T h e O f f i c i a l M a g a z i n e o f t h e C i t y o f P i c k e r i n g t o n a n d V i o l e t To w n s h i p
Mama Knows Best
Serving up healthy dishes with Big Mama’s Meal Prep
INSIDE Local author discusses latest work Volunteering at OhioHealth Pickerington Food Pantry’s 3rd Hope Gala
FOR HEALTHY MOMS AND STRONG BABIES Two babies die every hour in the U.S. And about every 12 hours a woman dies as a result of complications from pregnancy. It’s not fine. But together we can do something about it.
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pickerington magazine volume 12, number 3 february/march 2020
6 Calendar 8
News and Information from the City of Pickerington
10 News and Information from
Spreading the Love Local author discusses message behind her newest book
Kick off 2020 by participating in unique Parks and Recreation classes
on the table
Big Mama’s journey to owning a gym, losing weight and prepping delicious food
21 The Party of the Decade 23
A dive into the Pickerington Food Pantry’s third Hope Gala
student spotlight More to Know
PNHS senior travels near and far for the chance to learn and lead
25 Calling All Volunteers
Local volunteer shares rewarding experience at OhioHealth’s Pickerington Medical Campus
Celebrating the Holiday Season
Select real estate listings in the area
THE LIFE & ART OF BARBARA
January 25 – April 26, 2020
Recommended reads from Pickerington Public Library
On the cover: Maria Manzo-Cieply photo by Jeffrey S. Hall Photography
Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins
Tuesday–Friday, 10am–4pm; Sat & Sun, 1–4pm 145 E. Main St. | Lancaster, Ohio | 740-681-1423
pickerington community calendar february/march 2020 Through April 26 Decorative Arts Center of Ohio presents Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Life & Art of Barbara Shermund Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Lancaster, www.decartsohio.org
Barbara Shermund was one of the first cartoon artists to work for The New Yorker starting in 1925. Learn and witness her fiercely feminist works that were rarely seen in an era of male-dominated cartoon artists.
Feb. 1-29 Free Yoga with Darlene Every Saturday, 8-9 a.m., Epiphany Lutheran Church, 268 Hill Rd. N., www.pickeringtonchamber.com
Start your Saturday mornings off in total zen during this free event. From deep breathing to tall stretches, you’ll feel relaxed and ready to take on the weekend.
Feb. 2 Beers & Bluegrass 3-6 p.m., Combustion Brewery & Taproom, 80 W. Church St., www.combustionbrewing.org
The first Sunday of every month, enjoy afternoon live music at this local joint. February features The Coal Cave Hollow Boys, a local band that won the Ohiobased 2019 Pinecastle Records National Bluegrass Band Competition.
Feb. 4 Craft It! Rustic Home Sign 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sycamore Plaza Library, 7861 Refugee Rd., www.pickeringtonlibrary.libnet.info
Just as the website says, bring out your inner Joanna Gaines with this farmhouse-inspired home sign. Enjoy the company of other crafters and get inspired by their creations, too. All supplies will be provided.
Submit Your Event
Do you have an event you would like to submit to our calendar? Send details and photos to lfreudenberg@ cityscenemediagroup.com. 6
Feb. 8 All Ages Canvas Painting – Penguin Love
COSI Science Spots
2:30 p.m., Picktown Art Works, 140 W. Borland St., Suite 400, www.picktownartworks.com
Embrace the winter season by learning new artistic skills. Paint adorable penguins as they hug in the snow.
Feb. 8 William T. Sherman’s 200th Birthday Party 6-10 p.m., The Mill Event Center, 431 S. Columbus St., Lancaster, www.visitfairfieldcounty.org
Born in Lancaster on Feb. 8, 1820, Sherman was an American Civil War general who successfully led Union forces. In honor of his heroic legacy, enjoy an evening of appetizers, birthday cake, music, trivia, a Civil War costume contest and reenactment performances.
Feb. 11 Pickerington Ridgeview Junior High School presents Heart Strings Orchestra Concert 6 p.m., location TBD, www.pickerington.k12.oh.us
Enjoy an evening of music as all orchestras at Ridgeview present works.
Feb. 13 and March 12 Pickerington Farmers’ Market – Indoor
Feb. 15 Pickerington Public Library and the Great Backyard Bird Count 2-4 p.m., Coyote Run, 9270 Pickerington Rd. N.W., www.pickeringtonlibrary.libnet.info
The PPL will partner with Coyote Run to participate in the 23rd annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Learn about different birds and their natural habitats at this nature-loving event.
Feb. 16 Valentine Tea at the Georgian 3-4:30 p.m., The Georgian Museum, 105 E. Wheeling St., Lancaster, www.visitfairfieldcounty.org
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at this cozy tea party. Tickets start at $35 per person and sell fast.
Feb. 19 and March 18 Mike Poyer Live Acoustic 5 p.m., Hangry City Grille & Spirits, 1252 Hill Rd. N., www.hangrycity.net
Second Thursdays, 4-8 p.m., Combustion Brewery & Taproom, 80 W. Church St., www.pickeringtonvillage.com
Listen to great music while munching down on delicious bites.
Farmers’ markets aren’t just for the summer. Held the second Thursday of each month until May, mark your calendar for the upcoming events.
Feb. 21-23 Garret Players present The Murderous Mansion of Mr. Uno
Feb. 15 American Red Cross Blood Drive
Whodunit? Enjoy this deadly comedy by Don Zolldis.
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Pickerington Public Library Main, 201 Opportunity Way, www.pickeringtonlibrary.libnet.info
For more information or to schedule an appointment call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org, sponsor code PickeringtonLibrary.
