Happy Memorial Day!

It is Memorial Day Weekend and the traffic in our area will be crazy, so just take your time and enjoy the ride if you have to get somewhere, especially in the area close to the Walleye John SchaffnerFestival near downtown Port Clinton. Also, remember what this weekend is REALLY all about. It is about honoring the memories of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom. Port Clinton’s Memorial Day services begin at 9 a.m. at Port Clinton Yacht Club to honor those who lost their lives at sea. At 10 a.m. the Memorial Day Parade will form at the Middle School and proceed to the newly refurbished Veterans Park on Monroe Street. Lt. Col. Barbara Herrington-Clemens, Garrison Commander at the Camp Perry Training Center, will give the principal address.


Rally for the Kids!

The Knoll Crest Shopping Center parking lot will be the site for a very special event this Saturday, May 19. It is a Rally for Kids in support of CASA — Court Appointed Special Advocates — and Joyful Connections. There will be gobs of activities for young and old alike. All of the activities for the kids will be free. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s office will be there for child Schaffnerfingerprinting. There will also be a 5K run/walk, a Cornhole Tournament, a sidewalk sale with 20 vendors, basket raffles, food and a Grocery Run Raffle for a 3-minute shopping spree at Bassett’s Market. So, make it a point to stop by and join in the fun this Saturday.


Conestoga group holds first potluck of the season

One of Port Clinton’s top success stories is the Conestoga Neighborhood on the City’s east end. Since the neighbors joined together to make that part of Port Clinton a better place, crime rates and police calls have dropped dramatically. The first meeting/potluck of the year for the group will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, May 10). The meeting will be held at John Schaffnerthe Lakeview Park shelter house. Mayor Vince Leone will be the featured speaker and Charlene Watkins from WSOS will also be on hand to discuss the Chip Program.


Think long-term this Mother’s Day

If you’re a mother, you’ll probably get some nice cards and flowers on Mother’s Day. But of course, your greatest gifts are your children themselves. And since you want to see them Gary Coonhappy and financially secure, perhaps you can use this Mother’s Day as an opportunity to consider ways to help your children at various stages of their lives.
So, let’s take a look at steps you can take:


Lessons learned between the lines

I have mixed emotions writing this column because it will be my last Coffin’s Corner for The Beacon. It’s always tough to leave a job you have really enjoyed, but it is necessary to recognize when the job has come to an end. For this and other meaningful retirements in my life, such as teaching and coaching, the only way to explain the reason was to say, “It’s just time.”
I am amazed that it has been four years and 40 columns since I asked Beacon publisher, John Schaffner, if I could write a column for his newspaper. I hoped I could draw on my experiences from coaching and teaching physical education for more than 20 years to give advice to parents and coaches on ways to help kids succeed in sports. 


My job, your job

When it comes to estate planning, we each have our job and duties to complete a valuable estate plan.  
Jeff Roth
• 1 — FACTS, CONCERNS AND TRUTH DETECTING.  Anyone can prepare documents. It is the job of the attorney to learn as much about the family unit as he can.  We must look through the niceties to determine just how the family relates to each other. We must look into future generations to determine if they can continue the business or if it should be sold. We must glean from conversations your values, your desires, and how each member of the family fit into the family puzzle. The more we learn, the more we can design a plan to protect you, your assets and your future generations.


Week brings sad losses for Ottawa County

We had some very sad losses this past week.John Schaffner
First, Port Clinton Yacht Club has lost two of its Past Commodores: Kells Pugh and Bill Benedict. Both were absolutely outstanding gentlemen. Geoff Bailey told me a story about Kells and Joan Pugh, about how when they first joined PCYC, they were singled out for a warm welcome, a greeting whose memory has lasted through the years. Their daughter Jan is the owner of Packer Creek Pottery in Genoa whose artistic items have become famous throughout the world.


It's spaghetti dinner time!

Don’t forget the Kiwanis Spaghetti Lunch/Dinner this Friday, April 20. They will be serving at St. John’s Lutheran Church Hall from noon to 7 p.m. If you have never tasted Mark Giaco’s Schaffnerspectacular spaghetti sauce, you are really missing out! You get a full dinner with a large meatball (no, Mark is NOT the “meatball”) for only $8. (Well, maybe he is kind of a meatball!!!)


