September 17, 2014

Medina
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Teens CHANT summer fun for children

MEDINA — Every summer, Medina teenagers chant a common refrain: “There’s nothing for us to do in this town.”

Alex Mutnansky wants to change that. That’s why the Medina High School junior and some classmates founded Medina CHANTs, or “Community Helping Activity Neighborhood Team,” to plan events and activities geared toward the city’s younger residents.

Medina High School juniors Eric Rapenchuk, left, and Alex Mutnansky speak to Medina City Council on Monday night about a group they’ve formed with city officials to plan activities and events for local children. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

“We wanted to give kids something to do,” Mutnansky said. “We have a lot of free time in the summer.”

Mutnansky pitched the idea at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

Mutnansky, 17, said he got the idea to start the group after interviewing At-large Councilman Bill Lamb for a class project — a mobile app about Medina’s history.

He spoke to Lamb about a similar group that existed when Lamb was mayor in the mid-1980s, called “Club Medina.”

CHANTs includes five high school students — juniors Mutnansky, Morgan Lawrence, Evan Neidig and Eric Rapenchuk and sophomore Jimmy Marco.

Mutnansky and Rapenchuk spoke to Council about the group at Monday’s meeting.

Officials who are part of the group are Lamb, Councilman Brian Hilberg, 1st Ward, Mayor Dennis Hanwell and Matt Wiederhold, executive director of Main Street Medina.

The first activity planned is a youth talent show, scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. June 15 outside on South Broadway Street at Public Square. Tryouts for the talent show will be at 2:30 p.m. May 9 and 4:30 p.m. May 10 at Medina High School’s Middle Auditorium.

The Medina High School student council will sell food at the talent show.

Mutnansky said the show is open to all students, not just those who go to Medina High School. Applications will be available at Woodsy’s Music on West Liberty Street and Medina High School. Possibilities for acts include music, dancing and stand-up comedy, he said.

Another activity planned is a carnival for children on the square, set for July 7.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.