Latest News

Paul Koomar takes the reins as Bay Village mayor

New Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar, left, is congratulated by Law Director Gary Ebert after being sworn in on Jan. 1. Photo by Denny Wendell

Bay Village’s extended mayoral transition came to a logical conclusion on Jan. 1, when Paul Koomar was sworn in as the city’s 22nd mayor. Koomar, who has served as City Council president since 2011, was first in line under the city charter to succeed former Mayor Deborah Sutherland.

Most on City Council and in the administration were taken aback when Sutherland announced her retirement last September, setting off a scramble to maintain stability during the transition. Koomar expressed interest in taking over as mayor, but cited professional obligations that prevented him from making any immediate decisions.

Law Director Gary Ebert was appointed interim mayor by City Council on Sept. 6, 2016. At that time, Koomar left open the possibility that he would eventually accept the position of mayor. “Right now my work commitments, as I consider this position, would be in effect on Oct. 1 when I would leave to be mayor,” Koomar said during the City Council meeting that evening. “I’ve got to continue to look at that but the city’s got to operate and continue to move forward. We need to make sure that the city finishes strong this year.”

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:28 AM, 01.10.2017

How I ran every single street in Westlake in 2016!

Dan Last takes the final steps in his yearlong project to run every street in Westlake. Photo by Megan Last

I have always felt that there is no better way to get a sense of a place than to run it. Running connects us to a place in a way that sitting in a car does not. Is it smelling the fresh air, seeing the different houses and buildings or hearing the sound of footsteps on the pavement? Perhaps it is merely the fact that when we run, we slow down and appreciate our surroundings as nature intended. 

I moved to Westlake seven years ago from Los Angeles, California, and although I have been very pleased with my decision to settle in Northeast Ohio, it didn’t feel like “home.” With a desire to truly connect with my adopted city, I made the decision in January 2016 to run every single street in Westlake. I obtained a city street map from City Hall and proudly hung it in my basement.

Admittedly, my map hung on the basement wall for almost two full months without any attention. The specially purchased marker to highlight each street remained sealed in its plastic package and a thin layer of dust covered the map’s frame. Every runner knows that the most difficult part of any run is in those first few steps.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.10.2017

Students launch Cahoon Creek ecology study

Students complete the first part of their Cahoon Creek study by collecting soil and water samples. Pictured, from left: Norah Hamil, Jennifer Koomar, Khaled Hamil, Leo Cavalier, Nick LaRosa, Richard Gash and Paul Moody. Photo by Dawn Hamil

To answer the question, “Is the Cahoon Creek polluted with urban runoff and storm sewer drainage?”, a seventh-grade team from the Explorer Club 360, and a ninth-grade team from the Sea Scouts, are collecting bed stream soil and water samples along the course of the creek. Explorer Club 360 will plant seeds in the collected soil and water them with the samples taken from Cahoon Creek. The ninth-graders will do a soil classification study and chemical analysis of the water and soil samples.

After tracing the course of Cahoon Creek on a large scale topographical map, the two crews determined that the creek runs from its mouth at Bay Boat Club through the city of Westlake to the origin or primary headwater in the Metroparks' Bradley Road Reservation of North Olmsted. The students gathered at the mouth of the creek where it flows into Lake Erie for a discussion with Lt. Col. Paul Moody, an associate professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:09 AM, 01.10.2017

Last call for annual Bay Village award nominations

The deadline is fast approaching to nominate a worthy Bay Village resident or project for the 2017 Citizen of the Year and Project of the Year honors. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 20, and selections will be announced by the Community Council soon afterwards.

Citizen of the year nominees, either individual or couple, must be Bay residents that have provided significant community service without monetary reward. Special projects will be considered based on community impact and the involvement of volunteers and organizations.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:09 AM, 01.10.2017

Westlake gifted teacher earns national award

Westlake gifted teacher Anne Dill was honored with an award from the Mathematical Association of America. Photo by Kim Bonvissuto

Anne Dill, gifted teacher at Westlake High School and Lee Burneson Middle School, was selected as a winner of the 2016 Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching in Middle and High School.

Dill won the award based on letters from students and colleagues, who acknowledged Dill’s hard work and going above and beyond what is expected of an American Mathematics Competition (AMC) manager to help her students do their best and enjoy mathematics.

