πŸ”¦ Winter sports preview

Meet the stars of this season's SMF teams. Plus, Bob Heydorn Chambers, Wreaths Across America and more

Today is Nov. 18, 2022.

  • Rise and shine! It's going to be a cold one today: Mostly cloudy with flurries and a high of 33, then dropping to 22 tonight. It's going to stay cold all weekend, even getting down to 19 Saturday night, but take heart: It's going to warm up as we start next week, with 50 degrees forecast for Tuesday. And your early forecast for Thanksgiving Day: high of 41, low of 34, with rain possible later in the day.

  • Before we get into today's news, some more housekeeping. Despite our best efforts, we're still only up to 43 paid subscribers, and we're burning too much cash. So we need to make changes to ensure everything we've accomplished doesn't go to waste. The Spotlight has become a valuable community forum, and you all seem to love it, as evidenced by your engagement rates if not our checking account. So we've decided to switch to a weekly format on Fridays with a lot less original reporting. We'll still give you news briefs, the community calendar, obits, local government meeting schedules and minutes, and big stories from time to time. If you've got story tips or press releases, send them! If you'd like to contribute articles about your organization or interest, please contact us! And if you're a local business with a message for over 1,500 people here or thousands more in Portage County, we can help. As promised, we're in this for the long haul. Thanks for all your time and support.

  • Also, I know the text might appear small for some people today. We couldn't figure out why this was happening. You can access a more legible version by visiting the website.

Latest news in brief

You can sponsor a wreath to be placed on a veteran's grave on Wreaths Across America Day

Stow Mayor John Pribonic presents Debbie Schinker, vice regent of the Joshua Stow NSDAR, with a proclamation declaring Dec. 17, 2022, Wreaths Across America Day in Stow. Submitted photo

Mayor John Pribonic has proclaimed that Saturday, Dec. 17, will be Wreaths Across America Day in Stow. On that day,Β the Joshua Stow Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will host a Wreaths Across America ceremony at noon at the Stow Cemetery, honoring veterans from the Revolutionary War to present-day conflicts by placing wreaths on their final resting places. The ceremony will occur simultaneously with other ceremonies across the country and around the globe as part of the Wreaths Across America organization project. This is the second year Stow will participate in Wreaths Across America.

And the Joshua Stow Chapter NSDAR needs your help in this endeavor: The organization is seeking sponsors for enough wreaths to cover the estimated 840 veterans who are buried in Stow's three community cemeteries. Wreaths Across America sponsorship will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 30, at a cost of $15 and can be done online at www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/OH0247P or by emailing [email protected] for a sponsorship form.

Mayor Pribonic presented the proclamation during the Joshua Stow NSDAR wreath-laying ceremony at City Hall on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Due to inclement weather, the ceremony was held indoors in front of a painting of the Stow Doughboy statue. "The laying of our first wreath at the Doughboy symbolizes our gratitude to all the men and women of Stow who served our community and nation in peacetime and war," Chapter Regent Kristen Boutton said. "Our ceremony in December will allow us to continue to honor and express our appreciation for our community veterans.”

More local news:

  • The City of Stow's Glow With Stow Holiday Lighting Event will take place from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Stow City Center (3760 Darrow Rd.). The tree lighting will be held at 6:15 p.m., with other highlights including ice sculpture carving, singing, local food trucks, a train ride, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, making toys in Santa's Workshop, and the display of lights at Stow City Center. For more information, visit https://stowohio.org/calendar.aspx?EID=693.

  • The Munroe Falls Park Board will hold its annual Tree Lighting & Sparkle In The Park Event at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Guise Park. Sparkle In The Park, which will feature sparkly displays like the Candy Cane Tree located at the Gazebo, will run through Monday, Jan. 1, 2023.