Fairfield Country District Library, 219 N. Broad St., Lancaster, www.garretplayers.org
Feb. 22 COSI Science Spots 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Pickerington Public Library Main, 201 Opportunity Way, www.pickeringtonlibrary.libnet.info
COSI is coming to the PPL! Play, explore and learn about science at the numerous hands-on kiosks during this event. www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
Mark your calendars for these community events
Feb. 22 Smokin’ Plates & Bowls 6:30 p.m., Picktown Art Works, 140 W. Borland St., Suite 400, www.picktownartworks.com
Choose a plate or bowl and learn how to layer ceramic glazes to create a unique, smoky look.
Feb. 25 Violet Township Women’s League Monthly Meeting
March 14 Pickerington Food Pantry Hope Gala 7-11 p.m., Wigwam Event Center, 10190 Blacklick-Eastern Rd., www.pickeringtonfoodpantry.org
The ’20s are back, so celebrate at the 1920s-themed third Hope Gala presented by the Pickerington Food Pantry. This black tie event is the largest fundraiser for the pantry and will feature gambling, raffles, food, drinks and more. Learn more on page 21.
6:15 p.m., American Legion Post 283, 7725 Refugee Rd., www.vtwl.org
Julie DeVore from Resale Furniture will speak about home décor at this monthly meeting. Guests are especially invited to learn more about the VTWL.
Feb. 29 WinterGrass 2020 5 p.m., The Mill Event Center, 431 S. Columbus St., Lancaster, www.visitfairfieldcounty.org
Banjos, fiddles, guitars and more. Spend a winter evening enjoying three bluegrass bands at this beautiful venue.
March 5-8 Arnold Sports Festival Throughout Columbus, www.arnoldsportsfestival.com
Enjoy new events like the Arnold Strong Teen, the Arnold Bike Rodeo, the Arnold Medieval Fight Invitational and more.
March 6-14 The Lancaster Playhouse presents Crimes of the Heart 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, The Ballroom at Maria’s, 129 E. Main St., Lancaster, www.thelancasterplayhouse.com
Even though the Magrath sisters are facing some turbulent times – failing singing careers, shooting their husbands, dying grandfather – their futures look bright. Enjoy this grave yet hilarious production where the characters escape the past to seize the future.
Are you a Senior in need of a little help?
Lisa Stoklosa, Owner
Pickerington Senior Helper We provide in-home help with: • Companionship • Meal preparation • Light housekeeping • Grooming and personal care • Shopping/appointments
Call us today! (614) 971-0893
March 18 ACT Prep Class 5:30-6:30 p.m., Pickerington Public Library Main, 201 Opportunity Way, www.pickeringtonlibrary.libnet.info
No reason for your teens to stress about the big test. Register for this helpful session that teaches strategies and practices for test day.
March 23-27 Spring Break Pickerington Local School District
March 24 Violet Township Women’s League Monthly Meeting 6:15 p.m., American Legion Post 283, 7725 Refugee Rd., www.vtwl.org
Mary Jo Bunbico from AAA will speak about day trips at this monthly meeting. Guests are especially invited to learn more about the VTWL.
Good news. Rates just got lower. I’m excited to announce auto insurance rates just went down. I can help you find coverage that works for you. LET’S TALK TODAY. Keely Weaver, Agent 705 Hill Rd N Bus: 614-837-6700 Fax: 614-837-6401 www.keelyweaver.com email@example.com
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N E W S & I N F OR M AT I O N F R O M T H E C I T Y O F P I C K E R I NGT ON
Census. What is it and why is it important to the residents of Pickerington? As the 2020 count gets underway, local leaders are working hard to explain why everyone’s participation will be critical. First, what is the census? As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, our nation gets just one chance each decade to count its population and 2020 is that year. The data collected by the census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, when you respond to the census, you help your community get its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in money to be spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. Federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, 8
race and other factors. The community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. So, how will this happen locally? By April 1 every home is expected to receive an invitation to participate. Once the invitation arrives, people can respond one of three ways: mail, phone or online. The most important thing is that everyone responds. The local Complete Count Committee is a joint effort by Pickerington and Violet Township leaders to make sure that happens. City Manager Greg Butcher is a member of the committee. “The City will be very involved in the 2020 Census. It has been published that uncounted Ohioans result in a loss of potential funding of $1,800 per person,” Butcher says. “That equates to $18,000 over a 10-year period. Therefore, we will be utilizing many community resources to stress the importance of being counted.”
Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality of life and consumer advocacy. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Pickerington has grown by approximately 5,000 residents over the last decade and Violet Township has experienced similar growth. Pickerington’s Economic Development Director, Dave Gulden, says that’s why it’s critical to get an accurate count. “We don’t want to miss out on funding,” he notes. To learn more about the U.S. Census, visit www.census.gov.
