Steve Rhodes is our assistant zoning inspector in

Donna Alexander Published:

Steve Rhodes is our assistant zoning inspector in Ravenna Township. Steve is also a carpenter, but his real love is coaching the Lady Ravens Youth Basketball Team.

This is a self-sponsored program comprised of third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade girls. All players of the Lady Ravens Youth Basketball Team are required to attend Ravenna City Schools. Although the team is not sponsored by the school system, Willyard Elementary, West Park Elementary and Brown Middle schools are kind enough to allow the teams to use their gymnasiums to practice. Community and parental support of the program has been the cornerstone of the teams success.

On Jan. 30, the team sponsored a Chinese Auction to raise funds for tournament fees. The auction was a great success thanks to the support of all team parents and local businesses. The Ravenna Moose Club donated its meeting facility for the event. Area businesses including Walmart, Giant Eagle, Stogies, Copper Kettle Antiques, Tinker Box, Brew Brothers Coffee, Fitness Anytime, Ladys Moose Club, Bar 10, Toni Ciano Hair Salon, Pauls Do It Center, Sports Express, Guidos Pizza, Arbys, Reed Memorial Library, Roberts Excavating, Ravenna Booster Club, Papa Johns, NAPA Auto Parts, Sherwin Williams, Tractor Supply, East Park, Radio Shack, Gioninos Pizzeria, Taco Bell, Havres Pro Shop, Sheetz, Deluca & Associates, Polichena Motors, Ravenna Parks and Recreation Department, Famous Hair, Auto Zone, Cat Orchids, Ogura Martial Arts, and Ravenna Antiques donated items for the auction.

This is quite an impressive list. It goes to show how many of our merchants and businesses help our organizations.

If you have a daughter who would like to join the Lady Ravens Youth Basketball team, keep in mind she must be a member of the Ravenna School System and in the third to the sixth grade.

Practice begins in October with an open gym for the first couple of weeks to acclimate the girls to the game. Regular practices begin in November and the playing season starts in December. Tournaments are generally in February and March.

This program has been a wonderful success for the girls and a very positive reflection on the community. All coaches work on a voluntary basis and are dedicated to promoting the love of the game, sharpening skills and having fun. The mission of the Lady Ravens Youth Basketball team is to engage our youth in a healthy, sportsmanlike activity that will encourage a lifetime of fitness, friendship and the love of basketball.

For additional information about joining, sponsoring or coaching with this fine organization, contact Steve Rhodes at (330) 297-7570. I find it very rewarding to see people like Steve Rhodes, parents and business people all pitching in to make an organization like the Lady Ravens Youth Basketball Team such a success. Keep up the good work.

On a personal level, February and March were the Best of times and the Worst of times for me and my family.

My grandson turned 1 year old on Feb. 12. We celebrated his birthday on Feb. 16. However, I was unable to attend. I had to rush to Cortland, where my twin sister, Peggy Roush lives. Her daughter, Jackie Keene, was killed in an automobile accident early that morning and I had to be by her side. That was the most gut-wrenching thing I have ever had to experience in my life. To see a mother lose her child is indescribable.

Peggy and I have grown closer as we get older. We have together gone through the loss of our parents, aunts and uncles, but never anything utterly so painful as losing her daughter, Jackie.

Peggy and I talk often these days and I only wish I could take her pain for her. She told me, I feel as if my soul and heart was torn out.

Peggy is a very religious person and that helps. She also takes care of her granddaughter, Cassie (Jackies daughter,) who just turned 13. Her surviving daughter, Christine Hart, has been a godsend to Peggy. She and Jenna Hart (Christines daughter) have been by Peggys side since this tragedy happened.

Life sometimes deals us blows that we simply do not know how to deal with. All we can do is try to get by each painful day and hope that each day, the pain will ease ever so little. Eventually, as life goes on, we will be able to cope.

Jackie was a beautiful young woman. She had grace and style which we shall never forget. Jackie, we love you.

On March 15, my son, Christopher, and his beautiful fiancee, Rachel Pendelton, were married. I thought they were crazy for picking a March wedding. I could see it raining, snowing or whatever fate would bestow upon us. It turned out to be a glorious day in the mid 60s. I, of course, had to cry like a fool the minute the Wedding March was played. Half the fun of weddings is crying.

Thats my story and Im sticking to it.

For Ravenna news, call Patsy Artz at (330) 296-6878.

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