THE MOUSE TRAP — 05.16.17

–by Janice Weber

Janis Weber 2010
Janis Weber







Choose Your homepage
The web browser is a funny thing. Thanks to the internet it’s become one of the most-used programs on our computers, but many people don’t really understand it. That’s why in the past we’ve tackled common browser myths and misconceptions that many people believe but shouldn’t. What’s the first thing you see when your browser starts up? If you’re using Internet Explorer, it’s probably MSN’s website. Chrome loads up a modified Google page and Firefox and Microsoft Edge have their own start pages. But if the first thing you always do after the browser starts is go to Facebook or your email, why not have your browser start there? It saves you an extra step and it’s easy to do. Let’s look at the various browsers to see how to set your homepage.

In Chrome, click the icon in the upper right with the three horizontal bars and choose “Settings.”
In the left column, choose “Settings”
and then to the right look under “On Startup.”
Set it to “Open a specific page or set of pages”
and then click the “Set pages” link.
Type in one or more web addresses and click OK. The page or pages will load up when Chrome starts.

In Microsoft Edge, click the icon in the upper-right corner with the three horizontal dots and select “Settings.”
Under “Open with,” select “A specific page or pages”
and then select “Custom.”
Type in a web address and click the plus sign to the right.
You can do this multiple times to add multiple pages or click “X” next to a page to remove it.
When you’re done, click the icon with the three horizontal dots again to close the settings area.

In Firefox, click the icon in the upper right with the three horizontal bars and choose “Options.”
On the General page, set “When Firefox starts” to “Show my homepage.”
Then under that, type in the address you want for your homepage.
Click OK.
If you want to load multiple pages on startup, load them up in tabs first and then click the “Use Current Page” button.
Or you can click “Use Bookmark…” and select a folder of bookmarks.

In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner and
select “Internet Options.”
Go to the General tab
and under “ homepage” enter the web address or addresses you want to see on startup.

In Safari on Apple, go to Safari >> Preferences.
On the General tab, go to “Homepage” and type in an address or addresses.

Zoom Text
Have you ever visited a page with text that was too small to read comfortably? If you’ve ever found yourself leaning too close to a computer monitor, you need to know this. To zoom text and images in any browser, just hold CTRL and press the plus key to zoom in. Hit plus a few times to zoom in even farther. Too far? Hold CTRL and press the minus key to zoom back out. CTRL and the zero key resets the zoom level.


Computer Classes Are Available:
MS Excel Basics will be held on
June 27 and 28,
1:30-3 p.m.

MS Word Basics will be held on
August 22 and 23 1:30-3 p.m.

Call 419-885-3913 to register.

There is a small fee. Microsoft Word and Excel will be offered in the fall. If you prefer personal tutoring, that is my specialty.
It’s just you and me.
Call 419-530-8570 to register for classes at the UT campus.

If you prefer personal tutoring; that is my specialty. It’s just you and me.
Contact me personally for patient/knowledgeable tutoring 

Group Training in Your Home or Facility:
Would you like to have a mini informational get-together? Recently I have been teaching PC and iPhone/iPad classes anywhere that has Wi-Fi. Informal and informative. We all use the same local Internet. We will pick a topic using open discussion. It is amazing how many different issues are solved. Bring a list of questions. Let’s get started. Got a small business? I can customize a class for your staff.

I Make House Calls:
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a call at 419-318-9112. References and rates are always available upon request. Don’t forget to sign up for my free newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips and trusted/valuable web-links.
Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor at UT and Lourdes University. All classes are offered through the Eberly Center at UT with free parking. Email any specific questions or comments to or contact her for assistance at 419-318-9112. Public classes are listed on her website The classes at UT offer inexpensive and totally nonintimidating. Call 419-530-8570 to register. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call or email away.

Feminist Alliance makes their voices heard

–by Marisa Mercurio

People Called Women
6060 Renaissance Place, Suite F
Toledo, OH. 43623

phone: 419-469-8983

Store Hours:
Tuesday – Friday
11:00 am – 7:00 pm
11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday and Monday:

If a visitor stops at the People Called Women bookstore, located at 6060 Renaissance Place, on the right day, they might run into several dozen women making their voices heard. The new political action group, which calls itself Northwest Ohio Feminist Alliance (NOFA) Indivisible, now has more than 150 members in their Facebook group and have participated in protests at fundraisers, along with calling campaigns, tele-town halls with Senator Rob Portman and Congressman Bob Latta, Lunch with Latta on Fridays, and Fulton County Indivisible Alliance events. Approximately 50 people attended the first meeting on Feb. 19 at People Called Women.

