On Saturday, March 4, Boy Scout Troop 208 from Westlake held an Eagle Court of Honor, awarding the highest rank of Scouting to eight boys from Westlake High School. Chartered by Dover Congregational United Church of Christ since 1928, Troop 208 has a storied history in the Greater Cleveland Council. Special proclamations were awarded during the ceremony from Mayor Dennis Clough, County Councilmember Nan Baker, State Sen. Matt Dolan, State Sen. Tom Patton, State Rep. Dave Greenspan, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.
Have you had a scare in a parking lot or driveway? You are juggling bags of groceries, responding to a text or maybe getting your baby out of the car seat. You are distracted for a second – the amount of time it takes your toddler or preschooler to run away from your vehicle and into a busy area. Many of us can relate to this occurrence that happens all too often. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average, 96 fatalities and 2,000 injuries in children occur every year due to being backed over.
Connecting for Kids is launching a Parking Lot Safety Awareness Program to help change this statistic by offering families free safety kits to educate children about the dangers of running away from a car without holding an adult’s hand. The key part of this program is a free magnet that families can put on their car where the child exits. These magnets give children a visual place to put their hand to wait until an adult can safely take their hand and lead them to the next destination.
The Bay Village Police Department is hosting a Community Police Academy beginning on March 16.
The main goal of the Community Police Academy is to provide information to the residents so they understand how law enforcement functions and increase the rapport between the citizens and the officers of the Bay Village Police Department. Students will become more aware of what their police department does and why they do it certain ways.
Connecting for Kids will honor Ellen Spear, MA, CCC-SLP, as its Professional of the Year. This award is given to individuals who have helped fulfill the organization’s mission to provide education and support to families with concerns about their child. The award will be presented at the organization's annual fundraiser on Feb. 24 at Ahern Catering & Banquet Center in Avon Lake. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 and available at connectingforkids.org.
Spear is a speech language pathologist and co-owner of Lakeshore Speech Therapy in Westlake, helping numerous children to improve functional communication skills. In her free time, she started “Running with the Cats,” a program which connects St. Ignatius High School students to children with special needs for the purpose of training together for 5K runs. The program has grown from four kids to more than 50 participants.
Scott Stover, Bay Village Troop 41, earned the Eagle Scout rank on Feb. 13. Scott becomes the Troop's 149th Eagle Scout since 1964. He is the son of Kevin and Laura Stover of Fairview Park. For his Eagle service project, Scott's team constructed a Little Free Library and reading bench at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park. Visit troop41.wordpress.com for more information about Troop 41.
Donations are being accepted for the fireworks display at Bay Days this year.
The Bay Days fireworks display costs $11,000 a year, and it is up to the community to raise half the money for the display; the sale of Bay Village promotional items at city hall mostly finances the other half.
Many Bay Village civic organizations count on the revenues they raise at Bay Days to finance the scholarships they provide, to fund their civic-improvement programs and for other projects. Without the fireworks finale, Bay Days attendance would drop precipitously and so would the funding upon which these organizations rely.
The Bay Food Ministry is beginning its 28th year of service as a local food pantry. Founded in 1989 as a joint venture ministry of Bay Presbyterian Church, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and Saint Raphael Catholic Church, BFM today operates out of Bay Presbyterian Church.
Clients of BFM all fall under State of Ohio income guidelines and include families with children, seniors, including several residing in the Knickerbocker Apartments, single parents, and individuals who have found themselves in challenging situations. In 2016, BFM served over 1,280 people. Food distribution is held on the last Friday of each month, with clients receiving a three-day supply of food.
The Westlake Kiwanis is sponsoring a gently-used children's book collection. They are calling their project "Love a Book, Share a Book." During the month of February they will be collecting books suitable for children up through grade five. These books will be distributed to low-income families through the schools and local agencies.
Open a child’s mind to reading – all year long! Every child should experience the joy of reading. Kiwanis Read Around the World program focuses on sharing the joy of books with young children – from reading with them to providing books they can have of their very own.
