Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Warm Up Akron Visits the YWCA

The Akron Chapter of Warm Up America visited the YWCA with comfy and warm afghans for all our residents. The kindness of this group of volunteer afghan-makers warms not only the body, but also the spirit of those receiving the gifts. I know it warmed all our hearts. To learn more or to volunteer, please check out their website at

Saturday, August 29, 2009

YWCA at the Farmer's Market

YWCA President Cindy King selling Apple Dumplings at today's Farmer's Market.

Friday, August 28, 2009

This Year the Golf is Golden!

The Carnation Festival and Tannenhauf Golf Club turned 50 this year and co-chairs Barb Armitage and Leigh Mainwaring seized the opportunity to have fun and to raise much needed funds for two YWCA youth programs - Between Kids and Nutri-Kids. Barb and Leigh honored scramble founder, Judy Tolerton who was on hand to play in this year's tournament.

There were several new twists to the annual event including some new golf skill games (where all participants received a sleeve of balls), a roaming beverage cart, a change in the menu (although Trudy's delicious brownies returned) and men! Topping the fun list was the return of the Three Blind Mice Game, where blindfolded golfers are spun around and then attempt to sink a putt! Its as hard as it sounds even with the verbal assistance of a team member. Still this year's winner came within a foot of the hole.

Thanks to our sponsors, Tannenhauf, the golfers, local businesses, and the YWCA Board, members, and staff who provide the proximity prizes.

How do you spell "success"?

A-B-C FOR KIDS! Board member and project chair, Karen Locke (center), and Board members (Elaine Miller, Barb Brown, & Gwen Dunagen) prepare to distribute vouchers to assist over 310 area children to secure the tools they need for a successful school year. Thanks to all the individuals, churches, and organizations who assisted with their kind donations. A special thanks to The Greater Alliance Foundation who is a major sponsor of the project.

The Apple Dumpling Gang

Board member and event chair, Lesa Felger, and her husband, Chris, and daughter, Paige, make a great team! Lesa's family showed up to help her with sales. In addition, Chris worked behind the scenes replacing the trailer's floor and painting the exterior white with a red stripe. He even made us a YWCA license plate! While Paige helped her mom, who coordinated the event, clean and prepare the trailer for the four days in the park.

We brought back to the YW a few dozen dumplings, which were immediately frozen to preserve their freshness. So if you are longing for just one more taste of Carnation Days, look for President Cindy at the Farmer's Market.

Thanks to Lesa and her family, President Cindy King, "The Apple Dumpling Gang", Rose's Hillcrest Market, and the the YWCA crew for a another delicious year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vote for YWCA

The Allstate Foundation has selected the YWCA as one of four organizations to compete for a $100,000 grant during a campaign, entitled "Your Choice to Empower". The prize will provide financial empowerment to victims of domestic violence served by YWCAs. Consider voting for the YWCA each day at through September 13.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Association Self-Assessment Nears Completion

In preparation for the YWCA of the Mid-Atlantic Region Council Peer Review, a local team of community members led by Board member and chair, Michelle Collins-Sibley conducted an assessment of our Association. Peer Review provides an opportunity to build capacity of local Associations. The team compared our Association's work and practices to the 45 standards developed by the national movement, which reflect industry and YWCA best practices. The team met weekly to review agency documents, seek clarification, and provide recommendations to strengthen the Association and our work. The team assessment was overwhelmingly positive. Michelle and the staff are working to wrap-up assignments before the onsite Peer Review, which is scheduled for October.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Check Out the Neighborhood

Across the street from the YWCA in front of the caboose is a newly constructed stage, which is already getting a lot of use. Friday night concerts are drawing a nice size crowd including former YWCA program director, Connie Pyers. The tunes were a welcome addition to my recent evening work session. I found myself humming along as as I pulled documents for the YW's upcoming peer review team meeting. Remember to come early to get the best parking spaces and to bring your own lawn chair.

The next morning the space is buzzing as vendors arrive for the Saturday Farmer's Market. Lots of fresh flowers, plants, herbs, fruits, vegetables, and baked goods fill the marketplace from 9-12, at reasonable prices, and the bounty changes as the harvest season unfolds. This year, the Ohio Direction Card is accepted by many vendors allowing more folks to take advantage of fresh foods and support the local economy. New this year is a craft section on Main Street. The market is a great place to catch up with friends, listen to some local musicians - Rock Salt & Nails or Michelle Fergason - visit the bookmobile, and pick up some locally grown or made goods. And the YWCA has a front row seat!