“Your encouragement and commitment to your students had made a noticeable difference in your students’ problem-solving abilities and love of mathematics,” the committee wrote in a letter to Dill.

Dill is one of 34 to receive the award nationwide, and the only recipient from Ohio.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.10.2017

Seeing our home through buyers' eyes

The reality of moving really set in when the realtor’s photographer arrived to photograph the house. It wasn’t so much that the listing would be online for the entire world to see that next day that brought home the reality of the move. It was the absence of so many things that let someone know that a family lives in that space.

The boy’s drawings and the girl’s report card were no longer affixed to the refrigerator with magnets. The kitchen counter was completely bare. Even the microwave had been moved out of the sight of the camera. Then, the photographer caught sight of the garbage can.

“Can we move that to another room?” she asked.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.10.2017

A closer look at the EPA and Cleveland's connection

A photo of this 1952 fire on the Cuyahoga River accompanied a 1969 Time magazine article about the polluted waterway, igniting national concern for the environment. Photo courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

In my last column, I wrote about the Environmental Protection Agency, its history, and role in our lives today. I have been reading more about the EPA and its history, and wanted to revisit the topic again this week. Think of this a Part 2 of the EPA column. (Part 1 is available at wbvobserver.com/read/columns/the-green-report.)

I want to address Cleveland’s role in the modern environmental movement, including the establishment of the EPA and the Clean Water Act. It’s no coincidence that the first Earth Day was in 1970, the EPA was established in 1970, and the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969. As I wrote before, the modern environmental movement was developing in the early 1960s as the result of many events, mainly Rachel Carson’s book "Silent Spring" in 1962 and other significant environmental problems such as heavy pollution in our nation’s rivers that ran through large cities. ("Silent Spring" is available at the Westlake and Bay Village libraries; a documentary on Carson will air Tuesday, Jan. 24, 8 p.m., on WVIZ/PBS.)

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.10.2017

BayComm continues to recruit residents

You might remember BayComm as being a “radio group” that began almost 5 years ago, made up of residents from Bay and surrounding suburbs. I haven’t written an article in over a year, but I again appeal to all residents to consider joining our volunteer group, after asking yourself the following questions:

  • How important is staying in contact with my family and others in the community during an emergency?
  • How often do I rely on my phone and the internet to communicate?
  • Will standard means of communications always be available to me, or do I feel that they are highly vulnerable to being disabled?
  • Do I have interest in volunteering with a group that aims to provide grassroots communications to my family and other residents, via two-way radio?

Our membership has hovered around 20 households for some time now, but to create a true “safety net” of communications among residents in the six Westshore suburbs, that number needs to be more in the 50-100 range.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.10.2017

Roman Park

Westlake's Roman Park is located on Ranney Parkway, between Bassett and Cahoon. Photo by Tara Wendell

In Roman Park on Ranney Parkway in Westlake, visitors enjoy a playground, concessions and three baseball fields. Originally called Ranney Park, it was renamed in 1998 in honor of the late Alexander R. Roman, former mayor of Westlake.  

Alexander Roman had a long career serving Westlake and Cuyahoga County. He became a member of the Civil Service Commission in 1958, went on to serve as a secretary and chairman, and was elected mayor of Westlake in 1965. He was also a member of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). In July 1980, he resigned from his position as mayor to become a judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:28 AM, 01.10.2017

Booker Prize winners in Westlake this winter

Case Western Reserve University's Off-Campus Studies program is offering a course on “English Booker Prize Winners” with leader-teacher Joseph Jacoby on Thursdays, 10-11:30 a.m., Jan. 19-March 9, 2017 at Westlake United Methodist Church, 27650 Center Ridge Road.

The Man Booker Prize has been awarded each year since 1969 to the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations or the Republic of Ireland. In 2014, it was opened for the first time to any work published in the United Kingdom and in the English language. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.10.2017

Past and present Westlake / Bay Village lawn mower maintenance hot spots

A 1962 picture of the Bradley Supply Company from Cleveland State University's Cleveland Memory Project Westlake Photograph Collection.

