Wreath auction benefits ACT BG’s Christmas Elves Program

Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce ACT BG project team hosted its Annual Wreath Auction on November 27 and i raised $2,340. This is the fourth year of the event and continues to be a community favorite.  The event was hosted by Brookdale Bowling Green Senior Living in conjunction with a BG Chamber of Commerce Businesses After Hours Event. The wreaths were hung on the doors of the residents at Brookdale and sold in a silent auction. ACT BG member Alisha Nenadovich, who also works at Brookdale organized the event.   ACT BG uses the proceeds to complement the Christmas Elves Program. Everything raised from both the events benefits organizations serving families in need this holiday season. Since 2015, ACT BG has raised a total of $6,970.00 through the auctions. This year’s top wreath was from Homeworks Decorating Center with their “The Christmas Story” wreath. The wreath was sold for $150; this is their third time being part of the auction.    All the wreaths are donated by local individuals or businesses and the ACT BG project team.  ACT BG’s mission is to attract and retain young professionals in Bowling Green. Their efforts focus on connecting active professionals, to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable, and professional development events.  

Christmas boutique offers all the fixings for a hand made holiday

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Shopping small doesn’t get any more personal than buying gifts from local artisans who make them. That’s the experience that the Grounds For Thought Christmas Boutique  has been offering for 15 years. This year’s boutique will be presented Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the coffeeshop at 174 S. Main St. in downtown Bowling Green. Customers will be able to buy knitted and felted clothing with jewelry for accents.  All-natural lotions, soap, cleansers, and balms to pamper the skin beneath the clothes. Photographs and paintings — watercolor, encaustic, and pastels — to please the eye. Bowls of wood and ceramic will be on sale as well as handmade books and cards.   Many of the vendors are regulars at the boutique — space is limited and the crowds are good, so there’s a limit to the number of new vendors. But every year, the boutique finds room to fit in a few newcomers. This year, for example, Ellen Fure Smith’s Little Bare Furniture will be on hand. Smith will be tucked back near the conference room. For the first time the conference room will be used for vendors. Sandy Wicks said the boutique started during her time with the Downtown Business Association. The event was a spinoff from the Black Swamp Arts Festival, which she had helped to found.  “We wanted something in the winter,” Wicks said.   “So many of my friends were crafters and artists, and we thought  this would be a great event.” The first boutique had 10 vendors, she said.  This year it’ll feature 26. “I’d say at least half have all been in the Black Swamp Arts Festival. It’s a really nice quality boutique and Christmas show.” All the work sold must be “completely handmade and  original,” she said. The customers who pack into Grounds for the boutique appreciate the quality. Wicks is joined by artisan Kathy Pereira de Almeida  in organizing the fair. She handles a lot of the logistics, Wicks said. Pereira de Almeida said she had hosted her own holiday crafts fair at her house for several years before joining forces with Wicks. The downtown location was more convenient for customers, and it meant less foot traffic through her home. It does mean more foot traffic through neighboring downtown shops, Wicks said. Pereira de Almeida has made silk scarves and hand-painted tote bags. She’s now concentrating on watercolor and encaustic paintings, which will be on the walls of the coffeeshop during the boutique, and throughout the month. She said she appreciates having this new chapter in her work showcased during the fair. Her daughter Andrea Pereira de Almeida will be displaying her paintings. Ann Beck, a painter and jeweler, is a long time vendor at the boutique.  Asked if this was a good show for her, she responded: “Yes, emphatically, with an exclamation point!” Beck said she always tries to have some new designs for the boutique. Wicks also wants to have something new at her table. Her crafts always involve material recycled from Grounds for Thought. Last year, she had Christmas trees made by folded recycled books. “This year I’m actually cutting and shaping the books into the Christmas tree.” A number of other artists also make a point of having…