Gina Mercurio, owner of People Called Women bookstore, Susan Shelangoskie, a Lourdes University professor and resident of Sylvania Township, and Debbie Schwartz, a retired Lourdes University professor and resident of Sylvania Township, started the group to give local women a space in which to develop a strong voice and get involved in political action. According to Schwartz, one of their members was instrumental in planning a successful Equal Pay Day event in Sandusky on the same day Kasich gave his State of the State address there. Meanwhile, another NOFA member worked with other Ohio District 5 Indivisible groups on a town hall at Congressman Latta’s office on April 14 to showcase his “non-responsiveness to his constituents.”

On May 27, a
“Revitalizing Democracy” conference
will be held at the Maumee Indoor Theatre.

NOFA Indivisible is affiliated with the national Indivisible movement started by former congressional staffers.
They can be found on
Facebook, and Twitter
and can be contacted at




Toledo SOUP’s fifth-anniversary spring social to raise funds for four groups

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Toledo Soup

Sylvania architect Lyndsey Stough is the event chairwoman for the
fifth-anniversary spring social for Toledo SOUP
to be held on May 21
at Top of NINE
in Hensville in downtown Toledo.

Doors will open for a crowdfunding dinner at 4 p.m.
The cost is $5 per person,
which buys a bowl of soup from one of five chefs, a salad by Pam Weirauch of Pam’s Corner, bread by Rosie’s Italian Grille, and a vote for one of four community improvement projects that will receive the proceeds from the spring event before the end of the night.

Beginning at 5 p.m.
guests listen to four presentations that last for four minutes each. Every presenter will answer up to four questions from guests.

From 6 to 7 p.m.
guests enjoy soup from Chef Tony of NINE, Kelly Mettler of Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull, Scott Bowman of Fowl and Fodder and Cynthia Bunch of Cynthia’s Catering.

Southview graduate Molly Sullivan and Sylvania resident Bill Horvath are also helping to plan the event, which helps good ideas become a reality.

Since 2012, Toledo SOUP has hosted 11 crowdfunding dinners, raising over $15,000 to support community improvement projects. Some of the past microgrant winners include Glass City Pedicabs, Glass City Goat Gals, FDCA Late Night Basketball, Soul City Boxing & Wrestling, Sisters-n Law, Harvey House, Deep in Design and Toledo Streets.

The ideas can be about anything but must be based in the greater Toledo area. Anyone can submit at no charge.

“By hosting our crowdfunding dinners, we raise up to a $1,500 microgrant for a small, local project that could have a big impact on the community. Our events empower residents, encourage new relationships and networks, promote action and change, foster critical dialogue and fill heads, hearts and bellies…all over a bowl of soup,” Stough pointed out.

SOUPs are located in cities around the world. To learn more, go to

If you are interested in more information on sponsoring, donating, and/or volunteering,
please email at


Memorial Day parade planned

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Nick Marsalek, Alex Miller and Tyler Beattie of Boy Scout Troop 154 handed out flags to those watching the parade.

Local Sylvania area veteran’s groups, the city of Sylvania, and Sylvania Recreation, which is assisting with coordination of events, announced that the 2017 Sylvania Memorial Day observances will be held on Monday, May 29. Area citizens are encouraged to come out to show honor and respect for veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

A brief service will be held at
Toledo Memorial Park
6832 Monroe St.
beginning at 9 a.m.

More than 14,000 local veterans are laid to rest at Toledo Memorial Park. The “Sea of Flags” that decorate their graves each year is a truly magnificent sight. Local veteran’s groups and color guards will also visit Association, Ravine, and St. Joseph’s cemeteries to honor area veterans buried there.

The annual Memorial Day Parade will again
start from St. Joseph’s School
5411 Main St.
beginning at 10:15 a.m.

The parade will proceed north on Main Street to Erie Street and finish at Veterans Memorial Field. The Northview and Southview High School Bands, local veterans, military, scout and civic groups, and local political dignitaries will also participate in this year’s parade.

A 30-minute Memorial Day service honoring America’s Veterans will begin at
11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Field with the city of Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough serving as master of ceremonies.

Five large bronze monuments are in place at Memorial Field, describing five American wars and listing the Sylvania area residents who gave up their lives in those conflicts.

