Around Kent By Ann Kardos

By Ann Kardos Published:

Happy March! Spring is so close that we can almost smell it in the air!

Get out and enjoy all the excitement during the rest of the month. Remember that Kent City Schools and Kent State University will have Spring Break from March 23 through 29.

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Girl Scout Troops No. 154 and No. 962 of Franklin Elementary School in Kent participated in a Book Swap community service project last month. In addition to providing students a place to exchange books, they collected books for area children who don't have books.

The Scouts participated in morning announcements, collected books at the beginning of the school day, and helped students select their "new to you" books. By the end of their collection, they had more than 900 books donated with 272 of those going home with new owners. That left about 650 books to be donated to local charities. The Brownies of Troop No. 962 elected to donate books to The Miller House Homeless Shelters and Kent Family and Community Services. Remaining books will be donated to other organizations in Portage County.

Great job, girls! Thanks for all your hard work and your caring spirits. The gift of books is a very good gift indeed.

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Four generations gathered recently to celebrate the birth of Quinn Thomas Moorman. Holding the baby are his great-grandparents, Helen and Clifford Laney of Kent. In back are the baby's mother, Christie Moorman of Morrow, left, and the baby's grandmother, Norma Moffatt of Kent.

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Attention, runners: The second annual On My Own Two Feet Marathon/Half Marathon is coming to Kent on April 20. It begins at 9 a.m. at Beckwith's Orchard in Kent and will follow the Bike & Hike Trail, then end at the Orchard.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to area shelters that help victims of domestic abuse, including The Cleveland Domestic Violence Center, Safer Futures of Portage County, and the Summit-Medina Counties shelters. For more information and to register for the race or make donations, visit the website at http://onmyowntwofeet.org.

Melissa Cairns Mondello is the race's founder. As a survivor of domestic abuse herself, Melissa found strength and healing when she began running and training for races more than seven years ago. She wanted to find a way to make her love of running give back to the community and help others. So, the marathon idea was created. She hopes that running will help women get strong enough to stand on their own two feet, also.

This year's race will be dedicated to the life and memory of the late Tami Mitchell Wong of Twinsburg.

The event is being sponsored and supported by several local businesses, including Second Sole-Kent, Beckwith's, Sweet Little Things, Tubbs Chiropractic, Godale Designs, and Laroush: Authentic Mediterranean Food. Donations have been given by Tree City Coffee & Pastries, Bent Tree Roasters, and Vertical Runner-Hudson.

In addition to local sponsors, Nick Billock of Rootstown was able to secure sponsorship from Brooks Running Shoes, Brooks Sports Inc.

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I want to pass along a compliment to everyone involved in the revival of Downtown Kent. My grandma-in-law, Lavinia Little, who happens to be 971⁄2 years old, just toured downtown. This was the first that she's really seen the improvements in about six months. She was "absolutely amazed."

She and her husband (Ernest Little) and daughters (Lorraine Kardos and Erika Nagy) moved to Kent from Doncaster, England, in 1956. Lavinia worked downtown in Kent at W.C. Grant's and McCrory's from 1959 to 1969. She recalls selling window shades to the owners of the hotel, when it still was operating as a hotel. She said that the improvements to the old hotel have made it look as beautiful as she remembers it. She continued by saying, "Oh my gosh, it is just lovely. Beautiful."

Thank you for all the effort and work that you've done, business owners, city representatives, construction workers, employees, Chamber and Main Street employees. Thank you, Kentites, for believing that your town was worth saving. This has truly been a revival.

Thanks for delighting a wonderful woman who longed to see her town thrive again.

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I want to take a moment and encourage you, dear readers, to please contact me if you have any items that you would like me to mention in this column. This is your town and your column, too. So please, if -- for instance -- you have a brother who just got a great job in Kansas, let me know. Everyone is interested in happy news.

Please contact me! If it's important to you, then it is important to other people, too. Your former teachers, past neighbors, and old friends from school all enjoy catching up. This is a nice place to do that. So, feel free to email me at ann@­kentlogos.com or leave a message at 330-931-9420. I'll get back to you as quickly as possible. Thanks!

Contact Ann Kardos at 330-931-9420 or ann@kentlogos.com.

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