Park district celebrates winter & the holidays throughout December

From WOOD COUNTY PARK DISTRICT Poinsettia Tour Tuesday, December 4; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Bostdorff’s Greenhouse Acres 18862 N. Dixie Hwy, Bowling Green Take a tour of new premarket poinsettia varieties at Bostdorff’s Greenhouse. Evaluate these new varieties and vote on the one you like best. You may be one of three lucky people to take one of these “winter roses” home with you! Leader: Stewardship department   EcoLit Book Group Meeting Thursday, December 6; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Friends’ Green Room 29530 White Road, Perrysburg For this meeting, please read The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams. Discussion leader: Cheryl Lachowski, Senior Lecturer, BGSU English Dept. and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN) Register at, or call (419) 353-1897   A Heritage Holiday December 8; 1:00 – 4:00 pm Carter Historic Farm 18331 Carter Road, Bowling Green Join us to share some seasonal cheer at the farm’s open house. We’ll have carols played on the player piano, cookie decorating, ornament making, and other activities for the whole family. This festive community event is open to all.   Winter Reptiles Wednesday, December 12; 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Friends’ Green Room 25930 White Road, Perrysburg When the weather turns white and chilly, what do all of our scaly neighbors do? Migrate, hibernate, or put on a sweater? We’ll learn these things and more as we meet two of our animal ambassadors. Leader: Craig Spicer Register at, or call (419) 353-1897   The Geminid Meteor Shower Thursday, December 13; 9:30 – 11:00 p.m. Cricket Frog Cove Area 14810 Freyman Road, Cygnet The Geminids are considered one of the best annual meteor showers because they are easily and frequently seen. Bring a thick blanket or reclining folding chair and appropriate clothing for an evening under the stars. Emerge: This shower peaks around 2 a.m., but meteors will be visible beginning between 9-10 p.m. Cancelled if skies are cloudy.  Leader: Bill Hoefflin Register at, or call (419) 353-1897   Homeschoolers: Old Time Games Friday, December 14; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Hankison Great Room 29530 White Road, Perrysburg Learn how Native American and pioneer children had fun, and how play helped them develop skills for adulthood. Leader: Jim Witter Register at, or call (419) 353-1897   Rudolph Christmas Bird Count Saturday, December 15; 6:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Meeting at Waffle House, compilation party at Park HQ 1548 E. Wooster Street, Bowling Green and 18729 Mercer Road, Bowling Green Be a citizen scientist! Join the Wood County Parks and local birders to count wintering birds to provide a snapshot of bird species and populations in Wood County. Visit for more information. Leader: Jim Witter Register at, or call (419) 353-1897   Winter Tree ID Sunday, December 16; 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Bradner Interpretive Center 11491 Fostoria Road, Bradner Get a closer look at trees without their leaves. Learn how to identify them by bark and twig characteristics. Leader: Bill Hoefflin Register at, or call (419) 353-1897   Holiday Open Geocaching Friday, December 21; 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. W.W. Knight Nature Preserve 25930 White Road, Perrysburg Find your own festive cheer this time of year! Stop by anytime between…

Toledo Symphony begins run of holiday programs

From  TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Symphony Orchestra celebrates this holiday season with a variety of festive concerts and special events across Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. From Christmas at the Peristyle and Handel’s Messiah to Toledo Ballet’s 78th Annual Nutcracker, these programs feature a collection of seasonal classics and traditional favorites for all ages. The TSO has a long history of sharing symphonic music outside of its primary locations. Annually, the TSO reaches more than 11,000 individuals at neighborhood churches, schools, performing arts centers, and various community venues. These unique concerts expand the accessibility to arts programming and build lasting relationships with communities throughout the region. “The musicians and production crew of the Toledo Symphony are preparing for the ‘most wonderful time of the year!’” says Rachel Zeithamel, Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Toledo Symphony. “We will perform twenty-five concerts in twenty five days at twenty-one different venues. It is a lot of work but it is well worth the effort. The TSO is able to help communities, families, and organizations celebrate this special time of year. Chances are high that we will be performing at location near you. I hope you will join us and make your own memories!” HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES: November 28, 2018 – St. Joseph Catholic Church (Sylvania, OH) November 29, 2018 – Grace Lutheran Church (Fremont, OH) November 30, 2018 – Clyde High School (Clyde, OH) December 1, 2018 – Christmas at the Peristyle (Toledo, OH) December 2, 2018 – Handel’s Messiah (Toledo, OH) December 4, 2018 – Westgate Chapel (Toledo, OH) December 5, 2018 – Clay High School (Oregon, OH) December 6, 2018 – St. Patrick Catholic Church (Bryan, OH) December 8, 2018 – Toledo Ballet’s 78th Annual Nutcracker (Toledo, OH) December 9, 2018 – Toledo Ballet’s 78th Annual Nutcracker (Toledo, OH) December 11, 2018 – St. Joseph Catholic Church (Maumee, OH) December 12, 2018 – St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Napoleon, OH) December 13, 2018 – First Lutheran Church (Tiffin, OH) December 14, 2018 – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (Temperance, MI) December 15, 2018 – First Congregational Church (Toledo, OH) December 16, 2018 – All Saints Catholic Church (Rossford, OH) “As the Toledo Symphony marks its 75th anniversary, we cherish our role as ‘Toledo’s Symphony,’” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “For these 75 years, we have shared the joy of music across our region—from classrooms and community centers to churches and concert halls. It is especially meaningful to do this at the holidays, when music brings us together and helps us to celebrate together.”The Toledo Symphony’s holiday performances begin on Nov. 28 and conclude on December 16. To purchase tickets, visit or call the Toledo Symphony Box Office at 419-246-8000.

