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The Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition will mark the International Survivors of Suicide Day on Saturday, Nov. 22,  at the Kent United Methodist Church, 1435 E. Main St., Kent. Registration starts at 12:45 pm with the free program following from 1 to 3 pm.

The event is for people who have lived through the suicide of a family member, friend, colleague, classmate or patient. On this day across six continents, survivors gather together at events in their local communities for support, information and empowerment. This year’s program is being hosted in conjunction with the Summit County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Hundreds of sites around the world will simultaneously watch a broadcast produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. On the broadcast, a diverse panel of survivors and mental health professionals will address the questions that so many survivors face: “Why did this happen? How can I cope? Where can I get help?”

This is the fifth remembrance day in Portage County. Admission and parking are free. For information or to pre-register, contact: Laura Dotts at 330-673-1756, ext. 201, or email  laurab@mental-health-recovery.org.  Walk-ins are welcome but pre-registering will help with planning. For more information about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention program, go to www.survivorday.org. For information about the Portage County event, go to http://www.mental-health-recovery.org/news-events.

Portage County - NAMI Portage County is inviting walkers to participate in the Sept. 27 Walk for Recovery in Kent to support people with mental illness and their families.  Later, there will be an 8 p.m. benefit concert for NEOMED’s Early Identification and Psychosis Programs in Northeast Ohio at The Kent Stage featuring the band, “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The Walk for Recovery is a chance for residents to help families and individuals in Portage County who live with mental illness and addiction every day. Volunteers will be walking from United Church of Christ at 1400 East Main St. to downtown Kent along the Kent State University campus. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. in the chapel. Walkers head out at 10 am from the church parking lot.

Staff from the Rock and Recovery program of 91.3 The Summit will be sharing inspirational music and talking to walkers at the halfway point, Hometown Bank Plaza, the use of which was donated by Hometown Bank.  Rock & Recovery is an online and HD radio listening experience that strives to empower persons in recovery.

The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the second year in a row.  To date the project has received other major gifts and support from Coleman Foundation, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, OMNOVA Solutions, the International Chemical Workers Union, Townhall II, BeST Center at NEOMED, Children’s Advantage and Family and Community Services.

Volunteers will be raising money to increase education about mental illness and addiction and support persons working on recovery.  All money raised will stay in Portage County. Supporting the Walk for Recovery helps NAMI Portage County continue to be a resource for persons with mental illness and their families as well as be an advocate with them and for them.  If you would like to be a team captain or are interested in being a walker, call 330-673-1756, ext. 201, for a registration form and information. If you are interested in helping as a volunteer, or have any questions, contact NAMI Vice President Roger Cram at rfcram@aol.com.

NAMI Portage County is a local affiliate of the national NAMI which works to educate against the stigma of mental illness, to advocate for better treatment and to support persons with mental illness and their families through education and services. For more information, go to www.namiportagecounty.org.

The benefit concert will support the FIRST programs in Portage and surrounding counties. FIRST early identification and treatment of psychosis services help individuals who are newly diagnosed with serious mental illness. FIRST is a program of the Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeSt) Center of the Northeast Ohio Medical University and area mental health organizations. In Portage County, the program is supported and implemented by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and Coleman Professional Services.

The Kent Stage is located at 175 E. Main St., Kent. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased at www.thekentstage.com, the box office or the door. For more information, go to www.neomed.edu/bestcenter.


Kent –  REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition in conjunction with the Northeastern Chapter of A Girl and A Gun are hosting the Fashion Show event at the Tanglewood Country Club in Chagrin Falls, Ohio  the evening of  September 17th.     Live models will demonstrate a variety of concealed carry options for women.

REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition is a not for profit organization based in Portage County that spends their time and effort on gun safety, gun education and public Pro Gun Awareness.   This is just one of the many ventures that they put forth in a year.

The fashion show is something new, something different.   From purses to shirts, holsters to underwear, the live models will demonstrate how well designed clothes and accessories allow quick access without advertising that a woman is carrying a gun.  The intent of the fashion show is to highlight that there are many different  ways to holster a firearm safely and go about one’s day.   Manufacturers such as Urban Moxy, Designer Concealed Carry, Deep Conceal,  Undertech Undercover, Silver State Apparel and more are submitting items that keep a weapon from standing out or telling the public “she’s got a gun”.    As the twelve live models make repeated trips down the runway, the audience will see both the unique and expected.

Amanda Suffecool – Director of the not for profit group REALIZE firearms Awareness Coalition stated “This is different, bigger than any other Fashion Show for Concealed Carry firearms that we have heard of or seen.   Carrying a loaded firearm is more challenging for women than it is for men,  as women dress differently.   This show is intended to show what you do not/cannot see;  that even though you feel it stands out,  you really cannot see it.   Women put a gun on their person and are sure that it is screaming “GUN” and that is not the case”.

