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.”
The AARP Smart Driver Course will be offered at the Bay Village Dwyer Memorial Senior Center on Wednesday, March 9, from noon to 4 p.m. This class covers defensive driving techniques and the normal changes in vision, hearing and reaction time associated with aging.
The course also provides practical techniques for adjusting to these changes to ensure the driver’s own safety and that of others on the road. During the course, participants learn about current rules of the road and how to operate their vehicles more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment.
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club made valentines on Jan. 31 to deliver to a local nursing home on Valentine's Day. Pat Catan’s in Westlake provided a room and supplies for the valentine-making project.
Everyone had a great time and the turnout was great with 13 members, two advisors and 13 parents or caregivers. The valentines were delivered to the Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve in Westlake.
Cleveland winters can be tough, but can you imagine what they would be like without a warm place to call home or clothes to keep you comfortable in the frigid temperatures? This is the reality for the homeless in Cleveland this winter. In an effort to help, some students from Bay High School volunteered at the Homeless Stand Down event on Jan. 23 at Public Hall.
The Homeless Stand Down event is run by an organization called Hands On Northeast Ohio that connects volunteers to opportunities near them. The Bay High School Student Council has been participating in the Homeless Stand Down event for many years. At the event, the student volunteers either helped in the kids area or in the distribution center. The volunteers in the kids area watched the children while their parents were picking out clothing for the whole family with the help of those students in the distribution area. Through this experience the volunteers gained insight into the magnitude of homelessness here in Cleveland.
Molly Harkness, a junior at Bay High School said, “It was an eye-opening experience. You get to meet many interesting people who you wouldn’t likely see in Bay Village. And I had tons of fun!”
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise puppies with a purpose. That purpose is to help people with vision impairments lead an active life not limited by their lack of vision.
When I retired from the Westlake Police Department in 2014, many people asked what I would do next. I had no idea and started out just enjoying my time off. While I was still working, my wife and I were always involved with rescue groups. We have had 32 foster dogs, mostly Golden Retrievers rescued by Golden Retrievers in Need (GRIN). Upon my retirement from the police department we began looking into other ways to help, not only the animals but people as well. We had looked into the Guiding Eyes organization previously but with both of us working it didn’t seem like the right time. Once I retired time was not a problem.
Well do you? The Seven Doughnuts, a fifth-grade Destination Imagination team, is having a collection for children at Rainbow Babies And Children’s Hospital. The collection is going on now through Feb. 5 at all Bay Village Schools and the Bay Village Library. This team of fifth-graders is planning to make Cancer Care Packages, but we can’t do that without your help! These are some of the items we are looking to collect:
- Fuzzy kids socks
- Hats, ball caps and winter hats
- Hard candies
- Coloring books and crayons
- Small craft items
- Small stuffed animals
Please do not forget, the things you donate have to be NEW items because there might be germs on old things. Thank you very much for your help!
Kade Waffen, Bay Village Troop 41, earned the Eagle Scout Rank on Jan. 11. Kade becomes the Troop's 145th Eagle Scout since 1964. He is the son of Chad and Nicole Waffen.
For his Eagle service project, Kade's team installed benches and decorative coverings at The Village Project offices on West Oviatt Road. Visit troop41.wordpress.com for more information about Troop 41.
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club's latest service project involved collecting items for a local animal shelter. The club has been collecting various items such as towels, blankets, dog food, dog toys, shampoo, paper towels, collars, pulls and various other dog-related items. They also are making dog pulls by braiding used T-shirts.
Everyone is excited about this project and hope to have it as a continuing service project, donating these items to local shelters and rescue groups. They delivered their first donation to the Lorain County Animal Shelter. Aktion Club is open to individuals with a disability 18 years of age and older.
After a season of overeating and feasting, it’s important to be reminded that one in every nine people on our planet still go to bed hungry each night. According to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. It’s also important to be reminded that we can do something about world hunger.
Stop Hunger Now is an organization whose mission is to end world hunger and they approach it by engaging local communities in packing individual, nutritionally dense, grain-based meals. Just 29 cents buys a meal! Meals are packed assembly-line fashion and 50 people spending two hours can pack 10,000 meals. These meals are shipped to the neediest places in the world with in-country partners in 71 countries. Volunteers at Stop Hunger Now events can engage in the effort to end hunger while participating in a fun, hands-on and rewarding experience for anyone of any age.
Trustees of The Bay Village Foundation announced that the foundation is accepting grant requests for specific projects of local civic and non-profit organizations. Applications are due by Feb. 29, 2016. Awards will be announced on May 30 at the foundation’s Memorial Day celebration. Awards may range from $500-$5,000.
The Bay Village Foundation is primarily interested in capital projects that improve the quality of life in Bay Village. Projects must be responsive to community needs. Support for programs may also be considered. Reporting requirements from previous awards may be requested before the Foundation will consider a subsequent funding application.
Are you looking for volunteer opportunities for 2016? Please come and join the Women's Board of the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center at our monthly meetings, held the first Wednesday of each month at the Center. Social time begins at noon with a 12:30 p.m. meeting time. On Wednesday, Jan. 6, we will be finalizing plans for our Fireside Party for members and guests to be held Saturday, Jan. 23.
