5 uplifting stories: Hanover Reserve makes comeback after devastating fire, Homeless program serves 5,000th breakfast and more

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Here is a look at five positive Butler County stories that were in the news this week.

Hanover Reserve makes full comeback after devastating fire

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

BUTLER COUNTY — A Hanover Twp. events center is celebrating its reopening with an open house Saturday after an October 2021 fire forced the venue to close for nearly eight months as the building underwent repair.

After its initial opening in May 2021, Hanover Reserve Weddings and Events operated for five months before a fire originating in a propane fireplace traveled up through the chimney and made its way into the insulation lining the roof during a wedding ceremony in mid-October, according to Melanie Barnes, one of six owners in the family-run business.

The fire and the subsequent hiatus forced the business to reschedule or forfeit around 30 events over the course of the rebuild.


Homeless assistance program serves 5,000th breakfast

MIDDLETOWN — Two years after starting a free meal program, volunteers from a local homeless organization served their 5,000th meal this week.

Serving Homeless Alternative Housing Of Middletown (SHALOM) stopped operating its winter church-based homeless shelter program at the outset of COVID-19, said Bill Fugate, volunteer coordinator. He said it was impossible to safely serve the homeless due to the dangers of the virus.

So SHALOM volunteers started serving breakfast three days a week from a donated food trailer in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church, 120 S. Broad St., SHALOM’s home office.


Greater Oxford Community Foundation awards $60K in scholarships to Talawanda grads

OXFORD – Graduating Talawanda High School seniors given scholarships through the Greater Oxford Community Foundation were treated to an ice cream party to celebrate, two days prior to their graduation ceremony.

The party was intended to congratulate the scholarship winners as well as celebrate their accomplishments of getting through their high school careers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foundation Executive Director Betsy Hope said the scholarships they oversee offer Talawanda graduates a wide range of support from varied community sources.


Lakota West standout named state player of the year

WEST CHESTER TWP. — Lakota West High School senior KK Mathis was named today as the Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Mathis as Ohio’s best high school softball player.

Mathis, who had a weighted 4.0 grade-point average, learned of the prestigious honor about an hour ago from her family.


Badin boys win state volleyball championship

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Badin High School won its first-ever boys state volleyball championship Sunday, knocking off Catholic rival Carroll in four sets at Pickerington Central High School outside Columbus.

Badin won the first two sets of the Division II title match, 25-22 and 25-21, before Carroll rallied 25-17 in the third set of the best-of-five competition.

The fourth set was a barnburner, as neither team could build more than a one-point lead down the stretch. Badin had match points at 24-23 and 26-25, but couldn’t convert. Carroll had set points at 27-26 and 28-27, on the verge of forcing a fifth set, but Badin kept getting side outs.


AND, for an extra sixth story of the day ...

‘ElectriCITY’ to flow throughout Hamilton during StreetSpark event this weekend

A public art event in Hamilton will be conducted at more than a dozen locations across the city this weekend. "

ElectriCITY,” an artist-led StreetSpark initiative, will involve painting utility boxes, electricity-themed portraits that will be painted on panels, and a 400-foot-long mural on the retaining wall near Spooky Nook Sports.

“People can watch the entire process of creating murals,” said StreetSpark program manager Jennifer Acus-Smith. “Or they can help. Either way, people can be involved. The artists aren’t locked away in a studio by themselves. It’s almost like a performance, where artists can engage with the community. That’s unique to our project.”


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