North Olmsted 2021

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north olmsted

Inside: Q&A with the school district’s new superintendent Local businesses boasting success Volunteers making a difference

Celebrating Community Discover a city dedicated to bringing people together and enjoying the best that North Olmsted has to offer.

North Olmsted

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The high school recently added an International Learning Display TheThe high The high school The high school high school recently school recently recently added recently added added added (right) to the building. This an International an International an International an International Learning Learning Learning Learning International Learning Display Display Display Display (right) Display (right) (right) to the (right) toflags the building. to the building. to building. the building. features 40 different hanging This This International This International This International International Learning Learning Learning Learning from the ceiling of the common Display Display Display features Display features features 40features different 40ofdifferent 40 different 40flags different flags flagsflags space located outside the hanging hanging hanging from hanging from the from the ceiling from the ceiling ceiling the of the ceiling of the of the Eagles Room. These flags represent of the common common common space common space located space located space located outside located outside outside outside North No the home countries of our English of the of the Eagles of the Eagles of Eagles the Room. Room. Eagles Room. These Room. These flags These flags These flags flags build bu Language Learners and foreign represent represent represent the represent the home the home countries home the countries home countries of countries of of of Mem M exchange students. It also includes the countries in which our students have traveled for experiential our our English our English our English Language English Language Language Learners Language Learners Learners Learners ownow l learning. The display is located just off the high school cafeteria/main gymnasium. The high school will andand foreign and foreign and foreign exchange foreign exchange exchange students. exchange students. students. Itstudents. also It also It includes also includes It also includes the includes the countries the countries countries the in countries which in which in which our in our which students our students our students have students have traveled have traveled have traveled fortraveled for for for continue to add to this display as our student diversity expands. experiential experiential experiential experiential learning. learning. learning. The learning. The display The display The display is located display is located is located just is located just offjust the off just off the high the high offschool high the school high school cafeteria/main school cafeteria/main cafeteria/main cafeteria/main gymnasium. gymnasium. gymnasium. gymnasium. TheThe high The high The highhigh TheTh Jo school school school willschool will continue will continue will continue tocontinue add to add to to add this to this add to display this display to this display as our display as our as student our student as our student diversity student diversity diversity expands. diversity expands. expands. expands. come co

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Pictu Pi NOCS staff came together for photo onathe thethe football field. RISE represents district’s Positive Olms Ol NOCS NOCS NOCS staffNOCS staff came staff came staff together came together came together for together for aa photo for a photo afor photo on on photo on football the football on football the field. football field. RISE field. RISE field. represents RISE represents RISE represents represents thethe the district’s the district’s district’s thePositive district’s Positive Positive Behavioral Positive Behavioral Behavioral Behaviora paren pa Behavioral Interventions and Supports initiatives. RISE stands for Resilient, Invested, Safe, and Empathy. Interventions Interventions Interventions Interventions andand Supports and Supports and Supports initiatives. Supports initiatives. initiatives. initiatives. RISE RISE stands RISE stands RISE stands for for stands Resilient, for Resilient, Resilient, for Invested, Resilient, Invested, Invested, Safe, Invested, Safe, and Safe, and Empathy. Safe, and Empathy. and Empathy. Empathy.

Follow Follow Follow Follow NOCS NOCS NOCS NOCS onon Facebook, on Facebook, on Facebook, Facebook, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, and and YouTube! and YouTube! and YouTube! YouTube! Follow NOCS on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube!

City Schools

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North Olmsted Middle School and North Olmsted High School have a new mental health “safe space” in each building for students to utilize. The rooms, named John’s Safe Place, were made possible by the John C. Haney Memorial Foundation, and are in memory of John Haney, a Northeast Ohio student who horth North Olmsted Olmsted North Olmsted Middle Olmsted Middle Middle School Middle School School andSchool and North and North North Olmsted Olmsted North Olmsted High Olmsted High School High School High School have School have a have new a new have mental a new mental a new mental health mental health health “safe “safe health space” “safe space” “safe space” in each in space” each in each in each tragically took his own life in and 2017. ding uilding building for building for students for students students fortostudents utilize. to utilize. to utilize. The to utilize. The rooms, The rooms, The rooms, named rooms, named named John’s named John’s Safe John’s Safe John’s Place, Safe Place, Safe were Place, were Place, made were made were possible made possible made possible bypossible the by the by John the John byC.John the Haney C.John Haney C. Haney C. Haney The John C. Haney Foundation’s mission is to instudent schools across Northeast Ohio. morial Memorial Memorial Memorial Foundation, Foundation, Foundation, Foundation, andand areand are in and memory are in memory in arememory inofmemory John of John ofHaney John ofHaney John Haney acreate northeast Haney a northeast asafe northeast a spaces Ohio northeast Ohio student Ohio Ohio student who student who tragically who tragically who tragically took tragically took his took histook hisThe hisrooms come at zero cost to the school and are fully funded by the foundation and corporate sponsorships/donations. wn life own life inown 2017. life in 2017. in life2017. in 2017.