Women's Board is a volunteer organization with a rich history. Begun in 1954, members have a diversity of skills, experiences and talents. We support the Center and its mission through service, leadership, community awareness and fundraising.
The Westshore Young Leaders' annual holiday celebration meeting took on new significance as the teens made no-sew fleece scarves for children living in the OhioGuidestone Residential Treatment Campus at the Berea Children's Home. The young leaders cut, frayed and placed beads on each scarf. A special touch was added with a “Made with love especially for YOU” sticker that was placed carefully for the recipient to see.
The students felt excited to be able to make something to give to another teen during the holiday season. OhioGuidestone and the Westshore Young Leaders are looking to coordinate on future interactive projects in the upcoming year.
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion decorated jelly and jam jars in December as one of their community projects. They were donated to Westlake Meals On Wheels, who distributed the decorated jars as gifts with meals being delivered during Christmas week.
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.
The Westlake Kiwanis held a RePlay for Kids project on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Westlake Porter Public Library. Twelve 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 the toys apart 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 a 30 toys which is the most they have ever done. As usual, Natalie Wardega, director of operations for RePlay for Kids, led the group.
Four months ago, I rescued an abandoned little poodle in Cahoon Park in Bay Village, and in the process the bike that my grandfather passed down to me was stolen. However, from that experience I gained a best friend and I regret nothing.
After I found the dog, I wrote an article about it for the Observer and was interviewed for a television news story in the hopes of finding her owner. However, no one claimed her. After a time, we decided to keep her, and she is a great addition to our family.
A letter has been sent to every family in Bay Village asking each household to make a donation this year, no matter how large or how small, to demonstrate support for the many projects being planned for the village. As we welcome our new president, Alan Paulus, we have a renewed energy to build the foundation into an endowment that matches and exceeds our dreams for The Bay Village Foundation.
A portion of every dollar contributed, as well as the interest earned on the money contributed and maintained in the endowment fund, is spent wholly in Bay Village for private, not-for-profit projects. The Bay Village Foundation was founded in 1995 and officially designated as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club held their December meeting at River's Edge in Cleveland. After their meeting and meal they decorated jelly jars to be distributed with meals by Meals on Wheels on Christmas. The Aktion Club was lucky enough to be visited by Santa Claus and his helpful elf, played by Westlake Kiwanian Rick Grane. The Aktion Club members visited with Santa and his elf, receiving special gifts while relating their Christmas wishes to Santa.
Kiwanis Aktion Club is a community service group for adult citizens who live with a disability. If you or someone you know is interested in joining Aktion Club please contact Vic Rutkoski at 216-410-3486 or email@example.com.
The Bay Village Community Council is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Bay Village Citizen of the Year and Project of the Year. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 8, and selections will be announced by the Community Council soon afterwards.
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. Citizen of the year nominees, either individual or couple, must be Bay Village residents that have provided significant community service without monetary reward.
Members of the Bay Men’s Club turned out on a recent Saturday morning to help their fellow citizens by raking leaves and cleaning the yards of a number of deserving residents, many of them seniors and disabled.
Participants included Chris Edelman, Iggy Gannon, John Underation, Peter Gierosky, Dick Majewski, Dwight Clark, Mark Vinick, Doug Gertz, Steve Ernst, Dave Sanson, Dan Gallagher, Mike Shaffer and Eric Eakin.
“We are glad to help out any way we can,” BMC President Jon Lang said. “It’s a great opportunity to assist those who can use our help.”
The Westlake Kiwanis, always a busy organization, were busier than usual at the end of November. The Kiwanis and their Westlake Kiwanis Key Club raked and cleaned up 16 senior citizens' lawns. The Kiwanis also donated money for Thanksgiving Baskets for the less fortunate and helped distribute the baskets at the Westlake Community Center. They finished up the month delivering "Meals on Wheels" on Thanksgiving Day, giving the regular drivers a chance to be home with their families. All these projects were in addition to their usual sponsorship of Key Club, Builders Club, K-Kids and Aktion Club.
Please consider becoming a Westlake Kiwanian. If you would like to join an active volunteer group and give back to your community on many worthwhile projects, please contact George Christ at 440-871-3980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kiwanis Club of Westlake will be selling locally grown poinsettia plants just in time for the holiday season. The 6.5-inch potted plants make a beautiful home decoration or gifts for friends, neighbors or co-workers. They brighten the holidays and last long after the tree is down and the decorations are 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, West Shore YMCA's Learn to Swim Program, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, Key Club, Builders Club, and the Memorial Day Parade, to name a few.
You probably remember what life was like three years ago, during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. You might also remember that a group called BayComm came into existence just six months prior, giving local residents the ability to communicate with each other via two-way radio, when power and other forms of communication were down. It was established on the premise that “communication” is the single most important thing to have during a disaster.
In an emergency, when police are talking with fire, and fire is talking with the service crew, who do residents have to talk with when phones, internet and power are out?