CAC: April 24th 2017

Mayfield Village Citizens Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes
April 24, 2017

The Citizens Advisory Committee met on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Present: Bob Haycox (Chair), Loretta Williams, Rosemarie Fabrizio, Sandy Batcheller, Mary Salomon, Allen Meyers, Joanna McNally, Steve Schutt, Paula Lear, Kay Phillips, Mary Singer, and Merv Singer

Absent: Patricia Russo, Sara Calo, Marilyn LaRiche-Goldstein, and Lorry Nadeau 

Also Present
Patsy Mills, Council Representative
Diane Wolgamuth, Director of Administration
Resident Peter Batcheller
Speakers Kristina Austin and Garry Regan

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Haycox opened the meeting and asked if there were any additions or changes to the minutes of March 27, 2017, previously provided to the Committee.  There were none and the minutes were approved as written. 

Presentation by Kristina Austin, Chief Marketing Officer of The Gathering Place

Mr. Haycox welcomed Kristina Austin to the meeting.  Ms. Austin introduced herself as the Chief Marketing Officer for The Gathering Place.  She asked the members if they know about The Gathering Place and what they do.  Mr. Haycox responded that he knows they accept furniture donations.  He donated furniture once and advised that the people who came to pick it up were very professional.  Ms. Austin agreed that The Gathering Place does accept furniture donations.  Mrs. Fabrizio offered that they also provide counseling for people dealing with cancer.

Ms. Austin provided the Committee with some background.  The Gathering Place has been in existence since January 2000.  Its founder had experienced both her parents being diagnosed with cancer and realized that there is more to deal with than surgery, chemotherapy, etc.  She was a social worker and, when she found it challenging to navigate through a cancer diagnosis, she wondered what people do for support and to help their families.  She founded The Gathering Place in an effort to bring needed services under one roof.  Ms. Austin advised that there is no cost to people utilizing the services.  Realizing that lack of transportation or adequate child care can create a barrier to accessing services, The Gathering Place offers these services as well. 

Ms. Austin stated that The Gathering Place has served nearly 40,000 people who have made more than 291,000 visits to their two locations—in Beachwood and Westlake.  Ms. Austin distributed a brochure (copy attached) and described the variety of services offered.  Many people come because they have been diagnosed with cancer and have many questions.  Instead of searching the internet, they come and speak with a librarian who will research and provide information to the individual or their family.  Information is provided about how to cope with the diagnosis and how to navigate through the emotions of a cancer diagnosis.  People can meet one-on-one with a clinician.  Women can receive free wigs.  Ms. Austin described that they have held meetings with entire families to put a plan in place.  Support groups are available, geared to specific age groups and types of cancers.  Many people find that being around others that are surviving cancer provides hope.  The Gathering Place also provides assistance with side effects from chemotherapy, including exercise programs which can help with fatigue and information about food and diet.  They provide the information so that people can make decisions about their own lifestyle changes.  Cooking classes with a dietician are offered to teach people to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diet.  The Gathering Place also helps people diagnosed with end-stage cancer and tries to educate and empower them through their journey. 

Mrs. Salomon asked if there was anything that The Gathering Place would like to do that they cannot afford to do.  Ms. Austin responded that she would like to be in more communities; offer more locations with a van or a bus to pick people up. 

Ms. Austin described The Gathering Place’s annual endowment campaign stating, “We want to make sure we are sustaining ourselves as an organization.”  Ms. Austin advised that The Gathering Place is 100% privately funded and receives no government funding.  Over 8,000 brochures are mailed for their annual campaign and, throughout the 17 years of their existence, the community has supported them.  They host the “Race for the Place” that generates substantial revenue and they have a warehouse for furniture donations.  Ms. Austin described the furniture sales held at the warehouse and advised that the warehouse is located at 4911 Commerce Parkway in Warrensville Hts.  The next sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ms. Batcheller stated that she volunteers at the Hospice of the Western Reserve and asked if The Gathering Place works with them.   Ms. Austin responded that they provide their information to clients and refer, as needed.  Mr. Haycox asked about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program and Ms. Austin advised that they work with them and all local hospitals.

Mrs. Batcheller asked what type of volunteer is utilized at The Gathering Place.  Ms. Austin advised that they have 21 staff members and over 450 volunteers that work in the warehouse, the library, the garden, outreach, animal camp, help with fundraising, clerical work, etc.

Mrs. Mills asked if The Gathering Place is a 501(c)(3) and Ms. Austin responded, “yes, all donations are tax deductible”.  Mr. Haycox stated that The Gathering Place is “choosy” about the furniture they accept.  Ms. Austin agreed and said that the furniture sales are very popular because of the quality of the items sold.

Mr. Haycox and the Committee thanked Ms. Austin for her presentation.  She thanked them for the opportunity, asked them to remember The Gathering Place, and share the information with others. 

Presentation by Garry Regan about The Grove 2017 Season

Mr. Regan provided the Committee with an update on the band shell being constructed at The Grove.  He advised that the Village was successful in obtaining a grant from Cuyahoga County to assist with the cost of construction.  A copy of the summer schedule was distributed (copy attached).  Mr. Regan stated that the first concert is scheduled for Friday, June 30.  The Michelle Romary Band will play and a ribbon-cutting is being planned for that night.  The following day, July 1, the Village will celebrate Independence Day, starting with pool activities and music on the pool deck, food trucks arriving about noon, the Blue Lunch Band playing at The Grove at 6:30 and, beginning around 8:30 p.m., the Patriots Symphonic Band will play before and during the fireworks.  Mr. Regan is encouraging Villagers to get there early and stay there to avoid issues with parking.

