This past month, we held the 4th annual Anderson Charity Golf Outing at Lost Nation Golf Course. The event was supported by dozens of sponsors and 148 golfers took part. All of the proceeds are split between two outstanding local charities; the McKinley Community Outreach Center and the Willoughby Rotary’s Autism Program.
The McKinley Community Outreach Center opened in June of 2013 in the former McKinley School building on Lost Nation Road. Staffed by volunteer servants, the Center serves Western Lake County residents who are unemployed or underemployed, senior citizens on fixed incomes, the mentally and physically challenged, and returning veterans adjusting back to civilian life. Last year, the Center served 1,264 households in Western Lake County, representing 3,574 individuals. They provided assistance with food, taxable items (i.e. soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.), clothing, and furniture. They also offered GED classes in conjunction with the Auburn Career Center’s ABLE/Adult Literacy program, and sponsored the Workforce 360 program for youths 16-22 in cooperation with Ohio Guidestone and Job & Family Services.
The Willoughby Rotary Club’s Autism Project has been raising funds to provide iPads to young people with autism. IPads have proven to be especially helpful and effective in enhancing communication skills for people on the autism spectrum, as well as providing the means to have fun, be creative, and feel good about themselves. Through its efforts, the Club has donated more than 300 iPads to autism support organizations and individuals on the spectrum.
Over the past four years, I’m proud to say that our charity outing has raised over $50,000 to help these organizations fulfill their missions. I want to thank these organizations for their commitment to our community and for the wonderful work they are doing. I also want to thank all of the sponsors, golfers and supporters of our outing. This is just another example of why Willoughby is such a special City.
Have a great month.
I’ve heard it said of some comedy routines that “It never gets old”. That’s how I look at this month’s article (although you may feel differently.) Yes, it’s my annual “leaf collection article”. Some trees lose their leaves starting in mid-October, and our curbside collection service will begin at the end of the month. As we all know, this season can be very trying for workers and citizens alike because so much depends on the weather. If the weather stays dry, the leaves can be picked up fairly easily. If the weather is wet or we get an early snow, it becomes much more difficult.
Please rake leaves to the street, but NOT onto the street or into ditches. Also, keep in mind that it can be a period of a few weeks until City crews are able to get to your street. If you are concerned for the grass on your tree lawn or with the leaves simply blowing away, the leaves can be bagged in paper yard-waste bags and our rubbish hauler will pick these up on your regular collection day through the end of November.
People sometimes ask why we can’t schedule certain streets for certain days. The answer is that we’ve tried this in the past but it was impossible to stay on schedule. The leaves don’t fall on a schedule, people don’t rake them to the street on a schedule, and the weather has no schedule,whatsoever. When the volume increases about mid-November (typically along with winter-type weather), it takes much longer to get from street to street.
We have three crews that operate in a loop around their designated territory. Each has about 50 lane-miles of road to pick up. That is approximately the distance from Willoughby to Pennsylvania. So if you’re wondering where the leaf truck is; it’s somewhere between your house and Pennsylvania and they’re working their way to you as quickly as they can.
With a little luck and a little patience, we’ll all get through the season again this year. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great start to the Christmas Season.
Have a great month.
Just a short note this month to remind you of two upcoming events.
The Lake County Fair will be held from Wednesday, August 17th through Sunday, August 21st. The Fair has a long and proud history in Lake County. The Lake County Agricultural Society was established in 1840 and the first County Fair was held in 1850 at a site along Banks Street in Painesville. In 1911, the Fair was moved to its current site. Willoughby has three residents on the Fair Board; Jerry Merhar, Cindy Woodman and Dick Parker. They work tirelessly the whole year to provide a great agricultural, educational and entertainment event. There really is something here for everyone. I hope you take the opportunity to visit the Fair this year; especially if it’s been a few years since you’ve last attended. I know you’ll have a great time. If you want more information, you can visit the Fair’s website at www.lakecountyfair.org.
On Saturday, August 20th, the Heart of Willoughby will hold its Last Stop Willoughby celebration in Downtown Willoughby. This is really a fun event. You can get an idea of the many activities offered by visiting http://heartofwilloughby.com. You can also “like” the Last Stop Willoughby Facebook page. The Heart of Willoughby has been in existence for 37 years and this is the 9th year for this event. These hard working folks are also responsible for the Saturday Market. Along with being a big part of our downtown during the summer, the proceeds from the market have been used to contribute to Christmas decorations and provide snow removal for the downtown sidewalks. The Last Stop Willoughby celebration is a one day event, including a parade at 2:00 pm (kids, bring your bags for candy). I really hope you can attend the event this year. It’s a great time.
Have a great month.
It’s time again for the return of our Summer Concert Series. This year features many new performers mixed with some favorites from the past. The concerts take place every Thursday beginning at 7:00 pm in Wes Point Park. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the sounds of summer. Here is this year’s line-up:
July 7 – Hampshire Moon Band: Performs songs across all spectrums, including Motown, R&B, Country and Rock.
July 14 – Erie Heights Brass Ensemble: Named for the small crossroads community overlooking the Lake, they were formed on a windy day in March of 1999. They perform about thirty concerts a year. These venues have included parks, malls, churches, libraries, etc. for both community and private events. Once or twice a year, the group performs an educational concert in the schools.
July 21 – Don Disantis Orchestra: Performing “music from the great American songbook,” the Don Disantis Orchestra entertains with songs from the Sinatra era and more.
July 28 – Mayor Anderson presents the Sounds of Willoughby: I’ll be doing some finger-picking on my guitar, featuring songs in the style of Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed and Tommy Emmanuel. The River Street String Band will be back for an encore appearance, as well as Ray and Ron Somich from WELW Radio.
August 4 – Red Light Roxy: Red Light Roxy is a professional band from Cleveland, Ohio that plays an upbeat mix from the Great American Songbook and includes familiar songs made famous by such legendary performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong.
August 11 – The Pop Tarts: The Pop Tarts are ultra cool and loads of fun! They are 4 “groovy chicks” who sing the most popular hits from the 60’s girl groups. Dressed in matching 60’s outfits, they use the original artists’ movements and sing to original sounding tracks.
August 18 – Joe Bell and the Swing Lizards: A critically acclaimed, award winning group, performing rocking swing, jump blues, soul and funk; they are legendary where ever live music delights the soul. When the Lizards hit the stage, they truly funk up the place, filling the room with their rootsy, feel good energy.
August 25 – Alex Bevan: Alex has been sharing his voice, guitar, music and stories with audiences for more than 40 years. Drawing on his deep skill set of imaginative and honest song writing, combined with an agile, improvisational wit that dovetails with his guitar singing, Alex never fails to delight and charm audiences.
I hope to see many of you at these concerts. Have a great month.