Non-profit & Groups

Heights families to raise money for children's cancer research in Sept. 29 CureSearch Walk

On Saturday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m., hundreds will gather at Wade Oval Park in University Circle for the CureSearch Walk to celebrate and honor children from across Northeast Ohio who have or have had cancer, while raising money for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national nonprofit which funds children’s cancer research.

The walk is spearheaded by co-chairs Stephen Crowley and Cynthia Van Lenten of Cleveland Heights, and Greg Plautz, M.D., of Shaker Heights. Plautz is chair of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 10:38 AM, 09.11.2012

Jake Weisblat sets Thunder Run course record

Jake Weisblat broke the Forest Hill Park Thunder Run record by more than a minute with his time of 17:29.1 at the 5k race held July 21. “It’s fun to win,” he said. “The course is nice and flat.”

The 16-year-old is a Cleveland Heights resident and a student at University School. This was his first Thunder Run, but his mother Gina Weisblat, who placed first in her age category, has run in each of the previous three events. “We heard about it a few years ago when our sons were playing baseball right here at Forest Hills,” she said. “I think it’s a really pretty course. It’s nice to run in your own community.”

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 12:38 PM, 07.24.2012

July 4 yoga fundraiser for Heights Emergency Food Center

The Atma Center invites you to help others on Independence Day. Join teachers and students from the Atma Center on Wednesday, July 4, for an all-levels yoga class to benefit the Heights Emergency Food Center. The class will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Cumberland Park (near the Soldier’s Memorial at the north end of the park).

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 11:40 AM, 06.26.2012

AFS promotes world peace one teenager at a time

Krista Hawthorne and Adrienne Yelsky have nearly 60 years of combined volunteer service with the AFS Foreign Exchange program.

AFS places foreign students with local host families, and sends American students to foreign countries to attend school and live with families abroad. 

The purpose of AFS is to “provide intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.” In other words, “promoting world peace one teenager at a time,” according to Hawthorne.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 1:12 PM, 06.28.2012

Family and friends pay tribute to the memory of Hugh Williams

University Heights resident Hugh Richard Williams IV was laid to rest June 23 after a memorial service at Cedar Hill Baptist Church, where he had been a member. Williams was 43 years old and died after a battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

Williams was active in many community organizations and his children’s school, Gearity Professional Development School. He served on the boards of FutureHeights, Open Doors Academy and the Thea Bowman Center. He was a member of the 2008 Cleveland Bridge Builders Flagship Class.

Williams was the first University Heights resident to serve on the board of FutureHeights, which added the city to its service area when it launched the Heights Observer. “I’d like to see the area (including UH) become THE place to live for progressive-minded, intellectually stimulated people of all origins,” Williams wrote in his board application.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 12:09 PM, 06.26.2012

Slovakian mayor visits Cleveland Heights

Last month, after visiting with Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson, Milan Ftáčnik, the mayor of Bratislava, Slovakia, and United States Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick came to Cleveland Heights. They were in town to see the Margaret Wagner House of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (BRI). 

Ftáčnik and Sedgwick met with Richard Browdie, president and CEO of BRI, to discuss issues related to the placement of Slovakia’s aging population. The visitors were given a tour of the campus, which consists of the Margaret Wagner Apartments for low-income seniors, Adult Day and Partial Hospitalization programs and McGregor PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly).

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 12:17 PM, 06.26.2012

Zoned for Green draws a crowd

The Sustainable Heights Network hosted Zoned for Green, a community networking event on June 5 at the home of Gus and Jan Kious. About 70 people gathered to hear Karen Knittel, a city planner for the City of Cleveland Heights, give a brief overview of the new green zoning codes that the city council approved last month. The network organized small discussion groups to share thoughts and ideas on such topics as geothermal heating, composting, outdoor lighting concerns, demolishing buildings, permeable paving and gardening. The event drew participants from the cities of Akron, Shaker Heights and South Euclid who were interested in learning more about Cleveland Heights’s innovative approach to sustainability. A tour of the Kious’ straw bale house, the gardens and chicken coops, was also part of the event.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 11:50 AM, 06.26.2012

Family Connections receives 'Toolbox for Education' grant from Lowe's

Family Connections, a nonprofit organization with facilities in both Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, has taken an active role of strengthening connections among families, schools and community resources for around 30 years. 

