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Make your reservation today for the 15th annual Friends of WomenSafe Spring Luncheon, “Blossoms & Butterflies.” Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in the Banquet Room at St. Mary’s, 401 North Street in Chardon.  Hear guest speaker Natalie Saikaly Ronayne, Executive Director of the Cleveland Botanical Garden, tell us about the interesting things happening at the Botanical Garden.

The doors will open at 11:30 a.m. so you can buy tickets for the lavish Chinese Auction items offered every year.  Items include certificates for restaurants, overnights, jewelry made by area artists and specialty baskets, to name just a few of the items you can win.  Reserve House Catering will prepare the delicious lunch, and we will be serenaded with the beautiful music of harpist Virginia Dickson.  The price remains at only $30 per person.  Make your reservations online at www.eventbrite.com to pay by credit card or call #440-285-3741 for more information.

Up to 50% of homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence.  By attending this fundraiser you will be part of the solution for families and individuals in crisis.  The Friends of WomenSafe exist solely to generate unrestricted funds to support the important work of WomenSafe.  We would love to see you at St. Mary’s as you treat yourself to a lovely afternoon and support this worthy cause!


In 2009, the small community of Garrettsville, Ohio, lost a precious, bright young fourth grader named Melana Matson to a horrible disease called Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).  This disease is an incurable and inoperable brain stem tumor that is located in the pons section of the brain.  Prognosis is 9 to 12 months to live when the tumor is in the pons.  So basically, children with this disease are given a death sentence.  It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in young people.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club will be moving its time and venue for meetings to Cal’s II at 12:00p.m. Yet to be decided is whether it will be on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday on a permanent basis.   Check it out and get involved with an active, community-oriented group seeking new members.  Everyone is invited to the first Monday noon meeting ( It’s been Monday evenings since about 1926…life goes on…things change.) on April 21st. Give Rotary a try.

G-H Rotary’s most recent meeting at the Hiram College Dining Hall was prefaced, as was just about every meeting in either Garrettsville or Hiram that week,  by discussion and reminiscences about the Buckeye Block and the rest of historic Garrettsville that was destroyed in the fire on March 22.  There was some interest in how to deal with possible donations from other clubs to aid the Garrettsville recovery efforts and the community food bank.  Matching grants may be available.  The district may be the way to go.  Is another reverse raffle the preferred fund-raising avenue? More discussion.

The group chose to endorse the upcoming Portage Park District levy on the ballot in May, with Tom Collins spearheading the effort and producing a letter-to-the-editor for local news media.  This is an issue of conservation, health and fitness, economic growth, community benefit; what’s not to like?

The subject of reviewing local by-laws on a regular timetable came up.  The president will be investigating this; Bob Jackson may be the fount of wisdom on this topic.  Additionally, the possibility of donating the club’s records and historical documents to the James A. Garfield Historical Society or to the Portage County District Library (branch office at Garrettsville)came up.  Digitizing these might make such an offer more appealing.

The semi-annual roadside clean-up is approaching.  Interact members and the local Boy Scout troop will be contacted to participate.  Their help is always appreciated.


Last week, during their spring break, eight Girl Scouts from Crestwood Intermediate and their siblings took a tour at Streetsboro Metal Recycling to get a head start on Earth Day. The girls brought aluminum cans with them, which they had started collecting  when the school year began. While at the facility, they learned first-hand about recycling, while earning funds for their troop in the process.

Friends of Melana (FOM) will hold their Fourth Annual Memorial 5k and 1 mile run/walk at Garrettsville Summerfest, Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9am. Proceeds from the event are used to fund research for kid’s cancer specifically for Gliomas. Participants are asked to register at www.stopkidscancer.org and click on events. The cost is $25 per runner and $15 for the fun run/walk.

Newton Falls – March’s meeting of the Newton Falls Area Commerce Association tied up a few loose ends and set plans moving forward while discussing ideas for creating new opportunities for professional growth.

