The Update | Hopewell Theatre to Dedicate Ramp; Youth Poetry Contest Winners

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Hopewell Theatre’s new ADA-accessible entrance ramp will be dedicated at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Funding for the ramp came from a $22,300 Shuttered Venues Operator Grant during the pandemic and donations.

The lead gift was funded by Marlene Strollo, a former Hopewell Theatre board member and director. The ramp will be dedicated in memory of Dominic M. and Evelyn F. Menaldi. 

The ramp is the first step in transforming the historic building, built in the 1890s, into a fully accessible site. Plans are underway to create an accessible restroom on the building’s main floor.

Following the ramp dedication will be the opening night performance of the drama “Rabbit Hole” at the Hopewell. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire is being directed by Nick Mulichak.

“Rabbit Hole” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. June 14-15 and 21-22; and 2 p.m. June 23. 

For tickets, go to

Youth Poetry Competition Announces Winners

The finalists in the CityVerse youth poetry contest are, back row, Lil Snyder, Genesis Ruiz and Kanna Cartwright; and front row, Comet Escobar and Lyric Saulsberry.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lyric Saulsberry is the grand prize winner of the inaugural CityVerse youth poetry contest.

The incoming senior at Chaney High School is a dancer who wrote a poem about her avocation titled “Ballerina.” She describes the poem as a metaphor for the hard work, expectation, positioning, duplicity and exhilaration of teen life.

Saulsberry won a $5,000 scholarship provided by Lit Youngstown and held in trust at the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

The panel of judges included Debbie Allen, Ahmed Sutton and Jimmy Sutman. In addition to Saulsberry, the panel also selected Kanna Cartwright and Lil Snyder of Chaney High School and Comet Escobar and Genesis Ruiz of East High School as finalists.

All of the students attended writing workshops led by Barbara Fant, Quartez Harris and Shaunda Yancey.

Butler to Screen Documentary on Kim Novak

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A 60-minute documentary film on the life of actor-artist Kim Novak will be shown multiple times in Zona Auditorium at The Butler Institute of American Art.

Reservations are not required, and admission is free. 

The documentary sheds light on Novak’s life, from her childhood through her movie career and, finally, to her passion that started in childhood – painting.

An exhibition of works by Novak opened earlier this month at The Butler and will run through Aug. 18.

Here are the documentary screening times:

  • June 12,19 and 26 at noon.
  • July 10, 19 and 26 at noon.
  • July 28 at 1 p.m.
  • Aug. 2 and 9 at noon.
  • Aug. 18 at 1 p.m.

TourismOhio Releases ‘Things to Do’ List

COLUMBUS, Ohio – TourismOhio has released its annual “100 Things To Do in Ohio this Summer” list, which includes more than 60 new suggestions.

Travelers can download the free checklist to help plan their vacations. 

Also newly released is the Official 2024 Ohio Summer Events Guide, which highlights five events in each of Ohio’s 88 counties and is now available for download at Travelers can search by region and month for the best of Ohio’s unique events from across the state all summer long. 

TourismOhio is a division of the Ohio Department of Development.

Casino Commission Softens ‘Use It or Lose It’ Rule

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Casino Control Commission is filing five rule changes to amend the “use it or lose it” requirement regarding sports gaming licenses.

The amendments allow, rather than require, the commission to revoke a license if a provider or proprietor does not offer sports gaming within the previous year. They were considered at the commission’s May 15 meeting.

The amended rules would give the commission discretionary power in deciding whether to revoke a license for non-usage. One of the licensees that would be affected by this rule change is the Youngstown Phantoms, which has not yet begun to offer sports betting but is working on a plan to construct a sportsbook facility as an addition to Covelli Centre.

Dave Banks Big Band in USO Variety Show

WARREN, Ohio – The Dave Banks Big Band Orchestra will present a USO Variety Show at the Robins Theatre on Nov. 13, with performances at 2 and 7 p.m.

The show will include music that spans seven decades – from Big Band Swing to Elvis Presley to Earth Wind and Fire – and is intended to honor U.S. veterans.

Tickets aret $18 and $25 (plus applicable fees) and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, June 14, at and the box office, 160 E. Market St.

The show will feature Elvis tribute singer Walt Sanders, Sammy Davis singer Stanley Davis and vocalist Shannon Eller. Veterans are encouraged to wear their service uniforms to the concert.

 Soul Food Cook Off at Wean Park

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Soul Food Cook Off will take place Sunday, June 23, at Wean Park, downtown.

Guests can purchase a voucher for $20 that allows five tastings and the opportunity to vote in each category: Best Ribs, Best Mac and Cheese and Best Dessert. Go to to purchase.

The winner in each category will receive a cash prize.

Free Fishing Days in Ohio This Weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s annual free fishing days will be Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16. All residents can fish at any public waterway without a license on those days, including Lake Erie, the Ohio River and Ohio’s public lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers.

Anglers under age 16 can fish for free year-round and are not required to hold a license. All other fishing regulations, size requirements and bag limits apply.

Golf Classic to Benefit Children’s Foundation

POLAND, Ohio – The Children’s Circle of Friends Foundation’s annual Golf Classic will take place Monday, June 17, at The Lake Club. It will feature golf on the club’s 18-hole course, food trucks, dinner and a variety of prizes.

The event will begin with registration and use of the practice range from 10 to 11:15 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. Dinner and drinks will begin at 4:30 p.m.

The golfer fee is $375 and includes lunch on the course, 18 holes of golf including cart and fees, complimentary beverages on the course, a Golf Classic souvenir and entry into all skill prizes on the course. 

After the outing, participants will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Sponsorship packages are also available at various levels.

For information or to register, contact Joe Fanto at 339 301 6838 or

Proceeds from the event will support the Children’s Circle of Friends Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of vulnerable children in the Mahoning Valley. The foundation provides financial support to Alta Behavioral Care, helping to establish and grow prevention and treatment.

Summer Concert Series Resumes in New Castle

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The summer concert series at Riverwalk Park, downtown, will begin Friday, June 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. with New Castle’s own The Wait. 

Each concert will feature a variety of food trucks, a raffle and live music.

Pictured at top: The new accessible entrance ramp at The Hopewell Theatre will be dedicated Friday.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.