Family Connections recently became the recipient of a “Tools for Education” grant from the Lowe’s Home Improvement Corporation. The grant will support the expansion and enhancement of the parent resource center at Canterbury Elementary School with the addition of shelving, furniture, new parent lending resources (books, videos, games) and a wall mural. 

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 6:27 PM, 06.08.2012

Cleveland Peace Action presents public dialogue on Iran

Cleveland Peace Action Education Fund will present a public dialogue, titled “Dealing Effectively with Iran without War,” on Monday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m,. at Siegal College of Judaic Studies. 

The United States and Israel are fast approaching a choice: war, more sanctions, or more effective negotiations with Iran. Moderated by Brian Amkraut, Siegal College provost, this interactive conversation between Peter Beinart and Jamal Abdi will consider other alternatives that would provide verifiable and sustainable security in the region.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 10:47 AM, 06.05.2012

Stedman Smith receives the Jason D. West Memorial Scholarship

At the Senior Awards Ceremony at Cleveland Heights High School on May 30, Stedman Smith received the 2012 Officer Jason D. West Memorial Scholarship. Commander Robert Montgomery presented the award to Smith.

In addition to having a part-time job, and being co-captain of the lacrosse team, Smith found time to become involved with the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), and he was selected as a student representative to the National MSAN conference. Smith’s volunteer work has included participation in a project to package and ship medical supplies to needy people in Third World countries. He also participated in the Ohio State Patrol Cadet program and was a junior trooper for a week.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 1:40 PM, 06.01.2012

New CH and UH police chiefs to speak June 20

FutureHeights will host Meet the New Police Chiefs, the latest event in its speaker series, on Wednesday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at Myxx, 12459 Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights. 

The evening will feature two speakers, Jeff Robertson, chief of police for the City of Cleveland Heights, and Steven Hammett, chief of police for the City of University Heights. Both chiefs will discuss new initiatives they have been working on since taking their new positions, how their departments interact with other communities, and how the community can be more involved in keeping our cities safe.

The event is free, but registration is required. To RSVP for the event, go to, call FutureHeights at 216-320-1423, or send an e-mail to

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 1:51 PM, 05.30.2012

'Zoned for Green' event focuses on sustainable homes

On Tuesday, June 5, the Sustainable Heights Network and the City of Cleveland Heights will sponsor “Zoned for Green! Opportunities for Sustainable Home Practices in Cleveland Heights.” From 5:30 to 7 p.m., attendees will learn how changes in the zoning code have practical applications to their homes. The event will be held at 12541 Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights, at the home of Jan and Gus Kious.

Karen Knittel, Cleveland Heights city planner, will speak about the new sustainable zoning code amendment. “The sustainable zoning code provides our residents with the framework to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily lives through projects that are completed at their homes, including gardening, laundry, energy reduction and creation, permeable driveways, and the way we travel around town,” Knittel said.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 1:21 PM, 05.30.2012

Cleveland Heights resident Barbara Danforth receives YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award

On Monday, May 14, YWCA Greater Cleveland awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to Barbara Danforth of Cleveland Heights.

Danforth served as the executive director of YWCA Greater Cleveland from 1995-2007 and President and CEO from 2007-2010. She was one of many area women recognized for professional achievement at the 36th annual Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon.

Danforth is the fifth recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the history of the organization’s Women of Achievement Awards.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 9:22 AM, 06.01.2012

Coventry Village tour launches Heights Historical mobile phone app

Mark Souther, associate professor of history at Cleveland State University and member of the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, leads an app-enhanced walking tour of Coventry Village on May 19, using Cleveland Historical, a mobile phone app developed by CSU’s Digital Humanities Department.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 12:32 PM, 05.30.2012

Call for entries to Heights Battle of the Bands

FutureHeights will host a Heights-based Battle of the Bands on Aug. 31 at the Grog Shop in Coventry Village. All musical genres are welcome. To qualify, at least one member of the band must live in Cleveland Heights or University Heights. 