John’s Safe isFoundation’s a room of who might be experiencing social and emotional The ohn The John C. The John Haney C.John Haney C. Haney Foundation’s C.Place Haney Foundation’s Foundation’s mission mission mission iscomfort mission toiscreate toiscreate tofor iscreate safe tostudents safe create spaces safe spaces safe spaces in schools in spaces schools in schools in across schools across across Northeast Northeast across Northeast Northeast Ohio. Ohio. The Ohio. The Ohio. rooms The rooms The rooms rooms challenges while at school. The room located near the school counselors includes comfortable seating and ome e at come zero atcome zero atcost zero at cost tozero cost the to cost the school to the school to school the andschool and areand are fully and are fully funded fully are funded fully funded by funded the by the by foundation the foundation by foundation the foundation andand corporate and corporate and corporate sponsorships/donations. corporate sponsorships/donations. sponsorships/donations. sponsorships/donations. positive messages on the walls. Inside the room students have a variety of items that they can use such as puzzles, games, art supplies, and sensory items. Each room also features a and fish tank toemotional create a calming ohn’s s Safe John’s Safe John’s Place Safe Place Safe isPlace aisroom Place aisroom a of room is comfort aof room comfort of comfort offorcomfort for students for students students forwho students who might who might who might be experiencing be might experiencing be experiencing be experiencing social social and social social emotional and emotional and emotional challenges challenges challenges challenges in the room. ehile at while school. atsense while school. at school. The at school. The room The room The located room located room located near located near the near the school near the school school the counselors school counselors counselors counselors includes includes includes comfortable includes comfortable comfortable comfortable seating seating seating andseating and positive and positive and positive positive messages ages messages on messages the on the on walls. the walls. on Inside walls. theInside walls. Inside the the Inside room the room students room thestudents room students have students have a have variety a variety have a variety ofa items variety of items of that items ofthat items they that they can that they can use they can use such can use such asuse such puzzles, assuch puzzles, as puzzles, as puzzles, The middle school room (top es, ames, games, art games, art supplies, art supplies, supplies, artand supplies, and sensory and sensory and sensory items. sensory items. items. Each Each items. room Each room Each also room also room features also features also features a fish features a fish tank a fish tank atofish tank create totank create to create a to calming acreate calming a calming sense a calming sense in sense the insense the in the in the left) also includes a tv which m. oom. room. room. features a calming app while the high school room (top right) The middle The middle The middle school middle school school room school room (top room (top room left) (top left) (top left)left) has atvbulletin board inawhich includes soalso includes also includes a includes awhich tvawhich tv awhich features tv features which features features a a a students can write their own alming ing calming app calming app while app while the app while the high while the high school high the school high school school messages of encouragement. m oom (top room (top room right) (top right) (top has right) has aright) bulletin has a bulletin has a bulletin board a bulletin board board board

nhich which in which students in students which students can students can write can write their can write their write theirtheir wn messages own messages own messages of messages encouragement. of encouragement. of encouragement. of encouragement. Pictured right: Staff at ured ictured Pictured right: Pictured right: Staff right: Staff right: atStaff North at Staff North at North at North North Olmsted Middle sted lmsted Olmsted Middle Olmsted Middle Middle School Middle School School with School with John’s with John’s with John’s John’s School with John’s parents, al nts arents parents Rick parents Rick and Rick and Beth Rick and Beth Haney. and Beth Haney. Beth Haney. Haney. Rick and Beth Haney.

Visit Visit Visit Visit forfor more for more for more information! more information! information! information! Visit for more information!

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D E PARTM E N TS 6 Welcome from the Mayor 8 Q&A: Meet David Brand


Learn more about the school district’s new superintendent.

10 Down to Business

Find out why North Olmsted is one of the region’s premier retail and entertainment districts.

18 Faces of North Olmsted

Meet volunteers dedicated to making a difference.

20 City Map F E A T U R E 14 Back to Community

Discover how North Olmsted is bringing people together with safe gatherings, events and activities.



