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.
On May 20, the students at St. Paul Lutheran School in Westlake received an ice cream treat from Mitchell's Ice Cream, as they watched Principal Dale Lehrke, get duct-taped to a wall.
This celebration rewarded the school body for their outstanding response to the National Junior Honor Society's (NJHS) Book Drive Fundraiser. During the school year, the Junior National Honor Society members challenged the school to collect 1,300 books for students at The Village Prep School. The NJHS students asked Principal Lehrke for an extra challenge. He offered to be duct-taped to the wall if they doubled the number of books. The students responded by exceeding the challenge with a total number of books collected over 3,000!
Nearly 6,000 KeyBank employees across the country gave back to their local communities recently for Key’s annual "Neighbors Make The Difference Day," including these four hard-working folks who helped clean and mulch the flower beds around Bay Village's Rose Hill Museum and the Reuben Osborn Learning Center. "These volunteers gave us a lot of sweat equity that afternoon, and we, and anyone who drives by these two facilities, really appreciates it," said Bay Village Historical Society President Cathy Flament.
The Bay Men's Club (BMC), one of the city's oldest and largest civic organizations, recently awarded three $1,000 scholarships to deserving Bay High seniors. Annamarie McGuire, Alysse Nowak and Hannah Goebel were honored for their academic achievements, civic involvement and extracurricular activities. McGuire plans to study forensics at the University of West Virginia. Nowak will attend Ohio University and study chemistry, and Goebel will study biology at The Ohio State University.
Our Sea Scout crew, named "Boats" and comprised of Adam Schordock (Westlake High School), Khalid Hamil (Bay Middle School), and Derek Reid, Nick Maude and our leader Zak Hamil (all from Bay High School) reached the semifinals of the Paradigm Challenge, a $250,000 international competition sponsored by the American Red Cross.
The scouts submitted a trifold brochure, titled “Don’t let this be Your Boat.” The competition sought innovative ideas from youth to prevent home fires and deaths. Since the scouts are at home on the water, they designed an infographic highlighting the main causes of boat fires. The graphic also gave suggestions for preventative maintenance that should be taken.
The Westlake Kiwanis held a RePlay for Kids project on Tuesday, May 10, at Westlake Porter Public Library. Eight members and three guests volunteered their time to work on the toys.
They adapted the toys so they can be used by children with disabilities. It involves 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. They managed to complete 30 toys which is the most they have ever done. As usual, Natalie Wardega, director of operations for RePlay for Kids, led the group.
Beauty, creativity, warmth and comfort are special gifts to share. And that is just what students from classes taught by Bay High School family and consumer science teacher Bridgit McFarland recently did.
On May 3, Mrs. McFarland and a group of students from her “Fashion Runway” and “On Your Own” classes gathered in the Bay High auditorium to present over 70 lap quilts to Barb Harrell, executive director of Village Project. The student-made quilts will be distributed to VP clients who are undergoing chemotherapy and in need of some comfort.
Residents of Bay Village, Westlake and surrounding West Shore communities are invited to walk in memory of their loved ones while "paying it forward" to help other patients and families. Registration is now open for Hospice of the Western Reserve's 2016 Walk to Remember, sponsored by FirstMerit Bank. Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Leon Bibb of WEWS-TV, Channel 5, is this year’s master of ceremonies.
The Westlake Police Department recently honored the Scott Fetzer Company for their partnership in the Westlake PD’s 2015 Adopt-a-Family program. Dispatcher Jeannie Ross and Scott Fetzer’s events coordinator, Mary Leonard, worked tirelessly to assist the Murillo family, whose father, Jose, suffered a life-altering work related injury in March 2015. In the spirit of Christmas, on Dec. 22, 2015, the Murillo family was surprised with clothing, toys, various family memberships, and recreational/educational equipment to assist during Jose’s extensive recovery.
To honor their contribution, Ross, along with WPD Chief Kevin Bielozer and auxiliary officer Rick Grane, presented Leonard, President/CEO Bob McBride, and Chairman Ken Semelsberger with a plaque recognizing Scott Fetzer’s collaboration in supporting the local community. Great appreciation was expressed to all who participated in the ongoing coalition to assist those in need who live and work in Westlake.
The Bay Village VFW Post is looking for new members – male or female – and a "new generation" to carry on our veterans and community service. Post meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bay Village Police Department, 28000 Wolf Road. Meetings last about an hour and we usually have refreshments afterwards.
You do not have to be a Bay resident to join, we support most of the West Shore communities (Rocky River, Westlake, Avon Lake). Also, our post does not have a facility, nor do we have an auxiliary. Unlike larger posts, we do not run a full-time food and beverage operation. However, your VFW Membership Card can get you access to any VFW Post in the county. If you are looking for a great opportunity to provide a positive impact to the community and can qualify for VFW membership, this is your chance!
The Westlake Town Criers, an organization comprised of men dedicated to aid and assist worthy causes within the city, recently made a monetary donation to Connecting for Kids.
Connecting for Kids is a nonprofit with a mission of providing education and support for families with questions or concerns about their child.
Donations are being solicited to help pay for the Bay Days fireworks celebration.
