Summer always goes by too quickly, but this year it was really fast! I can't believe that it is time once again to write my "back to school" column. This year I feel like I want to put the brakes on even harder as each of our children celebrate milestones this year.
Our oldest son, Nick, begins his senior year of high school. Tasha begins her freshman year at Roosevelt. Chris starts his last year at Stanton. When Nick started first grade, I remember envisioning that we were just getting to the top of the big hill on the roller coaster and that the next several years were going to fly by … and they certainly have.
So for all of you experiencing milestones with children and grandchildren this year, take a deep breath and make sure that your seat-belt is fastened. Don't be afraid. Enjoy the ride, even if you have to take a couple of aspirin to prevent getting a migraine.
There are some dates to remember as we begin the school year. Kent City Schools begin classes for kindergartners through ninth-graders on Aug. 28. Older students in grades 10 through 12 will start classes on Aug. 29.
Congratulations to all Kent State University summer graduates! Commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate degrees will occur Saturday at both 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There will be 1,593 degrees conferred that day. So, traffic and area restaurants should hopefully be nice and busy!
Put out the welcome mats, Kent! While graduating students will be exiting Kent, new and returning students will be arriving soon! We know that they will get a great education from Kent State University.
Try to remember that for new students the university is a really big place. Some students are away from home for the very first time, so when you see them at the grocery store, gas station, or even the post office, give them a friendly smile. This will be their home away from home for the next four years. I hope that we can make it a good memory for them. Help them feel comfortable and proud of this town, just like we are.
New students will begin moving in during their "Welcome Weekend" beginning Aug. 22. This four-day orientation program will include "Discover Downtown" on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This tour of downtown event is sponsored by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce. The weekend concludes with a laser lights show on Sunday night.
General classes start on Aug. 26. Kent will be bustling once again! (So remember to be watching for pedestrians.)
The third annual Bartholomew Sisters family reunion recently was held in Kent. These three sisters grew up in Geauga County on Bartholomew Road (named for the family) and as they started their adult lives, two of the sisters, the late Norma (Hostetler) and Phyllis (Smith), chose Kent as their home; while their youngest sister Winifred (Hull) remained in Auburn.
Norma's children, Jeff, Jen and Cindy (now deceased) as well as Phyllis' children, Dianne and Nadine, grew up in Kent. Although the families have remained close, a few years ago, these four cousins began this annual gathering. Winifred and her three children have not been able to attend, but always send their best wishes and support.
This year's event was hosted and orchestrated by Dianne and her husband, Randy Roberts, with all 32 of Norma and Phyllis' family members in attendance, (including Cindy's widower, Doug, and his new wife, Ruth, a welcome addition to the family). Family members arrived from as far away as Connecticut and North Carolina.
The reunion began Friday night with dinner at the Pufferbelly, followed by a stroll around town and casual conversation on the terrace and the new Kent State University Hotel, where many of the out-of-town guests stayed.
Saturday continued with morning shopping in town, lunch at Ray's Place and then a tour of the Marvin Kent home (Kent Masonic Center), followed by an excursion on Lolly-the-Trolley, with stops at the various schools attended by the cousins, the university, and Standing Rock Cemetery. Then back to Dianne and Randy's home for a cookout. The reunion concluded with Sunday breakfast back at Dianne and Randy's, before the families headed to their respective homes.
(photo) The Bartholomew Sisters family as they concluded their tour on the front porch of the former Marvin Kent home, now the Kent Masonic Center.
Mark your calendars for Art in the Park. Kent Parks and Recreation Department sponsors this annual fine arts and live entertainment event. This year's festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 7 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 8.
Art in the Park artists will showcase their talents through photography, paintings, textiles, ceramics and pottery, drawings, jewelry, glasswork, metal and wood. The children's art area is always a favorite destination for families. Enjoy live demonstrations of glassblowing by local craftsmen. There will be a variety of food vendors on site. As always, the event has free admission and free parking.
The annual Sylvia Coogan Scholarship Silent Auction will also be held. Auction items are donated by the event's artists. There will be pieces from Sylvia Coogan's personal collection included, also. Proceeds from the auction are donated to projects promoting continuing arts education.
Contact Ann Kardos at 330-931-9420 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your Kent news.