Library honors Kleins for sustained support

The library held its annual Volunteer Recognition Wednesday, December 12. At the event Dianne and Tom Klein received the Legacy of 1875 Award. The award was created in 2009 and is presented jointly by the library’s Board of Trustees, Foundation Board and Friends of the Library Board in recognition of individuals whose support impacts WCDPL in significant ways. The Kleins were recognized for their sustained support of the library as long-time patrons, volunteers, and champions of the library’s role in the community, and for their quiet, ongoing financial generosity – all of which have contributed to the success of the library.

Read More

BGSU dedicates Downing center to aid military students & veterans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When William Downing was discharged from the Navy in 1952, he decided to attend Bowling Green State University. He’d never been to Bowling Green. He didn’t know anyone there. When asked by his high school principal in Cleveland why BGSU, he explained: “All my buddies went to Ohio U. If I went down there with them I’d never finish.” Attending BGSU turned out to be the right move. He did graduate and soon after married Joan, his Falcon flame, whom he met his junior year. The former Navy boxer graduated with a degree in physical education. He taught for a year before going into business. He went on to found Downing Enterprises of Akron. Growing up on the east side of Cleveland at that time – he graduated from high school in 1948 – “not that many people were going to college.” But the G.I. Bill “set me up,” he said. Downing said though he didn’t continue his career as a teacher, BGSU gave him the educational foundation to succeed. He wants other veterans and current service members have the same advantages. On Wednesday BGSU celebrated the gift of $1 million made by Downing and his late wife to their alma mater by dedicating the William and Joan Downing Military and Veteran Center. The business he founded is what made such a legacy gift possible, said his son, William Downing Jr. Both he and his two sisters followed their parents to BGSU. Barbara Henry, the director of the Nontraditional and Military Student Services, said the two-pronged approach, scholarships and support for services is “a great way to focus on success.” The first two scholarships made possible by the Downing gift were announced at the ceremonies. Keylin Freeman, a major in electronics and computer engineering technology and a member of the Ohio Army National Guard, said the money is a boost. He joined the National Guard as a medic after one semester at BGSU. His parents, he said, encouraged him to enlist. “They thought it would give me a good form of discipline and responsibility as well as the educational benefits.” They were right, he said. Because of his military obligations he ended up having to drop classes, so it’s taken him longer to complete his degree, and he exhausted his military educational benefits. That’s not unusual for active members of the military, Freeman said. The scholarship means he’ll graduate in another semester after five and a half years without having to take on a large amount of debt. Still in his time…

Hospice of NW Ohio seeks volunteers, offers training

From HOSPICE OF NORTHWEST OHIO Hospice of Northwest Ohio is seeking compassionate individuals to provide companionship and support to patients living in long-term care facilities and in their own homes. Volunteers play a vital role in enhancing the end-of-life experience for our patients and their families. The skills and interests of each volunteer are matched to the important needs within our organization. Hospice volunteers receive comprehensive training to ensure they have the confidence to perform this important role. Training includes understanding the hospice philosophy of care, communicating with patients and families, learning about what to expect at the end of life as well as basic health and safety precautions. For more information about becoming a volunteer and when the next training session is planned, contact the Hospice Volunteer Department at 419-931-5534 or To learn more about Hospice of Northwest Ohio or to complete a volunteer application, visit our website at Find us also on FaceBook and Twitter.

Library trustees updated on fundraiser, gas line & carpet

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library “looks like a department store exploded in there,” Library Director Michael Penrod told trustees Monday. By the end of the week, though, all should be returning to normal, after the Library Foundation’s fundraiser at Schedel Gardens. Penrod reported that the 100 tickets, which are $100 each, sold out as of Sunday. That’s the first time in the event’s 10-year history that it sold out so soon. The Foundation board, he said, has opted not to create a waiting list. The foundation set a goal of $75,000 for the fundraiser though it has raised more than that the last few years. Money raised goes to purchased books in all formats for the library. Penrod said last month that the money supplements the library’s book budget and does not replace money from the state or from the local levy. That was not the only bit of good financial news. Linda Joseph, the library’s finance officer, reported the library received a $5,000 rebate from the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. That money will be listed as “other income” in the library’s budget. Penrod reported that he is adamant that Columbia Gas line work now underway downtown will not disrupt the community Christmas tree that was just planted last year. The library will have a new gas line and meter installed, and it will enter at the southeast corner of the building. There are three burning bushes that were planted in 1974 when the library was built near the spot the line will run through. It’s possible one may have to be taken out, Penrod said, but Columbia Gas is committed to replacing an landscaping it disrupts. Also, Penrod reported that the replacement of the carpeting on the steps has been delayed because the interior designer he is working with is on medical leave. Work selecting carpeting continues. He said the stairway carpeting will be selected with the intent of replacing the carpeting in the circulation area as well as the back hallway. He said the library will also replace the walk-off flooring in the entryways. This is made of tougher stuff – like Brillo pads, Penrod said – but new designs will allow it to be more carpet-like. This area should be about 20-feet long to catch dirt, sand, and salt so most of it doesn’t get onto the library’s carpeting.

