Farmers National Bank in Windham. Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Around Windham: Banking is returning through Middlefield and the Renaissance center

Windham is getting banking services! Middlefield Bank is partnering with the Renaissance Family Center to bring back banking services to Windham. This will be a huge help to the community. Losing banking services earlier this spring was heartbreaking.

Windham people, if you want to have a bank in our village, we need to support it. The hours are a bit limited, but we are thankful for them. Call 330-527-2121 to learn more about the hours that they are open.

Save the date: July 20 is our Fun in the Sun Festival. Hope to have more details in June.

Clean-up after the April 17 tornado in Windham Township involved many, many people – neighbors helped neighbors. I cannot list them all. The township has tried to clean things up and get people’s lives back to normal as quickly as possible. Township employees and trustees, plus the village workers, got things started. Outsiders were impressed at how much had been accomplished by the Monday following the storm. Many townships in Portage County and crews from Portage County Emergency Management helped.
Many of the county’s townships sent trucks to help clean up the debris left by the tornado. Under the direction of Dawn Collins from Portage County Recycling, the crews brought materials back to the solid waste management district to be disposed of properly by Brimfield Aggregate.

The Windham Lions helped clean up a lot of tree debris and provided about 30 families with financial help. The Hickmans helped with the tree clean-up as well, with the teachers association helping with the cost of renting a chipper for three days. The Salvation Army served meals at the Renaissance Family Center for several days. I have heard that prison inmates were very helpful.

Thanks to all who helped the Islers clean up the trash that the tornado dumped in my fields. I was told that about 40 people helped. I had no idea. I was told they filled three big dumpsters with trash. The east part of my woods had some damage. I feel very blessed! My houses, barns, etc., are all right; they were not damaged. I did feel a very strange cold wind flow through the house and fully expected to find broken windows, but all was OK.

I am very thankful that no one was killed and there were few injuries. I admired how so many people pitched in to help.

This is what community is all about – rallying together to help each other when things happen. I’m very proud of our road department for stepping up and helping with the recovery.

In more tornado information, the Portage County Disaster Relief Fund is still accepting applications for financial assistance from those who experienced damage from the tornado.

Applications will be accepted through May 31. Apply at Funds will be distributed by mid-June. They are also accepting donations until May 31.

Hope Town Ohio is expanding in both space and services. Hope Town is a community-based nonprofit that helps people in recovery from substance abuse and its co-occurring mental health issues. They just completed buying the building that used to house the police department and then a medical facility at 9621 E. Center St. in Windham. That building is 8,600 square feet.

The building will provide space for many exciting projects. It will provide needed office space for both administrative staff and peer support staff, but more importantly it provides space for employment training and their unique transportation to care service. They will be able to repair their own transportation care vehicles. They are expanding the repair program into areas of on-the-job car repair training, giving participants skills that can be used in getting jobs to support themselves. Gaining job skills helps in long-term recovery. Participants will undergo regular drug testing to maintain safety for trainees and users of the service.

There is a lot of work to be done to prepare the building for use. Hope Town is asking for volunteers to help with cleaning and painting. If you would like to help, contact Shannon Egan, marketing and communications coordinator, at [email protected], 801-718-6718 or

Donations are also needed and are tax deductible. A list of needed items is on their website at Let’s help make getting this facility a success.

Former Cleveland baseball player and now Cleveland Guardians announcer Jensen Lewis spoke to Windham’s junior high and senior high students about doing the right thing and perseverance.

A summer lunch program will be offered again from June 5 to Aug. 11 at the Renaissance Family Center at 9005 Wil Verne Dr. in Windham. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Any child age 1 to 18 can receive a free nutritious lunch. No paperwork is required. The program is funded by the Portage County Community Action Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Education.

The Renaissance Family Center and University Hospitals Portage Medical Center are offering monthly health screenings at the family center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. They are also providing annual physical exams and health education.

May is open enrollment month for next year. If you have a current open enrolled student, packets were mailed home May 1. If you’d like to send your child to our district, contact the board office at 330-326-2711 ext. 507 so we can send you a packet. All paperwork is due by May 31 for both new and returning students. Decisions and letters will be mailed home in June.

Kindergarten and preschool registration is now open for the 2024-25 school year. Please stop by the KT office to pick up the instructions on how to apply as they are doing things online this year.

The Memorial Day Parade will start at noon May 27, ending at the cemetery. A service honoring veterans will follow.

Thanks to all who contributed to this month’s column! Contact Ann Stamper at [email protected] with your Windham news.

Ann Taft
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