To enter, submit the band’s contact information and at least one musical selection via e-mail to, or by mail to: Battle of the Bands, c/o FutureHeights, 2163 Lee Road, Suite 103, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118. The deadline for entries is July 15. Fore more information, call 216-320-1423.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 1:36 PM, 05.30.2012

'Taste of the Heights' to be held June 14

The Heights Youth Club (HYC) will hold its fourth annual Taste of the Heights fundraiser on Thursday, June 14 from 6–9 p.m., at its club facility at 2065 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. The event will feature food donated by more than 20 local restaurants, a raffle, billiards tournament, and music by the band Hubb's Groove. Proceeds will benefit HYC.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 1:14 PM, 05.02.2012

Thunder Run to be held in Forest Hill Park

Forest Hill Thunder Run 2012 will take place at 8 a.m., on Saturday, July 21 in Forest Hill Park. This year’s 5k run/walk will benefit FutureHeights, a nonprofit that promotes a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights through innovative ideas and civic engagement.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 11:46 AM, 05.02.2012

Cleveland Foodbank benefit outreach program simplifies application process

The Cleveland Foodbank understands that times are tough and money is tight for many in Northeast Ohio. To help, the Foodbank started a new benefit outreach program to make the application process quick and easy for more than 20 programs including SNAP (food stamps), prescription benefits, child care vouchers, WIC, medical coverage, and other assistance programs.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 11:36 AM, 05.02.2012

FutureHeights trains future leaders

A free neighborhood leadership-training event will be held on April 28 at Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian. FutureHeights will help participants learn how to identify community issues, recruit neighbors and take action at the neighborhood level. Chris McKee from the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative (MVOC), and Trevelle Harp, of the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), will share their extensive knowledge about community organizing.

Most people, if not all, want a neighborhood that is inviting, desirable, beautiful, and accommodating to everyone’s needs. In addition to help from the community, it takes vision to make this happen. Neighborhood leadership and creating that vision are at the core of making a noticeable difference. As a Japanese proverb suggests, “Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare.”

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 6:17 PM, 04.04.2012

FutureHeights inducts 13 to Innovator's Circle

At its annual meeting on March 20, FutureHeights inducted 13 new members to the Innovator's Circle, an honorary group that recognizes the actions and dedication of individuals who give their vision and energy to make the Heights the best communities they can be.

“This year, FutureHeights chose to recognize leaders in the movement to ensure that Cleveland Heights remained a vibrant and integrated community,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. “When African Americans began moving into the Heights in the 1960s and 70s, there was a lot of fear that our community would become resegregated and that our housing stock would deteriorate. These individuals, and many others, organized to work against fear and prejudice. It is through their efforts that we have the wonderful and diverse community that we have today.”

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 10:27 AM, 04.04.2012

Reversing disinvestment begins with changing residents' perceptions

About 10 years ago, Harvey Garrett purchased a house near the vibrant Elmwood commercial district in Buffalo, New York. But it was on the wrong side of Richmond Avenue. Prices of homes on one side of the street sold for upwards of $200,000, while on his side some homes sold for $2,000.

Garrett decided that he needed to do something. What he and his neighbors did was the subject of his talk, “Reversing Disinvestment in Our Community,” at the FutureHeights annual meeting on March 20. Garrett described how, in 10 years, the West Side Community Collaborative (WSCC), an unofficial coalition of individuals and organizations, tripled home sale prices and created the fastest-growing real estate market in Buffalo.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 11:56 AM, 04.03.2012

'Elegiacal' end to annual spelling bee

It only took three rounds to eliminate 17 teams from the 21st annual Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee on March 28. The next three groups went in succession in the fourth round, leaving just one team—Phyllis’s Phriends—and one word: elegiacal.

Kathy Soltis, Lindy Burt and Tony Thayer, the three members of Phyllis’s Phriends, were crowned champions after spelling it correctly. Their winning word was apt. Representing the Noble and Oxford elementary schools' PTAs, the team was named in memory of Phyllis Albert, a beloved long-time teacher at Noble Elementary who died on March 1.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 6:39 PM, 04.02.2012

Reversing disinvestment is topic of FutureHeights annual meeting

If increasing numbers of vacant homes and commercial structures indicate a downward spiral of disinvestment driven by market forces, is it possible for individuals to reverse the trend?  