As an adolescent in the early '70s the first lawnmower I tried to maintain ended up throwing a connecting rod through its engine block. If there’s much to learn in one's failures I must’ve learned quite a bit during that episode.

Since that time I’ve managed to get one or two lawnmowers to run past their prime. For that reason I’ve appreciated several businesses in the Westlake/Bay Village area where one could acquire lawnmower parts. With one of those being Cricket Yard Equipment, I was especially interested to find in the Dec. 13, 2016, edition of the Observer that after more than 37 years of serving the lawn care equipment sales and maintenance needs of our community, owners Craig and Nan Baker are selling the business to E&H Ace Hardware, where it will be relocated to their store at the corner of Dover Center and Detroit roads.

The sale of Cricket Yard Equipment leads me to reminisce of past businesses that sold and serviced lawn and garden equipment but are now closed, leaving Cricket a sole survivor, of sorts, in the Westlake/Bay Village community.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.10.2017

Bay Village Community Theater seeking donations, sponsors for first play

Chosen as the first full production of the Bay Village Community Theater, "Almost, Maine" offers a lot for our organization to be excited about. It consistently sells out and in 2014 was the most-produced play in North American high schools for the third time in the last five years.

The New York Times called it "a beautifully structured play, with nifty surprise endings (most but not all of them happy) ... [and] a touch of good-natured magic realism.”

Almost, Maine, is a town that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States – it’s almost in Canada. And it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. And life for the people of the town will never be the same. Almost, Maine: It’s love. But not quite.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.10.2017

Westlake Historical Society continues to light up history

Energy efficient LED candles were placed in the windows of the Clague Museum, above, and Lilly Weston House in 2016. Photo by Denny Wendell

If you have driven past the Clague House Museum or Lilly Weston House at night, you have probably noticed the candles in the windows. Placing a burning candle in one's window is a common tradition that dates back to colonial times.

The candle was often placed in the window when a member of the family was away. The lit candle was also placed in the window as a sign of good news or as a beacon to weary travelers. To keep this historic tradition alive, the Westlake Historical Society has, for the last several years, placed electric candles in the windows of the Clague House Museum and Lilly-Weston House.

In 2016, the historical society set a goal to replace all of our incandescent light bulbs with the newer, energy efficient LED lighting. This included all indoor and outdoor lighting, as well as our electric candles in the windows.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:29 AM, 01.10.2017

Friends of Bay Village Library to hold winter book sale

The Friends of the Bay Village Library Winter Used Book Sale begins Saturday, Jan. 28, at 9 a.m. and runs through Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. The sale is held in the meeting room of the library.

There is a large selection of books for readers of all ages as well as magazines, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks and more. All materials have been categorized for easy shopping. Tuesday, the last day of the sale, is bag day when a full bag of books costs $1. Bags are provided by the library. Proceeds from the sale are used to support library programs and activities.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.10.2017

January events at Westlake Porter Public Library

Tuesday, Jan. 10 (10 a.m.-noon) Career Transition Center: Communicating Effectively with Employers – Come learn tips to guide you to successful conversations with prospective employers. Learn how they perceive you so you can make the right impression.

Tuesday, Jan. 10 (7 p.m.) Tuesday Evening Book Discussion – In January we’ll discuss "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell.

Wednesdays, Jan. 11 and 18 (10:15 & 11 a.m.) Let’s Sing and Dance! – Sing and move to the music with Miss Nancy! For children ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Please arrive early to receive a ticket.

Wednesday, Jan. 11 (noon-1:30 p.m.) Career Transition Center: Speaker Series Lunch & Learn – Guest speakers present informative and timely topics for job seekers. Bring your lunch; learn and grow. Coffee provided.

Wednesdays, Jan. 11 and 18 (4-5:30 p.m.) and Thursdays, Jan. 12 and 19 (6:30-8 p.m.) Bow Wow Books – Stop by the Youth Services Department and sign your child up for a 10-minute reading time with a reading therapy dog! Bring your own book or choose one of ours. Registration begins each Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 12 (7 p.m.) Non-Fiction Book Discussion – The January selection is "Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble" by Daniel Lyons.

Friday, Jan. 13 (4-5:30 p.m.) Weird(er) Science – Each session teaches fundamental principles in an entertaining format, through demonstrations and hands-on activities. This month: Learn all about birds in our area, their colors, shapes, calls, habitats and more. Grades 5-6. Registration begins one week before each session.