The Westlake Kiwanis held a RePlay for Kids project on Jan. 24 at Westlake Porter Public Library. Eleven members and three guests volunteered their time to adapt the toys.
The volunteers adapted the toys so they can be used by children with disabilities. It involved taking apart the toys and installing switches which can be used to make the toys operate in various ways, such as blowing into a tube or touching with the side of a head. The project was coordinated by Edie Dale from RePlay for Kids and her intern, Luis Remel, a student from Germany.
Bay Village Cub Scout Pack 39 began its 75th Anniversary year with a cake-baking contest! The winning cake was made by the second-grade Wolf Den. The Pack meets at Normandy Elementary School in Bay Village. Pack 39 was founded in 1942 and serves Cub Scouts and Webelos, grades 1-5. If you are an alumni of the Pack and would like to share a picture or memory with them, please email Cubmaster Jennifer Bohannon at email@example.com.
New members are always welcome! Please visit www.beascout.org to learn more about Boy Scouting and its affiliated programs.
The Rotary Club of Westlake/Bay Village is starting off 2017 with four new members: Carrie Hoover, Jeff Appel, Garry Kishbaugh and Scott Goggin.
“We are thrilled to have these great community leaders join our Rotary Club”, said Marie Marrali, chairperson of the Club’s membership committee.
The Rotary is an International service organization, made up of a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. If you would like to learn more about this fulfilling organization, or attend a meeting, please contact Marie at 216-529-5636.
The Bay Rockets basketball team not only dominates the paint on the court, they also wield a pretty mean paintbrush in service of others.
The varsity boys started out the new year right by giving the headquarters of the Village Project a fresh new coat of interior paint. The idea to help out VP was theirs. Team captain Jack Jelen had approached Village Project Executive Director Barb Harrell, volunteering the team to assist the organization in some way. She suggested painting the offices.
On the first Saturday in January, Jack and his basketball teammates took it from there. They were supervised by Michael Murray, Ted Bradfield and Ryan Ault from Lakewood’s Textbook Painting. Sherwin-Williams donated the paint.
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.
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.
Christmas came early for me this year, in a tiny town of 1,500, nestled in the mountains of West Virginia. Thanks to Bay High teacher and Student Council advisor Rob Grossman, 15 Bay High Student Council members, grades 9-12, and four adult chaperones traveled to the city of Rainelle the first weekend in December to help repair homes ravaged by a devastating flood that made national headlines last June.
Rob arranged our trip through the Appalachia Service Project (ASP), a nonprofit organization with a mission to utilize volunteer power to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need in Central Appalachia. Specifically, we were helping with “Rebuild Rainelle,” an ASP initiative to build 50 new homes in a two-year period and also repair existing ones impacted by the flood.
The Westlake Kiwanis are looking to help the Westlake Police Department and surrounding communities by starting a project to expand Westlake’s K-9 program.
Westlake currently has one dog, “Chico,” who is set to be retired in 2017. They are looking to replace Chico and add one or two more dogs to the program. Chico is currently used by not only Westlake but other surrounding departments when needed. With the increase of drugs and drug-related crimes the need for more dogs is obvious.
"These dogs are used in all facets of the criminal apprehension of drug traffickers," said Rick Grane, a Westlake Kiwanian and auxiliary police officer. "They are also used to establish a relationship within the community for preventative education on drugs such as DARE and Safety Town."
Westlake 71047 Ambassador Girl Scout Troop made and decorated 90 cookies on Sunday, Dec. 11, for the Westlake Assistance Center to distribute to local families. Three Girl Scouts from North Ridgeville and a friend also participated in the fun. Sugar cookies shaped like trees, wreaths, stockings and stars were made, frosted and decorated, then put into individual plastic bags with a label with the ingredients and a message for holiday cheer.
Lakewood Country Club is kicking off its 2016 Giving Tree Adopt-a-Family Program, an annual charity program the Club sponsors during the holiday season to promote wellness and cheer in the community.
