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Ginnie Abell and Beth Curley, volunteers for the Kohl Family YMCA, talked about the 23rd Annual Friday @ 5 (actually 5-ish, they say, because you don't have to get there precisely at 5). The theme of the event is "Glitz, Glam and Giving" and it benefits the programs at the Kohl Family YMCA University Park, including the Safety Around Water program. The event takes place on Feb. 2 at Greystone Hall in downtown Akron and will feature great food, drinks and entertainment by the Northeast Ohio Jazz Orchestra. For tickets, which are $70 each, visit the YMCA in person or on its website. For more information, call 330.434.9622.

Greg Milo, CWC Manager of OPEN M, a nonprofit food pantry, job-assistance center and free clinic in the Summit Lake area, talked about Community Works Connection (CWC), OPEN M's work-readiness program. It's a five-day intensive for anyone who needs career guidance. Prospective participants attend an orientation a week before the class. The next orientation is this Thursday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. at OPEN M, 941 Princeton St., Akron. For more information, call 330.434.0110, ext. 424, or visit the website.

Don Corbett, Reverse Mortgage Consultant for Senior Mortgage Advisors, says that you may want to consider this type of mortgage if you're at least 62 and would like to increase your income, need money to modify or improve your home, want to purchase a smaller home, move to a warmer climate or want a line of credit for emergencies. For more information, call Don at 330.807.0725 or visit the website.

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Donna Skoda, Health Commissioner for Summit County Public Health, says it's not too late to get a flu shot. She encourages everyone to do so because this is a really bad flu season. Also, she says that sometimes you might think you have the flu, but you could be suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, so it's a good idea to have a CO detector in your home to ensure your safety. Speaking of gasses in the atmosphere that can hurt your health, Donna's department will send you a free radon screening test that will help you determine if your home has a radon problem. Just call Summit County Public Health at 330.926.5600 or go to the website.

Judi Bar, Yoga Program Manager at Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute, talked about choosing joy for the new year. As humans, we're wired to look out for ourselves, she says. That means we tend to focus on what's not right in our lives vs. what is right. Instead, she suggests that we "find the good in every day." With that attitude, "even our challenges can be blessings in disguise," she says. Judi is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can reach her by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, visit the yoga program's website. You can download a printable copy of Judi's Yoga on the Go exercises here.

Bruce Garrabrant is an artist and the author of 10 books, including Make Yourself Ageless: 366 Ways to Keep Growing Young. He and his wife, Jan, live in Lancaster County, Pa., where she operates The Artist's Inn & Gallery, a bed and breakfast in the heart of Amish country. Bruce is a big believer in expressing your creativity, which everyone has whether you believe you do or not. That's what Make Yourself Ageless is all about: developing and maintaining an attitude of discovery and enthusiasm no matter what age you might be. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at his website. To make a reservation at The Artist's Inn & Gallery, call 717.445.0219 or visit the inn's website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steve Sherhag, manager of the Hudson, Ohio Antique Show, talked about what's new with the show this year. The big change is a new, improved venue that's seven miles from Hudson. The annual event is taking place Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Day's Inn, 4742 Brecksville Rd. (Rt. 21) in Richfield. Steve says there will be 50 exhibitors coming in from Maine to Missouri, and they'll have everything from 19th century furniture and accessories to folk art and mid-19th century pieces. Admission is $9 for adults over 30 and free for attendees who are 30 and under. For more information, visit the website or the show's Facebook page. 

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Nate Eppink, Chief of Community Engagement for the Summit Metro Parks, talked about some of the many great activities that the parks are offering this season that are sure to help parents and grandparents who are looking for ways to entertain kids during the holiday break. If the weather cooperates, there will be sledding in six parks, including lighted sledding hills at Cascade Falls, Goodyear Heights, Munroe Falls and Sand Run. To find out whether conditions are conducive to sledding, you can call the seasonal information line at 330.865.8060 or sign up for the Metro Parks' Twitter feed, @Metro_Parks. Also, Nature Realm, the visitors center on Smith Road, is having a New Year's celebration on Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Outdoor fun and indoor crafts are just a sampling of the activities that will please the entire family. For more information, visit the Metro Parks' website.

Scott E. Robishaw, Volunteer Coordinator for the Salvation Army in Summit County, says that you have until around 8 p.m. today to put your change in the kettles manned by volunteers around the area. Or you can go to the website at any time to support the organization, which was founded in England in 1865 and is now in 130 countries. The mission was and still is to feed the hungry and help the poor. And all money raised in Summit County stays here. There are many excellent programs and initiatives including an arts and science "factory" that teaches music and language to children as young as 18 months up to 18 years old. The idea is to provide tangible hope and stop the cycle of poverty. To become an Army volunteer, call Scott at 330.434.7365 or visit the website. To get assistance, call the main number at 330.762.8481.

 

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Joel Testa, whose company created the Northside District, talked about the Northside Marketplace, Testa Companies' most recent addition to this vibrant area of the community. Joel says that the Marketplace is Testa Companies' answer for people who are seeking a better way to shop local and a better place to hang out. There are now 43 different Akron companies represented, from clothing designers to purveyors of food and beverages. Joel, a self-described avid gift giver, promises that shoppers will find truly unique gifts for the holidays and any time of the year. He also invites people to attend the Northside's big New Year's Eve bash. Tickets will include an open bar and food by Dante Boccuzzi of DBA (Dante Boccuzzi Akron) fame. Visit Facebook for more information and to buy your tickets. 

Wellness expert and Cleveland Clinic physician Michael Roizen, MD, is the co-author of AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip, which gives readers the tactics, strategies and know-how to live longer, healthier and more lucrative lives. Dr. Mike and his co-author, financial expert Jean Chatzky, explain eight basic principles that apply to both physical health and financial well-being. As Dr. Mike points out, we're experiencing a longevity revolution, so it's imperative that we plan for both financial independence and biological strength. This 2017 book has the action steps to get you there. It's available on Amazon and anywhere books are sold, including your local bookstore. For more information about Dr. Mike, visit his staff profile.

Shane Rorrer of the Aveda Experience Center at Summit Mall gave away two Aveda holiday relief packs, each containing a package of comforting tea, foot and hand creams, and Lipsaver. These are just a few of the many organic, plant-based products sold by Aveda. Shane describes the Experience Center as a peaceful oasis for shoppers to take a few minutes to inhale the wonderful aromas and just focus on themselves rather than on their to-do lists. Any time of the year, you can stop by the center, which is in the middle of the mall, and have a cup of tea or receive a hand and arm massage. You also can call 330.835.3509 to schedule a facial. But watch out, you may get hooked on feeling so pampered and relaxed. That's a good thing. For more about Aveda products, visit the website.

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