Walbridge business honors Lake students, awards scholarship

By: 
Kari Myers

        When Caryl Stone’s husband got ill a few years ago, the family hit on hard times, and when he passed away, Caryl found herself alone, scared and completely overwhelmed. Looking for a fresh start, she and her daughter moved from New Jersey to Ohio. In the village of Walbridge, she found a 120-year-old church that would be perfect to start her new business and a new chapter in her life.
        Random Acts of Walbridge is a consignment arts, crafts, and collectibles shop with coffee, music, baked goods, and soon, ice cream and bubble tea.
        “I’m trying to involve the community as much as possible by giving a little bit of everything for everybody,” Stone said.
        Stone and her team’s mission is to build a strong sense of community, focusing on the good in people.
        On May 29, Stone recognized several Lake High School students who embody the philosophy of “random acts of kindness.”
        “Before I opened Random Acts of Walbridge, I knew that I wanted to create a scholarship to honor a student who is a good student, friend and citizen – one who is known for being kind and helpful; one who is seldom in the limelight and never expects recognition,” she said.
        The idea goes back to Stone’s own high school years when, she was shy but loved working on projects and events, doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work. She believed her efforts had been unnoticed, however, when she graduated, she received a service award and a small cash prize from a teacher who noticed all that Stone did.
        She recalls being recognized for her efforts made her feel like “a million dollars.”
        She and her daughter Willow, who helps run the Random Acts of Kindness Teen Group, asked Lake High School teachers to nominate students for a $1,000 scholarship. She also asked her teen group that helps at the shop to pull names of deserving students.
        “We wanted students that were unsung heroes, that represented random acts of kindness, that were helpful to teachers and classmates, and never expected anything in return,” Stone said.
        Dakotah Bunn, a senior at Lake High School, was the recipient of The Random Acts of Walbridge Scholarship and was awarded $1,000.
        Lake seniors Mason McNally, Emma Helton, Heather White, Jaelyn McNamee, Megan Wozniak, and Morgan Kuhlman were also recognized and received gift baskets that included gift certificates, coffee for life at Random Acts of Walbridge, as well as several crafts made by local crafters.
        Stone said she plans to award another scholarship next year.
        “People do notice, even though it doesn’t seem like it. People around you do notice that you make a difference,” Stone told her awardees.
 

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