“What’s Brewing in Westlake” Focuses Attention on Needs of Residents Living in Poverty

Equity Trust, Sibling Revelry Brewing Help Bring Business Community Together

Mayor Dennis M. Clough with Richard Desich Jr. Equity Trust Co-Founder and host of the event and Senior and Community Services Department Director, Lydia Gadd at the 2018 “What’s Brewing in Westlake” business networking and fundraising event.

Equity Trust presented “What’s Brewing in Westlake” on July 26 – a  business networking and fundraising event with proceeds benefiting the social services programs of the Westlake Senior and Community Services Department. It provides assistance to hundreds of the nearly 1,300 Westlake residents who live in poverty.

Mayor Dennis M. Clough recognized event host, Equity Trust’s co-founder, Richard Desich Jr., and welcomed Westlake City Council members Kenneth Brady (Ward 5) and Mark Getsay (Ward 6); Michelle Boczek, Westlake Economic Development Manager, and many guests from the business community who have contributed to the vibrancy of the city. Enthusiastic applause greeted his mention of the new Senior and Community Services Center that will be constructed soon.

Equity Trust Company’s Anthony DeVito, Westlake Senior and Community Services Department Director, Lydia Gadd. Mayor Dennis M. Clough and Equity Trust’s Matt Collier.

Lydia Gadd, Director Senior and Community Services, expressed gratitude to the city’s business community for their many years of support. She thanked Equity Trust for their assistance with the Community Garden, Chili Cook Off, a food drive and the sponsorship of “What’s Brewing.” The company’s Matt Collier and Anthony DeVito had suggested the fundraiser and led the planning with Michael Hammond of Sibling Revelry Brewing.

Gadd acknowledged the generous donations, sponsorships and volunteerism of Westlake’s companies that support needs in the community. In 2017, 215 individuals received assistance through the food pantry; an additional 210 food baskets were distributed for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; 621 Meals on Wheels were subsidized for seniors who could not afford the daily cost; and 190 individuals received Christmas presents through the popular Adopt-a-Family program. The department also made prescription assistance, utility bill assistance and shelter available on a case by case basis.

Poverty in Westlake Surprises, Motivates

“People are often surprised when I discuss poverty in Westlake,” said Gadd.  “In our city, those who qualify for services via the federal poverty guidelines range from families with young children to seniors who are on their own. We have already witnessed the need for some of our services increase as our elderly population continues to grow,” Gadd explained.

She is surprised how quickly people offer to help once they understand there is a real need. “Since our department is both a senior center and a social services center for Westlake, we can suggest a variety of ways for individuals, groups, and companies to collectively work with us to promote a safe, healthy and happy community,” said Gadd.

Those interested in learning more about available programs and resources, whether they know of someone in need or want to help meet identified needs, can visit www.cityofwestlake.org/Social-Services or call 440-899-3544.

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