Community Service

The wheels behind Village Bicycle Cooperative

Congratulations to the Village Bicycle Cooperative for receiving the Bay Village project of the year award! The VBC was launched in 2012 by a group of residents who wanted to make Bay a more bike-able community. Today the nonprofit cooperative has five board members and more than 35 volunteers. I have had the pleasure of working and learning from the talented board members of the co-op and I thought it would be interesting to share some information about each person. These people have volunteered time, money and effort to create a viable bike program for the city of Bay Village. 

Jennifer Smillie, board president, is the visionary who created a mission for Village Bicycle Cooperative. Jennifer wants to provide a supportive climate to foster a bike friendly town and also use VBC as a springboard to educate and facilitate outreach programs. Jennifer “wants to maintain a cooperative environment where people can come to have fun and to learn.” Some of Jennifer’s goals for the future of VBC are to increase volunteers and their involvement. At the award presentation on Feb. 23, Jennifer summed up her feelings about Bay and the community's support for the co-op, saying, “We live in an awesome town!”

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.04.2014

Group raising money for Bay Days fireworks

The committee of volunteers working to raise enough money to put on a fireworks display at Bay Days is making real progress, thanks to the efforts of a number of concerned citizens.

Susan Farnham of Manchester Drive recently held a fundraiser at her home, featuring the line of Pampered Chef products. All proceeds from the event were donated to the fireworks fund.

The fundraising group also has established a website, www.bayfireworks.org, to raise awareness for their efforts. To thank those who have donated, the names of donors will soon be posted on the website.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 03.04.2014

Compeer celebrates friendship at Valentine's Day party

On Valentine’s Day this year, Compeer members and matches were invited to Far West Center for an afternoon party to share desserts, holiday treats and fun. More than 22 people filled the Valentine’s treat tables with a variety of delicious cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins and candies for all to enjoy. Guests also shared some laughs by playing Valentine’s Day trivia and shared the joy of special moments they have had with Compeer friends.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center offers support to adults that are working on their recovery from symptoms of mental illness. Compeer members are men and women able to manage their symptoms with behavioral wellness services. After symptoms are decreased, eliminated and managed, the next step is to build a supportive network of friends and reconnect  to community activities.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 9:56 AM, 03.04.2014

Lou Popp wins Dwyer jingle contest

For the past few weeks, staff at the Dwyer Senior Center have been observed humming and singing after reading entries to the recent Jingle Contest. Members of the community were asked to submit jingles about aging, the senior center or activities that they enjoy participating in.

Numerous entries were received and the staff narrowed it down to the top six and then the final three. Lou Popp won first place with her jingle called "Bay Senior Center." She said she woke up in the middle of the night with the words running through her head. She wrote them down and submitted it in the contest never dreaming she would win first place!

"Where should I go? What can I do? Bay Dwyer Senior Center is the place for you. Check out their activities, on paper and online. It is time to get out – and have a GREAT TIME!"

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:30 AM, 02.18.2014

Kiwanis family join hearts and hands for hospice

The Westlake Kiwanis family – Kiwanis, Key Club, Builders Club, Aktion Club and K-Kids – joined their hearts and hands together to make Valentine's Day special for families at the Ames Family Hospice House. They served a dinner at the Hospice of the Western Reserve facility, with the Aktion Club making valentines for the families, the K-Kids making a picture collage for the dining room, the Builders Club making centerpieces and placemats for the tables, and the Key Club helping the Kiwanis serving food. Three Westlake Kiwanians provided food from their restuarants for dinner. Kiwanis also provided drinks, desserts and music to make the evening complete.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:16 AM, 02.18.2014

'Peacemakers' donate more than 3,000 quilts to cancer patients

The Peacemakers quilting group at Bethesda-On-The-Bay Lutheran Church in Bay Village has been making quilts for local cancer patients since 1998. Recently, the women celebrated an important milestone – the finishing of their 3,000th quilt.

