The Grapevine

by Martin McConnell

The Independence Police Department recently delivered 150 stuffed animals to Cornerstone of Hope at 5905 Brecksville Rd. Cornerstone of Hope provides counseling services to those grieving the loss of a loved one in the Northeast Ohio area.

The stuffed animals came from Wild Republic, a local company that has been “delighting consumers around the globe with an expansive collection of nature-related toys and gifts since 1979,” according to its website. The Wild Republic stuffed animals went to grieving families for the holiday season, and anyone else who was in need of holiday cheer. The company will be moving its headquarters to Independence, taking over the former Kichler Lighting building on East Pleasant Valley Road.

Students at Independence Primary School also contributed to a neighborhood project this Christmas, with their second annual “Stuff The Bus” initiative.

IPS students and staff filled a school bus with toys, clothing and other holiday items before sending it to the Garfield Heights School District for families in need. The hope is that the Blue Devils community helped Christmas to arrive early in Garfield. Principal T.J. Ebert said in a article that the school plans to continue bus-stuffing efforts in future years.

Independence High School’s JustWrite D2 team recently took home first-place at Cloverleaf High School’s competitive writing competition. The D2 team, made up of junior and senior Blue Devil writers, placed first out of a total of 16 competitive teams.

Junior Maggie Panichi also secured writing honors in the individual category, in addition to helping the team to its gold-medal finish. Panichi received a medal as the 12th best writer at the competition, out of a total of 162.

Trine University student Jordan Kohut, of Independence, earned Dean’s List recognition for the Fall 2022 term. Kohut is majoring in Forensic Science.

Kirsten Taras, a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in International Studies, was named to the 2022 autumn Dean’s List. ∞

Students carry boxed donations to the
school bus. Photo submitted.