Community Service

Our attorneys and professional staff take great pride in giving back to their communities in a variety of meaningful ways...


 

Attorney Jim Birch of our Cincinnati office and the Ohio Knight baseball team, made the holiday season brighter this December by volunteering at Matthew 25 Ministries.  The team assisted in sorting donated clothes which will be shipped to hundreds of people in need across the U.S. and in various parts of the world.  This local non-profit organization has been helping people in tremendous way since 1991.

The mission of the Ohio Knights is to put together competitive baseball teams with elite players of high character and to deliver a Christ-centered baseball experience that focuses on the development of strong character traits in boys as they grow into young men.  Jim has been involved with the Ohio Knights for the past two years.      http://www.ohioknights.com/        http://m25m.org/  

 

 

The 5th Annual Rock the Foundation “Investing for Justice Campaign” Kick-Off Party was held on November 17, 2016, and was a great success.  Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl was represented by Jim Nolan (second from left, on the trombone), who offered his musical talents to the mix. This event helps to raise funds for The Cincinnati Bar Foundation’s grants, which are given out twice a year to nonprofit educational and charitable programs to help disadvantaged people and the legal community. Over the past five years, the Cincinnati Bar Foundation has given over $1 million to worthy programs such as the Northern KY Children’s Law Center Inc. - Youth Lives Matter, and Interact for Health - Funder’s Response to the Heroin Epidemic.
http://www.cincybar.org/foundation/grant-info/recent-recipients.php

   

 

Monte Cummings of our Firm participated in Susan G. Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.  Our Firm was also a proud supporter of this annual event. 

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Series is the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer ever created.  The event raises significant funds and awareness for the breast cancer movement, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.  http://komencolumbus.org

 

 


Our Firm was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation Golf Scramble.  Since its inception in 2011, the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation has impacted more than 915,000 lives through its signature community outreach programs.

The mission of the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation is to provide opportunities, support and resources along with daily support and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families in Cincinnati and Fort Worth.  http://andydalton.org/

 

    


 

In 2015, Tom Glassman, a former Shareholder with our Firm, was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach Appellate and Trial Advocacy at the Riga Graduate School of Law in Latvia’s capital city of Riga. Tom’s course covered an array of topics, including introducing his students to the concept of a jury trial (which is rare in Europe), the adversarial system, and preparing the students for international moot court competitions.  Latvia has made tremendous strides since the collapse of the Soviet Union, both as a democracy and economically.  Much of Latvia’s success can be linked toward their commitment to democracy, and their involvement with NATO and the European Union.  The Fulbright Program is a highly competitive international academic exchange program sponsored by the State Department.  http://www.iie.org/en/Fulbright

 

 


John Fiocca, M. Tyler Hull, James Nolan and Patrick Schomaker of our Firm participated in Columbus Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) Society 2015 Golf Outing.  Our Firm was also a proud sponsor of this annual event. 

The CPCU Society is committed to providing resources, educational programs and leadership opportunities that attract talent and enable individuals to expand their technical insurance skills and business capabilities in order to improve the overall performance of the insurance industry while adhering to the highest ethical standards.  https://columbus.cpcusociety.org/

 

    


    

Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl was a proud sponsor of the 2015 Seminar of The Kentucky Chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU).  The Seminar featured presentations by M. Tyler Hull and Patricia Trombetta (former Shareholder) of our Firm, as well as several other industry specialists, in an effort to educate against, and combat, insurance fraud.

IASIU is a non-profit organization dedicated to:

  • Promoting a coordinated effort within the industry to combat insurance fraud
  • Providing education and training for insurance investigators
  • Developing greater awareness of the insurance fraud problem
  • Encouraging high professional standards of conduct among insurance investigators
  • Supporting legislation that acts as a deterrent to the crime of insurance fraud

www.kyiasiu.org

     

 


Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl is a proud supporter of ClaimVets and sponsor of the Annual ClaimVets Dinner and Awards.  ClaimVets is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a pathway for veterans to enter the claims profession. It is unique not only in its focus on the claims profession, but by the breadth of services it provides. The foundation will underwrite the costs to recruit and train veterans to become claims professionals, facilitate the procurement of adjuster licenses and provide access to career mentoring and office skills training.  http://claimvets.org

