Gridiron Alumni games planned

Do you have what it takes to strap on a helmet one more time? If you’ve ever wished that you could play football one more time, you’re wish has been granted. Alumni football is coming to Port Clinton.  

Gridiron Alumni is planning several full contact alumni football games.  Gridiron Alumni travels the nation pitting old football rivals against each other one more time.  Hundreds of players and thousands of fans swarmed stadiums to watch their hometown heroes strap it on one more time.  

Gridiron Alumni is targeting teams like Port Clinton, Danbury, Margaretta and many others. Players from all local area are invited to register to play. Players are needed to sign up for their alma mater and the first 40 players on each team get to play. The team that gets 30 people registered first gets home field advantage.  The games are set for the spring. 

If you or someone you know is interested in putting on the pads one more time, go to to register.  If you have any questions, call Chris at 530- 410-6396 or go to the website.

Gridiron Alumni was founded in 2010 and has raised over $250,000 for schools and charities using alumni football games as a fundraising vehicle. Gridiron Alumni football has changed lives, communities, and given thousands of men their spark back.


Hunger Games: Catching Fire being shown at Ida Rupp

On Wednesday, April 30 from 5-7:30 p.m. The Ida Rupp Public Library is showing the second Hunger Games movie Catching Fire. Ida Rupp is inviting teens in grades 6-12 to come with friends for popcorn, refreshments and a movie.

No registration is required. For more information on this event or other events at Ida Rupp please call 419-732-3212.



Representative Redfern to hold town hall meeting

State Representative Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) will host a town hall discussion at Ida Rupp Public Library on Monday, March 17 from 10-11 a.m.

Rep. Redfern holds town hall meetings throughout Erie and Ottawa Counties to listen to constituents’ ideas, concerns and feedback.

Rep. Redfern will also provide a brief overview of actions in the legislature for area residents to learn about and discuss state legislative issues.

The event is free and open to the public.


Schaffner Publications seeking sales representative

One of the area's top media companies has immediate openings for a Account Executives/Customer Service representatives. We seek a friendly, organized self starter who enjoys people. Successful applicant will receive established local territory. Initial salary plus commissions.

Please send resume to John Schaffner, President at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Evolving the Ottawa County Friend to Friend Mentoring Project

The Kindness of Strangers in Ottawa County

Last Wednesday morning at Ida Rupp Public Library in Port Clinton a group of 18 people gathered to discuss the book “The Kindness of Strangers” by Marc Freedman. The discussion focused on how Ottawa County can develop a community-wide mentorship program that endeavors to match youth one-on-one with adults who are ready to serve and support them, so our youth can realize their dreams. 

The discussion was led by Debra Loiacono, Director of the library, assisted by Connie Cedoz of the library and Chris Galvin, Area Director of United Way in Ottawa County.

The opportunity to make a difference 

There is national interest in Ottawa County’s desire to make a difference in the lives of its youth. Harvard Professor Robert Putnam’s New York Times article on “Crumbling American Dreams” featured Port Clinton and dramatically accelerated the discussion on the need to help our young people. 

United Way in Ottawa County’s mentoring initiative is one of six programs nationally awarded six months of consulting services with renowned author Dan Heath of Duke’s CASE Change Academy in Durham, NC. United Way of Greater Toledo President/CEO Karen Mathison, Shanna Strouse of Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools in Oak Harbor and Galvin are the team that began working with the CASE Academy in January. Heath recommended “The Kindness of Strangers” as a good way to advance the discussion. 

Ida Rupp Library received a grant to partner with United Way to support and further the discussion. As stated by Connie Cedoz of the library, their commitment is “to do anything we can to enhance and move forward our youth.” Wednesday morning’s discussion is another leap toward making a difference.

The need

United Way’s Cradle to Career mapping identified the gap for children and youth in Ottawa County. Putnam’s work and other studies have pinpointed the need. 50% of the students in Port Clinton Schools and 43% in Danbury Schools qualify for free and reduced-price lunches. This is widely accepted as a good indicator of the prevalence of poverty in a school district and a community. 

“Only 50% of the third graders in Ottawa County read at a third grade level,” said Cedoz.

“We have a new group of poor. Many educated people who were previously doing fine are no longer doing fine,” added Loiacono.

Former teacher Phoebe Borman, “It is no longer okay to be poor and proud. Kids think that if you are poor, people think something is wrong with you.”

Fritz Below pointed out that “poverty is met with either contempt or pity, both of which rob people of their dignity. We must foster a third way, which is where mentoring comes in.”

It was also discussed that the stigma of success in school can be a stigma for kids, something that sets them apart. Mentors can help change that message.


The discussion turned to factors relevant to a mentoring program.

