2020: Things to Remember from the Year to Forget

2020 may have been the year to forget, but here’s a look back at some things definitely worth remembering!

UH St. John Auxiliary Gift Makes a Difference

The $10,000 gift of a rehab harness system from the St. John Medical Center Auxiliary is making a difference at the hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services located at 26008 Detroit Road in Westlake. The harness was introduced last year. Matt, an outgoing 39-year old who was severely injured when his car went off a cliff in Colorado in May, 2018, demonstrated the device purchased from Mass Rehab, Inc. – 3-5-20 Villager

Supporting Our Healthcare Workers

The City of Avon teamed with the Kevin Love Fund Friday morning, April 7, at The Tree House located at Olde Avon Village to support health care workers. The Kevin Love Fund donated lunches to the Cleveland Clinic Avon. Jenna welcomed Love to The Strip over her phone. – 4-23-20 Villager

UH St. John Medical Center: A Call to Action

The healthcare team at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center stood ready to deliver the best in care as the pandemic ramped up last March. Pictured are Paul Forthofer, Community Outreach, Ashely Fiala, RN, Carla Costello, RN, Fadia Mustafa, RN, Elizabeth Bowles, Mark Kapalin, RN, and Lisa Murthy, RN, all part of the UH St. John Superhero team! – 4-23-20 Villager

Our Happy Day!

When Kara and Balint got married last April, social distancing meant no wedding reception. What a surprise it was when prospective wedding guests refused to let the shutdown rain on their parade. It was the beginning of many, many parades in 2020. – 4-23-20 Villager

Cleveland Clinic Caregivers Travel to Henry Ford Health System

Cleveland Clinic caregivers traveled to Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System to provide assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaving from Avon Hospital, the caregivers were given an enthusiastic send-off from Cleveland Clinic senior leadership as well as an outpouring of support from fellow employees and the community. The City of Avon responded with its safety service forces and the hook-and-ladder American flag that added an inspiring statement of encouragement. – 5-7-20 Villager

Westlake Police Make His Day!

On the morning of April 23, Westlake PD along with Westlake Fire and Service Departments came together to wish a brave cancer survivor and Westlake resident Emmett a Happy 3rd Birthday. – 5-7-20 Villager

Heroes Night Celebrates Frontliners at Avon Hospital

Dozens of grateful community members traveled to Avon Hospital on April 28 at 7 p.m. to observe and take part in a moment of nation recognition for healthcare workers. Heroes Night brought a generous outpouring of support, including signs, applause, cheers and a parade of police and fire vehicles from the City of Avon. – 5-7-20 Villager

Rebecca Sullivan, RN, EMT-P

A Family on the Frontline

Rebecca Sullivan, a registered nurse in the emergency room at Mercy Health – Lorain Hospital, met her husband Matt, a North Ridgeville firefighter and paramedic, in Lorain County Community College’s paramedic program. “We met in the LCCC program in 2009, got married in 2012, and had these crazy kids in 2015,” Sullivan said. Those crazy kids are twins, Aidan and Harper. And to them, their frontline COVID-19 fighting parents are just doing their jobs. “They know daddy works on a fire truck and in an ambulance, and mommy works in an emergency room,” she said. – 5-7-20 Villager

Firefighter Finds Silver Lining Amid the Covid-19 Crisis

North Ridgeville firefighter and EMT-paramedic Steven Accord, an LCCC grad, said he and the entire fire house were adjusting to the COVID-19 crisis one day at a time last April. “I believe a silver lining has been the amount of time we are spending together as a family,” Accord said. “I have always worked a lot and expressed wanting to spend more time at home. My son (Isaac) gives me all the smiles I can handle, and my happiness is not going to be affected by this virus.” – 5-7-20 Villager

Bay Police Chief Mark Spaetzel Retires, Sgt. Kathy Leasure to Take Oath of Office

Police Chief Mark Spaetzel retires after 34 1⁄2 years with the City of Bay Village and Sergeant Kathy Leasure, who was sworn in on June 2. – 6-4-20 Villager

United, Not Divided.

A man with a message was peacefully walking in the area of the Bay Village police department in May as nationwide BLM awareness bloomed. He was approached by Chief Spaetzel who talked to him, thanked him for coming out and offered him a water. Treating people fairly and courteously is a way of life here. – 6-4-20 Villager

The City of Avon: “The Change We Seek”

The community of Avon came together in solidarity with “The Change We Seek” to make a powerful, peaceful statement the afternoon of Saturday, June 6. – 6-25-20 Villager

Drellishak’s Auto Shops Celebrate 75 Years

Trusted by generations of customers, Drellishak’s Fairview Auto Care and Drellishak’s Service in Rocky River celebrated 75 years in business. Rep. Dave Greenspan (center) presented Frank Costanzo, Drellishak’s Fairview Auto Center and Jerry and Frank Drellishak, Drellishak’s Service in Rocky River with Ohio House of Representatives proclamations noting the milestone occasion. – 6-25-20 Villager

