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Windham – Last month seven members toured the Draime Estate Gardens in Howland, along with some guests and members of the Grass Roots garden club.  It is a private facility providing educational opportunities and hands on experiences to students of horticulture, art and science.  It is run by Kent State.  The 12 acre tour was magnificent.

The Dirt Daubers took part in the Windham Bicentennial parade July 30th, celebrating our 40 years as a club.

This month our guest speaker was Fred Youngem, a bee keeper.  He put on a wonderful program and even brought some of his bees, in a glass case, for us to see how busy, busy they are.
Next month we will meet at the home of Angie Smithburger on Sept. 12, at 7:00 with the program yet to be determined.

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Garrettsville – The August meeting of The Heart of Doll Country was held at Garrettsville’s United Methodist Church on August 2nd.  After the minutes and Treasurer’s report were read, members discussed some upcoming proposed trips.  A visit to the Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania to see a display of life-sized needle sculpted dolls, the Strongsville Doll and Bear Show, and Kent State Museum of Fashion were all proposed.  We will check to see what the current display is at Kent, and decide if we will be going.  A lively discussion about next year’s luncheon was held, and a Christmas in July theme was decided upon.  We also talked about where we will hold the Christmas party this year, since we are not going to be meeting over the winter months.  At Share and Tell, member Barbara Dupay showed a carved wooden doll she had purchased from The Toy Shoppe, as well as passing out some catalogs from there.  Carolyn Englert had her Bleuette-type doll that had belonged to her mother.  Pat Dutchman provided refreshments as well as a program on Travel Dolls.  Jean Lawrence won the door prize, a lovely tote bag.  Sue Lehota held an extra drawing, which Carolyn won, a beautiful Japanese American Girl small doll.  The Heart of Doll Country meets on the first Tuesday of the month, at the Methodist Church, anyone who loves or makes dolls is welcome.  For more information, email carenglert67@gmail.com.

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The Antique Tractor Club of Trumbull County has had a busy summer.  They’ve participated in many parades, open houses, block parties, and sold gallons & gallons of bean soup for the Ashtabula Tractor’s clubs summer show.  We donated time & tractors plowing a field for the Grace Fellowship Church’s new property on Kings Graves Rd. in Vienna and so many other things I don’t have the space to mention.
We’ve been planning & having meetings to promote and prepare for our Annual Summer Show to be held at 1653 Ridge Road, Vienna Ohio.  This years show will be three days — Friday, Saturday, Sunday the 19th, 20th & 21st.We have 3 classes of tractor pulls (kiddie pedal tractors, bring your own or use one of ours) they are very competitive and a lot of fun to watch, garden tractors and the larger tractors everyone likes to compete between tractor brands.  What’s it going to be this year, Red, Green, yellow, gray or blue.  Come watch your favorite.  This year we’re promoting Fords.  Come and see how well you can drive a tractor or ride in our special made wagon (with nice cushy seats) on a trip through the fields and woods.  We have free homemade ice cream for all kids 12 & under.  Come watch Nick make ice cream right on the spot and a dish you’ll never forget  There is something for everyone including a flea market.  If you need more information, you can call: Joe Toth @330-240-6407 or Terry Taylor @330-637-8946.

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Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary went into its international mode recently, entertaining Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars Yeonmin Kim of the Republic of South Korea and Sayuri Minakuchi from Japan at their August 10 meeting at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company.  These well-spoken and personable individuals are both studying at Kent State University and made interesting presentations concerning certain cultural aspects of their homelands and their own educational paths.

Sayuri Minakuchi is a second-generation Ambassadorial Scholar; her mother had been designated as such during her scholastic career.  Sayuri spoke of the Japanese language, both spoken and written.  Japanese script is, basically, a simplified form of a system borrowed from the writing of China, employing seventeen sound elements–some English sounds are not among them.  Some  English/American words have appeared in modern Japanese usage without translation, especially in areas such as sports (baseball) or entertainment or food (pasta).  Students in Japan begin learning English as a second language from about the fifth grade level on.  Many international students–who have probably begun learning English in their respective countries at about the same time–come to the United States to study at least partly to improve their language skills, particularly in the area of idiomatic speech.  As is the case in most countries of the modern, industrialized world, some aspects of traditional culture are found side-by-side with western culture and can be confusing to the outside observer.
Yeonmin Kim spoke of  some social and political facets of  the Republic of South Korea,  where his Rotary District was #3670.  He is studying for a Ph.D. in Literature, with a focus on Irish literature, as he feels that there are certain similarities between South Korea and Ireland (Eire), particularly as regards the partition of the countries and their similar historical paths.  Political sensitivities and economics and hopes for unification play into the situations in both places.  The young father and former South Korean Marine also touched upon some topics that Americans actually did have a concept of, namely, tae kwan do and kimchi–a form of martial arts, and a signature Korean-style relish of sorts, that can do about as much damage as the fighting

Once again Rotary displays its bona fides  as a bridge between nations.

Addendum : the discussion continues for local Rotary groups–“sink or swim”…what stroke?  If you’d like to get into the conversation, visit your local club, they’ll love to have you and your suggestions.

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Ya got yer debt crisis.  Ya got yer deficit crisis.  Ya got yer health/obesity crisis.  Ya got yer apes takin’ over the planet.  What else can go wrong?

OMG!  It’s Rotary!

Well, actually, it’s sort of systemic thing.  Communal and fraternal organizations (not to mention churches) everywhere are facing declining membership and participation.  Where once-upon-a-time every little town had its own Odd Fellows, Masons, Kiwanians, Lions, Rotarians, and so on, meeting in their own halls or church basements or meeting rooms on a regular basis, nowadays groups have gone out of existence or consolidated with others still breathing, numbers are down at scheduled gatherings and cherished projects and activities for the good of the community are in danger of elimination and/or reduction.  Where have all the members gone?

Well, it’s at least partly societal…partly economic, for sure.  There didn’t used to be so many things for kids to be involved in–sports, arts, you know all that–and for their parents to be following (driving to).  There used to be more business owners who lived in town, not answering to a franchise headquarters.  There used to be fewer women working outside the home (They always worked inside the home). There used to be a slower pace about a lot of things.  That was then; this is now.  What to do?

Local Rotarians (Garrettsville-Hiram, Mantua-Shalersville…do you see the consolidation?) would like to seek some community input…maybe some new members with great ideas…in their quest to address this situation.  Each club has a history of contribution and meaningful activity (Think Talent Shows, Family Weeks, Santa Claus deliveries, group excursions, Christmas Walks, exchange students, roadside clean-ups, Power of the Pen, many more) which they are loathe to abandon.  Plans may be undertaken to more co-operative ventures but these are LOCAL groups within an INTERNATIONAL framework (Check out the Rotary International float entry in the Rose Bowl Parade) and they like to focus on the people that they see every day.

So…have you any contribution to make?  Are you an individual who would like to “give back” to the community?  Would you like to know more people in your community, to make a difference?  Would you like to meet with like-minded individuals to try to put some of your hopes and dreams into action/reality?  Got some great ideas? Could you put a group on Facebook or Twitter?  Willing to actually WORK–on your own and with others– to get those ideas on the map?  Have they got a deal for you!!!
Come to a meeting (If that’s a problem, try to get to at least one and explain the difficulty, none of them are written in stone).

Garrettsville-Hiram meets at 5:30 on Wednesdays at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company; Mantua-Shalersville meets at a place and time to be discovered.  They will be happy to see you.  They will listen to suggestions.  They will quite possibly have a program that you’ll really enjoy and learn from.  Could be something that you’ll really groove on.  Give it a shot.  Expand your world…it IS Rotary International, after all.

Speaking of which…M-S Rotary annual picnic at Camp Hi August 17 (They did an excursion to Porthouse Theatre earlier this month)…G-H Rotary president just received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary International Foundation and the club recently entertained two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars.  This is good stuff.  Think about joining…or rejoining, they’ll be glad to have you.

Pictured: Wally Lininger (left) being presented the commemorative plaque by District Governor Dave Gauch. In other Lions news, the celebration of 54 years of service to the Windham community and Lions International was recently marked by the installation of new officers for 2011/2012.

Windham – Wally Lininger was recently honored for his long and dedicated service to The Windham Lions Club and Lions International by being presented the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Lions International recognizes outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an honor that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This fellowship is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism. The recipient of this honor becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community for which he serves.