 

     


  Patrick Schomaker of our Firm was a participant in the 2015/2016 Free Throws for Kids event, in which teams shoot 500 free throws to raise money for kids & their family in the Pediatric, Neonatal & Cardiac Intensive Care Units at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The money raised is used to show love & hope by surprising these families with gift bags that include gas cards for the many trips to and from the hospital, cafeteria gift cards for the day-after-day meals at the hospital, toiletries, frozen meals for family members at home and more.  Patrick's team The Wild Bunch surpassed the event goal for donations, and Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl was proud to support this event as well.  www.razoo.com/story/Free-Throws-For-Kids

 


 

Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl was a proud sponsor of the 2015 ParkerLee Foundation PBR 10k event. Established in 2009 by Kim Lee Niswander and Joshua Parker Adkins, the Parker Lee Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes charitable groups and local causes which help improve the quality of life for disabled and disadvantaged children in the Central Ohio area.  www.parkerleefoundation.org

 

      


  

Tom Glassman, a former Shareholder with our Firm, was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach a course in Insurance Law at the Free International University of Moldova, located in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. While in Moldova Tom also taught Trial Advocacy courses at several other local law schools. The Fulbright Program is a highly competitive international academic exchange program sponsored by the State Department.  http://www.iie.org/en/Fulbright

 

 


 

 

Tamara Scull, former law clerk with our Firm, received the first annual Salmon P. Chase Award in 2014. The inspiration for the award is Chase's extensive work advocating for the rights of African Americans and his condemnation of the legality of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.  During her time at the Chase College of Law, Tamara worked tirelessly to provide quality legal representation to the poor and oppressed, and to promote the ideals of justice and equality advanced by Salmon P. Chase over a century ago.  Tamara also co-chairs the Chase Public Interest Group, where she has assisted her peers in pursuing positions in public interest law.  http://chaselaw.nku.edu/chase-news/chaseaward20140.html

 


Brian Henry was recently named General Counsel for the Florida division of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation. Founded in 1958 by acclaimed actor Hugh O’Brian, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop the global community of youth and volunteers for a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. HOBY programs are conducted annually throughout the United States, serving local and international high school students. HOBY programs provide students selected by their schools the opportunity to participate in unique leadership training, service-learning, and motivation-building experiences. http://floridahoby.org/

 

  


    

For the Firm’s 2013 Charity Drive, our employees and owners raised over $5,500.00 to benefit St. Joseph Orphanage and Mercy Homes. 

Founded in 1829, St. Joseph Orphanage was known for over 150 years throughout the Ohio Valley region as a traditional orphanage. But, by the early 1970's, SJO had responded to the increasing need for children's mental health care in a more complex and fragmented society by offering innovative new approaches and programs. Today, St. Joseph Orphanage is a proven leader in children's mental health recovery, providing residential, educational and community treatment programs for children who have been abused or neglected, are severely emotionally disturbed or developmentally disabled. Every year, SJO changes the lives of 1,850 children from the Greater Cincinnati community and across the country. www.stjosephorphanage.org

Mercy Homes is a God-given project to minister to the needs of the abandoned, orphaned, and poor children. They offer proper care, good food, education, shelter and spiritual upbringing. These are not orphanages, but homes where children grow in love, peace and responsibility. Up to 10 children are in each home under the spiritual family. The result of this mission is a generation of faithful, responsible, and God-fearing men and women who are equipped for their future. www.mercyhomes.org

    With the funds from the donation, teachers at the Mercy Home affiliate Agape Good Shepherd School were able to purchase much-needed supplies and books to equip a science lab for 11th and 12th grade students.

