Honoring Mary Diana Samuel

Event introduces foundation, home for girls

ALLEN MINCEY Banner Staff Writer
Posted 10/6/15

Attendees were given the chance to sample native cuisine, but the true purpose of a special luncheon Sunday was to give them a glimpse of work being done in India for young girls.

Dozens were …

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Honoring Mary Diana Samuel

Event introduces foundation, home for girls

Posted

Attendees were given the chance to sample native cuisine, but the true purpose of a special luncheon Sunday was to give them a glimpse of work being done in India for young girls.

Dozens were present at First United Methodist Church to learn more about the Mary Diana Samuel Foundation and the Mary Diana Samuel Home for Girls located in Tiruvallur, Chennai, India. Seventy-three girls reside at the home to learn and worship, and also have a safe place to get away from the troubles in that country.

The home was created by Dr. and Mrs. Aaron Samuel as a place to honor their daughter, who was killed in a traffic accident in 1995.

Mary Diana Samuel had a dream to create a place for young girls to have food, a home, an education and a future.

The home opened in 2010 to honor Mary Diana’s dream.

Many from First United Methodist Church have traveled to India to glimpse the home, and to meet the girls who are there. Tricia Pennington of Cleveland toured the home in 2012, and said she came home with a love for all those who live at the home.

“It is full of such pure love,” she said. “Our job was to love on those girls ... to be an ambassador, and while we saw them singing and praising God, their smiles are what I will always remember.”

Those attending Sunday’s event got to see a video of the girls singing, and bearing those big smiles.

A former chairman for the home, Bill Adams, said that he was first called “Uncle” by the girls, but later became known as “Grandpa,” both terms of endearment.

Dr. Jim Burns of Cleveland, who has visited the home with his wife, Doris, , is also known as “Grandpa.”

Samuel is known as “Father” to the girls at the home. These girls range in age from four to 14.

Sunday’s event was also attended by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and his wife, Sandra. Rowland presented a proclamation to the Samuels designating Sunday as Mary Diana Samuel Day in Cleveland.

A trip to the home is planned for early November, and several in attendance Sunday said they will be making the trip.

Along with the traditional Indian food, Joseph Ridolfo presented Indian music on sitar to begin the event.

For more information on the home, or to make a donation to help its operating expenses and the educational expenses for the girls, contact the First United Methodist Church or Burns.

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