News in brief

Annual wine and food celebration this Saturday

Students are encouraged to come, thirsty and hungry, to the annual Kent State Ohio Wine and Food Celebration held on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. at the Ashtabula Campus.

“This is the fourth year for the event,” said Frank Vaccariello, Ashtabula campus public relations coordinator. “We had a blast the first three years, and I’m hoping this year will be a blast too.”

At the celebration, students will be able to sample wines and other snacks. The celebration showcases several local wineries and restaurants, as well as artisans and musicians.

Nearly 1,000 people are expected to attend the event, according to the campus Web site. Tickets can be ordered in advance for $15 by calling (440) 964-4225, at the Ashtabula Campus Bookstore, or online; tickets can also be purchased for $18 at the gate.

Ticket prices include entrance to the grounds, a souvenir wine glass, wine sampling, live music, cooking demonstrations, access to food and artisans, chances to win prizes and access to hot air balloon rides.

All proceeds benefit the Campus Community Scholarship fund.

“The scholarship is a special community fund given to the under-served population which is made up of adults, parents and other people at the regional campuses that are on the edge of not getting money,” Vaccariello said.

While the celebration is primarily an adult event, admission for anyone under 21 or a designated driver is $8, and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.

“It’s always been a great day and a wonderful way to raise money for the scholarship fund,” Vaccariello said.

For more information about the celebration, call (440) 964-4310.

—Jillian Kramer

Original Willy Wonka playing in downtown Kent

Students and Kent community members are invited to attend a free showing of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Friday night.

The movie will begin at 9 p.m. at Home Savings Plaza located on Main Street.

Audience members are allowed to bring their own food and beverages, but alcohol is prohibited at the event.

Downtown Innovative Community Events, a consortium of local businesses, is sponsoring the movie showing as well as showings of Yellow Submarine on July 29 and School House Rock on Aug. 26.

—Will Schertz

Graduation fair helps simplify commencement

The graduation process can be stressful and confusing. The university offers its Imagine Graduation Fair for August 2005 graduates from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Monday and Tuesday on the second floor of the Student Center.

Each semester, Kent State holds a graduation fair to help simplify the graduation process. Various departments come together in the Student Center to save students time and energy.

“The Imagine Graduation Fair is a one-stop shop to take care of everything for commencement,” Special Events Coordinator Carla Wyckoff said.

At the graduation fair, students can order their cap and gowns, verify their name and mailing information for their diploma, and accomplish other graduation tasks.

For August 2005 graduates unable to attend this event, a mailing will be sent out in July with all pertinent information.

Summer commencement will be held on Aug. 20, 2005 in the M.A.C. Center. There will be one ceremony, at 10 a.m., for all colleges and schools.

For more information on summer commencement and the Imagine Graduation Fair, visit

­­—Will Cleary

2nd 5K/10K run to raise money for United Way

The Western Reserve Spine and Pain Institute and United Way of Portage County will host their second 5K/10K run and one-mile fun walk on July 2 at Kent’s Heritage Festival.

The event, which raises money for local charities, begins at 8:30 a.m. and will take participants on a loop through downtown Kent.

“We are hoping to make anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 from the event to fund our 17 partner social service programs this year,” said Rachel Wenger, director of campaign and communications at United Way.

Pre-registration and donations for the run have already raised more than $10,000 for United Way. Corporate sponsors include Don Joseph Toyota, Kent State, Davey Tree and Huntington Bank.

“We have six offices in Portage County where we work and live,” said Greg Selzer, vice president of Huntington Bank and campaign committee chair for United Way. “We realize the importance of helping those in need.”

About 200 runners participated in last year’s race, and 400 are anticipated for this year, Wenger said.

Pre-registration is $10 for the fun walk, $15 for the 5K run and $20 for the 10K. On race day, the price increases to $12, $20 and $22, respectively. Individuals can register online at or by contacting United Way at (330) 297-1424.

Awards will be given for top male and female runners in the 5K and 10K as well as to the top three participants in their respective age groups.

—Leslie Schelat

Working hard for the scholarship money

The custodial staff at Kent State is giving new meaning to money laundering.

Last week, workers spent several hours cleaning the fountain inside the Student Center.

Wearing yellow rubber boots that matched the caution tape surrounding the empty fountain, Melissa Sink, first-shift supervisor of the Student Center custodial staff, spent much of the time gathering coins from the bottom.

The coins were collected in five-gallon buckets. The money was then cleaned.

“The money is really dirty when we take it out — it’s gross,” said Sink.

The laundering process involves washing the coins in mild detergent and letting them dry in colanders.

Sink sent the money to Jon Harper, assistant director of the Student Center. Harper keeps the buckets of money in a safe and periodically delivers them to the development office for scholarship funds.

In addition to weekly chemical applications, Sink said the custodial staff and maintenance repair workers overhaul the fountain four or five times each year. The process usually takes half a day, she said.

After scrubbing the fountain tiles, the sand in the filters must be changed twice a year.

Bill Summy, a maintenance repair worker who calls himself “The Sandman” for his hand in this, is also responsible for refilling the fountain after cleanings.

A garden hose snaked across the Student Center floor refilled the pool with tap water, which usually takes about four hours, Summy said.

­—Valerie Maczak