Summer fun planned for Shaker’s Van Aken District: Press Run

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Summer fun in the Van Aken District will get under way May 21 with the first Makers Market of the 2022 season, featuring local makers’ handcrafted items, baked goods, clothing, candles and a lot more.

On June 18, the Van Aken District will present another Makers Market, this time in tandem with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, to celebrate Juneteenth. Local vendors will again be welcomed, alongside a special Juneteenth dance performance by Sha’Ran Studios and live music by Bob Frank.

The fun certainly doesn’t stop there, as live music will be featured on Thursdays and Fridays from June until August on the outdoor stage. And, on June 4, the Too Big to Fail Improv Comedy Group will be performing, from 10 to 11 pm in the Market Hall.

The District will, additionally, be welcoming back the North Union Farmers Markets from 4 to 7 pm Thursdays, June through September, along Tuttle Road.

For more information about these events or the Van Aken District, visit thevanakedistrict.com or send an email to marketing@thevanakedistrict.com.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are invited to apply to the District’s Entrepreneurs Initiative cohort to help grow their business knowledge. It includes a classroom component to learn from district merchants, as well as Northeast Ohio organizations that assist small businesses and entrepreneurs.

For more information on the Van Aken District’s Entrepreneur Initiative and to apply for retail opportunities, visit thevanakedistrict.com/entrepreneur.

Local Presidential Scholar: Only two Ohio students were named 2022 US Presidential Scholars, and one of those is Beachwood High School’s Evelyn K. Zhang.

This, the 58th class of US Presidential Scholars, recognizes 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. The winners were announced May 12 by US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve,” Cardona stated in a news release.

“Today, I join President Biden to celebrate a class of scholars whose pursuit of knowledge, generosity of spirit and exceptional talents bring our nation tremendous pride.

“Throughout one of the most trying periods in our nation’s history and amid our recovery from the pandemic, our students have once again demonstrated their strength and that they have so much to contribute to our country. Thanks to them, I know America’s future is bright.”

Tea White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, only slightly more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2022 awards, determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArtsthe National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

In case you’re wondering, the other Ohio winner is Alexander Joseph Torres of Hilliard Davidson High School, in Hilliard.

National Merit Scholarship winners: The National Merit Scholarship Program has announced that two University School seniors have been awarded National Merit Scholarships as part of the 2022 competition. One of those seniors is Cleveland Heights’ Carl Cort, who has won a $2,500 scholarship underwritten by The AMETEK Foundation.

There are 2,500 National Merit $2,500 scholarships awarded each year. All winners of about 7,500 total National Merit Scholarships (Corporate-Sponsored Merit, National Merit and College-Sponsored Merit) are chosen from a group of approximately 15,000 distinguished finalists.

The other University School senior to win a $2,500 NMS scholarship is Akron’s Nate Miller.

Recruitment event for plumbers: The Mechanical and Plumbing Industry Council (MAPIC), Northeast Ohio’s largest coalition of mechanical and plumbing contractors, in partnership with Journeymen Plumbers Union Local 55 Clevelandwill be hosting a community-wide recruitment event for prospective hires and community members to attend.

At the event, potential candidates can become a member — on the spot — of Plumbers Union Local No. 55. In an unprecedented move, the union is waiving the normal apprenticeship period previously required to become a union member.

Qualified workers, who sign on with one of the contractors, can become union members the next day.

Lined with food trucks, the meet-and-greet will feature about a dozen onsite contractors eager to welcome skilled, qualified and experienced candidates looking to work with Cleveland’s best contractors.

The event comes during an increasingly tight labor market that is making it difficult to find skilled workers. There is now a critical need for strong talent.

The advantages of becoming a union member include competitive wages, equal pay, great fringe benefits, safe work environment, industry representation and working for a wide range of contractors.

The recruitment events will take place from 4 to 8 pm May 18, June 15 and July 20. All will take place at 980 Keynote Circle in Cleveland.

“Now is the ideal time for our industry to come together,” MAPIC Executive Director Todd McKeever said in a news release. “With the tight labor market coupled with the increase in the demand for work we’re seeing, this event is designed to unite and attract the best talent in the region.

“Our hope is that this event will showcase our strong plumbing community coming together in an effort to better serve the Northeast Ohio region.”

New Access Jewish Cleveland website: The Jewish Federation of Cleveland has announced the launch of a new, state-of-the-art website for its Access Jewish Cleveland program, known as ACCESS.

Created in 2012 with funding from the Mount Sinai Health Foundation through the Centennial Fund, Access Jewish Cleveland is a free service that provides a single point of contact to virtually everything Jewish in Cleveland, including education and synagogue options, fitness and recreational opportunities, Jewish life resources and upcoming local events.