Photos courtesy of the City of Pickerington
2020 US Census Counts for Future Development
Pickerington City Council Welcomes New and Familiar Leaders When the Pickerington City Council convened for its first meeting of the new year, there was a new face and a familiar face among the crowd. Nick Derksen is in his first term on council and, at 31 years old, he’s its youngest member. “I hope to represent and inspire a new generation of future individuals who want to take a more active role in public service,” Derksen says. Brian Wisniewski previously served on City Council for two terms and, after an eight-year break, decided it was time to return to office. “I was proud of the work I did and I really wanted to come back and serve the community again,” Wisniewski says. “My wife and I are big believers in community service and being Councilman Nick Derksen Councilman Brian Wisniewski involved, and I felt this was the best way I could use my experience to serve others.” coming home from deployment occur,” walks and other necessary infrastructure Both Derksen and Wisniewski have he says. “Those events, sometimes in to keep our city moving forward.” different paths that brought them to the face of tragedy, are where we really Wisniewski adds, “The city has a lot Pickerington. show what we’re like as a community of really great, hardworking employees Derksen is originally from Beaverand makes me proud to call Pickering- who want to do the right thing for the creek, Ohio, and moved to the commu- ton home.” residents of Pickerington and I think the nity after marrying a local resident. When it comes to what the City does city operates quite efficiently. I think with “Without a doubt, my wife and her well, Derksen and Wisniewski note a few small tweaks here and there we family brought me to Pickerington. My many things, but both recognize there is can make some great things happen wife, Amy (Peirano) is a lifelong naalways room for improvement. here. I think we can improve our relations tive of the city and a 1996 graduate “The city has done a great job at with the business community and make of Pickerington High School. We have keeping our residents safe. Our PickPickerington more business friendly, but I lived here for about four years and plan erington Police Department is doing a think there are some long-term infrastructo retire here. My father-in-law (Mike phenomenal job at keeping crime to a ture that we really need to tackle that Peirano) served on City Council in the minimum and improving response times aren’t going to be easy to solve.” late 1980s, which was part of what to emergencies,” Derksen says. “Also, Wisniewski hopes to apply what he influenced a run for me. I really care the city, it appears, has been working has learned over the years in leadership about trying to be an agent of change more collaboratively with the Township to his newest term in office. in people’s lives, find ways to make our to keep our area moving during a rapid “I have learned many lessons along city run more efficiently and work colpace of growth. Like anything, there is the way but one of the greatest is the laboratively towards solutions that make always room for improvement. I would need to listen and to be empathic sense for the residents.” like to see a letter of notice to go out to those we work and interact with,” Wisniewski arrived in the community to residents when the city plans to do Wisniewski says. “Everyone has a story more than 32 years ago and says it’s work in their neighborhood, so residents and wants to be heard and understood. the people that made him want to stay. are not caught off guard when new Being a leader is to understand those “What makes me love living here curbs and gutters are installed. Also, we work with and how to use their is when I see how we can rally towe are entering 2020, so the city now strengths for the common good and gether to love and support others has a tremendous opportunity to set build up their weaknesses and recogwhen events such as a house fire or the course for the next decade, which nize our own along the way.” an unexpected death or a sick soldier could include the installation of sidewww.pickeringtonmagazine.com
News and Information From
Violet Township Another Successful VTFD Annual Toy Drive By Firefighter Jim Barber, Toy Drive Coordinator It is truly inspiring to see the effects of a community that works together for the greater good. While the numbers of those assisted are still being calculated, the Violet Township Fire Department annual toy drive was once again successful. We partnered with the Pickerington Local School District to identify children and families with the most need. Counselors, teachers and administrators helped conduct an application process and “shopped” for children and families from the toys collected. The success of the toy drive is possible because of community support. Nearly 50 red Violet Township toy boxes were placed in various businesses around Canal Winchester, Pickerington and Reynoldsburg. Our large sponsors, such as Meijer and Kroger, have always graciously supported this effort. Local businesses and organizations have
become great partners to the toy drive, including the Violet Township Women’s League, Stonecreek Dental, Pickerington Pharmacy, Kingy’s Pizza, Ugly Mug, Chances R and the Pickerington Food Pantry. Toy boxes are also familiar to the Pickerington Public Library, Pickerington Police Department, CVS, 5 Below and Fairfield Federal. Some businesses had employees or residents provide toys to collectively present to the fire department including Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Wesley Ridge Retirement
Community. Countless residents in the area brought toys, gift cards and monetary donations to this cause. A few local Girl Scout troops conducted a “Drive-Thru” toy collection event on Dec. 7 that brought in nearly 100 cars. The annual Harmon Middle School dodgeball tournament was a rousing success; students bought tickets to play dodgeball against other students, teachers and firefighters, and all ticket proceeds went to the toy drive. The students proved to be more prepared, more agile and less stiff than the firefighters, resulting in another victory for Harmon Middle School. Check out our Violet Township Fire Department Toy Drive Facebook page for video of this fun and LOUD event! Once again, this community-wide effort is a success thanks to our generous residents. The Violet Township Fire Department would like to thank everyone involved and we look forward to another successful toy drive in 2020.
Remembering VTFD Members By Assistant Chief Jim Paxton As we embark on the new year, we are driven by the hopes and dreams of what may lie ahead. We enjoy the beauty and crispness of the winter months and we begin to look forward to the warmth of spring. Our focus is forward. We are propelled into the new year with resolutions of improvement and optimistic ambitions for change. However, before we charge completely into 2020, we should pause and reflect on 2019. Regardless of who or where you are, each year is filled with its share of good luck and misfortune. We each may have encountered various sized victories and significant losses. 2019 held some significant losses for the Violet Township Fire Department. We lost four longtime members of the organization: Frank E. Foster Jr., Jim E. Paxton, Gary D. Fenice and John R. Eisel. Each of these gentlemen played a significant 10
role within the fire department and each had an impact on the community. Each man gave a piece of himself to the aid of others. Each displayed service and sacrifice to those in need. They were dependable and reliable when called upon to help. They paved a way and set an example for others to
John R. Eisel
follow. We learned from both their successes and their mistakes. As an organization, they made us better. We miss their wit, their charm, their talent and most of all we will miss their presence. Rest in peace friends, mentors, brothers and father.
Pollinators – They Like Trees and Shrubs, Too! By Chad Lucht, Fairfield SWCD & Jason VanHouten, Division of Forestry Pollinators are important facilitators of plant production. Many plant species need pollinators for flower pollination and seed or fruit production, including a lot of plants that produce food for animals and people. Numerous studies indicate population levels of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly many pollinator species have sharply declined in recent years. These declines are Trees and shrubs don’t have to have not fully understood but contributing a flower to be beneficial to pollinators. factors include loss of habitat, pests The foliage of many native trees and and diseases, misuse of pesticides, shrub species provide food for the larnon-native invasive plants, and chang- vae of butterflies and moths. For examing climate. ple, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Private landowners can help by larvae feed on Tuliptree, Sassafras, recognizing and protecting existing Sugar Maple and Black Cherry. pollinator habitats, limiting pesticide The Spicebush Swallowtail larvae use and practicing wise application, feed on sassafras and spicebush. The planting plants which are beneficial Giant Swallowtail larvae feed on for pollinators, and planting plants that Common Hoptree and Prickly-ash. host pollinator larvae. Even small prop- The Zebra Swallowtail larvae feed erty owners can incorporate pollinator- on Pawpaw. And Viceroy larvae feed friendly plants and make a difference. on Black Cherry, Cottonwood and One option is converting portions of Native Willow species. your lawn into pollinator-friendly landWhen selecting plants, it is important scapes. When selecting plants for your to select species that are appropriate landscape, be sure to select plants that for the site conditions in which they will bloom at different times of the year to be planted. When planting, one needs provide food from spring through fall. to consider the type of soil where it When selecting plants, trees are will be planted, soil moisture levels, often overlooked when consideravailable light and growing space. ing pollinator habitats, but they can For example, a Tuliptree is a large provide great benefits! Silver Maple, tree that needs a large area to grow Red Maple and Serviceberry and does not tolerate shade. Sugar provide important early-season polMaple, American Basswood and len and nectar sources before other Pawpaw are all tolerant of shade, but plants bloom. Black Tupelo, Black still may not grow well under heavy Locust, Tuliptree and Northern shade conditions. Sourwood is not Catalpa provide rich sources of nec- very tolerant of urban conditions while tar from spring into early summer. For Northern Catalpa is very tolerant to summer, consider planting American urban conditions. Although Devil’s Basswood and Sourwood because Walking Stick is a small tree, it can they are important sources of pollen spread aggressively by sending up and nectar. Small trees and shrubs new stems called suckers from the such as Bottlebrush Buckeye, But- roots and form small thickets. Theretonbush, Devil’s Walking Stick, fore, this species might not be a good Common Ninebark and Native choice for all locations. Also consider Sumac can be considered as well. the season when planting and your 12
Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly
ability to provide the necessary amount of water to the young tree. If you can water the trees and shrubs on a regular basis, they can be planted throughout the year. If it will be difficult to maintain optimum soil moisture, fall and spring are the best times to plant. For more information on tree planting, visit the Ohio Division of Forestry’s website at www.forestry.ohiodnr. gov/smallwoodlots. Before you dig the first hole, know what’s below and Call 811 to verify the location of all underground utilities and verify you aren’t planting in an easement or right-of-way that prohibits plantings.
How to Reach Us Violet Township Administrative Offices 10190 Blacklick-Eastern Rd. Pickerington, OH 43147 614-575-5556 www.violet.oh.us Violet Township Fire Stations Phone 614-837-4123 Fire Chief: Michael Little #592: 8700 Refugee Rd. #591: 21 Lockville Rd. #593: 2365 Taylor Park Dr. Violet Township Service Center Phone: 614-382-5979 490 Center St. Pickerington, OH 43147 www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
By Lydia Freudenberg
Spreading the Love
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Owens
Local author discusses message behind her newest book
ennifer Owens is a positive force in the community. You probably recognize her from the October/November 2016 cover story www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
Jennifer Owens and her boxer, Harley
of Pickerington Magazine, when we showcased the Pet Loss Support Group of Pickerington, a group designed to help members mourn their deceased animal companions.
A true believer in helping others, Owens is taking on another journey of advocating for self-love and empowerment â€“ and, of course, dogs are involved. 13
What’s Your Number? To coincide with her motivational speaking, Owens created the exercise, What’s Your Number? The participant chooses a positive word that describes themselves along with two positive words as goals. The letters of each word are then counted and produce a three-digit number specific to the participant. For instance, if they chose the words confident, brave and strong, their number is 946. Try it yourself! What’s your number? It’s not a coincidence that her website’s URL features a three-digit number, www.thisisme143.com. Owens incorporated the concept of counting the letters into the title – 143 translate to I Love You.
Owens with her boxer, Lola
“I thought, ‘What if I hadn’t given her the book?’” Owens says. “It’s just little things on how you can change somebody’s world by what you do or what you say.”
Taking Flight A few years back, Owens was flying home from Florida af- Beyond the Pages ter visiting a longtime friend. Settling into the two-hour flight, Even though the book is complete, Owens’ mission of the Pickerington native nodded goodbye to the Sunshine State spreading self-love is far from over. With her new website, www. and prepared for the journey. Suddenly, Owens was struck with thisisme143.com, Owens is working on gaining traction as a inspiration. She grabbed her notebook and immediately started podcaster, YouTuber and motivational speaker to help people of writing what would become her recently published book, The all ages understand and appreciate their self-worth. Definition of Unconditional Love. “I think we’ve all had moments in our lives where we’ve felt “Writing this book came really easy because it almost felt these different ways, and a couple things happen: we shut down like it needed to be done,” Owens says. “Something just kept or we withdraw,” Owens says. “When people shut down or kids telling me to do it, just do it.” shut down, the world loses out.” The book tells a story about a blind girl who lovingly picks Thanks to experience in launching successful programs like the runt of a dog litter – a small pup with disproportionate ears the Pet Loss Support Group of Pickerington, this new life chapter and a skin condition that makes his coat patchy. The pages fea- is going smoothly. ture heartwarming pictures and a word such as Flawed or PurOwens’ next goal is to create connections in and beyond the pose, followed by its definition and short blurb that continues community by launching her public speaking career. She’s hopthe story. ing to collaborate with schools and local businesses, and is ready “The goal is to help people find the best versions of them- to travel across the country to provide her services. She’s also selves with what they already have. It’s not being somebody else,” underway with her YouTube channel, Jennifer Owens, where she Owens says. “Many times, you try to do something that some- releases unedited content weekly. body else does and it doesn’t work out that way because it’s not “I don’t edit them. I leave every flaw in because this is me,” you. … The whole message of the book is to just be you.” Owens says, laughing. “I could tidy them up and make them Owens finished the story in 2016, the same year it made perfect, but life is not perfect.” the top 10 stories for the Reader’s Digest Writing Competition and when she published her first book, Peaceful Paws. After overcoming the financial concerns of publishing another book, Unconditional Love hit the printer and made its official debut in 2019. “The story kind of sat there – sat there in my house and it kept poking at me,” Owens says. “My husband was like, ‘Just publish it, get it out there,’ and it’s amazing how many people I’ve given it to or sold it to that it helps them.” Owens recalls a moment before church when she noticed a woman sitting across the room with her service dog. Having a few copies of Unconditional Love in her purse, Owens approached the woman and gave her a copy. She says the woman practically burst into tears, saying her day wasn’t going well until then. The following week, the woman told Owens the book lifted her spirits so she passed it along to her sister and niece who also enjoyed the message of self-love and positivity. Owens’ son, Brady, with Lola 14
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Owens’ children, Brittany and Brady.
Owens might be the author and creator of this particular self-love journey, but she says she’s not alone on this adventure. Her daughter, Brittany, sometimes stars in videos and her lifelong friend, Mary Dunklin, a journalist in Texas, gives constructive feedback. Additionally, her aunt, Vicky Menzer, a retired school teacher, provided edits during her writing process – one of Owens’ favorite memories while creating the book. While her husband, Clint; son, Brady; and mother, Patty Jevyak, are nonstop cheerleaders. “Everybody always has the doubts of, ‘Is it good? Is it not good?’ But to know you have people standing behind you, it’s nice,” she says. “I’m 40-something years old, and it’s nice to pick up the phone and the first thing out of my mom’s mouth is, ‘I’m so proud of you.’” Lydia Freudenberg is an editor. Feedback welcome at lfreudenberg@ cityscenemediagroup.com. www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
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By Sophia Fratianne
Kick off 2020 by participating in unique Parks and Recreation classes
icking, throwing punches and learning graceful movements – how does that sound for a New Year’s resolution? Perhaps you decided to be more active in 2020, to branch out and meet new friends in the Pickerington community, or maybe you’re just interested in having some fun by trying something new this season. Oftentimes, these common resolutions force people into the gyms – but what if you want more excitement than an endless treadmill workout? Whatever your ability and level of experience, the City of Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department seems to offer an activity for everyone. “Since parks and recreation began in Pickerington 30-plus years ago, there has always been programs for preschool, youth and adults,” says Rebecca Medinger, Pickerington Parks and Recreation director. “Over the years, we have tried to increase the variety of offerings.” Since adults are more likely to set weight loss resolutions, some popular activities hosted by the department that could
help with this goal include cardio kickboxing, flow yoga, Pilates, tai chi and Zumba fitness. Adults participating in Well Fit Body and Stretch, Flex and Abs classes can opt to ramp up their workout by taking part in the Monday Night Combo, which features both of these activities back to back. Medinger says none of these activities would be possible without passionate instructors. “If someone has a hobby or interest and would like to become an instructor, we are always looking for additional ones,” she says. For the past year, Don Prozy has led the adult kung fu classes, a unique offering that’s bound to add some excitement and inner peace to your everyday schedule. For 28 years, Prozy has participated in martial arts. After four years of rigorous training, he earned his black belt and began teaching in 1995. Through his local business, The Calm Dragon LLC, and the City of Pickerington, Prozy holds eightweek kung fu courses at the Peace United Methodist Church. He keeps the class size to a 10-person maximum for a focused and intimate setting. www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
cludes tall stances and leg movements; and the snake features weaving of the arms and quick strikes. “It’s not just about how to throw a punch or kick,” Prozy says. “When you put these moves together that feature all four animals, it looks very graceful, very artful. It looks like a flowing dance movement but with a lot of hidden combat techniques.” Since Prozy also instructs the youth kung fu class, taking his adult class creates an opportunity to learn martial arts alongside your kids and the possibility to bond with them over the shared activity. For adults interested in something more team orientated, the department of-
Prozy specializes in Poekoelan kung fu, a more traditional form of martial arts. Unlike mixed martial arts fighting, Poekoelan kung fu is full contact and everything is a target, which means participants truly understand how to defend themselves in real life situations. “What I like best about this type of martial arts is that the combat is relevant and effective, while also being an art form with beautiful, graceful movements,” he says. The classes aren’t just a way to stay active, but are also an opportunity to learn self-defense skills and an artful side to martial arts. Prozy explains as classes advance, the four animals associated with Poekoelan kung fu – monkey, tiger, crane and snake – become more relevant. The monkey features low to the ground, leaping and rolling movements; the tiger is mostly ground combat; the crane inwww.pickeringtonmagazine.com
fers adult softball leagues and adult volleyball leagues. Teams are encouraged to register online, but if you don’t have a team, you may join the list of free agents to match with teams or to join games when additional players are needed. “We welcome anyone who wants to participate in a program,” says Medinger. “It’s a great way to branch out and try something new.” For more information on classes and offerings, visit www.ci.pickerington.oh.us. Sophia Fratianne is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at feedback@ cityscenemediagroup.com.
