Families Anonymous meets at CrossPointe Community, 1800 Columbia Road in Westlake, every Sunday evening at 5:30 pm. As a result of ongoing support to families in the area caught in the chaos of addiction, Jeff Wilkins, along with a steering committee of concerned citizens, is offering a community forum. The forum, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-4 p.m., will include resource speakers from various agencies and ministries in Westlake and the surrounding communities on the westside of Cuyahoga County. The forum will include a time for Q&A.
Hospice of the Western Reserve is offering their free volunteer education series on three Saturdays in October and November. Volunteers interested in working with patients should attend all three sessions, while volunteering in non-patient areas and teen volunteering requires only attendance at the first class. The sessions will be hold on Oct. 26, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Nov. 2 and 9, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at Hospice of the Western Reserve, 29101 Health Campus Drive, Westlake. RSVP is required, contact Mary McGowan at 800-707-8922.
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 begins Saturday, Oct. 5, and is conducted by local safety professionals. The five consecutive Saturday morning classes will be held at St. John Medical Center and the City of Westlake Service Center from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Westshore residents who are over 18 years of age, successfully complete training, and pass a background check are eligible for team membership.
The Bay Village Kiwanis Club is pleased to announce its 2013 Academic Achievement Scholarship winners.The 52nd annual event was held on July 24 at a dinner in the recipients’ honor.
The awardees, all recent Bay High School graduates, include: Marissa Andreano, Jackson Brothers, Carter Cruse, Rannie Dong, Gail Foster, Ryan Grimm, Nicole Hoover, Taylor Nemetz, Ariana Ortiz, Katelyn Ramella, Megan See, Stephanie Sheppa, Adam Tepper, Ryan Voiers, Fran Zappalla and Kristen Zeuch.
A total of $11,500 in collage scholarships was awarded.
If you would like to learn more about Bay Village Kiwanis, we invite you to be our guest at a Member Social event on Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Bay Lodge. Through Kiwanis membership, communities are improved, friendships are made, leadership skills are developed and business contacts are made.
The Compeer Program at Far West Center has shared our goals and successes with the community in articles published by the Westlake | Bay Village Observer newspaper beginning in 2010. Time sure does fly by for an active program like Compeer and we are fortunate to have 50 articles that have been promoted by the WBV Observer in print and online! Editor Tara Wendell and the WBV Observer staff continue to offer support to Compeer’s mission to empower adults managing mental illness and assist them in reconnecting with the social network of their communities.
The opportunity to write for the residents of Westlake, Bay Village and surrounding cities and share our articles is truly priceless support. “Priceless” can refer to no fee for publication which is extremely beneficial to a nonprofit program like Compeer. What is truly meant is that the support the WBV Observer has offered to our Compeer Program from our first meeting in 2010 to the editor’s latest email is exceptional support and indeed “priceless” to us.
What does a mixture of Boy Scouts and older adults have in common? On Friday, Aug. 16, it was a good time at Westlake Center for Community Services.
Jesus Garcia, a senior at Westlake High School and a member of Westlake Troop 536, enlisted fellow Scouts, his leaders, family and friends to prepare a luncheon of salad, rigatoni and lemonade and added to the mix a short history of Oliver Hazard Perry (The War of 1812 – "Don't Give Up The Ship"), accordion music and specially prepared ice cream sundaes.
As promoted and supported by FEMA, public-private partnerships are a vital element in local and national emergency management. As the FEMA website says, all aspects of a community are needed to “effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against any disaster.”
One need for the Westshore Regional CERT (WSC), underscored while supporting our responders during the devastating week of Super Storm Sandy, is generator power. In order to meet that need Cuyahoga County District 1 Council Representative Dave Greenspan’s Friends for the Community Foundation applied to Dominion East Ohio for a grant on behalf of the WSC. The goal of the foundation is to support, promote and enhance the quality of life, public safety initiatives, programs and services within the Westshore communities.