Never forget

Ida MercurioThanks to Irene Minier who sent us a letter this week with a reminder that April 9 was the 70th Anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor in the early days of World War II. We have long documented the heroics of the men of the 192nd Tank Battalion, Company C, all of whom were from Ottawa County. They mustered from the Armory on West Perry Street and marched to the train station in November of 1941. Only about half of them made it home. The last living member of Company C, Joe Hrupcho, died just last year. Once again, we honor these brave men who either died in defense of their county or suffered horrific captivity at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army. It all took place 70 years ago this week.

And while we are on the topic … the Ottawa County Veterans Service Commission has announced the selection of Harold J. Fillmore, a U.S. Navy Veteran, as the County’s Veteran of the Year for 2011. The presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Monday, April 16, at the Oak Harbor VFW Hall, 251 W. Main St. The public is invited.

Another letter we received this week came from Ida Mercurio, one of our area’s favorite and most friendly bartenders. She has been plying her craft at Nagoya the past several years, and is remaining with Mel and Barb Ayers in an administrative capacity. They will have a special farewell party for Ida at Nagoya on Monday, April 23. So it won’t be “Goodbye Ida” but rather “See you on the other side of the bar!!!”


Easter offers a time for reflection — no matter your faith

John SchaffnerIn the Christian tradition, this week is Holy Week. It commemorates the horrific death and ultimate resurrection of a man named Jesus who lived in what we now know as Israel.
Of course, not all faiths are Christian faiths. However, the tenants of many faiths, as they regard human behavior, are similar — one God — and treat others as you would like to be treated. It is a strong family time — a time for reflection, whatever your faith.
I would ask all to honor their traditions of this weekend and enjoy.

A gentleman who adopted our area as his home several years ago, passed away last week following a long bout with cancer. Jim Zaremba was my brother’s neighbor on Catawba. As such, I had a number of opportunities to interact with him. He was truly a very nice, soft-spoken gentleman.
We also lost Dick Spicer last week, former president of the Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce. Dick worked tirelessly to grow the Chamber during his tenure, and he was extremely successful.

Our Find Wylie winner this week is Tom Keller from Marblehead who found Wylie in the ad for the Bassett’s Market on page 3A in last week’s Beacon. Tom wins a $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores. We’ll be hiding Wylie again this week, if you find him, drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center or click on the Find Wylie Icon at

The City of Port Clinton will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 7, on the Ottawa County Courthouse lawn. Donations of candy and prizes for the children. Donations can be dropped off at City Hall.

St. Paul United Church of Christ in Oak Harbor is hosting a Community Sale/Rummage Sale/Vendor Gala from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday, April 21, at the Church located at 165 Toussaint St. There will be great deals galore on household items, electronics, toys and much more. Some of the vendors represented will be Avon, Celebrating Home, Premier Jewelry, Body by Vi, Miche, Pampered Chef and a whole lot more. The Oak Harbor Relay for Life team will be serving refreshments. If you are interested in donating to the rummage sale, contact Jackie at 419-898-2045 or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Annual Ottawa County Ducks Unlimited Banquet and Auction will be held on Saturday, April 14, at the Camp Perry Clubhouse. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling John Valentine at 419-656-9000.

On Saturday, April 21, the Oak Harbor High School Choirs will hold the semi-annual Community Service Auction. Pre-sale tickets are $10 which provides the buyer with a lasagna dinner and the ability to bid on all of the Silent and Grand Auction items. The High School students themselves will be the Grand Auction items. They include: cut and deliver firewood, house and garage cleaning, lawn work, maintenance, and much more. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. The Grand Auction starts at 7 p.m. For tickets or further information, call the High School at 419-898-6216, extension 334.

Mark Friday, April 20 down on your calendar for the Port Clinton Kiwanis Club’s Annual Spaghetti Dinner. It will be held again at St. John Lutheran Church in Port Clinton from noon to 7 p.m., so you get your choice of having your spaghetti for lunch or dinner. Proceeds, of course, go to the Kiwanis Club, which spends all of it giving back to the community.

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