Your Go-To Event: ProMedica Flower Hospital Ice Cream Social

by Mary Helen Darah

ProMedica Flower Hospital
5200 Harroun Road
Sylvania, Ohio 43560

ProMedica Flower Hospital is hosting an Ice Cream Social Cancer Survivor Celebration,
June 6
5:30 to 7 p.m.

The event will take place at the Conference Center/Garden on the campus of ProMedica Flower Hospital, located at Harroun Road.

Jill Johnson, CNP, Coordinator of the Cancer Survivor Program at Hickman Cancer Center, as well as a cancer survivor, feels the event is meaningful to those who have battled and are battling cancer. “I think we need to celebrate the blessing of life,” stated Johnson. “It is a celebration of making it through the continuous journey of cancer survivorship. Every year that I am asked to put this event together, I want it to be a celebration and a time to reach out and reconnect with other survivors and the physicians and nurses that made such a difference during treatment. The celebration is a reminder we went through a difficult time in life and we survived.”

To RSVP for the event, call 844-320-5863
or visit

Charlie’s Homemade Pizza and Edibles Selected as 2017 Outstanding Sylvania Area Small Business

–by Jennifer Ruple

Charlie’s Homemade Pizza and Edibles
6600 W. Sylvania Ave.

From left: Laurie Weaver; Steve Weaver; Cindy Weaver; Braxton Weaver; Steve Weaver Jr.; Jennifer Ruple, of Sylvania AdVantage and Boomers & Beyond; Tara Sibert, manager of the Sylvania branch of GenoaBank; and Marty Sutter, president and CEO of GenoaBank.

Congratulations to Charlie’s Homemade Pizza and Edibles for receiving the most community votes in the We Love Sylvania Area Small Businesses campaign, sponsored by the Sylvania AdVantage and GenoaBank. A reception was held to honor business owners Laurie, Steve and Steve Weaver Jr. at the Sylvania branch of GenoaBank on May 10.

Laurie, Steve and Steve Weaver Jr. are the owners of
Charlie’s Homemade Pizza and Edibles.

Owners since 2010: Steve Weaver and Steve Weaver Jr.
Year established: 1996

For the father and son duo of Steve Weaver and Steve Weaver Jr., Charlie’s is all about giving their customers a great dining experience. The restaurant is a family affair with Weaver as front of house manager, Weaver Jr. as Chef, and mom Laurie as head server. “We are a true family run, locally owned business, and my job is to make sure the customer is happy and the food is right when it walks out the door,” said Weaver.

What makes your business unique?
Charlie’s Homemade Pizza, a multi-year trophy winner at the annual Pizza Palooza competition, took First Place in the People’s Choice category and Second Place in the Judge’s Choice category in 2016. “Our pizza is like no other. When you ask for a topping, you get a topping,” laughed Weaver. “We make everything from scratch. Our Alfredo sauce, pesto sauce, our lasagna – they’re all freshly made. Our veggies are very fresh and are from local suppliers. In the summer, we go to the farm and pick our own. It’s the little things we choose to do those other restaurants don’t,” he added.

Who or what inspired you to create your business?
“Ultimately my dad inspired me. Being involved in a family business was something I always wanted to experience myself. My goal is to see the business grow in an environment in which people enjoy coming to. We want folks to leave with a smile on their faces and full stomachs.”

Charlie’s is a popular go-to for donations and fundraisers. “We support our local schools by hosting fundraising events where we donate a portion of our sales. We also cater many events for community organizations and donate gift certificates for special events and golf outings. It’s imperative to us to be involved in the local community, and we look forward to serving it for years to come,” explained Weaver.

What is your definition of success?
“Of course, you always want your business to grow. As my former supervisor once said, ‘You either grow or you go,’” said Weaver. “But at the end of the night, when you see a bunch of people having fun, having a good meal and enjoying their evening, that is success.”



Sizzle Simmer Sauté Sylvania — 05.16.17




It’s the season for celebrations …
–by Jennifer Ruple

 Jennifer Ruple
Jennifer Ruple

… graduation parties, bridal showers, and baby showers are just a few opportunities to gather with family and friends and mingle over some sweet spring desserts.

Jennifer Valo, owner of The Next Sweet Thing, a bakery in Mayberry Square, is an expert in all things sweet. Her shop specializes in custom cakes, decorated sugar cookies, and a vast assortment of donuts including her signature cookies and cream flavor. “We actually put Oreos in the batter,” explained Valo. “Our donuts are the number one things that bring people through the door.”

