Quest

Quest for creator leads to special teen
by Liz Thompson

Published: Grove City News
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

For 10 years, a pretty handmade bowl was one of my favorites. Written on the bottom was “2/5/01, Corinne Haines.”

I had purchased it at a restaurant across from City Hall in Grove
City as part of a project to raise money for the hungry. I knew the
artists were children and I was enamored.

One day I decided to learn who Corinne Haines is and where she is
now. I did a search for Haines’ living in Grove City. When 28 names
appeared, I sighed but started calling. When I reached Kimberly, I hit
gold. She is Corinne’s mom.

When I told her of my quest to learn about the little girl who made this pretty bowl, she chuckled.

“I often wondered who got the bowls she made. I bought one,” Kim said.

I told Kim it made my day when I found her. It made her day as a mom. We
moms have an unseen bond when we share stories about our “children.”

Sheila,
of the Grove City Parks and Recreation department, said the bowl was
part of the Empty Bowls project made during the Programmed Aftershool
Recreation for Kids (PARK).

Corinne told me she remembers making the ceramic bowls at Buckeye Woods Elementary School.

“I was so excited to be decorating the bowls because I loved arts and crafts … ,” Corinne said.

“I made three or four bowls that day and I worked very hard trying to make them as unique as possible.”

Time changed Corinne from a little girl to a young woman. At 19, she is a
sophomore at Denison University with double majors in biology and
economics, with a minor in math.

When you read Corinne’s resume,
the highlights are many. Some include avid tennis player, Key Club,
volunteer, baby-sitter, mentor, model, valet, homecoming court, blood
donor, honor society, and she is working two jobs this summer.

One day she might be on a ballot. Corinne was active in high school student council, with a long stint as class vice president.

She received the South-Western City School District Individual Leadership Pride Award and had a better-than 4.0 GPA.

I asked Corrine what makes her tick.

“My goal everyday when I wake up is to be a better person than I was the day before,” she told me.

“To simply better myself and better the lives of other people is my motivation.”

Her mother has always been the driving force in her life. “She is an
amazing woman — so strong, driven, smart and loving. She taught me to
want to be the best person I can be and to help others,” Corrine said.

“Without her, I highly doubt I would be the person I am today.”

Corinne loved growing up in a small town in a family with strong ties to the
community. Her great-grandfather, Walter Luebben opened the Grove City
Hardware in 1945. His wife, Marguerite, and their children Patty
Fleming, Robert and Richard Luebben all worked there.

Kim’s father, Robert, sold the store in 1999. He worked there 44 years and sold it after the rest of his family had passed away.

Corinne is one of many deep rooted, small-town success stories. Look around you
— they abound and they help our bowls overfloweth.

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