March 2021

March Willoughby Times Article:

As we look towards spring, I experienced a recent event that helps to define this season. I had the privilege of marrying a young couple who live near our downtown. When they first reached out to me, they expressed a sense of urgency, and it was not until the day of their wedding that I fully understood the reason. The groom, a member of our military, was being deployed and they wished to be married before he left for his service. They were not interested in a large reception or the rituals often associated with a traditional wedding; they only wanted to affirm their commitment to each other, as the groom fulfilled his commitment to our country. Much like spring, the season of new beginnings, this young couple and their simple, unrehearsed wedding was a refreshing reminder of things to come, the future. They also represent the future of our city. As young residents starting married life together in Willoughby, our hope is they raise a family here, have their children attend our local schools and become future leaders of Willoughby.

Another anticipated part of this season is the continued delivery and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. The launch of the vaccination program from the State of Ohio has been challenging, but the systems are improving, and we are hopeful that we will see increased numbers of vaccines released. For Lake County, the authority on vaccine availability, distribution sites and determining when you can receive the vaccines is our Lake County General Health District website at This site has useful updates, resources, and sign-up information.

The Willoughby Senior Center was recently a distribution site for a limited number of doses of the vaccine. Those who were vaccinated preregistered through the Lake County General Health District were efficiently registered and vaccinated through a well-coordinated effort led by Fire Chief Todd Ungar and his staff. Helping our Fire Department were our Senior Center staff, members of our Police Department and City Hall staff. There is a possibility that the senior center will be a future point of distribution and last month’s effort was an important “trial run”.

Getting back to the young couple and their unpretentious wedding, I asked what they had planned for their special day. Not surprisingly, they answered they were going to get milkshakes.