Saturday, Jan. 14 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) ACT Practice Exam – Get ready for test time with an ACT practice exam. Students are asked to bring their own pencils and scientific calculator. Grades 9-12. Please register.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.10.2017

Upcoming programs at Bay Village Branch Library

Did you receive a new e-reader this holiday season? Learn how to borrow free eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, movies and music from our Digital Collection anytime, anywhere. Bring your device and passwords to the library Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and our staff will get you started. Our Digital Collection is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and there are never any late fees!

CHILDREN

Caregivers and their children are invited to enjoy rhymes, songs, fingerplays, books and stories together. No registration is required.

  • Mondays (10 a.m.) Toddler Storytime – ages 19-35 months
  • Tuesdays (10 a.m.) Toddler Storytime – ages 19-35 months
  • Tuesdays (6:45 p.m.) Family Storytime – for all ages
  • Wednesdays (10 a.m.) Baby and Me Storytime – ages birth-18 months
  • Thursdays (10 a.m.) Preschool Storytime – ages 3-5 (not yet in kindergarten)
  • Fridays (10 a.m.) Family Storytime – for all ages

Tuesday, Jan. 17 (4 p.m.) Popcorn Olympics – Grades 3-6: Celebrate National Popcorn Day with the Popcorn Olympics! Join us for popcorn inspired games including the popcorn parachute game, popcorn distance throw, popcorn pick-up, popcorn shoe race and more!

Wednesday, Jan. 18 (7 p.m.) Mad Scientist: Rockets! – Join us for a hands-on science program building a simple rocket. We will then customize our rockets and compete in target practice.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.10.2017

Floating a relationship

What’s the best thing that’s happened to your relationship?

Don’t say kids.

While they’re the best thing to happen to us, they can glue and unglue a relationship. 

My husband, Mark, and I used to have deep and meaningful conversations about The X-Files, the best configuration for a Star Trek tricorder (bullet-shaped), and advanced alien form (fewer legs, more evolved). Now we agonize over who has the energy to start laundry.  

Thankfully, 10 years ago, our daughter, then five, did us a huge favor by failing – three times – Level One swimming, which, apparently, was a record of sorts.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.10.2017

The portables at Parkview School

A portable on the west end of Parkview School.

In 1922, a two-story Parkview School was built on Cahoon Road at the south end of Cahoon Memorial Park. (There was no Wolf Road at the time.) Parkview School housed grades one through twelve. All the Bay Village children went to school in the building. Two years later a third story was needed. In 1926, Forestview School was built to house grades one through six for the many children who now lived in the east end of the village. Parkview still contained grades one through twelve, being the elementary school for the west end children.

For many years Parkview contained the west end elementary and high school grades with no problem. Sometime in the 1930s the school board decided to purchase portable clapboard barrack-style buildings and add them to the west end of the school to help the overflow.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:10 AM, 01.10.2017

Ohayo! Good morning!

In my technology presentations, when I ask the audience, “What state are we in?”, I see some confused faces but most play along and answer “Ohio!” I proceed to explain that the cross-language homonym of the English word “Ohio” is “Ohayo” in Japanese which means “good morning.”

I tell the audience a white lie that we are about to wake up my parents at 2 a.m. Japan time. Uneasy laughter fills the room as they debate if they want to be part of my shenanigans. My answer? I simply hit the Skype app’s “video call” button on my tablet.

As the live image of my parents show up on the projected screen at the front of the room, the audience has no choice but shout “Ohayo!” in perfect unison. My dad, ever the show off, responds “Good morning! How are you today?” in English.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.10.2017

Group to discuss stories of challenge, courage in the Middle East

Case Western Reserve University, through its Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, is once again offering an eight-week book discussion course in Bay Village. The course will be held on Mondays, Jan. 16 through March 6, and meets at Bay United Methodist Church, 29931 Lake Road. Classes run from 10-11:30 a.m. 

