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Published: 9/16/2008

Frisch children offered college aid

BY ANN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Hollywood may be packing up and leaving town, but the fire of generosity it lit in northwest Ohio continued to burn yesterday, including scholarships to two local colleges for the Frisch boys.

The University of Toledo is offering full scholarships for all 11 boys with a potential value of more than $250,000 and Lourdes College will give scholarships of $2,000 per year, per child, renewable for four years.

It was a great way to assist the community in this community-wide project and more importantly to help these young men so their parents don t have to worry about their education financially, and they can concentrate on their academic performance, said Larry Burns, UT s vice president for marketing, communications, and enrollment services.

Standing in front of their new, 4,250-square-foot home at 6044 Edgedale Circle in West Toledo, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition family of city firefighter

and paramedic Aaron Frisch, his wife, Jackie, and their children accepted gifts from about 40 local businesses and institutions with tears, happy dances, hugs, and a vow to pay it forward to help others who are in need.

This is just the beginning. We need to change Toledo, Mrs. Frisch declared, sounding like the ordained minister that she is.

We ve got lots of ideas, and we can t wait to work with the community, she said later. They want to help set up a pool of volunteers to perform chores for the elderly and disabled, raise money for equipment for special-needs children and pair them with classmates for extra coaching, encourage people to become foster parents, and find adoptive homes for local children who need a place to belong.

The Frisches new place was to become home yesterday, for real. Although they got their first look at the house on Sunday, the family spent the night in a hotel because interior filming wasn t finished. Producers for the ABC show were continuing to interview family members yesterday morning which probably explains why the Frisches were wearing the same clothing they had on when the limo drove them to the house for the big reveal on Sunday afternoon. Another lesson for Toledo about the universe of reality television.

Kids in elementary school T-shirts, executives in suits, and Air National Guard reservists in uniform were among the lineup of people bearing gifts for the Frisches.

There s a lot of fun, relaxation, and good food in store for them, too, including hair styling for a year for Mrs. Frisch from Tou-Che Salon, food for a year from Wendy s, a YMCA membership, a year of free VIP bundle service from Buckeye CableSystem, pizza for a year from both Marco s and Papa Johns, and dinner certificates from restaurants.

There were gift baskets, checks for tens of thousands of dollars including one from Directions Credit Union, a family Bible, $10,000 worth of dentistry, tax service for two years, backpacks filled with school supplies, as well as games, books, art supplies, and gift cards.

TNT Rescue Systems presented a gift to all of Toledo: $25,000 worth of hydraulic rescue tools for Mr. Frisch s Fire Station 23 and $1,000 in improvements to the station at 2743 Laskey Rd.

Each gift, large or small, earned a heartfelt thank you. Some brought tears, some earned squeals of delight, some triggered grins from the Frisch boys including a comment from a Washington Local Schools official who told them, after presenting a check to their parents, that We need to get you back in school.

Kitchen stuff! Yay! Mrs. Frisch cried in response to one donor. Another elicited a delighted It s girl stuff! from the woman who lives with 12 men.

Last week we were going through life, going through school, surviving, and now we re celebrities, Mr. Frisch marveled afterward.

The biggest change is obviously in the condition of how we live, Mrs. Frisch said. I don t think the love has changed, and I don t think the true meaning of what our family is has changed, but the way that we get to live our lives has changed ... and that is such a worry off of my shoulders.

Staff writer Meghan Gilbert contributed to this report.

Contact Ann Weber at:aweber@theblade.comor 419-724-6126.



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