Non-profit & Groups

May 7 LWV forum aims to help voters make sense of judicial elections

The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC) is hosting a forum, Making Sense of Local Judicial Elections, on Tuesday, May 7, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. 

Many Ohio voters skip the judicial portion of their ballot because they don't know who or what they're voting for. Forum panelists will explain the structure of the Ohio judicial system and the role local judges play in the lives of residents. The panelists will also provide the tools voters need to research candidates, enabling them to make informed choices on Election Day.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 4:47 PM, 05.06.2019

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. to host Burning Man co-founder May 31

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus will host a discussion with one of the founders of the annual Burning Man festival, an event that draws more than 70,000 people to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for a week of creative expression, at a fundraising event to benefit the campus on May 31.

The event, "The Art of Community: A Discussion with Burning Man Co-Founder Michael Mikel,” is a unique opportunity to learn about the “10 Principles of Burning Man” and how they can apply to permanent communities and placemaking.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 11:12 AM, 05.02.2019

Nighttown hosts Officer West scholarship fundraiser

Nighttown will host the 2019 Officer Jason West Memorial Scholarship Mega Raffle fundraiser on Sunday, May 5, 5–8 p.m. Raffle tickets are $2 and can be purchased from any committee member, at Quintana's Barber & Dream Spa, CLE Urban Winery, Shawn Paul Salon and Nighttown, or at the event.

This year will mark the 12th anniversary since a group of Cleveland Heights residents and business owners first came together to start the scholarship, which honors the memory of Officer West, a member of the Cleveland Heights Police Department, who lost his life in 2007 while responding to a disturbance call.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:48 AM, 04.30.2019

March 4 fundraiser to benefit all-volunteer food and clothing bank

A March 4 fundraiser at Lopez Southwest Restaurant is planned to raise awareness of, and donations for, The Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center.

This all-volunteer food pantry and clothing bank, located at the St. Philomena campus of Communion of Saints Parish, operates with the support of volunteers from 15 churches and other organizations on Cleveland’s East Side, including Cleveland Heights’ Communion of Saints Parish and Church of the Saviour.

A registered agency with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the center operates every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each week it provides 75 families with free food and clothing. It has been serving families in East Cleveland and the surrounding area since 2006.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.04.2019

Heights residents among those who will pitch their visions for change

Four Cleveland Heights residents are among those who will present 28 visions of creating positive change in Cleveland at Accelerate: Citizens Make Change, a civic pitch competition, on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m., at the Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland.

Heights High graduate Brian Hall, 20, will pitch “Bee Friendly Neighbors”—an idea to establish beehives in Cleveland and suburban backyards. Hall tends bees at a hive on his grandfather’s farm in Portage County, and wants to provide those interested with a bee box, pair them with experienced beekeepers to maintain the hive and teach participants about bees, and sell honey and wax products at local markets.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 6:47 PM, 02.13.2019

CH parent develops free service to connect special needs adults

Craig Matis has lived in Cleveland Heights for nearly 40 years. The father of an adult son with special needs, Matis discovered that, once his son left school, the effort to socialize with others was difficult for him. He found that other parents shared his concerns—that outside of an academic environment, it was difficult for those with special needs to find and develop connections with others.

In 2013, Matis initiated Connect to One (www.connectcle.org), an online service that matches up those who are disabled, both mentally and physically, and seeking one-on-one friendships and/or relationships.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 9:35 AM, 02.01.2019

RoxArts event will benefit CH-UH students

RoxArts is hosting its first event benefiting a new fund promoting the arts and sciences for all 3,350 Cleveland Heights –University Heights elementary and middle school students.  The art auction on March 9, at 7 p.m., will be held in Harcourt Manor, a mansion that was a setting in a Captain America movie, and will feature some of Cleveland's finest artists in photography, sculpture, jewelry and print. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be catered by fire food and drink.

For nearly four decades, RoxArts has raised money for enhanced arts curriculum at Roxboro Elementary and Middle schools. Last year, the RoxArts board and the Heights Schools Foundation (HSF) partnered to form RoxArts in Tiger Nation: A Creative Arts and Sciences Fund to bring arts enrichment opportunities to K-8 students in all CH-UH schools. This will be the kickoff event for the new fund.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.31.2019

Kaye Lowe: 18 years building Cedar Fairmount

If you’ve enjoyed the landscaping, community art and ambiance of Cedar Fairmount, you’ve appreciated the work of Kaye Lowe, who’s dedicated the last 18 years of her professional life to building the "Gateway to the Heights.”

