CNOtes – October 30, 2018 – Ickey Woods – Former Cincinnati Bengal

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, from time to time I think we all have been at loss when we kneel to pray. The static of the day still is rattling around in our head. We have focused so much on our own agenda that we ignored all outside distractions or thoughts. Lord, put in our mind all those we love and love us. Have us single out a member that
we neglected to encourage. Then when we bend our head, have us pray they grow in their love and get better every day and don’t let us forget to include ourselves. Amen!

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Rick Altvater Greg Wasmund
Dan Apolito Scott Langer
Matt Brown Mike Yoder
Mariah Butler Vogelgesang Mike Bevis
Andrew Dickerson Andrew Mackenzie
Amy Dryden Mike Bevis
Ron Kuker Charlie Tapp
Jim Weaver Greg Wasmund
Ickey Woods Speaker

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Committee Announcements

Bill Stone, chair for Dime-a-Day, will be accepting checks and forms for Dime-a-Day donations this week.  You can also send the form and your check in yourself or give them to Bill on a later date. Get the form here. Optimist International and Optimist International Foundation coexist as two separate organizations that support each other. Optimist International Foundation is the fundraising arm of Optimist International, and works to develop funds to support the endeavors of Optimist International and its mission.

Nancy Lehren, Childhood cancer chair, thanked everyone for the successful Build-a-Bear on October 25, 2018.

Myron Rheaume, Personal Growth chair, will offer PDP and PGP instructions before and after next week’s meeting.

Beth Duncan, social chair, announced there will be a Dinner and a Mystery on December 28, 2018. It will be at the Spaghetti Warehouse.

Today’s Speaker

Chris McAlpine introduced Ickey Woods, former star fullback of the Cincinnati Bengals. Chris’s introduction was the briefest this reporter has ever witnessed. Chris simply said, “Everyone, this is Ickey Woods.”

Ickey came today to tell us about the foundation named after his son, the Jovante Woods Foundation. The foundation concentrates its efforts in the areas of treatment and education for Asthma and Organ Donation.

Ickey shared some stories about his life and football career. He was born in Fresno CA. He received a full ride scholarship at UNLV. The first 3 years were difficult, but John Montgomery, his coach, treated him as a person. Ickey said that John told him, “Give me 110% and I’ll get you into the NFL. Just do everything I say.” Ickey did what John said. Ickey was the first player drafted in the second round. He was not a great student, but he loved football. He was part of the most explosive offense in the league and made it to Super Bowl XXIII in January 1989 with quarterback Boomer Esiason.

During that great year, Ickey created the famous Ickey Shuffle. His career ended quickly after 4 years because of injuries. Luckily, he had the gift of gab and went into sales doing whatever it took to put clothes on his kid’s backs.

Ickey’s son, Jovante Woods, was an extremely bright student with a 3.8 GPA. He was athletic, caring and was going to have a great academic career. On August 14 2010, Jovante Woods passed away from a severe asthma attack at 16 years of age. Ickey remembers getting the worst phone call a parent could ever get that his son couldn’t breathe. By the time Ickey got home, his son was in the ambulance. They were trying to resuscitate him. They decided to airlift him to Cincinnati Children’s hospital. His son had lost a half hour of oxygen to the brain. They waited to see if the brain swelled, since there was nothing they could do if it did.  The brain scans were completely black instead of showing the folds of the brain in a normal scan which indicated there was severe swelling of the brain.

They told Ickey his son was brain dead. He said “It is hard to explain, it is excruciating. I had to be tough because everyone was depending on me. The first three months were extremely rough, and I considered taking my own life. I realized how selfish that would be and that people were depending on me.”

He said, “I had no idea that asthma could kill. I have asthma myself, but I had never heard of anyone dying of asthma.”

Shortly after Jovante was pronounced brain dead, two ladies showed up from “Life Center”. They explained that Jovante had chosen to give away his organs on his driver’s license in the event of death. This was very upsetting to Ickey and Chandra (Jovante’s mother) at first.  After giving their condolences, the ladies asked them how they felt about Jovante being an organ donor since parents of minors have the ultimate decision. After calming down, Ickey and Chandra decided to honor Jovante’s wishes. Jovante Woods’ organs saved four lives and helped countless others using tissue donations.

Ickey and Chandra decided to create the Jovante Woods Foundation. The mission of the foundation is three-fold. From the website:

Asthma:  We strive to increase asthma awareness, screening locations, education to families in need and efforts to find a cure. As we continue our ongoing endowment in Jovante’s name, we help fund the critical work within the Cincinnati Children’s Asthma Research Division.

Organ Donation:  By working with LifeCenter Organ Donor Network, we are able to continue education efforts on the importance of the gift of life.

Education:  Our “3.8 to be Great” scholarship fund awards two scholarships to a male and female athlete with a 3.8 or greater GPA.