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Dear Residents, Perhaps more than ever, we value the moments we spend gathered with our friends, family and neighbors. I am pleased to present this 2021 edition of North Olmsted Magazine, in which we look closer at these meaningful moments and showcase how we are connecting as a community, contributing to our collective success and planning for a bright future.

and our partner organizations are undertaking to improve our hometown.

– Whether enjoying fall festivals, local park amenities or school sports activities, this time of year provides endless opportunities for family fun in North Olmsted. Learn about some of the events and projects that the city

– The strength and resilience of our community is also found in our local businesses. Adding to the strong foundation of our established businesses, we recognize that with change comes new opportunity for fresh ideas, inno-

– We are fortunate that North Olmsted is a city with many caring individuals who are passionate about volunteerism and motivated to improve their corner of the world. Meet a few of those people giving their time and talents to the causes and groups that make our community someplace special.

vations and developments. Read about some of the new businesses, big and small, that we’re welcoming to town. I am honored to serve as your mayor and proud that North Olmsted is a place where people come to stay. Keep connected with us and visit for the latest community news and information.


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Q&A: Meet David Brand

Get a closer look at North Olmsted City Schools’ new superintendent, who took the helm in August and is looking forward to getting to know students and parents. By Linda Feagler

Q: Why did you want to become North Olmsted’s superintendent? A: There’s a standard of excellence here that’s second to none. And the



size is perfect. We have about 3,800 students. The district is large enough to offer a variety of great courses that allow students to find their passions and grow their gifts, but small enough where teachers and kids get to know each other. Academics are critical, but the relationships students form with mentors ranging from choir directors and coaches to advisors and teachers is equally important. North Olmsted offers the best of both worlds.

Q: What are some of your goals for the school district? A: One of my goals is to listen, learn, see and ensure we have a common vision and direction. We have a lot of big challenges ahead of us, including major fiscal ones. Stimulus dollars that resulted from COVID-19 have allowed us to begin addressing some of these issues. The money didn’t fix our problems, but it was a one-time shot that allows us to look at things a little differently

— which is why we are not on the ballot in November. We know we can find solutions because we have great people — including a supportive community — and great faculty and staff at the schools, so we’ll be able to work together to do what’s best in the short term and for generations to come.

Q: What do you love about North Olmsted? A: My wife, Amanda, and I look forward to being a part of this welcoming community. We’re thrilled our daughters Brooke, 16, and Cheyenne, 14, are becoming Eagles. Our [extended] family live nearby, so it’s great to be living on the West Side again. Q: How do you spend your free time? A: We’re family people who love to get outdoors and explore the city’s parks and recreation opportunities. We’ve also enjoyed meeting our new neighbors and getting to know our new community.


Q: Where has your career path taken you? A: I grew up in Elyria. After graduating from Brookside High School in Sheffield, I attended Calvin College in Michigan and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a concentration in secondary education and economics, followed by a master’s degree in educational administration from Ashland University. I taught math at Firelands and Chagrin Falls high schools and was ready and excited to move into an administrative level as principal of South Amherst Middle School in Lorain County and superintendent of South Central Local Schools in Huron County. For the past seven years, I’ve been the superintendent of New Philadelphia City Schools in Tuscarawas County.

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Down to Business


Get excited about some of the city’s newest endeavors, from dining and entertainment destinations to a new senior living community. By Linda Feagler

estaurants, hotels and specialty stores abound in North Olmsted, attracting customers who live in and out of the city. John Sobolewski, executive director of the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce, credits the bonds that businesses large and small have formed to make the community stronger. “North Olmsted is a melting pot in a sense that you have nationally renowned companies and independent mom-andpop stores that support each other,” says Sobolewski. Chamber members also to support initiatives that include awarding scholarships to North Olmsted High School seniors — a practice that’s been in place for 40 years. Additionally, the chamber is a member of the Power of MORE, a consortium of nine chambers, as well as Oberlin Business Partnership. Together,



they serve 21 communities. “There’s strength in numbers,” Sobolewski says, “which makes it a win-win for everyone.” Here, check out some of the city’s newest businesses.

