COOPERATIVES RETURN MONEY TO THEIR MEMBERS!
That’s Right, cooperatives are not-for-proﬁt, so when there’s money left after bills are paid, it is returned to members as “capital credits” or “patronage capital.”
Annually, Ohio electric cooperatives return about $35 million to their members.
Nationally, electric co-ops returned $1.5 billion to members in 2020 and $19 billion since 1988.
HOW CAPITAL CREDITS WORK
Members paying their bills generates operating revenue for the cooperative.
When all the bills are paid, the extra money at the end of each year, called “margins,” is allocated back to each member based on how much electricity they purchased that year.
The cooperative’s board approves a return of that money to members, often called “capital credits” or “patronage capital.”
Season of giving
This past year seems to have gone by in a blur. Families and businesses have been faced with many challenges here in the U.S. — primarily from much higher costs for many of the things we need most in our daily lives but also from the challenges of simply getting what we need, when we need it because of supply chain snarls that stretch around the world.
Conflict has raged on in Ukraine for most of the year, giving us a daily glimpse at the horror that is war. The side effects for the rest of the world are just beginning to show themselves, causing many countries to worry about the availability of food and energy as winter begins to set in.
Here in Ohio, we can consider ourselves rather fortunate. While we have been touched by these broad trends, we also remain relatively insulated from the worst of their effects. Ohio’s electric cooperatives were able to complete the purchase of AEP’s share of the Cardinal generating station in 2022, which promises to provide us a stable source of reliable and affordable electricity for years to come. We have seen increases in the cost to produce and deliver electricity to you this year, but have been able to hold cost increases to about 5%. This contrasts with increases in electricity prices that have averaged 15% for Ohioans that are customers of the large investor-owned utilities — which is similar to what electricity customers have seen in much of the rest of the country.
Your electric cooperative remains committed to serving you every day, and to being a positive force in your community. We remain focused on doing whatever we can to keep your costs down and your service quality second to none.
Electric cooperatives also support the financial needs of the communities we serve, of course through the local taxes we pay but also (in many communities) through “round up” programs as described on page 4. Christmas is at the heart of the season of giving — but of course that doesn’t just mean gifts among family and friends; it also inspires a sense of community obligation to share with those less fortunate, or otherwise in need. We are pleased to be able to be part of the support network every community needs.
Good tidings and blessings on you and your family. We pray for peace on Earth and good will toward all!Pat O’Loughlin PRESIDENT & CEO OHIO’S ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
Your electric cooperative remains committed to serving you every day, and to being a positive force in your community.
Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives
6677 Busch Blvd. Columbus, OH 43229 614-846-5757 www.ohiocoopliving.com
Patrick O’Loughlin President & CEO Caryn Whitney Director of Communications Jeﬀ McCallister Managing Editor
Crystal Pomeroy Graphic Designer
Contributors: Colleen Romick Clark, Getty Images, W.H. “Chip” Gross, Vicki Reinhart Johnson, Catherine Murray, Damaine Vonada, and Margie Wuebker.
OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING (USPS 134-760; ISSN 2572-049X) is published monthly by Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. It is the oﬃcial communication link between the electric cooperatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their members. Subscription cost for members ranges from $5.52 to $6.96 per year, paid from equity accruing to the member.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising oﬃces at: 6677 Busch Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43229-1101. Periodicals postage paid at Pontiac, IL 61764, and at additional mailing oﬃces. Nothing in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved. The fact that a product is advertised in Ohio Cooperative Living should not be taken as an endorsement. If you ﬁnd an advertisement misleading or a product unsatisfactory, please notify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Oﬃce, Consumer Protection Section, 30 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, OH, and at additional mailing oﬃces.
4 POWER LINES
Neighbor helping neighbor: Electric cooperatives use small change to make a big diﬀerence in the communities they serve.
7 CO-OP PEOPLE
The big cheese: Pearl Valley’s presence has grown through four generations of cheesemakers.
10 WOODS, WATERS, AND WILDLIFE
Teddy’s bear: What’s the real story behind that classic Christmas toy?
13 GOOD EATS
Warm and cozy: Who needs fruitcake? Use dried fruit in lots of dishes to add a touch of holiday spirit.
17 LOCAL PAGES
News and information from your electric cooperative.
What’s happening: December/ January events and other things to do around Ohio.
Please report changes of address to your electric cooperative. Ohio Cooperative Living staﬀ cannot process address changes.
Alliance for Audited Media Member
Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Candy canes: Nothing says “Christmas” quite like an iconic, striped bit of peppermint candy.
Visit Ohio Cooperative Living magazine online at www.ohiocoopliving.com! Read past issues and watch videos about our articles or our recipes. Our site features an expanded Member Interactive area where you can share your stories, recipes, and photos and find content submitted by other co-op members across the state.
Neighbor helping neighbor
Electric cooperatives use small change to make a big diﬀerence in their communities.BY JEFF MCCALLISTER
Jennifer Thornburgh, a member of Bellefontainebased Logan County Electric Cooperative, hadn’t really thought much about the few pennies she added each month to her electric bill.
Like many other co-ops, LCEC offers its members the choice to round their bills to the next full dollar — and then uses that small change to help fund worthy causes within the community.
Co-ops around the state and nation have a variety of names for similar programs — Operation Round Up, Community Connection, People Fund, etc. — but to those individuals and organizations that benefit from them, they could simply be called “Hope.”
As it turns out, Thornburgh’s donation — an average of $6 per year, a few nickels and dimes at a time — helped LCEC boost a program that helped her own family. One of LCEC’s Operation Round Up grants helped RTC Industries in Bellefontaine to provide a transition program for young adults with developmental disabilities.
“My son Eli went through the Healthy Relationships program, through RTC, and it was a huge benefit for us as a family,” she says. “It was really nice because it just helped as a parent to know that they know the things that
I sometimes don’t know how to talk to him about.”
Kylee Purtee, day supervisor at RTC Industries, was at a conference where she heard about the Healthy Relationships curriculum and thought it would fit perfectly into the services RTC provides. “We were trying to figure out how we could find the money to pay for it — we have some funding, but it was a good chunk of money,” she says. “We knew the Logan County co-op is very community-focused, they’re always doing things to help others.” So she applied for and was awarded a grant, and within weeks RTC had added the service for families like the Thornburghs.
“It really means a lot to know that when you see that Operation Round Up on your bill, that it’s impacting people in the community,” Jennifer says. “A lot of people say, ‘oh, your dollars help the community.’ But actually seeing it and experiencing it firsthand means a lot.”
Programs like Operation Round Up are a prime example of how co-ops are different from other utilities: “Concern for Community” is written into every co-op’s basic principles, and they take that mission seriously. Ohio’s co-ops distributed more than $1 8 million in grants, donations, and other funding last year alone — and all of that money stayed in each of those local communities.