Mr. Regan described some of the other events planned for this summer.  “We are going to do a little bit of everything—opera, dance, Italian Night with real, authentic Italian music.  The Debbie Hudacko Run is being combined with Fitness Rocks the Grove.  There will be a mini Jazz Fest with the CIM After-Jazz Quartet and Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.”  Mr. Regan described that he has being working with Karamu House for about 8 months and they will be presenting an evening of blues and jazz.  “There will also be a polka night with the Chardon Polka Band.  The author of Decapitating the Union will present a book review.  Bring a blanket, chair, picnic and enjoy.”

Mr. Regan described that with the Community Room now complete, there is a renewed effort to bring back gazebo concerts.  There will be tribute bands and higher energy.  A list of gazebo concerts and other Hillcrest area concerts was distributed (copy attached).

Mr. Haycox asked if more stone seating was going to be installed at The Grove.  Mr. Regan advised that there is no additional seating planned for this year.

Mrs. McNally asked if programs can start earlier in the year because school starts so early in August.  Mr. Regan responded that there will be more flexibility once the band shell is complete.  Ms. Wolgamuth added that it is difficult to be ready with programming in June when infrastructure work is being done.  With Phase II of the band shell planned for next year, the 2018 schedule will likely begin in July as well.  Mr. Regan reported that, this year, some number of events will move to Reserve Hall in case of rain. 

Mr. Haycox asked if there were ways to encourage people to make donations to The Grove.  Mr. Regan responded that something more permanent might be done in the future, but stressed that The Grove is not a charity.  Mrs. Mills stated that at most concerts she attends, a basket is passed around for donations.  Mr. Regan added that there has been discussion in the past about creating a non-profit entity for The Grove, but that has not moved forward.  He described that other funding is being actively pursued.  Currently, a $50,000 grant was received from Cuyahoga County and The Grove is in the queue for an Ohio Arts Council grant.  Mr. Regan has approached the Hillcrest Rotary for a donation to help expand the postcard mailing.  In addition, two corporate sponsorships were received this year, and he received a $500 stipend that is going to the Village for work his is doing with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.  Mrs. Mills added that there are tree donation opportunities at The Grove. 

Mr. Jerome suggested that, in the future, the programming be spread out over a longer season, with less events per weekend.  He added that there was some difficulties with the Easter Party this year and the Rec Board is considering holding the Easter Party outdoors at The Grove next year.

Council Update

Mrs. Mills reported on the following:

  • She recently went to a NOPEC meeting and encouraged members to call 855-667-3201 to find out about variable and fixed rates.  Mrs. Mills cautioned that you may have to call the gas company to get out of your current contract and you may pay a fee to do so, but it might be worth it to save on your rate.
  • Arbor Day is Friday at 9 a.m. near the gazebo.  The Garden Club and Center School get together to celebrate and it is a very nice program.  This year, Mayor Bodnar will honor former Service Director Gus Amendola with a tree planted in his name.
  • Shred Day is coming up on Sat, May 13 at 9 a.m.
  • Teachers from CEVEC came to Council to make a presentation about their wonderful program.  The Village provides CEVEC with a house where adaptive students are taught how to take care of themselves and a home.
  • Mayor Bodnar gave the annual State of the Village report at the April Council meeting.
  • The Fire Dept. will be flushing hydrants.
  • The Mayfield Women’s Club, which does many community projects, will host a flag retirement ceremony on June 14 with the Boy Scouts.  Old flags should be brought to the Civic Center for proper disposal.
  • “Your 911” is active and Mrs. Mills encouraged everyone to sign up for this safety app, if they haven’t already.

Mrs. Singer provided a Memorial Day update.  Flags will be placed at all three cemeteries on May 27th and the ceremony at Whitehaven is scheduled for May 28 at 1 p.m.

Mrs. Philips advised that Jerry Catalano, husband of former CAC member Joan Catalano, recently passed away.

Mr. Jerome advised that the last Historical Society meeting of the season is May 10 at 7 p.m.   Mr. Jerome also invited members to join him at River Sweep, a litter pickup event on the Cuyahoga River on May 13 at 9 a.m.  He also encouraged the Committee to reach out to him if they are interested in donating money to buy a bench or a tree at The Grove in honor of Shirley Jay. 

Ms. Wolgamuth distributed a flyer regarding an outdoor yoga event being planned for International Yoga Day (copy attached)—June 21.  She advised that this event is being organized by a group of Village residents and encouraged the members to register.

Mrs. Batcheller asked about opportunities to buy a memorial brick.  Mrs. Mills described the brick pavers at the Historical House which are sold for $45.  Ms. Wolgamuth advised that when the trailhead next to the Fire Station is developed, there may be an opportunity for memorial bricks there. 

Mr. Haycox reminded the Committee that the May 22 meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be abbreviated to allow the members to attend the Town Hall Meeting on finances at 7:00 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.