In other Lions news, the celebration of 54 years of service to the Windham community and Lions International was recently marked by the installation of new officers for 2011/2012.

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Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society met in the Mott Building headquarters on Main St. to speak of “ many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.”  Well, not exactly.
They did accept a   pair of donations from Roslyn Bauman–a green bottle imprinted “L. Caldwell, Garrettsville, and a flax spinning wheel.  Maintenance items came up :  cleaning and sorting and putting away costumes, especially those used in the recent vintage photo activity ($160–a good start for what may become an on-going fund-raiser), the garden fence needs painting, summer potluck picnic will be August 15, thoughts on re-applying for a Hiram Community Trust grant to do digitizing of microfilm files, thoughts on the approaching Business Showcase in the fall and the Windham Bicentennial which is upon us now…and the Antiques Appraisal Fair to be conducted at the Garfield Middle School in conjunction with a flea market/rummage sale benefiting the Garfield Middle School football program.  Coach Mark Apple was present to provide information on the football program plans and to discuss advertising proposals, printing options, concessions…lots of stuff.  Time and tide wait for no man…or woman or historical society.  Plans are rolling!
Tickets are ready.  Posters are on the way.  Newspaper advertising in several marketing areas–Record-Courier, Middlefield Post, Warren Tribune, Chagrin Times, Villager, etc.–is coming as well as a spot on the Garrettsville website and on Facebook.  Everybody know; everybody come!  August 20 from 1:00 to 5:00.

And speaking of the Antiques Appraisal Fair….
Do not confuse this with the popular TV program where amazed folks find out that a professional appraiser has just declared that Aunt Ida’s gilded chamber pot once belonged to Louis XIV and is worth thousand upon thousands.  But it is our very own, small-scale operation wherein four local professionals will give the lucky finders of attic-stashes of monumental proportions the news that most, if not all, of the detritus piled up in out of the way places in the house can safely be given away or disposed of…but that little carved-wood clock with the kookaburra instead of a cuckoo…hmmm…we might want to look at that more closely.   Should your treasures actually call for further investigation, you can, of course, at a later date talk to these folks who have generously donated their time, to pursue any further course of action which you might like to follow.
The chances of your finding a twin to the Koh-i-Noor diamond in Grammy’s jewelry box are slim but you might find out that Uncle Delt was actually a primitive painter of some repute and the bunch of his old scenes in the family home could be worth your while to dust off.  Antiques, at any rate, have fads and fashions like anything else and that big crock with naughty pictures inside might be just the thing this year when five years ago you couldn’t have sold it to Hugh Hefner.   Hang on to it, the wheel could turn yet again.
For a small fee (one item for $5, three for $10), if nothing else, you may get bragging rights about that antimacassar from Aunt Faye’s estate sale that turns out to be a snippet from the Bayeaux Tapestry that  Great , Great Grandma smuggled across the Alps tucked into her knickers as she was fleeing the Huns…or was it the Mongols?  At the very least, someone other than your family can give a little insight as to whether it’s the real McCoy or a really good copy.  And look around to see what kind of junk other people have in their attics.  Maybe you’re not the craziest folks on the block after all.  Maybe you have taste…. Maybe not..

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians confronted a mystery at their recent meeting.  Speaker was Guy Alexander of Park Ave., Garrettsville, and he told of the boat in his house.
Embarking upon an renovation/remodel of his house in 2007, he recalled a chance conversation some years before with Adelle Cline (nee Baird) who had grown up in the residence and lived there after her marriage to Jim Cline and through the subsequent raising of three children.  While engaged in who-knows-what ministrations of the hair care personnel at  the Golden Mirror, she asked him if he had yet found the boat that resided above the dining room ceiling, something shown to the family by her father in the early twentieth century and, to all intents and purposes, likely to be still there–they had not removed it.
As it happened,  the remodeler needed access to the area in question and –lo, and behold–between the rafters and the lath-and-plaster, there rested the skeleton of a boat, two nested halves, a pair of slave collars(!) and some old batteries, along with newspaper clippings from 1898 concerning a popular player of the day, Homer Enos.  An interesting treasure  trove, no mistake!
After considerable investigation–Antique Road Show and a number of other avenues, such as the Smithsonian Institution–Guy found that he was in possession of a “portage boat” or “slave boat”  used during the era of the Underground Railroad (Which, you may recall, was not always underground, nor had it any rails, though the roads were many and  so too the conductors and the passengers).  Only one other specimen is thought to be in existence, and that in Canada.  One appraisal firm in Cleveland put its value at “priceless”–not real helpful, when you get right down to it.  The collars–one had a metal nameplate reading “W. F. Brown” in ornate script–were far more common and a Wm. Brown (pauper) was found  listed at that address in a census search of the decade.
The “portage boat” might be classified as what archivists/historians/archaeologists and their ilk call “ephemera”, things that were not designed to last, in this case they were to be put together quickly, covered with a canvas or leather skin, used to cross a stream or body of water, then dismantled (Under the Fugitive Slave Act, one could be arrested and tried for aiding and/or abetting a runaway slave, so   the evidence was destroyed whenever possible).  How did the bones of the boat get in the ceiling over the dining room?  Nobody knows. The house has  paper trail back to at least 1895, possibly 1860–lots of records were lost in a fire at the old courthouse in Ravenna many years ago.  There apparently a construction project of some sort at this address in 1908.  Was it found or moved around then by the Bairds?  Mystery still.
Then , of course, there are the unexplained shadows and creaks and footsteps…the nearby tunnels to the creek, possibly used by the UGRR–Northeast Ohio was pretty strong Abolitionist territory….  Who knows how much more of the story waits to be uncovered?

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society extended a thank you to the proprietors of Chic-N-Shabby for assistance rendered and put out a call for costumes for the Vintage Photo Fair to be held at the Garrettsville SummerFest.  (A success for both events).  The trip  to the Hudson Library and Historical Society was also adjudged interesting and definitely worthwhile.  Volunteers for the photo op were recruited;  a tentative schedule was outlined. Posters and flyer proposals were checked out, other prep work as well.  A grant application to the Hiram Community Trust has been submitted for acquiring microfilm from the Ohio Historical Society.The building will be open for Cruise Night on July 16, possibly for vintage photos as well.The Appraisal Fair arrangements are on-going; public relations (information and flyers) will be distributed soon.  All attic explorers are urged to come to get a local expert’s best estimation of what some of their newly-uncovered treasures might be worth.  A professional appraisal firm operating out of Delaware, Ohio (Garths) has indicated interest in becoming involved at a future date.  Things are moving forward…or backward, if you count the antiques, for the event to be held at the  James A. Garfield Middle School on August 20.  Trash or Treasure,  that is the question.  Come to find out.  Family pieces and family stories all have their interesting points but remember,      “Nobody really cares what your Grandma had except your Grandpa.”

Literary Musical Club (LMC) held their June meeting with a covered dish picnic. As usual the food was good and plenty of it. Thanks to Alma Jones for being such a nice hostess. It’s a shame only half of our members attend. Our business meeting was short with not much happening. We did decide on a Christmas fund raiser. Our program was put on by Jeanne Pfeiffer.  The art of “quilling”. She gave a nice presentation with lots of samples for show-and-tell. Maybe she’ll come back and give a class. Next meeting will be July 13. Special recognition was given to Margaret Clapp. She is our oldest member and her name has been on the membership since back when she was a teenager a good 75 years ago. She was presented with a music box. She has always been an active member. Thanks, Margaret, for being you. Our visitor was Rosemary Angel from Delaware.

Members of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary took a field trip to the wilds of the Hiram College Barrow Field Station on Wheeler Rd to be enlightened on the scope and purpose of the operation of the facility.  One of Hiram College’s curricular centers, its focus is on the Study of Nature and Society, and its director is Matt Hils,  professor of biology at the college and the presenter of the program.

Study of Nature and Society encompasses the history of the various views of Nature, either in the Biblical understanding of humans in the world, the Wilderness outlook, the aspect of Conquest, the Romantic perception, the Dawn of Conservation, the Aldo Leopold land ethic or the warnings of Rachel Carson through the New Millennial Environmentalism and business practices with a Sense of Place.