 


 

 

The National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII) posthumously awarded M. Andrew Sway, Esq. with a Special Recognition Award at its 2013 Advanced Insurance Fraud Seminar. Attorney Sway, who passed away unexpectedly on May 23, 2013, was nominated not only out of respect for his memory, but also to honor and remember his many outstanding achievements in the fight against fraudulent insurance claims.  Firm President Matthew Smith accepted the award in Andy’s memory. www.nspii.com

 

 


    

Matthew Smith joined a mission team from Back2Back Ministries for a nine-day trip to India. Back2Back partners with children’s homes and orphanages in Mexico, Haiti, Africa and India. The team based in Hyderabad in Southeast India, working with children at many different facilities including two in the India slums and one home assisting HIV-positive children. From working with the children at Mercy Home to paint their classroom doors, to adding a “Noah’s Ark” mural at a slum ministry, and even surprising the girls of Peace Home with newly painted pink and yellow rooms, the team not only worked, but made time to play and interact with these incredible and precious children. The last day was spent at an “Adventure Center” just outside the city for a great day of climbing, zip lining, tug of war and water balloon fights with the children.

Matthew has also traveled with Back2Back to Mexico on several occasions with his family and his daughter, Kayleigh, went with Back2Back to Jos, Nigeria. Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl has the privilege to also assist Back2Back with some of the ministry’s legal requirements as need arises.  www.back2backministries.org

     

  


 

In memory of Duane Skavdahl, a past President of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Congregation, new furnishings and sound equipment for the outdoor courtyard worship service were donated and dedicated recently. Duane loved worshipping at this particular service and we are proud to know his memory will carry on at a place he cared for and served.  www.gloriadei-nky.org

 

  


  

Matthew Smith assisted the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) in developing a training program for CFI Trainer.  CFI Trainer provides fire and arson investigators with high quality certified training for fire, arson and explosion investigations around the world.  Matthew acted as Content Expert in the development of a training module entitled “Ethics & Social Media.”  He also volunteered his time to appear as an onscreen expert on the topic for the training video.  www.cfitrainer.net

 

 


  Tom Glassman, a former Shareholder with our Firm, spent two weeks as a guest lecturer at two law schools in the Ukrainian city of Odessa – The Odessa Internal Affairs University and the Odessa Law Academy. Tom taught through the Leavitt Institute for International Development. The Institute works with law schools throughout the Ukraine as that nation begins to adopt and implement a justice system modeled after our American system. Tom taught a course on trial advocacy and served as a judge in the Regional Mock Trial Competition held in Odessa.  One of the mock trial teams Tom coached came in second place for the entire country in the competition.  www.leavittinstitute.org
     

 


  The Ohio Chapter of IASIU (The International Association of Special Investigative Units) honored the memory of M. Andrew Sway, Esq. by renaming their annual award for excellence in fraud investigation to the "Ohio IASIU M. Andrew Sway Investigator of the Year Award.” In November 2013, Matthew Smith was invited to present the award in Attorney Sway's memory at the Chapter's Annual Meeting.  www.ohiochapteriasiu.com

 

 


Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl is a proud sponsor of the 2013 Pelotonia event. Founded in Columbus, Ohio in 2008, Pelotonia is a grassroots bike tour, with one goal: end cancer. Pelotonia is a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. Pelotonia raises millions of dollars each year for cancer research. Pelotonia’s operating expenses are covered by funding partners so that 100% of every rider raised dollar goes directly to fund research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. http://pelotonia.org  

 


  Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl is a proud sponsor of the Annual Butterfly Walk for CancerFree KIDS.  Several members of our staff and their families also participated in the 5K run and mile-long walk as well.  CancerFree KIDS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to eradicate cancer as a life-threatening illness in children. Their mission is driven by the belief that funding research is the means to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. It also supports the belief that research of childhood cancers has and will continue to contribute significantly to the research of all types of cancers, including adult cancers, and that it should be funded accordingly.  www.butterflywalk.com
   

 


  Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl was a proud sponsor of the Think AEPink fundraiser hosted by the University of Cincinnati chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, benefitting Sharsheret. Sharsheret provides support services for Jewish women facing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as for the families.  http://americanisraelite.com/archives/24266  

      


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl promoted “Wear Blue: Child Abuse is Preventable” by inviting employees to wear blue on April 10th, 2013. Our Firm joined businesses across the State of Ohio to make a strong visual statement to help stop the cycle of abuse. www.facebook.com/wearblueohio  

     


 

The Norwood Firefighter Association is a non-profit charitable organization for the benefit of communities in Southwest Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl was proud to support the “Adult Prom” charity dance on February 22, 2013 held in Cincinnati. Patrick Schomaker and his wife, Sara, attended the event on behalf of Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl. Our firm thanks the Norwood Firefighter Association for all of their charitable efforts in the community. For more information, or to contribute, please visit www.nfacharity.org.

