Donna Skoda, Health Commissioner for Summit County Public Health, provided an illuminating overview of the array of services that her department provides. Who knew, for instance, that you can call the department if you're contemplating buying a foreclosed home. Donna has stories about people thinking they got a great deal on a home only to discover after the fact that it has costly septic or well issues. Speaking of septic systems and wells, the department also has a program that can help homeowners offset the cost of fixing or replacing their systems. Essentially, Donna says, her department is in the business of reducing harm to the populace, and that includes saving you money. Another surprising fact about Summit County Public Health is that it runs its own dental clinic where patients pay on a sliding scale. Quickly becoming the "denture capital of the world," according to Donna, the clinic is located at the department's main office, 1867 W. Market St. in Akron. To reach Summit County Public Health, call 330.923.4891; to learn more, visit the website.
Ali Rose started Cocoa Joe's, a company that specializes in handmade chocolate-covered confections, when she was still a student at Kent State University studying entrepreneurship. The venture, which she named in memory of her sweets-loving grandfather, quickly took off. Ali, short for Alexandra, keeps adding new treats to her offerings; her latest, she says, are espresso beans -- covered in chocolate, of course. To learn more or to place an order, call 216.571.7600 or visit the Cocoa Joe's website.
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.
JAWS (Just Add Water System) products are used to clean the United States' nuclear submarines. Bruce Yacko, creator of the system, notes that if JAWS is the chosen cleaner for the close quarters of a submerged submarine, JAWS can safely -- and effectively -- clean your home and outdoor appliances, as well. The line includes cleaners for windows, wood floors, showers and kitchens. This is a good time of year to use the kitchen cleaner to degrease your backyard grill to get it ready for the Fourth of July. JAWS is available at Discount Drug Marts and online. Bruce is doing an online promotion this week for our listeners who use the promo code Andy. You receive all four products including two cartridges of each cleaner, four spray bottles and free shipping. Not only that, you'll have the peace of mind to know that you're using products that are safe for your children, your pets and, of course, yourself.
It's also important to choose safe and effective products for your personal care. Shane Rorrer of the Aveda Experience Center at Summit Mall in Fairlawn, has been in the beauty business for 10 years. He decided to join Aveda three years ago because he preferred using chemical-free products when working with clients. Shane not only gives great facials, he gives his clients the knowledge to make themselves look and feel better every day. Call him at 330.835.3509 for a free 20-minute facial. The Aveda Experience Center is located off the food court in the middle of the mall, 3265 W. Market St. in Akron.For information about Aveda products, visit the website.
Kim Gruenenfelder is the author of five romantic comedy books, the latest of which is Love the Wine You're With. The brand-new novel, published just last week, is about three women friends who decide to open a wine bar and, likely, also jettison the men in their lives. Kim's books are available on Amazon, at The Learned Owl in Hudson and at other independent bookstores, and at Barnes & Noble. To find out more, visit Kim on Facebook or on her website.
Dashiel Rowland is the 19-year-old son of Lisa DeBenedictis, who is one of our regular guests. Like Kim, she's an author and screenwriter. Lisa also is justifiably proud of her son, who began his performing career at 3 years old when the family was living in Los Angeles. As a kid, Dashiel played with the likes of B.B. King and Eric Clapton, and he impressed legendary music producer Quincy Jones. Listen to some of his music by searching Dashiel on SoundCloud.
Carol and Tim Dorow are the owners of TC Surface Designs, which does decorative concrete resurfacing and epoxy coatings directly over existing surfaces. Carol is the artist of the pair, and she started an offshoot of their business, called Art by Design. She brought in samples of her work, including an epoxy-coated vase that would be a classic and beautiful addition to any decor, and tiles and wall art that she also did with the brilliant epoxy colors. TC Surface Designs, located at 5246 Cleveland Rd. in Wooster, is open by appointment only because Carol and Tim are often out of the office working with clients throughout the region. Call Tim at 440.458.2261 or Carol at 440.309.5259, or visit the TC Surface Designs website or Carol's brand-new website.
Dane Leisure, founder and artistic director of the Rubber City Shakespeare Company, talked about his company's current production -- "King Lear" with a female lead. It's fabulous, according to one of our other guests, Lisa DeBenedictis, who introduced us to Dane. "Queen Lear," as we're calling the play, is set in 1980s Akron at the time of the breakup of the rubber companies. Dane says his company, which performs in the former First Presbyterian Church at 647 E. Market, strives to make every production relevant and accessible to modern audiences. And the venue is a beautiful setting with terrific acoustics, Lisa says. For tickets or more information, call 234.252.0272 or visit the website. Soon, the name of the company will be changed to Rubber City Theater to better reflect the range of plays that it produces.
In addition to being a huge fan of Dane's Rubber City theater company and of our other guest's store, which we'll talk about next, Lisa is a former screenwriter and the author of "Short Skirts and Shorter Stories: Musings on Life, Love and Lust." The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble online.
Meralie Pocock, owner of Mr. Fun's Costume and Magic Emporium, has been extremely busy this month with costume emergencies. Who knew that there were such things? Mr. Fun's has 18,000 square feet of merchandise and space used for custom costume creation and repair. It's located in a former roller rink at 4130 State Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. The store is bursting at the seams, Meralie says, so she and her friendly staff are holding an indoor sidewalk sale to clear up space. It will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 330.923.3339 or visit the website.
Finally, the NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) is having its Remodeled Home Show at scattered sites this weekend throughout Northeast Ohio. For the event program, visit the website.