Schedel Garden benefit harvests dollars for library books

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library is filling up. New treasures arrive every day, said Library Director Michael Penrod. That includes a grill and a bicycle. There’s hand-crafted wooden box by John Calderonello and glass by Dominick Labino and Joel O’Dorisio. Hidden among them are gift certificates from numerous local business. The items are arriving in advance of the 10th Annual Library Benefit at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, Thursday, July 19, 6-8 p.m. Attendees will also feast on hors d’oeuvres catered by Swig’s and tour the gardens. The price of a ticket is $100 and only 100 are sold. Tickets are available at the library. The focal point is the live auction, said Clif Boutelle, president of the Library Foundation, sponsor of the fundraiser. The bidding gets “very spirited.” People enjoy trying to outbid each other. Items also include a week at a Florida Gulf Coast condo, a family portrait session with Cheryl Hagemeyer, and golf with BGSU coach John Powers, either a 45-minute lesson or a nine-hole round. Then there are Sue Shank’s cookies, Boutelle said, which “seem to be very popular.” Shad Ridenour returns as the auctioneer. Attendees aren’t there trying to get an item on the cheap, Penrod said. Rather they bid enthusiastically. That spirit is fueled by an understanding of what the library contributes to the community and a desire to help it continue its mission. The purpose of the Schedel benefit is to raise money to buy books, both printed and ebooks. Last year $116,000 was raised. Penrod said that money does not replace money from the library’s levy or state funding. It supplements that funding. Boutelle said the fundraising is a way of thanking the community for its support of the library. The money raised has allowed the library to spend $442,000 on materials last year. Boutelle said the goal is always set at $75,000. They never want to take the generosity of those who attend for granted. That generosity starts, said Penrod, with the 15 members of the foundation board who reach out to friends and business associates to get the auction items Penrod said those efforts were “a blessing.” The Schedel fundraising started at the initiation of Bob and Patricia Maurer in 2009. The deepening recession was starting to take a toll on the library budget. So the Foundation, which was created in 1994, decided to stage the auction. “It’s allowing us to make a tangible difference in serving the community,” Penrod said. That allows the…

Benefit at Schedel Gardens provides essential funds for library materials

On July 19 the WCDPL Foundation will host its tenth annual Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. Over the past nine years, this event has raised funds to purchase new books that our patrons use to move into a new career, gain a new skill, teach a child to read, learn about nearly any other topic of interest, or read for pleasure.  Every dollar from this event goes to purchase new books, large print books, audiobooks, e-books, and picture books. Despite some saying the Internet and e-books replace libraries, the core function of the library as the “People’s University” (where anyone can explore, learn, and discover) remains vital.  In 2017, community members visited the library more than 4,200 times per week, attendance at programs and author visits grew another 11 percent, the number of cardholders grew another 3 percent, and borrowing books and other materials remains at all-time record levels. This high rate of usage requires continuing investment.  The importance of private fundraising to meet community demand is critical.  Your financial gifts make a difference! I ask that you consider giving a monetary sponsorship for the Library Benefit at Schedel Gardens in any amount from $20 to $20,000.  Simply send a check payable to WCDPL Foundation (with “Schedel sponsorship” in the memo line) to A.J. Heilman, 251 N. Main, Bowling Green, OH 43402.  Sponsorships over $1,000 will be recognized on a plaque in the library. Also, please plan to attend the July 19 Benefit!  Come enjoy a relaxing evening with garden tours, fine beverages, delicious food, live and silent auctions, and lots of fun and laughs with other library advocates! Tickets are $100 each and are on sale at the library. Please support the library so that it can remain “the place to be” for the community to learn, discover, explore, and read. Michael Penrod WCDPL Director

Unmasquerade to mark Cocoon’s 13th year

From THE COCOON This year, The Cocoon’s first Unmasquerade will be held on June 22 at Nazareth Hall, 21211 West River Road in Grand Rapids, Ohio from 6-10 p.m. From its humble beginnings in 2005 with just six beds, the event celebrates The Cocoon’s thirteenth anniversary, to include dinner, live and silent auctions, and a guest speaker. Guest speaker Leslie Morgan Steiner, a writer, editor, publisher, business professional, and survivor of domestic violence will be sharing her story, facilitating a more nuanced understanding about the experiences of survivors and how to make a difference. About the event theme, “Violence is a very taboo topic,” explains Arielle Patty, Shelter Manager at The Cocoon. “I always get excited when people who are passionate about unmasking these issues come together to celebrate those of us who are working to end violence. The theme Unmasquerade honors the topic with elegance, in addition to celebrating the amazing growth we see our survivors make every year.” “We are very fortunate to be in a community whose generosity allows us to continue providing services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence at no cost to them,” says Kathy Mull, Executive Director of The Cocoon. “100% of funds raised from this event will go directly toward supporting programs and services at The Cocoon.” Registrations and additional information are available at, but space is limited. The Cocoon provides safety, healing, and justice to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. In 2017, the organization responded to 5,739 service calls and provided more than 3,100 nights of emergency, safe housing.