By Kevin Kelley
FIVE SEASONS OPEN HOUSE: Five Seasons Family Sports Club, 28105 Clemens Road, will host a Holiday Open House this weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The open house will include complementary fitness assessments, tennis demonstrations and children’s story time. To make reservations for breakfast with Santa on Saturday, call Karen Welker at (440) 899-4555.
CAROLING AT CROCKER PARK: The Chamber Ensemble of Westlake United Methodist Church will be performing at Crocker Park this weekend. Performance times are 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Caroling will take place at various locations throughout Crocker Park. The ensemble will sing several seasonal favorites set to new arrangements, church member Yolanda Crisp tells West Life.
The Chamber Ensemble, for which members audition, has a mission of presenting musical excellence to enhance and support the worship life of the Westlake United Methodist Church congregation. The small group of singers leads special seasonal worship services and presents occasionally on Sunday mornings. In 2009, the Chamber Ensemble was named the winner of the WCLV Jubilation! Church Choral Festival and took home the title of Best Church Choir in Northeast Ohio.
Though several members of the ensemble are trained musicians, none are paid to sing at the church. All are also members of the WUMC Chancel Choir. The ensembles’ repertoire typically includes music from the Renaissance era through motets and new, modern compositions, all sung a capella. The ensemble is under the direction of Andy Call, associate for music and discipleship at the church.
CHRISTMAS AT THE REC CENTER: The Westlake Recreation Center, located at 28955 Hilliard Road, has numerous holiday programs for kids in the coming days and weeks.
Friday at 7 p.m. is “An Evening at the North Pole,” featuring a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” The cost of the event is $5 for members, $7 for residents.
Saturday is breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. and again at 10:30. (Santa, of course, can eat two breakfasts because his belly is so large.) Tickets for the pancake breakfast cost $10.
Sunday at 2 p.m. is a mother-daughter Christmas craft class. Cost is $15 for members, $25 for residents, with an additional charge of $7 for more than one child.
All these programs require registration, which can be made by calling the rec center at (440) 808-5700.
COLLECTING FOR THE TROPS: The Westlake High School American Field Service Club is collecting used sporting goods to ship to troops overseas.
The AFS focuses on cultural exploration and international outreach. Senior Karoline Szczepanek came up with the idea after receiving a letter from her brother, Cpl. Kasey Szczepanek, a 2006 Westlake High graduate stationed in Afghanistan. He wrote his family requesting some of his old sports equipment for his platoon. The troops don’t have much access to electricity and need items to use for entertainment in their spare time, he reported.
The AFS is collecting used sporting goods, as well as playing cards. At the high school, drop boxes will be located in the cafeteria during lunch periods, the main office and the library. Boxes also will be located at Lee Burneson Middle School, Parkside Intermediate School, Holly Lane Elementary School, Dover Elementary School and Hilliard Elementary School. Collections will take place through Dec. 16, with items shipped by Dec. 18 to a USMC platoon in Afghanistan.
English teacher Sarah Reichert is the AFS Club’s advisor.
DOGS’ DELIGHT: Just Dogs Gourmet, a bakery for canines only, opened last month at the Crocker Park Promenade. Located between Subway and Robek’s, Just Dogs Gourmet offers an assortment of fresh baked, hand-cut, all-natural doggie snacks.
Snacks are made fresh daily in the “barkery” and displayed in a case designed to excite the senses, owner Lori Aldrich said.
“We make truffles and even peanut butter cups for your pooch’s sweet tooth,” Aldrich said of what the store calls “Canine Confections.”