Laurel School students enjoy using their new mountain bikes as part of their school day at the Butler Campus in Russell Township. (Photo Courtesy of Laurel School)
RUSSELL TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Laurel School’s Butler Campus recently held its third annual Yurt Day to honor alumnus Mary French Conway.
The 1946 graduate of the school was instrumental in the creation of the outdoor pre-kindergarten program at the Butler campus, which includes outdoor classes and programs as a part of the curriculum.
The recent Yurt Day highlighted the addition of a new yurt structure that will be used for sleeping during overnight stays by students, visitors and during camps at the campus. Other yurts constructed there are used as classrooms.
The new yurt is affectionately dubbed “Lima Bean” — named for Lima, Ohio, the hometown of donor Nancy Breckenridge McCormack, a 1948 graduate.
Also featured were four new bike “boxes” used to house a new fleet of 80 mountain bikes donated for use by students in grades 3-5 and faculty.
The bike storage units were donated by families to honor Bella Patel, director of kindergarten through grade two, and to 1929 graduate Emily Robbins Coley.
The Butler Campus is located on Fairmount Road in Russell Township. Contact
Church celebrates 180 years: The United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls invites the community to help celebrate its 180th anniversary at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 20) with a talk about its history, followed by a dessert reception in Harris Hall.
John Bourisseau, board president of the Chagrin Falls Historical Society, is the speaker. The church is the oldest continuously operating church in the village.
Then, at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, the church invites the community to a celebratory worship service, followed by a reception in Harris Hall. Church services are conducted at 10 a.m. each Sunday, both in person and online.
Reservations are not necessary and childcare is available for attendees. The church is located at 20 S. Franklin St. Contact 440-247-5848 or
Speaking of art: Spend an interesting Sunday afternoon each month with Fairmount Center for the Arts as it “pulls back the curtain” and hosts eight speakers September through April.
The topics represent a wide variety of art, from the visual arts, film, classical music, dance, poetry and culinary worlds. The speakers will share their insight and engage discussions with attendees.
Light refreshments will be reserved.
The free series starts from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 18), with independent scholar Marjorie Williams presenting a talk on “The Tale of Genji: Wives, Demons and Lovers.”
She will introduce the novel, the narrative and its importance in Japanese art. The Tale of Genji is a 1000 AD Japanese literary classic that chronicles the life of Prince Genji and his wives, mistress and lovers. In what may be the world’s first romance novel, Shikibu Murasaki, a lady at the Heian court, wrote the world’s first and longest novel to entertain the women at the court.
Explore the visual arts “Through the Eyes of the Artist” with Felicia Zavarella Stadelman in her lecture on the 20th century innovator Henri Matisse from 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 9. Although constantly pushing experimentation in art, his paintings are said to represent “pure calm and harmony.”
Talk about film from 3 to 4 p.m. Nov. 13, as John Ewing presents “In Conversation.” Ewing is director of the Cinematheque at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He will discuss art films and the Cinematheque, recognized as one of the best repertory movie theaters in the United States.
“Food as Art,” in which Chef Douglas Katz talks about food, restaurants and his travels, will be offered from 3 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11. Katz is owner of the Zhug, Amba and Chimi restaurants.
Reservations for all talks are recommended. Contact or call 440-338-3171. The center is located at 8400 Fairmount Road in Russell Township.
Learn to hunt: The Geauga Park District is offering a hunter education course for young and beginning hunters from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 1 and Oct. 8.
Designed for the first-time hunter who wants to acquire a hunting license, it covers topics including conservation, safety and ethics, proper handling of firearms, bow-hunting gear and more.
The classes will be held at Big Creek Park in Middlefield. Register through the Ohio Division of Natural Resources at
For additional information, visit and look for hunting and trapping activities.
To post your news and events, contact Rusek at
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