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Heavy Lifting Westerville strongwoman Brooke Sousa

Prison Outreach Westerville Chamber Celebrates 50 Years Author Visits

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Garth Bishop Managing Editor

Amanda DePerro Assistant Editors Jenny Wise

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4 January/February 2018




06 community calendar

CityReporter News and Information from the City of Westerville

09 city reporter

News and Information from the City of Westerville

15 faces

Get Something Special For Your Someone Special!

Lifting Spirits

Westerville’s ‘She-Hulk’ is one of the strongest women in the world

18 in focus

Betterment Behind Bars

Otterbein programs bring intellectual freedom to people who are incarcerated

20 Taking Care of Business


Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates 50 years

22 Around Westerville 24 The Write Stuff

Westerville Public Library brings nationally-known authors to town

26 living

Back in Style

Outdated Westerville kitchen gets an extreme update

28 on the table


Read more online at

Westerville organizations beat the cold with fun, food-filled events


Find Westerville Magazine on Facebook

Chili Weather

Recommendations from the Westerville Public Library

On the Cover: Brooke Sousa Photo by Jeffrey S. Hall Photography Story on page 15

January/February 2018



SAT FRI THU 4 3 2 11 10 9 8 18 7 17 6 16 5 15 25 14 24 13 23 12 22 21 31 20 30 19 29 28 27 26




Jan. 1


OhioHealth First on the First 5K 11 a.m., Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave.,

Jan. 2-May 6

Stories from Life: A Sufi-Inspired Journey of Past and Present Fisher Gallery, Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St.,

Jan. 8-Feb. 9

We’re Just a Smile Away! Stephen R Malik, DDS –General Dentistry– Dr. Malik has more than 25 years of experience.

OFFERING: Gentle Caring Staff Same Day Crowns Botox®

Art Faculty and Staff Exhibition Miller Gallery, Art and Communication Building, 33 Collegeview Rd.,

Jan. 10

Preschool Open House 6:30-8 p.m. Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave.,

Jan. 10-Apr. 28

Another Place: Images and Stories from a Refugee’s World Frank Museum of Art, 39 S. Vine St.,

Jan. 13

Jan. 25

Jan. 15

Jan. 26

Jan. 19-20

Jan. 27-29

Winter Hike 10 a.m., Sharon Woods Metro Park, 6911 Cleveland Ave., Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Breakfast Celebration 8 a.m., Villa Milano Banquet & Conference Center, 1630 Schrock Rd., Columbus, Festival: A Two-Day Celebration of StudentImagined Work 8 p.m., Campus Center Theatre, 100 W. Home St.,

Jan. 21

Winter Hike 2 p.m., Inniswood Metro Gardens, 940 S. Hempstead Rd.,



Nitrous Oxide

Jan. 23

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Another Place: Images and Stories from a Refugee’s World

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Breakfast Celebration

Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce 50th Anniversary Business Seminar Followed by Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, 200 Green Meadows Dr. S., Lewis Center, www.

Meet the Author: A.J. Tata 7 p.m., Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St., Westerville Historical Society presents Westerville Firefighting 7:30 p.m., Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St., Westerville Central High School presents Game of Tiaras 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 and 28, 3 p.m. Jan. 29; Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave.,

Jan. 27-Feb. 4

32nd Annual Quilt Show 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 27, 28, Feb. 3, 4; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Jan. 30-Feb. 2; Inniswood Metro Gardens, 940 S. Hempstead Rd.,

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Through Feb. 1

Paint the ’Ville Teal State Street, Uptown Westerville,


Feb. 1-4

Westerville Community

Westerville South High School presents Twelfth Night 7 p.m. Feb. 1, 2 and 3; 2 p.m. Feb. 4; Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave., www. souththeatredepartment

Bowl-A-Thon February 17, 2018 Supporting the Westerville Education Foundation and the Westerville Community.

Feb. 2

Father & Daughter Dance 6:30-8:30 p.m., Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave.,

Feb. 3

Chilly Open Noon-5 p.m., Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Rd., Powell,

Photos courtesy of Otterbein University, Leadership Westerville and Jen Brown

Feb. 9-25

Columbus Square Shopping Center

Feb. 17

Westerville Community Bowl-a-thon 11:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Columbus Square Bowling Palace, 5707 Forest Hills Blvd., Columbus, www.

Feb. 24

Westerville Symphony presents Tunes & Tales 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.; Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St., www.

Curtain Players Theatre presents Lettice and Lovage 8 p.m. Feb. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24; 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25; Curtain Players Theatre, 5691 Harlem Rd., Galena,

Feb. 17

Feb. 24

Feb. 13

Feb. 17-March 3

21st Annual Juried Student Exhibition Miller Gallery, Art and Communication Building, 33 Collegeview Rd.,

March 1-4

A Night with the Author: Janet Meeks 5:30-7:30 p.m., Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St., www.

Feb. 15-24

Otterbein University presents The Diary of Anne Frank 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15; 8 p.m. Feb. 16, 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24; Fritsche Theatre, Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St.,

Voted Best Bowling Alley in Columbus / 2017

Westerville Community Bowl-a-thon

Jazz Brew Concert Series 7:30 p.m., Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave.,

Feb. 18

Westerville Concert Band presents Children’s Concert 4 p.m., Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave., www.wester

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Introducing Westerville TV Now, more people are “cutting the cord” with cable than ever before. Last summer, Fortune magazine reported the five largest U.S. pay-TV (cable) providers – including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon – lost more than a half-million customers by midyear. These customers are paying for Internet service and typically using high-definition antennas to access local network channels for news, local sports and information. Trends in TV had an impact on your local government because of the publicly-owned, educational or governmental (PEG) channel: WOCC-TV, also known as Channel 3. WOCC, operated by and in partnership with Otterbein University’s Department of Television for many years, aired public meetings, including Westerville City Council, general interest community programming and Otterbein student-produced content. Through the combined expansion of cable and satellite program selections and online streaming content, viewership significantly declined over the years. In the last two biennial resident surveys (2014 and 2016), the City asked for feedback on WOCC. In 2014, only a little more than a quarter of residents (27 percent) said they have watched programming on WOCC in the past two years, which was a statistically significant decline from the previous time we asked: 36 percent in 2012. It further declined in 2016: Only 18 percent of survey respondents said they watched WOCC in the past two years. With such a small segment of the community tuning in for public

casting, and more services moving online with on-demand capabilities, the City and Otterbein made the decision to discontinue the channel. Instead, both the City and the University are