Proceeds from the fundraising events, programs and donations are shared between these three important goals unless otherwise specified.

Asthma is the fasted growing disease. Since 1980 asthma has grown 80%. Every day 11 people die from asthma.

So far, the foundation has donated over $100,000 to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital asthma division.

You can help the Jovante Woods Foundation in many ways. On the website, you can donate, buy gifts, offer to volunteer, participate in fundraisers and contribute to a sponsorship. If you like the Bengals check out the JWF shop where there are lots of Bengals related items.  All of the items are autographed by Ickey Woods.

The foundation also has fundraising golf outings. The one in Dayton is the second Monday in May each year at NCR Country Club.

After Ickey was done speaking, the CNO golf committee gave him a gift with a reminder on it that they expect him to participate again in our golf outing next year on July 15, 2019.

You can contact the foundation by calling 859-JOV-ANTE (859-568-2683) or sending an email to

Additional Information from the Ickey Woods Foundation

Ickey’s personal assistant, Erika Bacon, sent a nice email with a lot of information after our meeting. What follows is the email from Erika about Ickey and the Jovante Woods Foundation:


It was such a pleasure meeting with you today. I appreciate you writing about the Foundation in your newsletter, that is very exciting. I want to cover our mission, which has three components as described below.

Ickey has poured his heart and soul into trying to ensure not one more parent or family has to lose a child due to complications with Asthma. The passion and intensity you were able to witness today during Ickey’s time speaking is the same passion and intensity that inspires everyone involved with the Jovante Woods Foundation. We are looking to make Jovante the recognizable face of Asthma, in doing this it also means Asthma is at the forefront in people’s minds and discussions. JWF wants to push forward research to find a cure, or at a minimum a better way to treat the disease. We are working toward funding an early detection program, which will allow families to catch the disease early and provide education to families, communities and schools.

Jovante ensured that he left a legacy, which at his tender young age he may not have fully grasped he was doing by simply selecting organ donation on his license. WOW! What a gift he chose to provide to someone in the event the unthinkable happened. As we now know on August 14, 2010 Jovante did pass away from complications of Asthma. Literally minutes after his parents, Ickey and Chandra, found out they had just lost their child, they also found out he selflessly chose to be an organ donor. Jovante was able to save four lives through organ donation and countless others with his tissue donation. Ickey devotes a good portion of his time speaking to High School students about Organ Donation. If there is a school you are involved with please let us know and we will be happy to set up a time for Ickey to go and speak with the students and faculty.

In addition to Jovante “JoJo” being a selfless young man, he was also a straight “A” student athlete. Another portion of JWF is our “3.8 to be Great” Scholarship Program.  Each applicant applying for a Scholarship must have a 3.8 or higher GPA and be a student athlete. We have been fortunate enough in the last 3 years alone to give away over $14,000.00 in scholarships to young men and women who meet the criteria.

Ultimately eradication of Asthma is the end goal. In the meantime, we will continue our mission to fund research, early detection, better treatments and education of Asthma; Organ Donation; and our 3.8 to be Great Scholarship program. All in honor of one amazing young man, Jovante Woods.

Thank you for your time.


Erika Bacon


Member Birthday
Suzanne Werts October 30
Cheryl Reichel November 01
Deborah Saunders November 01
Wendy Hattan November 2
Robin Golden November 04

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Bob Vogt November 8 11/8/2005 13

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Ronald Kuker (pronounced “KEEKER”) Charlie Tapp 2nd Reading
Andrew Dickerson Andrew McKenzie 1st Reading
Mariah Vogelgesang Mike Bevis 1st Reading

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Blanca Ortiz Not wearing Optimist pin in her picture for her bank
Pat Behn Reckless driving at the front door last week as she almost hit another person
Carrie Million Attempted to fire herself from putting up the CNO Podium Sign each week
Beth Duncan Coffee mug lost again

Happy Bucks!

Member Reason
Joe Madden Recently installed carbon monoxide detector and it may have saved his and Mary’s life. Everyone should get one or check the ones they have. He says to get one that talks.
Greg Griffin The new storage trailer has been delivered and setup for the Christmas Tree lot. Thanks to Roy Barclay, Jerry Stahley and Bill Stone for their amazing work in customizing the new trailer with LED lighting.
Kelly Stone Mike Cordonnier is doing well after his 5 bypass surgery. Sleeping is difficult.
Myron Rheaume Paid $5 because he is very happy that today’s speaker, Ickey Woods, has agreed to be a speaker at an Optimist state conference soon.
Charlie Goodwin Survived his Africa vacation even though he was bitten by a baby lion and and chased by a full sized hippo.
Charlie Goodwin This weekend he will be going to Philly for granddaughter’s second birthday.