ACCESS also provides personalized and confidential assistance for individuals and families in need of emotional and psychological counseling, financial assistance, employment support, in-home care and food delivery, and more.

Additionally, the ACCESS website is home to a comprehensive cemetery database.

“Over the years, ACCESS has helped thousands of Jewish Clevelanders find the information or help they needed,” Peter Meisel, chair of the federation’s Community Planning Committee, said in a news release.

“We have so many options and resources to support the Jewish community. We needed to upgrade the website for Access Jewish Cleveland to keep pace with the growth in services we have seen and provide users with the highest-quality online experience, no matter what device they are using.

“This new site is further evidence of our commitment to serving all of Cleveland’s Jewish community in the best way possible.”

The new website, which is now mobile-friendly, offers visitors a streamlined modern design, improved functionality and easy access to essential information.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the website, which can be found at accessjewishcleveland.organd to call 216-292-INFO (4636) with questions or comments.

Wigs for Kids: Wigs For Kidsthe national nonprofit that provides, at no cost to them, wigs for children experiencing hair loss due to medical conditions, has announced that it will hold an Inspire Expo at Crocker Park’s event space, Market Square, from 9 am to 4 pm June 11.

Crocker Park is located off Crocker Road in Westlake.

The expo is a community event, featuring inspirational and educational presenters, the Ponytail Challenge Cut-a-thon, fitness classes, a fashion show and a marketplace.

The expo’s purpose is to involve the public in health and wellness topics and activities that are related to the children served, to raise awareness and to provide a fun-filled experience for individuals of all ages.

Presenters will provide messages of inspiration and empowerment, along with tips and takeaways for everyday living.

The speakers’ presentations and the fashion show are free, but donations will be accepted. Individuals will also have the opportunity to purchase the Expo Pass (benefiting Wigs For Kids), which includes two fitness classes, a Wigs For Kids market tote, customer appreciation coupons from participating merchants and a raffle ticket for the Inspire Expo raffle basket.

If you have interest in donating your hair, you can join the Ponytail Challenge Cut-a-thon. Wigs For Kids will have its mobile salon located in front of the Gap. For information on donating your hair, visit wigsforkids.org.

A McGuire hire: Shaker Heights Mayor David Weiss has announced that Ann McGuire has been appointed the city’s new director of communications and marketing.

McGuire brings more than 25 years of experience to the city, most recently as director of marketing and communications for Ursuline College in Pepper Pike. McGuire will begin her new job May 31.

In addition to her role at Ursuline College, McGuire has served as director of communications at the Cleveland Institute of Art and communications manager for University Hospitals. She has also worked locally as a freelance writer, including for the Shaker Heights City School District.

“We are pleased to welcome Ann to the city to oversee our communications and marketing department,” Weiss said in a news release. “She not only brings a wealth of experience to the city, but has a strong understanding of, and passion for, our community.”

JCC to honor retiring president: The Mandel Jewish Community Center will honor retiring President and CEO Michael Hyman at a special fundraising event, “An Evening Celebrating Michael,” at 7 pm May 22 at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights.

The celebration will recognize Hyman for his 18 years of leadership and contributions to the Mandel JCC.

The event will include a 5:45 pm VIP cocktail reception and a dinner program featuring entertainment by nationally recognized comedy historian Lenny Dave.

The event co-chairs are Mindy Davidson and Larry Mack. Honorary event co-chairs are past Mandel JCC board presidents Enid Rosenberg, Darrell Young and Jeanne Tobin.

A portion of the proceeds raised from the event will help endow the Michael Hyman Program Innovation Fund. The fund will support the development and implementation of new and innovative programming that will advance engagement and impact on its target constituencies at the Mandel JCC.

Tickets are $150 per person; virtual tickets are $108 per household. Tickets are available at support.mandeljcc.org/celebratemichael.

Verb Ballets at Cain Park: Verb Ballets, of Shaker Heights, will kick off its season of outdoor performances with the powerful new work, “Anti/gone,” by award-winning choreographer Tommie-Waheed Evans with a free performance at Cain Park.

The performance is a gift to the community from two of Verb’s board members, James D. Graham and David M. Dusek.

The contemporary ballet situates ancient archetypes between action and fate, bringing the story to life with an original score by composer Greg Smith and costumes created by runway designer Philista Marie Mills.

Verb has brought dance to the Cain Park stage for many years as part of a special annual tradition for residents.

This year’s performance begins at 8 pm June 25. Gates open at 7 pm Cain Park is located at 14591 Superior Road in Cleveland Heights.

If you would like to see an item appear in Press Run, send me an email, at least 14 days prior to an event, at jeff.porkowski@att.net.

Read more from the Sun Press.

Leave a Comment