Every Thursday morning, local women meet in a classroom at the church to make 40-by-60-inch quilts – each one with a unique pattern. The quilts are donated to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center at Fairview Hospital.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:28 AM, 02.04.2014

Riding into winter with VBC

Are these cold, wintry days causing MMBR (missing my bike ride)? Then I have the solution, visit us at Village Bicycle Cooperative where you can work on bikes, talk about bikes and, weather permitting, ride a bike. 

Volunteering at VBC requires no previous skills, just a willingness to learn and to have fun. Many of our refurbished bikes will be donated and we can use your help. Village Bicycle Cooperative's mission includes accepting new and used donated bicycles during open shop hours, repairing them when necessary and then performing a safety check. Bikes that pass the safety check are offered for sale to the public. The majority of our bicycles are under $100, but occasionally we have something special to offer that breaks that rule.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:22 AM, 02.04.2014

Gorgas named Bay Village citizen of year; bike co-op project of year

Doris Gorgas has been named 2014 Bay Village citizen of the year, and the Village Bicycle Cooperative has been named 2014 project of the year by the Bay Village Community Council.

Gorgas, who is a retired University Hospitals operating room nurse (she still helps teach CPR there), was honored for her 40 years of service to a wide variety of Bay Village organizations, from Girl Scouts to the band boosters to the historical society to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:45 AM, 01.21.2014

Westlake Girl Scout Troop qualifies for Bronze Award

Since last June, Junior Girl Scout Troop 77125, meeting at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Westlake, has been delighting selected Westlake Meals on Wheels recipients with their efforts to brighten lives. They have delivered to seniors several gifts made by the scouts on a bi-weekly basis.  

These efforts are aimed towards meeting the criteria to achieve the Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve. It is a step toward earning their Silver and Gold awards as they progress through the levels in Girl Scouts.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:23 AM, 01.21.2014

January is a good time to join the Compeer team of caring volunteers

As the year 2014 begins many of you are setting new goals to help this New Year become one of your most rewarding years ever. Perhaps you have “volunteering” on your list of possible goals. As you know volunteering, sharing your time and abilities, is a rewarding activity that benefits both the lives of others and your community. The Compeer Program at Far West Center offers a uniquely flexible and fun way to volunteer.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center is a nonprofit program that assists adults in recovery from mental illness to end isolation and depression. Our program is an affiliate of the international Compeer Inc. which is an evidence-based program model of offering support and improving recovery.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:17 AM, 01.21.2014

Westshore CERT begins training Feb. 15

Power outages, Superstorm Sandy, the Artic Vortex … As FEMA says, “all disasters begin and end at the local level.” Community preparedness starts with you.

The Westshore Regional Community Emergency Response Team (WSC) is offering free classes on topics such as disaster preparedness, emergency medical considerations, search and rescue procedures, fire suppression, disaster psychology and more. The 20-hour FEMA course is conducted by local safety professionals. Westshore residents who are over 18 years of age, successfully complete training, and pass a background check are eligible for team membership. Visit www.westshorecert.org for more program and team information.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:19 AM, 01.21.2014

'Stop Hunger Now' meal packing event in Westlake

While millions of Americans are trying to keep their New Year’s resolutions around eating less, hunger experts estimate nearly 870 million people across the globe go to bed hungry each night, 200 million of them children.

Most people are generally aware of issues of food scarcity but often don’t know how to help. 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. Meals are packed assembly-line fashion and 50 people spending two hours can pack 10,000 meals. 

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:02 AM, 01.07.2014

Dashing into 2014

Happy 2014 from Village Bicycle Cooperative. We are really looking forward to this new year with many activities planned. More information about them will be coming in the future.

VBC would like to thank the volunteers who have helped with the success of the co-op. We were able to repurpose more than 130 bikes with 65 being sold and 64 donated, of which 31 went to the Salvation Army during the holiday season. In line with our commitment to sustainability, 40 bikes were diverted from the waste stream. They were scrapped and used for parts and frames. Much of the scrapped chain was used at our Bike Art Class in December. Also more than 100 tires were taken to the hazardous waste drop-off and will be recycled into playground mulch. Not to toot our own horn but we are quite happy with the results. Thanks to everyone who donated bikes, volunteered or participated in our events. 

