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The Savvy Sylvanian — 06.20.17

finds space at Central Storage Depot
–by Mary Helen Dara

Skip Aston, owner of Central Storage Depot, in front of the newly acquired 100% steel storage units.

Perhaps it wasn’t a wise choice for the overly sentimental Savvy Sylvanian to visit the Central Storage Depot, located on 8534 W. Central Ave. The facility offers safe rental spaces for all your needs. The Central Storage Depot can store your precious things until you need them or, as is the case with yours truly, come to terms to letting go.

The family-owned business has been in operation since 1996 and anyone who enters their doors has a chance of meeting owner, Skip Aston, and a guaranteed encounter with the woman who has kept things running smoothly since day one, manager Pat Parker. “We met in church 30 years ago,” recalled Aston. “People just love her. I can’t count the number of people who say they miss Pat when they no longer rent space from us.”

Today the business continues to flourish yet that wasn’t the case in the beginning. “I had an opportunity to buy just the property or to also buy an additional seven acres, which I chose to do,” stated Aston. “After I bought the place, it was discovered that the property sat a little lower than Central Ave. The Sylvania Township made me bring in filler dirt at the cost of $60,000. I thought it was stupid. Normally, I do not like government intervention but the Township knew what they were doing. We are now prepared for the 100-year flood. Frequently in the first year of owning a business, you feel that you have made a mistake. Our first year, only two units were rented, after spending an extra $60,000. Now we have 80% occupancy. It just takes patience and persistance.”

According to Aston, people use the storage facility for a variety of reason including the loss of a house or going through a transition such as divorce. “We have people who store their cars for the winter, furniture and items from a departed loved one and even retired attorneys who are legally required to keep records for a specified amount of years. We have had people whose parents have died store their items here because they can’t throw them away,” stated Aston. “After paying storage fees for a couple of years, they can. It’s a process I like to call ‘storage therapy.’”

Recently, the facility, that maintains its status as the only commercial storage facility in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to have indoor and outdoor storage, added 20 secure storage containers made of 100% steel. “They are wonderful,” stated Parker. “The units are high and dry and a cheaper alternative to regular storage. The units are weather tight with insulated ceilings, ventilated and ready to be filled by someone in need of space.”

I found it interesting to learn that over half of Central Storage Depot’s renters are women. Once again, Aston sings Parker’s praises. “I know my wife of 42 years is at times a bit directionally impaired,” he said. “Pat (Parker) makes everyone feel comfortable and has formed nice working relationships with our clients. One person she has known since we opened. It’s nice knowing she is here to help assist, guide and direct our customers.” That was music to his ears of this logistically challenged Savvy Sylvanian. I hope to purge some of my belongings after a recent downsize but just in case I have difficulties letting go, it’s nice to know there is ‘storage therapy’ available on Central Avenue.

Pat Parker, left, has been assisting clients with their storage needs since the opening of the facility on West Central Avenue that is greatly appreciated by owner Skip Aston.



Sizzle Simmer Sauté Sylvania — 06.20.17

  Make it a red, white and blue-tiful celebration
–by Jennifer Ruple

 Jennifer Ruple

Jennifer Ruple

It seems like just yesterday that the kiddos were finishing up their school year, and here we are knocking on the door of Independence Day. Summer sure does fly by, and that gives us even more of a reason to make it a festive and fun holiday for all ages to enjoy.

Take the fun outside, and plan a patriotic party with red, white and blue decorations and a coordinating food buffet. Here are a handful of décor and recipe ideas to make your Fourth of July a red, white and blue-tiful celebration.

Don’t forget the hot dogs and sparklers!

Create a patriotic centerpiece with colorful blooms.

Start with the Centerpiece
Create an All-American table display with one large or a few small cobalt blue vases.
Fill each vase with red and white flowers such as mini carnations, daisy mums, snapdragons, gerbera daisies, stock or ranunculus.
Add a small American flag to each arrangement and a little something sparkly.
Anchor the arrangement on an American flag table runner.

Cherry and Blueberry Cheesecake Desserts

Cherry and Blueberry Cheesecake Desserts
Satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth with individual-serving cherry and blueberry cheesecake desserts.
Serve these tasty treats in canning jars, and they’ll be a hit with adults and youngsters alike.
Servings: 8

Eight 8-ounce canning jars
Two 3.4-ounce boxes of cheesecake flavored pudding
2 cups cold milk
⅔ cup graham cracker crumbs
⅛ cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Cherry and blueberry pie filling
In a medium bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk together for two minutes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Spoon even amounts of crumb mixture into canning jars.
Divide pudding among canning jars.
Top with cherry and blueberry pie filling.