FutureHeights examines this issue at its annual meeting, “Reversing Disinvestment in Our Community.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at Grace Lutheran Church on Cedar Road, and is free and open to the public. Keynote speaker Harvey Garrett, founder and executive director of the West Side Community Collaborative in Buffalo, New York, will explain how, over 10 years, his organization transformed one of Buffalo’s most distressed neighborhoods into its fastest-growing real estate market.


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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 1:16 PM, 02.28.2012

Heritage Home Program announces changes

The Heritage Home Program is a unique home repair program that gives homeowners of older or historic homes the appropriate tools to maintain their houses and neighborhoods. Sponsored by Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Treasurer, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) administers the program, offering technical assistance and low-interest, fixed-rate financing.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 11:22 AM, 02.29.2012

CRACC hosts Project Clean Lake meeting

Are you concerned about high water and sewer rates and wish you could do something about it? The Citizens Reform Association of Cuyahoga County (CRACC) is hosting a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 at the Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Road, to explore this issue. The group will provide information and updates on the status of Project Clean Lake, and its anticipated impact on the Heights. 

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 11:26 AM, 02.14.2012

Pre-K children engage in interactive learning during this year’s SPARK group lessons

On Feb. 7, pre-kindergarten children and their parents will meet at Oxford Elementary School for an interactive group lesson. All are participants in SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids), an in-home tutoring program that seeks to increase early-childhood literacy and school readiness.

Currently, there are 32 families enrolled in SPARK in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, and 30 are expected to attend the lesson. Activities will include reading, writing and singing, and all will encourage group interaction and help the children learn skills to prepare them for kindergarten. In 2011, three group lessons were held, in March, May and November.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 11:00 AM, 02.07.2012

Heights civic organizations host welcome event for new residents

Three Heights-area civic organizations will host a welcoming reception for new residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights this summer at the Lee Road Library.

The New Resident Welcome and Open House is scheduled for Sunday, July 1, from 2 to 3 p.m., at the Harvey & Friends bookstore on the second floor of the library, 2345 Lee Rd. All residents who consider themselves new to the community are warmly invited to enjoy light refreshments.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:28 PM, 02.05.2012

Kim Sergio Inglis is Observer editor-in-chief

FutureHeights is pleased to introduce the Heights Observer's new editor-in-chief, Kim Sergio Inglis. Kim has served as an enthusiastic volunteer editor and writer for the Observer for the last several years, and we are thrilled to have her on board in an official capacity. Prior to moving to the Heights in 2009, Kim lived in New York City and worked in the publishing and marketing fields. As editor, she will encourage volunteer writers, assign stories to volunteer editors, publish stories to the Web, publish the weekly e-news, and work with our graphic designers to layout the print issue each month.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 3:21 PM, 02.21.2012

FutureHeights to hold community-building events

Harvey Garrett, executive director of the West Side Community Collaborative in Buffalo, N.Y., will be the keynote speaker at the FutureHeights 2012 annual meeting. Garrett’s talk, Reversing Disinvestment in Our Community, will detail how his organization capitalized on vacant housing stock (much of it slated for demolition) and creative residents to turn one of Buffalo’s most distressed neighborhoods into its fastest growing real estate market.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:20 AM, 01.31.2012

Course and support group offered for parents coping with a child's addiction

Take Back Your Life, a six-week course for parents coping with the drug or alcohol addiction of a child, will be offered on Thursdays, April 19-May 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Church of The Saviour, 2537 Lee Road. The course will be taught by licensed counselors Ellen Bishko and Roy Nichols. The cost is $150 per person or $225 per couple.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 12:17 PM, 01.31.2012

FutureHeights fundraiser is Dec. 12 at Anatolia Café

FutureHeights invites community members to show their support for community building and citizen-journalism by having dinner at Anatolia Café on Monday, Dec. 12. Beginning at 4 p.m. that evening, Anatolia Café will donate 15 percent of the food proceeds of each dinner check to FutureHeights when patrons present the attached flyer or bring the one found on page six of the December Heights Observer print issue. Carryout orders also qualify.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 1:09 PM, 12.12.2011

