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  • What is your name and how long have you been going to Up and Running?

    We are the Cordonniers - Mike and Joan, and we have been loyal customers since basically day one.  We met Susie way back in Team in Training days as we were all training for the Disney Marathon.  We knew her when she was deciding the best way to get a good store here locally, as most of us drove 45-60 minutes to Cincy to get a good running shoe. 

    What brought you to Up and Running originally?

    Up and Running is the only store that I am aware of that specializes in fitting you in the appropriate shoe for your specific needs.  Other stores may go through some motions, but UAR takes the training and the fit process very seriously.  They also take the time to explain what they are doing and why it is important.  And while they have a wide variety of shoes and styles, they stress the importance of function over fashion, especially if you are having any issues, or training for an event.   They also treat everyone with respect, no matter your fitness level.  For example, the back-of-the-pack runner gets the same attention as the first place winner.  It's not always like that.

    What's one of the most memorable experiences you've had with Up and Running (volunteering, at an event or a group run, or whatever comes to mind)?

    There are so many great memories with the staff and volunteers at Up and Running.  Probably one of our favorite things to volunteer for was the Dirty Dude Girl.  We both tend to like being out on trails, so the venue was a favorite. Joan loves that it was a race centered around the ladies, and that they had men stationed at the creek crossing at least one year, when there had been a lot of rain and the usual rocks that you cross on were under water.  Mike loved that back when it first started, he and a friend Dean were in charge of the flap jacks!  Mike is all about breakfast!   We also always enjoyed the end of summer volunteer party that Susie always hosted to thank the volunteers for their efforts throughout the year.  

    Why is it important to you to give back to your community?

    We seem to be perpetual volunteers!  It just seems to be in our nature - when you see something that needs to be done, or someone needs some help, you jump in.  When our kids were young, the organizations they were involved in always needed some adults to help.  We were both scout leaders, Joan was on the PTO. We were also very active band parents!  As the kids got a little older, we found other ways to get involved. We have both participated in Team in Training, and other charity type organizations.  Now we are both active in Centerville Noon Optimist.  The Optimists focus on helping the kids in the community, and as a teacher, Mike sees first hand how much help is needed, and the impact our giving has on them.  

    Centerville Noon Optimist Club:  The Cordonniers do it all!

    Joan:  Joan recently became the president of the Centerville Noon Optimist Club.  In addition to her responsibilities of president she is active in many committees.  Joan is in the process of starting a brand new committee called the Childhood Mental Health Initiative, which will hopefully focus on connecting with students by being lunch buddies, reading and or tutoring, helping in the classroom, as well as supplying basic needs such as coats and clothing if needed.  

    MIke:  As a member of the Centerville's Got Talent, our community Talent Show, I handle the website submissions and data as well as manage the theatre facility and stage the night of the show.

    I am also in charge of setting up the Christmas Tree Lot.  From coordinating the unloading of the trailers to making sure the lighting, racks, and tree pens are all set up right, I get the lot ready to accept the over 900 trees and sell those trees in less than 10 days.  

    Another one of my yearly duties is creating and setting up the Haunted Trail. The Trail is a free event put on by the Optimists around Halloween for the community.  About 2,000 patrons come over two nights.  As the Technical Theatre Teacher at Centerville High School, I have my students use their skills to design and create new Fright Stations, modify or update existing stations, and setup/teardown everything in the park. 

    Together with Joan, we are mentors for a Will Cale Memorial Scholarship winner.  The student is awarded the scholarship due to hardships and hurdles they have overcome.  We provide support and guidance for them once they are attending Sinclair College. This is a very fulfilling opportunity for us to help students succeed after high school.

    Centerville High School Teacher And Performing Arts Center Manager

    I am the Instructor for the Technical Theatre Tech Prep Program.  The program is a career education program aligned with Sinclair College for Juniors and Seniors.  It's a hands-on, project-based program that teaches students skills in backstage theatre such as construction, lighting, costuming, project management, business and personal skills. More importantly, it teaches life skills such as responsibility, work ethic, planning, creativity, working with others, leadership and communication. At the end of the program, students are eligible for a $3,000 scholarship to Sinclair College.  A lot of older people don't understand the students of today and what challenges they are facing.  I try to nurture and support my "kids" through wisdom, advice, food (yes, many are underfed) and being a positive adult example in their life (yes, many are lacking that outside of school).

    In addition to my teaching, I am also the Scenic Designer and Technical Director for our extra-curricular Theatre Program.  I work with about 50-60 kids who work to build the sets, sew costumes, and lead other students in mounting 3 productions a year. This experience strengthens life skills, and creates opportunities for students to be a part of something larger than themselves.  It gives students a sense of community and collaboration that is necessary as they move into adulthood.

    I also manage the Centerville Schools Performing Arts Center.  We host and support the majority of the performing arts groups in the District. From Primary through high school, students perform on our stage.  Concerts, meetings, rehearsals, classes, and rentals add up to about 270 events a year and about 45,000 patrons sitting in our seats. Our facility also acts a training ground for theatre technicians.  Students in my program provide the labor for all events in the PAC.  For outside rental events, students are paid to crew these events.  We operate at a very high level of professionalism, and students gain the experience they need to continue on after graduation.

    I am very fortunate to have the opportunities I have and get great satisfaction and gratitude volunteering my time and talents to worthy causes.  As an educator, I have a very strong sense of making a positive impact on today's youth.  As a volunteer, I see the difference the Optimists are making with the monetary and personal support for the kids in our community.  

    Centerville Noon Optimist Club

    Centerville City Schools Performing Arts Center

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