Serve a light, refreshing fruit salad.

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad
Keep it light and healthy with a colorful and tangy fruit salad.
A coating of this sweet and tart dressing enhances the salad by helping to keep the apples from browning, and the fresh mint adds a cooling element to the dish.
Servings: 10

1 pound strawberries, sliced
6 ounces blueberries
3 cups watermelon, cubed
1 apple, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, toss together fruit and dressing. Chill until serving.
(Recipe adapted from

Dress up drinks with iced fruit cubes.

Iced Fruit Cubes
Keep your beverages chilled with iced fruit cubes.
Fill ice cube trays with an assortment of fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – any combo will do.
Freeze, and then add them to individual water glasses. The fruit not only looks pretty, but it adds a nice infusion of berry flavor into your drinks.


The Little Mouse Preschool is growing

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Tina Haack looks over the new playground equipment that was recently installed.


The Little Mouse Preschool playground has a new child-friendly covering of artificial turf.


In just three years, Tina Haack of The Little Mouse Preschool in the Boulevard Church of Christ, 7041 West Sylvania Ave., has grown from 41 children with two classrooms and a staff of three, to now having four teachers, two aides, four classrooms and a total enrollment of 75 students for 2017-18 school year. “We graduated 35 students this year, which was our biggest class ever,” Haack stated.

In addition to the expanding classrooms and staff this June just in time for the Little Mouse summer campers, Haack refurbished the playground, which has nearly doubled the outside space. “We purchased a new expanded play structure from Play World on Central Avenue and added artificial turf that is antibacterial and kid-safe,” she offered. In addition, the ground around several play areas is covered in super soft mulch certified for playgrounds. “We have a lot of retro structures including slides and teeter-totters that the kids really love to play on. With all the additional kids, the expansion was well needed. I know the kids will love this.”

Camp Little Mouse, is a six-week, themed program that runs from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., five days a week. The camp is at capacity for the summer with 50 campers.

The regular school year morning sessions run from 7:30 to 11 a.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to noon. The afternoon sessions are from noon to 2:30 p.m. The Little Mouse Preschool offers curriculum-based programs for 3- and 4-year-olds along with Pre-kindergarten children. “We feature age-appropriate activities in a caring and fun environment staffed with licensed and experienced teachers. Our 3-year-old program focuses on introducing students to the preschool experience. This presents the opportunity for children to socialize and learn to work with others. Children learn the alphabet, both upper and lower case, and beginning math skills. There is story time and art every day that will accompany the alphabet and number learning process. The 4-year old and Pre-K program focuses on preparing students for kindergarten. This class offers built-in smart board learning. The rooms come alive with learning centers, art, calendar time all taught in a bright and fun environment. For students who attend all day, there is an afternoon enrichment program. This class covers many different subjects that prepare them for kindergarten. The program also expands on math and language skills developed in the pre-school curriculum along with writing and basic computer skills.

“We are adding Spanish for Pre-K students in the fall,” Haack said. “All classes are taught at a pace each student can follow and will allow them to grow and gain self-esteem.”

The Little Mouse Preschool offers music, library time and a monthly faith-based class. It also has off-site field trips twice a year. Parents have the option of enrolling their child in a two-day, three-day or five-day program for half days or whole days. Extended care options, before school from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and after school from 2:30 to 6 p.m., are also available.

Limited spots are still available for the 2017-18 school year.

Lourdes sports information director receives honor

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Ryan Wronkowicz

For the third consecutive year, the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference honored Lourdes sports information director Ryan Wronkowicz as the 2017 Patrick Moore-Mike Dean SID of the Year. Named after former Madonna SID Patrick Moore, who passed away unexpectedly in 2015, and longtime WHAC statistician Mike Dean, it recognizes outstanding sports information professionals as chosen by SIDs in the conference. Wronkowicz joined Moore as three-time winners of the award.

In his 17th year in the profession, Wronkowicz just completed his fifth year with Lourdes. He has been an integral part of expanding the Gray Wolves social media presence and implementing live video streaming of games. In addition, he continued the relationship he started with BCSN to provide live and tape-delayed television coverage of sporting events.

“Lourdes is truly blessed to have Ryan on our team,” acknowledged athletics director JoAnn Gordon. “This award is a reflection of his tireless dedication and work ethic in bringing recognition to our student-athletes and the university as a whole.”

