Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Blessings

Many families' Christmas mornings were brighter and merrier thanks to the kindness of area individuals, clubs, departments, and businesses who blessed the families of the YWCA this holiday season. Brightly wrapped gifts, hams, delicious cookie trays, handmade angels, gift baskets, fruit, socks, nail polish, hats, and mittens disguised the true gift of the season - love for one another. And that love came full circle as recipients expressed their heartfelt thanks. A special thanks goes out to our business friends at Hillcrest Market for helping us stretch our dollars, Christian Funeral Home, and Mount Union College, and to area knitters for the beautiful handmade hats and scarves - truly a labor of love. Here are a few photos of the season. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ABC for Kids

August is an action packed month for the YWCA! On Wednesday, August 20th, families flocked to Haggart Hall to pick-up vouchers at our annual school supply distribution. Board members Elaine Miller and Lois Steese review this year's guidelines before the rush begins. Miller, chair of the project, estimates that over 400 children and parents will be able to shop for the tools students need for a successful school year. Thanks to the generosity of the Alliance area community including the Greater Alliance Foundation for helping kids to start the school year off right!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Apple Dumpling Gang

If it is August, it is time for dumplings! Once again this year, you could find the YWCA Apple Dumpling Gang at Carnation Days in the Park selling coffee and apple dumplings with our signature sauce. Chair Lesa Felger along with YWCA staff member, Deb Charleston, rallied this year's "gang" of 40 plus volunteers over the four day event to work together to sell 120 dozen dumplings to benefit women, children, and seniors. There was also plenty of time to renew friendships, meet new volunteers, and, during a slow period, even knit a stitch or two.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Three Blind Mice Golf Scramble

This year's annual YWCA Ladies Carnation Scramble, our 13th, honored the memory of three local women golfers, Betty Rennels, Hazel Tolerton, and Melba Cook. Newly married, the three woman all set up housekeeping on Ridgewood. Over the years, they gathered to walk with their young children and talk. They soon discovered they had common interests. They loved to golf, and all were active in our YWCA. As their children grew, the woman took them along to the golf course. Somewhere along the way the friends were affectionately dubbed "The Three Blind Mice."

On 8-8-08, we gathered at the beautiful Tannenhauf Golf Club to honor the memory of the Three Blind Mice, three great friends who enjoyed each other's friendship for many years and really enjoyed a good game of golf. On hand to join in the celebration were Honorary Chairs, Judy Tolerton (Betty's daughter and Hazels's daughter-in-law) and Corrine Hirvela (Melba's daughter).

This year's scramble had a special twist. After playing 18 holes, golfers were invited to try their skill and luck at making a putt while blindfolded after a little spin by Dottie Callender, the Chair of the event. Teammates assisted by verbally lining up the shot. Winner of the game was Lynn Dezelon, who received a basket of goodies any "mouse" would enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who made the scramble a success including our event sponsor, Terry's Tire Town, and the three lovely women who enjoyed a lifetime of friendship.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Preparing for the First Paying Job..... Baby-sitting Clinic

The club rooms are abuzz every morning this week with the sounds of girls taking their first steps toward landing that first paying job. The group of middle school girls is participating in the summer session of the Red Cross Baby-sitting Clinic.

By partnering with the Alliance-Minerva Chapter of the American Red Cross, the YWCA has use of the Red Cross's curriculum, workbooks, mannequins, and the girls receive an official Red Cross certificate upon completion.

Today's lesson was on feeding and diapering an infant. Instructor for the course is Jan Ossler.

Contact the YWCA for information or the dates for the next clinic.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sunny Summer Day Fun

The YWCA is delighted to partner with Families First of Stark County for two Alliance-based programs, Mom's Morning Out and PEP.

At today's PEP (Parents Enriching Preschoolers), Moms and kids shared lunch, a special story read by Terry Snode of Rodman Public Library, and some old-fashion sidewalk chalk fun... have you ever tried to draw around your shoes while standing in them?

PEP Club is free and designed to bring families of preschoolers together to have FUN! Preschoolers ages 2-5, parents, and grandparents are welcome to attend to learn new and fun ways to enjoy the preschool years. The next meeting is July 22 from 11:30 - 1:00 at the YWCA. Remember to bring a packed lunch for your family. For more information call 330-456-5470.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The YWCA's Softball Team had a little bigger cheering section Monday night when the YWCA's Board of Directors and staff came out to cheer for the young women.

Team YWCA played a great game giving their fans lots to cheer about. They were edged out of the win column by 1 run in a rainy extra inning. Rookie head coach, Michelle Rhodes, said the girls were delighted to have their sponsors encouraging them from the bleachers.

Prior to the game, the YW Board and staff met at Silver Park for a potluck picnic and the Board conducted its monthly Board meeting before heading across the street to the stands.