The LCC Leadership Team works with city officials and community advocates to find local, disadvantaged families who need an “extra boost” in December, in order to make the families’ Christmas celebrations bright and memorable ones. These families are often fighting chronic medical problems, dealing with loss of employment or loss of a family member, or they have suffered some sort of home displacement.
Do you know of a Bay Village resident whose service to the community is worthy of recognition? Has a special project made a difference in the city? The Bay Village Community Council is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Bay Village Citizen of the Year and Project of the Year. 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 Village residents that have provided significant community service without monetary reward. Although nominations for Project of the Year are being accepted, this award is not intended to be an annual designation. Special projects will be considered based on community impact and the involvement of volunteers and organizations.
Nominations are accepted online (Link: Citizen of the Year | Project of the Year), or via a mail-in form (Download: Citizen of the Year | Project of the Year). Mail-in forms may also be picked up at City Hall or the Bay Village Branch Library.
Robert Clancy, a longtime Westlake Kiwanis member, was surprised with a special presentation at a recent Kiwanis meeting. State Representative Nan Baker presented Bob with a proclamation of recognition for his recent induction into the Dover/Westlake High School Alumni Association Distinguished Hall of Fame.
The proclamation cited Bob’s many achievements since graduating from Westlake in 1965. Among the impressive credentials were serving as a Westlake police officer for 38 years, where he assisted with Safety Town and also served as a community service officer. He continues to serve as Westlake High School Kiwanis Key Club advisor.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, a fifth-grade Bay Village Destination Imagination team held a walk to simulate how far women and children in Africa have to walk to get water. Participants walked 3.5 miles around Bay Village. The walk was to raise money and awareness.
All the people on the walk got to hear a story from a man named Makorobondo "Dee" Salukombo and his family, who would retrieve water in Africa. He also showed us pictures. It ended up being a very nice day for a walk, with temperatures in the mid 40s. Over 100 people came out and walked. Our team raised $1,035, enough to build a well in close proximity to an African village.
The Kiwanis Club of Westlake will be selling locally grown poinsettia plants just in time for Christmas. The 6.5-inch potted plants make a beautiful home decoration or gifts for friends, neighbors or co-workers. They brighten the holiday and last long after the tree is down and the decorations put away. The cost is $10 per plant and funds help support the community projects of the club like holiday meals for the needy, scholarships for Lakeshore Day Camp, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, Key Club, Builders Club, and the Memorial Day Parade to name a few.
Connecting for Kids has received a $500 grant from the Westlake-Bay Village Rotary Club to provide 20 Wandering Safety Kits to help area families protect their children from the dangers of wandering.
“Research suggests that more than half of all children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and many more children with other diagnoses, including Down syndrome, anxiety, ADHD and intellectual disabilities, engage in wandering behaviors,” said Sarah Rintamaki, executive director of Connecting for Kids. “Among special needs families there is a huge concern for safety, especially after the tragic consequences of wandering we have seen.”
Did you know that Medicare health and drug plans change every year? Medicare open enrollment is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, and it’s the time to review your coverage.
Counselors from the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) will be at the Dwyer Memorial Senior Center in Bay Village on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to help you review your insurance and answer any questions about your Medicare coverage. Schedule an appointment to make sure your current health or drug plan is the most cost effective for you and learn about the different coverage options.
Both U.S. and British statistics show that one in four of us experiences a mental illness in a given year. And if you aren’t affected directly, mental illness will have an impact on your life through a family member, friend, neighbor, colleague, or through a chance encounter in the grocery store or on the street.
Passion for Change, a Westlake-based not-for-profit created to break the stigma of mental illness, is recruiting professionals in marketing and communications to participate in its core program, "Communicators for Mental Health." The program, designed as a national prototype, has been launched as a Greater Cleveland Pilot Project.
The Bay Village Historical Society is now offering plaques to the owners of homes in the city that are more than 100 years old.
The plaques, made of cast aluminum and colored black and gold, are 10 inches by 14 inches oval, and include the words "Bay Village," "Century Home" and the year of construction.