Valo’s enthusiasm for Oreos doesn’t stop there. Prior to opening the bakery in 2014, she began making chocolate covered Oreos out of her home. “I started decorating them with a whole cast of Christmas characters, and their popularity spread from there.” She now uses other flavored sandwich cookies such as lemon, peanut butter, key lime and chocolate mint in her line of decorated, chocolate enrobed treats. “My goal is to expand our sandwich cookie business so we can sell them online and in boutiques and shops,” said Valo.

Before Valo began creating irresistible confections, she worked as a chef for seven years. Her culinary degree, which she earned at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Mich., gave her the opportunity to participate in some unique cooking experiences. “For four months, I worked for the master chef on a ranch in Montana where I cooked for the family who owned the ranch as well as their staff and ranch hands,” she reminisced.

Although she enjoys cooking, Valo’s passion is baking. “You put a lot of love into it,” she said. “I want to help make memories for people by bringing them beautiful and delicious cakes and cookies for their special events. The number one comment I can receive is that my food tastes as good as it looks.”

To help make your upcoming events more memorable, Valo offered recipes for three of her favorite springtime desserts.


Simple Key Lime Pie

Simple Key Lime Pie
“This creamy pie has a nice tart flavor, and it’s not too sweet. It’s got great balance,” said Valo.

9-inch prepared graham cracker crust
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Heat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and zest. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.

Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Do not brown. Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with lime slices and whipped cream if desired.

Easy Lemon Bars

Easy Lemon Bars
“The addition of a fresh mint garnish gives this dessert a very festive and springy look. Feel free to make it a day or two ahead of time,” suggested Valo.

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 lemons, juiced
Fresh mint for garnish

Heat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, blend together butter, 2 cups flour and ½ cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 ½ cups sugar and ¼ cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.

Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The bars will firm up as they cool.

For a festive tray, make another pan using limes instead of lemons and add a drop of green food coloring to give them a very pale green color. Cut into 2-inch squares after


Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

“Soaked with coconut cream, this cake is decadent and rich. Flaked coconut adds just a little texture,” offered Valo.

1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
½ teaspoon coconut extract
14 ounce can sweetened cream of coconut
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flaked coconut

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, water and coconut flavoring. Beat for 2 minutes and pour into pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut cream with sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth. When cake comes out of the oven, poke holes into it in even rows using a large fork. Pour milk mixture over, allowing it to soak into the cake. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

In a large bowl, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue whipping until stiff. Spread over cooled cake and sprinkle with coconut.

Jennifer Valo is the owner of The Next Sweet Thing


MAY 8, 2017

Sylvania City Schools

The Sylvania School Board met Monday, May 8, 2017 to vote on the redistricting plan.
However, after hearing parents’ concerns, voting has been postponed for the Sylvania City Schools Redistricting plan.

They pushed the vote back until June to give more time to explore the hybrid option.

To read details of the May 8th meeting:


Previous Redistricting Story:


Celebrating Our Mothers …

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Phyllis Jean

Mother’s Day is coming, and it will be the seventh without my mother since she passed away just before Mother’s Day in 2011. She had been leaving us slowly, however, as the Alzheimer’s took much of her piece by piece during her last 10 years.

Since her death, it has become easier to remember her as she really was – the strong, active and loving mother she was when I was younger. She was college educated and a teacher, but as many of her generation were able to do, she chose to stay home with my brother and me as we grew up. It was a great gift I didn’t recognize at the time but have come to more fully appreciate as I have grown.

She was always there for us. We were her job – making our meals, doing our laundry, putting on band-aids, taking us to the doctor, being a volunteer at church and school, driving us everywhere, teaching us all we needed to know, and so much more.

Everybody’s mom is their number one fan, and my mom was mine. Cheering me on when she should, prodding me when I needed it, protecting me when I needed that, knowing when to correct and when not to. In her later years, she never lost that. What a gift she was to me.

Thank you, Mom, for always being there for me! I love you and miss you dearly.
—Craig Stough



My dad has always referred to my mother as our, “domestic engineer”. It’s hard to imagine a woman who once took 36 photos of her eyeball (before realizing she had the disposal camera facing the wrong way) having the know-how to erect a great structure. Yet, she built a strong foundation and fortress of family, faith and friendship that has weathered many a storm.

There are many attributes to her work, such as her continual presence at her grandchildren’s milestones that can be seen from the exterior. However, as with many gravity-defying edifices, it is the unseen, silent “building” that I most admire.