In May 2000, Lowe became executive director of the Cedar Fairmount Business Association. With a small, dues-based budget, Lowe undertook the coalition-building work that would evolve, nine years later, into the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (CFSID). According to CFSID President Sal Russo, Lowe “has been the heart and soul” of the operation. Through Lowe's work, the neighborhood has been characterized by stable businesses, signature landscaping, and community art.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:19 PM, 01.02.2019

Heights Arts launches internship for CHHS students

As executive director of Heights Arts—and as a Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) parent—Rachel Bernstein was in a unique position to cultivate a partnership between Heights Arts and the high school. “Heights Arts was long searching for an authentic way to connect with CHHS,” she said, noting that the organization’s strategic plan includes a goal of increasing audience diversity and engagement. 

Last spring, an idea took shape that would allow this collaboration to flower: adding student interns to the organization's longstanding exhibitions committee. The students would gain valuable experience about developing and presenting art exhibitions, and Heights Arts would tap the students’ perspectives.

Heights High art teacher Laura Skehan quickly identified about a dozen students who would be good candidates. Heights Arts narrowed the field to a half-dozen and conducted individual interviews with the finalists in the summer and early fall.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:46 PM, 01.03.2019

Introducing Noble Community Center

Noble Community Center is a community center without walls.

Over the summer, the center provided games and sports activities on available green spaces along Noble Road for children and adults to play, meet one another, and have fun. Local businesses provided water and canopies to keep everyone cool, and residents provided snacks, refreshments and game equipment.

The mission of the nonprofit is to arrange opportunities where all residents who live on the north side of Cleveland Heights can get together, talk, play games and participate in other engaging social, civic and educational activities that build a sense of community. Noble Community Center’s objective is to lessen neighborhood tensions, support the underserved, and improve the well-being of neighborhood residents.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:19 AM, 01.02.2019

Local foundation gets gold seal

The McGinty Family Foundation, a University Heights-based nonprofit dedicated to helping education, has received the 2018 GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency. The seal means that the foundation has provided financial statements, goals, and other key metrics that the GuideStar website says “give potential donors and funders better insight” into their work.

GuideStar is the nation’s largest nonprofit database, with information on 2.7 million organizations. It awards four transparency levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum (https://learn.guidestar.org/seals).

Foundation Executive Director T.P. McGinty said receiving the seal “means we’ve done our due diligence,” and it “allows us to stand out among nonprofits. We’re honored to receive this award.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:10 AM, 01.02.2019

Shop for cookies and crafts on Dec. 1

Heights Cooperative Preschool (formerly St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool) is excited to host its first-ever combined bake sale and craft show on Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stop by the bake sale table for coffee and gift-worthy baked goods, enjoy relaxed holiday shopping for items by local crafters, and enter to win some great prizes at the chance auction.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the school so that it can continue to provide a fun, safe and nurturing environment in which kids can learn and grow.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:53 AM, 11.27.2018

Heights Bicycle Coalition hosts Dec. 2 public party

Every December, Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) celebrates its progress, outlines its plans, and recognizes community “roll models” at a free public event.

This year, join the fun on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m., in the Secret Garden room at Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road.

HBC president Steve Reinhardt will provide a brief update on HBC’s accomplishments in 2018 and the outlook for 2019. Then HBC will recognize this year’s roll models:

  • Richard Wong, Cleveland Heights Director of Planning, representing all city staff who have planned and implemented infrastructure improvements to make the community more bicycle friendly;
  • Chipper the dog, one of the volunteers who have made after-school bike clubs successful at Fairfax and Canterbury elementary schools;
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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:12 AM, 11.27.2018

Students get work started on Langton Road pocket gardens

In early November, six Cleveland Heights High School students helped the Noble Neighborhood's pocket garden project take a step forward. The project, launched last spring, aims to build community spirit and increase property values through coordinated landscape beautification. (A March article in the Heights Observer provided background information on the project and can be found at http://heightsobserver.org/read/2018/03/27/pocket-gardens-planned-for-noble-neighborhood.)

The students—Martin Vaynshtok, Mi'Kail Williams, Jay Ward, Jachelle Knowles, Christopher Edwards and Saunjae Andrews—spent six hours spreading cardboard and 20 cubic yards of compost, topsoil and mulch on 11 frontyard garden beds on Langton Road. The six are students of Steven Warner, career-based intervention instructor at Heights High. "I am proud of the work the students did on Langton Road,” said Warner. “It was great to see them working together in the community."

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:56 AM, 12.03.2018

Afternoon with author benefits women's education

The Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International will host its seventh annual Afternoon with an Author on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2 p.m., at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. All proceeds will benefit P.E.O. International Projects for Women’s Education (www.peointernational.org).  