Autumn is officially here, and with it comes cooler temperatures, football games, snuggly sweaters, apple cider, clambakes, pumpkin spiced everything and the dazzling color-change of the leaves on our many Bay Village trees. But even as we enjoy all the pleasures the season brings, we can’t help but feel a sense of foreboding that all those lovely red, yellow, orange, purple and brown leaves will soon be falling from the sky and piling up in yards around town.
Project Leaf to the rescue! For the fourth year in a row, Village Project is offering to rake leaves for local residents and make their fall season a little less back-breaking in exchange for donations to help the organization continue its work.
The Westlake Bay Village chapter of the AARP Foundation Tax Aide program is seeking volunteers to help people with their income taxes and tax preparation beginning in January 2017.
The need for volunteers is great this year as the program grows to meet the increasing needs of this valued and valuable neighborhood initiative.
Residents of the Knickerbocker Apartments for active senior citizens were the recipients of the Boy Scout Eagle Project of Sean Rossander, from Westlake Troop 208. Sean, 15, directed the group that completed an extensive refurbishment of the much-used benches and picnic tables at the Bay Village apartment building.
During the day-long active portion of his project, he supervised 17 volunteers for a total 109 hours of service donated to the project. Contributing their time and efforts were Troop 208 Scouts and leaders as well as adult volunteers from Bay United Methodist Church.
The work entailed stripping off the old finish, repairing broken and unstable portions of the items and applying stain and sealer to all surfaces of the heavy outdoor seating. The items refurbished were three picnic tables with benches from the building’s inner courtyard and seven additional outdoor benches that provide seating near the building’s entrances.
Now in its tenth year, the Bay Village Waterways Clean-up Day, sponsored by The Bay Village Foundation and Bay High Project Earth Club, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24. All are welcome to meet at the Bay Middle School cafeteria to sign in before 11 a.m. Volunteers of all ages will go out in groups to clean up Bay's waterways and surrounding areas. Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian or bring signed permission slip.
The city provides trash bags and gloves for use in picking up debris along Cahoon Creek, Columbia Park, Bay Boat Club, and other portions of the Lake Erie waterfront. Under the guidance of Bridgit McFarland of Bay High School and The Bay Village Foundation chair, Mike Romanchek, the group will work for approximately two hours and finish up back at the middle school where the student trustees of The Bay Village Foundation – Chris Eifert, Katherine Finley, Jack Lee and Maggie Williams – will plan and deliver the lunch, funded by the Bay Village Foundation, for the hungry crowd. Afterwards, city workers will pick up the bagged debris at the middle school.
The Bay Village Holiday Caring and Sharing Program was created to help Bay families in need at the holidays. Families with children under age 18 may qualify for our Adopt a Family program, and receive gifts for the children that may not otherwise be possible that year. In addition, a food pantry is also available to those Bay Village residents who qualify.
Westlake High School junior Allie Routhier ran a booth on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Celebrate Westlake's annual run, walk, and fun dash to raise awareness for children with Sensory Processing Issues (SPI). By speaking with Sarah Rintamaki, Executive Director of Connecting for Kids, Allie identified the need to promote the advantages of early identification and treatment for children who are affected in the region.
Through generous family and neighbor donations and extensive babysitting and pet care over the summer, Allie raised funds to write, illustrate, and publish 165 copies of a 22-page children's book, "Making Sense of It," that tells the story of two bunnies working through sensory processing issues together. American Greetings and the parishioners at both St. Bernadette's and St. Ladislas' churches in Westlake donated new stuffed animals to her cause.
Westlake residents can support their schools by clipping the “Box Tops for Education” special coupons found on hundreds of participating products, from soup to cereal, Ziploc and Hefty bags, to Green Giant and Nature Valley products and many more. A complete list of participating products can be found online at boxtops4education.com.
“I feel this is a great way to support our Westlake schools,” said Margaret Schulz, who has been collecting Box Tops coupons for years from friends and civic contacts, including her fellow Westlake Garden Club members.
