Bryan Echols of Echols Heating & Air Conditioning says this is a great time to upgrade to a more efficient heating or cooling system because tax credits and manufacturers' rebates will save you money. Echols specializes in educating customers along with providing great service. For more information, call 330-773-3500 or visit the website.
Meralie Pocock, owner of Mr. Fun's Costumes and Magic Emporium, came dressed for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, but that's not the only holiday to celebrate this week. Today is the halfway mark to Halloween, Monday is International Harry Potter Day and next Saturday is the Kentucky Derby. Think hats! Mr. Fun's, which has a wide selection of costumes and accessories for all occasions, is located at 4130 State Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. For more information, call 330.923.3339 or visit the website.
Julian Severyn, a painter and the owner of Julian Severyn Studio Gallery in Bath, talked about garden art and all the colorful additions that you can add to make your yard sparkle this season. Julian found great items at the following retailers: Petitti Garden Centers, Furniture Nook of North Royalton and Dimitroff's Furniture & Design of Bath. Julian's gallery, which is open to the public by appointment, is on the second floor of the Garth Andrews Building at the corner of North Cleveland-Massillon and Ira Roads. To reach him, call 330.663.0365 or 440.838.1754.
Demetri Sintsirmas has developed quite an expertise in wine, and he graciously shares his knowledge at The Wine Bar at Solaire, his family's restaurant in Hudson. He also shared three wines on the show: a Greek white and two reds, all delicious. Located in First & Main above the Solaire salon and spa, the wine bar is open for dinner and tastings. You also can rent out the charming space for a private party. To make reservations or for more information, call 330.236.4872 or visit facebook. The Wine Bar at Solaire also has a new website.
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.