Zagara’s and local police departments to help Cleveland Sight Center deliver holiday food baskets

Zagara’s Marketplace will serve as the pick-up location for the Cleveland Sight Center’s holiday food baskets. With the remodeling of the center’s building on East 101st Street in Cleveland, the center needed a new location for its annual holiday food basket delivery to blind or visually impaired clients. The center is temporarily located at the Coventry School building in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 11:11 AM, 11.22.2011

FutureHeights launches dinner series to support local economy

FutureHeights will launch a new dinner series in 2012 to raise funds for its community engagement programs and support its mission of creating a vibrant, sustainable future for the Heights by supporting the local economy.

FutureHeights plans to launch the series with a “Meet, Greet and Eat” dinner at Rockefeller’s Restaurant on Wednesday, Jan. 25. “We're excited to launch this  new effort,” said Richard Stewart, vice president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors and chair of the marketing committee. “Community members are invited to show their support by having dinner at Rockefeller’s anytime that evening. FutureHeights staff and board members will show up at various times, and we’d like to meet and greet all that attend.”

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 3:51 PM, 01.03.2012

Jazzercise students raise funds for Cleveland Foodbank

Since 2003, the Jazzercise students of instructor Mary Beth McCann have spent the holiday season raising money for worthy causes. In past years, the students raised money for needy families through the MetroHealth Foundation and Malachi House.

This year, McCann asked her students to nominate their favorite charities and vote to determine which would be the recipient of this year’s drive. The clear winner was the Cleveland Foodbank.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 3:56 PM, 01.03.2012

Cleveland Peace Action to present program illustrating military/wars funding

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Lee Road Library, Cleveland Peace Action will present "Our Tax Dollars Off To War," led by longtime Cleveland Heights resident Francis Chiappa, Cleveland Peace Action copresident. The program is free and open to the public, and will be followed by discussion.

Chiappa’s presentation will show how the military/war budget has grown and how the Pentagon uses tax dollars (the United States accounts for about 47 percent of the world's total military spending). He will contrast America's military spending to its spending on domestic needs.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 11:03 AM, 12.07.2011

Officers elected to head Maltz Museum volunteer organization

At the Nov. 16 meeting, the Friends of the Maltz Museum elected a slate of four officers. Jeff Kaplan, a University Heights resident, was elected president; Wayne Malz, vice president; Candy Anker-Roehl, a Cleveland Heights resident, secretary; and Merna Wolfe, treasurer.

The Friends of the Maltz Museum is a new group of volunteers who engage in educational and charitable fundraising activities for the museum. In the past year, the group has run the Cleveland's Funniest Rabbi contest, the Jewish Food and Culture Festival, a speakers bureau, and several interfaith Shabbat dinners, which have raised more than $9,000 for programs and initiatives at the museum.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 1:52 PM, 12.05.2011

Toy drive and charity event at Coventry's Grog Shop

Double "O" Promotions and hip-hop artist Caine will sponsor a holiday toy drive to benefit needy children in Northeast Ohio. Caine's Winter Wonderland Toy Drive and charity event will be held on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Grog Shop, located at 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 1:30 PM, 11.29.2011

Courtney Presswood receives award for outstanding service

The A. M. McGregor Home, an assisted living community, announced that Courtney Presswood has received the Outstanding Housekeeper Award for 2011 from the Ohio Assisted Living Association (OALA). Presswood has been an employee of the facility for nine years.