There are examples all over of both large and small donations that make a huge impact.
After the double-derecho windstorm devastated wide areas of eastern Ohio in June, Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative in Millersburg gathered Operation Round Up funds to make a $25,000 donation to the disaster relief managed by the local United Way — putting all those small donations to work for a major effort so desperately needed.
The Community Connection Board of Butler Rural Electric Cooperative in Oxford made 40 smaller donations at its semiannual meeting in September, granting such needed help as reading materials at several local elementary schools, electrical work at a community food pantry, and mobility projects for children with disabilities.
Members of New London-based Firelands Electric Cooperative donated more than $62,000 through its Operation Round Up program last year alone, including funds for a hospice program to help in keeping patients safe and comfortable, and signage to help travelers navigate the New London-Greenwich Rail Trail.
South Central Power Company, based in Lancaster and covering a wide swath of southern and eastern Ohio,
awarded more than $600,000 in grants and scholarships through its Operation Round Up program — including $3,000 to a program to purchase school supplies for teenagers in foster care.
The Community Connection Fund at St. Marys-based Midwest Electric has provided more than $1.2 million since its inception in 1998, including funds this year to repair the parking lot at the VFW post in Coldwater and to help the Auglaize County Historical Society implement QR code technology to better highlight its museums and sites.
Coshocton-based Frontier Power Company’s Community Connection Fund awards grants nearly every month. Recipients this year have included the Bakersville Union Cemetery Association, the Coshocton County Beagle Club, and 4-H Camp Ohio.
“The simplest act of kindness, which is only a few dollars each year, has been so powerful in our community. It is inspiring to watch our members give as individuals, knowing that when added together, their donations offer hope and help to the community,” says Logan County Electric Cooperative’s Ashley Oakley, who administers her co-op’s donation program. “It’s a true, real-life example of the spirit that sets co-ops apart.”
For Swiss immigrants Ernest and Gertrude Stalder, 1937 was an important year. Not only was their son John born, but a new rural electric cooperative began powering their business, Pearl Valley Cheese, in eastern Coshocton County. “Getting electricity was a turning point for our family,” says John Stalder, “because my parents could modernize their cheese house and use refrigeration.”
Pearl Valley Cheese still occupies the same country property oﬀ St. Rte. 93 where Ernest began making Swiss cheese in a small stone building in 1928. Back then, he heated milk from nearby dairy farms in a single copper kettle that yielded one 200-pound wheel of Swiss cheese a day. Today, Pearl Valley Cheese is a sprawling, technologically up-to-date factory producing 40,000 to 45,000 pounds of Swiss and colby cheeses per day. It still gets electricity from a cooperative — The Frontier Power Company — and continues to be owned and operated by Stalder family members. The general manager, Kurt Ellis, is Ernest’s great-grandson (he also serves on Frontier Power’s board of trustees).
Previous page: The second and third generations of the Stalder family of cheesemakers: John Stalder and Chuck Ellis stand behind Grace Stalder and Sally Ellis. Below, a display inside the shop shows Stalder family photos and Pearl Valley Cheese memorabilia. At left, a selection of cheeses fills the display case.
For the Stalders, cheese is more than a business — it’s a lifestyle that has endured for four generations. John and his wife, Grace, took over the factory during the 1960s, and though they’re now octogenarians, they lend a hand there practically every day. The couple also raised four daughters — Ruth Ann, Sally, Heidi, and Trudy — who, along with their spouses and oﬀspring, have helped to make cheese and run the plant in various ways over the years.
“Sally and I work at Pearl Valley Cheese every day,” says Chuck Ellis, who is Sally’s husband and the company’s current president. The Ellises have been involved in Pearl Valley Cheese since 1987 and are the third generation of the family to reside in the frame house next to the factory. Since Pearl Valley Cheese is about halfway between Sugarcreek and Coshocton, its on-site retail store is a destination for locals as well as visitors to Ohio’s Amish Country and Historic Roscoe Village. The factory makes 14 varieties of natural cheese, and bestsellers include their signature Mild Swiss, which won a gold medal at the 2014
World Championship Cheese Contest; Lacey Swiss, a reduced-fat and reduced-sodium cheese; and colby, a semi-hard orange cheese.
While Super Hot Jumping Jack with ghost peppers is one of its newest cheeses, Pearl Valley also makes an Emmentaler Old World Swiss. Emmentaler is Switzerland’s deﬁnitive cheese, and in the United States, Swiss-born cheesemakers like Ernest produced versions of it that Americans dubbed Swiss cheese. “Our Emmentaler has a bolder ﬂavor proﬁle than Swiss cheese,” says Chuck. “It’s made with a starter culture from Europe, and as far as I know, we’re the only U.S. cheese factory using that culture.”
Because east-central Ohio’s climate and rolling terrain are similar to Switzerland’s Emmental Valley, Sugarcreek — aka Ohio’s “Little Switzerland” — became a center for both Swiss culture and cheese production. In the early 1900s, the Sugarcreek area had about 60 cheese houses operated by immigrants whose skills and hard work made Swiss
cheese synonymous with the Buckeye State. Presently only a dozen or so Ohio plants manufacture Swiss cheese, but they create more of it — some 150 million pounds annually — than any place in the country. “Ohio is the biggest Swiss cheese producer in the U.S.,” notes Chuck. “It makes about 48% of the nation’s Swiss cheese.”
On Wednesdays, Pearl Valley Cheese also oﬀers free factory tours that begin at the store and end in its shipping facility. Customers are welcome to have a snack at the picnic pavilion just outside the store, and there’s also a small playground for children. Store employees gladly slice samples to taste and even provide serving suggestions. “We try to make things nice for customers because they support us year after year,” says Chuck. “We do a customer appreciation event every summer and always have a bounce house to encourage them to bring their kids.”
Pearl Valley Cheese, 54760 Twp. Rd. 90, Fresno, OH 43824. Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. M–F and 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturdays. 740-545-6002; www.pearlvalleycheese.com.
What’s the story behind that classic, iconic Christmas toy?BY W.H. “CHIP” GROSS
Teddy bears will be purchased in untold numbers this Christmas season as gifts for children, both around the country and around the world. Ever stop and wonder why? There’s a story behind this ubiquitous bear that few people know; it’s a truelife bear-hunting tale with a happy ending for all involved — including the bear.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 1919), America’s 26th president, was our most naturalresources-minded chief executive — and an avid biggame hunter. It was in December 1902, early in his first term as president, that “Teddy,” as he was sometimes called, happened to be on a bear-hunting trip to Mississippi.
Guiding the president for several days was Holt Collier, the most famous bear hunter in the state. Born a slave, Collier was now a freed man who made much of his living by bear hunting. He and his pack of top-notch hounds were said to have taken more than 3 ,000 black bears.