The agenda opened with time for special presentations and this month featured [member], the law offices of Turner, May & Shepherd. Representative Robert Gensler, Jr. took the floor for a few moments to explain that the firm handles matters such as probate law, including estates and family law, including adoptions, in addition to several other areas of the legal system. Bob also mentioned the importance of having a will in place so that the government is not left to decide how one’s wishes are to be carried out. Next month will feature “Santa” Rick Kerlin of Our Towne Construction.

Windham – Hope springs a new with Windham Community in Action’s (CIA) Community Garden of Hope. This past Saturday, Windham CIA held a ground breaking for their community garden that they will plant when the weather breaks.  Prior to the ground breaking ceremony, they held a name the garden contest and Victoria Showalter won the contest with the name, Community Garden of Hope. The new garden will be located just north of the Cortland Bank on Maple Grove Road.

windham-community-gardenThere are two parcels of land they will use for the garden, one is owned by the Village of Windham and the other is owned by Portage Woods.  Windham CIA has lease agreements with both entities at a very minimal cost.

The stage was set, approximately thirty people were waiting for the actual ceremony to begin when all of a sudden right before the scheduled start time the skies opened up and it poured. The rain did not dampen the spirit and the show went on, which included several speakers. Mary Lou from the county extension office and Portage County Master Gardeners talked about how gardening is beneficial to the community and the future of Windham. Bill Kot explained the process of composting and how it will be used in the garden. Paula Daniels explained how the schools will be involved in the garden and how beneficial the garden will be to the students as they learn about plant life. Julie Kelley, pastor of the Nazarene Church in Windham spoke on hope and how it is a gift, that it is intangible, invaluable and never ending. Hope is the beginning of the future.

Following the speeches, the first shovel was inserted into the ground only to hit roots. Following the ceremonial first shovels, the event was then moved to the fire station for refreshments.

This year, they plan to have approximately 10 raised bed, fruit tree, grape arbors, black berries bushes, and strawberry plants, with more items being added each year. They plan to have lighting, benches, a walking path and more, making the garden a place to reflect as well as help meet the nutritional needs of the community. A tentative design was drawn, however Matt Sorrick, Director of the Center for Science Education at Hiram College will assist with the layout and a new design to ensure the plants are getting the right sunlight etc for optimum growth and production.

Windham CIA wishes to thank the following donors Maruf Awad, Windham    Hardware, Windham Historical Society, Stoney’s Pizza, Cortland Banks, Roubic Law Offices, Randy & Brenda Slusher, Sharon & Larry Eye, Kenny & Freda Shearer, Miller Sand and Gravel, Little Tikes, Dollar general, Bob Cline, Andrea Hostetler, Michael Wallace, Cliff McGuire, Tom Hickman, The Village of Windham and Portage Woods for all their donations. They also want to thank the Windham Garden Club who has come on board to assist with the project. A special thanks to Rita Mullenax for her monetary donation to the project. Speaking of monetary donations, folks can make monetary donations at  Cortland Bank in Windham. Please make checks payable to Community in Action.



The 4-H All Stars have elected their officers;  Joey Fresch, President; Danielle Popek, Vice President; Stephanie Popek, Secretary; Erin Fresch, Recreation; Jonathan Wiczen, Health and Safety; Rebecca Potter, Reporter. April 12th will be our next meeting. This will be our business meeting. We will also be making Easter candy to hand out to local Senior Citizens. The small animal pancake breakfast will be held May 3rd at the Fair Grounds from 7am to 1pm. The All Stars will work from 11 am to 1 pm at the breakfast. Anyone interested in joining the All Stars, or any questions contact Janet Nichols 440-548-5142 or 330-235-3687.


Garrettsville – On Sunday, March 2nd the Garrettsville Town Trotters went to the office of Dann Timmons and Amy Turos on Main Street in Garrettsville and painted the front window. The theme of the window was “Follow the Hoof Prints to 4-H”. This year marks the 100th anniversary for Extension (of which 4-H is a part of) in the United States. The Cooperative Extension office was created to bring education to the farmers. 4-H was developed to educate children through hands on teaching. The four Hs stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health, and members are encouraged to use their four Hs to contribute to their community and world.

