The MultiFaith Council of NW Ohio held its 11th Annual MultiFaith Banquet on Sunday, March 11, at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University. The event started with a rocking and colorful Erase the Hate Youth Festival in the auditorium. President Helmer of Lourdes University welcomed the performers and guests. The Rooftops, a rock band shook the roof and walls to start. Additional performances included the Self Expression Teen Theater, Madd Poets, Inc., two piano solos, the Children’s Theater Workshop, four youth dancers from the Toledo Ballet, and a youth choir. A photo of one of the ballerinas appeared in the Toledo Blade the next day. http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/03/12/Dancing-with-purpose.html
Following the Youth Festival guests were invited to a Mixer / Reception with catered appetizers, a mixer game with prizes, and informational faith displays.
Welcomes were provided by Sr. Ann Carmen Barone, Vice President of Lourdes University, and MFC Treasurer Jim Morford, a practicing Buddhist. Jim presented a beautiful quilt pieced by Dr. Gwen Wilson from squares made by the children at our MultiFaith picnic. We plan to display the quilt in various faith spaces.
The highlight of the Banquet dinner was the honoring of eighteen individuals or organizations who have performed extraordinary compassion in our community. These local Heroes of Compassion were nominated online and selected by committee. The names have been inscribed on a beautiful perpetual plaque. Each honoree received a certificate. Councilman Michael Collins made the presentation.
The Heroes of Compassion Gallery is a part of the MultiFaith Council’s Initiative to designate Greater Toledo as a Compassionate Community. The Heroes of Compassion were featured in The Blade of March 10, in an article by religion editor David Yonke. http://www.toledoblade.com/Religion/2012/03/10/Council-to-honor-18-for-compassionate-acts.html
Imam Abou Seif gave the meal blessing. The over 310 attendees of the banquet dined on delicious chicken or vegetarian meals and made new friends at mixed-faith tables. Table discussions for adults were facilitated by the Rev. Ed Heilman. The youth had their own discussion, led by Zach Dehm, the Erase the Hate Youth Council Intern. A Sending Forth was given by Rabbi Jonathan Bienenfeld.