But even as talented a hunter as Collier was, he was having trouble finding a bear for Roosevelt, and no doubt feeling the pressure to produce. After several days, Collier’s hounds finally cornered a large male bear and the guide blew his hunting horn, an audible signal for Roosevelt to come to Collier’s location as quickly as possible.
Before Roosevelt could arrive, though, the bear killed one of Collier’s hounds. Collier normally would have shot and killed the bear at that point during a hunt, but wanting to keep it alive for the president, he lassoed the bear and secured the rope to a tree. When Roosevelt arrived and discovered that the bear was tied, however, he refused to shoot it, stating that it would be “unsportsmanlike to do so.” He said that such an act would violate his belief in a newly evolving hunting ethic at the time known as Fair Chase.
The press quickly picked up the story, which found its way to the Washington Post and other large Eastern newspapers. Accompanying the story was a blackand-white cartoon sketch titled “Drawing the Line in Mississippi,” picturing Roosevelt refusing to shoot a cub bear being restrained with a rope around its neck.
The account was read by tens of thousands of Americans, likely helping them form a positive opinion of their new president. The story also gave Morris Michtom, a candymaker from Brooklyn, New York, an idea. Michtom asked his wife, a seamstress, to fashion a stuffed toy bear that children might like. His idea was to name the bear in honor of the president — Teddy’s Bear — and sell replicas of the bear in his candy shop. But first, he wanted to get permission from Roosevelt to use his name, so he wrote him a letter.
The president responded that he was flattered and had no objections to the proposal. But he added that he didn’t think associating his name with the bear would make much difference. Roosevelt couldn’t have been more wrong. Sales quickly took off, with Michtom eventually founding the Ideal Toy Company as a result.
Demand has remained strong ever since, and in 2002, a century after the bear’s creation, Mississippi named the teddy bear its official state toy. An interesting side note is that in 2004, a 2,200-acre National Wildlife Refuge within the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi was named for Holt Collier.
So, if you plan on giving a teddy bear to a young person this Christmas, don’t forget to tell the backstory.
Or, on second thought, maybe not. I can remember receiving a teddy bear when I was a young boy, many, many years ago. Had I heard the story then, I probably would have spent the rest of the day stalking Teddy and shooting at him with my new Red Ryder BB gun — an activity my mom would definitely not have approved.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and all the best in your 2023 outdoor adventures.
W.H. “Chip” Gross is Ohio Cooperative Living’s outdoors editor. Send him an email at email@example.com.
Ch ry hazelnut butt cookies
Prep: 20 minutes | Chill: 1 hour | Bake: 12 minutes | Servings: 24 1 cup raw hazelnuts ½ cup sugar 1½ cups ﬂour + more for dusting ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup cold unsalted butter, sliced 1 large egg 2⁄3 cup dried cherries, minced
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and toast 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant. Cool to room temperature, then husk by rubbing a handful of hazelnuts between your hands. Place hazelnuts and sugar into a food processor and pulse until ﬁnely ground. Add in ﬂour, baking powder, and salt, pulsing until incorporated. Pulse in butter and egg until dough forms. Toss minced cherries in a bit of ﬂour, then mix into dough. Form into a 12-inch cylinder (using a little extra ﬂour if needed), cover in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut into half-inch slices and place a half-inch apart on parchmentlined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until shortbread edges are lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Makes approximately 24 cookies. Per serving: 281 calories, 20 grams fat (10 grams saturated fat), 56 milligrams cholesterol, 213 milligrams sodium, 24 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams ﬁber, 3 grams protein.
Have you tried one of our recipes? Do you have a recipe to share with other Ohio co-op members? Visit the Member Interactive page on www.ohiocoopliving.com to find recipes submitted by our readers and to upload yours.
While you’re there, check out a video of a few of our recipes being prepared.
Dried fruit sweet rolls
Prep: 15 minutes | Proof: 3 hours | Bake: 20 minutes | Servings: 9
3 medium overripe bananas, peeled 1 large egg 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped dried fruit (raisins, golden raisins, apricots, cranberries, and/or pineapple)
1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2¼ cups all-purpose ﬂour
extra butter for greasing pan and brushing tops (salted or unsalted)
In a large bowl, mash bananas well, add egg, and mix together. Add yeast, salt, dried fruit, and melted butter, mixing well to combine. Add ﬂour in two batches, mixing with a spatula or paddle until all ﬂour has been incorporated and the dough is sticky. Scrape sides of bowl, placing the dough in a round shape in the center. Cover and let rise for 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Drop onto a lightly ﬂoured surface and work into a cylinder shape. Cut into 9 equal pieces. Tuck the bottom of each piece into the middle and roll into a tight ball. Place rolls into 10 x 10-inch baking dish greased with butter so the rolls are touching. Cover and proof for another 1½ hours, or until doubled in size. Uncover and brush with melted butter.
Preheat oven to 350 F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool to the touch, then tear apart and serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat for breakfast, a snack, or a sweet dinner roll.
Per serving: 275 calories, 11 grams fat (7 grams saturated fat), 48 milligrams cholesterol, 210 milligrams sodium, 40 grams total carbohydrates, 2.5 grams ﬁber, 5 grams protein.
Tart and sweet wild rice salad
Prep: 10 minutes | Servings: 6 1 shallot, quartered ¼ cup champagne or white balsamic vinegar 3 to 4 cups cooked and cooled wild rice
tablespoon Dijon mustard
teaspoon black pepper
cup red onion, ﬁnely chopped
red bell pepper, ﬁnely chopped
cup sliced or slivered almonds
cup dried black currants, blueberries, or cranberries
cup olive oil
With a blender or food processor, blend ﬁrst 6 ingredients (shallot through black pepper) until smooth and creamy. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour dressing on top and toss until coated. Serve slightly warmed. Store in airtight container for up to a week.
Per serving: 526 calories, 14 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 427 milligrams sodium, 88 grams total carbohydrates, 9 grams ﬁber, 18 grams protein.
When you establish service with DREC, you become a member of the cooperative.
COOPERATIVE REFUNDING CAPITAL CREDITS
It pays to be a co-op member! Recently, the board of trustees approved payment of capital credits totaling 715 88 to approximately 4,100 members and former members who received electric service from Darke Rural Electric Cooperative in the year 2007.
Capital credits are a beneﬁt of your cooperative membership. Since Darke REC is a not-for-proﬁt cooperative, any proﬁt left over after expenses is allocated back to the members, based on their electric use that year. You are a part-owner of your electric utility, and your allocation is your share of ownership.
The money is used by the cooperative for upgrading equipment and rebuilding power lines. This allows the cooperative keep our system up to date and provide reliable service to the members while lessening the need for outside loans. The board votes on when to pay out that money to the members.