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 3:05 PM, 10.31.2018

Church bazaar support fair trade and cottage industry

Shop for unique holiday gifts that make a difference in our community and in communities around the world at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church’s annual fair trade bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Vendors will include the Inter Religious Task Force, Holy Land Handicrafts and Noonday Collection, and local business Golden Goddess—a line of sustainable, organic cosmetics produced and sold by Cleveland Heights resident Ajah Hales. The sale of jams and other edibles will benefit Camp Lilac for transgender teens.

Items from more than 13 countries will include jewelry, purses, clothing and more—offering perfect gifts for all ages. Prices range from $4 to $50 and up.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.31.2018

Free program counsels families struggling with addiction

An estimated one out of ten people who use alcohol before the legal drinking age will develop drug addiction or another substance abuse disorder, as will six of ten who use other drugs before the age of 15.

Addiction negatively impacts users’ lives and the lives of those who love them. Thoughts like “it can’t happen in my family” or “it’s just a phase” can fuel years of denial, during which behavioral and financial difficulties take their toll. Stigma often prevents family members from identifying problems and seeking help. Loved ones believe that they somehow must have caused or contributed to the user’s illness and therefore should be able to cure or at least control it. The truth is the opposite.

The family education and support group at Saint Alban Episcopal Church is designed for family members and significant others concerned about a loved one’s abuse or addictive use of alcohol or other drugs.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:20 AM, 10.30.2018

Family Connections hosts Sept. 28 clam bake benefit

Family Connections of Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit dedicated to serving families with young children, with facilities in both Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, will host its annual benefit at Dino's, at Cleveland Metroparks’ Acacia Reservation, on Friday, Sept. 28.

The public is invited to enjoy an open bar, silent auction, and a family-style clam bake. The casual evening will begin at 7:30 p.m. for those purchasing the regular $100 tickets. Patrons who reserve $200 tickets will receive program recognition and reserved seating, and be welcomed at a special patron reception beginning at 7 p.m.

The benefit will feature the presentation of the Carolyn Grossman Award to an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to strengthening families and helping parents prepare young children for success in school and in life.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:59 AM, 09.17.2018

Peace Lutheran offers free permaculture class

Local permaculture expert Tom Gibson will teach a special abbreviated course on the topic on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Peace Lutheran Church, 3470 Mayfield Road. Over a continental breakfast, Gibson will lead a review of permaculture techniques. Hands-on construction of a “lasagna” bed will follow, and then a hot lunch will be served in appreciation. 

Lasagna gardening, also known as sheet gardening, is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that produces rich, fluffy soil with very little effort. The name refers to the method of building the garden bed, by adding layers of organic material that will “cook down” over time, resulting in soil that will help your plants thrive.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.01.2018

Vampires, zombies and witches are coming to Lee Road pop-up costume shop Oct. 19

During the weekends of Oct. 19 and 26, old costumes will be brought back from the dead at the Costume Exchange Pop-up on Lee Road. Located in the former Heights Music Shop space, at 2174 Lee Road, the temporary shop will sell gently used costumes for $5 a set.

The project is a collaboration between Reaching Heights and local start-up The Old Vaudevillian (TOV). Proceeds from costume sales will benefit the Patti-Jackson Music Lesson Scholarship fund through Reaching Heights.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:58 PM, 09.27.2018

Friends of Lower Lake volunteers restore native habitat

The Shaker Parklands, a green oasis in the midst of suburbia, span Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. The boundaries are North Park Boulevard on the north; Eaton Road on the east; Martin Luther King Boulevard on the west; and an irregular line following Fairhill Road, South Park Boulevard into West Park Boulevard, South Woodland Road, and South Park Boulevard on the south and southeast. The main artery is Doan Brook, which spills into Lake Erie. Everything that happens in the Parklands doesn’t stay in the Parklands. Everything that happens ultimately impacts the Great Lakes, the largest body of freshwater in the world.

The Parklands contain four lakes. The Shakers first deforested the area 200 years agao by damming Doan Brook for lumber and flour mills, creating Horseshoe and Lower lakes.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:12 PM, 09.01.2018

Lessons learned: my internship with Lake Erie Ink

Thirty minutes into my summer internship with Lake Erie Ink, my boss asked if I could help with a printing issue. I hardly knew what to do, being an English major and economics minor. But we needed attendance sheets for that week’s camp. I learned my first important lesson about nonprofits while fiddling with the computer controls: people in nonprofits do whatever they can, wherever they can. Nonprofit staffers wear many hats, and I was eager to start wearing some of my own.

