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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017

VW independent/submitted information

On Tuesday, the Van Wert County Foundation (VWCF) hosted its annual scholarship celebration. This event was held at Wassenberg Art Center to recognize recent student scholarship recipients’ accomplishments and provide an opportunity for them to connect with VWCF Board of Trustee members, staff, and community business leaders.

Van Wert County Foundation scholarship recipients are recognized at an event held Tuesday at Wassenberg Art Center. (photo submitted)

Several recipients took this opportunity to learn about the donor fund associated with their scholarship.  Many felt it was important to know the person or family who established the fund and is assisting in their education and future.

The Van Wert County Foundation awards annual scholarships through an application and review process. For 2017, 241 recipients received a combined total of $803,985 provided through 83 funds established for scholarship purposes.

The Van Wert County Foundation, a nonprofit community trust serving Van Wert County and surrounding area, inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and the community. VWCF is a permanent local resource that facilitated over $2.3 million in charitable giving last year.

For more information about The Van Wert County Foundation scholarship program or how to establish a scholarship fund, call Executive Secretary Seth Baker at 419.238.1743 or email

POSTED: 08/02/17 at 9:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Youth

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The deadline for 4-H Black Inc. awards is quickly approaching. Applications are due at the Ohio State University Extension office no later than Friday, August 11.

Sponsored by the Van Wert County Foundation, Black Inc. awards were developed to encourage youths to continue their 4-H projects and expand their knowledge base as they work with their projects. This year’s applications can be found at the OSU Extension office or by going to and clicking on the 4-H link.

Applicants must follow requirements and fill out the application completely in order to compete for winning awards. Black Inc. livestock applicants must have a total of three years in the selected livestock project, while the miscellaneous category requires three years or more and food/clothing is open to all ages with different categories.

For interviews, participants focus on a specific area of their chosen project and create a 3D display or board. These displays and boards can be viewed at the Junior Fair Building during the Van Wert County Fair.

POSTED: 08/02/17 at 9:18 pm. FILED UNDER: Youth

Patti Cox

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First United Methodist Preschool welcomes back Patti Cox as one of its pre-kindergarten teachers.

Mrs. Cox was hired in 2015 after teaching first grade at Lincolnview Local Schools for 37 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education, as well as a master’s degree in teacher leadership. Her education, combined with her experience, bring invaluable expertise to the First United Methodist Preschool team.

Those who would like to register a child for preschool can contact Administrator April Ellerbrock at 419.238.0631, extension 308, or register online at

POSTED: 07/30/17 at 10:39 pm. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

JaNahn Evans

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First United Methodist Preschool welcomes JaNahn Evans as the new 3- and 4-year-olds teacher for the 2017-2018 school year.

Evans is a mother of four with years of experience working with children while substitute teaching, coaching, and volunteering in her church children’s program. She is an advocate for education and Christian beliefs, and is committed to creating a respectful and caring environment where children are encouraged to learn, become powerful thinkers, and have confidence in their own abilities.

First United Methodist Preschool is currently accepting registrations; contact Administrator April Ellerbrock at 419.238.0631, extension 308, to register or register online at

POSTED: 07/24/17 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

The Bunny Hoppers 4-H Club had a “Dress Up Your Rabbit” costume parade at its last meeting.  Members dressed their rabbit in costumes, and some even dressed in a matching outfit themselves. Members told about their rabbits, and the story behind the costume. There were even visitors from other 4-H clubs that participated in the fun and storytelling. Following the parade, certificates were awarded, along with snacks, fellowship, and fun.  Here, Hannah and her Netherland dwarf rabbit in matching princess pajamas, ready for a bedtime snack. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 07/14/17 at 7:44 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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A team of adults and teens from the First Baptist Church of Van Wert returned recently from a week long mission trip near Sao Paulo, Brazil in the town of Campinas.

Members of First Baptist Church’s Brazil missions group with some Brazilian friends. (photo submitted)

Team members were John Rager (team leader), Ryan Rager, Mark, Bethany, and Rebekah Fast, Cindy and Allison Bowsher, John, Tricia, and Haydn Ridenour, and Sandy Klinger. The team left Van Wert on Sunday, June 18, and flew through the night to Sao Paulo to begin a busy week of ministry with missionary Jonathan Mathews of Brazil for Christ church-planting ministries (for more information, go to Brazil for Christ’s website at

The team was involved in helping a new church plant spread the Gospel in the neighborhoods via door to door, street evangelism, in-home Bible studies, public and private school presentations, and in-church outreach.

The team presented a skit in several school assemblies and in classrooms called “Stuck in Sin” to over 600 students. The skit, along with testimonies and songs, shared the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Several thousand tracts of the Gospel and invitations to attend the new church plant were spread across the city as the team walked many miles going door to door and meeting people on the streets.

The team will be sharing its experience, along with a slideshow, this Sunday night, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, corner of Mendon and Jennings roads. Refreshments will be provided following the presentation.

POSTED: 07/08/17 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

MORGAN DOWLER/2017-18 reporter

CONVOY — This year, yet again, Crestview High School has elected eight FFA members to help lead the school team into a another exciting year of fun-filled FFA activities.

