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Pop-Up Playground fundraiser to feature Pop-Up Talent of local celebrities

Tickets are on sale now for “Pop-Up Talent,” a fun-filled night showcasing local celebrity talent to support the United Way’s Pop-Up Adventure Playground Program. The event, featuring local politicos and others showing off their unique talents, will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Elks Lodge, 231 Buckeye Boulevard, in Port Clinton. 

“Pop-Up Talent” will include dinner, a silent auction, a cash bar and music by the Naked Bacon Band. The event is sponsored by the 2013-2014 Leadership Ottawa County class. Notable local celebrities participating include Ottawa County Commissioner Jim Sass, Victorian Inn owner Ann Duez, Beacon owner John Schaffner and more. 

“Some of the talent may be surprising,” said LOC member Diane Ball. “It’s going to be a fun evening, raising money for a great cause.” 

Tickets for “Pop-Up Talent” are $40 each, $70 per couple, and can be purchased at Mary’s Blossom Shoppe in Port Clinton, the Danbury Zoning Department in Marblehead, the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Crafty Needle in Elmore. 

“Pop-Up Talent” will raise funds so the Pop-Up Adventure Playground Program can travel to kids countywide. The program encourages child-directed play that builds innovative and creative problem-solving skills. Kids use a variety of supplies such as fabric, paint, cardboard boxes, chalk, ribbons, feathers and other art supplies to create whatever they want and play however they want. The goal is to fire up their imaginations. 

“If we want our kids to be successful, we need to help them be innovative and creative,” said Chris Galvin, Area Director of United Way in Ottawa County. “Lots of children learn to problem-solve while playing-- building a fort, tearing it down and building it again.” 

The local Pop-Up Adventure Playground program was inspired by a New York Times editorial, “Crumbling American Dreams,” that Port Clinton native Robert Putnam wrote in August. The article examines the growing gap between rich and poor children and the shrinking middle class, and uses changes in Port Clinton as an example. After the editorial appeared, Galvin wrote an open letter to the community asking for suggestions to help enrich local children. The Pop-Up Adventure Playground program is a result. 

Members of the 2013-14 LOC class are Diane Ball, OSS Solid Waste District; Kathy Berger, Terra State Community College; Laurie Cleaver, Ottawa County Transportation Agency; Kathy Dale, Danbury Township; Steve Hall, First Energy; Steve Lange, Ottawa County Sanitary; Dawn Segaard, Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Vern Shepherd, Lakeside United Methodist Church; Amy Simkus, Stein Hospice; Becky Simpson, Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District; Kristen Trammel, Otterbein North Shore; Andrew Wells, Kroger.

Leadership Ottawa County is a nine month leadership development program that brings professionals together to learn about and explore the diversity of Ottawa County and increase personal leadership skills through experiential training. For more information on Leadership Ottawa County, visit www.leadershipottawacounty.com.

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Last chance to get your trees from OSWCD

The ever popular Tree Seedling Sale of Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District (OSWCD) is coming to an end on April 4. Order forms are still available for the Seedling Tree and Shrub Sale by calling 419-898-1595 or visiting the website at www.ottawaswcd.com.

Evergreen varieties in packets of 10 for this year include Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Bald Cypress and American Arborvitae. OSWCD will again offer the fast growing Green Rocket Cedar that will be sold individually. These Cedars will grow up to 3’ per year, are deer resistant, have a strong root system and no major insect problems. They make a great windbreak or privacy screen. 

OSWCD offers other fast-growing varieties, including Autumn Blaze Maple, Cleveland Flowering Pear and Tulip Poplar. Other trees available are Red Oak, Canada Red Choke Cherry and Princeton American Elm. Butterfly Bushes are also available for purchase, as are Native Grass packets. New this year, OSWCD offers Wildlife Tree Plot Packs which include 10 Native Oak Trees.

The deadline for ordering is April 4. Customers will be notified when the seedlings will be ready for pick-up in mid-April. To view the different varieties or print out an order form, visit www.ottawaswcd.com.

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Benefit for Kyler Hammer

There will be a benefit chicken barbecue for Kyler Hammer on March 30 at the Eagles Nest Hall, 210 Jefferson St. in Oak Harbor. The event, sponsored by Batdorff Real Estate, will begin at 11 a.m. and will continue until the dinners are sold out. Tickets are $9 for the meal that includes chicken, baked potato, cole slaw and dessert. Carry-out only.