The Field Station itself began with the late Professor James Barrow who arranged for the acquisition of some three hundred eighty-four acres in 1967.  Since that time the majors offered involving the station have grown from simply environmental studies and biology to areas involving education, research, conservation…nearly any course of study that can be linked to interaction of people and their environment.  There are programs offering courses, seminars and public outreach.  There are co-operative ventures involving outside agencies such as the Akron Zoo, the Portage County Park District, the Audubon Society, CWRU in both natural and built environments.  There is research in topics such as endangered waterfowl and forest ecology.  Support has been broad, including the Ohio Prairie Nursery, with special appreciation to the Frohring Foundation over many years.

Continuing areas of interest and study include Exploring Today’s New Standards, Is the Environment a Valid Overhead Expense?, Geothermal Heating & Cooling (currently in use at the center), increasing the protection of the Silver Creek Watershed.  Friends of the Field Station offer frequent programs and activities at the station and in the surrounding community.

The question of  “Nature and Society…Part or Apart” is being asked and answers considered every day at the Hiram College Field Station.

 

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were still looking for students from James A. Garfield H.S. or Windham High School to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp to be held at Hiram College , June 12-16.  Any interested individuals who will be seniors…or even juniors…in the 2011-2012 school year should contact a Rotarian ASAP.  Best bet might be Delores McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty.  Could be a terrific experience.The local group affirmed its community commitment with a donation to the Hattie Larlham Foundation for a memorial honoring  the late Charles Abraham who had been a long-time supporter of the organization.Good times coming : District picnic on June 18 in Akron;     G-H summer picnic on the third Monday in August, likely at Bonney Castle in Hiram on the college campus; the annual reverse raffle fund-raiser in November (2nd Thursday) is already on the drawing board; plans are afoot to enlist the local Boy Scout troop in the fall roadside clean-up; interest in gaining new members–invitation to Dr. Jessica Bittence.
They keep rolling

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a unique look at what for some is Terra Incognita, our great (in more ways than one) northern neighbor, Canada…specifically, Dennis Guenther’s  home province of Alberta (along with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, known as the Prairie Provinces).  Names familiar to travelers, such as Lake Louise and Banff, Medicine Hat and Calgary shared map space with Nanuvut and PEI in sketching Canada as a whole and a quick historical outline pointed out the Native American–Cree, Chippewa, Blackfoot, etc.– background as well as the early French and British settlers and fur traders’ influence on the formation of the nation.  Alberta became an official province as part of that nation in 1905.One Canadian icon with which many in the U.S. are familiar is the RCMP–Royal Canadian Mounted Police–the Mounties, who always get their man; they were established in 1873, originally to deal with whisky and gun issues as pertaining to the Native American peoples, both on and off the reservations.  They still operate as the national police force, still mounted, with a showpiece unit called the “Musical Ride” which appears when pageantry and precision are on display.The 1890’s saw vast numbers of immigrants come to Canada, just as they did to the “lower 48” in the U.S., many Americans, many ethnic, language and religious groups.  Economic changes came with the opening of cattle and grain farms of giant proportions as well as the railroads to take these goods to markets all over the world.  Another economic factor entered with the discovery of oil in 1914; this factor got another boost in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s when additional oil and gas deposits were found.  By 1990, eighty-one per cent of Canada’s oil was being drawn from this area, much of it being exported to the United States.  By 2006 over 1.25 million bbl of oil–much of it from the Athabaska oil sands–was coming from Alberta…and supporting an excellent universal health care system in addition to a list of outstanding universities and colleges.Named for Princess Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, the Province of Alberta has a distinctly conservative political aspect in the capital of Edmonton and a more “frontier-flavored” visage in Calgary–home of ”the Stampede” and many of its tourist attractions.  It’s where many western movies are shot and it’s where the “Chinook” winds can change the temperature more than fifty degrees in a flash…or a breeze.Hi, neighbor!

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club was recently privileged to hear from two very able competitors in the Four-Way Test Speech Contest.  Both entrants were from James A. Garfield High School and each gave a presentation worth of recognition.

Travis Gorby, freshman, was first up and got an immediate audience response by intoning, “O-H”…which got “I-O” right back at him.  He went on to reveal a T-shirt with the logo of his favorite soccer team, which hailed from Barcelona.  “The Hook”, as they say, was set.

He went on to disclose his athletic bona fides–as player, referee, teacher, fan–relating to the sport.  His point was that all too often soccer “don’t get no respect” …certainly not as relevant to its growing popularity in the United States, its world-wide participation profile and its increased acceptance in interscholastic competition.

Shelby Handshue, senior, with plans to attend KSU majoring in biology, was up next with a focus on creativity, its many facets, its development, its practical manifestations and its importance to future advances in many areas –economics, education, medicine…even other fields which have not  emerged for consideration yet.

These were certainly among the top competitors for this contest in recent times.  Both were well-prepared and knowledgeable on their topics, staking out their positions an delivering their messages in an animated, confident manner.  It was tough to choose the rankings.

Both received Rotary checks for their efforts.  Travis will go the the district Four-Way Speech Contest to represent the local club.  Shelby will be the alternate.

Spring roadside clean-up is coming.  Sign up, if you’d like to help.

 

Garrettsville – If  you enjoy Saturday Night Live humor, you’ll enjoy James A. Garfield’s final drama production of the year titled “The Test” by Cliff McClelland. This play chronicles a series of scenes all devoted to the idea that we must face so many tests in our lives here in America.

While many of the scenes poke fun at these tests, some scenes are a bit more dramatic in nature, but all of them work together to create a unique night of entertainment for the whole family. What would you do if you had to take your driving test with a wacko instructor? Or in order to receive your Masters Degree you had to face a karate instructor and defeat him before you could move on to the next level?

Come and find out why Monty Python had so much fun doing their Spanish Inquisition skits, and what Adam and Eve might have thought about testing.

Show dates are May 20, 21 at 7:30PM both nights. Adults- $6.00  Students/Senior citizens $3.00. Pre-sale tickets will be sold a week before the show during lunches. These will enable you to get a better first- come first- served seat either night. Come and have a night of laughs on us! See you there!

 

Spring has come to Portage County, and gardeners across the county are getting together plans and plants for another year.  The Portage County Master Gardeners are also making preparations for their annual event, Celebrate Spring.  The event, which includes a plant sale, silent auction, and expert gardening advice, will provide valuable information to area gardeners as well as help fund community service events throughout the county.

“We hope that people can come out and join us for a day of plants, great gardening advice, and fun,” said Dee Burdette one of the event coordinators. “This event has become an annual tradition for many area gardeners, and this year promises to be a special treat, with a more casual question and answer format and an expanded plant sale. “

This year’s format will feature three tables staffed by Portage County Master Gardeners with each station addressing specific gardening challenges.  Barbara Murphy and John Gwinn, both certified Ohio Master Gardener Weed Specialists,    will host a “weed” table.  And who would be interested in learning about weeds? National gardening polls consistently rank weeding as the gardening practice that consumes the majority of gardeners’ time.  So we fully expect that gardeners attending this event will find information gained from conversations with our weed specialists immediately useful.  Keith Barton, local insect specialist will also host a table. Weeds are not the only challenge Portage County gardeners face. Insects that feed on plants and insects that transmit disease causing plant pathogens can seriously thwart a gardener’s best efforts. But many garden insects are more helpful than harmful and a little time spent talking with Keith just may help participants better understand the need to distinguish between our gardening friends and foes.  We encourage attendees to bring samples, photos, etc., of weeds or insects they may need help identifying or suppressing. We also think our patrons will appreciate the expert advice they receive from Barb Oare and Lynda Costilla at our edible plant table.  Many Portage County gardeners have attended Barb’s herb workshops and presentations and should be delighted to find that she is able to address tomatoes, apples, etc. with the same level of expertise.  Lynda has also shared her gardening experience during Master Gardener public education workshops in recent years. Lynda is our resident expert on small space gardening techniques.  Even if space isn’t an issue in your garden, many limited space gardening practices are also energy efficient, both in terms of gardener and product (fertilizers, growing media, etc.) input. Our goal in adding the edible plant table is to assist area gardeners in their efforts to increase food production.  And what would an edible plant information table be without recipes and cookbooks?  We encourage you to take a minute to peruse our free recipe selection. Additionally, Master Gardeners at each table as well as those working the plant sale will be eager to assist you by providing advice about selecting the “best plants for their own gardens.”

