Trenton author donating 40,000 books, a cancer fighter graduates and more: 5 uplifting Butler County stories this week.

Here’s a look at five positive Butler County stories that were in the news this week:


Trenton author to donate 40,000 books to children’s hospitals, foster agencies in U.S.

Samantha Stewart, left, has a rare brain aneurysm. After her diagnosis several years ago she had fell into depression but out of that she ended up writing a children’s book, “Making Sunshine” that really is for children of all ages. The book’s aim is to help make sunshine from their sadness and grief. Pictured with Samantha is her wife, Kayla Stewart. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
Samantha Stewart, left, has a rare brain aneurysm. After her diagnosis several years ago she had fell into depression but out of that she ended up writing a children’s book, “Making Sunshine” that really is for children of all ages. The book’s aim is to help make sunshine from their sadness and grief. Pictured with Samantha is her wife, Kayla Stewart. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Samantha Stewart wants to help children across the country turn sadness into sunshine with her children’s book to be released within two weeks.

But “Making Sunshine” is more than just a book for children of any age, she said. It’s a book that’s helped her cope with a life-threatening, rare brain aneurysm known as an ophthalmic aneurysm in her carotid artery.

“The book is about becoming a superhero and taking this dark cloud, this sadness, and turning it into making sunshine,” she said. “Turning it into sunshine. The dark cloud is something you’re feeling, it’s something you created. The sunshine is something you created as well. It’s about putting a light, a brightness in your life.”

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Mattie’s journey: Her cancer fight inspired the Madison Twp. community. Now she’s a high school graduate

After extensive chemotherapy Mattie Cole now has a Madison High School diploma in her hand as she approaches the two-year anniversary of her last treatment. She plans to study radiology at  Sinclair Community College. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
After extensive chemotherapy Mattie Cole now has a Madison High School diploma in her hand as she approaches the two-year anniversary of her last treatment. She plans to study radiology at Sinclair Community College. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Mattie Cole knows the shape and depth of the hearts of Madison High School and the surrounding township community.

Cole has in recent years been the recipient of an outpouring of love and support from thousands who chose to back her has she fought cancer.

After extensive chemotherapy Cole now has a Madison High School diploma in her hand as she approaches the two-year anniversary of her last treatment.

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Carlisle valedictorian, athlete and class president heads for bigger stage at Harvard

Carlisle High School valedictorian Max Allison will attend Harvard University next fall. STAFF PHOTO / JEREMY P. KELLEY
Carlisle High School valedictorian Max Allison will attend Harvard University next fall. STAFF PHOTO / JEREMY P. KELLEY

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Credit: Jeremy P. Kelley

Max Allison’s Carlisle High School resume speaks for itself — valedictorian, multisport athlete, class president, lead in the school play. But when he added Harvard and other top universities to the state schools on his college application list, he had no idea what to expect.

“I had no frame of reference on where I’d be going,” Allison said. “It’s just a dice roll. Who are they looking for? Are they looking for someone from your demographic? I could either get in, or I could have zero percent chance.”

It turns out he had more than a chance, as he was accepted everywhere he applied (except for Yale, where he was wait-listed). He called it “a huge shock,” but now Carlisle’s Renaissance man is headed to Harvard in the fall.

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Pizza food truck opens new brick-and-mortar location at Fairfield brewery

Michael Manning, 45, owner of Pizza Cicerone in Fairfield, prepares pizza in his wood-oven during a food festival at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Pizza Cicerone recently opened inside Swine City Brewery on Industry Drive. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Michael Manning, 45, owner of Pizza Cicerone in Fairfield, prepares pizza in his wood-oven during a food festival at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Pizza Cicerone recently opened inside Swine City Brewery on Industry Drive. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The owner of the Swine City Brewery wanted to concentrate on craft beer and leave the cooking to someone else.

The owner of Pizza Cicerone wanted a brick-and-mortar location to serve his Neapolitan style pizza after offering it for four years at local food festivals.

So the owners came up with this plan: Serve pizza at the brewery.

“The opportunity presented itself,” said Michael Manning, 45, owner of Pizza Cicerone, 4614 Industry Drive, Fairfield. “It’s working out real well so far.”

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‘Breathe life back into the game’: Reds Community Fund plans to help Middletown baseball clinic

Middie baseball player Joe Current, 16, shows off his swing as Middletown Schools’ new middle school and high school hosted Middie XL, a district-wide open house featuring Middletown leaders, teachers and students showing off what makes the schools tick. It was a first-time experiment on a grand scale that included speeches and participation by top city officials. A wide variety of academic displays, musical performances, artistic presentations and athletic demonstrations filled the halls and classrooms. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Middie baseball player Joe Current, 16, shows off his swing as Middletown Schools’ new middle school and high school hosted Middie XL, a district-wide open house featuring Middletown leaders, teachers and students showing off what makes the schools tick. It was a first-time experiment on a grand scale that included speeches and participation by top city officials. A wide variety of academic displays, musical performances, artistic presentations and athletic demonstrations filled the halls and classrooms. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

With less than one week until the first of three fundamental baseball clinics in Middletown, the momentum appears to be building.

Greg Schwarber, retired Middletown police chief and commissioner of the Middie Way Baseball League, and others associated with the start-up league met last week with Charley Frank, executive director of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund.

Frank said the goal of the baseball camps and league that will offer Rag Ball, T-ball and Coach Pitch in 2022 aligns perfectly with the community fund. He said for baseball to survive and grow, children must be introduced to the game at an early age, then be given the opportunity to play despite their financial hardships.

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AND, for an extra sixth story of the day ...

Spooky Nook reaches milestone by signing first event for 2022 in Hamilton

Sam Beiler, founder of Spooky Nook Sports, speaks during a media tour of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill complex under construction Friday, April 30, 2021 in Hamilton. The sports complex side and convention and hotel space combined will be over 1 million sq. feet when completed. Mill One will feature a fitness center, climbing and adventure center, hardwood courts, sports courts, turf fields and more. Mill Two by the river is the conference center and will feature 233 hotel rooms, 16 conference rooms and 60,000 sq. feet of tenant/ lease space. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Sam Beiler, founder of Spooky Nook Sports, speaks during a media tour of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill complex under construction Friday, April 30, 2021 in Hamilton. The sports complex side and convention and hotel space combined will be over 1 million sq. feet when completed. Mill One will feature a fitness center, climbing and adventure center, hardwood courts, sports courts, turf fields and more. Mill Two by the river is the conference center and will feature 233 hotel rooms, 16 conference rooms and 60,000 sq. feet of tenant/ lease space. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The first event has been scheduled for Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill.

The large indoor sports facility and convention center under construction in Hamilton will host the 65th Model T Tour held by the Model T Ford Club International from July 17-22, 2022, officials said.

The event expected to draw more than 200 of the classic vehicles will feature a judged car show, driving tours, and a movie night at Holiday Auto Theatre, among other events. More than 600 attendees are expected to explore surrounding areas. Recent Model T Tour host destinations have included Auburn, New York, Whitefish, Montana, Cranberry, Pennsylvania and Prince Edward Island, Canada.

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