Kyler is the son of Nick and Megan (Brandt) Hammer, grandson of Dean Hammer, Laura (Behnken) Hammer and John and Karen Brandt and great-grandson of Bernie and Gene Hammer and the late Clarence and Joan Behnken. He was born on June 3, 2013, with a genetic disorder requiring extensive therapy that is not covered by insurance.

Advance purchase is recommended for the dinner. Tickets can be purchased or donations can be made at Batdorff Real Estate, Inc., 149 Church St., Oak Harbor; or call Batdorff at 419-898-9503, Bernie Hammer at 419-307-4060 or any other Batdorff real estate agent. Checks can be made out to Kyler Hammer Benefit.

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March is Developmental Disabilities (DD) month

"Ability @ Work" is the theme for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2014.  The Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities and other related organizations celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness month in March, and invite you to consider the true meaning of this year’s theme, “Ability @ Work.” Statewide organizations devoted to serving individuals with developmental disabilities are planning special events in March to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability. 

“Ability @ Work” encourages people to understand that everyone has goals and dreams and desires to live a full life. "This is a time when our organization focuses on encouraging the public to better understand the people we serve," said Melinda Slusser, Superintendent. “During ‘Developmental Disabilities Awareness month, we encourage people to learn more about the 340+ people in this community who have developmental disabilities and to recognize that all of us have goals and dreams and when we see ability at work, we all succeed.” 

To kick off Developmental Disabilities Awareness month, the Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Port Clinton Knights of Columbus #1750 hosted a Pancake & Sausage Breakfast on March 16. The event featured displays of services offered by Ottawa County Board of DD, a pledge to end the word, art pieces by people with disabilities, and a kid’s coloring table. Guests enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, applesauce, peaches, and donuts. The Board would like to thank both community members and the local businesses that donated to the event (Port Clinton Knights of Columbus #1750, Bassett’s Market, TJ’s Catawba Café, and Robinson-Walker Funeral Home and Crematory).   

As you are out in the county, you may notice additional displays in support of DD Awareness such as:

•Billboards throughout the county
•Church bulletin inserts 
•Displays in local libraries
•Posters in county business windows

During the second part of March, everyone in the community is encouraged to reach out to someone who has a developmental disability.

To learn more about the services offered by Ottawa County Board of Developmental Disabilities, contact the office at 419.898.0400, or follow them on Facebook.

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Downtown revitalization presented to council

Downtown plan for Madison Street.

On Wednesday, March 26, Poggemeyer Design Group presented their renderings for the revitalization of downtown Port Clinton. Poggemeyer has met with council two times prior and spoke with citizens at those meetings to get their ideas of what they would like to see in the downtown area. With these latest renderings that have been presented, Poggemeyer has taken design, organization, promotion, and economic structuring into consideration. This particular meeting was focused on design.

Even though the meeting focused on design, Lauren Falcone and Greg Telecky, representatives from Poggemeyer, gave a brief finding of the market study of the area done by Boulevard Strategy out of Columbus. The market study found that manufacturing, medical, service, and food were the growing areas of industry in the area; the highest being food service. Poggemeyer also found that the office market is shrinking, but the medical industry of the area is growing.

“People are coming to the community,” said Falcone, “we just need to get them to stay here.”

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St. Boniface fish fry keeps growing

Bill Verbryke of Elmore enjoying a meal at a recent fish fry.

St.Boniface Catholic Parish found that its famous all-you-can-eat fish fry had become so popular it had outgrown the undercroft beneath the church. Its new venue in the school gymnasium reflects how the event has grown and changed over the years.

The fish fry started in 2005 as a necessary fund raiser to help St. Boniface School meet expenses. Each Friday during Lent they served about 250 dinners of fish with a side of cole slaw. As the menu expanded their reputation spread and the crowds of customers grew. The undercroft was just too small to comfortably accommodate the serving of 500 meals a night.

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Health insurance sign-up deadline

Are you or someone you know medically uninsured, under-insured, or paying unaffordable private  insurance rates? You have until March 31 to remedy that, but you must act soon. 

To access information and apply, connect to www.healthcare.gov, where you can also determine your eligibility for financial assistance according to your income and dependents. 

Have you run into a problem you cannot resolve? Call your local United Way (United Way in Ottawa County at 419-734-6645). In Ottawa County an appointment can be made with a “navigator” who will assist you in signing up. Appointments are on Friday at the Sutton Center, 1854 East Perry St, Ste 300, Port Clinton. 