His service is not limited to the athletics department. He sat as a staff advisor for an inaugural student-run organization aimed at promoting Lourdes spirit as a whole on campus and in the community and is a popular member of several committees throughout the school.

Wronkowicz’s service spans through the conference and national levels as well. He served on the WHAC Softball ratings oversight committee this year and also finished his third year on the NAIA National Players of the Week voting committee.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this award from talented fellow SIDs in the WHAC, which makes this honor very special,” said Wronkowicz. “The credit for such an honor goes to the wonderful student-athletes, coaches, and staff here at Lourdes who allow me to work with them and promote their accolades on a daily basis.”

Wronkowicz earned his degree from Bowling Green University in 1999 and completed his master’s in sports administration in 2005 from Valparaiso University.




Lourdes professor to participate in seminar ‘The 20th Century Presidency’

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Dr. Alvin “Dwayne” Beggs

Lourdes University recently announced that Dr. Alvin “Dwayne” Beggs, assistant professor of history at Lourdes University, is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to participate in a special American history seminar on “The 20th Century Presidency.” The multidisciplinary seminar for faculty members in history, political science, and related fields will explore characteristics of 20th-century presidential leadership, including several individual presidents and their presidencies.

From a pool of 77 highly competitive nominations, 30 faculty members were selected to participate in the seminar, which will be held July 23-27 at Stanford University’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center in Washington, D.C.

In announcing the selection of participants, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar will provide a great opportunity for participating faculty members to gain a better understanding of effective leadership and to explore presidencies within the context of the history known then and now. We believe that Dr. Alvin Beggs will play a strong role in the seminar.”

“Dr. Beggs has extensive experience in 20th-century history particularly as it relates to U.S. presidential and congressional relations,” said Dr. Mary Robinson, Chair of the Lourdes University Department of History, Political Science and Geography.

While at Lourdes University, Dr. Beggs has developed several courses including one focused on The Constitution and the Supreme Court. A respected historian, he has presented several times including the 2015 Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics, the 2010 National Policy Conference, and the 2017 Ohio Academy of History. A published author, Dr. Beggs’ work has appeared in Financial History Magazine and he served as editor of the 2016 edition of Northwest Ohio History.

Dr. Beggs’ research has focused on Presidential/Congressional relations particularly as it pertains to Congress and its use of War Powers. He holds membership in the American Historical Association, Phi Alpha Theta, the Society of Civil War Historians, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Society of Military History.

The 2017 National History Seminar participant earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the former Fort Wayne Bible College, a Master of Divinity from the Anderson School of Theology, a Master of Arts in American History and a Doctor of Philosophy in American History with a minor in Presidential/Congressional Relations from Bowling Green State University. Robert Dallek, professor of history emeritus at UCLA who now teaches at Stanford in Washington, will lead the seminar. Seminar participants will consider presidents’ ability to handle domestic and foreign policy leadership as well as personal qualities including vision, charisma, credibility, and communication and consensus-building skills. The seminar will focus on the administrations of three 20th century presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency will be considered in the context of the Great Depression and World War II; John F. Kennedy’s presidency will be reviewed in the context of the Cold War; and Lyndon Johnson’s presidency will be discussed in the context of the Great Society and Vietnam.

The seminar is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Visit the website
for more information.


Libby Stupica

Libby Stupica

Summer is coming!
by Libby Stupica

Summer is not so subtly creeping up on us. Temperatures have been in the high 80s and college students free from the shackles of exams taunt every high schooler in the area. Like most of our peers, my friends and I have found it difficult to keep stress levels down as we quickly approach the end of the school year. Final exams cloud the excitement of the approaching break, but we know summer fun is right around the corner (and maybe exam week will go by faster if we stay busy studying). I decided to ask my peers their thoughts about the upcoming exams and what exciting summer plans they have to use as a light at the end of the tunnel. Here are their responses:

“One, I’m most excited for free nights where I can do the things I want, read what I’d like, and maybe even babysit a favorite little friend! Two, finals are a sticky subject for me, regardless. These upcoming exams are worrying me a bit more; however, because I’ve had a difficult time lately with personal issues and tests don’t help me much! I’ll have to make sure to study hard.”-Caroline

“I’m really looking forward to spending time outside and exploring more places around Toledo!”-Jami

“I’m kinda overwhelmed right now and very frustrated, so I don’t know if it is a good idea to print anything that I say right now.” -Anonymous

“On finals: My stress levels are getting pretty high, but I just keep reminding myself that I’ve never not survived exams, and that’s not going to start now! On summer: I’m taking a trip to Europe with my family!” -Claire

“My biggest excitement for the summer is going on vacations and service trips and spending lots of time just hanging out with family and friends with no worries!!!!” -Alana

“I’m excited to travel to Norway, Iceland, Hawaii, and LA this summer! However, it is tempered with the immense stress and lack of motivation in the final leg of my sophomore year. Nonetheless, it’s much easier to work when you have a trip to look forward to!” -Vijay

“I feel that although finals can be daunting, they really push students to relearn the semester’s material so it becomes engrained in their minds long-term. Also, I think many students (including myself!) often make exams more stressful than they need to be. If one has been working hard and getting good grades all semester, their finals grades should naturally follow suit.” –Claire

“My feelings about the future and the summer are synonymous; I am equal parts excited and terrified. There are so many new experiences, and many of them are unknown. As for exams, I feel more of the latter! In spite of hundreds of tests and evaluations, I’m not immune to the fears associated with “bubble fun” and number 2 pencils.” -Sadie

“Finals really help me realize my progress regarding the school and although it is hard, I learn new ways to study and progress. For summer, I’m extremely excited to sleep in! Summer is when I refresh and cleanse myself from all the stress of the school year! I read a lot so that’s when I catch up on all my favorite books and it’s also when I begin crocheting my scarf for next year!”-Ada

“Summer! I am super-r-r-r-r excited for cross-country! I’m also very excited about my vacation to San Francisco for my cousin’s wedding! I am excited to be able to relax and hang out with the people I love most!” -Zoe

“My biggest excitement for summer is to actually paint the mural because it’s always been a dream of mine to paint a mural and it’s finally coming true this summer! I’m creating a mural on the wall of a classroom and the corners of the wall are going to be abstract, bright, colorful shapes with some stars mixed in. Also in the corners, surrounded by the abstract shapes are white boxes that contain symbols of world unity! I just can’t wait!” -Ava

“I am so excited to go to my friend’s house and jump in the pond, followed by fresh fruit and a bonfire!” -Meghan

“I like to think of finals as a celebration of everything I’ve learned over the semester … or a final stab in the back from everything I didn’t.” -Morgan



Fineske named interim school superintendent

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Adam Fineske

The Sylvania Schools Board of Education and Scott Nelson announce that effective July 31, Nelson will be leaving his position as Superintendent of Sylvania Schools due to his desire to relocate to the Columbus area in order to be near his family. “In light of his service and contributions to the district for over 18 years and the three years remaining on his contract with the board as superintendent, we believe this agreement acknowledges his tenure here and serves as a springboard for both the district and Scott to move into fulfilling futures. The board and community wish him and his family the best,” said aid Stephen Rothschild, president of the Board of Education

The board has further announced that it will seek to appoint Dr. Adam Fineske, the District’s current Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, as interim superintendent effective Aug. 1. The specific terms relating to his employment as superintendent are expected to be negotiated and approved by the Board prior to Aug. 1.

“Dr. Fineske’s extensive administrative experience coupled with his collaborative leadership approach will help move the district forward,” Rothschild pointed out. “We believe that Dr. Fineske’s proven instructional leadership role across the district, strength in collaboration, focus on increasing student learning and achievement, and his commitment to the community will benefit the district.”

Fineske, a Toledo native, earned a Bachelor’s degree in education, and a Master of Education degree in educational administration from The University of Toledo. He also has a Doctoral degree in educational leadership from Concordia University.

Previously, he has served as the district’s Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, the Principal of HillView Elementary School, Assistant Principal of Arbor Hills Junior High School, an Intervention Specialist, and a third-grade teacher. His many accomplishments include a leadership role in the building of the new HillView Elementary School in 2011 and being named teacher of the year in 2005.

“I am honored and humbled to be taking on the leadership role of superintendent in Sylvania and helping to serve in a community I love!” Fineske offered.

“After my 17 years as an educator in Sylvania, this is a dream job for me, and I am very excited to move our district forward with continued success!” he said.

Fineske has lived in Sylvania for 17 years with his wife, Kate, and their three children Elizabeth, 14, Andrew, 11, and Nicholas, 7.



Art to transform utility boxes in downtown

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

The Sylvania Community Arts Commission is seeking artist submissions to transform six electric and utility boxes throughout downtown Sylvania and the Red Bird Arts District into beautiful vinyl wrapped displays of colorful and inspiring work by local and regional artists.