Our plant sale has been expanded to include a larger variety of herbs and vegetables along with many sun and shade perennials.  Celebrate Spring will also feature some very desirable silent auction items, from essential gardening gear, reference books, some unique finds and unusual plants.  Proceeds from our fundraiser will help support Master Gardener projects throughout the county for the coming year.

These events include planting projects with the Coleman Adult Day Services, Bryn Mawr Glen, our Garden Pot Recycling program, as well as local school gardens and youth environmental education programs.  The Portage County Master Gardeners annually host a number of community education workshops at no cost to participants.   Historically, Master Gardeners have been available from April to October, to assist area residents with questions about their lawns and gardens at the OSU Extension Office in Ravenna. According to Lynn Vogel, former Master Gardener Coordinator for Portage County, “Volunteers have been available to answer literally thousands of questions via our “horticultural hotline” as well as through direct contact with area residents.  Our Master Gardener Volunteers contributed over 2000 hours of community volunteer service last year.”  Recent state and county budget cuts will make it very challenging for Portage County Master Gardeners to continue these services.  Your support of our plant sale silent auction would be greatly appreciated during this difficult time of transition.

Celebrate Spring will be held Saturday, May 14th  at Maplewood Career Center.  The Plant Sale will run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Silent auction bidding will begin at 10:00 AM and close at 11:00 am. Our staffed information tables will be available from 10:00 AM to noon.  Our 2011 Celebrate Spring fundraiser is a “no charge” event.

 

Garrettsville – Anyone fortunate enough to snag a golden ticket to James A. Garfield High School’s musical theatre production of  “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” had a simply nutterrific time. The four-day run of the show was virtually sold out before opening night on April 7, and only a few lucky latecomers managed to get a ticket the day of the show.

Playbills, concessions and fresh-cut flowers also ran low as audience members couldn’t get enough of anything Wonka-related. The cast and crew were enormous, and worked together effectively to construct a fast-paced, nearly flawless and entertaining show.

Although the starring leads were obviously Willie Wonka (played by senior David Soukenik) and Charlie Bucket (played by sophomore Shiloh Van Oss), the production also showcased strong and funny supporting roles of Bucket family members, TV reporters, naughty children and their parents played by 18 fellow student actors…and an ensemble of two dozen additional cast members (mostly from the Intermediate School) to play the parts of Oompa-Loompas, village children, cooks, squirrels, a computer technician, a psychiatrist and a patient.

This gave seven graduating seniors the opportunity to enjoy one last shining moment in the JAG spotlight before graduating. In addition to David Soukenik, they included Petra Brown (Veruca Salt), Nick Butto (Mr. Bucket), Brooke Heavner (Mrs. Beauregarde), Sam Roubic (Mr. Salt), Laura Sanicky (Mrs. Bucket,) and Lizzie Van Oss (Violet Beauregarde).

The production also showcased the talents of the JAG crew, which devised and built several creative sets that cleverly allowed for effective special effects  on a tight budget. Children in the audience gasped when the curtain opened on the initial scene of the chocolate factory, where candy could be plucked from the colorful set and eaten by the lucky actors.

Then, when Augustus Gloop falls headlong into the lake of chocolate and gets sucked up through a drain pipe and overtaken by liquid chocolate, it makes for one of the funniest scenes… or was it when Violet turns into a blueberry for chewing the off-limits Everlasting Gobstopper gum?… or maybe it was when Veruca throws a tantrum atop the Good Nut/Bad Nut platform and falls through to the incinerator below?… No, it must have been when Mike Teavee got disembodied into millions of tiny little pieces, only to be reconstituted inside a TV to the size of a Ken Doll and stuffed into his mother’s purse before being stretched back to size in the Taffy Pulling Room. The jury’s still out on that, but all agree the sets and special effects were top notch.

Senior crew members included Curtis Cosner, Matt Curry, Jeremy DeWitt, Adam Gilmer, Jon Hecky, Sam Russell, and David Spencer. Working alongside the crew were artistic director Mrs. Kristine Gilmer and her student artists; head carpenters, Mr. Scott and Mrs. Becky Russell and their student carpenters; hair and make-up artists; costume designers; props coordinator and manager; lighting and sound operators; the pit orchestra directed by Mr. Theo Cebulla; and, of course, director/choreographer Mr. Nathan Peters and producer/technical director Mr. Joe Gaither.

According to Gaither’s closing words after the final show on April 10, the show cost $8,000 to produce. But thanks to combined fundraising efforts headed up by Mrs. Carol Slaughter, show ticket sales, candy bar sales, flower and concession sales, and ticket sales to Breakfast with the Cast at the elementary school all worked together to actually allow the production to make more money than it spent.

After 12 weeks of planning, preparing, rehearsing and producing, the curtain has closed on the 2011 Spring Musical at James A. Garfield High School and its 14 graduating seniors. But a new curtain will rise next year on yet another stage of pure imagination that’s sure to please audiences in 2012.

 

The QuizMasters/Academic Challenge Team of James A. Garfield High School is again sponsoring this activity in conjunction with the Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce Community-Wide Garage/Yard Sale. Sunday, May 22 from 10:00 to 2:00 in the Garfield Elementary School parking lot there will be wheeled vehicles of all sorts–ambulances and emergency vehicles, fire trucks, jeeps and motorcycles, construction monsters, high-rise buckets, eighteen-wheelers–any or all of them could be there, along with local favorite, the dragster, TIME BANDIT.  Not to mention our National CSX Safe Driving Exhibit finisher, Deral White.

Kids of all ages are welcome.  Whistles, bells and sirens are included.  Admission is $3.00 for kids under 12, $5.00 for kids of more advanced ages.

VROOM!  VROOM!

See you there.

 

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society looked ahead  to:  possible future programs, attendance at the Portage County Historical Society local history societies forum on March 26, a committee to  make costume selections for the vintage pix opportunity to be offered at the SummerFest, a backdrop for said photos, checking out available Jaguar yearbooks at Garfield H.S., the purchase of a stereopticon slide on e-Bay, welcoming a new member, Debbie Smith, new donations…and   the PROJECT–Antique Roadshow, Garfield style/Appraisal Fair set for August 20.

Julie Frederickson outlined the status of the paperwork and promotion entailed in the activity, gave names of local experts who will be assisting (More on that later), asked for discussion on pricing for participation–one item, $5, three items, $10–indicated that the  Garfield Middle School facilities were available.  This is sure to be an interesting and entertaining day, as folks far and wide trot out Aunt Elsie’s bone china or Uncle Dorrel’s coin collection, or that funny old picture that was in Grandma’s parlor.  Everyone should start their spring cleaning with this event in mind.

One of their very own antiques, Helen Danku, had developed a crack when she fell and broke her arm.  She is being missed but will, undoubtedly, be up and about sooner rather than later.  Good material, good workmanship…priceless.

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Twentieth Century Club has had two meetings in March with the programs switched from one to the other.
Confused?, we were not!.
On March 3rd we were at Mary Furillo’s home (as nice as always) with Margaret Clapp co-hosting.
Does everyone remembers Margaret’s carrot cake from the club cook book? Well she showed us again, how it is done!.
Our roll call for the night was your favorite car & by the sound of it girls like their cars just as much as the boys!.
Jeanette Hall presented the program originally set for later in month, appreciated just the same.
We learned about the Florida Everglades as one of the most unique eco-systems in the world.
For the March 17th meeting we went to Jan Boehm’s home, which is always a treat & makes the girls feel like their old fantasy tea parties, except it is for real!. Her co-hostess was Alma Jones (very gracious).
Roll call, “name a Native American tribe” was one of most interesting for the year.
Program for the night was presented by Betty Clapp on the cliff Dwellers & Betty had some of her own pictures from her trip years ago along with facts & figures.
Our last meeting for the year will be our Spring party at the Mill in Garrettsville on April 7th to come home after a wonderful journey around our country this year. Be there around 6:00 to 6:15p to be seated.
This night we will install the new officers & get ready for another year of adventure with the 20th Century Club.

Windham – The Windham Historical Society continues their busy 2011 schedule on Monday, March 21, at 7 PM in the Brick Chapel on North Main Street in Windham.