Child & Adolescence Youth Visits the YW

A great group of Alliance youth visited the YWCA recently to lend a helping hand. The kids scrubbed all the folding chairs, mopped Haggart Hall, and created 4th of July cards for Meals on Wheels seniors and the great group of volunteers that deliver meals . Thanks to former Board member, Jennifer Parmenter for making this possible.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Alert from Randi Carmen Schmidt , Senior Policy Analyst for Economic Policy , YWCA USA
SIGN ON LETTER FOR Local, State and National Organizations

States across the country are confronting massive budget shortfalls. At the federal level, lawmakers are facing a ballooning deficit that must be addressed. These economic pressures are already resulting in cuts to critical programs that help YWCA clients, and will continue to force lawmakers to make hard choices on budget and tax policies.
We face serious economic challenges that cannot be solved simply by cutting programs to save money. We believe that when elected officials are considering ways to cut costs, there should be more options on the menu than cutting or ending programs that help the most vulnerable among us. Our country should not sacrifice the poor and disadvantaged due to an economic crisis that they had little to do with creating.

Recently, a new topic has been coming up in budget discussions at the state and federal level – taxes. More and more, lawmakers and advocates are discussing the importance of using taxes to raise the revenue necessary to fund government services and programs.
Members of Congress have told advocates that they are not hearing from constituents about tax policy options, including support for raising much-needed tax revenue. Please sign a statement to let Congress and the administration know you support fair, equitable budget and tax policies that ask for shared sacrifice from everyone, not just the most vulnerable among us. Deadline: Friday, July 3, 2009.

For more background on this issue and the sign-on letter please click here.

Although Randi’s Alert is geared to organizations, individuals can express their views by contacting their representatives.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mabel Hartzell Celebrated

On Saturday, May 30th, the YWCA was pleased to be invited to join community members at the Mabel Hartzell Historical Home at 840 Park Avenue to unveil an Ohio Historical Marker to celebrate the home of civic leader Mabel Hartzell. Among her many achievements, Mabel served as president of the YWCA of Alliance from 1946 - 1952. To learn more about Miss Hartzell or her home, visit Representatives from Alliance organizations to which Mabel belonged unveiled the marker including Retired Teachers, Board of Education (Mabel was a member before women had the right to vote), Historical Society, Alliance Garden Club, Red Cross, Women's Club, Quota, Sorosis, and YWCA. Look closely on the porch and you will see Board member Dottie Callender who lead the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Girls Rock!

The 6th grade Girls Together group ended their year with a celebration!  The girls spent Wednesdays learning more about themselves, building interpersonal skills, laughing, and helping each other to navigate the first year of middle school. The girls did a fabulous job.  These girls rock! 

Exactly Where is That Donkey?

Some fun from Games Grandmother Played, part of the Stupendous Saturdays series. 




Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ladies of Many Hats

There is something about wearing an elegant hat that makes one stand a little taller and move with greater grace. On Saturday, May 9, area women gathered at the YWCA to celebrate the elegance of hats! Cynthia Lundeen, a Cleveland area millner just back from attending the Kentucky Derby, presented a fascinating program on the art of hat wearing followed by a hat show featuring her beautiful and finely handmade designs. Several audience members served as models. During her presentation, Ms. Lundeen shared that she learned the basics of her craft as a child when she learned to sew at her local YWCA.

Co-chairs Cindy King and Judy Phillips along with Elaine Miller displayed their personal collections. Handcrafted items were available for sale in the marketplace. Enough chit chat here are the hats...

Girls Together hosted by Mount Union College Class

Mount Union College professor, Dr. Sarah Torok, and her gender studies class worked throughout the semester with the YWCA Girls Together group at the Alliance Middle School. On April 30th, the 6th and 7th graders traveled to campus to learn more about the college experience, enjoy a tour, participate in team building activities, and enjoy a pizza dinner hosted by the MUC students, with assistance from the MUC Student Senate and Service Learning Department.
A middle schooler holds the question ball during an activity. Mount students used the questions to facilitate a dialogue on college life and availability.

