Linda Hite spent two weeks recently at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, David and Jessica Baldwin, in St. Petersburg, Fla. She also got to spend time with her six great-grandchildren, who all live in Florida.

They took in some unique Gulf Port Shops in St. Petersburg and also visited Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs is famous for the Historic Sponge Docks. They still harvest sponges.

Another weekend trip was to downtown St. Petersburg to the outdoor fruit and vegetable markets. Linda’s daughter, Julie Rogers, flew down for a few days before going back to work after having hip replacement surgery. They spent a lot of time enjoying the sun and heated pool. Welcome home, Linda.

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Sue Vojtkofsky wrote this so well I’ll let her tell about their trip!

"We recently cruised on Norwegian’s ‘Epic’ for seven days, sailing out of Port Canaveral. Our party included Sue and Ron Vojtkofsky, Nancy and Lynn Waltenbaugh and their daughter, Julie Bohrer, her husband, Doug Bohrer, and their daughters Anna and Cailin of Powell, and also their good friends Scott and Tonia Ziegler of Powell.

"We started the cruise with two days at sea and enjoyed the sunshine and the pools. In the evening we enjoyed their specialty restaurants and took in a show. It was hard to believe the dancers on the stage could keep their balance while the ship was moving.

"Our first stop was Falmouth, Jamaica, where Julie, Doug, Anna, Cailin and Sue chose to go horseback riding in the ocean. It was a beautiful experience riding first through an old plantation property and then a break for lunch and then to get on the horses that actually swim in the ocean. All was well until the horse started to gallop and Sue fell off her horse into the water. Luckily there were guides there to help her back on her horse and to continue the swim.

"The next stop was Grand Cayman where we decided to have a beach day on Seven Mile Beach and enjoyed The Royal Palms Resort for the day. The next day was a sea day and a day to try the bowling alley that was on the ship, so Ron, Lynn, Scott, Doug, Anna and Cailin decided to try it out. They are all very competitive and it was fun to watch. Needless to say the unexperienced bowlers did not fare well.

"The last day and last stop was at Norwegians Private Island in the Bahamas where we rented cabanas and enjoyed the beautiful beach and did some snorkeling. We arrived back on Saturday and all flew home to the cold North."

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One of the most unique fundraisers in Ravenna was the Vino Van Gogh, held at the home of Art Bowen on Myrtle Street. More than 150 guests enjoyed wine, art and music. The proceeds go toward Art on Main, which will be held June 23.

It’s a unique day on Main Street promoting professional artists, art students from Ravenna, Windham, Kent, Rootstown and Waterloo School Districts — all displaying their art.

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Thanks to the Ravenna Balloon A-Fair Committee, the dinner and presentation of the 2018 Grand Marshal, Anne Marie Noble, was a huge success. Stephanie Alger gave tribute to Anne Marie, who has given her time and talents as director of the Center of Hope for the past 10 years.

Each year the committee is given recommendations of those who have made a difference in our community. Hands down, Anne Marie was a great choice.

On hand for the event were more than 100 friends, co-workers and especially members of Anne Marie’s family.

Ravenna and the entire Portage County community are grateful for the dedicated members of the Balloon A-Fair Committee, co-chaired by Jeanie Ferguson and Mark Short.

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Another worthwhile event was the 11th Annual Portage County Men Who Cook, held at the Immaculate Conception Church Hall last Saturday. Give the people a good time and a good cause and they will come. The hall was full and the food delicious.

Ravenna area people are the most giving and caring people you can find. When most of the news is gloom and doom, you don’t have to look far to see good in our community.

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The passing of Barbara Bush brought back memories of when the First Lady came to Portage County and I was fortunate enough to introduce her to the Portage County Courthouse family. She looked at the voting machines being readied for the election, then we visited the Record-Courier.

Amie Cajka interviewed her and asked how she felt about George dropping out of the 1980 presidential race. According to Roger Di Paolo the news came in over the wire just before we got there and she didn’t know. She was composed inside but outside got right on it.

I have a handwritten thank you note from Mrs. Bush, which I treasure. Bob Ulrich also sent me a picture of he and I with Mrs. Bush. In the background were the late Dick Kertscher and Bob Seton, Record-Courier photographer.

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For Ravenna news, call Gerry Lewis at 330-325-3119.