Other sources of information are also available. Try www.tools.healthcarehelper.org, provided by the nonpartisan American Consumers Council. 

To determine your eligibility for the newly expanded Ohio Medicaid (no premiums or copayments), check www.medicaid.ohio.gov/forohioans. 

It is long past time for basic medical insurance and services to be available to everyone. Those who oppose Social Security and Medicare for whatever reasons will continue to oppose Affordable Care. But affordable health care is now the law, it is constitutional and we have all begun to share in its benefits. 

The time to act is very short. Your future health and financial condition depends on your decision. 

Darrell Opfer

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Success for PCHS Students at State DECA Competition

The following students placed at the 70th Annual DECA State competition (Career Development Conference) held in Columbus on March 21 and 22:

Top 25 - Kennedy Gulas - Business Finance Series, Tarrynn Edgefield - Accounting Series, Ashlynn Slauterbeck - Business Services Series, John Morton - Sports & Enertainment Series, Alexis Cash - Advertising Campaign Event, Jacob Reed - Marketing Management Series

Students awarded with Top 10 honors included:   Nathan Haghiri, 5th place, Automotive Service Marketing; Dylan Spears, 9th place, Principles of Marketing; Kayla Armendariz, 9th place, Entrepreneurship Written Event; Eryn Nason, 3rd place, Retail Merchandising Series; and Madi Baxter & Claire Zielinski, 3rd  place, Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan

Qualifying for the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, GA on May 2-6  are  Eryn Nason, Madi Baxter, Claire Zielinski and Nathan Haghiri.  Mr. Bill Hollister, is the  PCHS Marketing Teacher & DECA Advisor.

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PCHS announces Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2014

The Port Clinton High School Athletic Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2014 Inductees. The 1976 Port Clinton High School Football Team and Scott Rickel will join the high ranks of PCHS Athletes and Coaches inducted into the Hall of Fame. This year, instead of at a banquet in May, the event will take place on Sept. 26 and 27. Inductees will be introduced at the Friday evening football game and then inducted at the Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 27. Ticket sales will be announced at a later date.  

The 1976 team was one of the greatest teams in PCHS history. More than thirty-five years ago they won the Great Lakes League Championship, the first outright championship for PCHS since 1963. They had an outstanding 9-1 record, with their only loss to Bellevue. After that first loss, they regrouped and rampaged through the league, allowing only one touchdown for the rest of the season, that in the final league game at Bedford. One of the most memorable games was the contest with Fostoria, with the Redskins beating rival Fostoria 64 to 0. Port Clinton High School is looking for contact information on 1976 team member. If you have information, contact Rick Dominick or Amy Kelly at 419.734.2147.

Scott Rickel was a Redskin three sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball, earning six varsity letters and numerous team and league honors. After graduating from Port Clinton High School in 1993, Scott had an outstanding athletic career at Wittenberg University, where he participated in football and track and field. He earned All Conference honors in multiple track events and is the Wittenberg record holder in the indoor 500 meter, the outdoor 400 meter, and is part of the record-holding 800 and 1600 meter relay teams.

Nomination forms for the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2015 are available online at the high school office or www.pccsd.net--click on schools, high school, athletics, Athletic Hall of Fame. Applications must be received by the first Friday in February.

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Oak Harbor Young Farmers complete successful year

The Oak Harbor Young Farmers have recently completed their Educational Topics and community activities for the 2013-14 school year. The local Young Farmer chapter meets regularly on Thursday evenings at Oak Harbor High School. The group is under the direction of advisors Mr. Noah Neiderhouse and Ms. Krysteena Brown, the Agriculture Science instructors at Oak Harbor High School. 

During the year, the Young Farmers completed two fundraising activities. The first was in the fall of 2013 and was a Chicken BBQ that was conducted in conjunction with the Oak Harbor FFA Chapter. Proceeds from this event were used for FFA Leadership development, Ottawa County Holiday Bureau, and Benton Carroll Salem Food Pantry. The second fundraising activity was a BBQ Chicken or Pork Chop dinner on Feb. 14 This activity was held with the cooperation of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Ottawa County Chapter 30011. The Young Farmers thank the community for support in their activities. 

The Officers of the Oak Harbor Young Farmers are: President, Scott Schimming; Vice President, Micah Lenke; and Secretary-Treasurer, Louis Damschroder. This past year the Young Farmers donated over $1800 back to the community.

The Oak Harbor Young Farmers will begin their 2014-15 year with a farm tour in late August.

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