Cilantro Taqueria When Rey Galindo, co-owner of Cilantro Taqueria, was looking for a place to open his fourth Greater Cleveland location, North Olmsted was the hands-down choice. It’s scheduled to open this fall. “North Olmsted is perfect for our newest restaurant,” he says. “We chose the former Starbucks site because there’s a lot of heavy traffic on Lorain Road and Brookpark Road, along with car dealerships that see a lot of business. We also appreciate the fact that the city is open to being the site of a variety of restaurants.” Tacos, tortas, burritos and bowls are the most requested items, along with the

eatery’s signature quesabirrias filled with beef brisket and served with consomme. “I was raised on the West Side, and it was time to bring special Mexican food here,” he says.

Cleveland Bakery Collective In 2015, Nikki and Jay Odongray started making delectable dumplings out of their home in Olmsted Township. In 2017, they launched Pierogi Pantry, a pop-up business that travels to locations throughout the region. This fall, they’ll open Cleveland Bakery Collective, which will feature their culinary talents, as well as those of other local bakers and craft food makers. “We’d been thinking about opening a retail store, and when Becker’s Donuts closed, we knew the spot would be ideal to give us a brick-and-mortar presence,” Nikki Odongray says. “To honor the building’s beloved legacy, doughnuts will definitely be on the menu.”


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Habibi Shawrma Way and Bakery Ammar Banna, manager of Habibi Shawrma Way and Bakery, is eager to introduce new tastes to guests who visit his shop on Brookpark Road Ext. Loosely translated, he explains, the word ‘habibi’ means ‘love’ and ‘shawrma’ is a Middle Eastern cooking method in which meat is placed on a vertical spit and slowly turned to ensure tenderness. The boneless chicken sandwiches he’s known for have garnered legions of fans. For dessert, Banna recommends trying the knafeh, a traditional Middle Eastern sweet made with shredded filo pastry that’s soaked in a sugar-based syrup and layered with cheese, clotted cream or nuts. “Knafeh is famous in the Middle East for being a popular wedding cake,” Banna says. “I look forward to introducing it to those who have never tried it before.” Buffalo Wild Wings Rick Small, director of marketing for Grube Inc. — the Defiance-based company that owns and operates 36 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in five states — is looking forward to helping the popular eatery become a part of the community. It’s slated to open this fall on Lorain

Road where Ruby Tuesday once stood. “I love the fact that Great Northern Mall is located across the street and is still vibrant,” Small says. “You don’t find too many malls anymore that are.” Small adds that Buffalo Wild Wings is dedicated to supporting the spirit of each community it’s a part of. “I’ve met the athletic directors at North Olmsted and Olmsted Falls high schools, and they’ve given us football and basketball jerseys we’ll frame and hang,” Small says. “Buffalo Wild Wings also sponsors fundraisers for local elementary schools, high schools and colleges, and have partnerships with Cleveland pro sports teams. We cover it all.”

A New HoriZen Jackie Chavez-Anderson is ready to help people relax in ways she says will soothe the body, mind and spirit. The lifelong North Olmsted resident opened A New HoriZen in August, which offers classes in yoga, Reiki and Ayurveda, as well as wellness workshops covering topics ranging from healthy eating practices and ways to improve sleep. “I started taking yoga classes about 10 years ago,” she says, adding that she was

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The O’Neill family has been The been providing quality skilled nursing, providing nursing, rehabilitation, and long-term rehabilitation, long-term care for more than 55 care 55 years years in in Cleveland’s west west side side communities. Cleveland’s communities. Our goal goal is is achieving achieving the Our the highest highest level of of function function during level during aa therapy therapy stay, helping helping them them return stay, return home home as soon soon as as they they are as are safely safely able. able. We also offer Assisted Living We also offer Assisted Living suites allowing allowing seniors seniors to suites to live live in in a community with services a community with services and and amenities, with with our amenities, our exceptional exceptional medical team medical team close close at at hand. hand. For those diagnosed For those diagnosed with with Alzheimer’s Disease Disease or Alzheimer’s or dementia, dementia, our uniquely designed memory our uniquely designed memory support unit promotes positive support unit promotes positive memories while providing memories while providing specialized care. specialized care.

particularly drawn to Ayurveda, which focuses on improving holistic health by recognizing everyone is different and taking individual lifestyles into account. A registered yoga teacher and certified Ayurveda health educator and Reiki master, Chavez-Anderson knew her hometown was the place she wanted to open her studio. “I feel very grateful that I can bring Ayurveda — something that’s been around for so long and can help so many people — Reiki and yoga to this beautiful little place in the world of North Olmsted,” she says.

