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Amherst & Vermilion notebook: Aug. 11, 2009


Duck Dash returns

This weekend marks the return of a Vermilion tradition … the annual Duck Dash 500. This yearly summertime race features thousands of little yellow ducks all racing along the Vermilion River for cash prizes of $1,000 (1st place), $500 (2nd) and $250 (3rd).

Spectators can watch the action from the Vermilion River bridge or McGarvey’s Landing.

This year’s race begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday from McGarvey’s Landing near Quaker Steak & Lube. The event features food and other festivities. To sponsor a duck, call (440) 967-7087. Cost is $5 per duck, or $20 for a “quack pack” of five for $20. Visit to learn more.

Triathletes race at Linwood Park

The second annual Vermilion Harbour Triathlon-Duathlon will be Sunday in Vermilion’s Linwood Park. Several hundred athletes will compete in three events: swimming in Lake Erie, and biking and running through Linwood Park and along a course through the Lagoons, downtown Vermilion and the area’s scenic country roads. The event is sponsored by Main Street Vermilion and HFP Racing. To volunteer, contact or (440) 829-2639. To read more, visit or

Historic open house

Heritage House at 439 Shupe Ave., Amherst, will host a free open house 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 22. Come see this historic home filled with antiques and unusual items including a large and distinctive collection of handkerchiefs, some of which date to 1881. To learn more, call (440) 988-2325.

That’s outta here

The Steele Home Run Baseball Boosters will hold its first general meeting of the 2009-10 school year at 7 p.m. Thursday in room 110 of Marion L. Steele High School at 450 Washington St., Amherst. To learn more, call (440) 988-7578.

Preparing for preschool

Amherst Preschool Club will kick off a year of events for preschoolers and their parents with a celebration 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at Hot Dog Heaven, 493 Cleveland Ave., Amherst. Free ice cream will be served to all children who join the club. Dues are $20 for the year. For more information, call (440) 320-1336 or e-mail

Fit at any age

Older adults who want to get fit and feel better are invited to join the YMCA of Greater Cleveland’s Fall session of programs including “Senior Fitness,” “Tai Chi from the Arthritis Foundation” and “SilverSneakers — Muscular Strength and Range-of-Movement.” Each session begins Aug. 31 at Heritage Presbyterian Church, 515 N. Leavitt Road, Amherst. To sign up and learn more, call Linda McVey, health and wellness director, at (216) 509-3480.

Video storybooks

Kids can have stories read to them or improve their own reading skills with a series of video storybooks available at Ritter Public Library. The books are available through online Tumblebooks and Bookflix programs. Games and other fun and educational activities can also be found at the online sites. Go to and click on the new Kids page to find links.

Before it’s gone

We’re finally getting some weather that really feels like summer. Why not get out and enjoy it with a fishing pole, tackle box and personal flotation device? Don’t own those? No problem … borrow them from Ritter Public Library. For more information, call (440) 967-3798.

Re-creating Jackie

Carol Starr-Kimiecik, a Lakewood resident and veteran stage actress whose background includes a stint with Chicago’s famed Second City improv troupe, is known for her re-creations of famous American women ranging from Amelia Earhart and Clara Barton to Dorothy Fuldheim. The actress will perform as former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Nordson Depot, 671 Franklin Ave., Amherst. Admission is free.

Town hall meeting

State Rep. Terry Boose, R-Norwalk, will hold a town hall meeting 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Trinity Evangelical Free Church, 46485 Middle Ridge Road, Amherst. The meeting will be a chance for residents to share concerns with Boose over pending legislation or other issues regarding state government. Boose represents the 58th House District, which includes Amherst, Vermilion, southern Lorain County, plus portions of Huron and Seneca counties.

Back-to-school storytime

Kids can enjoy stories designed to get them ready for the first day of school with the Schools Days Storytime at 10:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at Amherst Public Library, 221 Spring St. This program is designed for youngsters entering preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Registration not required.

K of C road trip

Vermilion Knights of Columbus Council 4539 is planning a two-day excursion Oct. 16 and 17 to Niagara Falls, Ontario. The trip will feature the region’s fall foliage, Fallsview Casino and Niagara-on-the-Lake shopping.

Each bus trip includes games, drawings, cash back and a full trip refund for one lucky passenger if the 42-passenger bus is full. All proceeds go to local charities. Trips are typically escorted by Norm Felix, a former Berea High School teacher and AAA bus tour escort.

Cost is $175 per person double occupancy. A $50 deposit is due by Saturday. Final payment is due by Sept. 1. For more information, call Felix at (440) 967-9944.

Intriguing vibrations

Vermilion’s The Artseen Gallery, 5591 Liberty Ave., is hosting a series of works created by Oberlin artist Audra Skuodas through Aug. 23. The show consists of 18 large acrylic paintings, some of which are arranged as diptychs or triptychs. The exhibition also features colored pencil drawings, vellum constructions and mixed media artist’s books. Born in Lithuania, Skuodas received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northern Illinois University. She recently conducted a solo exhibition at New York City’s Moti Hasson Gallery.

Gallery hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call gallery director Sherry Bradshaw at (440) 963-0611.

Still scavenging

There’s still plenty of time to get in on the Amherst Public Library’s seventh annual Amherst Scavenger Hunt. To take part, pick up an entry form at the library and stroll around downtown Amherst to try to identify each of 25 photos of places, items, etc., in the downtown area. The grand prize winner gets an embroidered bag donated by Polly’s Classic Touch Monogramming filled with prizes including tickets to Amherst Cinema and a gift certificate to Angelo’s Pizza. The last day to submit entries is Aug. 23. For more information, call the library at (440) 988-4230.

In service

Ryan A. Mindling has graduated from the U.S. Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky. The four-week instruction is a leadership internship for cadets which can lead to becoming an Army officer. College students experience the Army without committing to serve. Mindling is now eligible to receive two-year scholarship offers for a college-level Advanced ROTC Course at Eastern Michigan University where he is a student. A 2007 graduate of Open Door Christian School, Mindling is the son of James J. and Andrea L. Mindling of Amherst.

Send your Amherst and Vermilion news to Steve Fogarty, 329-7146 or

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