The event will be filmed and produced into a TV ready Docu-Educational event that will then be shared across the county.   Women’s shooting organizations are lining up for their copy of the DVD to host their own virtual Fashion Show at an event in their circle of influence.   At this point, more than 3000 women from clubs and organizations from Maine to California are on the list and waiting for ability to host their own local fashion show.

The event starts at 6:00 pm with an informal mix and mingle. At 7:00 pm the fashion show begins and the event ends with drawings for a number of pertinent and impressive door prizes.    Go to www.REALIZEfac.com for more information about the fashion show and the organization.


Kent – Dr. Beverly J. Warren, president of Kent State University, will speak at the Women’s Equality Day celebration organized by the League of Women Voters of Kent and the KSU Women’s Center on Monday, Aug. 25, 4:30 p.m. at The Overlook, 1519 Overlook Road, Kent.

The League will also announce the establishment of the Helen Dix Scholarship for non-traditional students in honor of LWVK charter member and community leader Helen Dix, who died last year.

August 26 of each year is designated in the United States as Women’s Equality Day. Instituted by Rep. Bella Abzug and first established in 1971, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920.

The Kent League is the local chapter of the League of Women Voters of the United States.  Established after passage of the 19th Amendment to educate voters, the LWV is a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.


Kent –  The group REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition is hosting a FREE Firearms Appraisal Fair at the Ravenna VFW, 5998 New Milford Road, Ravenna Ohio on June 10 from 4:30 to 8:00 pm.

Multiple area gun shops will participate in the 2nd annual FREE firearms valuation event.  Area citizens are invited to bring their collectibles, family heirlooms, gun show finds and firearms that they have general questions about.   The event starts at 4:30 pm,  Attendance is free,  and no firearms will be bought or sold there.

Participating locations include:  Targething Pro Shop-Garrettsville, Jansen Brothers Hardware- Mantua, Sporting Defense-Brimfield,  The Gunrunner Auctions – Burton and a variety of expert / specialists.

Amanda Suffecool,  Director of REALIZE  Firearms Awareness Coalition, said “We are pleased to have the VFW Post 1055’s support in hosting this educational event.  It’s not often that we have multiple somewhat competing businesses working together in one location.  This is not a buy/sell event, but a real opportunity to get various opinions on the value of your items. “

She went on to say “Firearms are an investment and REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition takes its charter seriously in the area of education.   We want to help folks in understanding the value of the firearm in your gun safe, closet or the box under the bed.”  And there is always that old bumper sticker line of  “ I sure hope my wife sells my guns for what they are worth, and not what I told her I paid for them.”

REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition presents seminars on a monthly basis. Each of the monthly programs features a local expert offering their perspective and expertise and covers a topic that is of interest to the firearms community.   On the docket for this year is a “CAR Shoot”,  a program on the use of pepper-spray for self defense and a concealed carry fashion show.


Kent – The Kent Community TimeBank invites guests to “Let the Sun Shine In” on Friday May 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Kent Historical Society Museum, 237 E. Main St. Kent, Ohio. For $20 admission, attendees receive an advanced preview of the Museum’s new exhibit, “Fun in the Summertime.” The display features relics from Ohio amusement parks, including the Brady Lake Amusement Park. Park-themed refreshments, finger foods, and beer or wine are also included with ticket purchase. All money raised will benefit the Kent Community TimeBank to pay software fees, real space, and other expenses. The event also features musical performances by singer and songwriter Hal Walker, voted “Best Musician” 2010 and 2011 by Scene Magazine. Also entertaining the crowd will be Brad Bolton, local guitarist with a diverse musical background, accompanied by Christie Anderson. Fundraising for the TimeBank continues with a 50/50 Raffle and a Silent Auction including items from Kent’s own businesses. Tickets are for sale now: online at http://crookedriver.timebanks.org/page/fundraiser-tickets; at the hOur Share Exchange Center, 223 N. Water St.; and at WordSmiths, 402 E. Main Street. The Kent Community TimeBank, formed in 2010, is a community-building program where members exchange skills, talents and passions using Time Credits to record transactions. Offers, requests, and transactions are kept on the Crooked River Alliance of TimeBanks’ software. The fundraising team, musicians, The Kent Historical Society and WordSmiths are  TimeBank members. For more information or to join your local TimeBank as an individual or business, go to http://crookedriver.timebanks.org.


Kent – The group REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition is hosting a FREE educational seminar event on Tuesday April 8th at the Ravenna Maplewood Career Center,  7075 Ohio 88, Ravenna Ohio.