Thank-you to Mr. Timmons and Amy Turos for supporting us.

We have also inducted our 2014 officers: President-Olivia Doraski; Vice President-Jessica Fackler; Secretary-Kayla Gough; Treasurer-Julie McGrew; Scrapbook Keeper-Ashley Kaiser and News Reporter-Ryleigh Gough.

Congratulations to each.

On March 12th LMC held their monthly meeting, even if it was the worst day snow-wise. There were 6 of us attending. Alma Jones and Mary Leggett decorated for St. Patrick’s day. It was very cheerful and took our minds off the bad weather. Our program was presented by Iva Walker. Birthdays for members in March are Sally Kittle, Blanche Richmond, Anne Spolarich, Cathy Spolarich. We thought about you. Our thoughts were also about Josie Jarosz who passed away. The program was very interesting. It was a question and answer and the women had a good time coming up with the answers. We will be looking for better weather in April and everyone will be able to come to our meeting for a pleasant afternoon.


The Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville completed its journey through the Dewey Decimal System, fittingly, at the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County District Library, with the 900’s, history and geography.  Roll call was answered by enlightening the group as to what  each would take on  the way to a particular destination.  Some were practical, some were fanciful, some were apprehensive (“Going to hell in a handbasket…”).

The April MVGC meeting will be held, at noon, at the home of Carol Fenrich.  A light meal will be served, followed by a short business meeting. Our guest speaker, this month, is White Dove Crow, a  Medicine Teacher of Native American culture.  White Dove Crow will inform us of how the traditional Native American culture uses plants for food and medicine.  We welcome those who are interested, to join us.  For more information please contact Lea Lazar 330-274-0614, or Diane Lottig 330-274-2868.

Upcoming events:  The MVGC will be hosting an Arbor Day/Memorial program for Elvira Brockman on April 25th, at the Park Lodge, and its annual plant sale on May 17th (plant donations are welcome).  More details to come.  Mark your calendars!

The 9th Annual James A. Garfield Alumni Banquet will be held at the James A. Garfield Elementary School on Sept 20th. Anyone who attended JAG High School is welcome to attend. The event will include dinner, entertainment by the award winning high school band and tours of the campus including the new Intermediate School addition (grades 5 & 6) made possible through a five million dollar “Straight A” grant from the Ohio Department of Education.

Nelson Twp. – On President’s Day weekend, ten scouts and three leaders from Boy Scout Troop 4065, chartered by the Nelson United Methodist Church, traveled to Cuba, New York to attend the 47th Annual Cuba Lake Ice Camp.  Once there, they set up their tents on the ice, where they would camp and cook for two days with temperatures barely out of single digits.  

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is moving closer to changing the club meeting time and location, partly in hopes of  becoming more accessible to more local  residents and business people.  The prospect of having lunchtime meetings at Cal’s II would seem to have advantages and may well be tried this summer, when  the Hiram College Dining Hall may not be available.  Parking is also part of the consideration.  Discussion continues.

The ladies…and other members…of the Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville met on March 6 at the home of Iva Walker on Park Ave., Garrettsville,  for the penultimate meeting of the club year.  The theme for the year has been Exploring the World with Dewey, referring to the Dewey Decimal System upon which countless libraries and reference sources have been organized.  This evening the club arrived at the 800’s.

But first, business matters were to be dealt with.

Menu choices , price and location for the Spring Party, to be held  on April 24 were announced and reservations taken.  Candidates for club offices  in the next year were announced by the nominating committee.  Nasreen Kitko was welcomed back.

Jeanette Marvin Hall presented the program, illuminating what once was, for many in the American education system, the gateway to literature and learning in a broader sense, the famed McGuffey Reader.  These books were  literary outposts in the wilderness, designed to build good character and to instill a love of reading.  Often, they were the second book in a household, the Bible being the first.  They were intended to inculcateideals of hard work, education and good character; they incorporated lessons from the Bible, literary selections and poetry.  There was an emphasis on love of nature, kindness to animals and a deep regard for one’s fellow man, promptness, truthfulness, kindness and honesty.

