in the community and we’re trying to help others,” Elder Payne said. “Because a lot of people don't know who we are, we want to get ourselves out there and let people know.”
Devorah Shulamit promoted the Interfaith Blood Drive, June 28 and 29 at Grace Lutheran Church.
After the reception and during the banquet program, Tom Williams of Louisville, co-host of the Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville, presented gifts from that compassionate city, including a Khata, or white silk scarf, blessed by the Dalai Lama when he visited Louisville in 2013.
Mr. Williams gave that to Mr. Trautman.
He gave Mrs. Trautman a compassionate leadership award from the compassionate city people in Seattle, which was the first compassionate city under the program started in 2008.