My collection of hats grew steadily over the course of the summer. In a single week, I might be a techie, a janitor, an office assistant and a data entry clerk. The next week, I might be a teaching assistant, a guest speaker, an artist or an editor. From my co-workers I learned new and unexpected skills: how to operate a commercial printer, unlock push bars, and set up a projector and speaker.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 10:42 AM, 09.05.2018

Volunteer Match

Heights Observer’s Volunteer Match column lists opportunities for residents to lend their time to worthy organizations in and around the Heights.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:20 PM, 09.01.2018

FutureHeights honors Steve Presser at benefit event

Julia Kious Zabell, board president of FutureHeights, presented Steve Presser with the "Champion of Independent Businesses" award, hand-crafted by Cleveland Heights artist Shayna Roth Pentecost, at the 2018 FutureHeights benefit, Living is Big Fun in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:46 PM, 09.01.2018

FutureHeights programs encourage front-porch culture

On July 17, FutureHeights facilitated a public forum titled “Placemaking: How to Create a Front Porch Culture.” The event, in which four panelists discussed the ways in which they created front-porch cultures in their neighborhoods, took place at The BottleHouse Brewing Company, with more than 40 Heights residents attending. 

Dawn Arrington and Katharyne Starinsky spoke about their experiences helping to coordinate Larchmere’s Annual PorchFest, a free music festival that takes place on 30 different front porches in the Larchmere neighborhood. Through help from residents and volunteers, the event now welcomes more that 9,000 attendees.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 08.14.2018

Church hosts neighborhood block party

Central Bible Baptist Church will host its annual neighborhood block party on Saturday, Aug. 18. The block party will take place at the church, located at 2285 Noble Road, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is free and open to the entire community.

For the past 10 years, the church has hosted the block party to engage, educate and empower adults and children of all ages. This year’s event will feature words of empowerment, food, music, games, crafts, special performances, a clothing drive, face-painting, cooking demonstrations, free Christian books and resources, and a puppet show. There will also be free health screenings and educational materials focused on important health issues.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 12:23 PM, 07.31.2018

Loving Hands plans Tibetan monk visits

Cleveland Heights-based Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki is planning events for the Cleveland stops of two touring groups of Tibetan Buddhist monks.

The events will be held Aug. 12–18 and Oct. 17–22. Presentations, including lectures, healing rituals, empowerment ceremonies and debates, will be non-religious and open to the public, regardless of faith.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 12:00 PM, 07.31.2018

Leadership program seeks applicants

In 2006, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, along with then-Cleveland Mayor Michael White, established a leadership training program for engaged neighborhood leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free, 16-session community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs who are working on projects within Cleveland and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 10:16 AM, 06.29.2018

Heights Observer honored as one of Ohio's top community papers

The Heights Observer took second place in competition for the title of Ohio’s best non-daily community newspaper. The award was announced June 1 at the 2018 All-Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, sponsored by The Press Club of Cleveland.

Media nominate themselves for the awards. More than 750 entries were submitted across all categories of the competition, which were divided by size and type of media. In addition to non-daily community newspapers, categories included large daily newspapers (more than 75,000 circulation), small dailies, business publications and trade journals, alternative publications, magazines, digital media and student media. A panel of journalists from outside Ohio judged the competition.

In selecting the Heights Observer, the judges wrote—in their typically abbreviated fashion—“Its very words showcase the community’s commitment to each other.”

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 10:58 AM, 06.05.2018

North Coventry block party is Aug. 4

On Aug. 4, FutureHeights, in partnership with the city of Cleveland Heights and several community groups, will host a back-to-school block party in the North Coventry neighborhood. The event will celebrate the beginning of a new school year with food, music and other activities. The party will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Avondale Avenue, a portion of which the city will close for the event.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 6:12 PM, 06.28.2018

FutureHeights' 2018 annual meeting is June 20

On June 20, FutureHeights will present its 16th annual meeting in the common space in the Coventry building, 2843 Washington Blvd., where it has its offices. FutureHeights, a nonprofit community development corporation, strives to engage people in their communities and to create a bright future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights residents.

This year’s meeting will discuss the current status of housing development in Cleveland Heights, including its issues, challenges, and assets. Then, the solution and the vision that FutureHeights has for the city and its residents will be presented, with help from keynote speaker Sally Martin.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 3:52 PM, 06.01.2018

Bhutanese refugees make a home in Cleveland Heights

Recently, Cleveland Heights City Council approved formation of an Immigration Task Force.

Some residents may be unaware that Cleveland Heights is home to refugees from Bhutan, who live primarily in the Noble neighborhood. Bhutanese refugees have also relocated to several other eastern suburbs, including Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Richmond Heights and South Euclid.

Bhutan is a small country in the Himalayas, between India and China. In the 1990s, Bhutan stripped the minority Bhutanese (Nepali-speaking and largely Hindu in majority Buddhist Bhutan) of their citizenship, and more than 1 million were exiled to refugee camps run by the United Nations in neighboring Nepal.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 11:44 AM, 06.01.2018

Boss Dog hosts Officer Jason West scholarship fundraiser on May 20

Boss Dog Brewery on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights will host the 2018 Officer Jason West Memorial Scholarship Mega Raffle event on Sunday, May 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. The annual event raises money for the Officer Jason West Memorial Scholarship. Raffle tickets are $2 and can be purchased from any committee member or at the event on May 20.