With this year’s refund, the total amount of capital credits that has been returned to members is $23,265,750 37. Capital credits payments are unique to cooperatives — customers of investor-owned utilities do not have this beneﬁt.
Checks will be mailed out the ﬁrst week of December. If you do not receive your check by mid-December, please call the co-op office.
Each year, co-op margins after expenses have been paid are allocated to your capital credits account.
A capital credits account is established in your name, and DREC uses this to record your investment in the cooperative.
Capital credits are based on the amount of electricity you use, so your allocation varies each year.
Annually, the board evaluates the financial condition of the co-op to determine if capital credits can be retired.
When the board decides to retire capital credits, members in the year being retired will receive a capital credits retirement check.
High school sophomores and juniors!
Interested in a life-changing leadership experience in Washington, D.C.?
What is Youth Tour?
The Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives Youth Tour is an annual leadership program sponsored by Darke Rural Electric Cooperative. It’s a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., that gives high school students the opportunity to learn about our nation’s rich history, make new friends from across the state and country, and visit Capitol Hill to meet with legislators.
June 17–23, 2023
• Must be a high school sophomore or junior.
• Must be a son, daughter, or legal ward of a Darke Rural Electric Cooperative member living on the cooperative’s lines and receiving electric service from the cooperative at the time of selection.
• Must submit an application along with grade transcripts indicating cumulative credit hours and grade-point average.
• Must submit a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor, principal, teacher, or community or organization advisor.
Applicants will be required to take a test consisting of true/false and short essay questions about electric cooperatives.
Application deadline is March 1, 2023. Applicants will receive the information necessary to study for the test when their application is received.
When 1982 rolled around, the U.S. Mint hadn’t produced a commemorative half dollar for nearly three decades. So, to celebrate George Washington’s 250th birthday, the tradition was revived. The Mint struck 90% silver half dollars in both Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) and Proof condition. These milestone Washington coins represented the ﬁrst-ever modern U.S. commemoratives, and today are still the only modern commemorative half dollars struck in 90% silver!
Iconic Designs of the Father of Our Country
These spectacular coins feature our ﬁrst President and the Father of Our Country regally astride a horse on the front, while the back design shows Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. Here’s your chance to get both versions of the coin in one remarkable, 40-year-old, 2-Pc. Set—a gleaming Proof version with frosted details rising over mirrored ﬁelds struck at the San Francisco Mint, and a dazzling Brilliant Uncirculated coin with crisp details struck at the Denver Mint. Or you can get either coin individually.
Very Limited. Sold Out at the Mint!
No collection of modern U.S. coins is complete without these ﬁrst-ever, one-year-only Silver Half Dollars—which effectively sold out at the mint since all unsold coins were
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Santa’s elves come to Ansonia Lumber each December bearing wooden toys they fashioned for underprivileged children throughout Darke County.
The 29th annual wooden toy contest will be Dec. 10, according to organizer Mitch McCabe, sales and marketing manager for the lumber company.
In 2021, woodworkers entered 27 projects for judging in adult and youth divisions. Scott Phillips, host of the popular PBS program American Woodshop, looks
forward to judging the annual competition. Top entries are judged on precision, detail, craftsmanship, and “overall fun” of the toy.
“This is like Christmas to me,” Phillips says. “People get so carried away with presents as the holiday season approaches. Those in need do not have the luxury of buying or receiving lots of gifts. These woodworkers — old and young alike — give of their time and talent to make sure some youngsters don’t go without a gift under the tree.”
Ansonia Lumber’s annual wooden toy contest promotes craftsmanship for a cause.BY MARGIE WUEBKER
According to McCabe, the lumber company started sponsoring the wooden toy contest in 1993 as a means of making sure underprivileged children received holiday gifts while giving area woodworkers an opportunity to showcase their handiwork.
Winners receive tools or gift certificates, but no one goes home empty-handed. Frank Miller Lumber of Union City, Ind., sends home hardwood with each participant for the next contest.
Arcanum resident Harry Niswonger has been entering handcrafted toys since the early 1990s — earning numerous awards in the process. The 97-year-old finished third last year with an Abrams tank that featured
Far left, 97-year-old Harry Niswonger shows off his Abrams tank (shown in detail below), while judge Scott Phillips examines a wooden truck made by Neal Pleiman of Osgood.
workable tread, a moving turret, and machine guns that swivel.
Niswonger, like other contestants, says he doesn’t track the time he spends on contest entries. “If I knew the time involved, I might not start in the first place,” he says.
Cathy Liening of Osgood, a member of Darke Rural Electric and a teacher by trade, swept top honors in the adult division with her unique American folk art entry last year. She created blocks depicting a circus Big Top, ringmaster, and exotic animals, and used woodburning for detail.
“There is no pattern,” she says. “It’s educational with numbers and words on the back of each piece.”
Her husband, Roger, also enjoys woodworking, and talent apparently runs in the family; grandsons Owen and Gavin Frey of Defiance took second-place honors in the youth division with their Plinko board.
Brad Lentz, a teacher from Rossburg, submitted a Connect Four gameboard. The Darke County Rural Electric member has been entering the past four years. His son, 11-year-old Max Lentz, seems to have inherited dad’s penchant for woodworking. He started three years ago using discarded
wood for practice, and his colorful safari animals earned fourth place this time. “I look forward to the contest each year,” McCabe says. “It is so much fun seeing what these people come up with, and it’s all for a good cause.”
For more information about Ansonia Lumber or the wood toy contest, visit www.ansonialumber.com or call McCabe at 937-337-3111. Phillips also posts contest details and photos online at www.facebook.com/theamericanwoodshop.
Now you can ﬁ nally have all of the soothing beneﬁts of a relaxing warm bath, or enjoy a convenient refreshing shower while seated or standing with Safe Step Walk-In Tub’s FREE Shower Package!
✓ First walk-in tub available with a customizable shower
✓ Fixed rainfall shower head is adjustable for your height and pivots to offer a seated shower option
✓ High-quality tub complete with a comprehensive lifetime warranty on the entire tub
✓ Top-of-the-line installation and service, all included at one low, affordable price
Now you can have the best of both worlds–there isn’t a better, more a ordable walk-in tub!
First responders for the soul
International chaplain group, founded by an Ohio co-op member, provides ‘spiritual ﬁrst aid’ in times of need.BY VICKI REINHART JOHNSON
When people are dealing with natural disasters, loss of loved ones, addiction, or any of a number of traumatic life events, they often find themselves in need of spiritual guidance.
Enter the International Alliance of Community Chaplains. “We’re trained in chaplaincy, how to do counsel with people in trauma and at critical incidents,” says Tracy Elder, chairman of the board and former president of the group. ”We’re helping people to recover from any type of trauma, no matter what it is.”
