The Update | Theater Awards Scholarship; Irish Fest Names ‘Mayor of Malarky’

SALEM, Ohio – Ella Scofinsky, a graduating senior at West Branch High School, is this year’s recipient of the Charles E. Williams Memorial Scholarship, bestowed by Salem Community Theatre. 

Until his untimely death in 1983, Charles Williams spent most of his free time on sets, managing, directing, leading, building, acting and otherwise making the Salem theater into an important community asset and a source of creative outlet.

The scholarship was created to recognize the achievements of local students in the performing arts. 

Irish Festival Names ‘Mayor of Malarky’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Jim “Monko” Johnston has been named the inaugural Mayor of Malarky, a position of honor, for this year’s Mahoning Valley Irish Festival.

Monko has formed strong bonds to create a better community within the Mahoning Valley.

Yard signs and commemorative program ads are being sold for those who would like to extend their well wishes and congratulations to Monko. They can be found on the Mahoning Valley Irish Festival website under the Mayor of Malarky tab. Interested parties can also email or call 330 770 6785.

The Mahoning Valley Irish Festival will take place at Penguin City Brewing on Friday, July 21, from 5 to 11 p.m., and Saturday, July 22, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Top Hat Launches Culinary Program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Top Hat Productions has partnered with Heart Reach Ministries to bring a taste of celebrated cuisine to students.

The weekly program is a bridge building tool that will celebrate cultural diversity and weaken the divisiveness in society, according to a press release. 

For six weeks this summer, a diverse group of students will be given the opportunity to cook and taste dishes from several cultures, while encouraging them to have pride in their own culture. Top Hat is hoping that it will become an annual program.

Community cooks who will share stories and a hands-on cooking lesson include Regina Reynolds (Polish), Michelle Stevens (Southern), Justin Noble (Vietnamese), Brian Palumbo (Italian), Valerie Dill (Filipino). A Latin dish is also to be added. 

Exhibitions to Open at The Hoyt

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – An exhibition of paintings by Nicole Renee Ryan and Dorit Brauer will open July 5 at The Hoyt, and will remain on view until Sept. 7.

The artwork is described as a mix of memory and imagination. 

In the East Gallery, Ryan’s collection of expressive oil paintings, “You Are in Your Own Time Now,” beckons viewers to step inside imaginary landscapes to explore the changing elements of Mother Nature.

Similarly, Brauer’s vibrantly colored oils invite the viewer to dive into the world of the inner self with her collection of paintings titled “Blossom into Being in the West Gallery.”

Not to be overlooked in the Walkway Gallery is James Parlin’s “The Unconditional,” a humorous collection of figures in cast aluminum that explores how we deal with the human condition. 

A public meet and greet reception for all three artists will take place at noon July 15.

Diocese Takes Home Media Awards

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has received three awards from the Catholic Media Association for diocesan media products, as well as one award for Bishop David Bonnar for his column in The Priest magazine. 

Leading the awards for the diocese were the Rev. James Korda, the 2023 Gabriel Award for Lifetime Achievement; and Pete Sheehan, first place in the category of regular column for pro-life issues.

The diocese’s communications department also received an honorable mention in the press release category for Justin Huyck and Katie Wagner.

For his collection of columns in The Priest magazine, which is published by Our Sunday Visitor, Bonnar won a third-place award in the magazine category for best regular column on religious life. Bonnar serves as editor of The Priest magazine.

Separately, the Diocese of Youngstown received an Award of Distinction from the 2023 Communicator Awards for its radio program Wineskins, hosted by Korda and edited by multimedia specialist Robert Gavalier.

Columbiana Student Earns Scholarship

MOBILE, Alabama – Delaney Finsley of Columbiana, Ohio, received a Self-Expression award during the second night of preliminary competition at the 66th Distinguished Young Women National Finals on June 23.

The $1,000 cash scholarship was presented to five of the 50 state representatives receiving the highest scores from the panel of judges following their on-stage oral presentation in front of an audience.

Following a selection process that began in her home state of Ohio, Finsley traveled to Mobile along with 49 other state representatives to participate in community activities and prepare for the 66th annual national competition.

Finsley is a graduate of Columbiana High School. In the fall, she will attend West Liberty University with plans to become an elementary school teacher. She is the daughter of Heather and Martin Finsley.

Founded in 1958, Distinguished Young Women is a free program that encourages participants to reach their full individual potential. It provides over $1 billion in scholarship opportunities.

Kravitz Deli Unveils Fundraising Programs

Matt Rydarowicz, left, owner of Kravitz Deli, presents a $1,500 check to Help Network’s Vince Brancaccio.

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – After taking over ownership of Kravitz Deli last year, Matt Rydarowicz was impressed at the level of local support he received. He decided to formalize a program to give back.

Kravitz Kares allows the many worthy causes throughout the region to optimize their fundraising efforts by choosing an opportunity to best suit their needs. Apply at at least 60 days before your event.

Here are a few ways organization can make use of the fundraising program:

  • A dining event: Raise funds while eating at the deli or Garden Café, with 15% of the
  • proceeds donated back to your organization.
  • Gift cards: Organizations sell $25 Kravitz gift cards and keep $5 of every sale.
  • Basket raffles: Gift cards and gift certificates can be donated for bagels, baked goods and deli foods.
  • Bagel discounts.

Pictured at top: Ella Scofinsky, recipient of the Charles E. Williams Memorial Scholarship, and Salem Community Theatre trustees Melissa Kuttler, Justin Steele and Carrie Utt.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.