Officer Jason West, a Cleveland Heights police officer, was shot and killed on May 26, 2007, as he exited his patrol car when responding to a disturbance call. "When Jason was killed, this city lost not only a dedicated police officer, but also a very dear friend and neighbor," said Liz Radivoyevitch, co-chair of the Scholarship Selection Committee. "Officer Jason West was a hero, not because of the way he died, but because of the way he chose to live his life—as a devoted son and brother, and loyal friend; as a mentor and role model to young adults in the community; and as a dedicated police officer. Protecting and serving the city of Cleveland Heights was something that Jason did willingly each and every day he put his uniform on."

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 12:47 PM, 04.30.2018

Students and others 'brave the shave' for cancer cure

The Cleveland Heights Community Center was abuzz on March 25 as more than 200 men, women, boys and girls shaved their heads and donated their hair to raise money for St. Baldrick's Foundation.

St. Baldrick's is the largest private funder of childhood cancer research in the world, and a significant portion of those funds are raised here in Cleveland.

District parent Krissy Dietrich Gallagher, mother of two-time cancer survivor Austin, started the local event in 2012. It has since raised more than $710,000. This has been the most successful year yet, with $143,000 raised so far.

CH-UH students from Canterbury, Fairfax and Roxboro elementary schools, Heights Middle School, and Heights High were among those who generously stepped up to “brave the shave.”

The funds raised locally are donated to St. Baldrick's through the Rebecca Alison Meyer Memorial Fund, in memory of the Fairfax kindergartner who died in 2014, on her sixth birthday.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:15 AM, 04.24.2018

Volunteer Match

Heights Observer’s Volunteer Match column lists opportunities for residents to lend their time and talent to worthy organizations and causes around the Heights.

Submit your organization’s volunteer needs by calling the FutureHeights office at 216-320-1423 or e-mailing sbasu@futureheights.org.

Items submitted on or before the Heights Observer print issue's monthly story deadline will be considered for the next column. (To see past columns, visit www.heightsobserver.org, and search “volunteer match”.)

The CARE Program is a collaboration between four senior centers: Solon Senior Services, Cleveland Heights Senior Center, Maple Heights Senior Center and Community Partnership on Aging. It needs volunters to assist local, older adult homeowners complete tasks (yardwork, changing batteries and lightbulbs, kitchen cleaning, first floor and interior window washing, etc.) in and around their homes in order to help them maintain safety and independence.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 8:01 AM, 05.01.2018

Recapping a conversation on civil rights

“What was your first experience of prejudice?”

That was the question posed by representatives of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) at a dinner held at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights on Feb. 22.

One participant described his terror listening to a sermon in his church that predicted that homosexuals were going to hell. Only nine years old at the time, the participant already knew he was gay.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 9:15 AM, 03.30.2018

HYC member is Youth of the Year finalist

Mercedes Klouda, a four-year member of Heights Youth Club (HYC), is one of five finalists for Youth of the Year honors at Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. The winner will be announced on March 9.

Beverly Burgess, former Heights Youth Club director, said of Klouda, "[Her] work ethic, self-esteem and personal resilience traits are inspiring to the club staff and her peers. When faced with a challenge, she works tirelessly to achieve her goals and sets high expectations for herself.”

For the past nine years, Klouda has volunteered at the Ebenezer Food Pantry at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, spending thousands of hours serving meals to community members.

In 2016, she was part of a church group that traveled to the Dominican Republic and helped build a church in one of the most poverty-stricken regions of that country.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:13 PM, 03.01.2018

Kiwanis returns to the Heights

Kiwanis International has returned to the Cleveland Heights-University Heights community with a new club, Kiwanis of the Heights. It intends to continue the work that the old Cleveland Heights and Cedar Center clubs started years ago, providing service to the community’s children and adults with disabilities.

Spearheaded by the club president (the author), the new club achieved charter status last November. Yvonne Conner serves as treasurer, and Cassandra Swift serves as secretary. Dee Ann Long Marsky, Cindy Seaman and Eva Bekes serve as the club’s board.

Kiwanis of the Heights’ commitment to service will begin by establishing Key and Builders Clubs in the local school system, and an Aktion Club for disabled adults. These clubs should be fully active by fall 2018. The school clubs are designed to teach high school and middle school students about leadership, community and service in a structured program of self-government, fundraising, and volunteering for community projects. Future near-term plans include K-clubs in the various public elementary schools, appropriate clubs in the community’s private primary and secondary schools, as well as Circle-K Clubs at John Carroll University and Notre Dame College.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 12:43 PM, 02.20.2018

HCC appoints Dillenbeck as new executive director

The board of Heights Community Congress (HCC) has announced that Eric Dillenbeck is its new executive director. He assumes the role from Martha Goble, who is retiring. His first official day was Jan. 1.