The program for this meeting will be presentations by two Windham High School seniors, Jeremy Isler and Jarrod Davis, as the final step in their pursuit of Windham Historical Society scholarships.

These scholarships are underwritten by the Stuart Higley Foundation, administered by descendants of one of Windham’s founding families. The Higley Foundation has been a long-time benefactor of the Historical Society.

Jeremy will be speaking about the history of the Taft farm on Route 82, one of the oldest farms in Windham Township.
Jarrod, who has been an intern with the Historical Society for several years, will talk about the history of the only major industry in Windham, the Harbison-Walker Refractories.

The Brick Chapel opens at 6:30 to all interested visitors for a meet-and-greet and a chance to look at exhibits before the meeting, including the wonderful new Huber King art archives.

The Windham Historical Society is ramping up all of its activities, which will culminate in the Windham Bicentennial Celebration beginning July 28th, a homecoming for thousands of Windhamites around the globe.
The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy.
For more information on the Society or the Bicentennial plans, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society trudges past boring stuff like maintenance and repair concerns and into the future with plans for a festivity on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, possibly tying in with the local green-tinged activities by offering Irish genealogy searches for any suspected Hibernians in town for corned beef and cabbage or green beer or Irish dancing. Check out the society’s headquarters on the day.

Also moving forward are plans for offering Vintage Photo Fun during this year’s SummerFest Las Vegas-themed activities.  Patrons will be offered the opportunity  to have vintage-style sepia photographs ( no flash powder!) taken while wearing some of the JAGHS antique garments and posed before appropriately historic backdrops.  See how much you look like your grand mother!
Also in the works : Julie Fredrickson is organizing a minor league version of Antiques Roadshow, a sort of Appraisal Project for those dusty items in the attic or basement that you’ve always wanted to know more about.  These have been popular  in the area and this one will feature local dealers, auctioneers, appraisers, etc.  Start cleaning now; Aunt Hazel’s chamber pot must be worth something.

The Portage County Historical Society will be holding a historical forum on March 26 at the headquarters in Ravenna…open to all….make reservations

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

You’ve still got time to get to some Family Week activities sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club.
Friday, February 25 is Friday Night Out.  Take your whole troop to one or more of the local activities-bowling skating, dining, etc.–featured in the Villager pages.  Make an evening of it.  Connect.  Enjoy.
Saturday, February 26 is the Family Fun Festival at the James A. Garfield Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm…food, fun inflatables…games, great doughnut holes…what a good time!  Ask-A-Doc is a new wrinkle and an introduction to Dr. Jessica Bittence, who’ll be the guiding light at the coming Robinson Health Center at Garrettsville.  Come meet the “new kid on the block,” get your blood pressure checked, get information on services and support groups offered by Robinson.  Stay for the awards and prizes.  Bring the family. Make a day of it!
Of course, you missed the 10th Annual Family Music Festival.  It was the kick-off event for the whole week and featured performers from across the spectrum of local talent, from Jill Waters, who opened the proceedings with the National Anthem (accompanied by Rotarian Jim Irwin), through the “Sizzlers” of the Nelson United Methodist Church (You know how the TV people do those “roasts” of celebrities ?  Well, this was a “kinder, gentler”…funnier…version for local consumption.  No major flames but some cute sparks), the Singing Grannies, the choir of the Windham United Methodist Church, the Windham Country Classy Red Hatters, harpist Ellen Eckhouse with a medley of Irish tunes, Tom and Brenda Mesaros and those ever-popular Friends– Roy Pancost, Dale Lacan, and Butch Seiler.  Tina Lemley rounded off the afternoon by leading the audience and performers in singing a family-themed farewell.  Great stuff…and just the beginning!

Windham - The Windham Historical Society has become the repository of many of the artworks of world famous woodcarver Huber King, who spent his entire life in Windham. King received numerous awards in juried competitions, including his American Bicentennial carving, pictured above, which he boldly entered into a British woodcarving show in 1976.The carvings are the donation of his son, Dr Darryl King of West Virginia. They will be on display at the next Historical Society meeting on Monday, February 21, at the Brick Chapel, 9001 North Main Street. Doors will open at 6:30 and the public is welcome to tour the museum.

At 7 PM, longtime area antiquarian Larry Fischer will speak on “Gizmos, Gadgets and Doodads”. There aren’t many artifacts or thingamajigs that Fischer hasn’t encountered in his travels, and he’ll present some of his more entertaining discoveries.

The Historical Society continues to work hand in hand with the Windham Bicentennial Committee in coordinating the 200th Anniversary Days the village will stage in late July, with several days of parades, celebrations, homecomings and general merry-making.

The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object relevant to Windham. Items of special interest include films, pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy. The society has extensive facilities for copying paper items.
For more information on the Society or the Bicentennial plans, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary caught a glimpse into an appalling abyss with Roger Cram’s presentation on the hidden world of human trafficking, something that few are aware of and fewer still wish to acknowledge, confront or take adequate measures to end.  While calling the U.S, “the ostrich nation”, he offered statistics on the numbers of  street kids, illegal immigrants, homeless persons in this country as well as the forced labor (enslaved people, young and old) worldwide  involved in the production of many popular products, both agricultural and industrial, and in the sex trade everywhere.
January has been designated National Human Trafficking Month but little recognition of this fact is to be found in the media, or anyplace else.  Unrecognized, as well, is the existence of slavery as the fastest-growing enterprise of organized crime.  The laws applicable in these cases tend to frame the victim as the culprit and fail to recognize the psycho-social, emotional, economic and dependency issues behind the complex situations which contribute to the continued existence of slavery in the modern world.  Slaves are cheap, cheaper now than when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, hidden behind food, electronics, carpets, natural rubber products, diamonds, tennis shoes….
The U.S. Department of Justice has publications on-line containing shocking revelations.  The Alliance Against Human Trafficking, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is another source. If it is, indeed, true that “there is none so blind as he who will not see”, we must open our eyes and deal with this scourge…once again.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary took a flying leap into their activities for 2011, beginning with a focus on the upcoming Family Week.  Updates and amendments, processes and plans were under review, arrangements were delegated, personnel tentatively assigned, sponsors to be solicited…the whole machinery of preparation began to shift into high gear around the tables at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company, with more to come. Anyone wishing to get in on the action should contact a Rotarian or  come to a meeting on Wednesday evening at The Mill(6:00).  Lots of opportunities for everyone.

Treasurer Bob Jackson did not at all resemble a Grinch when he brought up the subject of district and international dues…as well as sponsorship of the Rotary International float at the Rose Bowl Parade–a showstopper.

More to come.  See D.McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty or Amy Crawford at the Business Works–both on Garrettsville’s Main Street–to learn more, volunteer or otherwise get in on the action

Iva Walker & Rellajeanne Cooke with the Piecemaker quilt (photo: Kim Breyley)

Garrettsville - The Village Piecemakers, a Garrettsville area quilt guild raffled a beautiful king size quilt over the Christmas season. The winning ticket was drawn by Iva Walker as the quilt was displayed and tickets were sold in her home during the 2010 Christmas Walk. The winner of this stunning quilt was Ms. Carol Claus of Independence, Ohio. Ms Claus traditionally participates in every Christmas Walk. She sets aside the time and titles it, ‘the sacred weekend’ that she, her sister and neighbor faithfully attend.

Ms Claus contributed a generous donation to the guild after receiving her prize.  Funds received by the guild are used to further club activities and are donated to worthy local non-profit organizations.

This quilt, machine-pieced and quilted by guild members, is comprised  mostly of fabrics purchased from a local quilt and gift shop, “The Shaker Tree” on Main Street in Garrettsville.

The Garrettsville Christmas Walk is sponsored by the Garrettsville Historical Society and this organization graciously allowed the Village Piecemakers the privilege of displaying and selling tickets for their quilt in one of many homes on the Christmas Walk.

Garrettsville – Jacksons’ Snow Palace was the site of the annual Rotary Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange on December 20, having been re-scheduled from the previous Monday because of the Arctic conditions existing throughout the area.  Luckily, no actual pachyderms were in attendance because the venue was overflowing with   community interaction, human warmth and good food.  Resident chef, Darlene Jackson, produced a rib-sticking medley of kielbasa, potato, carrot and who-knows-what-else. Other contributors rallied to the cause with appetizers and desserts.