  • It's time for Breakfast With Santa! The annual event, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls and Bellacino's Pizza & Grinders (3657 Fishcreek Rd.) in Stow, will take place Saturday, Dec. 3, at Bellacino's. Doors open at 8:15 a.m., and a breakfast pizza buffet with sides including yogurt, fruit, mini-pastries, milk, coffee and juice will be served from 8:30-9 a.m. Activities (handled by members of the Stow-Munroe Falls High School Key Club), featuring chats with Santa, story reading, a game, a special craft and fun "tattoos," are scheduled from 9-10:30 a.m. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children 2-12; children under 2 are free. Make checks payable to Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls and mail to P.O. Box 1875, Stow, OH 44224. For phone reservations or questions, call 330-688-8453 (leave a name, phone number and message). All proceeds from this year's Breakfast With Santa will go to Fishcreek Elementary School.

  • Stow Mayor John PribonicΒ is seeking Stow residents who have an interest in serving the city in a voluntary capacity. Stow residents are needed to fill two vacancies – one each in the Civil Service Commission and the Planning Commission. An appointment to these vacancies is made by the mayor and confirmed by Stow City Council. For an application to these openings, contact the Mayor’s Office at 330-689-2800 or visit https://stowohio.org/DocumentCenter/View/5826/Boards-and-Commissions-Application-PDF. Applications are due by Thursday, Dec. 1.

  • Woodland Elementary School (2908 Graham Rd.) in Stow will hold its 3rd Annual Woodland Holiday Festival from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. The event will feature more than 40 vendors, including a Swensons Food Truck along with jewelry, crafts, home decor, candles, Pink Zebra, Norwex, Color Street, hot cocoa bar and more.

  • Roses Run Country Club (2636 N. River Rd.) in Stow will host Breakfast With Santa & The Grinch from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 3. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 3 and up; children 2 and under are free. Reservations are required; reservation times are 9 a.m., 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. To make reservations, call 330-688-4653 ext. 2. Last day to make reservations is Monday, Nov. 28.

  • Stow City Hall once again will be a collection site for the OPEN M project "Pajamas for Kids." Pajamas for Kids has provided more than 1,000 new pairs of pajamas for children in our surrounding areas at the holiday time, and this year the project is adding a new book to accompany the new pair of pajamas. Pajamas of all sizes are needed. New books are being collected from infant stage through young adult. Bring your donations of new pajamas and new books to Stow City Hall (3760 Darrow Rd.) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday through Friday, Dec. 2. There are also options available to give a gift online: an OPEN M monetary donation for Pajamas for Kids at http://pajamas.givesmart.com. For more information, contact Kelly LaForge at Pajamas for Kids at 216-337-9752 or [email protected].

  • Today is your last chance to make reservations for the Holiday Buffet at Stow-Munroe Falls High School's student-run Joshua's Restaurant. The buffet will be held Thursday, Dec. 1 and Friday, Dec. 2, with seatings at 10:45 a.m. and noon. The Holiday Buffet Lunch Menu includes: oven-roasted turkey breast with gravy; herb-roasted pork loin with cranberry apple chutney; vegetable lasagna; smashed potatoes and gravy; sage stuffing; mixed steamed vegetables; assorted salads, desserts and rolls; all meals include water, punch and coffee. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 330-689-5213. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for preschool children. Joshua's Restaurant is part of the Six District Compact's Culinary Arts program that includes SMF, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Kent Roosevelt, Tallmadge and Woodridge.

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Sponsored by J9 Gifts

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Community calendar

🎭 Fri., Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 20, 2:30 p.m.: "Dorothy in Wonderland." What: The worlds of Oz and Wonderland collide in this youth production (ages 8-17) presented by the Stow Players. Dorothy, Toto and the characters of Oz get caught in another whirlwind that sweeps them off to Wonderland, where they meet Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and many more. Where: Heritage Barn at Silver Springs Park (5238 Young Rd.) in Stow. Seating begins 30 minutes prior to performance. For ticket information, call 234-206-0128 or email [email protected].

πŸ‚ Sat., Nov. 19, 2-3 p.m.: We're Going On A Leaf Hunt. What: Learn about fall trees and their changing colors through stories, hands-on activities and a scavenger hunt to find different leaves outside. This is a free program for children ages 4-8 and their families. Where: Leona Farris Lodge at Silver Springs Park (5027 Stow Rd.) in Stow. To register, visit StowOhio.RecDesk.com. Call the City of Stow Parks and Recreation Department at 330-689-5100 for more information.