The founder of this series was William Holmes McGuffey(1800-1873), an educational icon as a professor at Miami University of Ohio(where he wrote the Readers), president of Cincinnati College and president of Ohio University.  His chapter in the history of American education extended over three quarters of a century, through 555 published editions dedicated to the teachers of America.

His direction to all : “Let each think for himself, and learn from others all he can, accepting nothing less than the truth.”


The next meeting will be at the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County Library District, hostessed by the program committee and covering the 900’s, Geography and History.

Spring Valley, Ohio - Sixteen Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteers have returned from Ecuador, where they used their gardening skills to lend a helping hand in rural communities. They were on a gardening volunteer vacation, which was sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program and The Tandana Foundation. Garrettsville resident Judy Novak-Hrdy was one of the gardeners on this trip. The volunteers really enjoyed the trip.


Kent – Indian Trails Chapter IAAP will meet on Tuesday, March 25,  at 5:45 pm at The Davey Institute, 1500 N. Mantua St., Kent, Ohio

Deborah Darling will present Your POWER is Not in Your PowerPoint.

There are many resources that can teach you how to use PowerPoint from a technical standpoint. This is not one of those resources. This course will start by giving you some background in how the mind takes in information and how the information needs to be delivered in order to gain the most attention and retention by the listener. From this vantage point we will take a look at what constitutes a good slide and how to engage the audience rather than put them to sleep or (worse) kill them with PowerPoint. This course will help you create presentations that will move your audiences to action in a powerful and persuasive manner.

Geauga County – The Geauga County Retired Teachers Association (GCRTA) will hold a luncheon meeting on Tuesday April 1st at the Geauga County Library Administration Center at 12701 Ravenwood Drive, Chardon Ohio. (For directions and more information please visit: www.gerta.net). Attendees should arrive at 11:15 for the 11:30 business meeting followed by lunch at noon. The menu will include: chicken cutlet, pecan salad, pasta, rolls/garlic bread, coffee or water, and cookies. The program speaker will be Cheryl McClellan who will give an ‘Introduction to Genealogy’.


Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is still seeking contestants for the 4-Way Speech Contest ,  to be conducted locally  on March 10 at the McCumbers-Brady Realty on Main St. , Garrettsville.  Any students from Windham H.S. or James A. Garfield H.S., grades 9-12, are eligible to participate.  The local first-place prize winner will receive $100,  district-level winners will receive $750.  Every contestant will gain valuable experience and good stuff for a resume or an application.  The criteria to be addressed in the speech are : Is it the  TRUTH?  Is it FAIR to all concerned?  Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?  Interested persons should contact a Rotarian or a principal or a guidance counselor or a speech teacher…or anyone who can help them to take this big step on their road to success.

Newton Falls - Newton Falls Cemetery Association met February 20, 2014 at the Newton Township Administration Building on Newton Falls-Bailey Road. Susan Montgomery was welcomed as a new member. Fund raising ideas were discussed for a cemetery project to be decided upon at the next meeting. Another cemetery walk was proposed but details will be finalized at a later date. The Association plans to participate at the July 19-20, 2014 festival sponsored by the Pricetown Methodist Church to sell calendars.