Business was attended to : new members Dennis Gunther (& wife Cheryl) and Mark Orton (& wife Annette)  were officially welcomed into the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary; Dale Shiffer (the Clockman of Garrettsville) became president by acclamation; preparation for Family Week in February, 2011, was on the horizon.

Then they got down to the meat of the gathering…amid immoderate laughter, cackling and guffaws.  A partial listing of the treasures circulating included a mini poinsettia, a coaster set–hotly-contested, a Coleman cooler, a stuffed, singing snowman, lavender scented stuff,   a teapot, a laser level, one rather rude Santa, packages of cheese, a Lego City Police pen, stationery made from elephant dung (See, they did come after all!) and others items too numerous to mention.  Some of these will, no doubt, appear again next year…which will certainly be a happy one.

Garrettsville – Jacksons’ Snow Palace was the site of the annual Rotary Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange on December 20, having been re-scheduled from the previous Monday because of the Arctic conditions existing throughout the area.  Luckily, no actual pachyderms were in attendance because the venue was overflowing with   community interaction, human warmth and good food.  Resident chef, Darlene Jackson, produced a rib-sticking medley of kielbasa, potato, carrot and who-knows-what-else. Other contributors rallied to the cause with appetizers and desserts.Business was attended to : new members Dennis Gunther (& wife Cheryl) and Mark Orton (& wife Annette)  were officially welcomed into the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary; Dale Shiffer (the Clockman of Garrettsville) became president by acclamation; preparation for Family Week in February, 2011, was on the horizon.Then they got down to the meat of the gathering…amid immoderate laughter, cackling and guffaws.  A partial listing of the treasures circulating included a mini poinsettia, a coaster set–hotly-contested, a Coleman cooler, a stuffed, singing snowman, lavender scented stuff,   a teapot, a laser level, one rather rude Santa, packages of cheese, a Lego City Police pen, stationery made from elephant dung (See, they did come after all!) and others items too numerous to mention.  Some of these will, no doubt, appear again next year…which will certainly be a happy one.

On  December 8, the Literary Musical Club held their monthly meeting, Betty Hamilton and Sally Kittle were hostesses. The food was good and tasty. Snowmen and shiny red apples decorated the tables.
The only business was the report on the cookie sales. We sold coffee and cookies on the Christmas walk.
Margaret Lappert is a new member for us. We are pleased she has decided to join our membership.
The weather was bad but we had the usual turn-out. Ann Spolarich had homemade nut rolls for everyone. Cathy Spolarich had gifts for the 80-year-olds. We had a fun gift exchange and two birthdays, Billy English and Alma Jones. We had Christmas carols with Pat Amor. We look forward to her music each year.
Everyone left in a holiday mood and looking forward to seeing all the members next year.

Garrettsville – Club members have had two months of single meetings each in November & December.
Joan Kropp hosted our meeting in November with Jan Chalker as her co-hostess. Lucy Galayde had charge of the program for the night and did a wonderful job of taking us back  to Pearl Harbor on one of the most shocking days of our history. Refreshments & time spent with friends were great. Thank you ladies.
Our December host was Iva Walker with Karen Ziarko co-hosting. The newly remodeled home had been showcased at the Christmas walk earlier in November & a treat to revisit.
Maxine Nimtz read the Cratchit’s Christmas beautifully. Roy Pancost and Dale Lucan played Christmas music while members enjoyed refreshments. Truly appreciated by all.
Our next meeting host has been changed to Bonnie Oliver on January 6th.

Girl Scout Troop 632 of Garrettsville took a moment out of their Christmas break to spread some holiday cheer at The Woodlands in Ravenna. The girls brought smiles to the residents by singing some holiday favorites throughout the building. This is the third year that the Troop has gone to The Woodlands to carol. The residents and the staff are very welcoming and enjoy the chance to listen to the girls. This opportunity also helps the girls to understand that something as simple as singing can bring joy to others.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is in full Santa-delivery mode.  To schedule your visitation and your donation to the People Tree for December 23,  make some quick snow bunny hops over to McCumbers-Brady Realty or The Business Works ASAP.

Family Week planning is gearing up as well.  The big event is set for February but things begin now to fall into place to make it all work.   Sponsors and donations are being sought at this time, as are contest entries–essays, family-of-the-year nominations, longest-married couple nominations, etc.–and volunteers. Contact any Rotarian…better yet, attend a meeting at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company on a Monday evening at 6:00.  You could be part of the big event.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians, having received a taste of   the Power of the Pen at their meeting on November 17, affirmed their support for the program, directed at the Garfield Middle   School by Mrs. Jackie Lovelace.  This support took the form of a $600 contribution toward the facilitation of  the district tournament to be held at Garfield in the spring.  The club also briefly considered the possibilities in reaching out to middle school-age students with information about the goals and activities of Rotary at all levels.

Other items on the agenda included: (1) possible follow-up on the Renaissance 490 presentation by Rev. Fred Youngen, acknowledging the helpful community activities involved and the resources required to carry them out, (2) including the center as a future program, (3) recruiting new members, (4) planning for the Santa Delivery Project–truck needed, sign-ups at Business Works and McCumbers-Brady Realty, tradition since the ‘60’s,  (5) beginning plans for Family Week coming up in February–sponsorships and donations will be solicited after the first of the year, contact any Rotarian, (6) ideas for new programs, (7) assembly at the Jackson Estates on December 13 at 6:30… CHRISTMAS  PARTEEE !

Mantua – The Crestwood Lions Club is busy selling holiday gift baskets, scented candles and getting ready for Christmas tree sales. Holiday gift baskets for sale start at $5 per basket. Each basket is different and has a holiday theme. Basket sizes and contents vary. Contact Mary Hannah at 330-883-9297 to see samples or for more information.

Scented candles are also available for $7 each. Several different holiday scents are available and the candles have an approximate burn time of 100 hours. Contact any member of the club or Mary Hannah at 330-883-9297 for more information or sales.

Christmas trees went on sale Saturday, November 27th. Scotch pines, frasier firs and white pines are available this year.

The cost is $40 each. Every tree purchase qualifies for automatic entry for a raffle for one of the following prizes: turkey, ham roast, (compliments of Giant Eagle), two complimentary meal gift certificates to Cracker Barrel or a gift certificate to Giant Eagle. Winners will be notified by phone or mail. A visit with Santa will occur on Saturday, December 4th at the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department around 1 PM. Look for Santa to arrive on a Fire Truck at that time.

Happy Holidays from the Crestwood Lions Club and thank you to all who have supported the year-round efforts to help us help others. All proceeds go towards Lion’s projects. Anyone may contact Tom Mesaros at 330-527-7025 for more information about the Crestwood Lions Club.

Newton Falls – The brief November meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce Association was short and to the point.

Special guest, Mike Timko of Cortland Computer, took the floor first and discussed how his office could offer technological support for local businesses or anyone in need of computer assistance. He presented a pricelist for service plans that would save customers money; for instance, a two hour/month option is listed at $79.95 which is a discount of about $40 by packaging multiple hours. Stressing that this was not a contract, he explained it is intended to allow businesses the flexibility of choosing what best fits their need for “technical issue” support. His services are about $60 an hour otherwise.

In other news, the Home 44444 the Holidays planning is progressing. There are about two dozen table spaces still available, so if you’re interested in selling crafts, etc. now is the time to claim your spot! Volunteers are also needed for Friday night and/or Saturday to help out with setup and running the event itself. Please contact Lara Reibold if you have a few hours to spare. If you can’t be there but would like to contribute, monetary donations are also very much appreciated. For $10 you can be a Patron sponsor and will receive a special button for the occasion. Another opportunity for volunteering can be found by way of the holiday parade on December 4th. Lend your voice for the evening and walk as a caroler in front of a float, accompany Santa Claus and sing around the tree at Four Corners Park as it is lit for the season. You don’t have to be a perfect singer! Anyone interested can contact the association in advance for details or simply meet at Andretti Ford by 5:30pm the day of the parade.

The tree that will be lit after the parade is being donated by Bailey Tree Farm and is on the schedule to be decorated the day after Thanksgiving (otherwise known as Black Friday) possibly at 1pm (exact time is pending). So whether you’re avoiding the crazy shopping rush altogether or already beat the crowds early in the morning and would like to work off all that extra adrenaline, you’re invited to come join the community in decorating the giant Christmas tree.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, a reminder the American Legion in Newton Falls is hosting their annual free Thanksgiving Dinner starting at 11:30am on Thanksgiving Day. Anyone is welcome to come in and share the holiday.

