Linda Zolten Wood, director of the Collinwood Rain Barrel Project, is a muralist who paints rain barrels and teaches others how to beautify these good-for-the-Earth water collectors. You can attend one of Linda's workshops to learn not only how to paint rain barrels but also how they help the environment and your pocketbook. Plus, they're beautiful additions to your yard. Visit her website and Facebook page for more information.
Andy and Heather Hopp are the creators of Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird, which is a free event happening at the John S. Knight Center next weekend. Hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oddmall is a celebration of the Hopps' many interests: arts, crafts, comics, games, toys and entertainment. Clearly, a lot of people share their interests because each Oddmall Emporium typically attracts 10,000 to 12,000 people, ranging in age from little children to 95-plus-year-olds. Many attendees wear costumes, but you don't have to dress up as anyone but yourself to have a good time. For more information, visit the Oddmall website or Facebook.
Speaking of oddities, Joyce Pelz observes that the odd weather this year has made dandelion season arrive a month earlier than usual. Joyce's company, the local franchise of NaturaLawn of America, can rid your lawn of dandelions while making it stronger and healthier -- all without harmful chemicals. Believe it or not, grass can become chemically dependent, so don't let your lawn become a junkie. For more information, call Joyce at 330.920.9182, visit her website or check out her Facebook page.
Jack Carroll works for South Akron Awning, which has been in business for 103 years. The company sells and services awnings for homes and commercial establishments, and it also rents tents for events. For more information, call 330.848.7611 or visit the website. South Akron Awning's sister company, Celebrations Unlimited, rents tables, chairs, dance floors and any other party supplies you may need. Call 330.745.1117 or visit the website.
Lauren Humm, who has been a licensed Realtor for less than a year, already has $2 million in sales. An agent for Russell Real Estate Services, Lauren created a virtual reality sales tool that particularly appeals to milliennials like herself who are familiar and comfortable with digital technology. She creates 360-degree videos of her listings and posts them online. The videos are a great way to check out a house before you commit the time and energy to go there in person. To reach Lauren, call 330.697.8746 or visit her Facebook page.
Buck Moran, a certified arborist, advises homeowners to pay attention to their trees because dead limbs, a proliferation of mushrooms close by, peeling bark and other signs can indicate decay and insect infestation. Those spell big trouble and possibly a hazardous situation. His company, Buck Moran's Tree & Landscape, provides a range of services to homeowners. Call him at 330.836.6554 for more information or to have him come out to give a free estimate.
Pat Jolly and Diane Geiger are on the board of Actors' Summit, a professional theater based in Greystone Hall in downtown Akron. Now in its 17th season, Actors' Summit, which was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Mary Jo Alexander and Neil Thackaberry, is hosting "Lights Up," a gala event on May 6 at Fairlawn Country Club. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, an auction and entertainment by the Nostalgia Gold Band, featuring well-known singer Larry Alltop. And there will be special tribute to Neil. For more information and reservations, call Actors' Summit at 330.374.7568. visit the website
Helen Dauka, Communications & Volunteer Manager for Keep Akron Beautiful, says that there's still time to volunteer for Clean Up Akron Month, which continues through April 30. You can register as an individual or part of a group by visiting the Keep Akron Beautiful website. That's also where you can buy a ticket to the Dreamscape Raffle, which supports another Akron beautification effort. For $25 a ticket, or $100 for five tickets, Akron residents have the chance of winning a $10,000 front or backyard makeover. Whether you win or not, you'll be supporting all the beautiful flowers that will be planted this spring throughout Akron.
Speaking of sprucing up for spring, Kathy Hammonds, yoga instructor and health coach, says that this is a good time to do a cleanse to lose weight, have more vitality, prevent chronic disease and kick your addictions, whether they're to caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco or even drama. She will be leading a group cleanse that starts tomorrow afternoon online and in person at Centerpeace in Kent. For more information, visit her website.
. All money raised goes to the ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter.
Bruce Yacko is the creator of JAWS, the Just Add Water System for cleaning kitchens, wood floors, bathrooms and glass. The products, which are nontoxic, come in sturdy plastic containers that are designed to be used with 26 refills. The refills are cartridges that you put into the containers after adding water. It's a simple, efficient and environmentally friendly system. And after the 26th refill, the elegant container can be repurposed into a bud vase. JAWS products are available online and at Discount Drug Mart stores throughout Ohio.
Joanna Wilson, author, Christmas entertainment expert and creator of embroidered greeting cards, also is the assistant director of Crafty Mart, which has pop-up events throughout the year as well as its big spring show, taking place today until 4 p.m. This year's spring event features 70 artisans and fine artists along with farm vendors, music and food at three locations in downtown Akron: Summit Artspace, the library and the art museum. You'll find an array of unique gifts and items for the home at any of the events. For more information about Crafty Mart, which is a nonprofit, visit the website. To learn more about Joanna's latest book, visit her website.
Fred Karm, owner of Hoppin' Frog Brewery & Tasting Room, is thrilled to report that just two months ago, Thrillist named Hoppin' Frog one of the 15 best breweries in the country, and a month ago, TripAdvisor named it the best tasting room in Ohio. Fred puts a great deal of time, attention and care into the creation of his menu items and, of course, his beer. On the show, he debuted his spring release, a Turbo Shandy citrus ale that was, according to Kathryn, delicious. Visit Hoppin' Frog, 1680 E. Waterloo Rd. in Akron. For hours and more information, call 330.352.4578 or visit the website..