The ladies of the Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville met with their guests on February 20 in the Garrettsville United Methodist Church for Guest Night and the advance through the Dewey Decimal System, the 600’s, the Arts.
The evening’s program was presented by well-known local musician, Dale Lacan.  His repertoire ranged across a selection of early(1920’s, ‘30’s, ‘40’s and such) old time favorites, from Jelly Roll Morton to Nat ”King” Cole.  He reminisced  with a standard offering of the late, great Roy Pancost, “Old Bones”.  Many songs harked back to by-gone days (“Hello, Central, Give Me Dr. Jazz”); some were quite encouraging (“Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age”); many were light-heartedly about love(“Do I Love You?”, “Hallelujah, I Just Love Her So,” “That’s the Glory of Love,” “If I Had You,” ).  And then there was the Peach State anthem, “Georgia” and a Pacific yearning , “I Wanna Go Back to My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii”(He pronounced it as well as the Red Wine Serenaders who have it on YouTube).
There were historical notes, personal touches and a fine reflection of fifty-two years of music-making and involvement with some thirty instruments—give or take a piccolo or two.  It was a fine evening which ended with an eclectic light collation served by the hostesses for the evening, Jan Chalker and Connie Crate

The next meeting will be held on March 6 at the home of Iva Walker on Park Avenue, Garrettsville

Garrettsville – As last week’s warmer weather brought melting snow and renewed our hope of spring, it also brought forth a group of Girl Scouts on a field trip to the Weekly Villager office in Garrettsville. The group of Juniors from troop 732 and Brownies from troop 835 came to the weekly newspaper to find out more about how the newspaper works, and to meet the paper’s owners, Michelle Zivoder and  Christine Gerez.

Literary Musical Club (LMC) held their meeting on February 12th. We were glad to see everyone since our January meeting was cancelled because of snow. We had installation of new officers. President Betty Hamilton, Vice President Margaret Lappert, Secretary Billie English, Treasurer Marguertte Strawman. Alma Jones did a nice job installing new officers. She presented each with a nice plant.
Our member Margaret Paul had her 90th birthday. We had a cake and sang her a birthday wish. We had a white elephant sale. This is always fun to see what’s for sale and who buys what.

In March Iva Walker will be entertaining us with one of her interesting talks. We always enjoy her programs. Our goal is to have all our members present at this meeting. So please make it your job to be there.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are moving on from their successful Family Week activity to support for Rachel Schwan, our local International Student Exchange adventurer for the coming year.  With the very helpful  encouragement and mentorship of Carol Donley, Rachel is looking at the likelihood of spending the 2014-2015 school year in Thailand.  Part of the requirement for this is locating three local families willing to participate as hosts for a possible incoming exchange student coming from who-knows-where.  The Collins family, the Brown family and the Schwan family have stepped forward and it’s all systems GO so far.  Any other families who would like to launch into this adventure at some future date should contact a Rotarian and cross their fingers.
G-H Rotary also would like to endorse the upcoming Portage Parks District levy to be on the May ballot.  This would give a solid financial foundation to the district and enable it to provide more outdoor experiences for everyone, as well as maintaining the current holdings for greater use and access at a cost of  less than $20 per year for most taxpayers with a $100,000 home.  It’s a bargain, with great possibilities for families and organizations  across the county.
Members affirmed their support for the Hiram “Shop With A Cop” program.  Tom Collins attended a Repair America : Protect, Produce, Prosper—Good Job/Green Job conference in Washington, D.C. and will be a future program.
New members are always welcome—Monday evenings, 5:30-7:00, Hiram College Dining Hall

The Mantua Village Garden Club will be resuming its meetings for the upcoming 2014 gardening season.  MVGC is one of the oldest established organizations in town, which was founded in 1935.  The first meeting of the year will be held at noon, at the home of president, Lea Lazar.  Members will enjoy a pot luck luncheon, to kick things off, a short business meeting, and then discuss the upcoming programs that the officers have put in place.  Members will be asked to share their most valuable garden tip, and bring their favorite veggie recipe.  The MVGC welcomes new members, so feel free to come and join us, on March 3, to see if it might be an organization that is right for you. For more information please contact Lea Lazar at (330)274-0614, or Diane Lottig at (330)274-2868.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are focusing on their next community outreach project, the Four-Way Speech Contest.  The premise of the competition is that the speakers are to choose a social, moral and/or ethical problem that they feel strongly about and have personal knowledge about. This confrontation should be bearing in mind the quartet of principles that give the contest its name.  These are : Is it the truth?  Is it fair to all concerned?  Will it build good will and better friendships?  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?  A pretty tall order, yes?  