“What is working in Oak Harbor is school-based, taking adults to the kids,” said Galvin. Loiacono added that the library is another good meeting place for kids and adults.

Social media, such as Facebook postings, can be a way for mentors to stay connected to kids. “Kids trust social media. Perhaps that is a good way to start, with Facebook or Instagram to build trust,” offered Joan Hany.

Brad Hall contributed that not everyone can invest in long-term mentoring a child. “We need a holistic mentoring approach, a variety of ways of mentoring.” 

The consensus is that strong training is needed for the mentors. Mentoring can’t be “parachuting in” and leaving. Just showing up is very important for the child and the mentor. 

“To be able to talk to someone close to their own age can be a great help,” offered former teacher Lorrie Grentzer.

“When we look at the ways we were raised, many of the isolation and prejudices (that we had) no longer exist with this generation,” added Loiacono. 

Deborah Loiacono leading the discussion.

When and how

“The Kindness of Strangers” offers valuable insight to developing a mentoring program, including these recommendations:

1. Under-promise and over-deliver with kids.
2. Resolve not to return to what we perceive as a better time that is past, but embrace the future.
3. When choosing a consumer-driven approach or a citizen-driven approach, with the consumers being the kids and the citizens being the mentors, the citizen-driven approach is more sustainable.

“The difference-making factor is that in successful children, someone has been encouraging them,” said Galvin. “The challenge is how we can provide this for our kids. The goals are that all students graduate on time, that they know what is available for them and that they have support to sustain their further education.”

Though it is never too late to support youth, the general consensus is that beginning a mentoring program in sixth grade is optimum. In the sixth grade, students are still impressionable.

Lorrie Grentzer offered that the framework of the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets can be an excellent tool. The 40 research-based, positive qualities that influence young people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible, and productive adults, has become the most widely used approach to positive youth development in the United States and, increasingly, around the world. 

“Scouting and 4-H can provide kids with a broad spectrum of experiences and teach self-motivation,” said Meridith Beck. Galvin added that there are scouting alumni associations that could be involved.

With phones and social media, snowbirds are not excluded from mentoring. There is a group working through United Way on ways that those who leave the area for the winter can be part of the program.

Beck added, “If senior citizens mentor kids, the kids can teach them about social media.”

“In changing a child’s life, they change your life,” said Loiacono. 

Mathison added, “Caring adults help give kids hope. We can surround kids with hope and high expectations.” 

Chris Galvin discusses bridging the gap for the children of Ottawa County. 

Next steps

Galvin challenged the group to take the next steps:

• We need to create community will for the program
• If there is another word for mentoring, what would it be?
• How do we use technology to bridge the gap?
• How do we look at scouting and 4-H to be involved?
• What are the levels of mentoring we are going to develop?
• Invite someone to help with the mentoring program by reaching out through social media.
• Do you know the kids in your neighborhood?
• Become familiar with the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets 

United Way will be funding three people to go to the Search Institute Train the Teacher Training May 1 and 2 in Minneapolis. For more information on the institute, go to There is a free webinar on March 19.

The information and ideas from Wednesday’s discussion will be taken to the Ottawa County Community Solutions team to develop a mentoring “find a friend” program.

April 9 from 1-3 p.m. at Ottawa County Fairgrounds United Way and Ottawa County Housing Collaborative will be hosting a C.O.P.E. (Cost of Poverty Experience). 80 people will have the opportunity to experience what it is like to deal with the issues that the poor have to face. For more information, contact United Way in Ottawa County at 419.734.6645 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Connie Cedoz will lead a discussion of the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath April 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the library. The community is encouraged to read this best-selling book (multiple copies are available at the library) and participate in the discussion. For more information, contact the library at 419.732.3212 or

“Let’s be the example here (in Port Clinton) and show them how it is done,” said Loiacono.

Join the Switch

Dan Heath, co-author with his brother Chip of #1 New York Times Best Seller “Switch-How to change things when change is hard”, has made a generous gift to Ottawa County residents who want to help enhance the future of our youth. In response to a discussion with and request from Chris Galvin of United Way in Ottawa County, and in support of the Ottawa County Mentoring Initiative, Heath has donated 100 copies of “Switch”. 

About “Switch”, from the book’s jacket information: “In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. ‘Switch’ shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether that interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.”

The first 100 Ottawa County residents to join the Initiative will receive a free copy of “Switch”. To get on the list, email Ida Rupp Public Library at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or stop in at the library.


Trout fishing opportunities at Castalia Hatchery


The Castalia Fish Hatchery in Erie County will open a half-mile section of Cold Creek for controlled trout fishing events. This opportunity is limited to a designated number of anglers and will held during select dates during the 2014 fishing season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Controlled trout fishing is offered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery from May 5-Nov. 28. No weekend or holiday fishing is available. The trout stocked in Cold Creek measure between 10-12 inches. Most of the fish are rainbow trout, although brown trout are available.

