Volunteerism freshens room and spirits: Olmsted Dates and Data

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio – The Bulldog spirit does not hibernate in times of stress and, yes, even fear. Several community members came together – well, keeping socially distant – to help rejuvenate part of the Olmsted Community Center. Donna Winter, the center’s executive director, noticed the floor in Hawkins Hall, […]

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio – The Bulldog spirit does not hibernate in times of stress and, yes, even fear.

Several community members came together – well, keeping socially distant – to help rejuvenate part of the Olmsted Community Center.

Donna Winter, the center’s executive director, noticed the floor in Hawkins Hall, the former Olmsted Falls Middle School cafeteria, needed some freshening up. It was scraped in June and time for repainting.

“I didn’t want to ask for a lot of people to volunteer because of socially distancing while painting,” she said. “I thought it would take at least two days, but we will have it completed today.”

The volunteers, Chris Gaete, Bob Garrity, Tori Donahue, Carley Abbott, Becca Abbott, Larry Abbott and Jen Abbott, showed up Saturday afternoon and grabbed the paint brushes and rollers.

The Abbott family came together as a family in this effort. Becca Abbott, an Olmsted Falls High senior, came because she heard the center needed help.

“I was free and knew my family decided to be part of this,” she said. “So I thought it would be fun to join. And it is.”

Bob Garrity is a fervent volunteer since he retired in 1999. Donna said he has been available for any project or need the center has encountered since that time. She said he is her first phone call.

“I put my 30 years in, retired early and needed something to do with my time,” said Bob, who also is active with Berea Animal Rescue Friends. “I like to help. The floor needed to be painted so here I am.”

In a few hours, these volunteers had the floor and sideboards painted and ready for the next users of that room.

The Olmsted Community Center is a nonprofit organization that runs various educational, social and athletic programs for all ages, rents space and coordinates activities with different groups and entities. COVID-19 has severely limited its use, which also affected its income. Anyone wishing to donate to the center, may do so by going to bit.ly/34NucHy.

A special thanks to these Bulldog community members and all who may be helping others throughout this COVID-19 time. We appreciate your dedication in helping others.

School returns: Students will be returning to school next week for those who chose the Hybrid Model.

Just a friendly reminder that motorists must drive 20 mph or less in school zones when the lights are flashing and stop for buses that are loading or unloading students. Watch for the buses flashing red lights and extended “stop” arm.

Safety is a main concern for all. Please be careful when driving or walking during these times.

New community program: Olmsted Cares: Tutoring 101 is here to help parents who need assistance as school reopens.

Olmsted Community Center is creating a database of community members and families who may partner together in finding help for their own special situations this school year. It may be helping students with online and hybrid learning, being with students as they study at home while a parent or parents are at work, whatever is needed.

It may become a part-time job, volunteer hours, neighbors helping neighbors, high school students tutoring younger ones or whatever your needs may be. Those who need help and those who want to help should sign up in this partnership. As its flyer says, It’s Olmsted Cares for Olmsted.

Registration is free. Sign up at olmstedcc.com or call the Olmsted Community Center, 440-427-1599 for more information. The center will help bring those together who need help. It is up to those parties to decide the route they take in accomplishing their goal.

The center has a limited staff at this time so it appreciates your patience in this new endeavor.

Blood drive: The American Red Cross has announced an urgent need for blood during this stressful time.

To answer that call, Olmsted Township is sponsoring a Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, which is tomorrow. It will be at the Olmsted Township Community Room, 7900 Fitch Road. It may be late, but you can still make an appointment by going to RedCrossBlood.org and enter “Olmsted” in the sponsor code. You also may call 1-800-733-2767.

Parental Zoom programs: Connecting for Kids provides education and support to families who have concerns about their child. It serves all families, including those children with and without formal diagnoses. It offers educational programs, support groups, a Parent Match Program and many other resources. Like its material reads, it is for ALL families.