Garrettsville – Spring is right around the corner, probably buried in a snowdrift but it is coming nevertheless.
One of the first signs of spring is the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Grab your friends and neighbors, and follow the road to Garrettsville Monday, March 17th for a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day you won’t forget. The restaurants and shops of Garrettsville know how to celebrate, and will be kicking off the morning with a variety of great fare. Whether you’re looking to start off the morning with a hearty breakfast, and a beer; or simply perusing historic Garrettsville’s shops there will be plenty of options to choose from. Corned beef and cabbage will be on many menus throughout the village. Family entertainment includes The Kindred Spirits, carriage rides (weather permitting), and balloon art by Jason Adkins; and will be scheduled from 5:00pm–8:00pm.


Start sorting through the garage…the Garrettsville Area Chamber’s 21st Annual Community Yard Sale is slated for May 17 & 18, 2014, beginning at 9am until 4pm. So start cleaning out the closets and get ready to make some cash on those unused and unwanted items lying around. Remember, what might be considered trash by some could be another’s treasure. This annual event is not limited to village residents, Windham, Hiram, Nelson, Freedom residents are encouraged to participate as well.  Even if someone lives outside the immediate area, they can participate by registering for a space at Sky Lanes Bowling Alley the Freedom Township Park (an additional charge may apply for these spaces).

Looking ahead to the start of summer, Garrettsville’s first summer Cruise Night is scheduled for May 24th (Rain date: May 25th). Be a part of the crowd and take a stroll down Garrettsville’s Main Street while checking out tons of great classic cars.

For a complete list of Chamber events or to check out many of the areas offerings visit GarrettsvilleArea.com

Mantua – Refuse to COOK and attend “The BEST CHILI COOK-OFF EVER”.  It starts Thursday, February 27th from 5-7 pm, in the decorated Crestwood HS cafeteria. The proceeds will assist the Rotary Club of Mantuas to fund 2014 Scholarships and Awards for Crestwood students!  The Mantua Rotary Club has supported the academic and service achievements of our Crestwood students for decades. The awarded amounts given to Crestwood students in the last ten years have exceeded $40,000!  To expand the relationship between Crestwood Schools, the Rotary Club is offering the 1st Annual “Serve It Up” Chili Cook Off.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians met on February 3, 20014 to look back with pride and a sense of accomplishment  on the 2014 incarnation of Family Week and its culmination in Family Fun Day ( see last week’s Villager) and to move on to planning a bigger and better event for next year.  Book the Balloon Man!

The Twentieth Century Club of Garrettsville met on February 6, 2014 in the Garrettsville branch of the Portage County District Library as part of the theme for the year, Through the Year with Dewey (Dewey Decimal System, that is).  The roll call was answered by proposing what members felt would be fine new inventions for the betterment of everyday life and worldwide problems.

Garrettsville – Out of 51 participants, these sharpshooters had the most baskets made. Anthony DeNigris hit 13 out of a possible 15 in this age group, while Derek Miller, Billy Criblez and Sam Biltz all made 12 out of 15/ in their tie breaker round, Derek came in first place, making 4 out of a possible 5 shots. It took 3 tie breakers rounds between Billy Criblez and Sam Biltz to determine who got second place; it was Billy Criblez. This year the contests were open to 9-year-olds.

Well, THAT was Fun!

Garrettsville- Hiram Rotary’s annual Family Week ended with a bang, as all—or a lot, anyway—of  the folks who had been cooped up by the weather  for longer than  had been the case for quite a while came out to do a whole raft of things  on Saturday, February 1.  There was something for everybody.  

Hiram - After an unexpectedly long Christmas break, the members of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary met in the Dining Hall at Hiram College on January 13 to get moving on upcoming events and programs.

Members were happy and proud to hear that Rachel Schwan has been selected for participation in the Rotary International Student Exchange program  for the 2014-2015 school year.  Her exact destination will be the subject of a later announcement.  Preparations are under way.  Adventure!

