Governor, 'Berg dean share special connection

It truly is a small world.

On Wednesday, Heidelberg hosted a wonderful Patricia Adams Lecture Series 10th anniversary celebration that drew the likes of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife, Fran, among other local and state political figures. Following the event, Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Chris Abrams was waiting in the wings to share a story with the governor – a story that connects the DeWine and Abrams families in a very special way.

It unfolds like this.

Twenty-six years ago, in 1993, Becky DeWine – the third oldest of the family’s eight children – was tragically killed in a car accident near their Cedarville home. 

About 10 years later, Chris and Melissa Abrams brought home 8-month-old adopted daughters Faith and Hope from an extremely poor neighborhood in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

In honor of their daughter, the Mike and Fran DeWine established the Becky DeWine School in the Cite Soleil district of Port-Au-Prince, which graduated its first class in 2013. 

Ridden with squalor, extreme poverty, violent crime, corruption, the remnants of a devastating earthquake and the deck stacked against students getting a quality education, Cite Soleil is the neighborhood where Faith and Hope were born almost 17 years ago.

“I knew this about the governor and his family,” said Chris, who was hoping to get a chance to shake the governor’s hand and say hello. Working the room, DeWine eventually found his way to Chris, who said, “I’ve got a great story to share with you.”

That led to a 15-minute conversation with DeWine, who summoned Fran over to hear the story as well. The two dads took a photo together at the PALS event in a moment that both of them will certainly treasure.

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