Local Charity Leaders to Reignite Childhood Passion in July Parade


Every once in a while, a breakfast at Half Day Café can spark a new friendship and reignite a childhood hobby. Such was the case for Wyoming residents Jen Eismeier and Jenn Goodin, who were introduced recently by a mutual friend.
“We decided to get together for breakfast to compare notes on leading non-profits,” said Jen Eismeier, who is the new executive director of Camp Joy. Goodin has been executive director for 18 years of Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House.

“By our third cup of coffee, we started talking about how I grew up in Springfield Township and Jenn grew up in Colerain Township,” Eismeier said. “And out of the blue one of us confessed that she used to twirl baton. Well, it turns out we both twirled and even took lessons from the same instructor. We both wore the same sequined outfits, competed locally in the same high school gyms, and even twirled fire baton in local parades.”

Eismeier, who also serves on Wyoming City Council, once took her talents to Europe, performing on the cobblestone streets in Spain’s Costa del Sol. Meanwhile, Goodin blazed her way across west-side football fields as a majorette for Northwest High School. Both women agree that their days of doing complicated flips and spins are tragically long gone.

“We thought it was a hilarious coincidence, and by the time we left Half Day, we had decided to relive our childhood glory days and twirl fire baton in the Wyoming Fourth of July parade,” Goodin said. “We knew we’d be rusty and possibly look ridiculous, but we see it as a great opportunity to embarrass our kids.”
The two have been practicing on weekends and synchronizing their choreography. They even found their former instructor on Facebook and reached out for a remedial lesson or two. (Sadly, she is retired).

Wyoming residents can show their support by cheering them on at the parade or by making a donation to their respective organizations. Camp Joy (camp-joy.org) provides outdoor experiential learning for people of all ages, with a focus on underserved populations. Ronald McDonald House Charities (rmhcincinnati.org) offers a “home away from home” for families from around the world with hospitalized children.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to see two local non-profit CEOs reclaim the joy of their youth… as their children watch, mortified, from the Wyoming sidewalks.

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