In non-holiday news, suggestions were made for the possibility of directional signs to lead traffic from Route 5 into town, specifically through the business district and to attractions such as the Covered Bridge, and the high school for athletic events. This could help tourism revenue and let people know about this great little town called Newton Falls, a hidden treasure of sorts just off the main interstate.

The City Manager was not in attendance but he forwarded his usual memorandum. Announcements include notes on the Traffic Signal Project moving along with an anticipated date of 2012; the City will be prepared for the aforementioned holiday parade and Christmas tree placement; A. Joseph Fritz has officially assumed the position of City Law Director/Prosecutor; and Make a Difference Day was a success thanks to organizer Catie Karl-Moran and all the volunteers who gave of their time and effort.

Before the end of the meeting, “Santa” Rick expressed gratitude for the community that the school renewal levy passed in the recent election.

One more tidbit of note: for more details about the upcoming Home 44444 the Holidays events, visit the website http://www.home44444theholidays.com or the corresponding Facebook page. The website needs help sprucing up the “Links for Fun” section and is offering a prize of $25 and a t-shirt for the person who submits the most qualifying links to fun sites to visit with Christmas-related games, puzzles, activities, etc. To participate, register online and send in your links by November 27th. Open to all ages!

The Association’s next meeting will be December 14th.

Nelson Twp. – The Literary Musical Club of Nelson held the November 10th meeting at the Nelson Community Center. There were ten in attendance and one visitor, Margaret Lapport. This meeting was hosted by Anne Spolarich who put on a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and lots of desserts. Thanks Anne, you always outdo yourself. We were entertained with music and singing and clog dancing by a group of young girls’ calls “Pam’s Kids” from Massillon, Ohio. They were wonderful. We collected some canned food for the People Tree.

Margaret Clapp, our long time friend and club member is not feeling well so we want to say “Get Better,” we missed you. A motion was made and seconded to have a group of three for Vice President next year, Margaret Clapp, Alicia Jones and Margaret Paul.

The coffee and cookies sales were a little slow the first weekend of the Christmas Walk. A motion was made and seconded to sell the cookies at the craft show in December sponsored by the Curtains Up Theater at the High School.
Our Christmas meeting will be December 8th at Nelson Community Center. There will be a five-dollar gift exchange. Our hostesses will be Betty Hamilton and Sally Kittle. Pat Amor will provide the holiday music. For those who haven’t been attending, please try to come in December. It’s the members who make the club. We miss you.

Newton Falls - The Newton Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3332 and the Ladies Auxiliary are collecting homemade cookies, non-perishable items, hard candy, sweets but no chocolate, crossword puzzles, hand games and hygiene products to send to our military personnel for the Christmas holiday. If you would like to help donate items, please bring the items to VFW Post 3332 at 433 Arlington Road, Newton Falls.  Deadline for items is Sunday, November 21, 2010 by 3:00 p.m.
If you have a family member or friend who is serving at this time and can’t get home for the holidays, please drop off their name and address and we will send a holiday care package to them. If you have any questions please call, Wanda Thompson, 330-219-2969 or the Post Home, 330-872-7318.

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Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians and their guests gathered for a festive evening to socialize and give back to the community and enjoy good food and good company and take a chance on Lady Luck and… all kinds of good things at their annual silent auction and reverse raffle, held at SugarBush Golf Club on November 11. Funds raised at this event help to support local Rotary activities– think : roadside clean-ups, Santa Deliveries, Family Week, InterAct, RotarAct, contributions to Boy Scouts, Power of the Pen, etc–as well as Rotary International and District 6630 projects.

Local businesses and individuals were generous in their contributions to the auction selections, which were varied and alluring : a Christmas stocking from Kim Kohli, watercolors by Carol Donley and Darlene Jackson, a Sunset Maple from Doug Paul, photos by Alan Donley, and the usual suspects, businesses in the area who can always be counted on to come through for the good of the community–Garrettsville Hardware, Hermann’s Pickles, Monoroe’s Orchard, McKenzie Creamery, T&B Tools, DQ, Business Works, Cornerstone, Shaker Tree, McCumbers-Brady Realty, many others, even Mookie Moo.

Whole offices came with spouses and friends in tow; Garrettsville Dental Group fielded a full table. Newly-elected Representative Kathleen Clyde appeared for the home crowd. Local businessmen Rich Hoffman, Mark Johnson and Dan Reichelderfer did their part to keep the affair going, as did Sam Vanderhoeven, with a Silver Fox in his entourage. Chuck Klamer first did his superintendent’s duties at a JAGLSD board meeting (Does he ever miss a gathering?). Chuck Keiper and his golden guitar furnished the evening’s music. The “naughty and nice” balance was maintained with the attendance of two Pesiceks and two Angels…a world-class line-up.

Hiram College Catering service offered tasty viands to fuel the merriment and Delores McCumbers pushed her sideboards to all of the high rollers in the bunch.

“A good time was had by all”…to coin a phrase. If you missed it, mark your calendar for next year, they’ll be baaaaaaack.

Windham – The Windham Friday Club held its October meeting at Mimi’s Restaurant in Ravenna.  Members welcomed guest Helen Gourley, the mother of member Pegge Petkovich.

A short business meeting was conducted.  Club members donated candy and other sweets to make two baskets that were then donated at the October chili cookoff  fundraiser for the upcoming Windham Bicentennial fund.  Members also voted to give a $25 donation to the Windham Sports Boosters for their upcoming Chinese Auction fundraiser.

Members played fall trivia with questions related to the season.  Betty Lou Yost and Jodi Woolf each won a pumpkin candy.

Each member received a bag of Halloween cookies that were a gift from President Pam Cree.

The next meeting will be held on November 19 at the home of Pat Clayton, with Ruth Ann Brown as the cohostess.

Rotarians of the Garrettsville-Hiram persuasion were beavering away with last-minute preparations for their annual Reverse Raffle/Silent Auction fund-raiser.  You can still get tickets from any Rotarian for the bash on Thursday, November 11–that’s today!  Proceeds go to fund local , district, state and international projects of Rotary…a lot of “bang for the buck”, as it were.  The auction items have come from all around, from McKenzie goat cheese to wine and fruit or a whole list of other goodies.  Join your friends, join the crowd.  Come on down!

Additionally, the club prepares to entertain the student of Mrs. Jackie Lovelace’s Power of the Pen group from James A. Garfield Middle School on November 17 as they read selections from their competitive endeavors sponsored by the G-H Rotary Club.  Another example of Rotary involvement at every level in the community.

RotarAct induction of officers will take place in the Garfield Meeting House on November 10; the public is invited.