 


 


Tom Glassman, a former Shareholder, is one of the Legal Advisors for the Mock Trial Team at Wyoming High School. The 2012-2013 team made it to the Regional Round of the statewide competition. In the competition students learn to conduct opening statements, direct and cross-examination, and closing arguments. This year's fact pattern required the students to argue a motion to suppress a confession of a juvenile defendant.  http://whsmocktrial.wyomingcityschools.org

 


Casey Robinson, a former law clerk with our firm, participated in the Polar Plunge fundraising event with seven other members of the Phi Alpha Delta Hoffman Chapter from the Chase College of Law. Participants in the event solicited donations for The Special Olympics, then jumped into an outdoor pool filled with ice cold water in the middle of winter. The 2013 Polar Plunge raised over One Hundred Forty Thousand Dollars ($140,000.00) for The Special Olympics.  http://soky.kintera.org

 


 

Meagan Tate, a former Associate Attorney, was a coach of Chase College of Law’s National Trial Team at Northern Kentucky University. The National Trial Team competes in at least one regional competition and one national competition each year. National Trial Team competitions simulate jury trials, teaching law students how to develop a theory of a case, how to prepare and argue pre-trial evidentiary motions, how to prepare and deliver opening and closing arguments, and how to examine witnesses.  http://chaselaw.nku.edu/academics/competitionteams.html

 


Patrick Schomaker is an active volunteer coach with St. Nicholas Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. St. Nicholas Academy is an innovative regional Catholic elementary school drawing students from numerous Cincinnati communities and parishes. Patrick has served as a volunteer coach in the sports of soccer, football and basketball, as well as serving as the “voice” of the St. Nicholas Knights at select home football games.  www.stnacademy.org  

 


   

Congratulations to Thomas Glassman, a former Shareholder, and Angela Glaser, a former law clerk, both of whom were honored at the 2012 Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) Annual Conference. Mr. Glassman received the Distinguished Contributions to the Community Award, acknowledging his commitment to community service. Ms. Glaser received the Indigent Defense Clinic’s Gideon’s Trumpet Award for her assistance to a recovered alcoholic who faced several old, alcohol-related charges, including an OVI. Ms. Glaser was also one of only two law students statewide to receive scholarships from OACTA.

The Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys is an organization of attorneys, corporate executives and managers who devote a substantial portion of time to the defense of civil lawsuits and the management of claims against individuals, corporations and governmental entities. Its mission is to provide a forum where attorneys can work together and with others on common problems and promote and improve the administration of justice in Ohio. www.oacta.org

 


 

 

Patricia Trombetta, a former Shareholder with our Firm, is a volunteer through the Northern Kentucky Bar Association with Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky.  Since 1991, Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky has helped members of the Northern Kentucky community to realize the American dream of homeownership by providing affordable housing solutions to deserving families and individuals, allowing them to reconstruct their lives by building their futures on a solid foundation of faith, education, and support.  www.honkhomes.org  

 


   

Matthew Smith was recently awarded a lifetime membership in the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII). A former President of NSPII, Matthew was awarded this honor due to his outstanding leadership, support, dedication and continuous exemplary service.

Formed in 1983, NSPII is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering investigative ideas, procedures and techniques. NSPII sponsors annual, national and regional seminars, publishes a newsletter, and conducts regular meetings to inform and develop professionals in the areas of insurance fraud recognition, prevention and investigation.  www.nspii.com

  


 

Jerome Rolfes served on the 2011-12 “People of Vision” fundraising steering committee for Prevent Blindness Ohio. The People of Vision annual campaign seeks to positively impact the lives of many residents of southwest Ohio in need of assistance with their vision health or issues.  http://ohio.preventblindness.org

 


