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Community News

Portagelakesopoly in works

7/25/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

COVENTRY — The Portage Lakes Kiwanis is hoping to raise funds for its community efforts through a game.

The Kiwanis is a global organization with a goal of “helping one child, one community at a time,” according to its website. Portage Lakes Kiwanis Past President Al Grzeschik said the organization has modified that goal to include helping various groups, including children and seniors.

Grzeschik said the Portage Lakes club was started in 1951 and last year merged with the Ellet Kiwanis, which had dwindling membership. Today, the Portage Lakes Kiwanis has more than 70 members, including men, women and business leaders.

“We are a bunch of giving people, and mostly we do not look for a pat on the back — we do what we need to do and then disappear,” he said.

The group meets its goal through a number of activities, including the Kiwanis Santa Delivery program, where Santa and his helpers hop aboard a sleigh to deliver gifts to children in the Portage Lakes area on Christmas eve; Rose Remembrance Day, which delivers a dozen roses to residents anywhere in Summit County on the first Saturday in October for $15; Pirate Days, which took place July 19-20 [see photo feature at right for more on that event]; the Easter Egg Hunt at the Tudor House in New Franklin; and other smaller events, such as a Pig Roast after Memorial Day and a fish fry after Labor Day. The events are fundraisers for various club activities, including scholarships and funding for the Portage Lakes Fourth of July fireworks.

This year, the group is taking on a new one-time fundraising project. This project will create a Monopoly-like board game based on the Portage Lakes. According to Portage Lakes Kiwanis member Dana Roderick, who is spearheading the effort, the game is played just like a regular Monopoly game, but the 40 properties on the board will be represented by businesses and organizations in the area.

The project is based on one that other Kiwanis clubs have done, she added.

“We are having a blast doing it,” said Roderick. “We are looking for long-established businesses from the area to get on the board.”

Roderick said to date, three local school districts in the area — Coventry, Green and Manchester — as well as the Portage Lakes Career Center are on the board in place of the railroads. Kieffer Marine, Turkeyfoot Lanes and Upper Deck have taken three corners, and Gehm and Sons sits on the start corner.

Other businesses on the board to date include Guiseppe’s Pizza, Akron Coin and Jewelry, Friess Welding, Ayers Insurance, Dano’s Bar and Grill, Rendino’s Pizza, Dusty’s Yacht Club, Lyons Photography, Gary’s Automotive, A-1 Mower, Midway Yahama, PNC Bank, Beverage Express and Jones Roll-Off Container Inc. The Akron Rotary Camp, Portage Lakes Historical Society and the Dragon Boat Dream Team also have spots.

Spots on the board range in price from $225 to $325.

Patron spots, on the center of the board, cost $50 and are held by Chuck and Betty Seely, Benny’s Upholstery, Shumaster Funeral Home, Elias Insurance, Summit Trailer Sales and Innovative Auto.

Businesses also can put their names on the back of one of the denominations of money, the deed cards for the properties and the “Chance/Community Chest” cards. All the spots include the company logo, as well as its name. Spots on the board are available not only for businesses and organizations, but individuals as well.

Roderick said 350 Portagelakesopoly games will be available for purchase in September for somewhere between $15 to $20.

“This will be a historical game that can be handed down through the family,” said Roderick. “We hope it will bring more attention to the area and help fund other community services.”

Grzeschik said the Portage Lakes Kiwanis hope to use the funds to increase scholarships to local high school students from four to six next year and to do some maintenance work on the Civic Center, located at 725 Portage Lakes Drive. The Civic Center is used by numerous organizations in the community.

To get on the board, contact Roderick at 330-990-7818 or via email at d1687@hotmail.com.

The Portage Lakes Kiwanis meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center. New members are welcome.

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