Community and Youth Support

Rotarians and the North Coast Rotary Foundation supported various community and youth initiatives in November and December 2022.  

Financial support included $250 in cash donations to the Sheffield Lake/Sheffield Village Holiday Baskets program, the $250 purchase of 50 cans of Parmesan Cheese for the Avon Lake/Avon CRS Spaghetti Dinner baskets, $100 in gift cards for the Avon and French Creek Foundation tree lighting festival raffle and $70 in gift cards for the Camp Imagine 14th Anniversary Benefit Celebration.  Rotarians also volunteered at the Holiday Basket food and toy sorting, and as drivers and soup-servers for the Empty Bowls by the Lake event at the Avon Lake High School. 

Youth projects include recognition of Students of the Month from Avon, Avon Lake and Sheffield/Sheffield Lake Schools.  Recognition includes a presentation at our monthly rotary meeting, certificate of achievement, gift card to a local pizzeria and passes to Main Event. Upcoming youth projects are the 4-Way Test Speech contest for high school students, and the 4-Way Test Essay contest for 7th and 8th graders. 

Great Pizza Bake-Off Tonight!

Enjoy sampling pizza, voting for your favorites, and participating in a few raffles tonight from 5 PM to 7 PM at the Avon Lake High School commons. A big thanks to our participating pizzerias: Marcos Pizza (Avon), Domino’s Pizza (Avon Lake), Romeo’s Pizza (Avon Lake), Pizza Hut (Avon Lake) and our newest area pizzeria Old School. Expect some surprises with the traditional and specialty pizzas they offer! Raffle prizes include, jewelry, autographed football, autographed cap, Red Tail golf for four, and Main Event games package. Hope to see you there!

Camp Imagine

Several weeks ago, North Coast Rotarians heard updates on Camp Imagine, a very special non-profit created in 1987 in Avon Lake. Involved since 2009, Frank Krempasky explained that the program is a combination extended school year service and camp experience for developmentally disabled children in pre-K through 12th grade. This year they enrolled 108 children from 9 different area school districts. Learn more about Camp Imagine at:

Make Music Day Avon Lake

Celebrating with more than 1000 cities in 120 countries around the world, musicians, musical groups, singers, and performers entertained guests at Veteran’s and Bleser Park on Make Music Day Avon Lake on June 21st the summer solstice.  Despite temperatures in the mid-90’s people of all ages gathered to enjoy the multitude of performances at locations including the Bleser main stage, the porch of the Folger house, the grassy areas outside the ball fields, and the gazebo. Make Music Day Avon Lake was the inspiration of Marilyn Zeidner, Executive Director of Music on a Mission and co-founder of Project DREW.  For the 2022 event, North Coast Rotary assisted Marilyn in planning, organizing, marketing, fundraising and staffing. Read more here –  Make Music Day Avon Lake!

Avon Bicycle Rodeo – Safe Bicycling for Children

Nine Avon Police Officers and Lieutenants instructed 51 Avon children ages 7-11 in Safe Bicycling Practices at the Bicycle Rodeo on Saturday, June 4, 2022.  The Avon Parks and Recreation Department pre-registered the children, organized the two sessions and coordinated the event.  Reed Allen and employees of Reed Allen State Farm Insurance Agency provided new helmets for each rider and assisted with the process.  North Coast Rotarians, Joe Matuscak, Doug Maurer, Bob Murphy, Allen Porter and Jinnyn Tata, helped the Avon Police and Avon Rec Department employees manage the traffic and check-in of incoming students and at the various skill stations.  Students and parents were appreciative of the opportunity to become safer bicyclists and thanked the Avon Police Department for the Bicycle Rodeo.

The hands-on instruction included bicycle safety inspections checking wheel alignment, brake operation, and inflating tires. The officers checked the fit of each rider’s bicycle helmet, replacing them with new ones if needed. Following the safety inspection students rode through a series of skill stations related to everyday riding situations – practicing starting and stopping, the safe way to exit a driveway, negotiating intersections and avoiding common road hazards.  

2022 Scholarship Awardees!

North Coast Rotary Scholarship Awardees for 2022
Brookside – Leah Mussall, Avon – Elizabeth White, Avon Lake – Sydney Ryan, Avon Lake – Gabriela Marsala, Brookside – Nura Afaneh, Scholarship Awardees 2022 North Coast Rotary Foundation

Nura Afaneh, Leah Musall, Sydney Ryan and Elizabeth White were awarded $1000 scholarships each for their “Service Above Self.”  Their leadership roles and service to others included captaining various sports teams, President of the Avon Lake Choir program, President of BHS National Honor Society, Treasurer of Interact Service Club, volunteering at St. Mary of the Woods, Genesis House, sponsoring a club for mental health awareness and more. 

Congratulations to these graduates from Avon, Avon Lake and Brookside High Schools who stood out among the 53 well-qualified applicants for the North Coast Rotary scholarships.  

In a separate application process, Gabriel Marsala was awarded a $1000 scholarship by Marilyn Weems for her interest in continuing to study and learn the French language.   

Lauren Ksiazek, MSW, LSW, Executive Director of Lorain County Office on Aging (LCOOA)

LCOOA Executive Director
Lauren Ksiazek

At today’s meeting, Executive Director of LCOOA, Lauren Ksiazek presented highlights from the 2021 Older Adults Needs Assessment (the last assessment was done in 2008). 

Lauren concluded with recommended actions:  To build on the Coalition for Quality Aging, to increase collaborations and partnerships, advocacy at all levels of government, to educate the public about the needs, and to develop sustainable and significant funding sources for aging services.  Lauren asked, “Who will be the Champion of this Population?” 

To further the discussion, the Executive Director has been sharing this information with multiple groups and organizations.  The survey results are available on the LCOOA website.

To learn more contact Executive Director Lauren Ksiazek at:

The LCOOA is the primary agency for supporting Lorain County’s older adult population.  25% of Lorain County residents are aged 60 or older, and this number is expected to continue growing.  Funding for the survey was provided by the Community Foundation of Lorain County and the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

North Coast Business Expo

Rotarians enjoyed meeting with local area vendors, businesses, professionals, and non-profits at the Power of More/North Coast Chamber Business Expo held last week at Ahern’s in Avon Lake.  The club benefits from this opportunity to let others know what we do.  Through networking at this Event, we found interesting business-owners who will be invited to be a speaker at a club meeting and others who would consider joining Rotary. 

We also shared information about the 2nd annual Make Music Day celebration in Avon Lake on June 21st.  

Our thanks to Ted Esborn, Director Economic Development and Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka, who have provided North Coast Rotary with the opportunity to participate in the Business Expo since 2015.

Avon’s Michele Smith and Avon Lake’s Eric McFadden win 1stPlace

This spring, many Avon and Avon Lake 7th and 8th grade students worked with their Language Arts teachers to write essays explaining their personal understanding of the 4-Way Test and how it relates to their life experiences or society.  Both school districts submitted their top six finalists to North Coast Rotary’s 4-Way Test Essay Competition. 

A committee of Rotarians reviewed and evaluated each essay for focus, content development, style, and other factors. A few of the weighty topics were truth, fairness and goodwill in society and personal relationships, wearing masks during the pandemic and the opportunities to build trust in the Avon community working with Avon’s City Council.  

To the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, Rotary presented Award Certificates and cash prizes. 4th Place winners were also presented with Award Certificates.  

Michele Smith won 1st Place North Coast and 1st Place Avon and her essay was submitted to the District Competition.

Alexandria Balthaser won 2nd Place North Coast and 2nd Place Avon. 

Eric McFadden won 3rd Place North Coast and 1st Place Avon Lake and his essay was submitted to the District Competition. 

Bree Bodde won 2nd Place Avon Lake.

Harshal Bhavsar won 3rd Place Avon Lake.

Alexa Lopata won 3rd Place Avon.

Lilly Fay Casterline, Jacob Lecorchick, and Emmit Lotz won 4th Place for Avon Lake and Deanna Dyer, NhaTien Le, Molly Legeza won 4th Place for Avon.

Congratulations to these students for their effort and achievement, and much thanks to their Language Arts teachers.  This is the sixth year that Avon’s and Avon Lake’s 7th and 8th graders have participated in North Coast Rotary’s Essay Contest. 

2022 Speech Contest Winners

North Coast Rotary held the club round of its 2022 Speech Contest among Avon, Avon Lake and Brookside high school students.  Early in the year, students began preparing to deliver a 5-minute speech on how an ethical decision-making tool, “The 4-Way Test” applied to their lives or society.  

Each school selected their top two students as Finalists to compete: Dylan Roof and Molly Cochran from Avon HS, Daniel Gordillo and Hope Tamoney from Avon Lake HS, and Sabrina Bibb and Lanie Prodonovich from Brookside HS. 

Three independent judges based their awards on delivery, originality, and content. Dylan Roof won 1st Place, speaking about social interactions, the human experience and mass automation.  2nd Place was awarded to Lanie Prodonovich and 3rd Place was awarded to Daniel Gordillo.  Congratulations to Dylan, Lanie and Daniel and all Finalists.