Angela Glaser, a former law clerk with our firm, was a volunteer with The Tenant Information Project (TIP).  TIP is a volunteer organization through the University of Cincinnati College of Law that provides legal information to callers concerning landlord/tenant law. While answering calls, volunteers explain the state of Ohio landlord/tenant law to callers with questions involving their leases, the eviction process, loud neighbors, or the condition of their apartments. Volunteers explain the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant and the options that the caller may have available.  www.law.uc.edu/current-students/student-orgs/tenant-information-project

 

 


 

Smith, Rolfes and Skavdahl is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Back2Back Ministries Banquet.  Back2Back is a faith-based, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  It connects willing workers to open hearts through its international and local ministry opportunities.  It serves internationally by caring and providing for orphan children and needy people in Mexico, Nigeria, and India.  It serves locally through Impact Ministry, which partners with local churches to equip students to be capable and effective leaders serving their campuses, communities, and the world.  www.back2backministries.org

 


Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl is proud to be a sponsor Rusty Ball, an annual Cincinnati music event that assists several local charities.  Our nominated charity for this event is the Natalie Collins Benefit Fund.  Natalie, 4 years old, was diagnosed at 3 years old with a Wilms Tumor in her kidneys. Over the course of 6 months, she had to have both of her kidneys removed and several rounds of chemotherapy.  She now has dialysis treatments 4 days a week and is waiting to be cancer free for a year in order for her to receive a kidney transplant. This benefit will help Natalie's parents with the expenses incurred from this surgery, as well as all of the other medical expenses that keep mounting.  http://therustyball.com

 


 

Since 2009, Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl has been a proud sponsor of The Columbus Italian Festival.  The annual Festival was founded with the goal of making American/Italians proud of their heritage and at the same time being an incentive to remain faithful to their religious and moral values. www.columbusitalianfestival.com

   


   

Peter Schmid sits on the Board of Advisors for Pregnancy Center East. This Center assists anyone who faces difficulties that may arise from an untimely pregnancy, offers life-giving alternatives to abortion, and promotes chastity. Pregnancy Center East also advocates Natural Family Planning. www.pregnancycentereast.com

 


Congratulations to the Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl runners who competed in the Cincinnati Bar Association's 2012 Annual Run for Kids 5K to benefit ProKids. The Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl team consisted of Jason Walker, Zach McCune, and Tyler Hull.

ProKids is a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children in the legal system. ProKids trains volunteers to serve as Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) in the court. CASAs provide abused and neglected children with a voice in the court system. www.prokids.org

 


 

Attorney M. Andrew Sway, who passed away unexpectedly on May 23, 2013, served from 2007 as a Mock Trial Judge for the Ohio Center for Law Related Education (OCLRE) annual high school mock trial competition.  http://www.oclre.org

 


 

Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl Co., LPA is a proud sponsor of Ali’s Run, an annual 5 K marathon held on the campus of William & Mary to help raise money for the Alan Bukzin Bone Marrow Drive.  http://wmbethematch.weebly.com/

 


   

Carmen Sarge recently completed his tenure as 2011’s National President for the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII).  Formed in 1983, NSPII is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering investigative ideas, procedures and techniques.  NSPII sponsors annual, national and regional seminars, publishes a newsletter, and conducts regular meetings to inform and develop professionals in the areas of insurance fraud recognition, prevention and investigation.  www.nspii.com

 


Congratulations to the Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl runners who competed in the Cincinnati Bar Association's 2011 Annual Run for Kids 5K to benefit ProKids. The Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl team came in 13th place, and team members consisted of (from left) Jason Walker, Patricia Trombetta, Zach McCune, Jon Lippert and Tyler Hull.

ProKids is a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children in the legal system. ProKids trains volunteers to serve as Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) in the court. CASAs provide abused and neglected children with a voice in the court system. www.prokids.org

 


Diversity is one of Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl's areas of commitment. We are proud to have hosted the annual Minority Law Student Holiday Reception on behalf of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati - Cincinnati Bar Association Round Table. This event enables minority law students the opportunity to network with attorneys and judges throughout the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
 

 

   

 


Peter Schmid sits on the Board of Trustees of Corryville Catholic School.
 
Corryville Catholic is committed to educate the whole child. Their mission is to maintain high standards of academic excellence, meeting the spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs of the students.   www.corryvillecatholic.org

 


Patrick Schomaker is a mentor with Xavier University’s Executive Mentor Program.
 