Team YWCA is nearing the end of a winning season.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Meals on Wheels Volunteers Honored

Meals on Wheels volunteers were honored for their dedication and service to seniors in Alliance with a delicious luncheon prepared by the YWCA kitchen staff. Following the luncheon, guests were wowed by master magician Jim Klayder whose excellent slight of hand performance delighted the crowd. Board member Judy Phillips, chair of the event, thanked the volunteers for providing magic everyday in the lives of Alliance's elderly population. Nutritious meals provide a cornerstone for physical health and support individuals in optimizing their independence and well being.

Volunteers deliver nutritious meals prepared by Alliance Community Hospital Dietary Department, under the direction of Louise Roth. She and members of her team were on hand and were thanked by Program Director, Jan Ossler, as a valued partner in the program.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Leave Your Shoes at the Door - Living in Japan Series

Andrew Magrath provided an insightful look at Japanese life and education through an American lens by sharing his experiences from the past three years of living and working as an Assistant Language Teacher in Daito, Japan. Stationed at a middle school outside of Osaka by the JET Program, Andrew found a unique harmony between traditional and modern Japan. The series included a visit to Nara, a typical day at his school, the influences of religion on the culture, and a look at everyday life.

Dorothy Davis Chosen to Receive 2008 Fullmer Volunteer Leadership Award

Barb Armitage, the 2007 receipient, presents Dorthy Davis with the 2008 Fuller Volunteer Leadership Award at the association's 82nd Annual Meeting held on April 23. The award recognizes and honors YWCA women for their contribution to the lives of women and girls.

Dodie has been a YWCA member for over 30 years and her ability to remember names and faces is legendary. She has lived the YWCA mission by constantly reaching out to and being available to others in the Alliance and college community during her years as Dean of women students and later as Alumni Director, guiding people to work together to accomplish useful and productive lives. Congratulations Dodie!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Girls Together Visit Mount Union College

What happens when a group of sixth grade middle school girls meet a group of Mount Union College students? Lots of giggling and other good stuff!

For the past six months, a terrific group of sixth grade middle school girls has been meeting once a week over lunch with YWCA staff to develop skills and friendships in the YWCA Girls Together program. Over the course of this semester, the girls were joined by a Mount Union college intern and students from Dr. Sarah Torok’s gender studies class.

Bringing girls and young women together has been a win-win opportunity for everyone. The Mount Union students provide strong, positive role models for the girls; and the sixth graders assist the college students in learning what life is like for girls in middle school. And the YWCA is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Alliance Middle School and Mount Union College. The college class and the YWCA were brought together by Amanda Espenschied-Reilly, Director of Service-Learning and Community Service for the college.

Recently the group culminated their activities with an after school event on the college campus. An afternoon of activities planned by the Mount Union students included a tour of the campus, discussion about college life, interactive games that explored trust and teamwork, and dinner together. It was a toss-up as to which age group giggled more during the Three-Point Race, where teams of five worked together to pass the finish line first, while only allowing three points of contact with the ground. Equally exciting were a blindfolded team walk from the Campus Grounds to the bell tower and a spirited game of blindfolded soccer. Mental challenges included a word find and a memory teaser.

The event ended with all the participants receiving a specially designed Girls Together tee-shirt and glimpse into each other’s world. Each middle school participant also received a brochure about the college, a bag of Mount Union College items, and a Frisbee.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

YWCA Fiber Fest 2008

On Saturday, March 15th, the YWCA marked its first fiber festival.  Approximately 100 individuals gathered to celebrate Women's History Month by sharing and honoring traditionally women's crafts. The day included such workshops as felting, knitting a sock, and spinning.  Demonstrations throughout the day included dying fiber and spinning.  The marketplace drew vendors from Northeast Ohio and featured raw to finished products.  Yarn, sweaters, hats, socks, purses, along with dyes, handcrafted knitting needles, smocked baby gowns, jewelry, and soaps were available. 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mardi Gras 2008

Guests who gathered for the YWCA's 2008 Mardi Gras fundraiser on February 23 at the Alliance Country Club were treated to the sights, sounds, and tastes of this New Orleans celebration. Event chair, Barb Armitage, welcomed guests at the door with beads passed out by former Carnation Queen Kayla Faudree. Guests strolled the streets of The Big Easy past lampposts, street signs and a variety of "shops" while listening to the Cajun tunes of Arcadian Driftwood. Magician Jim Klayder was on hand to perform magic tricks for passersby and reader Ann Miller returned again to delight guests. On the corner, Board member, Cindy King, ran a shell game on stacked antique suitcases, while amateur photographer, Andrew Magrath, snapped photos at the charming outdoor cafe.

Dinner featured a variety of New Orleans favorites including shrimp jambalaya, chicken cordon bleu, and Bananas Foster, a dessert that originated in the city. Proceeds from the event including the live and silent auction assisted the YWCA to "Raise the Roof" and make the necessary upgrades and repairs.