The woman is a big advocate for developing inner beauty. I will always remember her telling me as a teen to “work on your inside”, to be “authentic” and that “beauty truly does radiate from within”. That passed down belief came in handy during my time battling breast cancer as a bald woman with drainage tubes. She also passed on her love and appreciation of nature, laughter, comfortable shoes, seeing the humor in every situation and of having a cold Molson on a warm Canadian day.

My Mom (AKA Noni) is my north star, the fixed, constant presence in my life and my ambassador of “memory making moments”. They say, “in life you don’t need a manual, you need a mother.” I have one, a silent builder, who has given me the tools for knowing what is truly important and the blueprints of how to be a successful “domestic engineer” of love.
—Mary Helen Darah



She is approaching 90 this July. A child of the Great Depression, her life has been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The mother of eight children, she buried an adult son, Bill, after he battled cancer off and on for nearly twenty years. Her husband and our dad, Bill, died in 1997 when she was nearly 70 years of age and she forged a new identity as an independent woman still maintaining her primary role as mom to now adult children with gratitude, grace, dignity and good humor.

Author and activist, Harriet Beecher Stowe said eloquently so many years ago “most mothers are instinctive philosophers”. Our mom, Adela, had enough mom-isms to last a lifetime and I still find myself saying them to my own children today. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” was her realistic approach to marriage and raising children. “If you don’t open your mouth, you will open your purse” was a saying she borrowed from her own mother on how important it is to speak up for yourself or it would cost you in more ways than what can be measured financially. And my personal favorite, “You may be smart in school, but you are pretty dumb at home” sums up the challenges of raising teenagers.

We all want to believe that mothering is so different than it was so many years ago. Although the joys and challenges of technology and social media have made it different, being a mom in today’s world is based upon many of the fundamental truths that my mom brought to her role so many years ago. Mom is a caretaker and also believes in the importance of looking out for the least among us. She values education and has instilled in all of us the importance of lifelong learning. She beams with pride about the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. She is grateful for a home-cooked meal and for spending time with family. She enjoys a good book and an occasional glass of wine. Her life has never been easy and yet she continues looking forward to each new day. Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom in the world.
—Lisa Urrutia



In myriad ways, my mother was a woman ahead of her time. She was a career woman while her peers were marrying young and having families, and she ventured away from her hometown of Toledo to forge a new start in Miami. There, she met the love her life, my dad. A devout Catholic, she espoused great respect and love for other faiths, and never required that my dad convert to Catholicism.

She has a lifelong passion for poetry, classical music, opera, Broadway, and fashion. From a young age, I learned to scorn velvet in favor of velveteen, and I can still recite verbatim childhood poems read to me from the luxury of her lap. “I’m hiding, I’m hiding, and no one knows where, for all they can see are my toes and my hair…”

My father traveled a great deal, often leaving my mother a single mom of four kids during the week. She left no room for being our “buddy” as she was focused on strong parenting. The indelible memory of my arriving home late to a completely dark house with only the amber tip of Mom’s cigarette as the signal to just how much trouble I was in is an image that only in the safety of full-fledged adulthood makes me giggle.

As age often dictates, the tables have turned somewhat. Now, when I first walk into her apartment at Sunset House, I derive tremendous joy when her face lights up and she says, “Oh, Mari!”
—Mari Davies



My mom, Carol Alexander, is one-of-a-kind. She’s a natural comedian. My brother Josh and I think she’s the funniest person on the planet. She’s also very talented. Who else could just whip up the most gorgeous flower bouquets for our weddings? And she’s super creative. Our campsites were always the most stylish in the park, not to mention the mean spaghetti dinner she could cook on the Coleman stove.

Whenever we’re together, something crazy happens. Once when we were running errands, Mom stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea. Since it was sunny out, she was wearing sunglasses. While in the restaurant, she couldn’t help noticing that people were looking at her in a strange way. It was not until she got back in the car and looked in the rearview mirror and saw that one of her lenses was missing…

Mom was even funny when she was mad at us, “Jonifer!” and “Jesh!”

My Mom is quite the singer – our impromptu duets rival Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. Other greatest hits are Barry Manilow’s “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed,” Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop till You Get Enough,” and of course, “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz.

Did you know that my Mom invented Friday Night Pizza Night? Our coffee table has hosted pizza greats such as Clover Bar in Grand Haven, Mich.; Snappy Tomato in Fort Thomas, KY; and J & G in Sylvania. However, nothing compares to Mom’s deep-dish Chicago version.