The Bay Days fireworks display costs $11,000, with the city paying half. The other $5,500 must be raised privately.
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 confirmation class at Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church chose a Lenten project to collect undergarments for the homeless men served by the 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter in Cleveland. The youth set out on an ambitious goal to collect 400 T-shirts, 400 undershorts and 400 pairs of socks during “Undies Sundays” throughout the Lenten season.
Thanks to their efforts and the generous support of the congregation, the class collected 429 T-shirts, 467 undershorts and 491 pairs of socks with a total value of almost $5,000. The youth personally delivered the undergarments to the Men’s Shelter on Saturday, April 9.
The fuse has been lit on the 2016 Bay Days Fireworks Fund fundraising efforts.
One half of the Fourth of July fireworks celebration is now privately funded (the other half is covered by the city), so a group of volunteers has for the past three years worked to raise money for the annual celebration of freedom.
Raffle tickets are now on sale to help raise funds for the 2016 Bay Days fireworks celebration. There are two different raffle prizes: A Cleveland Cavaliers ticket package and a one-year membership in the Freedom Boat Club.
The Chabad Jewish Center in Westlake is all ready for this spring’s Passover celebration. The center will be hosting two community Passover Seders, the traditional meal that marks the holiday since the Exodus of the Israelites from ancient Egypt some 3,328 years ago.
Passover is not only about celebrating the freedom of our ancestors. The holiday reminds us that we too can break free of our own self-imposed struggles and grow to be better human beings.
Ready to clean out your dresser drawers, closets and garage? Bay Village is hosting a soccer gear roundup from April 23 through May 8. Members of the Bay Soccer Club and Bay Presbyterian Church have joined forces to collect used soccer items to support the work of Ambassadors Football International, a 25-year-old international soccer ministry headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio. Ambassadors missionaries will then distribute the gear to needy youths overseas.
Residents of Westlake, Bay Village and the surrounding West Shore communities are invited to a free community event, “Safe Passages: Life is a Journey. Are You Prepared?,” on Sunday, April 17, 1-2 p.m. at the Olmsted Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5050 Porter Road, North Olmsted (registration opens at 12:30 p.m.). The event is secular, open to all faiths and to the community at large.
At a recent meeting, the Westlake Kiwanis hosted one of their service leadership programs, the Lee Burneson Builders Club. Builders Club advisor Cassandra Persia, club president Lauren Havelka and vice president Vincent Corrado shared with Kiwanians some of the things the club has been doing.
Ms. Persia was so excited about the group of Builders Club members she has. She says they are eager and excited to be part of Kiwanis and she has new students asking everyday if they can join. They currently have 26 members. She is especially proud of Lauren and Vincent, who are go-getters and born leaders.
Both Lauren and Vincent spoke about themselves and related some of the projects Builders Club has completed and plans for upcoming projects.
Third-graders at Dover Elementary recently were assigned a project which asked them to find ways to be a good citizen. The students were asked to identify a problem in the community, develop a solution and work for a month to implement their plan.
The results were amazing. It was fascinating to see how they worked to find a solution to the problems they identified. They didn’t point fingers or blame anyone for these problems but worked hard to implement a solution and make a change. They worked in so many ways: collecting food, clothes and blankets; a conscientization campaign about illness; recycling cans and glasses; helping people in the supermarket and a nursing home; selling things to raise money and donate for a good cause; and bringing cookies to the police station. Every single effort counted.
On Feb. 12 The Seven Doughnuts team delivered 112 cancer care packages for children at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital! The Seven Doughnuts is a fifth-grade Destination Imagination Team from Bay Middle School. We exceeded our goal of 50 packages with your help!
We collected 120 pairs of socks, 100 hats (50 from Bay Village alumni), 120 coloring books, 110 crayon boxes, 120 crafts, 75 lotions, 70 stuffed animals, 205 chapsticks, 190 tissue packs and 50 bags of hard candies. We also received a large donation of Bonne Bell Lip Smackers.
We had 56 girl packages and 56 boy packages. Each care package had 10 items. We even had some leftover donations that we donated to the cancer floor. The used items we received we donated to Providence House.
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club spent the Satuday before Valentine's Day spreading love by delivering more than 150 valentines to residents of the Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve in Westlake. The group recieved many smiles and hugs when they delivered to the cards to the residents in their rooms.
Aktion Club is a Kiwanis Service Club for individuals living with disabilities 18 years of age or older. If you or someone you know meets this criteria and would like to join the Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club please contact Vic Rutkoski at 216-433-1759.
Far West Center has received a Ryan White grant from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to provide outpatient mental health services for eligible persons with HIV/AIDS living in Cuyahoga or Lorain counties. The psychological and emotional impact of HIV/AIDS can be overwhelming. Often, the diagnosis itself triggers a host of mental health problems that worsen symptoms of the illness itself.
Far West Center is an experienced provider of specialized mental health services, including the care of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Outpatient services include evaluation, counseling, psychiatric care, medication, case management, and recovery support sessions. Located on the St. John Medical Center campus, as well as in Amherst, Far West Center is able to provide these services conveniently “under one roof.”