They say that good things come in small packages, but occasionally, good things also come in VERY BIG packages. Although the task of dealing with big things can be daunting, having the help of many good people is the best gift of all.
Village Project recently announced it is proceeding forward with its plans for doubling the number of cooking days each week from two to four. In the past month, kitchen renovations have been made that will facilitate the ability to cook larger portions more easily and efficiently. All of the equipment, furniture and labor were donated, and Village Project is most grateful to the many good people involved.
Twenty-eight cyclists and 10 crew members participating in the Journey of Hope cross-country bicycle trek cruised through the streets of Bay Village on Aug. 4, on their ride from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.
The ride is part of The Ability Experience, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.
After riding an average of 75 miles a day, you won't find team members napping in preparation for the next day's ride. They will be dancing at a friendship visit with a local disability support group, participating in a game of wheelchair basketball, performing puppet shows to educate children on the abilities of people with disabilities, and learning life lessons that will impact them for the rest of their lives. On stops for cycling events, grants are given to local organizations that serve people with disabilities in order to provide new equipment or upgrades to their facilities.
Elizabeth Holup, a Girl Scout Cadette from Bay Village, earned her Silver Award – one of the highest Girl Scout achievement awards – by starting a cooking program at West Park Evangelical Friends Church.
In researching what to do for her Silver Award project, Elizabeth decided to start something that had never been done at her church before, a cooking club. Eventually called West Park Chefs, Elizabeth was able to start the club with close to 30 members who would meet once a month where they split into inter-generational groups to make a meal and eat together, while making new friends. After the success of the first meeting, she was able to continue the program for three months making meatball subs, chicken noodle soup and hand pies.
Lecturer to present the plight of the refugee
Ahh, home. Dorothy said "There's no place like home" in "The Wizard of Oz," "Home Sweet Home" was a cross-stitch boon in the '80s and the dictionary defines home as "the place where one lives permanently."
And then there are the refugees who have no home. They were forced to leave their home country out of fear of persecution, armed conflict and violations of human rights. They didn't leave their home because they chose to – they fled for their lives. Most left their homes with the clothes on their backs and few, if any, possessions. They may have originally thought it would be a short time until things returned to normal but then they recognized they cannot return home because of continued conflict and wars. The refugee stories are ones of desperation with all seeking safety, freedom and the chance to reclaim futures for themselves and their families.
Six area Boy Scouts and their adult guides recently enjoyed a whitewater and zip-line trip to West Virginia. To help victims of recent flooding, the Scouts collected and delivered donations of food and household products along with over $200 in contributions to the Red Cross.
The group spent the middle of their trip rafting the New River and zip-lining the countryside near Fayetteville. With activities complete, they ventured to Richwood to assist in cleanup of neighborhoods affected by the disaster. Many lessons were learned on the trip!
Members of Bay Village's Martha Devotion Huntington chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution participated as the National Society DAR set an official Guinness World Record title in patriotism for "Most Letters to Military Personnel Collected in One Month."
The goal of 10,000 letters to active-duty service members was exceeded with a total of 100,904 letters. Individuals could write only one letter each but could solicit participation in the community. All letters were handwritten, stamped and delivered in person to DAR Headquarters in Washington, D.C., during the group's Continental Congress annual meeting, this year celebrating DAR's 125th anniversary.
The Westlake Kiwanis presented Russ Milan with the George F. Hixson Award, named for Kiwanis' first president. The award is given to members as a way of recognizing those who have contributed significantly to Kiwanis' history of service and generosity. Russ has been a member of the Westlake Kiwanis since April 3, 1991. Among his many accomplishments are being Westlake Kiwanis president twice and also serving as treasurer.
Russ started the Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club in 2004 and has served as the Division 14 Aktion Club advisor. Russ started the Westlake Kiwanis Special Olympics and has served as its chairman since its inception seven years ago. In addition, Russ is instrumental in running the Westlake Kiwanis Memorial Day Parade and Service.