Vitalia Active Living At Vitalia Active Living, life is being lived to the fullest. While some residents meet in the library to discuss the latest bestseller, others go for a swim in the pool or enjoy a movie being played in the on-site theater. In the demonstration kitchen, a chef prepares meals, and the residents can ask questions and participate. “We believe in amenities,” says Gary Biales, vice president of development for Omni Senior Living, the firm that owns Vitalia, which opened in June and was designed to resemble a lodge in Colorado. Vitalia features eight villas, 88 independent living apartments and 44 assisted living apartments, as well as offers memory care.

“We find that people who move into Vitalia have lived within a 3-mile radius of where we’re located,” Biales says. “They want to be close to family members, former neighbors and the stores they love.”

RollHouse of North Olmsted It’s been 44 years, but Glenn Gable, CEO of RollHouse Entertainment, remembers his first visit to Buckeye Lanes. The bowling alley, which opened in North Olmsted in 1959, contained a treasure trove of memorabilia that quickly captivated him. With five locations throughout Ohio, Gable’s company is already known as a premier bowling destination with a twist. And RollHouse of North Olmsted will be no exception. “We’re proud to be a part of North Olmsted,” Gable says. “The city has welcomed us with open arms.” Along with traditional bowling lanes, the complex, slated for completion in September 2022, will feature a private bowling suite, themed escape rooms and a patio. Dining options include burgers, wings, pizza, ribeye bowls, pierogies, mini doughnuts and more. Although the ambiance will be modern, Gable has ensured Buckeye Lanes’ legacy will live on. “The bowling alley is a revered iconic landmark,” Gable says. “It’s a compliment to add to a history that’s too precious to discard.”


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Staying Connected Since 1980, North Olmsted Senior Center has never wavered in its mission to offer opportunities that improve the lives of older adults. Although COVID-19 forced it to close from March 2020 to June 2021, the staff’s dedication to the city’s senior community never stopped. Tiffany Hunt, North Olmsted Senior Center administrator, partnered with Westlake’s Far West Center to present Senior Strong, a weekly series of conference calls designed to help people cope with loneliness and anxiety. The center also hosted virtual bingo games and compiled cooking kits filled with ingredients and instructions for making pies, cookies and candy. “A lot of the people we serve are living alone,” Hunt says. “For many of them, the friends they meet here are their main source of socialization — which is obviously important for physical and mental health. That’s why we were most excited to reopen the center.” In addition to exercise classes that include yoga and Geri-Fit, a body-sculpting program, the center also offers a Wednesday walking club. Participants stroll the new half-mile paved trail in North Olmsted Community Park next door. Other popular programs include a Lunch and Learn lecture series; pinochle and dominoes tournaments; and Artistry Hours, where members can bring their own handmade projects and work on them in the company of friends. “I love the older adults who come here,” Hunt says. “They are really a fun, joyful bunch.” — LF

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Back to Community


North Olmsted welcomes the return of safe gatherings, events and activities that bring us together again. By Kristen Hampshire

athering is what community is all about — parades, celebrations, family-fun days and simply going to the recreation center and running into familiar faces. While the city had to pull back during the pandemic, residents and businesses found creative ways to connect. “We did smaller monthly activities, such as screenings during heart month and yoga in the park,” says Betsy Drenski, recreation commissioner. While cautious in early 2021, this year introduced a promising and safe return to some of North Olmsted’s favorite events and activities. Summer camps were also in session, and Drenski says, “We had a waiting list of people who wanted to come back.” A silver lining of managing a challenging year? A renewed focus on getting outdoors, working together and enjoying the best that North Olmsted has to offer. It’s back to the community — and here are some ways the city is embracing its green assets, engaging residents and igniting pride and a renewed sense of belonging.



Ice slushy truck. And the city is following up on last year’s premiere Trek at the Rec drive-through trick-or-treat event, where participants like the swim team, Chick-Fil-A, North Olmsted Arts Commission and others handed out candy and goodies to guests who wheeled through, caravan-style. “You could drive through with your family, and each stop handed out candy,” Drenski says, adding that festive decor along the course created a parade atmosphere. Last year, the weather didn’t cooperate, but Trek at the Rec is scheduled to take place Oct. 29 this year. Why Trek at the Rec? “It’s a journey — a drive,” Drenski relates.