The Lakewood Elks #1350, as part of the national organization The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE), was established in Lakewood in 1918. We moved to Westlake 10 years ago and now proudly call the lodge on Center Ridge our permanent home. The Elks were established in 1868 by a group of men hoping to make a difference in their community.
More than 140 years later the impact that this organization has had extends to over one million men and women members and in excess of 2,000 communities across this great nation. The Elks National Foundation (ENF) is the charitable arm of our organization.
The mission of the ENF is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We provide tomorrow's leaders, our youth, with a healthy beginning; honor the Elks' pledge to never forget our veterans; help the state Elks associations accomplish their charitable objectives; and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.
Twenty-four civic groups were on hand at the first Bay Cares Volunteer Fair at the Bay Village Branch Library on Aug. 3. The event, a collaboration between the WBV Observer and Bay Library, allowed visitors to speak with representatives from the myriad non-profit organizations in Bay to find a match with their interests.
The Bay Village Garden Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of Bay Village. Each summer our members plant and maintain the welcome signs, two gardens at City Hall, the planters of Dover Center, the Seascape on Lake Road and the garden surrounding the Gazebo in Cahoon Park.
This summer the club sponsored the building of a stone wall surrounding the gazebo garden. For years there has been a drainage problem that caused the sidewalks to be muddy. The problem has been solved, sidewalks clean, and the area looks fantastic.
The Compeer Program at Far West Center offers a unique volunteering experience. All that is required in Compeer volunteering is four hours per month, conversation and friendship. Among our group of valuable volunteers are college students with challenging schedules and retirees that schedule around many family and social obligations. Compeer offers individual flexibility in planning volunteer time. Compeer also offers an enriching life experience for both students and seniors alike.
The Village Project is excited to announce the upcoming renovation of and move to its new home at 27378 West Oviatt Road in Bay Village.
Over the past two and a half years, The Village Project, formerly known as The Village Food Project, has worked in harmony with individuals, businesses, civic organizations, schools, churches and the city to serve over 6,000 nutritious meals and provide extended care to over 55 families experiencing cancer in the cities of Bay Village and Avon Lake.
The vision of the Westshore Regional CERT (WSC) is to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to be both disaster resistant and disaster resilient. To further that vision and our mission, the WSC has launched a new website, www.westshorecert.org.
Originally and graciously hosted by the City of Westlake, the new site was created by and will be hosted by team member Michael Kinder and his company, M&K Kinder Design LLC. Much of the design and content was developed by a committee of team members over the last year.
The Bay Men’s Club has awarded four $1,500 scholarships to four very deserving Bay High students: Rannie Dong, Elizabeth “Ellie” Faile, Max Langer and Bridget Schwert. The four and their families were honored recently at the club’s annual pig roast at the Bay Lodge.
Dong, first in her class of 196 students and a National Merit semifinalist, plans to study engineering at Cornell University. Faile, a four-year honor roll student, plans to study business at Miami University. Langer, a two-year National Honor Society member and four-year varsity wrestler, plans on studying pre-med at Notre Dame. Schwert, a National Honor Society member and four-year varsity swimmer, plans to study nursing at Ohio University.
“The accomplishments of these recipients, both academically and in other fields, is quite impressive,” Scholarship Committee Chairperson John Stanton said. “We are happy to provide this seed money for our leaders of tomorrow.”
Hospice of the Western Reserve’s volunteers were treated to a concert by the Rocky River Community Chorus at Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake recently in gratitude for the successful culmination of the “Gift of Music” campaign, which raised more than $32,000 to purchase a new grand piano, two digital pianos and additional support for the music therapy program.
The campaign was conceived and led by volunteer Don Stark of West Park, who envisioned a grand piano as the “heart” of the new hospice house, which first opened its doors to patients last summer. More than 100 volunteers from all parts of the organization donated more than $21,000 to the campaign.
Each spring, Bradley Bay Health Center awards four scholarships to local graduating high school seniors planning to pursue a career in healthcare. Each candidate is required to complete a scholarship application and write an essay.
