Around Ravenna


A special belated happy birthday to Eddie Mae Prisby turned 91 years young on Dec. 8. Her family had a wonderful party for her. Mrs. Prisby and other seniors are such jewels in our lives and to this community that we dare not forget about them. Another Ravenna jewel is JoAnn Stikes who sends me such good information to share with others through the Around Ravenna column. Thank you, JoAnn.

Bless you to Rita Kline of Ravenna for her very special gift of handmade Christmas "sleds" tree ornaments for our new grandchild in New Orleans. These ornaments were hand-crafted with the baby's name, birthdate, time of birth and weight on each one. The family loves them and thank you so very much.


On a sadder note, the Ravenna community lost a precious jewel by the name of Pastor Willie J. Evans, who recently retired as pastor of Winfield Church of God in Christ and as district superintendent of the Ravenna District of the Church of God in Christ. He leaves behind his wonderful wife of 72 years, Mother Johnnie Mae Evans of Ravenna, and daughter, Janice McDaniel, who continues to run the Winfield Food Pantry and meal at the church. He also has a son named James who lives in Oakwood with his family.

Pastor Evans, who we lovingly called "Dad Evans," will be missed especially by my husband and me as we were members of his church for more than eight years until we were called to start our own ministry. He was a great teacher and father figure and we learned so much from him. Thank you, God, for sharing this angel with us for a little while.


Janice McDaniel, program director of the Winfield Food Pantry and Hot Meals Program, would like to first thank God for all of the blessings that He showered on the food ministry. Without any state or federal funding they were able to assist many families in the Portage County area this Christmas.

Special thanks to the late Superintendent Evans, Mother Johnnie Evans, Winfield church family, men's department, Bonnie Scott, Diana Starks, Marcia Grair, Diane Garrett, Change Hunger and the faithful food pantry staff, Evelyn Berry, Eva Taylor, Lee Smith, and DeNiya Davis. A special thank you to Marlene Tromczynski, Ed and Shawna Tromczynski, and Laura Busch for being the Secret Santa for 20 years providing toys every Christmas for the children.

The generosity enables Winfield to be able to assist the many families throughout the year. All of you have been truly wonderful partners in the ministry to families. God bless you all.


The Portage County NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 19 at United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St., Kent. Tickets may be purchased by calling a member of the NAACP.


Upper Room Ministries would like to thank two donors: Mrs. Williams and (one who wishes to remain unnamed) and the congregation for assisting in helping adopt a family for Christmas this year.

We are unable to reach out to a lot of families like some larger agencies or churches, but we wanted to make this a special holiday to a local grandmother, raising her infant and toddler grandchildren and her older son and who had just lost her job. The wonderful members of the church and two donors went above and beyond to help supply diapers, clothes, games, toys, stuffed animals, shoes, food and more to this deserving family. The children of the church were also blessed to have an awesome Christmas Party with pizza donated by Domino's Pizza in Ravenna. A special thank you to Terry and Debbie Stephens, owners of Domino's who have been a tremendous blessing to Upper Room Ministries over the years.


Watch for upcoming events at Robinson Memorial Hospital during the month of January. The website is or call the Health Education Department at 330-297-2576.


The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and The Brotherhood will host a New Year's Gala Fundraising Event from 6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 12 at the First United Methodist Church located at 263 S. Prospect St., Ravenna. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with dinner from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Featured guests include The Christian All Stars, Boots and the Boys, Christian Davis, the Spiritualettes and the Brotherhood singing group. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and can be purchased by calling Jeff at 330-297-8935 or Michael at 330-297-1094.


A blessed and happy birthday to all of these wonderful January people: Latresha Morton, Ramon Reid, Dorsey Butler, Jordan Beck, Debbie Groce, Adriana Ballard, Tatiana Ballard, Michael Toth, Greg Bush, Robin Calhoun, Tanjenae Harris, Jimmy Corbits, Tanya Hawkins, TraVonna Page, Bob Balluh, Catrina Burwell, Grace McNeeley, Darwin Humphrey, Taylor Jones, Jeffrey Moore, Angie Seeden, Ashley Foster, Kira Monson, Arlyne Habeeb, Richard Brantley, Roosevelt Seeden, Lucy Alexander-Maxwell, Ramona Richardson-Walker and Kathy Richardson.


Toni's Tidbits: Happy New Year everyone! I just wanted to share what a wonderful Christmas I had this year. It is always wonderful to have all of the family together, but they went above and beyond this time.

Since our family is "HGTV Home Remodeling" fanatics, the family members decided to totally remodel our home bathroom and parts of the kitchen! Imagine my surprise when I came home one day to the house torn apart and then seeing the results when everything was put back together. New floors, sink, counter, faucets, dining room table and chairs, paint, curtains, towels, rugs, light fixtures, etc. How blessed we are! Brown-Harris family, I love you so much!


Please send news or information to: Mrs. Toni Brown-Harris, P.O. Box 1051, Ravenna, OH 44266 or by email at

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