LakewoodAlive Teams With Crossroads Church to Complete Pair of Yard Beautification Projects

Brockley Avenue homeowner Donna Mclean embraced each volunteer one-by-one, the smile across her face revealing her approval with the outcome of her newly-landscaped yard.

Crossroads Yard Beautification Projects

Homeowner Donna Mclean hugs a volunteer following the completion of a project to beautify her yard.

LakewoodAlive hosted 35 volunteers from Crossroads Church on Saturday, May 20, to tackle yard beautification projects for older residents on Brockley and Summits Avenues.  In addition to weeding flowerbeds, trimming shrubs, laying mulch and planting flowers, this tremendous group of volunteers cleared litter from a neighboring section of Detroit Avenue.

The massive volunteer effort was part of Crossroads’ “Go Local” campaign, for which 10 “anywhere projects” were completed on the same day across the nation outside of Cincinnati, where the church is headquartered.  Wife and husband Liz and Michael Hammer, both Crossroads members, collaborated with LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program to organize the campaign’s Lakewood presence.

“None of us live in Lakewood, but that’s beside the point,” said Michael Hammer.  “Watching the expression on the homeowner’s face is just precious, and we personally get a lot of joy from doing this.”

Added Liz Hammer: “Helping others is positively one of the best feelings you can have.”

While many of the volunteers live in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, where the local Crossroads congregation is based, others drove all the way from Cincinnati to participate.  They arrived armed with a plenty of enthusiasm and a drone to capture aerial footage of their efforts.

Crossroads Yard Beautification Projects

Wife and husband Liz & Michael Hammer coordinated this project for Crossroads.

Mclean, a 40-year resident of a home on Brockley Avenue, served as one of the grateful beneficiaries of Crossroads’ “Go Local” campaign.

“This is incredible – when you have a small army of people, you can really make a big difference,” Mclean said.  “I can’t wait for my husband to get home from work and see our yard.”

When the projects wrapped up and celebratory hugs had been exchanged, the Crossroads volunteers headed to Edgewater State Park for a picnic lunch.  They were done beautifying Lakewood yards and ready to take in beautiful views of Lake Erie.

To learn more regarding LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program, visit LakewoodAlive.org/HousingOutreach or contact Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Director, at 216-521-0655 or aurbanek@lakewoodalive.org.

Crossroads Yard Beautification Projects     Crossroads Yard Beautification Projects

Crossroads Yard Beautification Projects     Crossroads Yard Beautification Projects

Play Ball! LakewoodAlive to Host “Battle of Birdtown” Celebrity Softball Game on June 3

The familiar crack of the bat and roar of the crowd will resonate across Madison Park when LakewoodAlive hosts the inaugural “Battle of Birdtown” Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at George Usher Field.

Battle of Birdtown Celebrity Softball Game

The Battle of Birdtown Celebrity Softball Game will take place at George Usher Field in Madison Park.

This friendly, coed game will feature various Lakewood community leaders, residents and business owners, including many representing the Historic Birdtown Neighborhood.  A seven-inning affair, it will pit Team Lark against Team Robin.  Spectators are encouraged to attend this free event and cheer on their favorite players.

Birdtown, a proud, working-class neighborhood, is steeped in history and dates to the late 19th century.  The name is believed to have been derived from the various streets within the neighborhood named after indigenous bird species.

Sponsored by the City of Lakewood, Geiger’s and Cox Communications, the “Battle of Birdtown” will benefit LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Community Engagement Program.  This program develops community outreach and engagement initiatives for homeowners and residents to help cultivate a heightened sense of pride and ownership.

To learn more regarding LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Community Engagement Program, contact our office at 216-521-0655 or visit LakewoodAlive.org.

Lakewood Summer Meltdown to Heat Up City on July 8

Much-Anticipated Festival Returns to Downtown Lakewood; Schedule of Events Unveiled

Get ready to add some sizzle to your summer.  Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017, sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, is back for its eighth year on Saturday, July 8 from 4 to 10 p.m. in Downtown Lakewood.

The Lakewood Summer Meltdown draws nearly 10,000 attendees each year. (Photo Credit: Lakewood Patch)

One of the region’s most highly-anticipated street parties, the Summer Meltdown drew nearly 10,000 attendees from across Northeast Ohio to the heart of Lakewood last year.  This “something for everyone” event and fixture on our city’s summer calendar takes place on Detroit Avenue between Marlowe and Elmwood, offering seemingly endless recreation and celebration opportunities, including a 5K race, 1 Mile Kids Fun Run, street festival, outdoor activities, games, food vendors, beer garden, live music and more.

Families will love the street festival component, which features free programs from 70+ businesses and nonprofits organizations, including numerous interactive opportunities.  Activities range from a sprinkler park to skateboarding to demonstrations of yoga and other exercises.

The ever-popular Meltdown 5K presented by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood draws hundreds of participants annually, as it features a fast course, chip timing, t-shirts for participants and prizes for top finishers.  Both this running event and the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run presented by Lakewood Family YMCA afford participants a rare opportunity to partake in an evening race.  (Click here to register for either race.) 

Local brews available in the Gary K. Bish Memorial Beer Garden presented by First Federal Lakewood will complement dining options from vendors and food trucks.  Fan favorite alternative rock band Front Porch Lights returns to the stage to delight the crowd as dusk turns to nightfall in beautiful Downtown Lakewood.