Anglers interested must apply online March 1-31 and pay a non-refundable $3 application fee in order to be eligible for a random drawing. Only one application is allowed per person. Anglers 16 and older can fish from May 5-June 13 and from Aug. 18-Nov. 28. A second season will be held for those 15 and younger from June 16-Aug. 15.

Youth sessions are 7-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m-3:30 p.m., and successful applicants will be assigned a session. Adult sessions are 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Individuals selected to participate can bring two adults 16 and older and three youths 15 and younger (no more than six people total).

Random drawings for permit selection will be held in April. The results of the drawing will be posted at

Special fishing rules will be in effect to ensure a quality fishing experience. This includes a no-catch-and-release rule; anglers keep all the fish they catch. The daily bag limit is five trout per angler. Anglers are required to check in at the hatchery upon arrival and check out at the end of the session.

An Ohio resident annual fishing license costs $19 a day; a one-day fishing license costs $11. Those who purchase a one-day fishing license may later return it to a license agent to receive credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license. 

Sales of fishing licenses along with the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program continue to fund the operation of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s fish hatcheries. No state tax dollars are used for this activity. This is a user-pay, user-benefit program.

The SFR is a partnership between federal and state government, industry and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax. The federal government collects these taxes, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth and to obtain and develop boat accesses.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at


Edgewood Manor hosts “The ABC’s of joint replacement”

Edgewood Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center will be hosting a Joint Replacement Class on March 17 at 6 p.m.  The class will be held at Edgewood Manor, 1330 S. Fulton Street, Port Clinton. 

The class will contain a wide variety of information pertaining to joint replacement procedures.  Topics will be useful for individuals at various stages, from those considering undergoing the joint replacement to those that have scheduled their procedure.  Michael Lopez, Rehabilitation Director, will be on hand to answer questions and concerns about the rehabilitation process.

Light refreshments will be provided.  For questions or to RSVP (By March 14) call 419.734.5506.


Cemetery clean up starts April 7

Cemetery clean up for the City of Port Clinton will begin April 7. Any items, regardless of age, not removed from the graves will be cleaned up by the City. Items may be placed back on your loved ones grave on April 12. The City is not responsible for the replacement value of any items not removed by April 6.


Coach Diels resigns from Redskin basketball

Coach Troy Diels met with his team following the last boys basketball game to tell them it would be his last as the Redskin’s basketball coach. He has coached basketball at PCHS for the past nine years. Mr. Diels will remain with the Port Clinton City School District as the Assistant Middle School Principal.

Port Clinton High School Principal, Gary Steyer said, “Coach Diels has been a positive influence in the lives of our student-athletes and has made major contributions to our boys’ basketball program. We appreciate what he has meant to our students and how he has supported them throughout their basketball careers as well as in their personal lives.”

Long after his coaching career is over, he will always be remembered as leading the Port Clinton Redskins during their 20-1 season. That journey sparked renewed Redskin Spirit in the Port Clinton community supporting the team would go on to be the 2010 State basketball runners up. In addition, his teams had one SBC championship, three sectional titles, one district and one regional championship. 

"I have decided that it is time to step down as head coach,” said Coach Diels. “There are a lot of little factors as to why, but above all I think the time is right for a change. I want to thank the Board Of Education, Mr. Adkins, and the high school administration for allowing me the opportunity to be the head coach over the last nine years. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have been the head coach at Port Clinton and I will forever cherish the bonds that I have with my former players and well as my coaching staff."

Mr. Diels will continue as the Port Clinton Middle School Assistant Principal and will have more time to spend with his wife Marianne and their three children. 

Patrick Adkins, Superintendent of Schools added, "Coach Diels brought more than just basketball knowledge to our program. He has played a vital role in the lives of our student athletes not only while they were in high school but beyond. He has been a positive role model and will be missed considerably."


St. Boniface Catholic School to host open house

St. Boniface School in Oak Harbor will host an open house for all prospective students and their parents on Friday, March 14, 5-7 p.m. St. Boniface is a fully accredited school offering preschool (ages 3 to 5) through seventh grade. With a low student to teacher ratio and multi-educational classroom learning, St. Boniface welcomes any student to join and discover the fun of learning.  Additionally, St. Boniface uses smart board technology in every classroom as well as laptops and iPads for all students.  Busing is provided by Benton Carroll Salem, Genoa and Woodmore school districts daily. 

St. Boniface School is at 215 W. Oak Street in Oak Harbor. For more information, call 419.898.1340.

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