The Great Avon Car Parade

The Great Avon Car Parade, featuring an escort by Avon’s local police and fire departments, helped many celebrate Independence Day in Avon. Typically put on annually as a Bike Parade, the 2020 event pivoted to a Car Parade due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – 7-9-20 Villager

Maltby’s $1.125 Million Gift Promotes Breast Health and Cancer Care at UH

Don and Nancy Maltby created the Nancy and Donald Maltby Master Clinician in Breast Health gift to UH St. John Medical Center. “With these gifts, Don and I are remembering our mothers and also endeavoring to help future breast cancer patients,” shared Nancy Maltby, whose grandparents owned the Deeks Family Orchard which stood on the hospital grounds. – 7-9-20 Villager

Westlake’s Deeks Family Orchard: Still Bearing Fruit at UH St. John

Today, University Hospitals St. John Medical Center now stands on part of the former Deeks Orchard property and thanks to a recent gift by Don and Nancy Deeks Maltby, the Deeks Family Orchard will once again bear fruit at UH St. John. Eva, Walter and Arthur Deeks stand near the barn still seen adjacent to hospital property on Center Ridge Rd. – 8-6-20 Villager

Inspiration & Celebration

A colorful mural project celebrating the Bay High Class of 2020 was organized by a group of Bay Senior Parents who worked with current inmates at the Grafton Correctional Institute to create this amazing piece of art that personalized a highlight from each senior’s scholastic career. – 8-6-20 Villager

Together We Stand!

The power of community was evidenced in a big way on Sunday, Aug. 9 as fire crews from nine West Shore communities responded to a horrific blaze at the Courtyard Condos on Detroit Road in Westlake. All 5 Westcom cities (Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River, Fairview Park and North Ridgeville) along with crews from Avon, Avon Lake, Lakewood, and North Olmsted battled the 2 alarm fire. – 8-20-20 Villager

Avon Honors Retiring Chief Emling & Avon Fire Promotions

Avon Fire Chief Mike Emling recently retired after a distinguished 35-year career of service to the community. Promotions soon followed for (pictured with Chief Frank Root, (from left) Assistant Chief Dave Swope, Captain Brett Bruehler and Lieutenant James Fischer. – 8-20-20 & 9-3-20 Villager

The Power of Community: 60,000 Face Shields Distributed to Local Front-Line Heroes, Schools and Businesses

Rob David, President, UH St. John Medical Center, joins with Brent Burks, Vice President GEON Performance Solutions, John Sobolewski, Founder Power of MORE and Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough in accepting the 60,000 face shields donated by Westlake’s GEON company. – 9-24-20 Villager

Sidewalk Art Inspires Hope and Spirits in Bay Village

In Bay Village near the corner of Ashton Lane, Bassett Road neighbors Lizzie Durny and Stacey Gepperth created messages of hope with sidewalk art all summer. An evolving montage of chalk art inspired passers-by for months and continues to this day. – 9-24-20 Villager

Superheros Return to Avon

The non-profit group Superheros to Kids in Ohio made a special visit to Avon for outdoor movie night the evening of Sat., Sept. 12. It was a great way to celebrate the end of summer. – 9-24-20 Villager

Community West Foundation’s Homeless Jesus Sculpture Goes Viral

Community West Foundation’s ‘Homeless Jesus’ sculpture went viral in September when a concerned resident call police out of concern for the realistic statue placed at Bay’s St. Barnabas to raise awareness for the homeless. Pictured are Marty Uhle, Community West Foundation, and Fr. Alex Martin. – 10-22-20 Villager

20 Churches Team in Westlake Food Distribution

Westlake’s Ascent Church at 3550 Crocker Road was the hub church for a massive food distribution last week. Over 50 volunteers distributed over 44,000 pounds of food the morning of Wed., Oct. 28 in less than two hours. – 11-5-20 Villager

Remembering Amy

Amy Mihaljevic disappeared on Oct. 27, 1989 from the Bay Village Square shopping Center. The 31st anniversary of the tragedy was marked near Bay Village City Hall as members of the community gathered in cold rain to remember Amy Mihaljevic. Mark Kevesdy, Bay Middle School teacher, organized the Amy Mihaljevic memorial. – 11-5-20 Villager


A dad planted the seeds of gratitude, honor and patriotism in his young son with a visit to the Avon Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day. – 11-19-20 Villager

Here Comes Santa Claus!

An annual Bay Village holiday highlight is Santa’s fire truck ride through the community. This year’s event was greeted by hundreds of kids who came out to see Santa ride by on Sunday, Dec. 6 – 12-10-20 Villager

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