Talk of the Town

Let’s start with a great big kudos to local teen Kristine Roegner, daughter of State Senator Kristina Roegner. The Hudson High School sophomore, who only began power lifting training about 18 months ago, crushed her introductory competition. She had made a goal to beat the state and national weightlifting record for her class and did it in February by setting a new United States Powerlifting Association bench press record of 148.7 pounds at a USPA competition in Columbus.

“I was so discouraged when I did not do it at first,” she said. On her second lift, Kristine broke the state record for girls ages 16-17 in the 130-150 pound weight class. She went again to break the record she had just set and the national record.

Kristine Roegner

Kristine said she has competed in track and field hockey for years, but competitive weightlifting has challenged her in ways she had never been challenged before. “I was very excited about [the record-breaking bench press]. I had been training six days a week for this,” she said.

Well, this is certainly not the end for this weightlifter; she plans on future competitions and future record-breaking lifts. Way to go, Kristine!

Hudsonite Arif Sitabkhan is helping the environment with his new venture, Smash My Trash. Arif wanted to leave corporate America and had three wishes in his next career role. He wanted schedule independence, financial independence and to make a defined impact on his community. Smash My Trash, a national franchise brand, is a company that compacts waste in dumpsters, reducing the number of dumpsters needed. Less dumpsters, he said, means less trucks going to and from landfills and reduces emissions in communities. Environmental stewardship is very important to Arif and having a wife who is an environmental scientist instills good practices in their home. He also commits to conservancy financially. Last year, Sitabkhan said he was able to donate $1,200 to Western Reserve Land Conservancy with revenue from his business. His goal for this year is to double or even triple that amount.

Arif Sitabkhan

Charlotte Hooker is organizing a children’s concert to benefit theneo-natal intensive care unit at The Cleveland Clinic, where the Hudson teen began her life as a premie. Charlotte was delivered at 34 weeks, according to her mother Kathleen Leigh Lewarchick, and at 4½ pounds was “considered one of the larger babies in the unit.”

Charlotte Hooker

“We were able to feed and hold her but only for short periods of time,” Kathleen said. “We were grateful that medical technology was available, and staff provided expert care.”

Kathleen added that today Charlotte is an accomplished ballet dancer and flautist and, at the age of 17, “shifted gears” to repeat 11th grade and complete a two-year program at Western Reserve Academy studying cancer immunology with The Cleveland Clinic.

When the family discussed a donation to the health system, Kathleen said Charlotte replied “I have a better idea. Let’s organize an event to raise even more money for the babies, like me, and the doctors and staff of The Cleveland Clinic NICU.”

The April 24 concert will feature youth instrumentalists and vocalists and take place at the First Congregational Church of Hudson, 47 Aurora St., from 1:30-3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Donations are also being accepted.

Hudson Middle School students recently competed in You Be the Chemist in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with two teams taking first and third place in a regional tournament. They are awaiting an invitation to the national competition in Houston, Texas. This multi-leveled science competition has teams collaborate to create a video exploring chemistry concepts, evaluated by a panel of judges, and also includes a variety of science questions. Under the leadership of Hudson resident Dr. Fangming Du, technology manager in special chemicals at Cleveland-based GE Current, the students had weekly meetings in addition to studying independently. Sixth-grade science teacher Courtney Bedzyk organized the school-based group. Congratulations to first-place team members Jerry Du, Grace Newsome, Elena Cheng and Sherry Li, and third-place finishers Esther Hayashi, Anton Banweg, Davis Banweg, Ian Zhu, and Jack Simon. We hope to hear great news for you soon!

Congrats to the 2013 Hudson United girls soccer squad, which recently won the U9 premier division at the Internationals Soccer Club All-Star Tournament. “I’ve been coaching U9 girls for many years, and this is one of the strongest groups I’ve ever had,” said coach Tony Bouquot.

The 2013 Hudson United girls soccer squad

Tina Speicher has been named vice president, Total Rewards, for Akron Children’s Hospital. In her new position, Speicher is responsible for the development, planning and administration of the hospital system’s benefits, wellness and employee health programs. With more than 6,800 employees, Akron Children’s ranks among the top 20 largest employers in Northeast Ohio. Speicher joined Akron Children’s from FirstEnergy Corp., where she had served as manager of benefits since 2016.

Girl Scout Troop 90642 is raising funds to travel to Savannah, Georgia, to see the birthplace of the Girl Scouts Founder Juliette Gordon Low by being undercover Easter Bunny this year. The Egg Drop is a fundraiser where the girls drop off 50 eggs at the homes who register for the event on Easter Eve. The girls love this project and enjoy spreading Easter cheer. If you would like to donate or have Easter Eggs dropped off at your home, text 330-842-0704 to receive information and register. The girls would be more than happy to drop some eggs to be found! Happy Easter!

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