The SCAC will accept applications for this call for art through June 23. Applications should include complete, partial or modified images of already-created works or works created specifically for this public art project. Modified work must be original and appropriate.

The committee will accept up to three artwork submissions per artist, with one image file for each work of art. Submissions should be two-dimensional. Artists should keep in mind the shape of the utility boxes and how their work will look on a three-dimensional surface. The art will wrap around the boxes of various sizes and shapes.

The design must be submitted as a .jpeg and
accompanied by a $5 entry fee for one design or
a $10 entry fee for up to three designs.

Online applications can be found at (under Public Art) or at

Submissions must be received by 11:59 EST on June 23 for consideration.



Inside the Five Brewing Company to open next spring

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Chris Morris, Katie and Brandon Fields will open Inside the Five Brewing.

Inside the Five Brewing, located at
5703 Main St.

plans to open in downtown Sylvania in the spring of 2018. Brandon Fields, along with his wife Katie Fields and friend Chris Morris, plan to convert the space formerly known as Treo, into a brewpub.

The Fields grew up in the Sylvania area and moved to Florida where he was the punter for the Miami Dolphins for eight years. What began for him as an off-season hobby quickly turned into a passion that he now wishes to share with the community. Brandon and Katie have returned to Sylvania to open Inside the Five Brewing Company with Chris, a six-year NFL lineman veteran and native of nearby Temperance, Mich.

“I first fell in love with craft beer after having Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale,” said Fields. “Since then, I have spent a lot of time brewing with and learning from Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Fla. I have always enjoyed it when friends and family would come over to our house and try the newest beer creations.”

When I was first asked to be a part of the brewpub, I was unaware of the craft beer revolution that was taking place in this country,” Morris said. “Sylvania will be the perfect location to foster the enthusiasm for unique, locally-crafted beers.”

Fields, the head brewer and CEO will work closely again with Morris, a former Michigan State teammate, CFO, and his wife, Katie Fields. Mrs. Fields will manage and plan all events at Inside the Five. “We want people to learn something about beer, take a tour of the on-site brew house and try something new,” Mrs. Fields explained.

Inside the Five will offer a variety of unique beers on tap to pair with their creative food items. Guests should expect a very casual and welcoming environment that is both family-friendly during the day and social at night.

“In football, when a punter is able to pin the opposing team inside their own five-yard line, that is the best result achievable. Our goal as a brewing company is to create the best recipes for our customers, striving to keep our beers inside the five!”


Local Realtor takes ‘The Art of Neighboring’ to new level

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Jim Hiltner

As a realtor, Jim Hiltner deals with issues facing homeowners. He has seen first hand how important neighbors can be and how many problems can be solved when people in neighborhoods know each other and are friendly. “My wife and I have lived in the same neighborhood since 1990. However, at the time, we moved in thinking we would only be in the home for a year or two. Even so, our neighbors were very friendly and welcomed us, which led to long-term relationships,” he said. “But this scene doesn’t always work that well,” he added.

“I deal with many homeowner association board members,” he said. “It seems that many of them spend most of their time policing problems between neighbors,” he pointed out. “When people don’t know each other, they are less likely to discuss problems between themselves and more likely to involve their homeowners association or even the police, creating even a bigger situation,” he said.

When Hiltner heard Dave Runyon, the co-author of The Art of Neighboring, a guest speaker at McCord Road Christian Church on March 12, the message resonated with him. Hiltner bought into the program and decided to incorporate the Art of Neighboring in his business.

“One of the ways I have found to foster good neighboring is to encourage homeowners to host a block party. I have a list of suggestions on how to organize such an event. I also donate a case of bottled water for the party,” Hiltner explained. “This is a fun and easy way to get to know all of your neighbors,” he promised.

“And, on the practical side, neighborhoods that offer a strong sense of community and friendliness adds value to each home, as well,” Hiltner said.

McCord Road Christian Church Outreach Coordinator Betty Basset noted, “This year’s outreach focus at McCord Road Christian Church is to ‘Serve Sylvania,’ so concentrating efforts on the art of neighboring is very appropriate and part of our broad purpose.” After researching the subject, she found “The Art of Neighboring,” a book written by Runyon and Jay Pathak.

“This is something everyone can do,” Bassett reflected. “We all have neighbors and the art of neighboring is a simple concept. If you know your neighbors, you can have a dialog with them. Those conversations lead to understanding,” she said.

Tell Us Your GOOD NEWS!

Phone: (419) 824-0100
Address: 5657 N. Main #1 Sylvania, OH 43560

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