Shawn Mlynek, harpist Eleonora Congiu to present concert

Press Staff Writer

        Northwest Ohio native, tenor Shawn Mlynek, with  harpist Eleonora Congiu, will present a concert Wednesday, April 3 at 6 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 611 Woodville Rd., Toledo.
        Mlynek (Carnegie Hall, Slovak National Theater, Stadttheater Gießen) lives in Germany and says he’s very excited to be visiting home after many years.
        “I owe much of my career to the support of friends and family in Northwest Ohio, and it is an honor to be returning and to give something back,” Mlynek said. “My musical partner, Italian harpist Eleonora Congiu, will be joining me for her first visit to the United States to share a beautiful and diverse concert of music with our audience,” he said. “We have something for every taste, with repertoire ranging from the baroque period all the way to pop songs of the `50s and `60s.”
        Admission to the concert is free; donations will be gladly accepted.
        Learn more about Mlynek at
Jake Reichbart Trio to perform April 6
        The Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society will present The Jake Reichbart Trio Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St.
        Tickets are $12 and are available in advance at Beeker’s General Store, 226 E. Front St., Pemberville or by calling Carol at 419-287-4848. Tickets will also be available at the door.
        The trio is led by jazz guitarist Jake Reichbart, who is joined by Nick Calandro on bass and John Hill on drums. Their repertoire draws from all forms of popular music from the `60s on, especially tunes from the Great American Songbook. Between songs, the trio will share detailed information about the music, its history, their instruments and playing techniques, as well as humorous anecdotes and stories from their travels.
        The concert is part of the ongoing Live! In the House concert series. Learn more at
Generations Tea Party
        The Oregon Jerusalem Historical Society invites children ages 6-13 and their moms, grandmothers or other special adults to a Generations Tea Party on Saturday, May 4, from noon-2 p.m.
        The Barbie-themed event, to be held at Brandville School Museum, 1133 Grasser St., Oregon, will include lunch, tea and punch and a short program. The cost is $20 per person. Reservations are required.
        Call Angie at 419-902-5149 to make a reservation.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake
        Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio will present their annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake (BFKS) fundraiser, on Saturdays, April 13, 20 and 27 from 1-3 p.m. at Miracle Lanes of Toledo.
        The goal of BFKS is to raise funds to support BBBSNWO’s mission of making a positive, long-lasting impact on children in the community through mentoring relationships.
        BFKS is one of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ largest community annual events to raise money to match more children facing adversity with mentors who serve as friends and positive role models. Participants form teams to bowl, have a good time, and raise funds to support the organization’s mission.
        Last year, the fundraiser generated $43,415.21.
        BBBSNWO has provided one-on-one mentoring relationships for children in the area for more than 100 years. The organization matches adult volunteers, or “Bigs,” with children, or “Littles,” who need a positive role model. The relationships formed through the program have been found to significantly impact the children involved, including improved academic performance, increased self-confidence, and reduced risky and delinquent behavior.
        All donations and funds raised from the event will go toward funding the organization’s new Empowering Future Leaders program, which operates year-round to meet the ongoing needs of youths and communities. The program is offered in school, after school and for eight weeks in the summer and focuses on life skills, cultural competency, leadership, and career development.
        The registration deadline is Friday, April 5. To learn more about BFKS and how to get involved, visit
Elephant Baby Bash
        The Toledo Zoo announced the results of the naming contest for the African elephant calf born Feb. 17.
        The winning name is Kirk, a choice that reflects the collective voice of the supportive community, said Jen Brassil director of PR and communications events at the zoo. The zoo received several thousands of votes in the naming contest.
        Zoo visitors can view the male calf in the Tembo Trail exhibit Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Viewing on Saturday and Sunday will be from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Zoo members can enjoy early admission from 9-10 a.m. for Member Mornings.
        Zoo staff is asking the public to please be patient as they manage exhibit visitation. Twenty guests at a time will be guided by zoo staff to enter the indoor exhibit. Noise levels must be kept to a minimum and no flash photography will be permitted.
        On Saturday, April 6, the zoo will host an Elephant Baby Bash to celebrate the calf and allow the community to contribute enrichment items. There will be an online component (with an Amazon wish list), an Entry Plaza drop-off site, and a drop-off site inside the Zoo at Tembo Trail that will feature activities, scheduled enrichment and keeper talks.
