Richland SWCD Volunteer of the Year, Pat Kracker Fund

Hafenstein named Richland Soil and Water Conservation District Volunteer of the Year

Ella Hafenstein is the 2021 Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (Richland SWCD) Volunteer of the Year. Hafenstein volunteers in a variety of capacities in the office, at special events and on special projects. A video of his contributions is available on

To recognize Hafenstein’s volunteer efforts with Richland SWCD, a red maple was purchased and planted at Lexington Community Park. She also received commendations from State Senator Mark Romanchuk, Representative Marilyn John and Richland County Commissioners.

Hafenstein retired from OhioHealth in 2019 and started volunteering with Richland SWCD in January 2020. She barely started when COVID hit and Richland SWCD couldn’t have volunteers in the office. Hafenstein chose projects to work on at home, such as wrapping milkweed seeds, making butterfly and bee kits for the kids, and butterfly and milkweed seed ornaments for the tree. Kingwood Center Community. She now volunteers weekly in the office, helps out with special events and maintains the Longview Center flower bed.

The 81-member volunteer team was also recognized at the annual Richland SWCD celebration on November 4 for their many contributions. Volunteers help with office projects, at special events, took photos, scanned and edited photos and historical documents, managed data, and assisted technicians.

This year, volunteers contributed over 2,500 hours to Richland SWCD, saving approximately $ 25,000 to the general fund.

Call 419-747-8686 or go to to learn how to volunteer.

Richland County community renews fight against breast cancer

Richland Counties reaffirmed their fight against breast cancer this year by increasing individual donations and restoring community fundraisers supporting the Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund.

The Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund was established 25 years ago in memory of Pat Kracker who lost his battle with breast cancer on his 61st birthday.

Founder Dave Kracker said this year 20 local organizations organized fundraisers to help fight breast cancer in Richland County. They are: Garbage Guys Who Care; Westbrook Country Club; IHeart / Baker’s Collision Center; the Forest Hills golf course; Kelly’s dairy bar; Fraternal Order of the Eagles; Poste 31 d’Amvets; care for women; St. Peter’s Elementary School; Saint-Pierre high school; Mechanical bank; Ontario High School Soccer Team; MANCI; Richland Correctional Institute; DQ East; Kingdom Grace scholarship; VFW 2920; North Central State College Nursing Association; Texas Roadhouse; and Mid-State Multimedia Group.

8th Annual Westbrook Country Club Healing Gathering (L to R): Dan Niss, Brenda Niss, Dirk Schluter, Dave Kracker, Chris Bellamy, Jennie Alt and Bill Wappner.

The Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund recognized four organizations for their ongoing efforts:

  • Local businessman Steve Cobb and his Garbage Guys Who Care employees continue to pay part of their clients’ bills to the fund.
  • IHeart and Baker’s Collision Center’s annual Adopt-A-Duck fundraiser combines individual donations with the local business community to raise awareness.
  • The Westbrook Country Club hosted its 8th annual Rally for the Cure event in August – the largest yet. Special thanks to Dirk Schluter who offered a matching dollar and to Dan Niss for his generous individual contribution.

For more information contact Rhonda Breit at 419-610-4877 or visit

Mansfield native runs student business highlighting military suicide prevention

CEDARVILLE – Joshua Johnson, a recent management graduate from Mansfield, leads a team of 10 students at Cedarville University who are working on a line of products aimed at preventing military suicides.

Their new company, Consider the Ravens, has just launched as part of the Neos Company, a branch of the Integrated Business Core (IBC) program at Cedarville University – a one-year course that allows students to present, create and market products of their own design.

For Johnson, the idea came from personal experience. His father works in the Department of Defense and Johnson serves in the Ohio Air National Guard.

The purpose of Look at the Ravens is threefold: to affirm a person’s worth from a Christian point of view, to affirm value through others, and to strengthen the idea of ​​brotherhood.

Consider that the Ravens have four main products designed to accomplish these goals. “We are selling bundles that include three stickers and an ID tag,” Johnson said.

All three stickers feature a crow with outstretched wings, the company logo and various Bible texts highlighting the three main goals of the company. The nameplates are engraved with five key phrases: stand firm, be vigilant, be courageous, wear armor, and stand firm.

All proceeds from Consider the Ravens will be donated to Operation Heal Our Patriots, run by Samaritan’s Purse, a national organization that focuses on spiritual refreshment and marriage counseling for injured veterans and their spouses.

All products are for sale via or via the Consider the Ravens Instagram page (@considertheravens_neos).

Fall Academic Challenge League and Tournament Results Announced

The Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center recently hosted the High School Fall Academic Challenge League in virtual format. Students competed in teams, answering questions on a wide range of topics, including literature, fine arts, geography, history, math, and science.

In the college league competition, the 14 competing teams split into two divisions. The winner of the A division was Mt. Vernon. The winner of Division B was Lexington with team members Katie S., Thomas S., Maggie S. and Wes H.

The winner of the Junior College League was the Lexington team with members Seth D., Jacob H., Grant M. and Chloe D. The finalists were from Madison. The team members were Nate Osborne, Josh Atwell, Katelynn Ransom, Justin Gibson, Zachary Lucas, Samantha Myers and Grady McElvain.

The fall tournament was back in person at the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center for the first time before COVID. At the university level, 16 teams faced off in two groups. The winner of each tranche then faced off for the ultimate winner. Mt. Vernon (Group B winner) won the overall title. Lexington (winner of Bracket A) finished second overall with team members Katie S., Thomas S., Maggie S. and Wes H.

In the junior college tournament, there were 16 teams competing in two installments. The best teams from each bracket faced each other in the final. Lexington, the winner of Bracket A, ensured the victory. The team members were Seth D., Jacob H., Grant M. and Chloe D. Ashland A, the winner of Bracket B, was a finalist.

About Homer Yonker

Check Also

Chicago Public Schools Unveils Updated $9.5 Billion Budget for Next School Year

Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday unveiled a 2022-23 district budget totaling $9.5 billion, up about …