FFA officers plan to advance the greatness of the program with new ideas and traditions by prioritizing agricultural education and leadership in all members.

At the end of May, these eight members traveled to Hocking Hills. While spending an exciting three hours on the bus, members were able to bond and discuss many different topics to later be brought up in an officer meeting that night. While traveling, they made a few pit stops. Officers were able to grab some grub, go go-karting, and play mini golf all before arriving at the beautiful cabin set aside for them.

Shown are the officers for the Crestview FFA chapter. (photo submitted)

After some team building challenges, the officer team was able to make dinner and sit around the table to talk. A meeting was held, where the officers and advisor discussed key components of the upcoming year and planned activities for the chapter, as well as others, to enjoy. After a fun-filled trip, it was time to head back home. Overall, it was a trip filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

As an officer team, everyone thought it would be best that the chapter and community get to know its officers, so we wanted to let people know a little bit about everyone. Some of the officers’ favorite colors are yellow, burnt orange, blue, purple, white, and red. We all enjoy eating, as anyone in FFA does.

According to Brett Schumm, the 2017-18 president, his favorite food is anything that he can eat before it eats him first, which everyone else’s favorite food falls under.

Different FFA events that everyone enjoys are national and state conventions, the end of the year banquet, and, of course, FFA Week! This year, all of the officers are looking forward to growing and bonding together in order to strengthen the FFA chapter and the organization as a whole. FFA gives everyone opportunities to grow and become a better person each day that will help them in the future.

Lastly, everyone agreed that something that they want others to know about the FFA is that it isn’t just about farming or agriculture, but rather a nationwide organization that provides its past and present members with leadership, personal growth, and career success. Through different hands-on activities and real world experiences, in and out of the classroom, everyone should know that the organization is something very valuable.

POSTED: 07/06/17 at 7:41 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

Western Buckeye Educational Service Center, in partnership with Antwerp, Paulding, and Lincolnview school districts, is currently wrapping up the second year of a three-year 21st Century community learning grant received from the Ohio Department of Education. The after school program runs during the school year, but also allows 72 students the opportunity to attend a two-week summer camp in June. Each day, the campers divide their time between Camp Clay in Van Wert and hands-on learning activities at their home elementary buildings. WBESC celebrated the conclusion of the summer camp by inviting families for a day of Aqua Park fun at Camp Clay this past Friday (above, with just over 180 people attending the Family Fun Day. Special thanks to the school districts, Camp Clay, summer food programs, and Van Wert Manor for their support. For more information about 21st Century after-school programs, contact Ashley Shepherd, program coordinator, at the Paulding ESC office: 419.399.4711. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 06/28/17 at 7:59 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

Submitted information

ADA — A number of Van Wert County students were named to the Dean’s List for the 2016-2017 spring semester at Ohio Northern University. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must attain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and be enrolled full-time.

From Crestview High School: Tyson Bolenbaugh, Hannah Bowen, Bryce Richardson, and Mackenzie Riggenbach.

From Van Wert High School: Alyssa Bowen, Rachel Chen, and Nicholas Krugh.

From Lincolnview High School: Ann Karalunas.

From Delphos Jefferson High School: Seth Wollenhaupt.

POSTED: 06/21/17 at 7:22 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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It was an epic battle of boys versus girls. As the moment of declaring the winning team approached, the lights lowered, the cheers got louder, and the drum roll intensified as both Craig Alix (boys team) and Carrie Pauquette (girls team) were armed with a pie, awaiting the announcement.

Craig Alex and Carrie Paquette react after receiving pies in the face as part of a fundraiser at Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert. (photo submitted)

Craig Alex and Carrie Paquette react after receiving pies in the face as part of a fundraiser at Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert. (photo submitted)

Then it happened: the girls were pronounced the penny war champions and Alix’s face received a pie in defeat. As Paquette gloated in victory, though, Alix greeted her with a face pie of her own.

The kids and volunteers of Calvary Evangelical Church’s Summer Bible Venture — Gadgets and Gizmos: Uniquely Wired and Wonderfully Made, were challenged to bring in coins to donate to the YWCA Summer Lunch Program. Whichever team brought in the heaviest amount of coins was declared the winning team. The boys collected 124.2 pounds of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, but the girls outweighed them in change with 151.2 pounds. Collectively, the kids and volunteers of SBV17 raised a total of $1,024.37 to give to our local YWCA.

The YWCA Summer Food Program has 225 boys and girls registered and will be providing breakfast, lunch and weekend backpacks filled with food through August 4. Besides food, the YWCA also offers recreational activities to these boys and girls of Van Wert.

“Because of donations like this, we can take the kids on field trips like bowling and going to the movie theater that otherwise would not have been possible,” said Jordan Dettrow, supervisor for the Summer Food Program.

He noted that, in addition to monetary donations, the program also needs playground equipment, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, sunscreen, books, and games.

Craig Alex (left) and Carrie Paquette present Jordan Dettrow with a check for $1,024.37 for the YWCA's Summer Food Program. (photo submitted)

Craig Alex (left) and Carrie Paquette present Jordan Dettrow with a check for $1,024.37 for the YWCA’s Summer Food Program. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 06/17/17 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth