From the desk of Mayor Sam Alai

Welcome to fall in northeast Ohio, one of the most beautiful places to live this time of the year. The leaves are changing and the temperatures are cooling off and for those of you like my wife who love sweaters and warm blankets, this is a beloved season. I know that my daughters have already switched over to their pumpkin spice iced coffees.

Another favorite fall tradition is clambakes. My son hosts one every year at his house, as do our firemen. This year, the firemen’s clambake was held Oct. 1. As always, it was a huge success and enjoyed by many, so I’d like to thank them for all of their hard work and planning. A big thank you, also, to the folks who donated baskets and prizes. The prizewinners were treated to lots of creative and fun treats.

Another huge thank you to the Broadview Heights Community Foundation for hosting its first annual golf outing last month. Through the generosity of donors and golfers, nearly $10,000 was raised to benefit student scholarships and to sponsor events throughout the city. The Foundation, under the leadership of its president, Lori Siwik, is comprised of a slate of dedicated community volunteers who spent a multitude of hours putting this event together. At the end of the day, we were all treated to a delicious steak dinner hosted by Danny Jenks from Auggie’s Catering. The food was fantastic and the company was even better. I can’t wait for next year.

As some of you may have noticed, our recreation center has added a new feature to our membership. Being a grandparent of 10 wonderful children, I know how much I enjoy spending time with them. As I talked to other grandparents who want to bring their grandchildren to our pool, gym and other facilities, it became apparent that we needed to create a cost-effective way for members to do that. So, we have added a grandparent pass for resident members. The cost is $50 for a punch pass that can be used ten times for grandchildren. My thanks to Park and Rec. Director Amanda Hutchenson for finding an economical way to address a need we had not anticipated and to the residents for sharing their feedback with me.

Finally, I’d like to recognize all of our veterans on Friday, Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day. My wife and I have a long list of family members who have served, including our four uncles, my father-in-law, two brothers-in-law and our nephew. Nearly every branch of the service is represented in those eight individuals, including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. They all served with courage and patriotism, often having to leave wives and children behind, or moving them to different cities across the country as they were transferred. Not oncedid I hear any of them complain or lament the dangers and upheaval that accompanies a life of military service.

Think about that for a minute. Imagine your current life as it is now, and then imagine being notified tomorrow that you or your loved one is being sent to a military zone. Picture the sendoff at the airport and the knowledge that it may be your last time to say all the things you want to say to your spouse, your parent or your child. Or imagine being told tomorrow that you are being transferred to a new base across the country and you’ll need to pack up your family, find a new home in a place where you will probably not know anyone, and research schools for your children. What about your spouse’s job? Will he or she be able to find one they love as much, or even find one at all?

Being in the military is a 24/7/365 commitment, and it requires the cooperation of all the participants’ loved ones. This Veterans Day, I ask that you spend the day in solemn remembrance and gratitude to our veterans for the sacrifices they make for their country and with their families. Our nation owes a debt to these folks that cannot be repaid, but we can honor them for protecting our nation’s ideals and long-held beliefs. From my family to all of our veterans, thank you for helping to preserve the freedoms we enjoy and the lives we are lucky enough to have.