Westerville TV programming will be available on the City’s website.

taking more video online to direct streaming services. WOCC faded to black on Dec. 31. The City has since launched Westerville TV exclusively online at www. This is now the portal for live and on-demand video from public meetings, community events and feature stories. News, weather and announcements are updated frequently. Fans of Otterbein programming may still find student-produced content online at Westerville City Manager David Collinsworth said the transition, though the end of a tradition known by some

longtime Westerville citizens, is a fiscally responsible decision. “Operating a television station is no small task, and we were quite lucky to have the capabilities and expertise of Otterbein University for that purpose,” said Collinsworth. “Yet, when we took a critical look at our costs to operate, the trends in screen time, and compared that to declining viewership, making some changes to content and bringing that online was clearly the most logical course of action.” Denise Shively, Ph.D., Otterbein professor and chair of the Department of Communications, said the university has similar considerations in mind, along with a responsibility to introduce the most relevant technology to students pursuing careers in television. “As technology has advanced, we have worked with the City of Westerville to provide a seamless transition from cable television delivery of information to streaming on the web,” said Shively. “Otterbein’s students are also adapting to shifts in technology. Video is still a preferred means of information as audiences look for visual stories. However, those stories are now delivered primarily to mobile devices and through many platforms, including social media and organizational websites. Our student media reporters now work in a digital environment where they learn to produce stories tapping their integrated writing, video and audio skills.” For more information, or to access Westerville TV, please visit www. January/February 2018



Staff Profile

The Minds Behind the Maps employees can see where departments, offices and meeting rooms are located.

Emily Schaefer and Ryan Kelley maintain important geographic data for the City.

From snow plowing to planning and development to law enforcement operations, the City of Westerville runs on maps. In charge of managing the City’s geographically-referenced information is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team, a dynamic duo made up of Ryan Kelley and Emily Schaefer. Together, they work with all City departments to create maps that are functional and fun to use. They have even helped produce a number of maps for public use, which can be found at www. What’s the best thing about your job with the City? Kelley: Every day is different. Some days Emily and I focus more on IT work and data management. Other days, it is more about designing graphics and displaying information in a useful, cartographic way. There is always 10 January/February 2018

a challenging project, but it is fun to provide GIS data for both City employees and residents. Schaefer: I’ll have to say two things. First, the people; I have great co-workers and have met some really great friends through this job. Second, I love getting to work with all of the different City departments. What’s your favorite City project? Kelley: The GoWesterville web map application we created to give citizens a better understanding of the construction projects going on around the City. It was a complex initiative that required us to give people as much information as possible, but in a very simple-to-use and visually pleasing way. Schaefer: One of my favorite things to do is draw building plans and create floor plan layouts. Right now, we are working to map City buildings so that

What’s something about your job that might surprise people? Kelley: I think a lot of people might be surprised to know how much City data and City-owned assets have geographic components. We help to manage databases that have geographic information, ranging from underground utilities and fire hydrants to bikeways and City-maintained trees. Knowing the exact location of these assets is important. Schaefer: While Ryan and I make up the GIS team, there are people in every department who contribute to collecting and updating City data. This allows us to collect and manage more information and each department to be closer to their data. What do you like to do outside of work? Kelley: I am an avid Cleveland and The Ohio State University sports fan, so much of my time is spent figuring out how to coordinate watching, or attending, as many of the games as possible. I also enjoy playing guitar, going to concerts and taking my awesome Boston terrier, Jasper, on as many walks as he wants. Schaefer: I like to run, hike and canoe when the weather is nice, and I like activities like ice skating and indoor rock climbing. I also like to read, and I volunteer locally with CART (Citizen’s Auxiliary Resource Team) and SARNCO (Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio).


Public Safety Profile

Know the Tell-Tale Signs of Scammers in Action

The Westerville Division of Police (WPD) is encouraging residents to remember the golden rule of scam avoidance: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Each year, millions of people fall prey to highpressure scammers looking for a quick buck. “These crimes are difficult to solve because usually, the scammers are targeting a large number of people in a short amount of time. It’s hard to find people to prosecute,” said WPD Lt. Charles Chandler. “The best thing is to get educated to avoid becoming a victim in the first place.” He encourages residents to be aware of the signs of three common scams: 1. It’s a call from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you’re in big trouble. How it works: You receive a call, email or text message from someone claiming to be from the IRS, claiming you’ve missed a tax payment or need to verify your personal information. You’d better act fast, or there will be dire consequences. The tell-tale sign: “The IRS is not going to call, text or email you first,” said Lt. Chandler. “If they need to get ahold of you, they will send correspondence through certified mail. Also, people from official government agencies aren’t going to act aggressively toward a resident.” How to handle it: If it’s a text message or email, Lt. Chandler recommends you simply ignore it and refrain from clicking any links. If you find yourself on the phone with a possible scammer, he suggests keeping the conversation short and formal. “Tell them, for your safety, you don’t take unsolicited calls. Ask for their name and contact information. Then visit for a phone number to call and verify the information.”

2. Your relative is in jail and needs money fast. How it works: You receive a call from a relative in a panic. Or a “police officer” calls. Your relative needs money fast to get out of jail. The tell-tale sign: “Police departments don’t just solicit money to get people out of charges,” said Lt. Chandler. “In the justice system, there are set legal processes that must be followed. Anytime you’re in a situation where it seems a government official is trying to get around a process in exchange for cash, it’s time to disconnect.” How to handle it: “You need to ask for the exact name of the law enforcement agency you’re supposedly dealing with, and the name and title of the officer you or the relative is supposedly talking to,” he said. “Then tell them that you’re going to independently verify the information.” 3. An unknown relative just passed away and you just hit the jackpot. How it works: A “lawyer” notifies you that you are his or her deceased client’s only living heir. All that stands between you and a big inheritance check is a sizable processing fee. The tell-tale sign: “This is the classic application for, ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,’” said Lt. Chandler. “If you’re getting a big inheritance, no one is going to ask you for money in order to receive it. Any kind of payments for attorney fees would come out of the estate.” How to handle it: Lt. Chandler recommends you approach the news skeptically and take time to peruse the obituaries or court documents

in the area from which this relative supposedly lived. “This is another case where, more than likely, you would receive notification through certified mail. Do some research and see if you can actually find the person in your family tree,” he said. In all of the above situations, Lt. Chandler said residents should be wary of anyone who pressures them to make fast transactions, requests payment up front and/or solicits unconventional, difficult-to-track forms of payment, such as gift cards. For more information about common scams targeting citizens, visit www.usa. gov/common-scams-frauds.

These crimes are difficult to solve because usually, the scammers are targeting a large number of people in a short amount of time. It’s hard

to find people to prosecute.

January/February 2018



Economic Development Profile

Windsor Bay Shopping Center Thrives Under New Ownership

Before it was purchased by Florida-based Gordon Realty LLC in May 2015, the Windsor Bay Shopping Center posed a bit of a conundrum. Located between the scenic Hoover Reservoir and desirable neighborhoods, the 109,000plus square foot neighborhood center hovered at just around 20 percent occupancy. Despite its strategic location, the shopping center never quite recovered from losing major tenant Big Bear, which vacated in 2004. The opportunity was not lost on Todd Gordon, manager of Gordon Realty LLC. “The area had strong demographics, which includes income and population,” said Gordon. “It’s a community center so traffic counts were consistent. We saw a lot of upside through re-tenanting the vacancies and renovating the exterior of the property.” Renovate Gordon Realty did. Work began to install a new metal roof, paint the façade, improve the parking lot and divide the former grocery box into three distinct spaces. “You now have an expanse of residents who can walk or quickly drive from their homes to a newly-renovated shopping center with great restaurants, convenient shopping and other excellent amenities,” said Jason Bechtold, Economic Development Director for the City of Westerville. “That’s all thanks to the great private investment that was made in the property.” The improvements paid off in a big way, with occupancy jumping to 90 percent. Today, the shopping center offers restaurants such as Great Asian Restaurant, Minico’s Italian Restaurant and Subway, as well as Time & Change; and retailers such as anchor tenant CVS and Ace Hardware, not to mention experiential offerings such as Rockin’ Jump indoor trampoline park and Next Level Fitness and Training. 12 January/February 2018

The Windsor Bay Shopping Center, located at County Line and Sunbury roads, has undergone a considerable transformation.

“We are very happy to be doing business with the City of Westerville. We hope the residents will continue to patronize the businesses there for their continued success,” Gordon said. “We hope we have filled a void in the community and will continue to maintain this property to the highest level.” The area has benefited from public investment as well. In early November, the City of Westerville completed a joint project with the Delaware County Engineer’s Office to improve safety and reduce congestion by adding a northbound and center turn lane along Sunbury

Road, between Maxtown and County Line roads. The project, which was primarily funded with a $6.2 million federal grant, also added sidewalks along the north side of the shopping center and connected the area to the City’s expansive trail system and the newly-renovated Towers Park. Gordon made it clear that Windsor Bay will continue to be a priority as he looks to fill the remaining vacancies with exciting, useful tenants and with renovations wrapping up in 2018. To learn more about Economic Development in the City, visit business.

City Recognizes Employee of the Year Nominees for Outstanding Service Each year, the City of Westerville recognizes staff members for their dedication and commitment to their jobs and the residents of Westerville. The following employees were nominated as Employee of the Year by their staff colleagues. The recipient of the Employee of the Year will be profiled in the March/April edition of Westerville Magazine. Amy Nash-Moneypenny Bryan Wagner Dan Langton Karen Grise Megan Arnold

Michael Phillips Pierre LaRose Sarah Hysell Steve Morlan Tom Wilcox


Mark Your Calendars

This Day in History

Fire Fought in Negative Temps Today, the Westerville Division of Fire is able to respond to emergencies in about four minutes. It’s hard to imagine a time where a fire on North State Street would have required a 20-minute response time and, worse yet, getting the attention of firefight- The Westerville fire bell ers required running to the center now hangs above the main of town and ringing a bell. entrance to Westerville Fire Such was life 100 years ago Station 111, 400 W. Main St. in Westerville. In January 1918, The Public Opinion reported that an overheated gas stove caused an early morning fire in a vacant building on North State Street. A resident noticed the fire on his way to work and began ringing the City fire bell “until his fingers became so numbed with cold that he could scarcely stand it.” When the volunteer firefighters arrived, they got to work in the 20-below-zero conditions. While the fire caused damage to the building, the firefighters suffered as well. Even the Chief reported “three fingers, both ears and the toes on both feet frozen during the fire.” This and hundreds of other fascinating facts, materials and artifacts are on display at the Westerville Public Library’s Local History Center. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Sunday. Visit www.westervillelibrary/ antisaloon to learn more.

Westerville Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration Monday, Jan. 15 Registration begins 7:30 a.m., Breakfast 8 a.m. The Westerville community will celebrate the 13th-annual Westerville Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration at the Villa Milano Banquet & Conference Center (1630 Schrock Rd.) on Monday, Jan. 15. All are invited to join this morning of unity, song and celebration of “The Simple Art of Living Together.” The morning’s theme is ‘Never Lose Infinite Hope’ and will feature live entertainment by the Tony Hagood Trio and keynote speaker, Dr. Charles Booth. Find more information online at State of the Community Address Tuesday, Feb. 27 The annual State of the Community address will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Westerville City Hall (21 S. State St.). Westerville City Council and City Manager David Collinsworth will be joined by leadership from Westerville City Schools, Otterbein University, Westerville Public Library and the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce to address Westerville residents. The broadcast will be available online at Apply for Westerville Citizen’s Academy Deadline: Friday, March 30 Registration is open for the 2018 Westerville Citizen’s Academy (WCA). In its sixth year, this popular eight-week class gives residents a hands-on opportunity to learn about, explore and engage with all 10 City departments. This interactive experience is for residents with questions about how their local government functions, the thought processes behind major improvement projects and those who would like the opportunity to interact with City staff in a learning environment. Find more information at

Westerville City Council Organizes for Next Two-Year Term Westerville City Council announced its 2018-2020 structure during an organizational meeting on Friday, Dec. 1. Councilmembers elected in November began their term on Dec. 1 after taking an oath of office in Council Chambers. Council elected the following members to serve two-year terms as Council Chair, Council Vice Chairperson, Mayor and Vice Mayor. For the next two years, Mike Heyeck will serve as Council Chair, Diane Fosselman will serve as Vice Chair, Craig Treneff will serve as Mayor and Kathy Cocuzzi will serve as Vice Mayor. Also determined at the Dec. 1 organization meeting were appointments of

members to numerous committees and boards on which Council members serve. Valerie Cumming and Alex Heckman were welcomed as incoming Councilmembers, having each won a seat in the Nov. 7 election. Larry Jenkins, who was elected to Council in 2009, and John Bokros, who was appointed to Council in 2015 to fill an unexpired term, were each recognized for their service. Councilmembers Cocuzzi and Heyeck were returned to their seats for another four-year term. “Westerville City Council has a new composition, but will be getting right back to work for the community we

serve,” said Treneff. “There are fingerprints of service all across Westerville that belong to Larry Jenkins and John Bokros. I want to thank both men for their leadership and commitment over their terms on Council. I’m also looking forward to working with Valerie Cumming and Alex Heckman. Westerville is in good hands with the individuals they have elected to serve them.” Westerville City Council consists of seven at-large members elected to four-year overlapping terms in nonpartisan elections. Municipal elections are held in odd-numbered years, with four seats filled in one election and three seats filled in the next election. January/February 2018



Mini Shutterbugs Every year, the “Shutterbugs” submitted photo feature that runs in the July/ August edition of Westerville Magazine has been overwhelmingly popular. For that reason, we’ve decided to give our readers more opportunities to send in their photos and feature one per issue in this space. This issue’s photo was submitted by Linda Laine. Mini Shutterbugs will be discontinued after this issue. Thanks to all who participated!

Westerville Community Contacts FIRE/MEDICAL/POLICE EMERGENCY. 9-1-1 Gas/Carbon Monoxide Leaks. . . . . . . . . . . 9-1-1 Mental Health Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1-1 Fire, non-life threatening emergency. 882-2213 Police, non-life threatening emergency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882-7444 City Website. . . . . . . . . . . . . Community Affairs .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... 901-6400 Animal Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6863 Animal Removal (dead at roadside). . . 901-6740 Cemeteries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 City Manager’s Office. . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6400 TDD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6413 Clerk of Council. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6410 Digging (Ohio Utilities Protection Service). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-362-2764 Economic Development. . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6403 Electric Division . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6700 Electrical Outages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6700 Street Lights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6700 Tree Trimming Near Electric Lines. . 901-6700 Finance Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6440 Fire Division Headquarters. . . . . . . . . 901-6600 CPR/First Aid Training. . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6600 Human Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6406 Income Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6420 Leaf Collection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Mayor’s Court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6419 TDD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6418 Parks & Recreation Department. . . . 901-6500 Inclement Weather Hotline . . . . . . . 901-6888 Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6530 Community Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6500 Everal Barn & Homestead . . . . . . . . 901-6570 Parks Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6591 Highlands Park Aquatic Center. . . . 901-7665 Recreation Program Center. . . . . . . 901-6531 Senior Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6560 Shelter Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6515 Urban Forestry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6598 Permits Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6650 Burning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6600 Parade/Block Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6410 Security Alarm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6482 Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6650 14 January/February 2018

Planning & Development Department. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6650 Planning, Engineering & Zoning. . . 901-6650 Traffic Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6670 Code Enforcement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6816 Police Division Headquarters. . . . . . . 901-6450 Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6470 Detectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6475 Patrol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6482 Recorded Information Line. . . . . . . . 901-6879 Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6450 Service Department. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Sewer Emergencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Sewer Line Maintenance. . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Stormwater Hotline. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Street Emergencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Street Maintenance Repairs. . . . . . . 901-6740 Trash/Recycling Collection. . . . . . . . 901-6740 Water Emergencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Water Line Maintenance. . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Traffic Violations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6419 Tree/Storm Damage (in right of way). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6591 After hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6790 Tree Trimming (in right of way). . . . . . . 901-6598 Utility Billing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6430 Water Plant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6770 Other Community Service Contacts Airport—Port Columbus. . . . . . . . . . . . 239-4083 Concord Counseling Services . . . . . . . 882-9338 COTA Bus Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228-1776 Delaware County General Information. . . . . . . . . 740-548-7313 Franklin County Board of Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525-3160 Property Taxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525-3696 Voter Registration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525-3100 Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital. . . . . 898-4000 Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882-8917 Westerville Area Resource Ministry. . . 899-0196 Westerville City Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . 797-5700 Westerville Historical Society. . . . . . . . 891-0821 Westerville Library. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882-7277 Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 794-0401

All area codes are 614 unless otherwise noted.

City Manager Dave Collinsworth

Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter: All-City news and information: @tellwesterville Westerville Electric Division: @WvilleElectric Westerville Parks & Recreation: @WestervillePark Westerville Division of Police: @WestervillePD Westerville Division of Fire: @WestervilleFire


By Lydia Freudenberg Photo by Jeffrey S. Hall Photography

Lifting Spirits Westerville’s ‘She-Hulk’ is one of the strongest women in the world


ix years ago, Westerville resident Brooke Sousa lived an entirely different lifestyle. Sousa was a stay-at-home mother with her two daughters, Zoe and Sophia, now ages 12 and 7. She had an unhealthy diet and very little interest in exercise. But when she looked at baby Sophia, she took a moment to reflect: It was time to start taking care of herself. In 2012, Sousa began working out. Since then, she has lost 115 pounds. January/February 2018


“I didn’t even know came together to lift lightweight medicine what strongwoman balls, do overhead presses with PVC pipes was,” she says. “It and pull toy boats. was like a 70-pound “People think kids lifting is a bad thing, dumbbell press (com- but it’s all in the fine motor skills we’re petition), and the most trying to teach kids,” Sousa says. “It was I had ever lifted was a good for them to see kids that were stron15-pound dumbbell.” ger than them and kids that were not. … Even with so little It just taught them good sportsmanship.” time to train, Sousa Zoe and Sophia were ecstatic to be part pushed herself and of the event, and began training 12 weeks came out on top, tak- prior with their mother. The girls happily ing home first place walked away with third- and second-place f o r h e r f i r s t - e v e r finishes in their age categories. Sousa says strongwoman com- it was fun for them to live out a strongpetition. She fell in woman competition. They even wore their love with the compe- “deadlift hair,” Sousa’s name for a funky titions, and can now ponytail on top of the head that, she says, deadlift more than helps release her inner She-Hulk. 500 pounds. In 2016, Sousa competed in her first Arnold Sports Festival strongwoman competition as an amateur. After a rude awakening to the strength and years of experience of the other competitors, Sousa hit the gym, participated in dozens of competitions Sousa recently competed in the Official Strongman Games in t h ro u g h o u t 2 0 1 6 , Raleigh, North Carolina. Competitors from 21 countries attend obtained her profesthe games. sional lifting card and qualified for the first Arnold Pro StrongShe hit one major milestone when she woman Contest in 2017. ran a marathon, then changed directions “(The Arnold) always gives me a goal to and started lifting weights. Today, accord- stick with and work harder,” Sousa says. Sousa says her kids loved the “StrongKids” ing to the Strongman Corporation, she is “What I do outside the gym really affects competitions and believes the competition the third-strongest woman in the U.S. and what I do in the gym, so it keeps me com- helps build sportsmanship. From what Sousa understands, the only StrongKids competithe fifth-strongest woman in the world. mitted even more.” tion in the region is in West Virginia, and this Despite the success she has enjoyed, Sousa won’t know if she qualified has inspired her to start petitioning for one Sousa’s goals are not yet complete. for Arnold Pro Strongwoman 2018 un- at the Arnold. “I was like, ‘No more excuses; it’s time til mid-January. In the to start taking care of myself,’” Sousa says. meantime, her four“I want people to realize just because you day-a-week training get married or have kids doesn’t mean you continues, along with have to lose yourself. You can have goals eating a balanced diet and still do it all. It’s just (a question of) – mostly of meat, rice how bad you want it.” and protein shakes – Sousa works as a certified personal all to help her become trainer at Next Level Fitness and Fitness stronger. And since her 19, both in Westerville, as well as with daughters see Sousa liftLudus Magnus, a weightlifting gym in Co- ing and eating well, her lumbus where she also trains for upcoming positive lifestyle is now heavyweight championships. inspiring her children. Her passion for heavy lifting began in In October 2016, 2014, after realizing her dislike for run- Sousa allowed her ning and finding herself unable to find girls to compete in the Sousa will add chains or bands to exercise equipment to create an enjoyable cardio routine. A co-worker StrongKids Halloween more weight and resistance when squatting. She encourages signed her up for a local strongwoman 2 event in West Virgin- women and men to break the American normal of running, and charitable event, and Sousa only had three ia. About 55 kids, split explore other workout methods: “You don’t have to run to lose weeks to train. into several age groups, weight or feel good about yourself.” 16 January/February 2018

“(When lifting) I feel non-human,” Sousa laughs. “In my head, I just feel like if I say that I’m She-Hulk, there is no way I can get injured and there is nothing that is impossible.” Sousa describes lifting hundreds of pounds as an out-of-body experience, but still memorizes the sensation of having that weight on her body so she can continuously recreate the strength. Sousa’s coach, Matt Wenning, a world recordholder in heavy weights, inspires her to work harder. “A lot of the time, he’ll be like, ‘Well, you just did my warm-up,’” Sousa laughs. “But one day, I will be stronger, and it just drives me to want more.” Using her training beyond the gym, Sousa has helped a woman who fell on ice by carrying her to her car and then driving the injured woman to the hospital. She also encouraged her family to pull over off the highway and, together, they helped a man push his car out of a ditch. Sousa says her family is the biggest support. Her sister watches Zoe and Sophia when the gym awaits, her mom helps prepare meals during a competition and, when it’s time for Sousa to impress the judges, her family and friends are her cheerleaders. “That’s what I love about going to the Arnold. You’ll just see everybody in my She-Hulk green color,” she says. “It’s really fun getting everybody involved because this isn’t something everybody can do. I like that I can live out a journey that others can only think about, but they’re a part of.” With 10 more years of heavy lifting events, she hopes, Sousa is always striving to lift more weight and one day be the strongest woman in the country. “Me being the strongest woman in the world or America, it’s not that time yet,” she says. “It will happen, but right now, I just have to get stronger.”

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Lydia Freudenberg is a contributing editor. Feedback welcome at

RELATED READS • New events at the 2018 Arnold • Arnold Kids Fitness Expo • Westerville student at Arnold’s Quest for Talent • Strongman competitor Joe Stanton

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January/February 2018


in focus

By Mikayla Klein

Betterment Behind Bars

Otterbein programs bring intellectual freedom to people who are incarcerated


Theater Bridging the gap between Otterbein’s campus and central Ohio prisons is theater professor Jessie Glover, who essentially directs a theater company inside Marion Correctional Institute. Together with the nonprofit Healing Broken Circles, she has developed collegecredit granting theater courses for the men there. During fall semester, Glover and Elise Woods taught a course called “The Craft of Acting” to 15 men at Marion Correctional. Together, they engaged in dramatic analysis, acting, directing and Reading transforming Shakespeare’s The Common Book ProThe Comedy of Errors. gram is the university’s firstFor their final project, year required reading expeeach student took a play from rience. This year’s Common Shakespeare’s canon and creBook is Just Mercy, in which ated an artistic response to it. author Bryan Stevenson This opportunity to create exposes troubling truths is what has left the biggest about the criminal justice impact on these men’s lives, system by recounting speGlover says. cific cases he’s taken. “Art can be freeing. It “Our entire campus combrings creative, munity is engaging with this intellectual freetopic throughout the course dom in the conof the year, and we are facilitext where they tating programs and actividon’t have physical ties that open us to dialogue Bryan Stevenson freedom,” she says. about societal issues,” says Masterson. “They can still work to As part of the program, Stevenson expand their universe visited Otterbein in October for a book and contribute meandiscussion and Q&A on prison reform. The ingfully to the lives of university also hosted public showings of one another and the relevant documentaries such as 13th and culture both inside and outside the prison.” The Loving Story, which explore racial The side effect of enriching art experiinequalities in prison and marriage. ences like this, Glover says, is changed tterbein University’s community is buzzing about prison reform. Through initiatives both on and off campus, students and faculty alike are actively engaging with deeply rooted problems in our nation’s justice system. “The concept of social justice is really strong among our campus culture and conversation, part of a larger campus tradition of social justice, equity and inclusion,” says Colette Masterson, director of Otterbein’s Center for Student Involvement. Otterbein has multiple programs in place to foster this critical thought, discussion and social action.