78th Nutcracker marks new alliance between Toledo Ballet and symphony

From TOLEDO BALLET  On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and Toledo Ballet announced plans to merge the area’s oldest performing arts institutions forming the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). This year, the two organizations will work closer than ever before in Toledo Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, its 78th annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved masterpiece, and the first as a newly combined organization. “It was Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker that originally brought together Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “This year, more than others, there’s something symbolic about joining forces with our new siblings at Toledo Ballet. We all want to present one of the best Nutcrackers in our joined history. There’s just such a sense of excitement in the air!” TAPA is a partnership rooted in history, as Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony have  collaborated artistically on The Nutcracker since the late 1940s. Toledo Ballet will present The Nutcracker with the full Toledo Symphony in the orchestra pit on December 8-9, 2018. This makes Toledo Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker the only local production to include a full orchestra of professional musicians. “This year’s Nutcracker is more exciting than ever because of the merging of Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony Orchestra,” says Lisa Mayer-Lang, Artistic Director for Toledo Ballet.” “This historic merger has both organizations, as well as the Toledo community buzzing with excitement. Our dancers are thrilled that they will be dancing again to the live music of the Symphony in a heightened sense of unity.” Toledo Ballet is proud to announce Chris Caputo (Caputo & Associates), Jay Berschback (WTVG13 Weatherman), Pat Bowe (President & CEO, The Andersons), and Zak Vassar (President & CEO, Toledo Symphony Orchestra) as Mother Gingers for this season’s 78th annual production of The Nutcracker. In Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, appearance of Mother Ginger in Act Two brings a light-hearted distraction from the more serious roles in the ballet. Best recognized by her enormous hoop skirt from which her Gingersnap children spill out at the beginning of their dance, Mother Ginger’s antics delight audiences with equal part hilarity and cute-factor from the children. The role of Mother Ginger is a long-standing coveted comic role for Toledo leaders.

Picture perfect day for annual Holiday Parade in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It doesn’t get much more perfect for parade day than Saturday. As the bands tuned up their instruments, the twirlers perfected their hair buns, and the spectators claimed their spots along the route, people kept commenting on the weather. “No wind. No ice. No rain. No snow. We got lucky,” said Brian Craft, director of the city’s public works department. The 40 degree morning was a gift wrapped up in a bow, compared to last year’s icy weather that canceled the parade. The weather and wonder of the holiday parade resulted in thick crowds on the curbs along the route. Joan Steinmiller, of Bowling Green, and her family got to the parade route nearly 90 minutes before start time, to stake out their spot on South Main Street. They came with their hot coffee and breakfast from McDonald’s. This is a family tradition. “I’m all decked out,” Steinmiller said, showing her sequined Santa sweater and her Santa slippers. Down the street a bit was Thomas Gerschutz and his family.   “We come to support the community,” Gerschutz said. His daughter, Sara Keith, bundled up her 4-year-old son, Oliver – expecting it to be colder. “I have him doubled up in pants. I’m thinking it’s not that cold,” Keith said. While the adults came for the community, many kids came for the confections. Keith’s daughter Emma, 11, was prepared for the cornucopia of candy. “She emptied her pockets for it,” Keith said. “And we have a bag for it. We’re ready.” The mild temperatures were welcomed, not only by the spectators, but also by many of the parade participants. “This is a great day – a nice, crisp fall-like day,” said Eastwood band director Brian Myers as his band waited for the parade to begin. Frigid temperatures can cause problems for marchers, he said. “If it’s really cold, the brass mouthpieces can stick,” Myers said – reminiscent of the tongue frozen to the flagpole scene in “The Christmas Story.” At a nearby float for Work Leads to Independence, Missy Toney was relieved at the relatively warm temperatures. She had encouraged those on the float to wear hats, gloves and long johns. She brought blankets and extra coats – just in case. “It’s not raining. It’s not even snowing,” Toney said with a smile. The twirlers with Twizzle Baton, from Maumee, wore gloves with rubbery grips to keep the batons from slipping out of their chilly hands. The girls, ages 3 to 18, bundled up appropriately for the parade route. “There’s a lot of coordination with layers” of clothing, said Stephanie Wilson, one of the parents with the baton group. Tammy Corpe, who was preparing to drive the parade route, was thankful there was no ice on the streets. She was driving a Porsche from BG Lincoln-Mercury for the WBGU Morning Show parade entry feature her husband, Clint Corpe, and Larry Weiss. “Oh my God, it better not be stick. I haven’t driven a stick for 30 years,” Corpe said prior to seeing the Porsche. Some people watched from the comfort of coffee shops along the route, while others clutched warm cups on the curb. A group of enterprising young Boy Scouts walked the sidewalks selling hot chocolate from a wagon. The annual parade,…