Garrettsville – The November 3rd Garrettsville Area Chamber Meeting was held at the Nelson United Methodist Church. Thank you to Pastor Rick for hosting the meeting and a big thanks to Pam and Norma for the tasty breakfast.
Ruth Simera gave the treasurer’s report and was happy to announce that there is over $2000 in the flower basket fund for next year. The recently held Masquerade Ball brought in approximately $2,200 for the scholarship fund.
Roger Angel invited everyone with children and grandchildren to come to Story Hour on Tuesday nights at the Dairy Queen. Children are welcome to wear their jammies, bring a blanket and settle down in front of the fire with a free cup of hot chocolate.
Hallie Higgins mentioned the need for donations for the People Tree again this year. The retired Telephone Pioneers, that have provided toys in the past, are no longer able to donate toys for walk-in families and to fill in the gaps. Lists will be available shortly if you would like to participate in the Adopt-a-Family program. This year the maximum age for children on the list is sixteen. Volunteers are needed for bell ringing, moving day, distribution, and clean up day. If you are able to volunteer time or would like to donate, please contact Hallie.
Jackie Reinearson spoke about the upcoming Holiday Social that is scheduled for December 4th. Admission to the social is a donation of a new toy that will be donated to the People Tree. New this year is a Letter from Santa. The cost of this letter is $8 and letters will be mailed to children with an ornament from Santa. Curtains Up Theater has been working hard on this year’s play, Miracle on 34th Street, which will be presented at the Intermediate School. The live greenery sale will also begin soon to help you get ready for the holidays.
Tommie Jo Marsilio and Kathleen Clyde were recognized for winning at the polls on November 2nd. Tommie Jo will be taking office as a Portage County Commissioner in January, while Kathleen will be taking office as State Representative. Both of these hometown girls fought a hard battle and captured a deserved  win. Congratulations!
At  the Chamber Board meeting in October, a letter that was sent anonymously was discussed. The Board members decided that it was best to share the overall meaning of the letter to the Chamber members. The writer conveyed that he/she feels that only certain people say what is or is not happening for Chamber events. He/she feels that any new idea not in line with thoughts of those people are shot down rather than discussed and built upon. It is this persons thought that Chamber will remain as it is without any new ideas that could bring about good things for the community as a whole.
Many of the members suggested that the person who wrote the letter step up and get involved more or even take over and chair one of the committees. However it was brought to everyone’s attention by a Board member that this letter described the desire to feel involved and have his/her thoughts heard, not take over a position but simply to be an equal part of the group.
The Board wishes to convey to the person who wrote the letter, and any others who feel the same way, that they realize that perhaps after being involved in Chamber for many years and trying things, they are quick to say what won’t work. It is not the intention of the Board to alienate people and they encourage new ideas. The Board members expressed their apologies and asked that anyone who had an idea please bring it to the meeting or call one of the Board members if you are not comfortable speaking in a group setting.
The letter brought about an introspective look into the Chamber and is a positive step in changes for the betterment of the group and community. A listing of all committees and positions will be included in the next newsletter. All members are encouraged to select committees that they wish to be a part of and also write down any ideas that they may have for Chamber to help better the community.
If you would like to join the Garrettsville Area Chamber, you don’t have to be a business owner, simply a community member who has an interest in the betterment of the community. For more information on becoming a member, contact Gretchen at (330) 527-2121.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary members were awed by the scope of initiatives, activities and programs outlined by their speaker, Fred Youngen, of the Windham Bible Church, also a moving force in the Renaissance Family Center, which was the topic of his remarks.

Virtually no age group in the community would fail to find some area of interest to participate in.  Social concerns and the means of addressing them fall within the center’s purview, as do recreational and cultural activities–clubs, leagues, societies and the like.  Partnering and co-ordinating with the Salvation Army has helped each entity to get the most done at what it does best rather than duplicating each other’s efforts, and this has held true for other enterprises as well.  There is even some thought about becoming involved with the Windham Branch of the Portage County District Library as it searches for new quarters.

Anyone looking for a basketball league, family-friendly movie nights, an AA meeting, an occasional coffee with friends or community-focused programs in a number of areas should check out the Renaissance Family Center web site or check out their posted activity schedule or ask one of the many volunteers and participants how to get involved.

And, of course, planning continues for the annual Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction at Sugar Bush on November 11th.  Get your tickets now!

Newton Falls Chamber - HalloweenNewton Falls – During the October meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce Association, holiday planning was the main topic of conversation.

With Halloween just around the corner and organizing for the Christmas season in full swing, there was much to be discussed.

Starting off the meeting, a proclamation of thanks was presented to Falls Home Remodeling and “Santa” Rick for their part in the improvements of Veterans’ Park, designating them now as “members with distinction” and recognizing their efforts in the business community.

No update on the progress of the yellow sign as of yet, but the mini-committee is planning to meet soon to brainstorm possible resolutions.

As for the holiday news: Trick-or-Treat was held on Thursday, October 28th from 5-6:30pm. However, it should be said this is a fact that not everyone in town is in complete agreement with.  Newton Falls is the only town in a long list of surrounding cities that schedules the candy hunting on a Thursday; it is Friday or Saturday for most every other town, or whichever day falls on the actual holiday itself. The reason for the Thursday evening festivities is that, traditionally, Trick-or-Treat is set in accordance with the Cake Walk, typically the Thursday before Halloween, so that residents can display their costumes during the later event. However, as some locals have expressed, this allows carloads of children from OTHER towns parking in central parking lots and converging en masse upon Newton Falls, since they can then participate in their own Trick-or-Treat celebrations on the weekend and go home with double, or triple, the expected sweets.

City Manager Jack Haney mentioned at the meeting that although the time and date had been officially set – albeit not by a unanimous vote – Council will look into adjusting the hours next year.

As for the upcoming Home 44444 the Holidays on December 11th, planning is well underway with a good response so far filling vendor slots. There are more open spaces available, though, so anyone still interested should contact the association and claim their spot! Those in attendance at the meeting were also expressing their opinions about the costs of putting on the event and in turn the corresponding holiday parade held on December 4th. It was revealed that although Home 44444 the Holidays will be at the high school this year, at this point the Newton Falls High School Band will not be marching in the parade. Organizers may, in fact, even have to pay for a marching band from another town to participate in our parade because the NFHS band director has opted out of performing for this function and she is under no contractual obligation to do so. Anyone wishing to comment on this situation should contact the high school office directly.

The City Manager reported completion of the River Street Project, grant applications for the First Street Project, the announcement of two November elections for the city: the General on November 2nd, and a Special on November 4th, and the placement of new planters on the West Broad Street pillars. Downtown has been redecorated for the season by the Flower Beautification Committee with cornstalks donated by Montgomery Farms.

Finishing the agenda was the election of next year’s officers. The nominees for all positions ran unopposed and are therefore Shawn Donley, President; Betty Gwara, Vice President; Lara Reibold, Secretary; and Tanya Allman, Treasurer.

The Association’s next meeting will be November 9th.

Pictured  above from left to right are Brian Mullins and Matt Eisemann.

Pictured above from left to right are Brian Mullins and Matt Eisemann.

Garrettsville – On November 27 the Garrettsville Eagles Club,   F. O. E. 2705 presented a check for $2,000 to National Diabetic Research Center generated by the Club-sponsored golf outing. The donation was accepted by Matt Eisemann and Brian Mullins who ran the event.

The Fraternal Order of the Eagles Grand Aerie in partnership with the University of Iowa, established the Research Center at the University. The University is responsible for the facility while the Grand Aerie pledged the fund for the research.

Eighteen foursomes entered the outing and the winning team consisting of Elmer Pesecky, Dino Manno, Jeff Pesecky and Dave Schlegelmilch, took home $500.  The second place team which was one man short and consisted of Dave Apthorpe, Jeff Apthorpe and Harold Clark won $260.

After the event, the golfers returned to the Eagles Club for a steak dinner to receive their prizes for individual achievements and numerous door prizes.

Needless to say, the event’s success depended on the work of the large number of volunteers that included past trustee of the Women’s Auxiliary, Beth Oravetz, who contacted most of the local merchants and organizations for their donations.

The Club wishes to thank the local merchants and organizations for their generous support of this event.

Optimist Club PumpkinNewton Falls – Last Saturday members of the Optimist Club of Newton Falls held their annual Pumpkin Painting Party, welcoming the area’s youngest residents to the Community Center for a day of painting pumpkins just in time to get into the spirit of Halloween. Each pint-sized guest was given a miniature wooden pumpkin to decorate using any number of art materials, perfect to hang in a window or perk up an otherwise dull refrigerator front. Instant photos were available if kids wanted to pose with their creations or become a temporary pumpkin themselves.

The Club’s mission includes continuing to be a “friend of youth,” a goal members achieve by hosting events throughout the year such as the summer Family Fun Day and gift basket raffles at various NF festivities. Proceeds from the raffles and donations go directly for the children, covering expenses of the upcoming activities and occasionally even modest scholarships as funds are available. The late October day provided lunch, crafts, and an afternoon of optimistic fun, all free for kids under 12. Officer Bailey of the NFPD was on hand as well, supplying Kid Passports for Safety, a pocket-sized booklet for parents to fill out with vital information about their children. Should the children ever become missing, the Passport would contain necessary identifying facts, health information, and even a lock of hair for DNA purposes, all items that can help the local police department in the search to locate a child.

Founded in 2001, the Optimist Club will soon celebrate a whole decade of promoting positivity, and invites kids, especially, to join in optimism!

The next party sponsored by the Club will be a Breakfast with the Bunny held the week before Easter. Organizers plan to schedule it to correspond with the Easter Egg Hunt, so look forward to this event come Spring.