Elder (pictured at right) lives in Knox County, where she’s a member of The Energy Cooperative of Newark. She leads a worldwide team of nearly 1,000 board-certified volunteer chaplains trained to provide mental, emotional, and spiritual support, counseling, addiction and recovery services, and critical incident support wherever they’re
needed. They might once have been victims themselves, or they could be first responders — law enforcement, fire, and emergency services personnel. Chaplains work with community service, courts, schools, hospitals, hospice, and veterans.
The organization started in 2004, after a series of tornadoes moved through South Carolina, leaving devastation behind. “There were all these people standing in front of these broken homes,” Elder says. “It was like a scene out of Twister, the movie.”
That scene was the incentive to form the corps. First, it was a small local group in Seneca County, where Elder worked as chaplain for the Seneca County Sheriff ’s Office. But it grew, and now 18 years later, the organization reaches across the United States and to Europe, Africa, Barbados, the Caribbean, and Polynesia
— the most recent additions this year in Hawaii and the Samoan Islands.
Even before she formed the organization, Elder was at Ground Zero during 9/11 in New York. Members have been in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and at countless similar disasters. “Those are the things where you realize people really need spiritual care, when their whole world has been rocked,” she says.
But natural disasters aren’t the only devastating events in people’s lives. “It can be a divorce, domestic violence, or losing a child or another family member,” she says. “These things happen every single day, and not everyone is equipped to deal with the traumas of life.”
Working with a former student with tribal connections, Elder said the organization has extended its services west.
“Right now, we’re doing a lot of work in Montana with (Native American) tribes,” she says. “I was more surprised than anyone to find they really welcomed us in. We put together a class there, and next thing you know, we have all the tribes in Montana signed on.”
An offshoot of the parent organization, the Alliance represents more than 40 nations, including all the tribes in Montana as well as several in Washington state, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Elder says the corps is one of the only chaplaincy organizations working with Native American tribes at the tribal council level.
“If you look at the tribal nations, there’s a lot of trauma historically, and right now they’re losing their children to suicide,” Elder says. “They seem to have a disproportionate number of their people suffering from different traumas,”
she says. “This gives them something now where they’re able to heal their people.”
No matter their age, gender, or race, chaplains are trained to help people face their addictions and move past trauma to regain their lives. “What we’re teaching them is a new way to communicate, and doesn’t everybody need that?” she says. “We’re having the hard conversations.”
When someone is addicted to a substance, there are physical, mental, and emotional aspects.
“There’s a level of shame that goes in there with the people who are addicted, but they’re not able to communicate
well,” she says. “How do you tell someone what you left behind and were willing to do to continue the addiction? Most of them can’t get past the misunderstandings other people have about it.”
Chaplains help people look within themselves.
“The first step is telling God and another person you’re wrong,” she says. “That’s the conversation that has to happen. They must face it within themselves. There’s something in there. It doesn’t have to make sense to anybody else. It makes sense to them.”
It’s a similar process when helping people through domestic violence and relationship issues. ”That’s the first step in getting people to heal, because of the way trauma works on the way we think and the way that we see the world,” she says.
This fall, the organization launched a new program that goes beyond an immediate need for chaplaincy to longterm care.
“We now have board-certified coaching chaplains,” Elder says. “One of the things we find as chaplains is that people are in need not only of spiritual care, but after-care. They’re not sure how to put their lives back together.”
After significant life changes, coaching chaplains help them find a path back to a new life.
“It’s a new normal,” she says. “Life is not the same as it was.”
She says coaches don’t do mental health counseling and diagnosis of mental illness, but help people get moving toward their new lives.
“To go and help. That’s what it’s all about.”Tracy Elder (left) poses with chaplains Debra Homegun (center) and Jenn Buckley and Buckley’s daughter, Hayley, of the Native Nations Chaplaincy Alliance during a recent visit.
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the Big Tree, and hundreds of illuminated animal images. 419 385 5721 or www.toledozoo.org.
THROUGH JAN. 1 – North Pole Express, 12505 Co. Rd. 99, Findlay, Fri./Sat. 5:30 9 p.m., Sun. 5:30 8:30 p.m. $4; 12 and under, $3. Hop on board our quarterscale locomotive for a trip through a magical winter wonderland. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on select days. 419 423 2995 or www.nworrp.org.
discover the holiday traditions of President Rutherford and First Lady Lucy Hayes. 419 332 2081 or www.rbhayes.org.
DEC. 26–27, 29–31 – Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides at Spiegel Grove, 1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont, 1 4 p.m. $4.50–$5.50; 2 and under free. Ride through the wooded grounds in a sleigh or trolley drawn by South Creek Clydesdales. 419 332 2081 or www.rbhayes.org.
THROUGH DEC. 17 – Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Fort Findlay Playhouse, 300 W. Sandusky St., Findlay, Thur.–Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m. Heartwarming stage adaptation of the beloved holiday film. 567 525 3636 or www.fortfindlayplayhouse.org.
THROUGH DEC. 24 – Bright Nights, Allen Co. Fgds., 2750 Harding Hwy., Lima, 6 9 p.m. $10/vehicle, $30/ bus. Cash only accepted at the gate. A drive-through Christmas tradition, with over 80 LED light displays, a light tunnel, and illuminated trees and buildings throughout the fairgrounds. www.allencofair.com.
THROUGH DEC. 25 – 4-H Exchange Club Holiday Light Show, Van Wert Co. Fgds., 1055 S. Washington St., Van Wert, Thur.–Sun. 6 9:30 p.m. $5/vehicle, $25/ bus. Drive-through light display. 419 238 9270 or www.vanwertcountyfair.com.
THROUGH DEC. 30 – Upper’s Winter Fantasy of Lights, Harrison Smith Park, 525 E. Wyandot Ave., Upper Sandusky, Mon.–Thur. 6 9:30 p.m. ($5/car), Fri.–Sun. 6 10 p.m. ($10/car). The 33 acres of the park will be ablaze with millions of lights and a myriad of unique light displays. 419 294 3556 or www.uppersfantasyoflights.org.
THROUGH DEC. 31 – Lake of Lights, Saulisberry Park/ France Lake, 13344 St. Rte. 67 W., Kenton, 6 9 p.m. daily. Drive-through lighting event; special events held on the weekends. 419 675 2547 or lakeoflights08@ gmail.com.
THROUGH DEC. 31 – Lights Before Christmas, Toledo Zoo, 2 Hippo Way, Toledo. Over 1 million lights,
THROUGH JAN. 8 – “Hayes Train Special” Model Train Display, Hayes Library and Museums, Spiegel Grove, 1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont. Free; donations accepted. Operating model train display runs through an intricate Victorian holiday scene. Interactive buttons, multi-tier layout. 419 332 2081 or www.rbhayes.org.
