Renowned artist Don Drumm, whose metal sculptures grace numerous public spaces around Akron and the nation, says that gift-wrapping is not one of his skills. Luckily, the staff at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery have turned wrapping into an art form of its own. Visit the gallery and check out the crafts and fine art pieces made by more than 500 North American artisans, and take home some great gifts in beautiful and distinctive wrapping. Don Drumm Studios & Gallery is located at 437 Crouse St. in the University Park area. Holiday hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 to 6, and Sunday noon to 5. For more information, call 330.253.6268 or visit the website.
Mary Leuca, the overall chair of the Akron Children's Hospital 33rd annual Holiday Tree Festival, says that this year's event at the John S. Knight Center will be a feast for the senses, with 158 decorated trees, 60 wreaths and 180 holiday gift baskets. There's free admission from Saturday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 30. Attendees at the preview gala on Nov. 21 will have the first chance to see and purchase the trees and other items. Volunteers are needed for the nine days of the festival. Please call the volunteer office at 330.543.8424. For more information, visit the website.
Irv Korman, author of two books about his celebrity encounters, has taken a completely different direction with his latest book, "Citytown Christmas Conundrum." A children's book, it tells the tale of five characters who don't usually show up in a Christmas story (think a Valentine's Day cupid and a Halloween ghost, for example). The characters all use their own holiday talents to help a family in need on Christmas Eve. Irv will be at his publisher Loconeal's booth on Nov. 21-23 at the Cleveland Christmas Connection at the IX Center, and he'll be signing copies of his new book on Dec. 7 at the Learned Owl in Hudson. The book comes out officially on Dec. 1, but you can preorder on loconeal.com. For more information, visit Irv's website or Facebook page.
Kathy Hammonds is an advanced yoga and Ayruveda teacher and trainer who helps men and women attain a more vital and robust state of health through nutrition, exercise, breathing techniques and stress relief. She's helped many women overcome menopausal weight gain. Sometimes, she says, the simplest change can have a lasting positive impact. For instance, it's important to drink plenty of water, but don't drink ice water. Instead, drink water that's warm or hot, and you can lose up to 10 pounds in a year. For more information or to reach Kathy, visit her website.
Jim Harold, paranormal podcaster, has just published his third book, True Ghost Stories: Jim Harold's Campfire 3. It's available at the Learned Owl bookstore in Hudson and on Amazon. By the way, Campfire 2 reached No. 1 Best Seller status on Amazon's Kindle store in both the Supernatural and Unexplained Mysteries categories in fall 2013. We expect the new book to do the same. For more information, visit his website.
Summit County Sheriff Steve Berry wants everyone to be safe this holiday season. Go Christmas shopping with trusted friends or family because there's safety in numbers, he says. And don't follow predictable patterns. For instance, if you turn on your Christmas lights only when you're home, some nefarious person will know when you're not there. Also, he asks Summit County residents to consider supporting Issue 12, which will allow the Sheriff's Office to rehire deputies back to 2009 levels when there were layoffs and to make improvements to the 911 system. He notes that 92 percent of the funds from Issue 12 will go to his office. For more information, visit the issue 12 Facebook page.
Paul Swan, owner of Swan Plumbing, has been a plumber full time for more than 46 years. Before then, he helped his dad in what is now a fourth-generation business. For much of his career, he has worked to raise the image of plumbers by wearing a tie, dress shirt, jacket and dress pants on the job. This shows a high level of respect for the homeowners he serves. He cautions homeowners to always know the location of their main water shut-off valve. It doesn't take much time for water from a burst pipe or hose to cause extensive -- and expensive -- damage to a home. And this fall, make sure you remove the hose from your outside faucet even if it's the new freeze-proof style because there still will be water that could freeze, and the damage wouldn't be apparent until you use the faucet in the spring. Call Paul, who's based in Richfield, at 330.659.6233, or visit his website.