The participants are engaging, curious and interesting adults, both men and women. It is a non-credit, no exam, no papers required course led by Barbara Parr, an experienced discussion facilitator. A syllabus is provided and discussion follows from the readings, which usually generate diverse and insightful conversations.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.10.2017

BAYarts SOUPer Bowl to benefit programming

Soups from local chefs will be available to taste during BAYarts' SOUPer Bowl fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 4. 

The latest BAYarts benefit will keep you well fed. For those unfamiliar with what a SOUPer Bowl is, it's just as it sounds.

For a $10 ticket, visitors get a drink, crusty bread from Breadsmith of Lakewood, a handmade bowl (crafted in the BAYarts ceramic department) and, of course, soups. The event will be a bit of a soup cook-off, with caterers, private chefs and restaurants all offering their best recipes. Votes will be tallied as the day progresses. Want to prove your soup is a winner? Email Pam Mills, pam@bayarts.net, to get involved. 

Tickets for the Feb. 4 event are expected to sell out, and can be purchased by calling 440-871-6543 or online by visiting the bayarts.net "upcoming events" page. The event will be open between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with an ability for ticketholders to stop by any time during that span.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.10.2017

Cure your familyís cabin fever at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Feeling cooped up after the holidays? Cold weather and continuous snowfall is the perfect recipe for cabin fever, especially in Cleveland. The best way to combat cabin fever in the upcoming months is to get moving and find engaging activities in your community for the entire family.

If you’re not up for hiking the wintry trails of Huntington Reservation quite yet, don’t worry. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center offers a variety of engaging, indoor and outdoor activities for all ages throughout the winter months! Providing free admission seven days a week, the Center offers quality nature, environmental and science experiences through native wildlife exhibits, daily planetarium shows and more. Special family programs are offered each month, for just $4 to $7 a person.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.10.2017

Film night of 'power' at Unity

In today's fast paced, multi-media world there are so many ways to be entertained. From Netflix to YouTube to Hulu, the eyes have it. So what to watch next? What if your next movie choice was both entertaining to your psyche, and enriching to your heart and soul? A double-your-fun kind of event!

If you've heard of James Tyman, also known as the Peace Troubadour, you know he is a unique individual with a variety of successes. He is the author of 10 books, including "The Art of Spiritual Peacemaking," and a world renowned folk musician. He has been invited by world peace organizations to perform peace concerts in war-torn countries such as Serbia, Bosnia and Iraq. He is also a film producer with movie credits such as "Indigo" and the documentary "The Moses Code."

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.10.2017

Bay Village VFW holiday social brings cheer to veterans

Bay Village VFW members, spouses, guests, and Key Club members enjoy a special holiday celebration for veterans. Photo by Fred Green

On Dec. 13, Bay Village VFW Post 9693 held our second annual Holiday Social. The event was held at Bay Lodge and due to a healthy turnout of members and guests, as well as over 20 Bay High School Key Club volunteers, we entertained over 50 people.The plentiful array of food was prepared by a few of the spouses and some items were donated. There was plenty for all and even pizza for the Key Club!

Due to a local event conflict, parking was sparse. Like all veterans, we assessed the situation, adapted and carried on! All had a great time. Several widowed or single members were sent home with food, and three full meals were delivered the next day to local veterans that could not make the event.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:08 AM, 01.10.2017

Tri-Cís Women in Transition program open for registration

The Women in Transition program at Cuyahoga Community College will launch a new session at Corporate College West on Jan. 17.

The free program uses education and training to empower women at a life crossroads. Participants build confidence and self-esteem through classes on personal development, career exploration and financial and computer literacy.

The course is designed to assist women in transitional periods of their lives, such as a career change or return to the workforce. The eight-week, non-credit program is free and open to the public.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.10.2017

Christmas Greening Workshops a success

Carol McDonald and Anne Massey co-chaired the Bay Village Garden Club's Christmas Greening Workshops. Photo by Kathie Roskom

The Bay Village Garden Club would like to thank the 143 participants who attended this year's "Greening." A total of 175 arrangements were created to beautify local homes at Christmas. A special thank you goes to Carol McDonald and Anne Massey, the co-chairs of this event, whose dedicated service has led this major project for several years. The funds raised from our workshops will enable us to continue our civic beautification projects and add other service projects for 2017.

To view photos of our creative attendees please visit our website at bayvillagegardenclub.com

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.10.2017