        For more event details, visit
        The community can also help provide exceptional animal care and enrichment for all animals at the zoo with a Zoo PAL sponsorship. Zoo PAL benefits and sponsor levels can be found at
Library Book Sale
        Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont, will hold a book sale April 10-12.
         The sale on Wednesday, April 10, from 5-8 p.m. will be for Friends of the Library members only. Join that night for a small fee and participate in the sale.
        The sale will be open Thursday, April 11, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, April, 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m.-noon. (Bag Day– fill a bag for $3). Call 419-334-7101 for more details.
Ohio State Parks Photo Contest
        Nature lovers, adventurers and photography buffs are invited to showcase their love for Ohio’s state parks through the lens of their cameras by entering the 2024 Ohio State Parks Photo Contest sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft.
        “Whether you’re capturing memorable moments with loved ones, discovering hidden gems of wildlife or showcasing the natural beauty of our state parks, this photo contest is your chance to share your story through the lens,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz.
        Contest categories include Parks and People, Wildlife Wonders,   Adventurers Unbound, Scenic Landscapes and Historic Horizons.
        Entering the contest is free. Contestants can submit up to five photos, one per category, which were taken on or after Jan. 1, 2023. To honor Ohio State Parks’ 75th anniversary, photo entries for the Historical Horizons category can be taken on any date.
        The grand prize is a DJI Osmo Action Camera, sponsored by Tyler Technologies, ODNR’s reservation management provider. Second- and third-place winners will also receive prizes.
        Winners of the People’s Choice in each category will score a free night of camping at any Ohio State Park campground and a camping cooking set.
        Visit to find submission forms and contest rules. The deadline to submit photos is Friday, May 3. Winners will be notified between June 10 and June 17.
Wood County Parks plans Nature Camps
        Kids are invited to explore, learn and get dirty this summer at Wood County Park District Nature Camps.
        Daily activities will connect campers to the outdoors and all the things that call it home. Participants in the day camps will experience engaging activities, learn outdoor skills and have mindful sensory time in nature.
        Camp sessions will run Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the W. W. Knight Nature Preserve, 29530 White Rd., Perrysburg on the following dates:
        • For ages 5-6: June 18-21 or June 25-28,
        • For ages 7-8: July 9-12 or July 16-19.
        • For ages 10-12: July 23-26 or July 30-Aug. 2.
        The camp fee is $175, or $165 for members of the Friends of the Parks. Need-based assistance for covering the cost of camp is available.
        Registration closes five days before the first day of camp. Register at or call 419-353-1897. Contact program manager Jim Witter at 419-661-1697, ext. 1, or, prior to registration for more information and to learn about financial aid assistance.
Wildlife Stop and Shop
        Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge will host local artists and craftsmen during the Wildlife Stop and Shop at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, 14000 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor, May 11-12.
        The Wildlife Stop and Shop will be held during the Biggest Week in American Birding on World Migratory Bird Day weekend.
        Vendors who sell unique nature-themed products and crafts, artwork, and upcycled/recycled items following the theme of birds, wildlife and nature are invited to apply for a spot.
        The Wildlife Stop and Shop will be located on the Visitor Center grounds from 10 a,m,-4 p,m, both days. Vendors may apply online at
African Safari open open for 56th season
        African Safari Wildlife Park opened the gates for its 56th season on March 22.
        “Early spring is a great time to visit the park because most of our animals are totally unbothered by the chilly-to-mild weather,” said park director Kelsey Keller. “You may even be lucky enough to witness the birth of an Alpaca or Bison.”
        The park’s Drive-Thru Safari, which features zebras, bison, alpacas, elk, exotic cattle, emus and more, is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with the last car admitted at 4 p.m. The park’s warm-weather animals, such as giraffe, will generally not be visible unless the air temperature is above 60 degrees.
        The Walk-Thru Safari will open in mid-May.
        African Safari is located at 267 Lightner Rd., Port Clinton. Visit or call 1-800-521-2660 for more details.
Solar eclipse specials
        The National Museum of the Great Lakes will offer Solar Eclipse Specials April 6-8.
        On those dates, visitors can buy one adult admission and get one youth admission free, and/or purchase a membership and earn 20% off their first museum store purchase.
        The first 100 visitors will also get a pair of eclipse viewing glasses.