One of the teams composed of college and middle school students test their 4 point race strategy prior to the race.

Cheryl Paine receives 2009 Fullmer Volunteer Leadership Award

Board President Chery Paine addresses the crowd at the Annual Meeting shortly after learning that she was selected as the 2009 recipient.  During her term on the Board, Cheryl chaired several new initiatives including the Fiber Fest, Pink Tulip Bulb Project (Breast Cancer Awareness), new marketing plan, and this website. Congratulations Cheryl and thanks for enriching the lives of women and our Association! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Celebrate Women's History!!! YWCA Women's Fiber Fest

Saturday, March 14 started before dawn as volunteers and staff arrived to assist vendors to set-up for the day and it was well worth waking up early! Wonderous wares filled the marketplace in Haggart Hall and the downstairs Community Room with rich textures and colors of raw and finished fiber. Spinning wheels sprouted up in numberous locations providing opportunities to watch and learn. Groups of women gathered to advance their skills in small classes held at the YWCA and up the street at Studio 214, a local art studio.

Arts In Stark - Kimono Project

Using paint, paper and some simple tools, elementary students and their accompanying adults created amazing designs, which were used to create kimono inspired original stationary. Artists Nola and Haidi Haiss developed the techniques and facilitated the class. Between stages, Andrew Magrath, who spent three years teaching in Japan, used props and photos to give the group a glimpse into Japanese culture. The class will be repeated, only in three sessions, for Girls Together participants. This project is sponsored by Arts in Stark, who awared a mini-grant to underwrite the costs of the project.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stupendous Saturdays

The Studendous Saturdays series kicked off the year with kids in the kitchen. Under the guidance of Food Service Manager, Nola Haiss, a group of elementary girls prepared some sweets for their sweeties. The hands-on activites offered opportunities to enhance small motor skills, practice math skills, and develop kitchen skills, as well as some good old fashion taste testing.

Food for the Soul

The February YWCA Board of Directors meeting was a little more soulful than the regular monthly business meetings. It began with the annual Soul Food Dinner. The potluck included such delights as catfish, chicken & stuffing, greens, cabbage, cornbread, bread pudding, and some other mighty fine treats including some scrumptious desserts. This year's event was organized by Board vice-president Cindy King.

Sweet Hearts

Girls Together is a program for girls at the Alliance Middle School. The six grade group celebrated Valentines Day with activities designed to enhance their understanding of self and encourage self expression. This included decorating heart shaped cookies to suit their own unique taste.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Liberty Mutual & Mount Union College's Coach Kehres Team Up for a Better Alliance

Thank you Liberty Mutual for honoring Coach Larry Kehres as the Liberty Mutual Coach of the year!  Along with the hefty silver trophy for the coach, Liberty Mutual executives, Jerry and Glenn, brought good wishes and a pocketful of checks for charities in our community selected by Coach Kehres.  Thanks to the teaming of Liberty Mutual & the Coach, the YWCA received a BIG check for $5000.  Cheering loudly in the audience was YW Board President Cheryl Paine.  Touchdown for the home team!

Geo Bee

The YWCA is proud to sponsor the annual Alliance Middle School National Geographic Geography Bee.  24 students qualified through classroom tests to participate in the contest. Principal Ken Fay was on hand to cheer on the students and to welcome parents to the event.  The format and questions (they were tough!) came directly from National Geographic.  Barb Armitage, a YWCA Board member, took on the difficult role of reader again this year.   The students did a great job showing a lot of poise and knowledge.  The YWCA also sponsors the Geography Club that meets after school under the direction of teachers, Laura Stauffer and Ashley DeBolt.  This year's winner and the 3rd place student are club members.  The evening ended with cookies and punch prepared by the YW kitchen.

Congratulations to sixth grader Will Oesch, first runner-up, and to eight grader Nick Skidmore winner of the Bee.  Both students were awarded certificates from National Geographic, savings bonds, and are eligible for a $1000 scholarship to further their education.  The bonds and scholarship are provided by the YWCA and are made possible by the generosity of a YWCA member who wants to help young people to excel.