The goals and objectives of the executive mentor relationship are to equip the student with the insight and tools to make informed and ethical career decisions, confirm the student's chosen degree and identify career paths, groom the student into a confident graduate with exceptional leadership, teamwork, creative thinking, and interpersonal skills through coaching and feedback, provide a source of advice on personal growth, academics, mission and career options, provide a forum for the observation, practice and mastery of professional networking skills, and to assist the student in identifying and pursuing employment opportunities related to their degree.    www.xavier.edu/williams/mentors/index.cfm

 


Tom Glassman, a former Shareholder, and Patricia Trombetta, a former Shareholder, handle pro bono cases through the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati.
 
The Volunteer Lawyers Project allows attorneys to represent low-income persons whose cases have merit but which might otherwise be lost due to their inability to pay for counsel and the resulting inadequate self-representation. The Volunteer Lawyers Project has made a difference for thousands of low-income clients in southwestern Ohio and has brought the concept of equal justice for all a bit closer to reality.   http://www.vlpcincinnati.org
 
Tom Glassman’s involvement was featured in a documentary film recognizing attorneys who perform pro bono work. http://www.vimeo.com/2109612

 


Roseann Sand currently serves as president of the Omega Nu Tau Sorority (a philanthropic sorority). The sorority assists children’s charities throughout Greater Cincinnati. The group has raised more than $5,000 this past year, and has used that money to sponsor children to different camperships, as well as provide financial assistance to families with critically ill children. The sorority holds different fundraisers throughout the year, such as making and selling Easter candy, Entertainment Books, garage sales, just to mention a few.

 


Tom Glassman, former Shareholder of our Firm, was a founder and former Vice President of the Gorman Heritage Farm Foundation.
 
The mission of Gorman Heritage Farm is to provide people the opportunity to explore and learn the history, methods and values of a working family farm in a natural setting.   www.gormanfarm.org

 


Tom Glassman, a former Shareholder with our Firm, was selected to serve as a Fellow in the Ohio State Bar Foundation. Their class project developed the B4USend educational video for high school and middle school students on cyber-bullying and the dangers of improper use of technology and social networks.   http://www.osbf.net/what-we-do/b4usend  

 


Sixteen people from the Cincinnati area went to Shepherd’s Field Orphanage located about an hour south of Beijing, China, on a mission trip. All of the children at Shepherd’s Field are special needs children, many given up by their parents in order that the children will receive proper medical care. Four of the people were connected to our office, Matt and Cyndi Smith and Jan and Duane Skavdahl. This was the second time a mission team to this orphanage included people from our office.

The group from Cincinnati assisted the staff in whatever way possible during the ten days they were there. This included cleaning out an attic with many years of accumulated items, light construction, taking children to a local hospital, and most importantly, being with the children. The mission team coordinated with LensCrafters and had planned to give eye screenings and possibly glasses to many of the children in the local area. Unfortunately, local officials refused to allow the children to come to the orphanage for eye screenings. The team then opened up the eye screening to adults in the area. The mission team did not know how many people would come, but they prayed and asked God to help them do the best they could even if only 1 or 2 people came, or many. Their prayers were answered and in two days, they gave eye screenings to almost 1,000 people. When they stopped, it was not because there were no more people waiting to be seen, it was that the team ran out of time. Some of the people which came had never known what it was like to see properly and they jumped up and down when they put on glasses and were actually able to see their surroundings.

The mission team did have time for some sightseeing including a trip to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and going to Church with expatriates living in Beijing. This was an exciting trip especially considering the current relationship between the United States and China as it gave the mission team a unique opportunity to interact with the Chinese people.

 


Jerry Rolfes joined Matthew Smith and members of his church mission team on a working mission trip to Lanfang, China to manually dig out tree-stumps and prepare for installing a soccer field, as well as perform other work, to benefit a large orphanage community.

 


Jerry Rolfes joined his wife and their church mission team for a working trip to Montana at a Crow Indian reservation where Jerry was involved in construction/excavation for the footers and foundation of a new foster-home for a large extended Crow Indian family.