The nomination of Courtney Presswood included many of the reasons for his selection. Presswood was described as someone who takes his job very seriously, always with a smile on his face, and always willing to help a resident in need.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 1:31 PM, 11.29.2011

War letters commemorate Veterans Day

Chapter 39 Veterans For Peace (VFP) will sponsor its fifth annual public reading, by chapter members, of wartime letters and statements of military personnel and public figures. The readings are intended to evoke the reality of wars in which the United States has been engaged, dating from the Revolutionary War to current conflict in Afghanistan.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 12:41 PM, 11.04.2011

Early Wall Street occupier to speak at Unitarian Universalist Society

Pavi Mehta, an original occupier of Liberty Plaza (Zuccoti Park) in New York City, will speak and lead a forum discussion “Occupy Wall Street, First Three Weeks and Beyond” on Sunday, Nov. 27, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (UUSC). The society is located at 2728 Lancashire Road, Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:45 AM, 11.22.2011

Citizens for Oakwood thank supporters and look to the future

The voters of South Euclid have spoken. Although deeply disappointed, we are grateful to the thousands of people who supported the No on 96 campaign. First Interstate did everything it could to prevent this vote from taking place, and outspent us by three or four to one. That was to be expected.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 11:32 AM, 11.10.2011

Waiting Child Fund holds Scrabble tournament fundraiser

Saturday, Nov. 5, Vikki & Todd Webster, of Cleveland Heights, will host the 2nd annual Scrabble Tournament to benefit the Waiting Child Fund. The Waiting Child Fund works to find permanent families for children in the foster care system. 

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 1:19 PM, 10.24.2011

Local shows to benefit National Autism Association

Two family concerts in the Cleveland area will benefit the National Autism Association—Northeast Ohio (NAA-NEO). Grammy Award-winning children’s group, Dan Zanes and Friends, will appear at the Beachland Ballroom on Cleveland’s East Side, Nov. 13; and Grammy-nominated Justin Roberts will perform at the Grog Shop in Coventry Village, Dec. 4. For both shows, doors will open to the public at noon, with the performances beginning at 1 p.m. The concerts are presented by DAP Productions.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 11:13 AM, 11.01.2011

Lake Erie Ink offers spooky writing class

This Saturday, Oct. 22, Lake Erie Ink is presenting a morning workshop for all ages: "Thrills and Chills: Writing Stories of Mystery and Suspense." Lake Erie Ink invites participants to explore the dark frontiers of their imaginations by writing spooky, mysterious, haunting, terrifying, calculating, thrilling and chilling stories.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 12:19 PM, 10.18.2011

Heights businesses earn accolades from customers

With the final tally of votes from more than 700 ballots, FutureHeights crowned the captains of local industry at the 2011 Best of Heights Awards held Oct. 4 at Rockefeller’s Restaurant, 3099 Mayfield Road.

The awards program is in its seventh year. Votes are collected throughout the summer for each of 22 categories through the Heights Observer and at

View video and photos of the awards ceremony.

Top honors went to The Tavern Company, 2260 Lee Road, for Favorite Cleveland Heights business, Whole Foods Market, 13998 Cedar Road for Favorite University Heights Business and Luna Bakery Café, 2482 Fairmount Boulevard, for Best New Business.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 9:56 AM, 10.06.2011

Heights Observer offers citizen journalism workshops

To help people feel empowered to report neighborhood events and contribute to the community conversation, the Heights Observer is offering several workshops this fall. Workshops are free and open to the public. Space is limited. Residents may reserve a place in a workshop by sending an e-mail to or calling 216-320-1423.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 9:18 AM, 10.04.2011

Heights schools superintendent explains new initiatives at FutureHeights forum

“The best places to live in America have great public schools,” said Douglas Heuer, superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. “There’s a symbiotic relationship between the two.”

Heuer addressed a crowd of community members at a FutureHeights speaker series event on Sept. 13.  

He spoke of the many challenges Heights schools face in striving to create great schools “Tests that kindergarteners take at the beginning of the year show that 60 percent of Heights students entering kindergarten are not ready. They don’t have the basic building blocks needed to begin reading,” said Heuer. “This correlates with 61.2 percent of Heights school children who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.”

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 3:29 PM, 09.20.2011

Impromptu picnic lunch benefits Reaching Heights

The vacant lot at Lee and Meadowbrook roads was the site of an unusual fundraiser on Sept. 13. Reaching Heights, a nonprofit that supports Heights public schools, was the latest beneficiary of Marigold Catering’s Renegade Lunch Project, a fundraiser that combines a delicious multi-course meal with a bit of street theater.