Close Quarter Defense – using non-lethal methods to augment your CCW skills,  Otherwise known as “The way you fight BEFORE you have to use your gun’ is April’s free program that gives advice, hints, skills and techniques on the use of whatever you have handy in your defense.  Join us in learning  to use a knife, a pen, keys, mini-flashlight, stun gun, pepper spray, cane, umbrella, hat , whistle or whatever you have close at hand in avoiding and defending yourself in an attack.    Mike Hasychak will join REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition and present an hour long program on self defense.    The program starts at 7:00 pm.  Attendance is free.

Amanda Suffecool – Director of Realize Firearms Awareness Coalition said  “We are pleased to have Mike Hasychak as April’s speaker;   Mike is an NRA Certified instructor as well as a lifelong student of self defense who is excited about what he learns and what he shares, causing Mike to present a very engaging program”

REALIZE Firearms Awareness Coalition presents seminars on a monthly basis. Each of the monthly programs features a local expert offering their perspective and expertise and covers a topic that is of interest to the firearms community.   May’s program is specifically designed for women.     There will be two ‘on the range’ programs  (May 3 and May 17th )  that are partially funded by REALIZE firearms awareness coalition  titled  “Woman’s Day on the Range”,  offering opportunities for 20 women each to gain skills and experience  that is primarily  hands on.




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.

Kent –State Representative Kathleen Clyde of Kent is seeking a third term in the Ohio House of Representatives and has declared her candidacy for the 75th Ohio House District in Portage County.

“I am running for State Representative so that I can continue the job I started when the people of Portage County elected me to the Statehouse four years ago,” stated Clyde. “Nothing is more important to me than being a strong voice for Portage County residents and doing everything I can to find the common sense solutions that will help improve our economy, strengthen our schools, and preserve our future.”

First elected in 2010, Clyde serves on the powerful Finance & Appropriations Committee, the Policy & Legislative Oversight Committee, and is the Ranking Minority Member of the State & Local Government Committee.  She is also a member of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission.

Clyde will again be running in the 75th Ohio House District, which includes Streetsboro, Kent, Ravenna and all of Southern Portage County.


The Image Consultants is a perfectly-named hair salon at 149 S. Water Street in historic downtown Kent. Owned and operated by Cheryl Germano-Smith, the salon sets itself apart by providing free customized consultations for every new client.

People usually can’t answer the big question, which is, “What do you want to do with your hair?“ But they can easily answer smaller, more specific questions, which lead The Image Consultants directly to the answer they seek.

Kent – You just don’t find places like this any more.

Shops like Sue Nelson Designs, Ltd. in historic downtown Kent died off when big box hardware stores replaced family-owned interior design sales and services. But Sue Nelson has kept her shop alive at 156 South Water Street for nearly 25 years by offering an ever-widening array of quality products and customized services.


Kent – The Light in Kent is sponsoring a screening of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, Good Friday, March 29, 7:00 pm.  The award-winning film will be shown at The Kent Stage, 175 E Main St. in Kent.  Tickets are free and available at The Light ministry center, Logos bookstore or at the door on the day of the showing.  Free parking is available in the public lot on Columbus St.  Call 330-818-6913 to reserve tickets.  THE PASSION is rated R, and children under 17 will not be admitted without their parents.

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, nominated for three Academy Awards in 2005, details the final hours and crucifixion of Jesus.  James Berardinelli, Reelviews, writes “THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is a gripping, powerful motion picture – arguably the most forceful depiction of Jesus’ death ever to be committed to film.”


Kent – On an unseasonably mild day in December, on a quiet street in Kent, a small group gathered to take a huge step forward for OASIS®Grower Solutions (OGS). While a new greenhouse had been on the minds of many at OGS for several years, the company recently broke ground on the much-anticipated, 3,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art greenhouse facility on the south lawn of the company’s Marvin Street headquarters in Kent. The small but influential group attending the ceremony included key members of OASIS® Growers Solutions and the Smithers-Oasis Company, as well as Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala, City Manager Dave Ruller, Economic Development Director Dan Smith, and Portage County Economic Dev. Board Member Sabrina Christian-Bennett.


Kent – With over $100 million in new construction nearing completion, downtown Kent is currently undergoing massive redevelopment.  While these revitalization projects have been successful through the cooperation of many, Ron Burbick , a retired executive turned developer, started the ball rolling with an idea he called the ‘Phoenix Project.’ Burbick, formerly from aircraft part manufacturer, Schneller Inc., sparked an idea to transform an area of dilapidated buildings back to their former glory, but with a modern spin. With his own funds, that idea rose from the ashes — or construction debris — and reenergized the city of Kent.


Kent — CARF International announced that Townhall II has been accredited for a period of three years for its Horizon House women’s residential treatment program, Outpatient substance abuse/addiction treatment services for adolescents and adults, adult Intensive Outpatient treatment program, outpatient mental health counseling services for adults, and substance abuse prevention/diversion programs for children and adolescents.  The latest accreditation is the third consecutive Three-Year Accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to Townhall II.