Geauga County - The Geauga County Retired Teachers’ Association will hold its next luncheon gathering on Tuesday February 4th, 2014 at The Pilgrim Christian Church at 202 South Hambden Street on the Chardon Square.

Attendees should arrive at 11:15 a.m. The business meeting will begin at 11:30 followed by lunch at noon. Chicken casserole, salad, rolls, beverages and dessert will be served. Linda Pentilla from the Chardon Schools will present a program on ‘How to develop an energy awareness’.

Reservations for attending this luncheon are required by Thursday, January 30th. Please make your $11.00 check out to GCRTA and mail it to: Judy Miller, 17130 Kinsman Rd. Middlefield, OH 44062 (phone: 440-487-4324). The cost of the event includes a $1 donation to the Grant-in-Aid Fund.

The association welcomes any person who was employed by a school district anywhere in the United States. For more information regarding membership, please contact Jean Paine at 440-286-4992.

Please remember to bring canned goods or paper products for the Geauga County Hunger Task Force.

For those attendees who need a ride from Geauga Transit, call 440-285-2222 or 440-564-7131 ext. 5160 to schedule transportation a week in advance.


Mantua – Crestwood area boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to participate in the local level of competition for the 2014 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship.  This is a fun, free activity for area youth to compete in a Free Throw (foul shot) competition for best of fifteen consecutive shots.  The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is sponsored annually where winners have the chance to progress through local, district, regional, state and possibly international competition levels.  Our 2013 event was a huge success with more than 344,000 sharpshooters participating in over 4,700 local competitions.

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce  wrapped up 2013 by celebrating another successful year of community involvement at its annual Holiday Social held on December 18th at Sugar Bush Golf Course. Over forty chamber members were treated to a delicious meal prepared by The Pasta House & Sherry Quiggle. They  even enjoyed a brief visit from Santa Claus himself. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend this year’s event, we hope to see even more of you at the 2014 Holiday Social!

This year over $104,000 was spent locally during  the Chamber’s annual Christmas on Main promotion. Unlike previous years, the 2013 shopping season was shorter and  lasted only 17 days — yet brought in over $6,000 a day for participating area businesses.

Following the Holiday Social dinner, chamber treasurer Erika Frankel selected the three winning cards from an assortment of over 1,040. The 2013 winners were:

1st Prize:  Lisa Ramsey who won  $500 in Chamber Bucks to be spent at area chamber businesses

2nd Prize: Sally Dier won the  Poinsettia Lottery Tree

3rd Prize:  Karla Veon  received a gift certificate to Sean’s Pub.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the event. Your continued support of our local businesses helps to make Garrettsville a great place to work, live, and visit.

There will be a board meeting in January to se the 2014 event calendar. The next chamber meeting will be held on February 5th at 7:30 am  at The Villager.

Newton Falls – The Newton Falls Area Commerce Association wrapped up 2013 with their December meeting, briefly discussing what had been accomplished during the year and spending the majority of the lunchtime gathering presenting ideas on what they hoped to achieve in the coming months.

The conversation opened with a recap of the items from the November meeting, beginning with a reminder of the area’s recently celebrated Small Business Saturday which traditionally is the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Though Newton Falls did not specifically host a town-wide event this year, the NFACA hopes to start planning now to encourage participation for the official 2014 festivities. One of the main goals for the upcoming year is to better promote the businesses in Newton Falls, and “Shop Locally” posters can be seen around town especially during the holidays, reminding customers that there are plenty of great shops and services right in their own neighborhood. Keeping business dollars locally will help the local economy and thus benefits the community even more. A committee will be forming after the first of the year to make a plan to promote the small businesses, even those that don’t necessarily have a physical store front.

Windham – Folks flocked to the streets and braved the bitter cold Sunday night to watch the first Winter Lights Parade sponsored by Community in Action for Windham (CIAFW). The event was held in conjunction with the Windham Community Church Fellowship Tree Lighting in the gazebo on the township green.