Good, Old Times Old-time experiences come to life at Olmsted Historical Society’s Frostville Museum, a living history of 19th century Ohio in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation. The motto is “preserving the past for present and future generations,” and houses on the site were moved from vari-

ous parts of North Olmsted to create a quaint, museum village. Some, such as the Carpenter House, were gifts from local families. Generally, Frostville is actively programmed with special events, and after a quieter year during the pandemic, the calendar is once again filling up with safe, outdoor and indoor options, including the ability to reserve the chapel for weddings. In fact, the historical society’s president, Cynthia Lentz, says that’s one aspect of her job she loves the most. “There’s nothing better than seeing a couple start out



Activities for All Ages In 2021, North Olmsted’s Parks and Recreation department led the effort to bring back and expand Summer in the City, which began as a concert series hosted by the Arts Commission. The reimagined series included several smaller events for safer gathering, such as yoga in the park, Westside Flea, movies in the park, live music, the new Big Bike Bash and the Homecoming Parade as the grand finale. The new bike event was born from the pandemic rush to buy bicycles as a way to get outdoors and enjoy some active fun. “I went to buy my daughter a bike last year, and they were sold out,” Drenski relates. “We know lots of bikes were bought last year, and there are more bikes out there — and we have a path here in North Olmsted, so we created a cool obstacle course for kids and adults.” The Big Bike Bash is a new tradition that included a DJ and the Kona

Big Bike Bash

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A Thriving Canopy For 27 years, North Olmsted was recognized as a Tree City USA because it met four standards of urban forestry management. Those are having a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day. The city once again received Tree City USA status for 2020.


The city also was awarded $11,572 to reforest North Olmsted Community Park by the Cuyahoga County Plantheir happy life,” she shares. Frostville is a family place, and this fall it welcomes back Pumpkinville, with balloon-making, face-painting, crafts, prizes and, of course, pumpkins and gourds for sale. Admission is $1 — an old-fashioned ticket price, if you ask Lentz. Speaking of which, this year’s holiday theme is Old-Fashioned Holidays. “Houses will be decked out in the period of the date they were built, there will be a sing-along in the church, and local schools will come down with their choirs, bands and orchestras.” The event is staged for Nov. 20 and 21. “We want people to see how Christmas was done a long time ago,” Lentz says. Beginning March 2022, Frostville will put its “usual roster” of activities into play with three weekends of pancake breakfasts that coincide with the maple syrup running at the Cleveland Metroparks sugar bush. “We also are looking to have doggone fun days, where everyone is welcome to bring their dog, and we’ll bring down pet vendors and have a doggy beauty contest,” Lentz says. Then, there’s the Frostville Farmers Market, open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May through October, featuring a variety of local farmers, food purveyors, crafters and artists, as well as live music. Frostville is a special spot for families in North Olmsted, Lentz relates. And, it’s a place where people of all ages can find simple, community fun. She says, “This year, we are coming back.”

ning Commission Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Grant. “Due to wind damage and storms, trees that were taken down have not been replaced, so this was an opportunity to do that without dipping into the budget for residential street trees,” explains Michael Bosau, city forester, adding that Tree City USA status is a point of pride. “It’s an appreciation of what we’ve accomplished and that we care about investing in green spaces.” to North Olmsted Community Park for full days of creativity, including performances, live music and food trucks. Westside Flea started in 2015 and is now based in North Olmsted, the hometown of Cathy Van Schoor, who started the organization with Michelle Swetland and Becky Vranesevic. “We saw a need for something on the West Side of Cleveland so you didn’t have to go downtown — an event where vendors could afford a spot and something fun for the West Side, Van Schoor

says. “More vendors kept jumping in, and it grew from there.” Every event is tied to a charity, so guests can purchase a $1 raffle ticket to win a vendor prize. Each vendor donates a $10 or more prize that is stationed at their booths. If a raffle ticket number matches the vendor number, the guest wins the corresponding prize. Westside Flea has supported charities including Connecting with Kids, PetResQ Ohio, the Up Side of Downs, Rescue Me Ohio, Girls with Sole, Project Noelle and Hope & Healing. “Every year, we donate money to the park in some way,” Van Schoor says, sharing how Westside Flea built a Free Little Library on-site that it turned into a food pantry last year for those in need. This year, it will transition back into a place to find books. And, Westside Flea will continue its monthly food donations to various food banks, such as the North Olmsted Oxcart Pantry. From graffiti artists to balloon art and the Gaelic Glen alpacas — “a big hit for the young and old” — the Westside Flea is full of activity, and it’s free to attend, Van Schoor says, adding that the upcoming Holiday Market on Small Business Saturday is back. Van Schoor