Photography event
        Help the Wood County District Public Library capture the upcoming total solar eclipse for their Local History Collection with a spring Solar-bration Photography event.
        On April 8, Bowling Green and all of Wood County will fall within the zone of a total solar eclipse. Eclipse-watchers are invited to submit their local photos of people, buildings or Wood County landscapes in transition or under the eclipse (photos of the sun and/or the eclipse itself will not be accepted).
        Photo submissions will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win $50 in BG Downtown Dollars. Submissions may be used on WCDPL’s social media pages and may be added to the WCDPL Local History Collection for historical purposes.
        Photos may be submitted as a .jpeg or .tif file through Monday, April 15. For more information, call 419-352-5050 or email
Watch eclipse at
Ottawa National
Wildlife Refuge
        The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, located at 14000 W. SR 2, will be open for those looking for a spot to view the moon pass over the sun on Monday, April 8.
        Weather permitting, there will be food and coffee trucks, a viewing telescope, and programs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Apart from the visitor center and trails at the main refuge, the refuge offers other properties that could provide great viewing opportunities, including Grimm Prairie, Stange Prairie, Fox Nature Preserve, the Boss Unit, Nehl’s Memorial Nature Preserve and the Marinewood Unit.
        Directions and addresses for these satellite properties are as follows:
        • Grimm Prairie: North side of Krause Road near the intersection of Krause Road and SR 2.
        • Stange Prairie: East side of Stange Road near the corner of Stange Road and Krause Road.
        • Fox Nature Preserve: West side of N. Lickert-Harder Road directly south across Route 2 from the Visitor Center.
        • Boss Unit: West side of N. Benton-Carroll Road just South of Route 2.
        • Nehls Memorial Nature Preserve: South side of E. Muggy Road on Catawba – (4400 E. Muggy Rd., Port Clinton)
        • Marinewood Unit: South side of Route 163 in Port Clinton – (4640 W Harbor Rd, Port Clinton,
OH 43452)
        The timeline for the eclipse in Oak Harbor is:
        • Start of the partial eclipse: 1:57 p.m. (EDT)
        • Start of totality: 3:12 p.m.
        • End of totality: 3:15 p.m.
        • End of partial: 4:27 p.m.
        After the eclipse, used solar glasses will be recycled for reuse. Look for solar glass recycling bins at the visitor center and along exit routes.
        For more information about these or other Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge events, call 419-898-0014, visit the refuge's website, or connect on Facebook at
Parks in the Dark
Eclipse viewing party
set at Glass City Metropark
        Toledo Area Metroparks are positioned to be prime viewing places for the total solar eclipse on April 8. Of the 19 Metroparks in Lucas County, 18 are in the path of totality for varying lengths of time. (Secor is the only metropark outside the path but will still experience 99.99% coverage.)
        Locally, a naturalist-led viewing party with kids’ activities will be held at Glass City Metropark, 1505 Front St., Toledo.
        The family-friendly event will offer prime views of the eclipse on the riverfront of downtown Toledo. Watch the sky through telescopes with solar filters and enjoy a Kids’ Zone with eclipse-themed activities. Eclipse-viewing glasses will be available to borrow.
        Food and beverages will be available for purchase at The Garden by Poco Piatti. The duration of totality is expected to be 1 minute, 56 seconds.
        This event is rain or shine. Even if clouds block the eclipse, stop by the Kids Zone to learn about what’s happening above the clouds.
        Learn more about this and other viewing events at
Great Solar Eclipse at
the Wood County Parks
        The Wood County Park District invites area residents and visitors to view the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, at the following locations:
        • William Henry Harrison Park, 644 Bierley Ave., Pemberville.
        • Bradner Preserve, 11491 Fostoria Rd., Bradner.
        • Carter Historic Farm, 18331 Carter Rd., Bowling Green.
        Bring a blanket, learn the safest ways to view a solar eclipse, and experience and share the great solar eclipse. Arrive well before 3 p.m. to claim a spot and get comfy for the moment of totality at 3:13 p.m. Registration is appreciated.
        For more information, and details about park district programs in nature education, wellness, recreation, conservation and cultural heritage, visit
The community is invited to a free concert featuring Northwest Ohio native, tenor Shawn Mlynek, with  harpist Eleonora Congiu, on Wednesday, April 3 at 6 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 611 Woodville Rd., Toledo. (Submitted photo)


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