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Lorain Chamber of Commerce Coffee, Tea and Contacts; Luncheon at Emperor's Palace; 27th Annual Polish Festival

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On Friday, October 6th, we went a "Coffee, Tea and Contacts" put on by the Lorain Chamber of Commerce at "Creative Art Space & More" which has the distinction of being the only art gallery in Avon as well as a good provider of a space for local artists to work and to learn.

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It was established by Ms. Judy Kean, an accomplished artist known for her works with stained glass, about three years ago and also offers meeting rooms for community functions to take place. We, ourselves, know Ms. Kean from when we tabled in close proximity to her last year at the Lorain County Business Expo.

On this day we had good conversation with several members including Ms. Cathy Kingsley from "Big Frogs Custom T-Shirts & More" who made a t-shirt especially for us due to our involvement with a chamber event earlier in the year; Mr. DeMarcus Akeem Suggs, a Dance Artist/Urban Development Enthusiast who does a lot of work with the "Dayton Contemporary Dance Company"; and Mr. Dave Breudigam with "DS Benefits Group" with whom we discussed the refugees living in Lakewood and how much they enhance the community.

According to the rules set forth by the Lorain Chamber, anyone who brought a door prize to this event got to give a short commercial for their business so we bought a copy of Ms. Margaret W. Wong's book "The Immigrant's Way" which was won by Ms. Lou Ann Wiegand from "Walthall CPA's". Prior to presenting her with the book, we talked about how pertinent it was for these times because immigration is such a widely discussed issue.

After we returned from Avon we went to a luncheon on behalf of Cleveland City Councilperson Brian Cummins (Ward 14) that took place at the "Emperor's Palace" restaurant on Rockwell Avenue not far from our office.

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It was attended by such people as our friends Mr. Joseph Meissner, Ms. Gia Hoa Ryan, Mr. Ken Kovach, Mr. Jason Lin and Mr. Henry Luu. To be sure, Councilperson Cummins had a tough primary but at this point he seemed pretty confident about the effectiveness of his campaign at this point because he has received the support of quite a few community leaders as well as the endorsement of the "Plain Dealer" which dubbed him "a strong and effective leader."

We believe that his accomplishments speak for themselves such as securing millions of dollars for the renovation old homes which will then go on the market at affordable prices; the building of new homes in Stockyard; and Clark-Fulton neighborhood improvements with the ultimate aimed at the encouragement of new commercial development. Perhaps most importantly, he worked with "MetroHealth" to ensure the most benefit to the neighborhoods from their $1.2 billion transformation.

Certainly we like Councilperson Cummins so much that we plan to make use of some of our vacation time to work in his campaign in the last week leading up to the election.

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That evening we looked forward to tabling on behalf of "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" at the 27th Annual Polish Festival at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village.

We always enjoy attending this festival because the food is excellent, we love polka music, and it is a good place to bump into old friends. For instance, this year we encountered Ohio State Senator Michael Skindell, retired Judge Diane Karpinski, Mr. Mike Harvey who is the bailiff for Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Jimmy Jackson, Jr., and Mr. Drew Strahan from "Sleep Number" who we see quite frequently at Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce events.

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As always, we were warmly greeted by the festival chairpersons who were Mr. David Krakowski, Ms. Denise Schultz, and Ms. Christy Bartley who gave us a genuinely cool location to set up our table right next to a large fan.. This year we noticed that seasoned festival goers were wearing t-shirts and/or aprons amusingly depicting the Dragon of Wawel Hill (a famous Polish legend) consuming some alcohol which we, ourselves, did not do but we made up for it by consuming some great sauerkraut and mushroom perogies along with potato pancakes.

We then sat back and listened/watched as the "North Coast Polka Band" played some old favorites and the ballroom dancing team of Mr. Anderson Sylvester and Ms. Nicole Carter performed some striking numbers.

This year Mr. Larry Bender, who was in charge of entertainment, decided to try something new and thus held a contest to see who was married the longest. Subsequently, the grand prize when to a very sweet couple named Paul and Shirley who have been married 49 years (!) and thus received a lovely bouquet and some gift certificates. All of us were then invited to get up and dance to a rendition of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" a very appropriate song for the occasion.

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We would have liked to stay at the festival all weekend but, due to our schedule, we were only able to do so on Friday; we did however leave our "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" banner on display for the duration of the festival.

We also had some good talks with people who stopped by our booth such as a woman who was curious to know just what it meant to "sponsor" a person in the process of immigrating to the United States. We also gave away two copies of Ms. Margaret W. Wong's book "The Immigrant's Way" (one in Spanish and one in English) to a man from Brazil who is considering resettling here in the U.S. and to a good friend who was accompanying him.

Another guy stopped by our table, thumbed through the book, and asked us with a grin if President Trump "endorsed" this book to which we replied with a grin that it was strictly nonpartisan. He then said that he presumed that it would be a safe bet to say that the President's immigration policies "must keep you guys hopping'" and we assured him that if he was really interested in betting on that then he would win a pretty penny and then some.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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