During this trying time of not being able to meet openly, Connecting for Kids is offering zoom programs on a wide range of topics. Registration is required. You may do so by going to connectingforkids.org/register, by email, [email protected] or calling/texting 440-570-5908.

Here is the list of programs:

1/4 u00b7 Early Childhood Education Series: Making the Most of Movement Activities. Early Intervention professionals will help you learn how to set up an obstacle course in your home/yard for your child, ages 18 months to 6 years. The course will not only provide movement opportunities but also integrate learning experiences such as counting, sequencing, letter identification and following simple directions. It is set for 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 15.

1/4 u00b7 Speaker Series: Distance Learning Focus Fixes. How can you create an effective workspace for distance learning to help your child maintain focus? This live question and answer session is related to your child’s specific situation and ways to organize your current workspace. You may earn a free care package that includes school supplies and parent self-care/support items. It is from 7-8 p.m. Sept. 16.

1/4 u00b7 Coffee and Chat – LGBTQ+: Support and Resources for Families. Two professionals and families will discuss gender nonconformity and address questions, concerns and share the latest resources. It is from 7-8 p.m. Sept. 22.

1/4 u00b7 Coffee and Chat: How to Deal with Worry and Loneliness for Families of Children with Moderate-to-Severe Disabilities. This pandemic has caused loss of services and respite care and, in some cases, a loss of connection with others for those who have to quarantine with a medically-fragile child. This monthly group is a way for families to share their struggles, challenges and encourage one another. It will run from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 24.

1/4 u00b7 Coffee and Chat: Continuing on in a Pandemic: Finding the Support You Need. A professional will lead an interactive support group to meet other families and find encouragement despite the pandemic. You will receive a free Back-to-School Distance Learning Care Package that includes school supplies and parent self-care/support items. It is from 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29.

1/4 u00b7 Coffee and Chat: Music for Mental Health: Coping Skills for Caregivers. Connect with other families as they use music to cope with ever-present struggles. A board-certified music therapist will guide parents and caregivers through music experiences such as lyric discussion, meditations, songwriting and more. It runs from 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30.

A special thanks to Lorilyn Wolf with Connecting for Kids in keeping us informed about such great programs available to families.

Kampus Kudos: Several local students in their spring quarter at Kent State University earned the Dean’s or President’s lists. For the Dean’s List, full-time students must achieve at least a 3.40 GPA and completed 12 or more letter-graded credit hours.

To qualify for the President’s List, full-time students must have an average in the semester of 4.00 and completed 15 or more letter-graded credit hours by the end of the semester.

Local students who earned the President’s List are Maya Daeufel, Peyton Ipsaro, Charles Jindra, McKenna Klink, John Marks, Courtney Nelson, Kathryn Rajnicek, Arianna Thielman and Autumn Towns.

Those named to the Dean’s List include Kristin Aboumrad, Emma Andrus, Michael Bender, Camille Bennett, Paige Bennett, Michael Berger, Ashley Campbell, Rachell Caraffi, Christopher Caswell, Samantha Cooper, Grace Evans, Madison Frisoli, Margaret Grimes, Molly Grimes, Britney Hargis, Matthew Harris, Michael Herrmann, Nina Hilpert, Kelly Homes, Alexis Howe, Kayla Imes, Clare Kelly, Grace Kelly, Nathan Krantz, Nathan Krogh, Rachel Loughren, Kayla Mandak, Jacob Matson, Marina Metzger, Cameron Nelson, Mercedes Newsome, Alisha Pandey, Natalie Partin, Kayla Polansky, Scott Popovic, Caitlyn Prather, Alexander Pritt, Elise Pritt, Julia Russo, Hailey Ryszka, McKenzie Sellers, Hayley Vitale, Caitlyn Webb, Sean Weiland, Collin Werner, Zachary Zdanowicz.

Congratulations to these fine young men and women and their families.

Information, please: To include news, tidbits, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at [email protected] She also is on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The column’s online version at cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links for many news items.

Read more from the Sun Post Herald.

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