After a life-changing summer safari to Kenya in 2007, Chris Welles was inspired to establish a fashionable line of clothing that raises money to protect endangered wildlife. “I was a complete whiner,” Welles said. “I didn’t want to go in July [of 2007].” But the amazing experience of Kenya’s natural habitat led him to want to give back to that country. American Rhino, Welles’s clothing shop, has gone from simple hats and stickers (with the logo of an American flag in the shape of a rhinoceros) to an online presence since 2016 and a brick-and-mortar store in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, last summer.
The former executive recruiter traveled to Nairobi to find manufacturers for his line of apparel, including hats, belts, shorts, hoodies, and more. Proceeds benefit wildlife conservation efforts throughout east Africa. Welles has also traveled to Kenya to outfit rangers in the Maasai Mara National Reserve — charged with protecting rhinos from poachers — with boots, uniforms, backpacks, and other essentials. His next project is to create a fund to protect rhino rangers’ families. “If they get injured in the line of duty, there’s no such thing as disability insurance,” Welles said.
Tim Lord ’83, Stephen Boeschenstein ’84, Deidre Lord ’85, and E.B. Blakney ’83
Tim Lord ’83 (co-founder of Dreamyard programs, which works with Bronx youths and families to create opportunities through the arts), Stephen Boeschenstein ’84, Deirdre Lord ’85 and a “surprisingly well-preserved” Erickson EB Blakney ’83 met for breakfast in midtown Manhattan in November.
Seksom Suriyapa ’84
Seksom and his wife Susan met former Vice President Joe Biden at a small gathering in Palo Alto, CA, in October. A good friend of Seksom’s was childhood friends with Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware and son of the Vice Ppresident. Beau Biden died tragically early of brain cancer, and this was a fund-raiser for a foundation that honors the work of Beau with children.
Shawn Schwaner, Ph.D., ’84
Shawn is returning to Maumee Valley Country Day School to provide an evening of storytelling based upon his autobiography of growing up in an African-American family while living in East Toledo and attending MVCDS. He will be sharing a peek behind the mask and curtain that he hid while maintaining a happy-go-lucky face at school. Schwaner’s talk will touch on the importance of love, teachers, and friendship in providing hope to carry on. This will be a tribute to the unintended value of being a member of the Maumee Valley family. The program is scheduled for December 1st from 7:00-9:00pm.
Seksom Suriyapa ’84 and Lucas Isaza ’15
Suriyapa and Isaza attended the Copa America preliminary matches in San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium in June 2017. Colombia took on the US, and Colombia prevailed.
Class members of 2000
Megan Fish Robson ’00, Jenica Frank Dille ’00, Teka Fitzgibbons, Natalie Hoag James ’00, Hopie Welles Jernagan ’00, Sarah Breier Sherwin ’00, attending Memorial service for MVCDS alumnus Jordan Almester ’00.
MVCDS Alumni at Memorial for Jordan Alemsters ’00
From left: Kara Fish Richards ’01, Megan Fish Robson ’00, Hopie Welles Jernagan ’00, Leah Whitaker ’00, Weston Wenner ’02, Jenica Frank Dille ’00, Anant Tamirisa ’02, Jameson Staneluis ’00, Leo Martinez ’00, and Bennett Whitaker ’97. Floor from left: Natalie Hoag James ’00, Matthew Osterman ’02, and Hannah Lehman ’00.
Natalie Hoag James ’00, Hopie Welles Jernagan '00, Jenica Frank Dille ’00, and Megan Fish Robson ’00
A mini reunion with four best friends from high school. Natalie sent in photos of all their kids together while she was in town for Joedan Almester ’00 Memorail.
Jenica Belle James (daughter of Natalie Hoag James ’00 & named after Jenica Frank Dille ’00), Hope Jerrnagen (daughter of Hopie Welles Jernagan ’00), Maddock Robson (son of Megan Fish Robson ’00)
Jenica Belle James & Lena James Dille, (daughters of Natalie Hoag James ’00 & Jenica Frank Dille ’00).
Monica Rostocki ’03
Monica joyfully announced her engagement to Jon J. Hartmann in Ojai, CA, last month. The two met by chance on a rock climbing trip in the Eastern Sierra Mountains several years ago and have been building a life around their mutual passion for the mountains and climbing ever since.
Michael Anspach ’04
Michael, a third-year law student at Marquette University, is currently the editor-in-chief of the Marquette Law Review. Anspach recently oversaw publication of an investigative article involving U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, who had been President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The article claimed that a bill that Marino helped shepherd through Congress actually weakened the power of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration over drug distributors. “Right off the bat, I knew I wanted the article based on its subject matter,” Anspach said. “I knew of the devastation that was being caused as a result of the opioid epidemic.” Anspach hoped the article in the law review would raise awareness of the opioid crisis. Click here for more details about the article.
Alok Harwani ’09
Alok graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in May 2017, and started his new job in June at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics as an emergency Medicine Resident Physician in Madison, WI.
Marilynn (Mar) Willey ’10
Marilynn became engaged to Matthew Schwartz on November 5, 2017, at Bear Mountain in upstate New York. They met five years ago as college students in the Boston area and now reside in New York City. They hope to marry some time in 2018.
Ida Kärnsund ’13
Ida got engaged to Filip Andreasson in October, 2017, at Grótta Island Lighthouse, Seltjarnarnes, Iceland. At the lighthouse on the small island just West of Reykjavik, you can only get to the island at low tide because you have to walk to it. Filip went down on one knee and asked Ida to marry him. She said yes! They are very happy!