Beyond the Classroom The City of Pickerington maintains a variety of recreational areas, including an assortment of parks, softball fields, community gardens, a disc golf course and a community pool. According to Medinger, the most highly attended Pickerington parks are Victory Park and Sycamore Creek Park. However, other popular spots for walking and cycling include Willow Pond, Diley Road and Preston Trails Park. If you’re a fan of finding your own fun, Sycamore Creek Park provides amenities such as a bike path, soccer fields, softball fields, gaga ball pit, lacrosse wall, skate park, basketball court, tennis courts, pickleball courts and playgrounds for the family, including a ninja course for kids ages 13 and up. Those looking for something a little less strenuous may enjoy a stroll by the fishing pond, covered bridge, creek and amphitheater, or visiting the arboretum. The nearby Simsbury Disc Golf Course is also free and open to the public year-round, offering a variety of long and short tees. Anyone can play and no reservations are needed, unless you’re interested in reserving the shelter space for a gathering. “You just need to show up with your own equipment to play, as the tees and baskets are already set,” Medinger says.
on the table
By Mallory Arnold
Prep, Please Big Mamaâ€™s journey to owning a gym, losing weight and prepping delicious food
Family help and support took Big Mama’s to elevated success.
Photos courtesy of Jeffrey S. Hall Photography and Maria Manzo-Cieply
s an owner and trainer at TITLE Boxing in Pickerington, Maria ManzoCieply has heard the question, “Why am I not losing any weight?” over and over again. Her immediate question in response is, “What are you eating?” Women’s Health Magazine says when it comes to dropping weight, the formula is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. So, while staying active and working out is one aspect to the process, you can’t ignore what happens in the kitchen. No matter how much Manzo-Cieply stressed this to her clients at TITLE, it
didn’t seem to stick until someone challenged her: “Why don’t you make my meals then?” Manzo-Cieply replied, “Maybe I will!” With her mom and dad helping, Manzo-Cieply started making meals for her clients, and Big Mama’s Meal Prep was founded. But as her popularity increased, so did the toll of making 300 plates of food. “We were spending 8 a.m. to midnight making meals,” she says, laughing. “I thought. ‘Oh my gosh, this is ruining my parents’ lives!’”
Thankfully, she brought on an executive chef to take Big Mama’s to the next level. Just like that, she went from 10 clients to 200. What started as a challenge to her clients to eat healthier suddenly became a full-blown self-startup. Anyone who knows Manzo-Cieply would say she’s confident at TITLE, but she says it wasn’t always like that. At one point, she says, her eating habits were horrific. “I thought, ‘How can I own two gyms and gain weight and let myself go like this?’” Manzo-Cieply says. One day was particularly low for her. “I had this one purple tank top I wore one day, and Manzo-Cieply’s favorite three people asked dish? Buffalo chicken when I was excasserole – she loves the me pecting,” she says. spice! “One person actually hugged me and said how happy she was to see that I was pregnant.” Manzo-Cieply wasn’t expecting, though. She went home that day more upset than ever, and knew her life had to change. She buckled down and began meal prepping. “Anyone can fall off the wagon,” she insists. “I’m proof you can get back on the healthy train again.” As a mother of two and a busy business owner, Manzo-Cieply understands the stresses of life and how much that 19
A Little Chat with Big Mama
can take a toll on your health and fitness. Where did your nickname Big That’s why she’s passionate about serving Mama come from? the community and helping change lives “I got the name from being the owner one bite at a time. With so many dieters and trainer at my gym. Everyone called thinking they have to starve themselves or me Big Mama, as in the “big boss” in snack on celery all day, eating Big Mama’s charge. The rest of my staff had nicknames keto bacon cheeseburger skillets, keto like Uncle John and Aunt Cassie, and we bacon and brie quiche, and keto cookie would refer to each other with these famdough bites is certainly shocking. ily names. Well, my name stuck.” “People always ask, ‘Is this real?’” What’s your favorite meal to make? Manzo-Cieply says, laughing, “but I do “While my executive chefs make all calculate in the nutrition for everything the food, I love making desserts. Some we have. I love it. It’s just really fun.” of my favorite things to make are the Overall, Big Mama is there for those keto chocolate chip cookies and the who think getting healthy is a terrain too keto chocolate cheesecake bombs.” rough to tackle. “You can do it,” she says. “I don’t stress quick fixes and diets. I encourage Mallory Arnold is an associate editor. making a healthier lifestyle change for a Feedback welcome at marnold@ better and healthier you.” cityscenemediagroup.com.
What’s your best piece of weight loss advice? “Low carb diets. By eating less carbs and higher fats and proteins, you eat fewer calories and feel fuller for longer. To me, this is the most effective way to lose weight.” What’s the worst piece of weight loss advice you’ve heard? “Liquid diets. This is not a good idea. It isn’t giving your body the right amount of nutrients and what your body needs. In fact, you usually gain weight because of it since you’re hungrier.”