18 January/February 2018

Prison reform activist Bryonn Bain speaks at Otterbein University in April 2017.

human beings. The hope is that these changed lives will eventually form a selfsustaining company of actors that can create meaningful work for both inside and outside audiences. “There are people in prison who are working hard to be agents in their own transformation and rehabilitation,” says Glover. “I see people who are grateful and are striving.” Writing English professor Shannon Lakanen has developed a two-credit course called Memoir Writing in Prisons, bringing opportunities for creativity and imagination to men and women in prison. Authors Piper Kerman and Christopher Greathouse, who were already teaching in central Ohio prisons, reached out to Lakanen to build a syllabus that met Otterbein’s learning outcomes so their students could begin earning college credit. “Through meeting with Piper about the class she was teaching, I asked if my

ning creative writing students could sit in and observe her class,” says Lakanen. “We had no idea what we were getting into, but we were inspired and invigorated by the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to engage.” This marked the birth of the idea for a full-semester hybrid course offering. Now, Lakanen brings Otterbein students every other week to either Marion Correctional or the Ohio Reformatory for Women, where they sit in on Kerman’s and Greathouse’s class and discuss their writings with the students who are incarcerated. By fostering empathy and understanding, the course cultivates a sense of common humanity among the students. “What we’re finding most valuable is the lesson in human kindness inherently embedded in this set-up: what we discover when we open ourselves to exploring our connections with each other,” says Lakanen. The university is supportive of the continuation of the course this year and beyond. The vision, Lakanen says, is to add more courses in history or women’s, gender and sexuality studies, so the students who are incarcerated get more variety and meaningful opportunities to use their skills to impact the outside community. Despite the brokenness evident in the criminal justice system today, “as citizens and as people, we have an opportunity to try and make things better,” says Otterbein Interim Provost Wendy Sherman Heckler. These outreach and awareness programs are only the beginning of what is clearly a rapidly growing campus movement. As university students seek to view people who are in prison through the lens of their common humanity, both groups are empowered to create, collaborate and contribute meaningfully to the world. Mikayla Klein is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at

Piper Kerman, one of the course instructors in the prisons, will be speaking at Otterbein’s Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecture series in February. Formerly incarcerated herself, Kerman has penned her experiences into a memoir, Orange is the New Black, now a hit Netflix TV show. Now a Westerville resident, Kerman advocates for nationwide criminal justice reform. Her talk will continue the conversation about injustice begun by visiting scholar Bryonn Bain last year in his lecture on the abolition of the punishment paradigm. Kerman’s lecture is free to the public and will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall.

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RELATED READS • Woman helps prisoners train service dogs • Otterbein professor Candy Canzoneri • Otterbein professor Paul Wendel • Otterbein wrestling program • Otterbein partnership with Wesley Woods

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Taking Care of Business

Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates 50 years By Garth Bishop


hen the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce was incorporated on Dec. 5, 1967, there were five signatures on the agreement. Today, membership numbers are in the 600s. And as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Chamber is not just continuing to grow. It’s evolving, taking the lessons of the last five decades and figuring out how to best apply them to ensure the brightest future possible. Guiding Principles The Chamber’s mission upon its founding was to unite businesses, and to enhance the business climate and quality of life. Though its methods of achieving those goals have, by necessity, changed, the goals themselves remain in place. “That is still today what we want to impact,” says Chamber President and CEO Janet Tressler-Davis. “We strive to do (that) every day, so we really haven’t strayed too much from the crux of the Chamber of Commerce.”

The Chamber receives the Leadership in Grassroots Advocacy Award from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in 2016. 20 January/February 2018

The Chamber also continues to encourage businesses to support one another, an effort that has made an impact on the closeness of the business community. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to give back to the community, especially the business community, which is something that I serve professionally and have a vested interest in, because I also live here,” says Gwen Nichols of Nichols & Company CPAs, president of the Chamber’s board of trustees. “The Chamber is a big part of building a community.” In celebration of its 50 years, the Chamber will be honoring some of its long-standing linchpin members throughout 2018. “We’re going to be highlighting the businesses that have been part of our Chamber membership for all 50 years,” says Chamber Marketing and Communications Manager Matt Lofy. Those businesses are Associated Insurance Agencies Inc., Moreland Funeral Home and Westerville Square Inc. Planning The Chamber had 286 members when Davis started, which means membership has more than doubled in that quarter-century. But there’s more to gauging Westerville’s business success than membership numbers. Smart planning has helped ensure Westerville’s future, Davis says, and Chamber members often point to the city of Westerville’s smart strategies for growth as a major difference-maker. Likewise, the Chamber is a tireless advocate for smart growth strategies. “I think we’ve seen very responsible management of our city resources and very responsible growth,” Nichols says. The city’s annexation, 22 years ago, of 941 acres near the northern end of the city – the land on which the new Renaissance hotel is now being built – was a key acquisition, Davis says, contributing to a solid base of commercial development. It’s taken time for development to get going, but the land has assuredly helped the city compete with surrounding communities. “That 941 acres definitely put us on the map,” Davis says. Another key change that has helped Westerville remain competitive, Davis says, was the mid-2000s passage of liquor options allowing alcohol to be sold Uptown. Uptown had once been a destination due to unique boutique businesses such as Calico Cupboard and the Blue Goose, she says, but it was

Annual Meeting

The Chamber’s Golden Gala in November

Photos courtesy of Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce

ing fierce competition from other cities’ downtown areas, and the liquor option gave visitors more to do.

The first major event on the Chamber’s 2018 calendar is its Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, slated for Jan. 23. The highlight of the day will be a new addition to the programming: a speaking engagement with John Formica, which precedes the luncheon at 8:30 a.m. Formica, a former Disney executive, now works as a consultant, showing businesses how they can have a corporate culture like Disney’s. Formica is a high-caliber speaker, Davis says, and will offer attendees an opportunity they’re unlikely to find elsewhere. “We’ve had some businesses help us make it possible, and our board will be helping us make it possible, too,” she says. Following two sessions from Formica and a short break, the chamber will hand out its awards for Business Person of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and Small and Large Businesses of the Year.

Growth Chamber programming has expanded significantly in recent years. Two of the Chamber’s regular events are legacy events: the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce Music & Arts Festival, which will celebrate its 45th birthday in July, and the Evening of Elegance in November. More recent additions are the Taste of Westerville, which takes place in May this year, and the Westerville Young Professionals’ Network’s Uptown Shuffle in June. “The (Young Professionals Network) has really grown in their programming, from a couple of networking events to structured business and education seminars and professional training,” says Davis. The Young Professionals Network is one of many special interest groups the Chamber has started to better serve certain segments of the business community. Others include the Women in Business Network, the CPA Network, the Westerville Bar Association and Small Office Home Office (SOHO). There’s also the Leadership Westerville program, which has grown from seven weeks to nine months over its 27 years of existence. Though the program has its own board, it’s coordinated by the Chamber and managed by Lofy.

