On Thursday, January 17th, our first event of the day was an Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce “Coffee Contacts” networking session which, on this occasion, took place at Howard’s Jewelry Center at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor.
Mr. Lou Fatica, the Operation Manager for Howard’s Jewelry Center, addressed the gathering. He talked about its history, new leadership changes, as well as a planned consolidation. On a more poignant level, we were touched to learn that the business donates the money that it earns from in-house, minor jewelry repairs to such worthy organizations as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, CASA Foundation, and Glaser Foundation.
While we were there, we visited with a social services provider who sadly agreed with our observation that in recent years Hispanic members of the community (perhaps due to the current political controversies regarding immigration) have been keeping a low profile and not attending community events that are open to the public and welcoming.
On a more positive note, we learned from Ms. Cheryl Kuonen, Executive Director of the Mentor Public Library, that the library will soon be celebrating its 200th birthday. We did some investigation and read on its webpage that the company was initially formed on February 22, 1819 and it was “the earliest library association recorded in Lake County. Funds were raised by issuing stock to 6 shareholders at $2.50 per share. The collection, which began with 79 volumes and grew to 194, was housed in private homes…”
Late last year Ms. Sherri Trivisonno retired from conducting “Coffee Contacts” so Mr. Bob Fratino of Deepwood Industries assumed responsibility for the proceedings and did a fine job. We learned that this particular “Coffee Contacts” was the second most attended in years with 75-80 people participating.