LakewoodAlive Lakewood Summer Meltdown

Fan favorite band Front Porch Lights returns for Summer Meltdown 2017. (Photo Credit: Alex Belisle / Faces of Lakewood)

Lakewood Summer Meltdown Schedule:
4-7:30 p.m. – Meltdown Street Festival
5-10 p.m. – Gary K. Bish Memorial Beer Garden presented by First Federal Lakewood
5:30 p.m. – Race-day registration begins at the intersection of Detroit and St. Charles Avenues
6:00 p.m. – 1 Mile Kids Fun Run presented by Lakewood Family YMCA begins at Belle Avenue
7:00 p.m. – Meltdown 5K presented by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood begins at Belle Avenue
7:00 p.m. – Alternative rock band Front Porch Lights performs on stage

For more information, please visit LakewoodAlive.org/Meltdown.

The Lakewood Summer Meltdown is generously supported by the following sponsors: Melt Bar and Grilled (Title Sponsor); PrimeLending (Platinum Sponsor); Cleveland Clinic Lakewood (Meltdown 5K Sponsor); the City of Lakewood, First Federal Lakewood and Beat Cycles (Gold Medal Sponsors); Cox Communications and Lakewood Family YMCA (Silver Medal Sponsors).

LakewoodAlive’s “From Refugee to Neighbor” Community Forum Celebrates Our City’s Diversity

They came as residents, neighbors and community leaders to celebrate the welcoming city that is Lakewood, Ohio.

LakewoodAlive Refugee Community Forum

Lakewood Congregational Church was the site of this community forum.

More than 100 attendees ventured to Lakewood Congregational Church on Wednesday evening, May 10, to participate in a community forum entitled “From Refugee to Neighbor Part 2: Understanding Public Policy and Community Impact.”  Hosted by LakewoodAlive with assistance from Lakewood Public Library, this community forum sought to build on a previous refugee forum from November 2015 by providing insightful dialogue relevant to the current refugee climate.

After introductory remarks from LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews and Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers, moderator David Dombrowiak of the Community West Foundation oversaw a discussion covering a variety of topics, including Lakewood’s role as a resettlement location, how public policy impacts the refugee community and progress made towards supporting refugees.

A distinguished panel of experts from across the local refugee community participated in this community conversation.  Panelists included Thomas Kate and Patrick Kearns (both of The Refugee Response), Tom Mrosko (Cleveland Catholic Charities), Janus Small (Refugee Services Collaborative) and Brian Upton (Building Hope in the City)

The panel drew a rousing round of applause from the crowd at various points throughout the discussion, including when Upton provided economic impact statistics indicating that refugees are “the furthest thing from a drain on our economy” and when Kate shared his personal story as a refugee from Burma.

LakewoodAlive Refugee Community Forum

Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers addressed the crowd with opening remarks.

“Ultimately what refugee families are trying to do is no different from what you and I are trying to do – and that’s to make this place meaningful for us,” said Kearns of Lakewood’s role in refugee resettlement.

That Lakewood has a welcoming spirit served as an overriding theme throughout the discussion.  Last year saw the arrival of more than 80 refugees to the city.

“In Lakewood we hope to maintain a culture of belonging,” said Mayor Summers.  “We need refugees to support and maintain a vibrant economy and a vibrant community.”

LakewoodAlive thanks Community Forum Committee volunteers for spearheading the planning process: Cindy Einhouse, Cindy Friedmann, Katie Kurtz, Rachel Novak, Peter Schindler and Mark Thomas.

LakewoodAlive hosts community forums pertaining to topics relevant to Lakewood citizens.  For more information, please visit LakewoodAlive.org or contact Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive, at 216-521-0655 or iandrews@lakewoodalive.org.

     LakewoodAlive Refugee Community Forum
     

LakewoodAlive, Lakewood Historical Society to Host 2nd Annual Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic on June 4

It’s a celebration of the rich history of Birdtown and you’re invited.

LakewoodAlive has joined forces with the Lakewood Historical Society to host the 2nd Annual Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic on Sunday, June 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at Madison Park.

LakewoodAlive Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic

The celebratory event kicks off with a community picnic from noon to 2 p.m. at the pavilion near Madison Park’s George Usher Field.  Complimentary refreshments will be provided courtesy of Connect 2 Compete, a program of Cox Communications.

The festivities continue with guided walking tours of the Historic Birdtown Neighborhood commencing at 1 p.m.  The tours will depart from in front of the Lakewood Public Library–Madison Branch (13229 Madison Avenue) every half-hour until 2:30 p.m., showcasing this proud, working-class neighborhood in eastern Lakewood.  Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 100 guests.

“We’re pleased to once again partner with the Lakewood Historical Society to offer Lakewood residents this exciting opportunity to explore one of our city’s beloved neighborhoods,” said Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Director.  “It’s yet another example of how we at LakewoodAlive are committed to our ongoing mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods here in Lakewood.”

Steeped in history, the origins of the Birdtown neighborhood date to the late 19th century.  In 1892, the National Carbon Company (now GrafTech) sought to ease its employees’ commutes to work to reduce staff tardiness.  The factory acquired 115 acres extending west along Madison Avenue and established the Pleasant Hill Allotment, which was divided into 424 lots and later become known as Birdtown.  The name is believed to have been derived from the various streets within the neighborhood named after indigenous bird species.

LakewoodAlive Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic

Sponsored by Citizens Bank, the City of Lakewood, Dollar Bank and First Federal Lakewood, the Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic is orchestrated by LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Community Engagement Program.  Through community outreach and engagement initiatives aimed at residents in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods, this program seeks to cultivate a heightened sense of pride and ownership.

The walking tour is co-sponsored by the Program Committee of the Lakewood Historical Society to build awareness of this historic neighborhood.  For more information regarding the Historic Birdtown Neighborhood, contact the Lakewood Historical Society at 216-221-7343.

To learn more regarding LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Community Engagement Program, contact our office at 216-521-0655 or visit LakewoodAlive.org.

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