DEC. 3–4, 10–11 – Holiday Train, Mad River and NKP Railroad Museum, 253 Southwest St., Bellevue, 12 5 p.m. $6 per rider; no reservations required. Take a short ride on one of our restored cabooses, which are heated, comfortable, and fully operational. Refreshments served after the ride. 419 483 2222 or www.madrivermuseum.org.
DEC. 10 – ”Train Town” Train Show and Swap, Allen Co. Fgds., 2750 Harding Hwy., Lima, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $7; 12 and under free. www.allencofair.com.
DEC. 11–22 – Winter Wonderland, Sandusky Co. Fgds., 901 Rawson Ave., Fremont, Sun.–Thur. 6 8 p.m. drive-through, Fri./Sat. 6 8 p.m. walk-through. 419 332 5604 or www.sanduskycountyfair.com/ scfwinterwonderland.
DEC. 16, 18 – Silver Screen Classics: It’s a Wonderful Life, Valentine Theatre, 400 N. Superior St., Toledo, Fri. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $5. See Frank Capra’s classic Christmas tale on the big screen. 419 242 2787 or www.valentinetheatre.com.
DEC. 17–18, 21–22 – A Presidential Christmas: Hayes Home Holidays, Hayes Library and Museums, Spiegel Grove, 1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont, 5 9 p.m. $8–$18; 5 and under free. Tour the Hayes home and
DEC. 31 – New Year’s Eve Celebration, downtown Fremont, 7 p.m.–1 a.m. 419 332 8696 or www.downtownfremontohio.org.
DEC. 31 – “Walleye Madness at Midnight” Walleye Drop, North Madison Street, Port Clinton, 4 p.m.–midnight. 419 635 7470 or www.wyliewalleyefoundation.com.
JAN. 7 – Model Train Clinic, Spiegel Grove, 1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont, 1 4 p.m. $5; under 6 free. Veteran model train hobbyists will assist you with advice related to model train maintenance and repair, as well as estimating the value of older model trains. 419 332 2081 or www.rbhayes.org.
JAN. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Ice Skating Lessons, The Cube, 3430 N. Main St., Findlay, noon. $44/session. Group skating lessons for ages 5 and up. Sessions are once a week for four weeks. 419 424 7176 or www.visitfindlay. com/event/ice-skating-lessons/2023 01 07
to Ohio Cooperative Living , 6677 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229
firstname.lastname@example.org. Ohio Cooperative Living will not publish listings that don’t include a complete address or a number/ website for more information.
THROUGH DEC. 25 – Medina County Fair Drive-Thru Holiday Lights, Medina Co. Fgds., Medina, Fri./Sat. 6 10 p.m., Sun. and weeknights 6 9 p.m. $10 per car; $20 per 15-passenger van; $50 per bus. www.medinaohiofair.com.
THROUGH DEC. 30 – Deck the Hall: “Gracious Gathering,” Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 3 8 p.m. $9–$24, under 3 free; tickets must be purchased in advance. The estate is decked out with 1 million lights, while inside the Manor House are traditional and whimsical decorations, with 30 decorated Christmas trees in 19 spaces. 330 315 3287 or www. stanhywet.org.
THROUGH DEC. 31 – Ashtabula County’s Lights on the Lake, Lakeshore Park, 1700 E. 1st St., Ashtabula, 6 9 p.m.; Dec. 24, 25, 31: 6 8 p.m. $5/car or van, $1/person on bus, $20/mini-bus. Largest holiday light display on Lake Erie. 440 993 1051 or www.aclotl.com.
THROUGH JAN. 1 – Elegant Illusions Drive-Through Park, Canfield Fgds., 7265 Columbiana-Canfield Rd., Canfield. $25 per car, truck, SUV, van; $50–$75 for party bus and tour bus. All-new LED displays, the latest in animatronics, and over 50 holiday scenes. 330 947 2974 or www.elegantchristmaslighting.com.
THROUGH JAN. 7 – Steubenville Nutcracker Village
and Christmas at the Fort, Steubenville Visitor Center, 120 S. 3rd St., Steubenville. Free. Over 180 life-size, handcrafted nutcrackers are on display downtown, while Fairytale Friends welcome visitors at Fort Steuben Park 24/7. Enjoy the Advent Market, hayrides, the Holly Trolley, kids’ activities, and much more. 740 283 4935 or www. steubenvillenutcrackervillage.com.
DEC. 10 – Christmas Craft and Art Show, GTCPS Community Center, 148 S. Milton St., Smithville, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Handmade items only. 330 845 0921 or www.gtcps.org/2022/10/christmas-craft-and-art-showdecember.html.
DEC. 10 – Jingle Mingle Craft and Vendor Show, Strongsville Recreation Center, 18100 Royalton Rd., Strongsville, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Free. www.facebook.com/ events/491348575860865
DEC. 10 – Solon Hometown Holiday Market, Solon Recreation Center, 35000 Portz Pkwy., Solon, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Celebrate the holiday season while shopping local! This handmade market features artists and crafters selling their original items. www.avantgardeshows.com.
DEC. 10 – Stark Vintage Market, Stark Co. Fgds., 305 Wertz Ave. NW, Canton, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $3, under 5 free. Antique, vintage, and artisan marketplace. 330 495 3044 or www.starkvintagemarket.com.
DEC. 11 – Massillon Train and Toy Show, Massillon Knights of Columbus Hall, 988 Cherry Rd. NW, Massillon, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $5; 12 and under free. All gauges, parts, running layouts, farm and vintage toys, die-cast models, NASCAR items. 150+ tables. Food and drink available. www.cjtrains.com/shows.
DEC. 16–18 – Holiday Market at the Screw Factory, 13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood, Fri. 6 10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. View and purchase pottery, photography, leatherwork, perfumes, paintings, and much more from resident and guest artists. www.screwfactoryartists.org.
DEC. 18 – Flea Market of Collectables, Medina County Fgds. Community Center, 735 Lafayette Rd., Medina, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. $2. Early bird special admission: 6 9 a.m., $3. A treasure trove of vintage items and collectables. 330 948 4300 or www.conraddowdell.com.
DEC. 21 – Winter Solstice Celebration, The West Woods, Oak Room A, Novelty, 7:30 9:30 p.m. Free; registration required. Celebrate the longest night of the year as we explore the roots of our modern holiday celebrations, indoors and out, including a candlelit walk through the woods. Dress for the weather. 440 286 9516 or www.geaugaparkdistrict.org.
DEC. 31 – Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 2 p.m. Freewill offering. An Elizabethan Christmas experience with pageantry and music that celebrates the light of Christ coming into the world. Features historical figures in period costumes, live animals, a choir, and more. www.boarsheadcleveland.org.
JAN. 4–8 – Ohio RV Supershow, I-X Center, One I-X Center Dr., Cleveland, Wed.–Fri. noon–9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. See the newest RVs including tent campers, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motor homes. 330 678 4489 or www.ohiorvshow.com.