Dillenbeck has been an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. for the past 15 years. He most recently served as associate pastor of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights. A veteran of the nonprofit world, Dillenbeck is currently the coordinator of community partnerships at Youth Opportunities Unlimited, where he works with nonprofits throughout the Cleveland area to provide workforce-readiness training and jobs for youths and young adults.

As HCC’s executive director, Dillenbeck will oversee HCC’s Fair Housing Enforcement audit program, and will be responsible for the agency’s diversity programming, its annual Heights Heritage Home and Garden Tour, and the volunteer management these activities entail. He will serve as HCC’s main public contact and liaison with other like-minded agencies.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 9:42 AM, 02.12.2018

Jan. 24 community meal will benefit Reaching Heights

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, the BottleHouse Brewery and Meadery, at 2050 Lee Road, will host Northeast Ohio’s first Soup and Bread Experiment (SBE) of 2018. The event will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., or until the soup runs out. The event is free to the public, with donations requested, but not required, for the hot meal. Money raised will benefit Reaching Heights, the nonprofit that supports the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools.

At the last SBE fundraiser, in November, Krista Hawthorne, executive director of Reaching Heights, was so impressed she wanted to plan an SBE event for her own organization.

“The soups were delicious!” said Hawthorne. “They ran the gamut from exotic coconut vegan curry to hearty deconstructed stuffed cabbage stew. The drinks available for purchase from the BottleHouse were as exciting as they were warming. The bartender navigated me through the world of meads, sours and bitters to find the perfect accompaniment to my meal. I even squeezed in a game of pinball at the BottleHouse’s mini arcade. The best part of the evening, however, was the opportunity to break bread with other Heights community members for a good cause.”

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 11:15 AM, 01.21.2018

Reaching Heights presents annual awards

In December, Reaching Heights held its annual meeting in the Platinum Lounge of Motorcars Honda in Cleveland Heights. Each year at this event, Reaching Heights welcomes members and the community to review of the year’s highlights, to thank outgoing board members and welcome new board members, and to recognize caring community members and local businesses for their contributions in embracing a shared responsibility for the successful education of all students attending CH-UH public schools.

Reaching Heights members, board and staff thanked Darrin Gamble for serving for three years as board treasurer and overall “financial guru” for the nonprofit.

The Reaching Heights Board of Directors voted to accept Ditte Wolin, Tiera Briggs, Lance Godard and Kim Skillern-Samuels as new board members.

Geizel Canady-Ashford received a Friend of Public Education award for her many contributions, including serving as a tutor to many students, as a PTA member at Noble Elementary and Monticello Middle schools, and as PTA vice president at Heights High.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 11:49 AM, 01.21.2018

Beth El's food drive honors MLK's legacy

Beth El - The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) will sponsor a food drive in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Sunday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All donations will go to the Heights Emergency Food Center.

In addition to food donations, checks made out to the Heights Emergency Food Center will be welcomed. Donations of money enable the center to purchase large quantities of food at a discounted cost. Donations of food are also appreciated, as they help meet a more immediate need.

Those wishing to make a donation should simply drive up to BETHS, at 3246 Desota Ave., any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Someone will be there to collect the donations—there will be no need to get out of the car, or be inconvenienced in any way.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 1:46 PM, 01.02.2018

Jan. 23 public forum to focus on civic engagement and neighborhood organizing

FutureHeights invites neighborhood residents who are interested in building a strong community through civic engagement and neighborhood organizing to attend a free public forum and workshop on Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 7-8:30 p.m., at The BottleHouse Brewing Company, 2050 Lee Road.

Attendees of the Community-Building for Change forum will participate in an interactive workshop that will cover topics such as civic engagement, effective organizing, and creatively solving challenges.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 1:41 PM, 01.02.2018

Milestones benefits local autism community

On Oct. 28, Milestones Autism Resources hosted more than 250 guests at its 2017 annual benefit. The nonprofit raised more than $250,000 to fund its  autism helpdesk, a free resource for families and professionals looking to connect with valuable, regional services.

John Carroll University student Cory Irwin, an individual on the autism spectrum, captivated attendees.