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Celebrating Home A typical North Olmsted Homecoming is a multiday affair with entertainment, carnival rides and a parade that caps the celebration. When the North Olmsted Community Council began planning the 2021 event, there was a great deal of uncertainty related to how the pandemic would ebb or tide. “Things were up in the air,” says David Furin, community council president. The outcome of planning meetings was to deliver a “light” version of Homecoming to keep the tradition alive while being cautious and flexible. The parade marched on in a socially distant fashion. While the carnival ride company took the year off due to labor shortages and inconsistent bookings, the group opted instead to offer food trucks, entertainment and the car show, where the Citizen of the Year was recognized. “We didn’t want to have two years in a row without the event because Homecoming is important to the community — we didn’t want the tradition to fade away,” Furin says, adding that this happy-medium gave residents something to look forward to and enjoy with family and friends without risking health and safety. He says, “We wanted something with that community feeling, and this gave people an opportunity to come out and enjoy the parade.”


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encourages people to visit Westside Flea’s Facebook page for details about vendors and upcoming events. “We are always trying to promote the vendors, and we include vendors at all different price points,” she says.

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A Garden that Does Good A new pollinator garden will attract butterflies and bees to a green space behind the North Olmsted Oxcart Pantry and help local scout Peter Dzurik become an Eagle Scout. North Olmsted Garden Club Treasurer Barb Geisinger learned about pollinator gardens from the Holden Arboretum. The city is helping fund the pollinator garden, a 3-by-30-foot garden along a fence line behind the food pantry’s property that will be populated with perennials from members’ gardens that attract pollinators.

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“I’m excited about the club doing more with the city, and I love plants and gardens,” says Geisinger. “It will be viewed by people who come into the parking lot, and we’ll include signage with information about the plants to let people know what we are doing and how beneficial it is.” Following a year of adapting meetings and curtailing events, the garden club — like other North Olmsted organizations — is looking forward to getting back together and connecting in the community. Geisinger says, “It’s so nice to get out there and do something for the city.”

North Olmsted Magazine 2021 17

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Faces of North Olmsted

Meet three volunteers dedicated to giving back to the community. By Linda Feagler

Bob Lamb

repeat the bad things that happened.”

Olmsted Historical Society (OHS) Volunteer

Giving Back: In his role as an OHS vol-

In 1999, North Olmsted resident Bob Lamb visited OHS’s Frostville Museum and its 19th-century historic buildings to research his family tree. As he became acquainted with his ancestors, who began making the community their home in 1874, his passion for history was sparked. He’s been volunteering there ever since.

unteer, Lamb launched the yearly Trash n’ Treasure sale at Frostville Museum in 2002. Last year, when all events were cancelled due to the pandemic, his determination to hold the sales in a social-distancing way raised $15,000 and kept the museum financially afloat. “There are a lot of wonderful, one-of-a-kind items that are donated for the sales,” he says, adding that he couldn’t have held this year’s event without the help of the other volunteers.

Echoes of the Past: Lamb spent nine

Sense of Place: Lamb and his wife, Deb-

years as a Civil War reenactor to honor his great-grandfather and three great-uncles who fought for the Union. He and his unit presented living history programs at Hale Farm and Village and Zoar Village and set up Civil War encampments at Gettysburg. “History is something worth remembering,” he says, “because you don’t want to

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we’ve lived in for 34 years. This is a wonderful way to do it.” One For All: Last December, the couple

Bill & Sarah Dziatkowicz


Oxcart Pantry Volunteers The city’s Oxcart Pantry is dedicated to providing food assistance to families and individuals in need. For Bill and Sarah Dziatkowicz, who have volunteered their time at Oxcart for three and five years respectively, the chance to help others is a gift for which they’re grateful.

Family Ties: The couple was intro-

duced to the pantry through their children. Daughter Megan volunteered there while she was in high school, and son Bill is a case manager in the city’s Division of Youth & Family Services, which operates the program. “Since I work from home, my time is my own,” says Bill, president of Bill D. Design Group Inc., an art studio he operates out of the family home. “Sarah is a retired preschool teacher. We enjoy giving back to the community

participated in the city’s adopt-a-family initiative, created to make the holiday season a bit merrier and brighter for those needing it most. “We adopted a mother, father and four children,” Sarah says. “It’s fun because although you don’t know who they are, you know when you’ve finished wrapping the gifts you selected for them that you’re making Christmas morning a lot happier for them. So many people deserve this kind of joy, but don’t experience it because of circumstances that are no fault of their own.” Heartfelt Journey: The couple spends

much of their volunteer time sorting food and distributing it at the drivethrough Oxford Pantry Produce Market. “You look around, and you realize that you are blessed,” Sarah says. “And if I can give back in a little way and make someone’s day a little bit easier, it makes my heart feel good. As long as we can continue to do that, I am grateful for the opportunity.”