πŸŽ… Mon., Nov. 28-Wed., Dec. 14: Santa's Mailbox. What: Program sponsored by the Stow Parks & Recreation Department lets residents write letters to Santa Claus! Just drop your letter into Santa's Mailbox located outside Stow City Hall (3760 Darrow Rd.). You must include a legibly written self-addressed stamped envelope if you want to get a return letter from the jolly old elf. For more information, contact the Stow Parks & Recreation Department at 330-689-5100.

🧩 Sat., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 4, 1-4 p.m.: Friends of the Library Puzzle and Games Sale. What: Get bargains on pre-owned puzzles and games at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Admission to the sale is free and open to the public.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Tues., Dec. 6, 6:30-8 p.m.: Remembering Pearl Harbor. What: On the eve of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a representative from MAPS Air Museum of North Canton will discuss the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which prompted the U.S. to enter World War II. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). To register, visit events.smfpl.org or call 330-688-3295 ext. 4.

🎺 Wed., Dec. 7, 6:30-8 p.m.: Riverfront Community Band. What: A holiday concert to celebrate the season as the Riverfront Community Band, formerly the Bethany Concert Band, performs in the Stow-Munroe Falls Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). Register online at events.smfpl.org or call 330-688-3295 ext. 4.

πŸš‚ Thurs., Dec. 8, 6:30-8 p.m.: Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - 50 Years of Operation Serving Passengers in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. What: For over 50 years, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has carried passengers through the heart of Northeast Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park on its vintage railcars. Join Trainman Eddie (Edward) Svec for a presentation on the unique history, sites and specialty trains that the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has to offer. Where: Stow-Munroe Falls Room at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.). To register, visit events.smfpl.org or call 330-688-3295 ext. 4.

🧸 Fri., Dec. 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Teddy Bear Sleepover. What: Have you ever wondered what your stuffed animals do at night? Find out when you leave your bedtime friends in the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library (3512 Darrow Rd.) overnight. Drop off your stuffed animals in the Children's Department no later than 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, and the library will photograph their adventures. Photos will be shared the next day during a stuffed animal story time in the Stow-Munroe Falls Room at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 9. This event is for ages 2 to 5. Register each age-appropriate child that wishes to attend the program at events.smfpl.org or call 330-688-3295 ext. 5.

Obituaries for Nov. 15-17

Leo MernaghLeo Mernagh, 95, a lifetime resident of Summit County passed away November 14, 2022. Mr. Mernagh was born on March 10, 1927 in Akron, Ohio to George and Lillian Mernagh.Read more

Silver Lake

Paying tribute: Silver Lake names council chambers after late law director Bob Heydorn

Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey (right) and Louise Heydorn at the dedication ceremony. Submitted photo

Bob Heydorn gave much of his life to Silver Lake β€” and the village is giving back.Β The sign above the entrance to Silver Lake's council room now reads "Robert W. Heydorn Chambers" in honor of the village's longtime law director, who passed away in April at age 75.

  • Heydorn was a member of Rotary International for 40 years and served as a life member on the board at the Cuyahoga Falls library.

  • Louise Heydorn unveiled the dedication plaque at the ceremony paying tribute to her husband.

  • "We wanted to do something to make sure his name stayed known," Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey said.


Bulldog Sports Roundup: 2022-23 Winter Sports Preview Special

Well, that went fast. The high school fall sports season is already in the rear-view mirror β€” but the winter campaign is about to heat up. In The Spotlight's Winter Sports Preview Special, we take an in-depth look at Stow-Munroe Falls High School's nine varsity winter sports: boys and girls basketball, boys and girls bowling, gymnastics, girls and boys swimming, wrestling, and ice hockey.

Among the highlights:

  • The girls basketball team looks to continue its dynasty with a seventh straight Suburban League National Conference title this season.

  • The boys basketball team returns a ton of talent and experience from last year's squad that reached the Division I district finals.

  • In only its fourth year as an OHSAA varsity sport, the ice hockey team is set to begin its first season in the rugged Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League.


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Well, that's all for this edition. We're going to take a week off for Thanksgiving, then we'll be back with our next edition on Friday, Dec. 2. Have a great holiday and see you then!