Lisa Hunt, a program associate at Reaching Heights, also works with Marigold Catering. She brought the two organizations together and organized the back-to-school themed lunch, complete with vintage lunch boxes borrowed from Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun.

“We’ve been doing this every month for the last two years,” said Joan Rosenthal, owner of Marigold Catering and a Cleveland Heights resident, “It’s our way of giving back to the community. We choose a smaller, grass roots charity that needs some publicity and a high-traffic area to make a statement.” Past beneficiaries have included the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, the Aids Task Force and the Cleveland Foodbank.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 2:58 PM, 09.20.2011

David Jones is world-class instructor at Heights Youth Club

David Jones, the Tai Shin Doh instructor at the Heights Youth Club, recently received a fifth-degree certificate of promotion (for achieving five of ten degrees of skill). He is now one of 22 masters worldwide who hold this certificate. Jones received his first degree black belt at age 15 and his second before college. He has traveled to five continents to acquire the third and fourth degrees. He remarked, “I guess you could say this took 45 years to obtain.”  When one of his students responded, “that stinks!” he replied (with a twinkle in his eye), “No, it shows dedication.”

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 1:28 PM, 09.01.2011

Find out who’s the Best of the Heights on Oct. 4

From May through August, Heights residents voted for their favorite Heights businesses in 22 categories, including best new business. Each year FutureHeights—a nonprofit dedicated to promoting civic engagement in the Heights through information, education, and advocacy, and the publisher of the Heights Observer community news—conducts the Best of the Heights survey to recognize the unique attributes of locally-owned businesses in the Heights, and their contributions to the local economy.

Learn more.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 12:46 PM, 09.06.2011

Churches for Middle East Peace lead events in Greater Cleveland

This is a crucial time for Middle East peace efforts. Not only does this September mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/01, but also Palestinians plan to go to the United Nations to request recognition as an independent state within the 1967 borders. There could not be a more opportune moment for a visit from Ambassador Warren Clark, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP; Ambassador Clark will be speaking to several audiences in the Cleveland area from Sept. 15–18. His theme is "Ending Conflict in the Middle East and What You Can Do to Help."

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:28 AM, 08.16.2011

FutureHeights speaker series presents Douglas Heuer, superintendent of CH-UH schools

FutureNow, the young professional's committee of FutureHeights, will host its second speaker series event on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Myxx, 12459 Cedar Road. The featured speaker is Douglas Heuer, superintendent for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school system.

Heuer will explain current and future initiatives and the upcoming school levy. The event will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

The event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. RSVP by sending an e-mail to or by calling 216-320-1423.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 1:16 PM, 08.30.2011

Former Coventry School adds tenants

With the recent additions of the Cleveland Sight Center (CSC) and its Bright Futures preschool program, the former Coventry School is busier than it’s been since the building was closed in 2007. Cleveland Heights officials, along with Sight Center and InfoCision employees, celebrated the new enterprises at a midday open house on July 20.

InfoCision, a large call-center company, is training CSC clients to become eligible for employment in telemarketing services in nonprofit fundraising, direct-to-consumer sales and business-to-business applications.

"We’ve created an InfoCision call center right here in the facility. People go through extensive training that prepares them to communicate with our clients’ customers and, at the same time, creates jobs for them. It’s been a real win-win situation all around," said Steve Brubaker, InfoCision’s chief of staff.

CSC occupies more than 13,000 square feet inside the spacious, open-classroom-style former elementary school. Its mission is to empower people with impaired vision to realize their full potential, and to educate the community about that potential.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 1:10 PM, 08.02.2011

Youth of Coventry gives young people a voice in the community

Youth of Coventry wants "to make Coventry a safer place for the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow." Those are the words of Randall Walker, public relations officer for the group.

As a 17-year-old who frequents Coventry Village often, he knows firsthand the impact of recent crime and safety issues, as well as the new special curfew ordinance. He does not want problem-solving that affects him and his peers left up to adults. "We aren’t tools to be used to push agendas," Walker told the Cleveland Heights City Council, after a group protested the alleged racism of the curfew law before the July 18 meeting.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 12:31 PM, 07.26.2011