Our deepest condolences go out to the Hower family for the loss of James Hower. Service and dedication to the community was a way of life for him. Motivated by his desire to protect and serve the community, Hower trained to be a volunteer fireman shortly after moving to Bath Township in 1964. He served as a volunteer fireman and paramedic with the Bath Township Fire Department for 47 years, 32 of those as the assistant fire chief. After retiring from the department, he continued to serve our community through his work on the Bath Township Zoning Commission.

Hower is described as a great leader and mentor who led by example and never missed an opportunity to help others. He is survived by his wife, Claudia; sons Timothy and Walter; grandchildren, Olivia, Mya, and Ellie; brother-in-law, Bill (Rosemary); and sister-in-law, Kathy. Gifts can be made in his memory to the Bath Fire Department or the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. To share a memory, send a condolence, or light a candle, visit his tribute wall at 

The Akron Art Museum’s annual wine auction toasted the museum’s centennial with a spirited, creative celebration, entitled “The Art of the Party,” chaired by Lyn Bober, with committee members including Paige HooverJane Stathopoulos, and Molly Deholf Holtzer. The event was an immersive retrospective of the museum’s history and a look forward to the next 100 years of celebrating art and people. Attendees included Dr. Herb and Jill CroftDianne and Herb Newman, Judge Kathryn Micheal, Bob Snyder, Jane and Theodore Stathopoulos, DeDee O’Neil, Duane and Earline Roe, Jeff and Sandra Kornick, Ray Pierson and Lynn Kelly. 

The gala also recognized the legacy of the leaders and philanthropists who have helped shape the museum over the past 100 years by serving as presidents of the board of trustees, including Dianne Newman, Myrian Haslinger, Bruce Rowland, Chris Myeroff, Dr. Drew Engles, and Rose Andrews.

The auction supports the museum’s public programming, which connects children and adults to art and inspires creativity through exhibitions and programming. Nevin and Laura Nussbaum have been named the chairs of the 2023 event.

Revere Recreational Softball wrapped up its 2022 summer season with many highlights including the 12U National League team, ‘Cudasearning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Coached by Phil Vukoder with assistant coach, Hailey Connor, the team played a fierce tournament and ended their season as runners-up to the championship. From this team, Mikayla GatesJillian HodgsonEmily Stupczy, and Violette Vukoder were invited to play in the All-Star game held in Hinckley, Ohio.

From the American League, 10U teams, Giada Andreatta, Lila Siess, Caroline Slaven, and Vivian Vukoder had the honor of representing Revere as All-Stars. Congratulations to all the softball players this season and a special thank you to the coaches and parents who volunteered their time to ensure our community of young ball players can have these memorable experiences. 

Akron Marathon founders and Bath residents Steve and Jeannine Marks were named the 2022 Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award recipients.

The award is named for the former president of Polsky’s Department Store and founding trustee of Akron Community Foundation. The award is presented each year to the individual or couple who best exemplifies Polsky’s selfless dedication to humanitarian causes in Akron.

Since founding the Akron Marathon in 2003, Steve and Jeannine have grown the race into a world-class event that has generated $133 million for the community, celebrated more than 170,000 finishers, and has raised $6 million for local charities.

In 2011, the couple established the Akron Marathon Sustainability Fund, an endowment fund promoting health and fitness, stimulating the local economy, galvanizing the community, and benefiting charitable organizations.

Steve is co-founder of Main Street Gourmet, a provider of customized bakery products for national and regional food partners. He has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes and supported hunger relief efforts. Steve serves on the boards of Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation and Curated Storefront.

Jeannine works with nonprofits to address community needs and achieve sustainability. She recently retired as executive director of Stewart’s Caring Place, a nonprofit wellness center that offers free services for individuals and their families on a cancer journey. They will receive the award at a dinner on Oct. 11 at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Grapevine communication is defined by the sense of unity and emotional connection it creates among communities of people, and this column is that in its purest form. I am honored to be a part of sharing your stories, milestones, and news each month. Please email me at ∞