Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians received a very favorable report on the recent roadside clean-up conducted by adult Rotarians and high school InterAct members on April 16.  They weren’t “talking trash” exactly, but picking up plenty of it on the 3-mile stretch of St. Rte. 82 between the two villages; they even ran out of bags at one point.  Looking good now.

President Tom Collins reported that Garrettsville Village had acquiesced to plans for laying out a walking trail around the South St. park, complementing the trailhead of the Headwaters Trail which  begins at the park and allowing short walks inside the park, perhaps for adults there for kids’ activities.

There was more discussion of plans being made for the Fit-n-Fun program in May at the Garfield Elementary School and at the South Street Park, with added activities for adults  The Y and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources may be on tap, possibly a local police department.  Time is flying!

Speaker for the day was Joe Spolarich, of A & A Shooting on Fenstermaker Rd. in Nelson.  He gave  some historical notes on the founding of the club by his parents, some 40 years ago and it is just about the last word in family business (It was almost the last word, period, when the plane flew into the house).  He also spoke of the organization’s commitment to community outreach and involvement, including holding the first Easter Egg Hunt in Nelson and a Christmas party or two.  The facility offers trap, skeet, and 5-stand shooting and serves as a site for programs of the Boy Scouts and the 4-H as well as practices by SWAT teams in the area.  CCW training, self-defense training, indoor and outdoor ranges are also available.  This is the last open range available in Northeast Ohio for non-member rifle and pistol shooting.  One watchword for firearms at all times : never assume.  Like Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.”   Paranoia on safety is a good thing.

Members of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club heard from Rev. Rich Thewliss at their meeting of April 25, 2016 at Cal’s II, Sky Plaza , Garrettsville.

He spoke of how his visit as a college student to Dachau, a Holocaust site, was a revelation and became a source of  searching to answer questions, one of which was, “My God, what have we done?”  “How did this happen in a Christian society?” also called for answers.

The roots of the Holocaust stretch back to such early church fathers as St. Augustine, up through the Crusades and fully flowered in the atrocities wrought by Nazism.  The silence of victims began to fall away following WWII and a book by Jules Isaac, The Teaching of Contempt; Isaac later confronted Pope John XXIII concerning the attitudes and practices of the Roman Catholic Church which aided and abetted both anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism, which Germany, under Hitler, took to a tragic end for millions, not only Jews but the mentally and physically handicapped, the Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Poles, anyone not of the preferred—but ill-defined—Aryans.  Another author on this topic has been Rosemary Reuther, who wrote Faith and Fratricide, positing that too many fell into the belief that for Christians to be good, the Jews must be bad.  There does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel.  Light may be coming to our church thinking as more and more information on the ravages of the silence and compliance comes forward and we can begin to examine the contributing factors and attempt to weed them out of our thinking and our interactions with others.  It is not a simple thing; the creation of the state of Israel adds another twist.  The road is long.

And after that…Aaron King appeared to present a check resulting from participation in the 50/50 raffle accompanying the popular Queen of Hearts contest which is ongoing at Sky Lanes on Sunday evenings.  Next week’s 50/50 split goes to the Garrettsville Police K-9 program.  The club pledged to spend its winnings on community projects.  The district conference was a worthwhile experience, as was the InterAct participation—kudos to the InterAct members and their president, Megan  Ryser.  Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary has been mentioned in a book on Rotary history in the district.  This year’s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) applicants are Mikhala West and Jane Rader.

They’ll be back for business on May 2—same time(noon), same place (Cal’s II, Sky Plaza, Garrettsville).