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Jessica Brandy, sponsorship coordinator for the Cuyahoga Falls Sommerfest (yes, that's the correct German spelling). The event, previously known as the Cuyahoga Falls Oktoberfest, takes place next weekend, Friday, July 7, through Sunday, July 9. It will feature beer (of course!) along with plenty of traditional and not-so-traditional German food like sausage, schnitzel-on-a-stick and "build-your-own" macaroni and cheese. There will be plenty of music, too -- both by local cover bands on the main stage and by bands playing German tunes on the north-end stage. Admission to the festival is free, and there's free parking also. Even better, all profits from food and beverage sales are distributed by the Oktoberfest committee, which is a nonprofit, for scholarships and to benefit community organizations. For more information, visit the website or the Oktoberfest Facebook page.

Dave Anthony and his son Eric Anthony are the owners of Anthony Funeral Homes & Crematory, with three locations in Akron, Green and Cuyahoga Falls. Dave's grandfather started the family business 100 years ago.  He attributes the longevity of their business to the empathy that he and his family have for people who have lost loved ones. They have suffered their own losses and learned early on that there's no guarantee of tomorrow so it's best not to take anyone for granted. At Anthony Funeral Homes, Dave and Eric take care of people as they would their own family. For more information, call 330.724.1281 or visit their website.

Peter Martin of Tower Industries gave us an update about the company's project with the gourmet food purveyor Dean & Deluca. Tower Industries, which manufactures solid surface counter tops and showers, among other products, fabricated serving counters that are now installed in two Dean & Deluca stores including the flagship store in Manhattan. A third counter top is in the works, with plans to put these serving stations in all the Dean & Deluca stores around the world. The term "counter top" does not do this product justice. In reality, it looks like the Swiss alps of food stations. And the surface is nonporous and antibacterial, which means it's safe for food service. Tower Industries' products have many applications for the home, including long-lasting shower stalls and backyard-kitchen counter tops that are impervious to ultraviolet light and the weather. Peter is looking forward to the company's big clearance sale, which is taking place the weekend of Sept. 9 at the company's Massillon showroom. For more information, call 330.837.2216 or visit the website.

Marilyn Purdy, Susan Balmert and Ginny Bache are members of the Dragon Dream Team, a support group for breast cancer survivors. Theirs is a unique support group because they're part of Ohio's first and only dragon boat team. Dragon boats are based on ancient Chinese war boats. They're 42 feet long and powered by 20 paddlers who keep the boat moving forward by working in sync with one another. There's also a drummer on board who helps them keep the beat. And finally, one more person who steers. You can see the Dragon Dream Team and more than 35 other teams in action at next weekend's Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place on Saturday, July 8, at Portage Lakes State Park on Turkey Foot Lake. The day begins around 8 with an "Awakening the Dragon" ceremony in which participants paint the eyes open on their boats. Then the races begin and continue well into the afternoon. There will be food trucks and plenty of beach activities throughout the day. This promises to be a colorful and fun event. For more information or to find out how to help the Dragon Dream Team get to the international Dragon Boat competition in Florence, Italy, next year, visit the website.

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