Fun times at the center

Much has transpired at the East Liverpool Area Community & Learning Center since we last took pen in hand to inform the greater East Liverpool community about what they are missing if they have not visited the Center in the past 14 days.

The first of its kind Youth Expo was held Oct. 28. The purpose was to acquaint area youth with the many opportunities available to get involved in group and organizational activities and learning experiences. With over 30 exhibitors/activities on display it was exciting to see and learn about both the old and the many new choices of ways to involve oneself in our community.

Local businesses were very generous in their support of the Expo offering prizes to be given at the auction held at the conclusion of the event. Winners at the drawings were not required to be present so there are still some prizes that have gone unclaimed. Prizes included bowling at Walnut Lanes and family meals at the Hot Dog Shoppe, Adrian’s Restaurant, Pizza Hut and at Bob Evans. Also there were tickets to Lincoln Center for Performing Arts shows and movie theatre tickets. Winners should contact East Liverpool Heath Commissioner Carol Cowan at the City Hall to pick up gift certificates.

The Hot Dog Shoppe and the East Liverpool Dairy Queen provided 150 coupons for free malts, sundaes and cones. The East Liverpool Lions Club served over 200 free hot dogs along with chips, drinks and cookies provided by the Columbiana County Educational Service Center and its sponsors.

The collage in color in last Sunday’s Review provided a good visual representation of exhibitors and events that were part of the Expo. Many exhibitors indicated they would like to be a part of similar programs at the Center in the future. Youth who missed the Expo lost out on a very exciting and entertaining afternoon. While Trunk n’ Treat at Thompson Park had to postpone the Halloween program because of inclement weather, Expo guests at the Center were dry and comfortable.

Learning at the Youth Exposition was not restricted to the youthful visitors. Exhibitors moved around freely exchanging ideas and tips with each other. The many exhibits at the Expo were spread out over both floors and from to end to end as well as in the Auditorium. A booth was manned by John and Daryl Hersh on behalf of the non-profit organization Ozer Ministries that they established in East Palestine over 30 years ago. The Hershs have been counseling adults and youth concerning real life issues such as grief management, addictions and drug abuse, and anger issues.

The Hershs have served as the chaplains at the Columbiana County Tobin Center for the past 15 years where there are troubled young people from Carroll, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. The Ozer Ministries hosted an annual fundraiser Open House and Christmas Sale in East Palestine this past weekend. Proceeds go toward underwriting chaplaincy program expenses. Mr. & Mrs. Hersh have met with and provided guidance to the 15 current residents at the Tobin Center on nearly 1,000 occasions just within in the first 10 months of 2017. They also bring in speakers for the residents and offer additional programs such as crafts.

This past Tuesday was Election Day and it involved taking over the entire Community Center. Voters from three Precincts cast their ballots for local office holders and on the state issues. The turnout was larger than projected with over 600 people showing up at the Center to cast their ballots. Many who voted would not realize how much time the poll workers spend prior to Election Day in training and preparations for that one day event. Workers arrive at polling places prior to 6 a.m. and remain there until after 7:30 p.m. when the polls close. Those 13 1/2 hours encompass three meal periods.

Most poll workers serve at every election, year-after-year, taking pride in the role they play in the electoral process. It enabled voters to participate in directing the future course of their schools, local governments, and local and state issues. Sometimes voters elect state and federal government officials as well. Poll workers should be added to your list of heroes for their dedication and their commitment. Next time be sure to thank them for their service.

The Warrior Hookers Club after months of knitting and crocheting warm weather hats, mittens and scarves with much affection and after great attention to every detail presented their handiwork to students at the North and LaCroft elementary schools last week. There were over 100 items and they were divided equally between the two schools. Some club members were present to see the appreciation on the faces of the children who will benefit from their new cold weather wear that will keep them warm during the upcoming cold days of winter.

This labor of love from the women and one man does not end there. Club members have decided to put their fingers to work creating soft and cuddly hand knitted teddy bears, dolls and toys. These will provide bedtime companions for small children from the area in the future. A former teacher, Sharon Whims, also mentors students at the Center, as well as being the organizer and leader of this generous group. Donations of yarn to help with the project may be dropped off at the Center and will be greatly appreciated.

Work on the new Formal Reception area in the former Narthex of the Church leading into the Auditorium was just completed through the generosity of another friend of the Center. New furnishings include a Tree of Life rug beneath a stylish couch complete with a distinctive matching pillow. On one side of the couch is a new chair and on the opposite side is a large leafy plant. In front of the couch is a glass topped coffee table with a fashioned wooden base. A copper vase placed in the center of the table adds to the modern and comfortable appearance of the area and to a warm and inviting setting.

Lest the reader should think that this is all that took place at the Center over the past two weeks, on one day there were two separate birthday parties in the Dining Hall.

On several days there have been five different activities going on at the same time in the Center in five separate rooms. Once there were two programs scheduled in the same room within a half hour of each other. New students of the Resident Artist and of the piano teacher showed off publicly what they had learned from their lessons at the Center. They were wonderful.

It is not unusual to have 60-80 adults and youth in the Center on a given Saturday or Sunday watching the movies, playing in the Teen Zone and in the Jay Room.

Of course there often are the tours given to visitors of the two Exhibit Halls specifically and also of the entire building.