Talk of the Town

by Mary McKenna

University of Findlay student and equestrian team member Marianna George will advance to a national collegiate competition this month following her stellar performance last month in a post-season qualifying event. Photo by Winslow Photography.

The University of Findlay’s equestrian program is nationally known. Now, thanks to her success qualifying at regionals and the “zones” competitions, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association rider Marianna George, of Hudson, is prepared to be, too. Riding in the intermediate class, Marianna won first place for her performance in the “over fences” and “the flat” events in the post-season regional horse show. She qualified for a national competition individually for the “over fences” event and will represent UF in the more advanced open class as the designated rider for both events.

IHSA is no small or easy commitment for students. Marianna, a business major, has had to ready herself and her horse for incredibly early work outs requiring what Marianna calls “4:30 a.m. wake-up calls” and some quiet maneuvering down creaky steps in her off-campus housing. According to Marianna, the unique challenge and fun of IHSA is being able to complete difficult tasks on different horses, whether they’re “a bit hotter, amped and ready to go” or have been identified as a horse with a “left drift.”

“The whole idea of it is you’re not on a horse you’re familiar with,” she said. “It’s a random draw,” truly testing the ability of each rider to manage unique horse temperaments.

Clearly a skilled rider, yet a humble one, Marianna is overwhelmed by her achievement and excited at the prospect of Nationals.

“My expectations for myself are rather low, so I’m speechless at how crazy this has all been,” she said. “I’ve been really grateful to have the opportunity to compete in IHSA, and I’m really amazed at how this season has gone. We’re gearing up for nationals here soon, and it takes the competition to an even higher level.”

Our best wishes to you, Marianna, for success at Nationals and throughout the rest of your collegiate riding career.

Hudson Montessori hosted its first art show and silent auction fundraiser of the year on Saturday, April 15, with rave reviews. Students were able to select one piece of favored artwork from their portfolio to mount and showcase at the event with artist bios. In addition to the students’ work, the school hired local artist and owner of Sweet Silhouettes Varin Acevedo to take silhouettes of each child and put them on display. Parents were able to take their child’s portrait home as a special keepsake from the evening.

While none of the kids’ individual pieces were for sale, plenty of silent auction items were available to bid on, from Cleveland Guardians tickets to a middle school bowling and pizza party. Faculty donated many of the items, including handcrafted earrings made by art teacher Emily Joyce, who’s also a professional enamellist specializing in wearable art and sculpture.

Joe Collins, a recent Ohio University journalism graduate, is now a weekend broadcaster for NBC’s Columbus affiliate. Photo submitted.

“I made a pair of earrings specific to Hudson Montessori,” she said. “They have the logo etched in silver and are paired with a turquoise stone.” Emily teaches art and especially “artistic behavior” to grades one through five and was instrumental in formatting and mapping out the art display for the entire show, something she said she really appreciated.

“I do a lot of student-directed stuff so it’s important for me that the students have a voice and a choice in what’s being displayed for parents to see,” she said. After the fundraiser, held for adults only, the school kept the students’ work up so they could see and celebrate it. Money raised from the fundraiser will help offset school operating costs, and an additional “raise your paddle” live auction will be put towards bringing in an artist-in-residence.

Seton Catholic School second grader Elise Andersson celebrates her state championship. Photo submitted.

Kudos to Hudson High School and Ohio University graduate Joe Collins on landing a job as a reporter for NBC4 in Columbus. In an Instagram post announcing his new role, Collins thanks his mom, longtime ScripType writer Michele Collins, who inspired him to pursue journalism.

“I would not be in this position right now if it weren’t for the amazing people in my life,” he wrote. Best wishes on this new chapter, Joe!

Congrats also to Hudsonite Elise Andersson, who recently competed against 20 girls from her age group across Ohio to win the state championship for gymnastics! Elise came first in vault, second in beam, and placed fourth overall. Great job, Elise!  

Finally, hats off to longtime resident and local business owner Tom Murdough, who was inducted into the Society of Plastic Engineers Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony last month. The Little Tikes, Step2 and Simplay3 founder was recognized as a pioneer in rotational molding and a founding contributor to SPE’s scholarship program. In 2020, Murdough was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, joining such toy luminaries as Milton Bradley, Walt Disney, Jim Henson and Stan Lee, and the Rotational Molding Hall of Fame.

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