The four recipients for 2013 are Diana Higgins from Bay High who plans to study nursing at Cleveland State University; Makenzie Smith from Westlake High School who plans to study nursing at Waynesburg University; Annie Wennerberg from Avon Lake High School who plans to study nursing at Case Western Reserve University; and Alexandria Zvosecz from Magnificat High School.
The Weslake Kiwanis Aktion Club planted their Hilliard Boulevard flower box in blue and yellow – their club colors – as part of Westlake in Bloom. The design was suggested by club member Laura Santamaria. The Aktion Club hopes you stop by to see their display on Hilliard, just off of Dover Center Road.
The Aktion Club also helped plant a box for the Burneson Builders Club and aided the Westlake Kiwanis planting their boxes on Hilliard near Clague Park.
Bay Village’s Fly-A-Flag project is underway! Three community groups – American Legion Post 385, Bay Kiwanis and Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter DAR – have joined together to supply FREE American flags to Bay residents with limited means or abilities who request them.
While the DAR does the "office work," American Legion and Kiwanis members install American flags, brackets and flag poles at ground-level locations chosen by the homeowner. The goal is to have about 50 donated flags flying around town by Flag Day, June 14.
Members of the Bay Men’s Club recently erected 25 American flags throughout the commercial district of the city, at no charge to the recipients.
Members of the club donated nearly $1,200 to purchase the flags and mounting hardware. The Bay Barber Shop also donated $100.
The flags were erected by Eric Eakin, Tom Nowak (of Master Krafters Home Improvement in Bay Village) and Garth Graham.
“We saw that Kiwanis and DAR were putting American flags on private residences for free, so we thought that we should do the same in the commercial district,” said Pete Winzig, who came up with the idea. “I think they look awesome.”
KeyBank employees, as part of the company’s “Neighbors Make A Difference Day,” recently volunteered their time and talents to spruce up the grounds of the Rose Hill Museum in Bay Village’s Cahoon Memorial Park.
The group, part of more than 7,500 KeyBank employees who partnered with local agencies and non-profits to make a difference in their communities, pulled weeds, spread mulch and generally helped to make the museum’s grounds look nice.
“We really appreciate the help that these KeyBank employees provide every year,” said Bay Village Historical Society President Cynthia Eakin. “Their sweat makes our museum, and our park and community, that much nicer.”
Another group of Key Bank employees spent the day volunteering at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.
On a beautiful May afternoon, local Boy Scout Troop 225 from St. Bernadette's Catholic Church honored Jacob Paul Ogoneck and James Patrick Augustyn as they earned the elite rank of Eagle. The ceremony was held at the Westlake Recreation Center.
The Boy Scout Court of Honor included recognition from local political leaders including State Representative Nan Baker and Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough. Communications from state and national leaders included Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman and a special letter from President Obama.
Bay High School senior Elisabeth Rudge has been selected to receive the Bay Village Historical Society’s $1,000 scholarship for 2013.
Rudge, the daughter of Antoinette and Scott, will be attending Cleveland State University, where she will be majoring in business and marketing.
Rudge was active on the softball team and soccer team, participated in HUDDLE (a tutoring program where younger Bay Village students are taught leadership qualities), Rachel’s Challenge (an anti-bullying program) and the Key Club.
Rudge was selected by Bay High School Social Studies Department teachers for her love of history.
The nonprofit Village Bicycle Cooperative kicked off the warm weather biking season with the opening of its new workshop space in the Bay Village Community House on Saturday, May 4.
The new space enables the nonprofit to provide a great new area for volunteers to repair and upgrade donated bicycles for resale at affordable prices. People are welcome to stop in to have their bicycles' safety checked, volunteer, obtain assistance with their own bicycle repairs or purchase bicycles.
The Bay Men’s Club has established a project to provide, erect and maintain American flags throughout the city’s business districts, at no cost to the recipients, and is seeking locations and donations for the project.
It is anticipated that some 36 flags would be erected at the city’s main shopping plazas, participating offices and stores, and anywhere else an American flag would be appropriate. They would be set out by Memorial Day and would remain flying through Labor Day, when club members will take them down and store them.
