Around Windham: Ice cream, pancakes and fire department updates (and more!)

Windham Township Hall. Ben Wolford/The Portager

I am always thrilled when a new business comes to Windham. Our new business is the Lemon Zest Smile. It is an ice cream business that has unusual, exciting new ice cream flavors that are available in both cones and bowls.

Ice creams may be ordered with or without toppings. New flavors will be added, so there will be new ice creams in the future. This is a walk-up window only business. During the winter, they will only be open Fridays (2 to 8 p.m.) and Saturdays and Sundays (noon to 8 p.m.).

On the other hand, I am sad to see that Farmers Bank (Windham Bank) is closing their Windham bank branch in April.

Windham Lions Pancake Brunch will be served from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, March 3 at the Brick Chapel, 9003 N. Main St., Windham.

The brunch includes pancakes, eggs, sausage and beverage. The cost at the door is $8 for adults and teens, $7 for youth ages 5-12 and free for children four and younger. You can save a dollar by buying the tickets in advance.

Windham Softball is selling tickets in advance this month. An amazing success was the January Brunch when 220 people were served. Hope they can do as well in February and March.

You may ask, why support the Windham Lions? It is an amazing group! In 2023, they gave $8,000 in donations. They support many, many Windham groups and their activities, but give to some state and national groups, too. They give quite a bit of money to the Windham Schools athletic programs and athletic boosters. They donated to both the police and fire departments, the Windham Historical Society, and they gave generously to the United Methodist Church Personal Needs Pantry and provided turkeys for their Thanksgiving baskets. They donated to the band boosters and the Hot Stove League. Their list of donations far exceeds those listed here. Thank you, Windham Lions, for all that you do.

The Windham Fire Department answered 697 calls this year, but there is much more involved than making calls.

Here are some things that they did in 2023 around Windham:

  • Before Chief Rich Gano retired, he secured a grant from Firehouse Subs to buy a new John Deere Gator with a Firelite Bed worth $25,000.
  • Assistant Chief Joe Veccia received a grant for $37,600 to buy all new battery operated auto extrication equipment so they will be able to replace our current set which is more than 15 years old.
  • Lt. Jeffrey Scott received a grant worth $15,000 for four full sets of new fire gear.
  • Through multiple donations to the association they were able to build and fully furnish two bunk rooms for our on-duty crew to sleep in while working overnight shifts. They were also able to do a complete renovation to the kitchen and ladies restroom. They received a donation of new furnishings for their day room. Getting funding and creating these changes involves a lot of work beyond the time out on calls.

Childhood immunizations will be available Feb. 27 at Renaissance Family Center, 9003 Wil-Verne, Windham. All childhood vaccines will be available. They are provided by the Portage County Health Department. They will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointment is required, you can just walk in, and most insurance covers the cost. If you do not have insurance, the cost is $10 per shot. No one is turned away.

I just visited Second Blessings thrift shop at Renaissance Family Center. Although their 50% off sale has been on for quite a while, there are some lovely things there. The shelves were a bit less crowded but I was told they will restock very soon. It is a fun place to shop. I love getting pretty things while spending very little. I have gotten some fabulous deals there.

Drive Thru Free Lunch will again be prepared and distributed at the Brick Chapel from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 10 by the Helping Hand of the Congregational United Church of Christ. The Chapel is at 9003 N. Main St., next to the Township Hall. This month’s menu is pulled chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, applesauce and a variety of desserts.

The Windham United Methodist Church just had their first “God Provides” meal last Friday.

Early in the month, Megan Fisher was sworn into her new position as a member of the Windham School Board. Ted St. John was sworn in as a second term member. The board selected Mandy Minnick as its new president and Mellissa Knight is the new vice president. I enjoyed my years as a board member and learned a lot in the process. Hope you find it as fulfilling as I did.

We can be very proud of our preschool program. They received a 5 Star award for being an outstanding preschool. It was awarded by the State Department of Education and Department of Jobs and Family Services. They recently received a banner to recognize their success. It is displayed at Katherine Thomas School! Windham is giving our preschoolers a great start!

The Windham Youth Baseball and Softball Association shared a lot of news with me. New officers are:

President – Travis Hammonds

Vice President – Nicole Sweet

Treasurer – Adam Smithley

Secretary – Delaney Kacenski

Head of Baseball Operations – Bill Burns

Head of Softball Operations – Britnee Cunningham

Sponsor & Concessions Committee Head – Bobbie Petrich

Marketing & Fundraiser Committee Head – Erin Copley

Field & Facilities Coordinator – Jon Crisman

They will be having sign-ups the next two weekends at the Windham Little Dribblers Tournaments. Last day for sign-ups will be Feb. 18.

They will also be having an online sign-up form, with a Venmo link to pay online. That information will be available on the Facebook page. The program is for children age 4-14. Please bring their birth certificate unless already filed with the group. Registration fee is $100 per child. If you have several children, there may be a lower rate. There are some sponsors that may be able to help with the fees.

They are accepting sponsors for the Little League 2024 season. There are different price-points and opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. This year, there is a new sponsor option to sponsor a player for families that could use help with the registration fee. Even if you’re an individual willing to give, it makes a huge difference. Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to sponsor a child.

Did you know Windham School District has a Dental Sealant program? This is included in a program by the Warren Health District and the Ohio Department of Health, Oral Health Services. This program helps prevents tooth decay through the use of dental sealants. Sealants are thin plastic coatings, which are placed on the chewing areas of the child’s permanent molars in order to seal out germs that cause decay. Parents of children in the second and sixth grade may apply to have their children participate in this program.

Please let me know what is happening Windham, so I can mention it here. Also I can mention interesting things that you are doing, it does not need to be a group activity.

Contact Ann Taft at [email protected] or 330-259-559

Ann Taft
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