MANSFIELD – The Mansfield Noon Optimist Club is once again showing the annual Mid-Ohio Home Show after a year of absence.
Due to the pandemic, the event was canceled in March 2020 just hours before it opened, said club president Kevin Zehe.
The home show will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with many companies at your disposal to offer residents home improvement services and more at the Richland County Fairgrounds.
Members of the home entertainment committee said the pandemic reduced many of the youth programs the club normally sponsored in 2020, but expect a large turnout this year at the fair.
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The net proceeds go to young people in the community, said Tom Stortz, a committee member of the Mansfield Noon Optimist Club. He estimated that there will be about 70 exhibitors in two buildings of the fairgrounds. Anyone who wants to set up a stand can contact the Optimists at midohiohomeshow.com.
Zehe said, “We meet every couple of weeks here at Der Dutchman and we plan and talk to the vendors and get their contracts. It takes a lot of work.”
Exhibitors represent lawn care in financial services
Exhibitors will offer extensive information on projects ranging from home improvement and lawn care to financial services. Exhibitions include basement waterproofing, chiropractic services, custom granite, invisible pet fences, kitchen and bathroom design, landscaping, pest control, security systems, storage buildings, telephone systems, well and wood drilling.
According to Zehe, the home show is fundraising for Optimist Club projects. Committee members working behind the scenes are Stortz, Zehe, Bill Wrea, Bill Spurling, Andy Kershaw and Tom Risacher.
So many young people benefit from income
For years, optimists have provided scholarships to youth in the area, including the second scholarship for the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program, funds for the after-school program at the Dewald Center, scholarships from the Friendly House camp, scholarships at the Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center and the Ohio Bird Sanctuary.
The club has purchased 100 life jackets for the Safe Fishing and Boat Festival each year and children’s swim vests in the Mansfield Area Y.
The club has also donated money to football and baseball teams, helping children attend Camp Nuhop and Joy of Living in Knox County. Optimists volunteer each year at the Richland County shock simulation. They bring 15 children to the Miss Ohio program in June and members support Safety Town.
Last year, Optimists sponsored a Christmas party for 22 young people at the Mansfield Elks Club with Santa. The Elks gave breakfast. Optimists drive food props, a cleaning product prop for Harmony House and a coat collector, the latter at Friendly House.
Lots of history behind the event; this year there is no door fee
Optimists have been doing the show since 1972, first at the former Mansfield Coliseum, then at the Richland Mall and now at the fairgrounds for the past 20 years, Stortz said.
Stortz said he and the club’s approximately 55 members believe the fun of the event is seeing everyone, many of whom are longtime exhibitors.
There will be a 50/50 draw.
Some changes this year include entry or entrances to the door. Home spectators will be asked to make a donation if they so wish at the doors of their two buildings to help the club support the youngsters, Stortz said.
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There will be food trucks and the new Bookmobile from the new Mansfield-Richland County Public Library, which will be open for tours. Doug Versaw of Mansfield in Bloom will be present with an exhibition.
This year’s sponsors are Schmidt Security Pro, From the Ground Up and John Deer Ag-Pro.
Hours are: 3pm to 7pm on May 21, 9am to 7pm on May 22nd and 11am to 4pm on May 23rd.