March was indeed a very busy month around the West Shore, but not too busy for many good-hearted men and women to gather to celebrate the early spring holidays while benefiting an organization close to their hearts. Two local senior communities held events during the month that resulted not only in fun and fellowship for the residents, but also provided much-needed financial support and seasonal treats for the clients of the Village Project.
First up was a special St. Patrick’s Day party at Westlake Village which drew a crowd of approximately 75 people. The event featured much wearing o’ the green and singing of traditional Irish songs led by the activities coordinator, Lisa Harrington. Lucky leprechaun guests dined on potato pancakes and corned beef sandwiches and washed it down with green beer and green punch. And as Irish eyes were smiling, the generosity flowed from the residents and their guests.
Girl Scout Brownie Troop 70278 would like to announce our Stuffed Animals For Emergencies donation drive. We will be collecting used stuffed animals, cleaning them up and delivering them to Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services.
Children in crisis situations receive these stuffed animals when they come into the center for visitations or to receive services and the toys provide warmth and security. They get to keep the stuffed animals too, which is very special during a difficult time in their lives. We take some of our toys for granted and we just thought all kids should have their own lovable bear to make them feel better.
For the past two years, The Village Food Project has brought nourishment and care to individuals and their families who have been touched by cancer. The response to this service has been remarkable, demonstrating an overwhelming opportunity to support those with cancer and a strong desire to come together as a community in service.
In order to continue growth, and clearly reflect its purpose, on Feb. 21 The Village Food Project reestablished and incorporated as the Village Project. The mission: “To come together as a community of all ages to provide nourishing meals and extended care and service to our neighbors experiencing cancer,” will be the driving force of this newly formed endeavor.
Making a difference in one’s community has always been a priority for all the dedicated individuals that volunteer each year with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program. This special volunteer program started in 1968 with four volunteers at one site serving 100 taxpayers. Today, the program utilizes 35,000 volunteers at 6,000 sites across America helping 2.6 million taxpayers.
This program is the nation’s largest volunteer tax preparation assistance service under a cooperative agreement with the IRS. These dedicated individuals are IRS-certified volunteers that have been trained and IRS tested. This free, individualized, no-strings-attached program was designed to work with low- to moderate-income taxpayers, especially people 60 and older.
A Lakewood restaurant with an unusual name and a great big heart will launch Hospice of the Western Reserve’s "Meal to Remember" program at Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake on Tuesday, April 16. Jammy Buggars Restaurant and Pub, recently voted one of the area's best new restaurants, will serve hospice patients, their families and caregivers a full-course comfort food dinner.
Hospice volunteers serving the West Shore communities will be among those honored when Hospice of the Western Reserve hosts its annual Volunteer Appreciation Event at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Dr., Mayfield Hts., on Wednesday, April 10. Two seatings will be available: 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The annual event will recognize and honor 2,000 dedicated volunteers throughout the Northern Ohio region who support the non-profit agency’s mission in a wide variety of roles. Admission is free for volunteers and one guest. Additional guests of volunteers and members of the general public may attend for $25 each. Advance registration is required. Online registration is available at www.hospicewr.org/volunteerevent or by calling the agency’s RSVP line at 216-383-5280.
On March 8, the United Way of Greater Cleveland held its annual meeting in downtown Cleveland to review the 2012 United Way Campaign, to launch the 2013 campaign and to honor the outstanding and ever-giving United Way organizations that serve the Greater Cleveland area. United Way asks its organizations to nominate their “Spotlight Volunteers” for the past year.
The Westlake Kiwanis and Kiwanis Key Club teamed up to take part in a RePlay For Kids workshop at Westlake Porter Public Library on March 6.
RePlay for Kids is an organization of volunteers who repair and adapt toys and assistive devices for children with disabilities in the Northeast Ohio area.
The Kiwanis learned to disassemble, reassemble, repair and adapt a wide range of new and gently used toys under the direction of RePlay volunteers. These toys were fitted with special connectors so children with a wide variety of disabilities would be able to use them.