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:06 AM, 01.07.2014

Deadline nears for nominations for Bay Village citizen, project of the year

Nominations for the Bay Village Community Council’s 2014 Bay Village citizen of the year and project of the year awards are due by Friday, Jan. 10.

Selections of recipients will be announced by the Community Council soon afterwards. A reception in honor of the recipient and project will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time.

Although nominations for Project of the Year are being accepted, this award is not intended to be an annual designation and special projects will be considered based on community impact and the involvement of volunteers and organizations.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:09 AM, 01.07.2014

Village Foundation annouces available funding

The Village Foundation is now accepting requests for funds to be granted for specific projects of local civic and non-profit organizations. Proposals are due Monday, March 3, and awards are expected to be announced on May 26 at the Foundation’s Memorial Day celebration. Awards may range from $500-$3,000.

The 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 must be met before the Village Foundation will consider a subsequent funding application.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.07.2014

Bay Food Ministry, a quarter-century of service

The Bay Food Ministry is beginning its 25th 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. Food distribution day is held on the last Friday of each month, with clients receiving a three-day supply of food.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:53 AM, 12.10.2013

Donate to those in need at this time of giving

Over the years, the small in number, but large on helping and caring, Outreach Team of Unity Spiritual Center Westlake, have donated to many charitable organizations. Among them have been Malachi House where wish-list items were collected and donated at "Christmas in July."

In addition, we've collected items from the wish-list of Laura's Home, sponsored a diaper drive, distributed turkeys and hams on the near West Side of Cleveland, donated to three animal sanctuaries through a Pet Blessing, tutored reading in elementary schools, and collected clothing and personal necessities for Lutheran Men's Ministries.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:50 AM, 12.10.2013

Westlake Kiwanis welcomes new family member, K-Kids at Parkside

The Westlake Kiwanis family welcomed a new member when a K-Kids Club was chartered at Parkside Intermediate School. The Club was chartered through the efforts of Kiwanians Joanne Clancy and Bonnie Smith who will be advisors, along with cooperation of Parkside's principal, Mark Bregar. 

The Kiwanis K-Kids program opens avenues of service and development to elementary school children around the world. In the more than 1,200 K-Kids clubs, children learn the value of helping others, the importance of teamwork and the benefits of leadership.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:52 AM, 12.10.2013

Give back by fixing up bikes for tikes

Thanks to all the people who stopped by the Village Bicycle Cooperative on Dec. 8 to make bracelets, votive candle holders and star ornaments from unusable bike parts. It was a great way to socialize and utilize the bike parts that have been donated by generous people. 

If you are interested in learning more about bicycle maintenance and repair, a great way to do so is by starting on children's bicycles. Under the skilled help of the VBC technicians, you will learn quickly. It is also a great way to give back during the holiday season because the refurbished bicycles will be donated to the Salvation Army and St. Raphael’s Church to be given to needy children. Village Bicycle Cooperative has donated 21 bikes in the last three weeks to charitable organizations.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:39 AM, 12.10.2013

Porter Library tree glitters with gold

The lobby of Westlake Porter Public Library is glowing brightly with a beautiful holiday tree. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, the Westlake Garden Club came to the library with boxes and bags of ornaments and materials to decorate the tree. The garden club is winding down a yearlong 50th anniversary celebration – a Golden Anniversary. 

It seemed appropriate that the theme of this year’s tree is “golden” items from nature. In addition to hundreds of white lights, there are gold balls, bows, leaves, pine cones, acorns, pears, apples and swans, with white hydrangeas and baby’s breath garland. This is the second year the garden club has decorated a tree and according to library director Andrew Mangels, i

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:41 AM, 12.10.2013

Service: It's simply history

For those who have gone to bed hungry and thought it was just during the Depression, know that it happens today in every community. Hardship situations exist through unemployment, underemployment, disability, or for those older, a fixed income that cannot support the costs of housing, food, prescriptions, etc.

