Craig Beach – There is an empty store around the corner from the Covered Bridge of Newton Falls that at one time housed a video rental place – before movies-by-mail and over the Internet made such an establishment virtually obsolete – with a decidedly revolving name plaque of business monikers. But recently the  space was filled once again with a hustle and bustle and a dash of hope as people came together for the benefit of a neighbor. Dozens of local vendors crowded into the store, filling the shelves which once held movie cases, with a variety of wares. The big name home-party staples that are Tupperware, lia sophia jewelry, Miche Bags and Thirty-One joined with bakers (professional and home cooks alike), event planners, and numerous other organizations to join in to give a helping hand to a family in Craig Beach whose own home is now a devastatingly empty space due to a dangerous August fire that took not only their building but the house next to it as well.

Craig Beach Victims Get a Helping Hand    In addition to the array of vendors providing early holiday shopping opportunities in the name of supporting a great cause, the event featured a raffle, silent auction baskets and concessions for purchase.

Conni and Dennis Musser and their children were reportedly not home when the incident occurred and no one was injured, but there is a lot of work to be done to restore what the fire destroyed. The house has been knocked down and the family has since relocated to Newton Falls.  If anyone who missed the event wishes to help further, organizer Jessica Hampton can be contacted at (330) 609-3540 or search for the event’s page on facebook “Craig Beach Fire Victims Craft & Gift Show Fundraiser Benefit” for more information

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In addition to her role as a contributing reporter for the Weekly Villager, Mialie T. Szymanski is the creator of the bi-weekly column “Puppy Tails”. This children’s story time column stars Doodle Dog, a floppy-eared puppy who has an optimistic perspective of the world around him. Szymanski's picture book “Doodle Dog Enjoys the Day” chronicles a day in the life of this “paws”itive pup. The upcoming read-aloud anthology “Puppy Tails: Adventures of Doodle Dog” is a collection of the columns and illustrations as seen in The Weekly Villager over the last year.