The Westshore Lions Club continues to seek men and women, 18 years and older, to become Lions Club members. The Club was founded in Westlake and we have expanded our borders and are inviting residents of Bay Village and North Olmsted to join us.
Since 1996, the Westshore (Westlake) Lions Club has supported individuals in need of eyeglasses and eye surgeries. They have donated reading machines to Porter Library to help the visually impaired, and assisted those in need of hearing aids. The Lions Club will soon be partnering with several local businesses as well as with local Boy and Girl Scouts for an exciting new project!
Three Bay Village civic organizations – American Legion Post 385, Bay Village Kiwanis and Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution – have teamed up to help Bay residents show their patriotism.
If you are a Bay resident with limited abilities or funds, you can obtain a 3-by-5-foot outdoor American flag, flag pole and bracket installed at your home at ground level. (Homeowner assumes all responsibility for the flag bracket's installation location.)
The flag, brackets and labor are completely free and all parts are made in America!
Carol Ludorf, a resident of Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake, had one special wish. When her social worker, Misty Durbin, asked if there was anything in particular she would like, she said the only thing she really wanted for herself was a lobster dinner. She had been thinking about mentioning this to her friend, but did not want to impose or make her friend feel obligated to pay for it.
Hospice of the Western Reserve does everything it can to fulfill its patients’ wishes, so Durbin was determined to get the lobster for Mrs. Ludorf. She had originally planned to request funds from the non-profit agency’s life enrichment fund to pay for the meal. However, much to her surprise, when she called Lobster Brothers Seafood in Westlake to place the order, they insisted on donating it. Durbin found out later the family-owned business had also donated a meal to a Hospice of the Western Reserve patient in Lakewood a while back.
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club delivered valentines to local nursing homes and assisted living facilities on Sunday February 10. They had previously made these valentines at Pat Catans Westlake as part of Pat Catan's "make it not take it" valentine program.
Aktion Club is a community-service group for adult citizens who live with a disability. The mission of Aktion Club is to provide adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills, to serve their community, to be integrated into society and to demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens living with disabilities.
Aktion Club members strive to return to their communities the benefits, help and caring they have received, as well as develop important skills in the process.
Laura Geuther, a longtime resident of Bay Village and community volunteer, has assumed the leadership of Fill This House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the living conditions of local youth aging out of the foster care system. By supplying household needs for youth transitioning to independent housing, Fill This House is able to deliver support and comfort, while providing a fresh start, in a way that maintains dignity. Geuther is passionate and excited about providing support for these young adults.
The Westlake Aktion Club made valentines on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Pat Catan's in Westlake. This has become an annual event put on by Pat Catan's where the public can stop in at any of their craft stores and take part in their "Make Not Take" program where valentines and are made by the public and left at the store to be delivered later to local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Pat Catan's provided Aktion Club with one of their craft classrooms to use while making valentines, and supplied the needed valentine-making materials.
Fourth-grade Girl Scout Troop 77140 of Westlake wanted to help make our soldiers overseas know that they are loved this Valentine's Day. The troop made 50 valentines with expressions of love and thanks to send to the troops.
"It's important to remember those fighting for our safety," said Girl Scout Alexis DeMonica, "especially when their families are so far away."
Each valentine had a small token gift attached of either a friendship bracelet that the girls made, or candy Pop Rocks. The girls hope that these small tokens of thanks will help make our soldiers' Valentine's Day a little brighter!
The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion is clipping coupons for military families serving overseas. The project is called "Coupons to Troops" and the Aktion Club has been involved in this project for just under a year now. They are currently providing coupons for their second family, an Air Force family in Italy; the first was an Army family stationed in Germany.
These military families can use the coupons at their Post Exchange and can be six months expired and still be used. The families who receive these coupons share the coupons they can't use with other military families. The Aktion Club meets at Westlake Porter Public Library and clips and sorts coupons in various categories such as food, health and beauty, baby, household and pet products. They then mail a box once a month to their military family.