Children’s Wonderland

Your Go-To Event
by Mary Helen Darah

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One of the area’s most revered holiday traditions, Children’s Wonderland, will continue to thrill children of all ages when the doors open on the exhibit on Dec. 9. Children of all ages will be able to o-o-h and a-h-h to their hearts’ content over the array of classic exhibits that transform Tam-O-Shanter’s Sports & Exhibition Center into a virtual

‘Wonderland’ open through
Dec. 23 from 11 9 p.m. daily. Hours on Dec. 24 are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After viewing all of the exhibits, children can play a round of putt-putt golf, take a ride on the Wonderland Express train, write letters to Santa, make a Christmas craft and ornament, get a tattoo and spend time with Santa Claus.

Young visitors and their accompanying adults can shop for a variety of toys in the Learning Express Wonderland boutique and enjoy cookies from Sautter’s Market.

Admission is
$7 for adults
$4 for children and seniors.
Kid Zone charge is $5.

Children can also enjoy time with Santa in his workshop on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $11, which includes admission to Children’s Wonderland. No reservations are required for the continental-style breakfast.

Sponsors include The Blade, ProMedica The Andersons, Learning Express, Sam’s Club, Sautter’s Food Center and Sylvania Recreation.

Volunteers are needed.

To help, call Kathy at 419/885-1167, ext. 3.


Volunteers Needed for Toledo Metroparks Manor House

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Volunteer at one of northwest Ohio’s most festive holiday celebrations!

Volunteers are needed as stationary tour guides in the Manor House during this Toledo holiday tradition. Help is also needed at the S’mores Welcome Tent!

To find out more about volunteering at Holidays in the Manor House, visit:

or contact:
Nancy Jomantas:


Sensory Santa event at St. Stephen Lutheran Church

The S.O.A.R. (Strengthening Opportunities Abilities & Relationships) organization is pleased to announce the second annual Sensory Santa event at:
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
7800 Erie St. Sylvania Ohio

on Sunday, December 11
from 1 PM until 4 PM.

The event features a family-friendly environment with craft stations, coloring station, and cookie decorating. There is also a place for the family, including sensitive children, to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“The idea of the sensory Santa is as much an environmental issue as a visitation issue.” says Santa. “The environment is specially designed to have minimal distractions and other noises that can cause anxiety for individuals living with autism and other sensory challenges.” Santa stresses the importance of the safe room for children with autism, attention deficit disorders, or other anxieties that can make it difficult for parents to visit Santa in noisy environments such as the mall or public Christmas celebrations.

The event supports families with a special child that may find it difficult to wait in lines or avoid distraction for the child. The St. Stephen environment will have a private room for the children to visit with Santa. Additionally, the family can take their own pictures or have a picture taken for them by an on-site photographer.

Jean Blachowski, Executive Director of S.O.R.E, says: “one of the big benefits of this environment is that it gives the whole family an opportunity to visit the jolly old elf without the pressure of traditional Santa Christmas events.” Not only does a special child, but also their siblings, get a chance to visit with Santa at their own leisure.

Santa Dave says some of the key aspects of dealing with special needs children involves his tone of voice, no demanding questions, and acceptance that the child may not want to sit on Santa’s lap.

The event is open to the public, especially for kids from 1 to 92.
For more information, contact:
Jean Blachowski
419 461-7366 

or email

Toledo Elks #53 Hoop Shoot Contest

This year the Toledo Elks #53 Hoop Shoot Contest will be held on December 11, 2016 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church; located at:
1825 Glendale Ave (by River Road).

Sign up starts at
4:30 PM with contestants beginning their first free-throw at 5:00 PM.
Kids who will be participating will need a parent/guardian present to sign the registration form.
Kids advancing to future contests will need to have a birth certificate for verification of age level.

The Elks Hoop Shoot is free to boys and girls who will be between the ages of 8-13 on April 1, 2017.

Winners advance through district, state and regional Hoop Shoot contests. Regional winners qualify for a trip to compete at the
Hoop Shoot National Finals held on April 22, 2017 in Chicago, IL.
National Champions will have their names permanently inscribed on a plaque in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Through the Hoop Shoot program, we’ve been developing and reinforcing “grit” for more than 40 years–long before researchers and experts concluded that grit is so important for our children.


For more information please contact:
Amy Mungons, Hoop Shoot Director
Toledo Elks #53

Miracle on Main Street launches holiday spirit in downtown Sylvania

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

This lighted glass block was donated by Becky’s Blocks for the 2016 Deck the Halls for History.
This lighted glass block was donated by Becky’s Blocks for the 2016 Deck the Halls for History.

Downtown will come alive with holiday spirit beginning Dec. 2 as the Miracle on Main Street weekend will be launched with the Red Bird First Friday Art Walk from 5 to 8-plus p.m. A variety of artists will exhibit their work in participating downtown shops along with a pop-up gallery in Kevin Charles Hair Artistry. The Art Walk continues on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce will have a warming tent on Maplewood Avenue between Main and Summit streets. The tent will be decorated by Hafner Florist and sponsored by Vin Devers Autohaus of Sylvania, Edward Jones, Modern Data, Meijer and Reeb Funeral Home. Adult beverages will be available for purchase on Friday evening and there will be live music from 5 to 10 p.m.

The Maplewood and Sylvan elementary school choirs will sing at Maplewood Park around 5 p.m.

Deck the Halls for History featuring a variety of holiday- and winter-themed decorations and gift baskets will be on display and available for auction bids from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 and 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Sylvania Historical Village.

On Saturday, a hot cocoa bar sponsored by Metamora State Bank and a popcorn bar by GenoaBank will be available to drink and eat while watching the kid-appropriate movies in the warming tent. The staff from Over the Rainbow Early Learning Center will have child-friendly crafts and activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be cookie decorating thanks to The Next Sweet Thing Bakery.

Olaf from “Frozen” and Paw Patrol characters Chase and Marshall will also be on hand for children’s enjoyment.

On Sunday, the Sylvania Historical Village will also host staff members from the Sylvania branch library who have events planned.

New this year is the Maplewood Classic, a 5K run scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. with a kids race at 5:30 starting at Maplewood Avenue and Main Street. Runners will head south past St Joe’s, west past Lourdes University, north past Northview High School, west to Erie Street, east to Main Street, to the parade route-filled finish in downtown Sylvania. Run Toledo will handle the race. Funds from the race will benefit Olander Park.

The Festival of Lights Parade starts at 6 p.m. bringing Santa and Mrs. Claus to downtown Sylvania followed by the Christmas Tree lighting at 7 p.m. in Maplewood Park.

After Santa and Mrs. Claus finish lighting the tree and greeting the families gathered in the park, they will cross the street and go to the Sylvania Historical Village to talk with boys and girls until 8 p.m.

Miracle on Main is a collaboration with the Sylvania Community Arts Commission, the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Sylvania Association and the Sylvania Historical Village.

This wreath with jingle bells and burlap bow was donated by Friends of the Historical Village for the event.
This wreath with jingle bells and burlap bow was donated by Friends of the Historical Village for the event.


St. Joseph Catholic Church Hosts Toledo Symphony Orchestra

by Mary Helen Darah



Get in the holiday spirit as the Toledo Symphony presents its Neighborhood Concert Series at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 5373 S. Main St. in Sylvania, on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

St. Joseph Catholic Church has hosted the event for the past 27 years. Conductor Sara Jobin will lead the orchestra in presenting an evening of classical pieces and seasonal favorites.

Tickets may be purchased at the St. Joseph Parish Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (the office will be closed on Nov. 24-25) or by calling 419/885-5791. For additional information, contact Margie Heck, concert chairperson, at: 419/843-8548
or visit:

Lourdes Art Department Features Lectures from Guest Artist Gunyoung Kim of Seoul, South Korea.

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
Publication Date: 11.01.16


Gunyoung Kim
Gunyoung Kim

The Lourdes Department of Art and the student organization, ORBIS ARS will host an Artist Lecture Series in partnership with the Red Bird Art Walk. The artist lecture is held in the Canticle Center Gallery from 6 to 7p.m. the first Thursday of the month beginning in November and will run through April. Gunyoung Kim opens the series on Nov. 3.

The lecture is free and open to the public and all artists lecturing will also be on exhibit during the corresponding Sylvania Red Bird Art Walk.

Gunyoung Kim was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Ceramics from Kook-Min University in Korea in 2010 and her MFA from The Ohio State University in 2014 where she developed her studio practice and gained teaching experience. After graduate school, Gunyoung was the long-term ceramic artist-in-residence at Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kan. She recently completed a short-term residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont.

Red Bird Art Walk

The Red Bird Arts District will celebrate the upcoming election at the First Friday Art Walk on Nov. 4 in downtown Sylvania. Explore local arts, enjoy live music and theater performances, shop the boutiques and enjoy food and drink specials. Each stop along the Art Walk offers a different creative and captivating experience.

The Nov. 4 Art Walk events include Delineate Opening Show with Carolyn Reed Barritt and Gunyoung Kim at the River Centre Gallery; HELLO, My Name Is… featuring the work of nine new regional artists at the Hudson Gallery. Randy Bennett’s mixed media will be on display at SpaceBar and Upcycling Textiles with scarves and mittens will be available at TK Lane’s Boutique. Christine’s Designs will be on sale in the Sylvania AdVantage office and Premium Jewelry by Cathy Com along with Steve Raney’s paintings will be featured at Brieschke’s Bakery. Makeup Artist Sharon Smith will be at Revé Salon and Spa; and children’s illustrator Merrill Rainey can be found at Bowinkles. Denise Copp of Holland Street Studio will be featured at Sheffield Road. Antique Cars by Genius Garage and Central Classic Cars is the topic to be found at V Collection. The Sylvania Community Orchestra will entertain at Chandler Café and Kelly Brown’s window paintings can be viewed at J&G’s Pizza Palace. Northview theater students will perform pieces from “Les Miserables.” Live music will be featured at SodBuster Bar. Gemstone jewelry designer and author Kristen Vasques will talk with guests at Angela’s Angels. Vegan Mineral Cosmetics: “Keeping It Natural” is the theme of the evening at Harmony In Life. Red and blue appetizers will be available at Element 112. Woodcarving by Jean McDonald can be found at the Sylvania Heritage Center Museum. Gail Christofferson’s Mosaic Guitars will be at TREO One2 Lounge. The sculpture garden behind Interrupt Marketing highlights works by Pat Chandler, Joel Schoppman and Jim Rich along with the Roots of Sylvania mural by Dani Fuller.

First ‘Kick-Off to the Cook-Off’ to feature Kielbasa Cook-Off winners

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
Publication Date: 11.01.16



The Polish-American Community of Toledo, or PACT, will hold the first “Kick-Off to the Cook-Off,” a special kielbasa dinner, on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Christian Life Center, Olivet Lutheran Church, 5840 Monroe St.

The “Kick-Off to the Cook-Off” dinner will feature the top three winners from the previous Kielbasa Cook-Off held last April 23. The dinner will also provide details on the upcoming Sixth Kielbasa Cook-Off in April 2017.

The 2016 winners included the first place finisher Jeremy Pryba and the Pryba family; Mike Hofner and Ron Smith of Dziadzia and Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa; and the Adam Michalski family of Michalski’s Special Recipe. In addition, Pryba and Michalski will serve their family’s pierogi. The dinner includes mashed potatoes, gravy, kapusta (sweet & sour cabbage), mizeria (cucumbers in dill sauce), placek (coffee cake) and paczki.

Last April, approximately 1,000 people attended the Kielbasa Cook-Off, sampling kielbasa from a dozen different local amateur kielbasa makers. The event raised over $6,000.

As an added bonus, those attending the “Kick-Off to the Cook-Off” will be able to order award-winning homemade kielbasa for Thanksgiving and Christmas directly from these winning competitors. Order forms will be available at the dinner and online at

In addition to the dinner, there will be free polka lessons with Sue Sabo Hays, owner, Mini Motions Dance Studio beginning at 1 p.m. Hays is celebrating her 25th year in business and is a former dancer with the Echoes of Poland.

The cost is $18 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. Advanced reservations can be made for $15 at The event is open to everyone and there is plenty of free parking.

Money raised goes to fund the annual scholarship competition and the Capital Campaign for development of Polish Cultural Center in the Toledo area. Over the past five years, PACT, along with the Toledo Poznan Alliance awarded over $17,000 in scholarship money to area Polish-American high school and college students.

Bittersweet opens community center in downtown Sylvania

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Bittersweet opens its new location in downtown Sylvania at the Sylvania Historical Village on Oct. 31. The center will be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bittersweet Center for the Community will act as an additional site for the Bittersweet Day Program, as well as a space to showcase the work of Bittersweet artists and local artists.

Bittersweet’s Day Program Director Jessica Swaisgood said “Joining the Sylvania community is a wonderful opportunity for Bittersweet and those whom we serve with autism. Opening the center will allow us to share our mission with the local community, while creating a space for adults with autism to further develop their skills and abilities.”

Visit Bittersweet Farms online:


Bittersweet Farms from Toledo Christian TV on Vimeo.

America’s Best Hope Conference

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

The fifth annual America’s Best Hope Conference is scheduled to be simulcast live in Toledo on Nov. 11. This premier leadership event will feature industry CEOs, relevant entertainment figures and thought leaders from around the country.

This event is all about cultivating godly leaders in the marketplace – men and women hungry to grow and lead spiritually, professionally and personally – and who are ready to make a difference in the world.

A few of the speakers scheduled to appear at the one-day conference are Kirk Perry, president of Brand Solutions at Google, Anne Graham Lotz, president of AnGeL Ministries, Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales, Jim Munroe, Christian illusionist, Col. Lee Ellis, founder and president of Leadership Freedom and Freedom Star Media.

Jim Lange, Truth At Work’s chapter president in the Toledo area, shared, “I have gone across the country for similar conferences. It is so exciting that we can have access to this in our community. We can view the conference as it happens in our own backyard and have the opportunity to develop our leadership skills and connect with other leaders in our area.”

Lange played basketball for the University of Toledo in the early 80s and is the author of  “Bleedership: Biblical First-Aid for Leaders” as well as “Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in this Chaotic World.”

Ben Snyder, Senior Pastor at CedarCreek Church stated, “At we believe that as a leader gets better, everyone wins. That is why we are so invested in helping the leaders in our community to get better and it is why we are honored to work with Truth At Work and be a part of the 2016 America’s Best Hope conference.”

The conference will be held on Friday, Nov. 11, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at CedarCreek Church’s West Toledo campus at the corner of Sylvania Avenue and Douglas Road.

Tickets for the event can be purchased for $49
which includes lunch provided by Chick-fil-A.

Purchase tickets and find more information can be found at: