by Judy Stringer
Diane was off Talk of the Town duties in December due to her annual stint as a very important Santa helper. When you see her around town this month, be sure to thank her for tireless efforts to make sure those letters got to Jolly Old St. Nick in time.
I am forever amazed at the ability of Hudsonites to take personal challenges and turn them into something positive to help others. Such is the case with Pete and Katie Mang. In July, the couple launched Go With The Good, a foundation designed to help people with brain cancer tackle the medical costs associated with treatment. They did so four years after Pete was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme, which Katie said is a particularly aggressive brain cancer.
“The average prognosis is two years,” she said in December. “Luckily, he’s done better than the average. And, according to the American Cancer Society, it’s either the most or second most expensive cancer to treat just because it’s so complex.”
Throughout Pete’s treatment journey, Katie said the couple has spent countless hours negotiating bills, learning the healthcare billing system, appealing to insurance companies, applying for financial aid and saving as much as possible. They have also used those lessons to mentor and help others navigate the financial impact of these kinds of diseases. She has a background in nonprofits, and he wanted to “give back in some way,” so about three years in, the Mangs came up with the idea of starting a foundation for treatment costs.
“But more than that, we’re connecting people with supportive resources,” she said.
The first fundraiser for Go With The Good – named after their family motto since Pete’s diagnosis – took place in November at Comida. About 100 people attended, and the couple managed to raise $20,000 to kick off the foundation. They are now planning a bigger event for May, perhaps a 5K, given that May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Katie also said a Go With The Good website should be live soon. For now, you can find out more at facebook.com/gowiththegood.
For his Eagle Scout project, Hudson High School sophomore Ethan Cnudde recently renovated a set of remembrance patios at Markillie Cemetery, “bringing them back to the splendor our veterans deserve,” said his father, Jeremy. The patios, part of the memorial site at the cemetery, are made of bricks bearing the names of Hudson residents who have served their country. Over time, roots and overgrowth had taken their toll, and the patios fell into disrepair.
Ethan said he talked with the city about a number of possible projects but landed on the patios “because I wanted to be able to do something to help veterans.”
The Cnuddes moved to Hudson about two years ago from the Detroit area where, according to Jeremy, the AMVETS hosted Ethan’s Scout troop, and, as such, the family feels an intrinsic tie to veterans. Ethan said that 34 people, mostly his fellow Scouts in Troop 777 and their parents, spent a total of 148 hours renovating the patios. He began the design work over the summer, broke ground in early November and completed the project later that month.
Jeremy said it was more work than either of them anticipated. They dug up the patios, removed roots, leveled the area, installed a new base and cleaned the bricks before replacing them. Ethan noted that one valuable lesson he learned was to overestimate the amount of materials needed.
They hope to work with the city or Hudson’s American Legion to rededicate the patios, possibly in the spring or in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day ceremony that takes place at the site. Kudos, Ethan, and thanks for all your hard work!
Congrats also to the Hudson Middle School Science Olympiad and its coaches. The team finished runner up at the Sylvania Southview Invitational tournament in Toledo, its first event of the year. Coach Dr. Jordan Renna said the early-season competition was fierce, as Solon (who finished fourth at nationals in 2022), Slauson (10th at nationals), and Meads Mill (14th) all brought two teams.
“With heavy doses of pizza and bubble tea,” the coach added, “our students were able to maintain focus and exert their science skills throughout the day.”
Hudson dominated the leaderboard, winning the events: Crave the Wave (Jerry Du/Sherry Li); Experimental Design (Kate Justice/Maanav Patel/Matthew Matyja); Green Generation (Anna Barger/Duy Tran); Meteorology (Elena Cheng/Evie Jensen); and Roller Coaster and Wheeled Vehicles (Hajoo Yu/Kate Justice). All said, Hudson was narrowly defeated by Solon but earned 22 sets of top five medals. Next up is a competition at West Liberty-Salem High School on Feb. 24-25.
Good luck to those competing… and Happy to New Year to all!