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Coffee Contacts at Laketran; First Friday Club of Cleveland Luncheon; Paul Marnecheck Fundraiser

IMG_1716 On Thursday, June 2nd, we went to the Eastern Lake County/Mentor chambers of commerce "coffee contacts" that was held this time at Laketran on Lakeshore Blvd. in Painesville.

The big reason to have it there was that right after "coffee contacts" there would be a ribbon cutting (perhaps "christening" would be a better term although a red ribbon was cut) for 10 new commuter coaches that cost $600,000.00 each for a total cost of $6 million. Everyone agreed that this money was well-spent because the quite a few of the current buses are well past their 500,000 mile lifespan although they are still functioning adequately due to excellent maintenance.IMG_1714

It is also good that these commuter coaches are "diesel clean" meaning that their emissions will be incomparably better for the environment than many of the motor vehicles currently on the road. Mr. Richard DeYoung; Vice President of New Coach Sales, MCI that sold Laketran these coaches; demonstrated this as he crouched and held a clean white towel close to an exhaust pipe. He then showed the towel to us and it was not dirty.

IMG_1709 About 50 people turned out for this event including all three Lake County Commissioners Mr. Kevin Malecek, Ms. Judy Moran, and Mr. Dan Troy. Also in attendance was U.S. Congressman David Joyce who presented a proclamation to Laketran.

We also got to take a tour of the Laketran facility which was as big as two football fields and housed 122 buses of kinds. The tour was guided by Mr. Ben Capelle, Deputy General Manager.

On this day, we saw a familiar and welcome face, Mr. Matt Gollini of Mentor iPhone Repair, who found out why our iPhone was not ringing properly and straightened things out on the spot.

As far as new faces, we met Mr. Will Rosch, K-9 handler with the "Big Creek Search Dog Team" a volunteer organization that "compliments and supplements" government agencies in searches for missing people.

In addition, we met Ms. Camilla D'Andrea, Creative Marketing Consultant, with Spirit Media, who was on the same immigrant rights march that we were two years ago in downtown Cleveland. We discussed the possibilities of Margaret W. Wong and Associates providing a speaker for a program on immigration that might take place at Ms. D'Andrea's church in Lake County.

IMG_1717After we left Painesville, we went to the City Club for monthly First Friday Club of Cleveland Luncheon. We were seated at a table with Mr. Mike McDonough who has been coming here consistently for 25 years. When we introduced ourselves to him, Mr. McDonough brightened and said that years ago (before she focused entirely on immigration) Ms. Margaret W. Wong assisted a relative of his with a disability matter and he has tremendous respect for her.

The speaker was Abbot Gary Hoover, O.S.B., the 7th abbot of St. Andrew Abbey who talked led us all through an exercise on "Lectio Divina" in the monastic tradition. A brief Wikipedia definition of this is:

"In Christianity, Lectio Divina (Latin for 'Divine Reading') is a traditional Benedictive practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word."

Abbot Hoover gave us a handout that made several suggestions that made the experience all the more enriching such as finding a place where one will not be disturbed for 20 minutes; read the text slowly and stop when something makes a special impression; contemplate how it refers to Christ and how it can be applied to one's own life; and ask for divine assistance to incorporate it into their being.

We believe that a version of this meditative practice/study could be applied to and have value for almost all religious faiths thus making it very all-inclusive.

Next, we went to a fundraiser for our friend North Royalton Councilman Paul Marnecheck who is running for re-election to his Ward 4 council seat.IMG_1719

We sat for a long time talking to Mr. Robin Bauer (who we sometimes see at Cleveland events) about such things as the diversity of North Royalton. Mr. Bauer told his that there are quite a few people living on his street who immigrated to the United States from Eastern European countries as well from Italy. He told us that everyone gets along beautifully,

Councilman Marnecheck, himself, confirmed that many European immigrants have settled in North Royalton. To be sure, there are some barriers; namely that a sizable number of the older immigrants struggle with English as a second language and are still trying to get used to the relationship between citizens and their government here in the U.S. which is very different from what it was for them in Europe.

Councilman Marnecheck told us that he believes that the most important thing that he can do is establish trust even if it is only with a few people at first because these few will help transfer this trust to the rest of the community.

We also spent a good deal of time visiting with Mr. Kevin Hackett, President of Plumbers Union 55. He told us that he once counseled an immigrant from Russia (who had worked in law enforcement in his native land) who he had encouraged to pursue a career in plumbing because Mr. Hackett believed that this man could excel at this kind of work and could make a good living. Happily, things worked out very well.

Before we left, Councilman Marnecheck introduced us to his sister, Miss Faith Marnecheck who is attending Walsh Jesuit High School and earning an "A" in all of her classes as well as Mr. Grant Gravagna, a young friend of his who is doing an internship at Global Cleveland.


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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