“My mom will say the only person who understands me more than she or my father does is probably Miss Haley at Milestones,” Irwin said. “She has been working with me so I can learn how to talk to my co-workers, advocate for myself and build a career in the field I love. While I am a work in progress, I can tell you my confidence is growing at a steady pace daily.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:00 AM, 11.30.2017

LEI has 'The Write Stuff' for December

Lake Erie Ink (LEI), the local writing space for youth in the former Coventry School building, is offering several opportunities for creative expression in December. On Dec. 4, LEI is holding a college essay workshop for interested teens. Evening Ink workshops will be held on Dec. 6 and Dec. 13, and there will be an Open Mic Night on Dec. 15. Over winter break, LEI will host Creative Play Days for students in grades 2–5.

Jill Levin, LEI's program director, believes that creative expression outside academic work “provides a chance [for youngsters] to make something entirely apart from the context of grades or adult approval, allowing kids to explore more about themselves.” She thinks school breaks are a great time for writing.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:43 AM, 11.30.2017

Baby Gym reopens at Peace Lutheran

Peace Lutheran Church will reopen its Baby Gym on Saturday, Dec. 2. The gym offers a place where parents can play with their children and connect with other parents in a relaxed atmosphere.

The gym is free and open to the public on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon.  Children must be 6 or younger and accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

The gym offers slides, climbers and tunnels for the development of gross motor skills. A separate playroom features a kitchen set, tool bench, dress-up clothes, and other age-appropriate toys for dramatic play.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:26 AM, 12.01.2017

Heights Arts seeks next CH poet laureate

Heights Arts has begun the process of selecting the ninth Cleveland Heights poet laureate, who will serve from April 2018 to March 2020. The term of the current Cleveland Heights poet laureate, Christine Howey, ends March 31, 2018.

Poets from across Northeast Ohio are encouraged to apply. Candidates are not required to live in Cleveland Heights, but must demonstrate a strong connection to the city.

Heights Arts will accept online applications through Dec. 31. Detailed information about the responsibilities of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate are available on the Heights Arts website, www.heightsarts.org.

 

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 10:51 AM, 10.31.2017

Local businesses are helping kids stay warm

As all Greater Clevelanders know, fall may be lovely, but winter is just around the corner. Some Heights residents don’t have the proper gear to stay warm.

Many CH-UH students rely on their schools to supply clothes to help keep them warm and dry. In addition to helping them stay comfortable and healthy, hats, gloves and warm footwear help kids make it to school.

If you were supposed to walk one or two miles to work, would you be likely to do it with frozen fingers and toes?

Our schools play an invaluable role, and they need our help.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 4:29 PM, 10.01.2017

Documentary film explores costs of privatizing education

A free screening of “Backpack Full of Cash,” a documentary film about school reform that uses public funds to privatize education, will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Cleveland Heights High School auditorium, 13263 Cedar Road.

The film, narrated by Matt Damon, uses case studies in two urban school districts to explore how charter schools and vouchers undermine America’s public schools and alternatives to strengthen them.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:42 PM, 09.29.2017

HRRC plans a full autumn schedule

Now that fall is in full swing, the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) begins its busy season. In October, HRRC offers classes on insulation and caulking, composting, hardwood floor refinishing, interior painting projects, and much more.

Organizers are especially excited for a Women’s Home How-To Carpentry Series beginning Oct. 4 and running every Wednesday through Nov. 15. Participants will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with power tools and learn some basic carpentry, as well as how to hang drywall, lay and grout ceramic tile, and paint, among other projects.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:37 PM, 09.29.2017

Oct. 28 event benefits women's education

The Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International will host its sixth annual Afternoon with an Author event on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m., at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:31 PM, 09.29.2017

FutureHeights to host Oct. 10 public forum on creative place-making

FutureHeights will hold a public forum, Creating Great Places in the Heights, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at The BottleHouse Brewing Company, 2050 Lee Road.

Desirable communities sometimes happen out of sheer luck, but more often become great by design. In this community forum, organized by FutureHeights' Civic Engagement and Planning & Development committees, a panel will discuss the art of place-making.

More than just building physical spaces, place-making is the art of elevating the human experience of a space.

 

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 09.26.2017

'Mulch Madness' funds scouts' summer activities

When the members of Boy Scout Troop 22, based at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, took on a mulch-delivery fundraiser in spring 2017, they hoped to sell around a thousand bags of mulch in the first year.

The scouts proved to be great salesmen and exceeded expectations, selling a whopping 4,200 bags of 3-cubic-foot hardwood mulch.

The only downside? Needing to work out the logistics of delivery. Factor in some 25 scouts and adults, ranging in weight from 75 pounds to 200 pounds, hauling more than 4,000 60-plus pound bags. and you have "Mulch Madness."

Troop 22 scouts rose to the occasion, with some smaller scouts carrying bags weighing more than they do, and some of the boy leaders carrying two bags. The physical labor of the volunteers was coordinated with loaned vehicles, trailers, and storage from Jet Dock, a local company, to make for a formidable effort.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 4:46 PM, 09.03.2017

FutureHeights celebrates Cleveland Heights on Sept. 15 benefit

FutureHeights will host its first-ever “Celebrating Great Living in Cleveland Heights” fundraising event on Friday, Sept. 15, 6–8:30 p.m. The event will highlight some of the things that make Cleveland Heights a great place to live: beautiful homes, wonderful amenities, fascinating history, and creative, talented residents. 

Guests will be treated to a selection of delicious treats from some of Cleveland Heights’ most talented local chefs and restaurateurs, including Bodega, Fix Bistro, Lopez on Lee, Luna Bakery and Café, Marotta’s, Taste, and The Fairmount. CLE Urban Winery will offer a tasting of its locally handcrafted wines, and legendary Nighttown will provide a special signature cocktail to make the evening memorable. There will be music from Roots of American Music, plein air painting by local artist Jeremy Tugeau, a performance by Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Christine Howey, and other wonderful surprises.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:45 AM, 08.31.2017

Heights home and garden tour celebrates 40 years

“After 40 Years . . . There’s Still No Place Like Home” is the theme of this year’s 40th anniversary Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour, to be held on Sunday, Sept. 24, noon to 6 p.m.

The night before the tour, Height Community Congress” (HCC) traditional preview party is planned for Saturday evening, Sept. 23, at the iconic Alcazar. 

It has been 40 years since HCC began showcasing Cleveland Heights homes to the community. Organizers believe there is no place like (one’s own) home, but also know that Heights residents love viewing neighbor’s homes and taking in the wide variety of architecture and wealth of creative styles that are unique to this community.

This year, tourgoers will visit:

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 2:32 PM, 09.01.2017

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus to share its vision with the community

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus, the newly formed group that comprises several nonprofits housed at the Coventry School building, is planning two events in September to share its vision for the site with the public. “The organizations have come together to create a plan for the future that taps into the energy of creative place-making for cultural and economic development,” said Brady Dindia, president of the Artful Cleveland Board of Directors. “We envision a community gathering space and center for arts, education and enrichment.”

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 2:58 PM, 08.31.2017

New Heights-based organization forms to benefit community heroes

Cleveland Heights community members J. Shorey, Nancy Landreth and Chip Ramsey have launched a new foundation to serve the heroes in our community—firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel and others whose unique gifts and talents make the Heights community stronger and better. Heights Heroes, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization, seeks to identify and support those individuals, especially when they or their families need a little extra help due to injury or illness.

Heights Heroes is funded through donations of cars, motorcycles, boats—anything of value that can be rehabilitated and sold. Ramsey, owner of Washington & Lee Service, will repair the vehicles that have value; the organization will then sell them and put the profits back into the foundation. Items that cannot be repaired will be scrapped and the proceeds likewise put into the foundation.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:12 PM, 07.31.2017

CH residents invited to municipal court judge candidates forum

A public forum with the three candidates for Cleveland Heights municipal court judge will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church, located at the corner of Mayfield and Yellowstone roads.

The Cleveland Heights Housing Committee of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) is hosting the forum, which offers Cleveland Heights residents the opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates.

The committee planned the forum as an outcome of a listening campaign about the concerns of Cleveland Heights residents, in which housing issues were identified as a top priority in the city. Specific issues include housing values that fell during the recession and have only recently begun to rebound, and the impact on neighborhoods of vacant, blighted and tax-delinquent houses.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 07.31.2017

Volunteers seek to establish Kiwanis Club in the Heights

A pre-organizational meeting for those interested in establishing a Kiwanis club here in the Heights is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road Library (2345 Lee Road).

The organizers invites anyone interested in joining a group that serves the Cleveland Heights and University Heights community, empowers youth (and adults) to become leaders through service to others, and provides opportunities to network with like-minded individuals, to attend the planning meeting.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:46 PM, 07.31.2017

Volunteers organize to care for Cedar Lee mini park

Over the years, the pedestrian space between the parking area behind the Cedar Lee Theatre and Lee Road has at times felt like a gracious park, and at others like little more than an alley through which one can take a shortcut because there happens to be a gap between the buildings. Businesses at this end of Lee Road estimate that every year well over 200,000 people come to see a movie, visit the gallery, enjoy a meal, or have a drink in a bar, and many of those people walk through the Cedar Lee mini park—without necessarily even knowing it’s a park.

Landscape designer Ann Cicarella is not the first activist to want to do more with the park, but she has some new ideas and specific expertise that could help sustain long-term improvements. “I am just one person in a long line of people who have tried for many years to improve the site,” Cicarella said.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 10:25 AM, 07.25.2017