The Party of the Decade A dive into the Pickerington Food Pantry’s third Hope Gala
By Brittany Mosley
Photos courtesy of Pickerington Food Pantry
an you believe 1920 was 100 years ago? Gone are the days of flappers and the Ford Model T, the new decade is here and with that comes the second, hopefully, Roaring ’20s. Unfortunately, a harsh reality that hasn’t changed after 100 years is that people and families still go hungry. The Pickerington Food Pantry will help combat this problem with a little nostalgia during its third Hope Gala on March 14. After the success of the 2019 Godfather theme, this year will celebrate the 1920s at The Wigwam in similar fashion. From gambling to surprises, you won’t want to miss this black tie event. www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
The 2019 Hope Gala, which featured a Godfather theme. 21
Which 2021 Theme Will You Pick? Mardi Gras Fire and Ice Disco Night Throwback to High School Prom Violet Ball
The Hope Gala began in 2018 as a way to connect the community and put on a party for a wholesome cause. Prior to the Hope Gala, the panty only featured familyoriented fundraisers, such as the Play 4 the Pantry on July 4 and its Christmas Festival of Lights. The pantry knew it was missing an opportunity to reach even more people. “The thought was to bring a more formal event to Pickerington that would also raise money for the pantry,” says Vanessa Niekamp, executive director of the pantry. “We already had two familyoriented events, so I looked at a more formal, adult event. It’s worked really well for us.” The first one was such a hit that they immediately began planning the next one. Despite only having enough space to sell 250 tickets, the gala is the biggest fundraiser the pantry hosts, raising upward of $40,000 in a single night. Even more, Niekamp says the pantry can compound that money to help more families in need of emergency food assistance. “For every dollar that we raise, we turn it into $11 worth of food through our partnership with Mid-Ohio Foodbank. That kind of revenue coming into the pantry really helps us to provide enough food for everybody who might seek assistance,” Niekamp says. 22
Cheers to Partying Even though the event is fairly new, the pantry quickly learned what the people want. This year will once again include casino tables, a dance floor and raffle prizes. But the 2020 event will include an intriguing twist at the end of the night. Gala attendees will vote for next year’s theme, which will be counted and revealed at the end of the night. Niekamp says they have narrowed it down to five exciting themes for guests to choose from. The Hope Gala’s success is now something everyone at the food pantry depends upon, especially this year. “The gala is super important to us in 2020. The tax changes that occurred last
tax period really impacted individual donations to the food pantry. This year, people have donated less overall, so it is more important that the gala be as big a success as it has been in the past,” says Niekamp. Tickets are going fast – almost 100 tickets were sold before 2019 came to an end. The Gala is set for March 14 at The Wigwam. The $75 ticket includes a meal and two drink tickets, but don’t forget to bring extra cash for the casino and raffle prizes. Brittany Mosley is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at feedback@ cityscenemediagroup.com.
By Zoë Glore
Student Spotlight features a student from an area high school in every issue.
More to Know PNHS senior travels near and far for the chance to learn and lead
ickerington High School North senior Elise Moore is not shying away from new opportunities. Moore is involved in a variety of organizations that appeal to her ambitious nature including Sunny Side Up, National Honor Society and Tea Club. She also tutors younger students in reading. While that is more than enough to keep her busy, Moore is also a part of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). The international student organization seeks to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and cultivate the passion in the next generation of health care professionals. Moore’s interest in HOSA started years ago, after she sustained a soccer-related injury. “I ended up having to have knee surgery,” says Moore. “I found interest in medicine because I wanted to help athletes get back onto the field. … I think my interest in orthopedic surgery is mainly because of the injuries I’ve had and how much better rehabilitation was because of the doctors I worked with.” After competing and making it to the HOSA national competition last year in Orlando, Florida, Moore is leading the pack as chapter president.
Moore and her mother www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
However, all this hasn’t quite kept her busy enough. With the help of advisor Andy Harris, Morre has started new initiatives for HOSA. “For the past few years, HOSA is really only active around competition time. I wanted to do more than just competitions, so one thing we started were STEM days with the elementary schools,” Moore says. “Mr. Harris helped
me to organize and select students to go to Pickerington Elementary. We brought cool gadgets and organs, and talked to the kids about the heart.” Moore is always looking for more ways to learn and lead, which brought her to the 2018 Education First Berlin Summit. Education First offers students opportunities to learn about a variety of topics through its academic programs all over the world. 23
Keeping busy, Moore mentors a third-grade student after school.
“It was a really cool experience. I had never been to Europe and it really made learning more fun because I got to sightsee and hear some influential people speak,” she says. “I got to have conversations with people my age with similar interests.” Being able to hear the various speakers was her favorite part of the experience – she attended talks by child inventor Ann Makosinski and former Facebook market director and spokesperson Randi Zuckerberg. Hearing these women speak made an impact on Moore as she feels that women are often underrepresented at leadership conferences. Moore hopes to get into Case Western Reserve University and medical school someday, and is looking at traveling abroad again. Clearly, she’s open to whatever opportunities come her way. “I’ve learned the importance of trying new things and stepping outside of my comfort zone,” she says. “I’m not afraid to be shot down and speak up when I have an idea, no matter how big or small I think it is. I think it’s really helped in my leadership role. It’s OK to use my voice and I want to do that.” Zoë Glore is an assistant editor. Feedback welcome at zglore@ cityscenemediagroup.com. Moore meets fun and interesting characters while traveling. 24
Photos courtesy of Elise Moore
Moore and her friends
Calling All Volunteers Local volunteer shares rewarding experience at OhioHealth’s Pickerington Medical Campus
For 2020, Pickerington Magazine will highlight various volunteer opportunities in the community.
Interested in volunteering at OhioHealth Pickerington Medical Campus? Contact Betz Steele at 614-566-8773.
