About Town

Thanks to the generosity of Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School Custodian Anthony Raleigh, his wife, Maricel, and the couple’s extended family members, elementary students living in the Philippines had the opportunity to enjoy a surprise package of healthy and delicious treats this past holiday season.

The students attend Gayaman Elementary School, which holds a special place for Maricel, as she attended the school and credits her teachers there for preparing and inspiring her to pursue her own dreams.

Anthony and Maricel say they were motivated to give back to the school after talking over the phone with family members who still reside in the Philippines.

The Raleigh family provided $500 in funds to family members to provide a school meal, as well as a healthy meal food pack for each student to take home. The gift of a delicious food package is especially significant, as school meals are not provided to students through public schools in the Philippines.

The students were extremely grateful and excited to receive their food treats, with one student being particularly thrilled to try food items from Jollibee, which likened to the Philippines version of McDonald’s, for the very first time. The Raleighs, along with their extended family, plan to make the donated food packages an annual tradition of giving back.

The ringing of the Salvation Army Bell has reported another banner year of helping those in need in Brecksville, Broadview Heights and their surrounding communities.

Salvation Army bell ringers at the Giant Eagle store at I-77 and Rt. 82 raised a total of $8,244. Those funds will, for the most part, keep electricity and natural gas flowing to homes of low-income residents in Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Seven Hills and Independence from having their utilities disconnected.

While it takes many volunteers to make the annual bell ringing a success, the Salvation Army sends a special thanks to Brecksville resident Bob Petrushka who volunteers to ring the Salvation Army Bell on days when no one is scheduled.

During the 2022 holiday season, Bob single-handedly raised $1,025. This was the 11th consecutive year that Bob has been ringing the bell. In those 11 years, he has raised more $15,000 by himself, standing outside in all kinds of weather.

The Salvation Army also thanks individual bell ringers who took one- and two-hour shifts throughout the season, as well as the Brecksville Kiwanis Club which provided bell ringers for a whole day.

Brecksville was represented at the 2022 Bahamas Bowl this year as Luke Kirin traveled with the Miami University RedHawks to take on the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Dec. 16.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School grad Olivia Toman is among a small number of students at Baldwin Wallace University to be inducted into the school’s elite Dayton C. Miller Honor Society.

Toman, who is majoring in early childhood education, was honored with membership that is achieved by less than 4% of the university’s undergraduate student body. Members are selected for consistently maintaining superior academic work. Students inducted into the society each year represent the top 100 students by grade point average who have earned a minimum of 70 semester hours with at least 32 semester hours at the university.

Emma Pastirik of Broadview Heights was recently initiated into the University of Kentucky Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society. Students initiated into the society must be sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate/professional students in the top 35% of their class, demonstrate leadership experience in at least one of the five pillars, and embrace the ODK ideals. Fewer than 5% of students on a campus are invited to join each year.

Broadview Heights resident Michael Cantu has been applying the tools of science, education and conservation to become a leader in the conservation community. In December 2022, Cantu concluded a master’s course of study with a Master of Arts (MA) in Biology from Miami University through Project Dragonfly.

Since joining the Advanced Inquiry master’s in 2020, Cantu has taken courses on the web from Miami University, while also participating in field studies at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. He has also conducted projects that have made a difference in the Broadview Heights community.

Payton Platt was among 159 students to graduate from Ohio Dominican University in the fall 2022 semester, while Josh Bell graduated from Baldwin Wallace University. Both men are from Broadview Heights.

The following Brecksville-Broadview Heights students have been named to their respective university’s president’s list for the fall 2022 semester:  Lauren Alexander,Trine University; Tyler Bender, Maddie Bird, Sydney Butler and Lindsay Kern, Alaina Siegel, Jacob Didea, Abbey Cigoi, Abigail Bartlett, Leah Stimac and Aiden Kralj, Miami University; and Miranda Burdick, University of Akron.

Likewise, the following Brecksville-Broadview Heights students have been named to their respective college or university’s dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester: Abigail Williamson and Alexis Kovach, Slippery Rock University; Joshua Ye, Cedarville University; Kelly Lynch and Sylvia Stibley, PennWest University; Jack Falko and Chevy Kosek, Ohio Wesleyan University; Olivia Cunningham, Sam Dickhaut, Lauren Hall, Zach Neubeck, Jennifer Pfeiffer, Olivia Toman, Arthur Wise, James Boyle, Dominic Cipiti, Gio Colozza, Alex Istenes, Bradley Kramer, Hunter Kupniewski and Emily Mau, Baldwin Wallace University; Michael Dabney, Cedarville University: Emily Becker, Matthew Sendrey and Lauren Sendrey, Amy Ali, Evan Brickman and Joshua Clark, Univesity of Mount Union; T.J. Kern, Sara Louttit, Brooklyn Kelley, Grace Albrecht, Luke Kirin, Madison Gerber, Emily Moro, Megan Louttit, Taylor Hedrick, Ben Skapura, Delaney Demma, Erin Verderber, Parker Kufel, Katherine Boyce, Janja Dordevic, Roban Rangaraju, Hannah Waler, Cameron Smiley, Solomia Semenyuk, Alivia Tamer, Lauren Scott, Madison Stark, Julianna Lisowsky and Gabby Goren, Miami University; Jocelyn Bender, West Virginia University; Miranda Burdick, University of Akron; and Megan Costanzo,  Elizabeth Durham, Katherine Durham and Timothy Wright, Youngstown State University. ∞