In the 1970s a group of volunteers recognized the need for holiday food baskets in the city of Westlake. This group served individuals and families identified by the clergy, school personnel and neighbors. In addition to holiday baskets, shoes, coats and other necessary items were also provided through donated funds.

A few years later, the City of Westlake created a department to address the social service needs of the entire community, establishing an assistance program. The department became known as Community Services and includes a year-round emergency food bank, holiday food baskets, Christmas gifts through the Adopt-A-Family program, prescription assistance for older adults, overnight accommodations for victims of domestic violence, and various other assistances. 

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:58 AM, 11.26.2013

Bay's Holiday Caring and Sharing Program accepting donations

Last year Bay Middle School collected a ton of non-perishable food items for Bay Village Community Services Department’s Holiday Caring and Sharing Program. Other schools, organizations and individuals collected hats, mittens, scarves, paper products, cleaning products, personal care items, gift cards and cash donations for our emergency assistance programs.

In addition to Bay’s Holiday Caring and Sharing Program, the Community Services Department has an “Adopt-A-Family” Program to help Bay families and individuals have a brighter holiday. Families may be “adopted” anonymously by contacting Bay’s Community Services Department. You may also donate to the “Adopt-A-Family” Program by writing a check made payable to the City of Bay Village or donating a gift card(s). If you or someone you know has had a difficult year, please contact Deborah Bock at 899-3409 to see what assistance is available.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.26.2013

Group seeks nominations for Bay Village citizen, project of the year

The Bay Village Community Council is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Bay Village citizen of the year and project of the year.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Selections will be announced by the Community Council soon afterwards.

A reception in honor of the recipient and project will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time.

(Although nominations for project of the year are being accepted, this award is not intended to be an annual designation and special projects will be considered based on community impact and the involvement of volunteers and organizations.)

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:03 AM, 11.26.2013

When the leaves fall the Kiwanis rake lawns

The Westlake Kiwanis and Westlake High School Key Club joined forces on a recent autumn day to rake leaves for senior citizens in Westlake. This is an annual fall project for the Kiwanis and their Key Club.

The Kiwanis family enjoys working together while providing a needed service for our seniors. This year they worked together raking 21 lawns.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:53 AM, 11.26.2013

Bay Men's Club aids city residents

Members of the Bay Men’s Club recently volunteered to help their fellow citizens recently by raking and cleaning the yards of a number of deserving residents.

In cooperation with the city’s Communitiy Services Department, the organization dispatched two teams to assist needy Bay Villagers with their fall clean-up chores.

“We are glad to help out any way we can,” BMC President Chris Edelman said.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:03 AM, 11.26.2013

A unique way of giving

Village Project has so much to be thankful for as we approach the holiday season. Thanks to over 400 volunteers, generous donors, supportive community organizations and corporations, we are caring for families experiencing cancer in Avon Lake, Bay Village and Rocky River in a newly renovated building. 

Our facility reflects the labor and love of those that made the dream come true: mismatched donated furniture, vibrant assorted floor tiles, refurbished technological equipment and a volunteer wall that gratefully displays the handprints of those who give their time and talent.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.26.2013

The Westshore CERT has Friends in the Community

The goal of the Westshore Regional CERT (WSC) is to help citizens prepare for disasters common in the area, to have the skills to capably handle a variety of emergency situations, and to be a vital extension of emergency response services when needs outweigh resources. The goal of Cuyahoga County Council District 1 Representative Dave Greenspan’s Friends for the Community Foundation is to support, promote and enhance the quality of life, public safety initiatives, programs and services within the Westshore communities.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.26.2013

An 11-year-old's birthday wish to show kindness to others

“Let’s do random acts of kindness for my birthday party this year!” said, Jules, our eleven-year-old daughter, who immediately began to jot down ideas. I could hardly contain my pride!

So, on an October Saturday in Bay, we filled the neighbor’s van with Jules and her friends – Halle, Anna, Lilly, Kate, Kayla, Steffi and Grace – and set off on our journey. First stop: deliver pizza and muffins to Bay's police and fire stations (the girls even got a sneak peek of the new fire truck!).

Next, bring homemade vases with uplifting notes to The Village Project, a group that provides meals to area cancer patients (the girls were able to put their hand prints on the new facility’s wall, thanks to Executive Director, Barb Harrell). Now, off to pass out roses to residents at Westlake Village nursing home (lots of multi-generational smiles at that stop!).

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.12.2013

Compeer shares fun and games with Westlake seniors

Dorothy’s face lit up with a big smile when she realized she had won the game taught by her Compeer friend, Holly. Dorothy is a member of the Residents’ Club at the Gardens of Westlake senior living facility on Detroit Road. 

“Compeer Together Volunteers,” a supported volunteering group of Compeer at Far West Center, visited the Residents’ Club one recent evening and brought along some games to share with seniors. All members of the Residents’ Club gave Compeer volunteers a warm welcome, and like Dorothy, happily engaged in conversation and games. When our social evening ended all agreed that we would meet again in December.

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.12.2013

Village Project quilt squares: community and memory

Have you lost a loved one? Has someone you know lost a family member? Are you a member of a group in our community?

The Village Project is currently creating six-inch quilt squares to honor and memorialize loved ones, as well as show support for the VP. These squares will help raise funds, ensuring that the VP can continue reaching out to families affected by cancer.

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.12.2013

Bay Village Community Services Department makes independent living easier

The Bay Village Department of Community Services recognizes that many residents wish to remain in their homes as long as they possibly can. Our goal is to provide programs and services to help make this possible! We provide many services as part of "SMILE: Services Making Independent Living Easier."

Are your children worried about you living alone? Utilizing these services can give you and them peace of mind! The city offers transportation to medical appointments, shopping and errands. Meals on Wheels are available for those who are unable to shop or prepare meals for themselves. A Community Care Monitor checks on your well being each day and a lock box is available which allows emergency services to gain access to your home easily in the event you need assistance.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.29.2013

Bay group looking for 'Neighborhood Ambassadors' to help in an emergency

If you are someone (like myself), who believes that a little preparedness goes a long way, and that the citizens of Bay Village deserve some protection, then let’s talk about a concept that I helped create about a year ago, during a time when the City had just got done reeling from the aftermath of a hurricane that came all the way to Bay Village: the Neighborhood Ambassador Program.

I am a longtime resident of Bay, and have been part of the Auxiliary Police Department for the last 12 years. Last year, I created a group called BayComm, which acts as a network of radio communications amongst residents of the Westshore area, should traditional communications go down. Volunteer membership is growing, as more and more residents realize that there is safety in numbers, and that our infrastructure is aging.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.29.2013

PALs in the community

I am a junior at Bay High School and I am working on earning my Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, and the goal of the award is to create a service project that will have a lasting impact on her community.

For my project, I wanted to pick an issue that is close to my heart. Since my freshman year, I have been involved in PAL, or “Pupil Assisted Learning.” The PAL program buddies typical teens with a peer that has a disability. Since I have joined, PAL has been my favorite club. I love spending time with these students and getting to know them.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:16 AM, 10.29.2013

Heritage Run raises funds for Bay projects

In its fourth year, the Village Foundation Heritage Run was held on Saturday, Oct. 19. More than 300 participants came out on a mild, cloudy day to run or walk the streets of Bay Village while raising money for the foundation. Mayor Debbie Sutherland rang the bell to kick off the race and she was on hand to give the awards at the end.

Looking at the crowd, Mayor Sutherland observed, “It is great to see so many runners of all ages come out for a good cause!” The participants ranged in age from one to 80 years old. 

While everyone had fun, none had more fun than the group calling themselves “Team Bride.” Bride-to-be Nikki Smith, of Elyria,  used the occasion as a bachelorette party celebrating her upcoming wedding on Nov. 9 to Brian Kensik.