By Lydia Freudenberg
Photos courtesy of OhioHealth
uring a routine mammogram at OhioHealth, Donna Bradtke learned that the health system offers various volunteer opportunities and her interest was piqued. Shortly after, she began volunteering at the OhioHealth Pickerington Medical Campus. Over the last four years, Bradtke has logged more than 680 hours of service. She mostly helps in the imaging department, but also folds linens, prepares rooms, greets visitors and helps with wheelchair transportation. “It really makes your day to know you’ve accomplished something and maybe made somebody’s day a little brighter,” Bradtke says. According to Betz Steele, the volunteer coordinator for OhioHealth, Bradtke is basically the only volunteer at the PMC location. Steele says the campus can use more assistance, and with the possibility of adding volunteer staff to the emergency room, the call for help is getting louder. “I would very much love having more people with welcoming faces as greeters as members of the community come in the front www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
“The staff has really been kind, especially after my husband passed away about a year ago. They gave me a reason to get up and do this. They’ve been there for me,” she says. “It’s just a really nice, happy place to be.” Along with greeting people or helping in imaging, Bradtke also speaks with patients, an aspect of the volunteer program she finds most enjoyable. “We don’t want patients to wait, that’s not good for them or us, but sometimes we run a little behind, like in the mammogram area. There, I’ll sit down with the ladies waiting and we just chit-chat, we’re laughing and carrying on,” Bradtke says. Bradtke knows the PMC is in need of volunteers, so she encourages people to sign up. Betz Steele “If you care about people in your community you should volunteer, and it door,” Steele says. “It’s just so rewarding (to gives you a sense of pride; I’m very proud volunteer), you’re a part of a new community to say I volunteer,” she says. “I feel like givwhen you make that connection.” ing my time is more important than giving Being a solo volunteer doesn’t discour- a check. My time is worth something.” age Bradtke. Because Bradtke works closely with staff, she has made lifelong friends. Lydia Freudenberg is an editor. She hasn’t just helped them; they have Feedback welcome at lfreudenberg@ helped her through difficult times, too. cityscenemediagroup.com. 25
Around Pickerington Celebrating the Holiday Season
Photos courtesy of the City of Pickerington and Pickerington Village Association
Submitted by Colleen Bauman, Community Engagement Manager Pickerington Public Library
by Aurelie Chien Chow Chine Little Unicorn has a magical rainbow mane that changes color to reflect exactly how he is feeling, and Little Unicorn’s mane changes colors a lot! Luckily, Little Unicorn has some special tips and tricks to tame and understand his emotions, returning his mane to a rainbow. Check out Little Unicorn is Angry, Little Unicorn is Sad and more.
My Mixed Emotions
by Maureen Healy for DK Books Children feel big emotions and need help from the adults in their lives to learn about these feelings. My Mixed Emotions is a tool to explain emotions; where they’re created in the brain and how they affect the whole body. Help children work through how to stay patient when angry or jealous, beat the blues when sad, and stay positive and grateful, all while celebrating their differences.
A Waldorf Guide to Children’s Health
by Dr. Michaela Glockler, Dr. Wolfgang Goebel, Dr. Karin Michael Written to encourage parents to deal with their children’s health in a more holistic and integrative approach, this guide is newly revised to cover a variety of topics and focus on practical medical advice.
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens
by Michael A. Tompkins, Jonathan R. Barkin (eBook available on Overdrive/Libby) Between school, tests, college applications, social situations and relationships, teens are confronted by stressful situations from all sides. This workbook can help teens develop a personalized plan to reduce stress and work through negative thoughts to meet their goals and be successful.
Beneath the Surface
by Kristi Hugstad A teen’s guide to reaching out when you or your friend is in crisis. This comprehensive guide provides information, encouragement and tactical guidance when you or a friend is experiencing daily pressures, eating disorders, bullying, self-harm, addictions, or struggling with depression and anxiety.
Cook with Amber by Amber Kelley Award-winning teen chef and star of the online series Cook with Amber, Kelley shares recipes that will empower other teens to get in the kitchen, take charge of their health and have fun with food!
Nature’s Best Remedies
by Nancy J. Hajeski for National Geographic Discover the benefits of natural alternatives for general health and wellness. Learn how tweaking your diet and consuming certain nutrients can be beneficial to combating serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Part one of this book, Nature’s Cures, covers remedies for common physical ailments while part two, Nature’s Pharmacopoeia, includes medicinal herbs, oils and spices.
by Jackson MacKenzie The author, cofounder of www.psy chopathfree.com, an online support community for abuse survivors, shares that it’s possible to work through symptoms of trauma by moving past the old defenses to live a full and authentic life – to feel whole and ready for love.
Stop Doing That SH*T
by Gary John Bishop End self-sabotage and demand your life back! Whether it pertains to your career, finding the right partner, struggling with finances or health goals, it all comes down to self-sabotage. The best-selling author of Unfu*k Yourself shares his “urban philosophy” of empowering the reader to translate their most negative thoughts and behaviors into positive thoughts and actions.
Magazines Magazines available digitally on Flipster and in print that promote a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.
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Pickerington Public Library Visit us in person and online: www.pickeringtonlibrary.org Pickerington Public Library Main 201 Opportunity Way Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 1-5 p.m. Sycamore Plaza Library 7861 Refugee Rd. Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday 1-5 p.m. www.pickeringtonlibrary.org www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
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Darlene Kuzmic (614) 531-2050 Darlene@TeamKuzmic.com
Darlene Kuzmic (614) 531-2050 Darlene@TeamKuzmic.com
Sale Pending 720 Montmorency Dr E, Pickerington Well-maintained home w/4 spacious bedrooms and 3 full baths. Expansive 2-story living room opens to the loft upstairs. Kitchen features newer countertops & appliances and center island with breakfast seating. Large bay window & double patio door entry into kitchen & casual dining area. First floor laundry next to kitchen. Updated lighting & plumbing fixtures.
3863 Astor Ave New driveway, roof, furnace, AC, and water heater! New lighting fixtures and fan in the kitchen. Completely refurbished bathroom with new tub, toilet and vanity. Added glass-block windows in basement as well as gas pipes and gas meter. 6’ privacy fence in HUGE back yard. Includes washer and dryer and small freezer. Freshly painted and ready for you to move in!
Showcase your home listings to every homeowner in Pickerington and Violet Township. Your listings will also appear in the digital edition of the magazine, hosted on the Pickerington Magazine home page: www.pickeringtonmagazine.com
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