Renowned artist Don Drumm created this year's First Night button, 20 years after he created the button for Akron's first-ever First Night. The family-friendly event takes place every Dec. 31, and the colorful button serves as admission to all the venues associated with First Night. For this year's event, Don drew a Phoenix with fuchsia feathers and a long beak. It's pictured on a turquoise background. Don also designed Christmas ornaments to benefit one of his all-time favorite nonprofits, One of a Kind Pets. You can purchase the dog and cat ornaments at the animal shelter, 1929 W. Market St. in Akron. Visit the First Night website to find out where to purchase the $10 buttons; children 10 and under are admitted free with a button-wearing adult. Also, this is the perfect time of year to visit Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, 437 Crouse St., near the University of Akron campus, to buy beautiful and unique holiday and hostess gifts. At any one time, 500 artists and craftspeople from all over North America are represented at the gallery. Call 330.253.6268. or visit the website for more information.
Evelyna Nightengale and her husband Rick Kalister visited the WAKR studio from their home in Parma. Evelyna wears many hats, as long as they're Victorian. She's on the board of the Hower House Victorians, and she gives many programs on Victorian life and customs. She also serves treats that she's made from the Victorian recipe books that she collects. For today's show, she brought ginger crinkels, cranberry pecan tarts and soft pumpkin cookies. She also brought a couple of pink flamingo cookies that she made for the Ghoulardi Fest over Halloween weekend. Evelyna sells her delicious specialty baked goods through her home-based business, The Avocado Tree. You can place orders by calling her at 440.884.2165. Wearing her Hower House hat, she encourages people to come to the Victorian-era home this holiday season for events that include breakfast with Santa and self-guided tours. For more information, call 330.972.6909 or visit the Hower House website. Rick, a retired English teacher, is also a guitarist who performs at Hower House and other locations. He can be reached at the same 440 number as Evelyna.
Tim Squirek, owner of Organic Green Carpet Clean, used to clean carpets with regular products in his former commercial carpet cleaning business until he started to have ill effects from the chemicals he was using. He's been healthy since switching to nontoxic products, which are better for his customers, too. Plus, the essential-oil-based products he uses are as effective as the regular products and no more expensive. You can reach Tim at 216.661.5855 (office), 216.401.4254 (cell) or OrganicGreenCarpet Clean.com.
Mary Luecca has chaired Akron Children's Hospital Volunteers' Holiday Tree Festival for four years, and she's been involved with the event for nine. She loves it because of all the great people she's met, the fact that all proceeds support the hospital's patients, and the sheer delight on the faces of young and old alike as they take in the lavish decorations and the all sights and sounds at the John S. Knight Center, where the annual event takes place. This year, it kicks off with a gala on Friday, Nov. 20, followed by a breakfast with Santa the next day. The nine-day festival opens to the public on Saturday, Nov. 21. It's the only tree festival in the country with free admission, Mary reports proudly. For gala tickets and more information, call 330.543.0325 or visit the festival's website.
Hope Evans is in charge of marketing and promotions for Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, which works with law enforcement agencies to rescue farm animals and horses, including the 14 malnourished and otherwise neglected horses that were rescued earlier this year in Summit County. The horses from that rescue who could be saved were rehabilitated and eventually adopted by caring owners. The nonprofit, Ravenna-based organization is having its annual fundraiser, Compassionate Thanksgiving, on Nov. 14 at Todaro's Party Center. All proceeds support Happy Trails' work. For tickets and more information, call the office at 330.296.5914 or visit the website.
Karen Starr and John Wilke said they are joining with six other local artists to create functional pieces made with reclaimed and repurposed materials. Their show, Art Reclaims Funciton will open with a reception on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at Hazel Tree Interiors, 143 W. Market St. John Wilkie, owner of Revere Refinishing also restores any wood piece from small items to grand pianos. To contact John call 330.715.8624 or Revererefinishing. For more information about the show or Hazel Tree Interiors call 330.761.3100 or Hazel Tree
Leslie McCafferty and Saule Narbutaitis are partners in Eclectique Interior Accessories Inc. Leslie is an artist who used to be a civil engineer for ODOT and Saule is an interior designer who used to be an occupational therapist. They have merged their talents to help homeowners improve their surroundings with beautiful and functional accessories. Leslie and Saule will be at the Ohio Design on November 6 from 7 to 10 p.m. for the Malichi House's "Entertaining by Design". They will also be at Framers Gallery in Brecksville, November 20, 5 to 7 p.m. Visit Saule at the Bello Design showroom at the Ohio Design Centre in Beachwood. You can reach Leslie or get more information on the Framers Gallery exhibit through her art site or reach them both through the Eclectique site.
Judy Layne,is adminstrator for the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court's Guardian ad Lidem Project. She invites our listener to be part of the annual fund raiser, 2015 GALlop For Children, November 8, at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, Registration is from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. This 5k road race and walk has something for everyone on all ages, including homemade chocolate chip cookies. The race helps support the efforts of the court to provide for minor children that have no one available to care for them. For more information or to register GALlop website
Bob Gaither, owner of Quality Carpet & Flooring, is a charter member of a buying group that purchases flooring products in large quantities. This allows locally owned carpet dealers such as Quality to sell carpet and flooring at the same prices as national dealers. Quality Carpet & Flooring, which Bob's father started more than 60 years ago, is located at 1755 Akron-Peninsula Road in Akron. For more information: 330.923.0929 or qualitycarpetflooring.com
Tim Eberhardt, director of the House of Eberhardt Funeral Home in the Portage Lakes area, says that we're being considerate of our loved ones when we plan ahead for arrangements. Tim is available to go over the options and the benefits of prearranging a funeral. And, he says, people do not necessarily have to pay ahead; instead they can get a file started with their wishes. To reach Tim, call 330.644.5005. For more information: eberhardtfuneralhome.com
Mary Beth Breckenridge is the home writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. She writes about a wide range of subjects for the newspaper and her blog. Upcoming topics include the resurgence of downtown Barberton, which now offers great shopping at its antique shops, thrft stores and galleries.
Stever Robbins is the Get It Done Guy, who writes about time management and a slew of other topics in his biweekly e-newsletter. He also gives informative and entertaining advice on topics such as effective negotiation on his iTunes blog. Stever's mission is to help you live an extraordinary life, and he does this with humor and expertise.