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Chamber of Commerce

Nelson Bisard, owner of Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles in Garrettsville

Nelson Bisard owner of Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles in Garrettsville. Photo by: Krista Peterson, Staff Photographer

Garrettsville - For over twenty years, husband & wife team Nelson and Judy Bisard have owned and operated one of the area’s premier destinations for antiquities and collectible items. Their multi-dealer shop, Waterfall Antiques & Collectibles, carries a general line of antiques and collectibles, including furniture, accessories, glassware, pottery, jewelry, kitchen items, Victorian smalls, cranberry glass, coins, toys, dolls and so much more.

Located along the Garrettsville boardwalk, Waterfall Antiques and Collectibles is a perfect fit for a community where President James A. Garfield once walked the streets and held meetings in the rooms nearby.

Shoppers are always pleasantly surprised to discover there is so much more to see beyond the main showroom when first entering the 1870’s building. Hidden beyond the first room, treasure seekers find additional nooks and crannies packed with fine furniture, Lee Middleton dolls and smalls. As an added bonus, shoppers who venture to the lower level of the store can explore an exceptionally large basement with exposed rafters and original stone foundation. The basement holds many other pieces of antique furniture and memorabilia. Visitors to the shop also enjoy viewing Eagle Creek and Garrettsville’s scenic waterfall from the deck off the main shop floor.

Located at 8130 Main Street in Garrettsville, Waterfall Antiques and Collectibles is open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. This weekend take a drive to beautiful Garrettsville, and discover why our historic village is truly a good place to visit and a great place to live.

 

Ravenna – Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful. After more than 29 years as a family celebration in downtown Ravenna, Midnight Madness has proven it.  It’s that time of year when local merchants stay open until midnight to welcome shoppers and diners. Some merchants will be serving light refreshments and be decorated for the holiday season. Enjoy this spirit of the holidays with decorative greens and holiday lights in downtown Ravenna.

Sponsored by the Ravenna Merchant Association and the Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce, the late night shopping spree is intended to initiate holiday gift-hunting and seasonal cheer.

“It’s the single best sales night of the year” said to Jack Ferguson, executive director at the Chamber of Commerce. “Many downtown merchants do more than 25 percent of their Christmas business on this night.” Plus the Ravenna Balloon A-Fair annual Christmas Parade “Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child”, will step off at 7PM.

As is the case with the entire holiday season, however, Midnight Madness isn’t just about shopping.

The M & M Railroad train and Fire Engine will parade through the streets between 6 and 8 p.m., offering free rides to anyone and everyone Friday night.

Bring your lawn chairs and join in the singing of Christmas Carols as The Ravenna High School performs on the courthouse lawn.

In addition, Santa & Mrs. Claus will meet with children of all ages immediately after the Christmas parade to learn what they wish for during the holiday season. Santa will be  at the Buckeye Mini Mall, located at 250 Main Street.

The evening has become a tradition in the community. Over the years, some of the participating merchants, all of which will be open until midnight, have developed traditions of their own.

For more details call the Ravenna Chamber of Commerce at (330) 296-3886 Monday – Friday 9 am to 1 pm.

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.

Garrettsville – The turkey has been eaten, pie plates hold nothing but the remaining crumbs, Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas is yet to come. What better way to start off your Christmas season than to attend Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce’s annual Holiday Lighting ceremony!

Bring your family to celebrate this tradition that began in 2001 as a way to bring some cheer back into the community after the September 11th tragedy. That first year a tree was lit downtown and shops were decorated for the season. Unfortunately, a blizzard kept most people from coming out to celebrate that first year, but future years have seen a rise in community attendance.

The second year of the lighting ceremony also included a Holiday Social at the high school, which has since been taken over by the Curtains Up Theatre. Each year Chamber adds something new to the lighting ceremony. What began with the tree now includes the Clock Tower and surrounding bushes and the Police Department.

What holiday event would be complete without caroling, cookies and a special visit from the man in red? Santa arrives each year in the bucket lift of a fire truck, coming down Main Street to arrive in front of the Clock Tower to greet each child, get a heads up on their wish list and pass out a treat.

Grab your boots, your camera, and your family, even the neighbor, and head down to Garrettsville Chamber’s Holiday Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, November 27th at 6pm at the Clock Tower on High Street.

“And he did hear a sound rising over the snow. It started in low. Then it started to grow.” Join in the holiday caroling and wish your neighbors goodwill.

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.

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.