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NORTH OLMSTED Stay Connected Websites - - springvalegolfcourseand -

Text Alerts Get important information sent straight to your phone or inbox. Visit to sign up. - City VIP Text Alerts - Parks and Recreation Connection Text Alerts

E-Newsletters Subscribe to the city’s e-newsletters and receive community information on a variety of topics regularly to your inbox. Visit to sign up. - Celebrate North Olmsted: Latest updates, news and events - Mayor’s Newsletter - Senior Center Newsletter - Parks and Recreation Newsletter Get customized news, events and updates for the schools and departments in which you are interested by visiting

City Information Facilities City Hall 5200 Dover Center Road, 440-777-8000


Fire Station #1 24291 Lorain Road, 440-777-1214 Fire Station #2 29592 Lorain Road, 440-777-3544

Police Station 27243 Lorain Road, 440-777-3535 (nonemergency) Recreation Center 26000 Lorain Road, 440-734-8200 Oxcart Pantry 26272 Butternut Ridge Road, 440-716-4165 Senior Center 28114 Lorain Road, 440-777-8100 Springvale Golf Course and Ballroom 5871 Canterbury Road Golf Course: 440-777-0678 Ballroom: 440-777-0161

Elected Officials Mayor Kevin M. Kennedy City Council Nicole Dailey Jones, President Louis J. Brossard, Ward 1 Chris Glassburn, Ward 2 Paul Schumann, Ward 3 Mary Ellen Hemann, Ward 4 Patrick Kelly, At Large Duane H. Limpert, At Large Angela M. Williamson, At Large Director of Law Michael R. Gareau Jr. Director of Finance Carrie B. Copfer

City Departments Building Jeffrey Grusenmeyer, Commissioner 440-777-8000 City Council Chuck Massarolo, Clerk 440-777-8000 Engineering Pietro A. DiFranco, City Engineer 440-777-8000

Finance Carrie B. Copfer, Director 440-777-8000 Fire Edward M. Schepp, Chief 440-777-1214 Human Resources Marie Gallo, Director 440-777-8000 Law Michael R. Gareau Jr., Director 440-777-8000 Mayor’s Court Kathleen Cole, Clerk 440-777-8000 Mayor’s Office Administrative Assistant 440-777-8000 Planning and Community Development Kimberly Lieber, Director 440-777-8000 Parks and Recreation Betsy Drenski, Commissioner 440-734-8200 Police Robert Wagner, Chief 440-777-3535 Safety Administrative Assistant 440-777-8000 Senior Center Tiffany Hunt, Administrator 440-777-8100 Service Secretary 440-777-8000 Youth and Family Services Christine M. Allegra, Administrator 440-716-4166 Waste Water Treatment Plant Brian Blum, Superintendent 440-777-1881

North Olmsted Magazine 2019 21

North Olmsted City Schools Board of Education Terry Groden, President Kim Rahm, Vice President Brian Hall, Member Tom Herbster, Member Megan Murphy, Member Administrative Offices 26669 Butternut Ridge Road David Brand, Superintendent 440-588-5300 North Olmsted High School 27301 Butternut Ridge Road Main Office: 440-588-5800 North Olmsted Middle School 27401 Butternut Ridge Road Main Office: 440-588-5700 Chestnut Intermediate School 30395 Lorain Road Main Office: 440-588-5500 Maple Intermediate School 24101 Maple Ridge Road Main Office: 440-588-5515 Pine Intermediate School 4267 Dover Center Road Main Office: 440-588-5530 Birch Primary School 24100 Palm Drive Main Office: 440-588-5400 Forest Primary School 28963 Tudor Drive Main Office: 440-588-5415 Spruce Primary School 28590 Windsor Drive Main Office: 440-588-5430

Community Resources Cuyahoga County Public Library: North Olmsted Branch 27403 Lorain Road 440-777-6211 Frostville Museum 24101 Cedar Point Road North Olmsted Community Council 440-777-4918

Iraq/Afghanistan Eligible returning veterans first year membership free!! Other memberships available Follow us on Facebook! @northolmstedvfw 22


North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce 440-777-3368 VFW Post 7647 30036 Lorain Road Post Office 28475 Lorain Road 440-777-4225 Regional Income Tax Agency 800-860-7482

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