JAN. 7 – Snow Dogs Train Show, UAW Hall, 5615 Chevrolet Blvd., Parma, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $6, under 12 free. All-gauge show with over 150 tables of trains and toys, operating layouts, and good food. 330 633 9097, email@example.com, or www.cvsga.com. Contact: Jim Futules, P.O. 291, Tallmadge, OH 44278
JAN. 12–15 – Cleveland Boat Show, I-X Ctr., 1 I-X Center Dr., Cleveland, Thur./Fri. noon–9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. See all the newest boats and watercraft as well as sailing simulators, the 5,000-gallon aquarium, live fishing clinics and seminars, and a skiing partner for Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel! www.clevelandboatshow.com.
Mon. and Tues. through Dec. 13; open nightly Dec. 14 30, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Check website for hours. Don’t forget to buy your special effects glasses at the gate! No cash accepted. www.holidayinlights.com.
THROUGH DEC. 31 – Light Up Middletown, Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown, 6 10 p.m. daily. Admission by cash donation — you set the price! A drive-through fantasy light display, open in all weather. www.lightupmiddletown.org.
DEC. 11 – Jim and Dan Comic and Toy Show, Wright State University, Student Union, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Vintage and new comics, toys, collectibles, and more. Special guests, cosplay, and door prizes! 937 839 7068 or https://jimanddancomics.com/shows.
THROUGH DEC. 17 – Yuletide Village: Season of Lights, Ohio Renaissance Festival, 10542 E. St. Rte. 73, Waynesville, Fri. 5 9 p.m., Sat. 3 9 p.m. $15, under 12 free. Light shows, hot food and drinks, Yuletide Market, Santa and Krampus, and much more. 513 897 7000 or www.yuletidevillage.com.
THROUGH DEC. 23 – North Pole Express, LM&M Railroad, 16 E. South St., Lebanon. $22–$50; under 2, $5. Take a ride on a vintage train with Santa and his elves! See website for days and times. Reservations recommended. 513 933 8022 or www.lebanonrr.com/ northpole.
THROUGH DEC. 30 – Holiday in Lights, Warren County Armco Park, 1223 OH-741, Lebanon. Closed
THROUGH JAN. 1 – Christmas at the Junction, EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Court, West Chester. $12 95–$16 95; under 2 free. See the magic of Christmas at the home of the world’s largest indoor train display. Take the family on a “Journey to the North Pole” where you’ll meet Santa and Mrs. Claus! 513 898 8000 or www.entertrainmentjunction.com.
THROUGH JAN. 25 – Bluegrass Wednesdays, Vinoklet Winery, 11069 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, Wed. 6:30 8:30 p.m. Free entertainment by Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass. Reservations recommended. 513 385 9309, vinokletwinery@fuse. net, or www.vinokletwines.com.
DEC. 10 11 – Dayton Christkindlmarkt, 1400 E. Fifth St., Dayton, Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–3 p.m. Celebrate the centuries-old Christmas market tradition that originated in Germany. 937 223 9013 or www.daytongermanclub.org.
DEC. 15 – Big Band Series: “Jingle Jazz,” The Redmoor (Mt. Lookout), 3187 Linwood Ave., Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. $10–$15. Enjoy a variety of Christmas classics from some of CCJO’s most popular programs as well as new takes on your favorite holiday classics, many of which were written by members of the orchestra. www.cincinnatijazz.org.
DEC. 17 – Christmas in Loveland, Historic Downtown Loveland, 4 8 p.m. Free. Carriage rides, complimentary tastings from area restaurants, crafts, holiday beverages, live Christmas entertainment, live Nativity scene, and more. https://lovinlifeloveland.com/events/ christmas-in-loveland.
JAN. 13 14 – “Grieg: Peer Gynt in Concert,” Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. Starting at $15. A Norwegian fairy tale comes to life with a concert staging of Grieg’s enchanting score to Ibsen’s play. 513 381 3300 or www.cincinnatisymphony.org.
JAN. 14 – “Chocolate Meltdown and More!,” Oxford Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave., Oxford, 1 5 p.m. Free. Chocolate vendors, art exhibition, games, and other fun events. 513 524 8506 or www.oxarts.org.
THROUGH DEC. 31 – A Storybook Christmas, Zanesville and Muskingum County. Explore Dresden, New Concord, and Zanesville as each town and business is decorated in a storybook theme. Concerts, parades, carriage rides, shopping, and more. Nightly light and music show at the Muskingum County Courthouse Sun.–Thur. 5 9 p.m. and Fri./Sat. 5 10 p.m. 740 455 8282 or www.visitzanesville.com.
THROUGH JAN. 1 – Butch Bando’s Fantasy of Lights, Alum Creek State Park Campgrounds, 3311 S. Old State Rd., Delaware, Sun.–Thur. 5:30 9:30 p.m., Fri./Sat. 5:30 10 p.m. $20 per car on weekdays, $30 on weekends. Season pass $80. 3-mile drive-through light show. 614 412 3499 or https://butchbandosfantasyoflights.com.
THROUGH JAN. 1 – WonderLight’s Christmas, Hartford Fgds., 14028 Fairgrounds Rd., Hartford, 5:30 10 p.m. nightly (including holidays). $30/car (up to 7 passengers); kids 3 and under free. Reservations strongly recommended. Over 1 million LED lights synchronized to traditional and newer, rocking Christmas music played through your own car stereo. www.wonderlightschristmas.com/ohio.
THROUGH DECEMBER – Athens Art Market, 1000 E. State St., Athens, Sat. 9 a.m.–noon. Handcrafted local artisan-made works. Variety of artists changes weekly. www.facebook.com/athensartguild or https:// athensartguild.org.
THROUGH DECEMBER – Athens Farmers Market, 1000 E. State St., Athens, Sat. 9 a.m.–noon. 740 593 6763 or www.athensfarmersmarket.org.
THROUGH DEC. 17 – National Museum of Cambridge Glass Holiday Hours, 136 S. 9th St., Cambridge, Fri./Sat. 12 4 p.m. $6, Srs. $5, under 12 free. 740 432 4245 or www.cambridgeglass.org.
THROUGH DEC. 18 – Santa Train, Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville Depot, 33 W. Canal St., Nelsonville, daytime departures Sat./Sun. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., evening rides Fri./Sat. 6 p.m. $16–$21, under 3 free. Santa boards the train and visits with each child
DEC. 10 – Holiday Craft Show and Bake Sale, Franklin Co. Fgds., Edwards Bldg., 5035 Northwest Pkwy., Hilliard, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Handmade, home-crafted items only. Great chance to get those last-minute gifts! firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook. com/events/614311123521019
DEC. 10–11, 17–18 – Zanesville & Western Scenic Railroad Santa Rides, 5700 St. Rte. 204, Mt. Perry, 2 7 p.m. $5–$9, under 3 free. Trains depart hourly. Bring unwrapped new children’s toy in the original packaging or a donation to the local food pantry for a discounted ride. 674 595 9701 or www.zwsr.org.