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Volume 5, Issue 22, Posted 10:11 AM, 10.29.2013

Kiwanis donates iPads for Westlake classes

The Westlake Aktion Club and the Westlake Kiwanis recently donated iPads for use by the special education classes at Dover Elementary School and Basset Elementary School. The Kiwanis mission is saving the world one child and one community at a time. The Aktion Club is made up of individuals with disabilities age 18 and over and felt the donation of the iPads would help serve their mission.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:16 AM, 10.15.2013

Village Project yard clean-up

The Village Project is pleased to announce their new location as well as a new fundraising event, a Yard Clean Up! The Village Project has been in their new home, 27378 West Oviatt in Bay Village, since Sept. 24. In order to involve volunteers, spread awareness and pay off renovation expenses they are hosting this fall affair.

Lawn mowing, mulching, weeding, leaf raking, as well as general yard work are the benefits provided. Volunteers will be serving locations in Bay Village, Avon Lake and Rocky River. This great event will occur on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. Donations will be accepted and suggested at $20 (donations in excess of $20 are tax deductible). Spots need to be reserved by Oct. 24.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.15.2013

Oct. 9 program offers help in aging lifestyle transition

In the city of Westlake, the Community Services Department is all about successful aging. Programs of education, culture, physical activity, health, trips and social enjoyment are all offered through Fifty Plus Programs. Age is valued and experience is applauded as the staff creates solutions that improve the quality of life for mature adults. Although the department agrees that aging is about perspective (yes, age really is just a number) it is also important to recognize the various stages that fill our years and anticipate that next step.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, the City of Westlake Community Services Department will offer a very special program which will answer everyone’s questions as they look to a transition: How do I get from where I am today to where I want to be tomorrow? Designed for individuals and families who are considering a change in aging lifestyle for themselves or loved ones, this program addresses multiple needs.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:39 AM, 10.01.2013

Avoiding the flu

As we delight in the changing colors of leaves, mum plants of purple, yellow and orange, and Halloween candy, costumes and decorations, it is easy to forget that October means the beginning of flu season.

Each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications. Flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It is not to be confused with stomach or intestinal distress.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:31 AM, 10.01.2013

Compeer match celebrates first year of friendship

Steve is 55 years young and has solid bowling skills and enjoys bike riding. He has many interests including sports, history, music and trying new dining experiences. Steve manages a mental illness which resulted in a loss of confidence for him along with depression and isolation from his community. In August 2012 Steve agreed to be matched with a new volunteer in the Compeer Program at Far West Center, Dr. Ron Arndt, for a Compeer Friendship Match.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center matches adult volunteers, one to one, with same-gender adults who are in recovery from mental illness. Dr. Ron’s role as a Compeer volunteer is to provide friendship and supportive encouragement to Steve and to plan opportunities for the two of them to socialize and enjoy community activities. Ron’s commitment, warmth and enthusiasm has truly brought Steve out of his shell and has given Steve many new reasons to smile.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:30 AM, 10.01.2013

Two sisters organize 'Empty Bowls by the Lake' to feed the hungry

Autumn is here – ideal soup weather – and two local women are making it their mission to feed needy families by serving up a smorgasbord of soups from area restaurants and supermarkets. If you’re looking for something delicious to do, save the date for Empty Bowls by the Lake, Saturday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bleser Park in Avon Lake. (Bleser Park is on Electric Blvd. just west of Avon Lake City Hall, 150 Avon-Belden Road.)  

Sisters Laura Kirchner of Avon Lake and Linda Brown of Bay Village are behind the local effort. The event raises money to feed the region’s hungry while allowing participants to enjoy freshly baked bread and more than 20 soups. A $20 donation provides a hand-painted pottery bowl, unlimited soup and bread and live musical entertainment from local artists, including the Avon Electric Orchestra. Admission for children ages 6-12 is $5 (does not include a bowl). Children 5 and under are free. Disposable bowl liners are provided.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:44 AM, 10.01.2013