Thanks Mom for being the most loving, caring and supportive Mom ever. You brighten our world. Happy Mother’s Day!
—Jennifer Ruple



When it comes to mothers, mine undoubtedly was the very best! Positive, cheery, likable, funny, courageous, friendly, compassionate, kind, generous barely begins to describe her and her “can do” attitude. No challenge was too daunting. No task too difficult, no person too unpleasant. She was always in the game. My greatest regret is that she had too little time to shine her light on all of us. But, I am most thankful for the time that she was part of my life and that my children do have memories of her which they too, cherish.
—Sharon Lange


My Sharona

To many of you, she is Sharon Lange, Editor of Sylvania Advantage. To others, she’s that nice lady who brings you papers. To some, she seems to be everywhere in the city taking photos and supporting every organization and event. And to many, she’s the crazy lady driving with her top down when it’s 40 degrees!

But to me, she’s my mom.

While I could write more about the many ways she serves our community, to celebrate Mother’s Day, I want to honor her by telling you what she means to me.

My mom…

  • Is constantly supportive of me;
  • Always takes my phone call even when she is under intense pressure (and she does so without letting me know she’s busy);
  • Makes me feel important, secure, loved and that I matter;
  • Clearly, wants the best for me;
  • Is my biggest fan;
  • Is the most selfless person I know.

And she has taught me…

  • That everything is a Not To Worry (NTW);
  • The importance of making memories for those you love;
  • The value of hard work and perseverance;
  • The importance of putting others first;
  • That relationships should come before tasks (although I admit it’s taken me a while to learn this);
  • The value of a positive attitude;
  • The value of treating others with kindness.

I am so thankful for my mom. She is truly amazing and I am so proud to be her son!
—Jim Lange

Bike MS: Bike to the Bay

Special to the AdVantage
–by John Mohn


Fred LeFebvre

On Saturday, June 24, Fred LeFebvre will begin his 11th Bike MS: Bike to the Bay, the successful local fundraising event that benefits efforts to eliminate Multiple Sclerosis. Pretty impressive for a guy who isn’t known for wearing out bicycle tires. Fred will never be accused of over-training for the event, because his motto is: “Do the Bike to the Bay, then put the bike away.” Listeners to Fred’s 1370 WSPD morning radio program have probably heard him say this a time or two. He says his training consists of a few 20 to 25-mile rides once the weather turns more spring-like. And the rest of the year? The bike waits in the garage.

But his commitment to the event far outshines his lack of commitment to training. For the last decade, Fred has been riding, promoting the event on his radio program, raising money for research and services for those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and putting one pedal in front of the other for this important cause.

“By the time of the race I’ve done some training. I’ve made some 20-25 mile rides, so I know I can do 100.” Yes, 100, as in miles. Fred, the non-biker, will be tackling the 100-mile portion of the event for the second straight year.

Fred will be one of the 100s of riders — not racers, since nothing is timed — who participate in June event. The all-volunteer staff provides water and food on the course, and rolling SAG (support and gear) wagons to help bikers when repairs are needed. The local sheriff departments keep the route safe. But nothing can be done about the wind. Northwest Ohio receives a prevailing west to east wind, which would seem to help the Saturday ride, blowing bikers toward the bay. Fred says the winds don’t seem to help. “It isn’t a straight shot from Owens to Port Clinton. The ride takes a lot of turns. And when we turn north toward Lake Erie it seems like the wind is always coming off the lake. That can be a struggle.” At least the weekend is traditionally dry. Fred remembers only one rainy Saturday in the years he’s been involved.

LeFebvre originally decided to ride when a WSPD Breakfast Club colleague was diagnosed with MS. In those days, he was pedaling the 35-mile route. He’s found it a very worthwhile cause. So it’s no surprise that he’s raised his level of commitment to the 100-mile challenge. “The money that is raised by the bikers goes to research, and services for those with MS: wheelchairs; research and development for medication; the hope that the symptoms from this disease can be slowed down for those who suffer from it. And in the future, a cure.”

LeFebvre is impressed by the corporate teams that participate year after year. Pharmaceutical companies working on MS medications send teams, as do local firms. “Some of these teams are very professional. They draft off each other, they treat it like a race.” But Fred doesn’t ride with a team — he rides alone.

This devotion to a cause like defeating MS could be disheartening. Running to defeat breast cancer year after year, or biking to wipe out MS for 11 years, one must think, How much longer will I need to do this? But gripping those handlebars, head down against a strong wind, LeFebvre loyally continues to challenge his under-trained body, rolling over pavement that he’s seen before. He would prefer not to have to make this ride — which would mean the disease has been defeated. But he’s ready to ride another 11 years if that’s what it takes.