“We always join the chamber when we build a shopping center in a community. …I would say Westerville is probably the best run out of all of them.”

The Future As it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, the Chamber will recognize where it’s been, but Davis estimates that entails only about a quarter of 2018’s programming. More important, she says, is looking ahead and seeing how the organization can transform. “We want to make sure we’re on the forefront in providing services that our members need,” Davis says. The annual membership survey in January will help the Chamber figure out its next goals, and how it can continue to add new members and retain existing ones. It’s not growth for the sake of growth, she says; it’s to have a bigger base for networking. United businesses mean a more united community, with greater opportunities to share ideas and for members to volunteer in the community. “We do have a very engaged community … and that makes people feel more connected,” says Davis. It also aims to launch a new website in early 2018.

Chamber President and CEO Janet Tressler-Davis cuts the ribbon at the 2015 opening of the Cheryl & Co. flagship store in Westerville.

Garth Bishop is managing editor. Feedback welcome at

50th Anniversary Business Seminar Followed by Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Jan. 23, Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center A Night with the Author: Janet Meeks: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, Battelle Fine Arts Center

–George Hadler, CEO, the Hadler Companies (property manager for 50-year member Westerville Square Inc)

RELATED READS • Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn presents Commerce Crunch • Taste of Westerville 2017 winners • Chamber’s 2017 focus on leadership • More on Uptown Shuffle January/February 2018


Around Westerville Good Medicine Productions presents Uptown Scrooge Photos courtesy of Amy Taylor

Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce Golden Gala Photos courtesy of Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce

Want your snapshots to appear in print? Send your high-resolution shots to our photo account, Include your name and caption information. 22 January/February 2018

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The Write Stuff

Westerville Public Library brings nationally-known authors to town By Emily Real

Emily Real is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at 24 January/February 2018

• Westerville author Dr. Peter Rogers

Photos courtesy of Westerville Public Library and Erik Maasch


hen documentarian Ken Burns visited Westerville in 2011 to shoot a segment on Prohibition, it only made sense that he would come to the Westerville Public Library. Burns reviewed primary source materials available through the library’s Anti-Saloon League Museum and took some time to promote his documentary series on PBS. The popularity of that promotional visit resonated with library leaders, and was the genesis of its visiting author series. Today, that series has grown enough to bring in such big-name authors as Jay Jeanette Walls visits and speaks at Westerville Central Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why), High School in November. Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie), Piper Kerman (Orange is the New Black) and Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). 2018 Author Visits “Ever since (the beginning), it’s A.J. Tata, Direct Fire: Jan. 25 been growing, and we’ve been getting more relationships with publishers and stuff, which is good for booking writers Ernest Cline, Ready Player One: March 1 that would fit into the community,” says Erin Huffman, programming and community Kristy Woodson Harvey, The Secret to engagement coordinator. Southern Charm: April 23 The library’s main consideration in picking authors is to keep the genres and types Hillary Jordan, Mudbound: May 1 of writing that come to Westerville diverse and interesting every time. “We want to try to reach people who are reading all different types Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 of books,” Huffman says. “We try not to have all of the same types Ladies’ Detective Agency: Nov. 10 of authors, (and) try not to have it be very similar each time … and we’ve found that that’s been working really well.” The library’s major author visits usually entail a speaking engagement at one of the high schools. During a typical visit, the author presents for 45 minutes onstage, then answers audience questions. Afterward, attendees get a chance to meet and have their books signed by the author. A.J. Tata “It’s a hard balance to make sure that people are happy, because (the lines) can take hours,” Huffman says. “But in the end, when (attendees) get to that table and get to meet the author, and especially when we hear that RELATED READS some of these books have changed lives, we hear that it’s worth it.” Upcoming author visits include Ernest Cline (Ready Player One) on March 1 and Hillary Jordan (Mudbound) on May 1. • Tunes & Tales at the library




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By Jenny Wise

Back in Style

Outdated Westerville kitchen gets an extreme update


ometimes, it only takes a few adjustments and cosmetic changes to take a room from outdated to modern. Tracey Bang took a look around her kitchen and knew something needed to change. She didn’t hate the room, but it certainly didn’t reflect her contemporary style anymore. With three kids just starting to enter their pre-teen and teen years, the Bang family wanted to get as much time out of a new kitchen as they could before it was time to sell. Rather than wait around for her dislike to stew into disgust, Bang decided that now was as good as time as any to make the change. “We kind of laugh because the old kitchen wasn’t horrible, but we didn’t want to build a new kitchen for the person we would eventually sell the house to,” says Bang. Then came the hard part. Bang and her husband, Michael, set out to find the right remodeler for the job. Going into their first interview with Robert Harmon, owner of Elite Home Remodeling, they

knew they wanted to make the kitchen look more modern and make the space more functional with an eat-in island and stools for the kids. “Elite was the first company we interviewed. We just had such a good feeling about them. We really liked Robert,” says Bang. “He told us that we didn’t need to take down a wall to be able to accomplish the things we wanted in the kitchen.” Keeping all of the needs that Bang had presented in mind, Harmon was able to come up with a design that would not only meet these needs, but also save time and money. “Tracey wanted the kitchen to be very functional for their style of living. An island with seating was important to them for entertaining and family gathering,” says Harmon. “We designed her space without having to remove any center walls.” Jenny Wise is an assistant editor. Feedback welcome at

“With minor reworking, we were able to open the framed closets and refrigerator wall up to flow perfectly,” says Harmon. 26 January/February 2018

“We painted all the interior trim, doors and windows for the clean modern look, eliminating all the stained dated woodwork,” says Harmon.

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“(The) Carrara marble wall splash is very functional and shows the quality and detail in workmanship they were going for,” says Harmon.

Photos courtesy of Elite Home Remodeling

RELATED READS • Westerville kitchen by Custom Home Works • Westerville kitchen by Kresge Contracting • Kitchen anchors whole-house Westerville remodel • Award-winning kitchen remodel

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• 2017 kitchen remodel

January/February 2018


on the table By Tessa Flattum

Chili Weather

Westerville organizations beat the cold with fun, food-filled events

Chilly Open Feb. 3, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium The Chilly Open has more than two decades of history benefiting local children’s charities, but it’s still finding ways to look to the future. Case in point: This year’s innovation, a new silent auction bidding platform accessible via smart devices. The Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club coordinates this annual fundraiser, which is highlighted by live music and food from 30-plus central Ohio restaurants and caterers. “It is one of central Ohio’s largest all-volunteer produced events,” says Tom Strasburg, event chairman. “All of our restaurants provide the food at no cost, allowing more funds to be raised and directed to our children’s charity beneficiaries.” The event also promises a variety of entertainment for younger attendees. “The Children’s Open area is back. It will be moved to a tent system behind the Education Building,” Strasburg says. “It has a lot of great activities, such as laser tag, games, movies (and) bounce houses, and great food.” Strasburg is excited for what 2018 will bring back to the community and the children who need it the most. “Our beneficiaries help children and their families suffering from illness, struggling with hunger and other situations with which children should not have to cope,” he says. “It takes a village, as they say, and we are very proud of our Westerville community, where the Sunrise Rotary is a pillar of integrity and leadership.” Noon-5 p.m. Tickets: $45, including zoo admission 28 January/February 2018

Winter Hikes

Photos courtesy of Robb McCormick Photography (Chilly Open) and Bryan Knowles, Michele Savoldi and Michele Thomas (Winter Hikes)

Jan. 13-Feb. 3, Westerville’s Metro Parks Getting some exercise and taking in the scenery are generally the two main goals of participants in Franklin County Metro Parks’ Winter Hikes, but in Westerville, there’s also food to appreciate. Winter Hikes – tour-guided walks through snow-covered paths – are Metro Parks winter traditions, but not all of them boast food made from scratch by volunteers. Sharon Woods Metro Park’s hike is set for Jan. 13, and Inniswood Metro Gardens’ follows Jan. 21. Participants can walk with or without guides, and this year, a virtual tour guide is available via a free, downloadable app on smart devices. The virtual tour is available before and after the hikes as well. On the menu: white chicken chili prepared on-site by volunteers, cornbread, cookies, hot chocolate and plenty of water for those participating in the hike. Allison Shaw, lead programmer for events at Sharon Woods, says the soup recipe is near and dear to her heart. “It’s my recipe. I gave it to my mom and she won a chili cook-off with it and said we should serve it for the winter hike, so we did,” she says. “She passed away the following year, but it became a staple for Sharon Woods’ hikes in 2002 and continues as a well-loved tradition.” Shaw and her mother tweaked the recipe to serve 1,000-plus people every year at the Sharon Woods hike. Inniswood has been serving chili at its Winter Hikes for years as well, with volunteers usually cooking up multiple types

Judy’s White Chicken Chili

to satisfy all comers. Baked goods and hot chocolate are available, too. Another Westerville-area Winter Hike is slated for this winter: Blendon Woods Metro Park’s event on Feb. 3. Sharon Woods: 10 a.m. Jan. 13, 2 or 4 miles Inniswood: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2 miles Blendon Woods: 10 a.m. Feb. 3, 2, 4 or 6 miles Tessa Flattum is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil • ¼ cup chopped onion • 1 tsp. chopped garlic • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped • 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles • 1 19-oz. can white or pinto beans • 1 15-oz. can chicken broth • 1 tsp. ground cumin • ½ tsp. dry oregano • ½ tsp. dry cilantro • ¼ tsp. red pepper (optional) • ¼ tsp. white pepper (optional) Sauté olive oil and chopped onion until the onions are wilted, then add garlic and sauté for two more minutes without letting the garlic brown. Add cooked chicken breasts. Add beans, broth and spices and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. Serve with cornbread or crackers. Omit chicken and replace chicken broth with 2 tsp. of vegetable broth and 2 cups water if making vegetarian chili.

RELATED READS • Chilly Open’s 20th birthday • More on Inniswood chili • Inniswood’s dedicated volunteers

January/February 2018



From the Westerville Public Library

Recommended Reads from Susan Carr, Youth Services Librarian

Faster, Higher, Smarter: Bright Ideas that Transformed Sports By Simon Shapiro (juvenile nonfiction) This fascinating book delves into how sports change for the better when athletes, scientists and even kids with good ideas think outside the box.

Go Big or Go Home

My First Yoga Class

By Will Hobbs (teen fiction)

By Alyssa Satin Capucilli (reader)

Could the meteorite that nearly nailed Brady Steele in his own bedroom be the source of his new athletic ability? Or will exposure to extraterrestrial microbes mean disaster for Brady – and for the rest of humanity?

Grab your mat and learn a variety of basic animal poses (mouse, lion, cat, dog, flamingo) clearly demonstrated by a friendly, diverse group of kids. Great for beginning readers and yogis alike.

Spunky Little Monkey By Bill Martin, Jr. (picture book) How do you get a sleepy Monkey out of bed? With exercise, of course! Kids will love this colorful take on the “Lady with the Alligator Purse” rhyme.

Recommended Reads from Megan Chrusciel, Adult Services Librarian Nothing But Net erook strives Shaun Ston easier to make life and athletes for children


In the Camera’s Eye gs!

Club Westerville Bicycle OtterFit Program Events Winter Charitable www.we sterville


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Brenda Lombardi 614.572.1245 30 January/February 2018

No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness By Michelle Segar Change the way you think about exercise, eating healthfully, and motivation to stick to your health and wellness goals this time around.

Running with Raven: The Amazing Story of One Man, His Passion, and the Community He Inspired By Laura Lee Huttenbach This is the story of a running legend and the people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities who have run with him over the years.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer By Elizabeth Blackburn Increase your lifespan with a greater understanding of the exciting new science of telomeres and learn how our daily practices can increase our longevity on a genetic level.

True to Form: How to Use Foundation Training for Sustained Pain Relief and Everyday Fitness By Eric K. Goodman As an expert in human physiology, the author has helped countless individuals relieve muscle and joint pain with simple exercises you can do every day.

The Westerville Public Library 126 S. State St. • Phone: 614-882-7277 • Mon.-Thurs.: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat.: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun.: 1-6 p.m.

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Westerville Magazine January/February 2018  
Westerville Magazine January/February 2018