DEC. 11 – Winter Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show, Makoy Event Center, 5462 Center St., Hilliard, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $3, under 12 free. Featuring artists and crafters selling their original handmade items. Full concession stand on-site. www.avantgardeshows.com.
DEC. 13, JAN. 10 – Inventors Network Meeting, virtual, 7 p.m. Educational presentations and discussion about the invention process. 614 470 0144 or www. inventorscolumbus.com.
DEC. 17–18 – Carpe Diem String Quartet, First Community South, 1320 Cambridge Blvd., Columbus, Sat. 4 6 p.m., Sun. 2 4 p.m. $10–$35. Boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical acclaim, with programs that include classical, Gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music. www.cdsq.org/events.
DEC. 17 – Ernie Haase and Signature Sounds: “A Jazzy Little Christmas,” Marion Palace Theatre, 276 W. Center St., Marion, 7:30 p.m. $22–$32. Gaither-style music with four-part harmony and a three-piece jazz band. 740 383 2101 or www.marionpalace.org.
DEC. 17–18 – Polaris Makers Market Christmas Shows, Polaris Fashion Place, 1500 Polaris Pkwy.,
Columbus. Features dozens of artists and crafters. www.polarismakersmarket.com.
DEC. 20–29 – Forever Plaid: “Plaid Tidings,” Weathervane Playhouse, 100 Price Rd., Newark, 7:30 p.m. $15–$37 740 366 4616 or www.weathervaneplayhouse.com.
JAN. 6–8 – Columbus Building and Renovation Expo, Ohio Expo Center, Kasich Hall, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Fri. noon–7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $6, under 18 free. Top-quality exhibits, informative seminars, insightful demonstrations, and more. Discover thousands of smart, stylish, and costeffective ways to design or renovate your home. www.homeshowcenter.com.
JAN. 6–15 – Ohio RV and Boat Show, Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th St., Columbus, Wed.–Fri. noon–8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. $3–$15; 5 and under free. Hundreds of RVs, campers, boats, motorcycles, and more from over 21 dealers, plus camping gear, equipment, and related products. 614 370 4399 or www.ohiorvandboatshow.com.
JAN. 8 – Columbus Paper, Postcard, and Book Show, Ohio Expo Center, Rhodes Bldg., 717 E. 17th St., Columbus, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $6. Vintage paper collectibles including postcards, books, paper ads, trade cards, photographs, magazines, documents, and much more. 614 206 9103 or www.facebook.com/Columbus-PaperShow-134469001768
JAN. 8 – Ohio Guitar Show, Makoy Center, 5462 Center St., Hilliard, 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. $10 (cash only). Buy, sell, and trade. Over 100 dealers! Guitars, amps, effects, parts, catalogs. 740 797 3351 or www.ohioguitarshow.com.
as the train traverses the historic Hocking River Valley. www.hvsry.org/trainlist/#santa.
THROUGH DEC. 31 – “Savage Ancient Seas,” Bossard Library, 7 Spruce St., Gallipolis. Free. Traveling exhibition featuring the marine fossil world of the Late Cretaceous Period. www.bossardlibrary.org.
THROUGH JAN. 2 – Dickens Victorian Village, Wheeling Avenue, Cambridge. Stroll downtown to view scenes depicting life in 1850s England, featuring life-sized, handmade mannequins wearing real vintage clothing. 800 933 5480 or www. dickensvictorianvillage.com.
THROUGH JAN. 2 – Guernsey County Courthouse Holiday Light Show, Cambridge, 5:30 9 p.m. nightly. Four different light and music shows each evening. 800 933 5480 or www.dickensvictorianvillage.com.
DEC. 10 – Columbus Symphony: Holiday Pops Spectacular, Stuart’s Opera House, 52 Public Square, Nelsonville, 7:30 9:30 p.m. $30–$55. Enjoy spectacular performances of classic carols and seasonal favorites. 740 753 1924 or www.stuartsoperahouse.org.
DEC. 17 – Christmas Candle Walk, Dickens Welcome Center, 647 Wheeling Ave., Cambridge, 6 p.m. Free. Join us as we tour the Victorian village by candlelight. Bring your own candle or lantern. Dress warmly and wear comfortable walking shoes. www. dickensvictorianvillage.com/seasonalevents.php.
DEC. 17 – KAVAN: Elvis Christmas Show, Majestic Theatre, 45 E. Second St., Chillicothe, 7:30 p.m. $18–$25. KAVAN will present the Christmas edition of
“4 Shades of Elvis,” covering Elvis’ hit songs from the 50s, the movie years, and the ’68 comeback special, then closing with “Aloha from Hawaii.” www.majesticchillicothe.net.
DEC. 17 – Trolley Tour, Dickens Welcome Center, 647 Wheeling Ave., Cambridge, departing every hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $10. Tour covers historical downtown Cambridge with its Victorian scenes and several outlying historical areas. Trolleys are covered and heated; wheelchair accessible. 740 421 4956 or www.dickensvictorianvillage.com.
DEC. 31 – New Year’s Eve Train and Fireworks, Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville Depot, 33 W. Canal St., Nelsonville, 10:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. $22–$35 The train travels to East Logan and then returns. On the trip back, it stops near the stroke of midnight so everyone can watch the great fireworks display to help ring in the new year! 740 249 1452 or www.hvsry.org.
JAN. 12 – Josh Turner, Peoples Bank Theatre, 222 Putnam St., Marietta, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $68 www.peoplesbanktheatre.com/event.
JAN. 13 – The Commodores, Peoples Bank Theatre, 222 Putnam St., Marietta, 8 p.m. Tickets start at $75 www.peoplesbanktheatre.com/event.
JAN. 15 – Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Stuart’s Opera House, 52 Public Square, Nelsonville, 3 p.m. A special matinee performance from “The New Queen of Bluegrass” and her award-winning band. 740 753 1924 or www.stuartsoperahouse.org.
WINTER ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY TIPS
Energy strategies to
keep your holidays merry, bright, affordable and safe!
Seal air leaks to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from entering your home. Use timers indoors and out to give your decorations—and your electric bill—a break. Switch to a smart thermostat and save up to 15% on energy costs. Open blinds and curtains during the day to allow sunlight in to warm your home. Close blinds and curtains at night to keep out cold, drafty air.
Switch to LED lights. They stay cool, use up to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs, and reduce the risk of ﬁre.
Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees to prevent scalding and save energy. Avoid running cords under rugs or in places where pets might be tempted to chew.