Local Girl Scout Troop Brings An Exciting New Game to Their School

June 7, 2018 at 1:32 PMLeah Palnik
Gaga Pit Opening 2018

If you’ve never heard of gaga ball, you’re not alone. But to millions of kids around the world, it’s the hottest game on the playground right now. The game, played in an octagon pit, is simple. Similar to dodgeball, the goal is to be the last one standing and players use a soft foam ball to knock out their opponents.

Gaga ball is a fast paced game that keeps kids on their toes. Once in the pit, players hit the ball with one open or closed hand without throwing, carrying, or dribbling. Players are out if the ball hits them below the knee at any time.

The best part of the game is how inclusive it is. You don’t have to be the tallest, the strongest, or the most athletic to join in the fun. The games also have a fast turnover so everyone can have a turn, and even after getting knocked out, it’s not long before you can jump back in again.

That’s why when a local Girl Scout troop contacted PartnerShip about helping to sponsor their gaga pit project, it was an easy decision. Supporting our community is important to us and providing a place where kids of all abilities can come together is a great way to do it.

The Girl Scouts of Troop 168 in Westlake, Ohio saw a need in their community for something that would bring kids together and make everyone feel included. Girl Scout Tina Cirincione said she first learned of gaga ball from camp and knew it would be perfect for their Silver Award Project. From there Tina and her troop members began developing a plan. They researched possible locations and reached out to members of the community to put their plan into action.

By working with the city of Westlake and Westlake City Schools, Troop 168 selected the grounds of Dover Intermediate School to build their gaga pit. This is the first gaga pit in Westlake – a huge accomplishment for the girls and their school.

On a beautiful spring day, the gaga pit officially opened. At the site on Dover Intermediate School grounds, the Girl Scout troop invited everyone who supported their project to join them as they celebrated this addition to their community. Members of Westlake City Schools, Mayor Dennis M. Clough, and other community leaders joined the troop to celebrate.

The members of Girl Scout Troop 168 were beaming with pride while Mayor Clough congratulated them on a job well done. Then it was time to jump in! The girls played the inaugural game and it was immediately apparent how much fun they were having. Even the adults played a round, proving it truly is a game for everyone to enjoy.

Now that the gaga pit is open to the community and in a location that makes it easily accessible to kids in the area, it’s sure to attract a lot of activity. There aren’t many games that bring kids together the way that gaga ball does. Most organized sports require a certain skill level or will separate boys and girls. The way gaga ball is played allows for kids of all different backgrounds and skills to play together. Sports play a very important role in developing self-esteem, improving social skills, and staying active so having a game that can include kids that may otherwise miss out is a huge win.

Girl Scout Troop 168 did an amazing job on this project. From gathering support, to making a plan and building the gaga pit, they put in a great deal of hard work. What Girl Scout Troop 168 did for their peers can serve as a lesson for all of us. Supporting your community in a small way can make a big difference.

PartnerShip Provides Free Shipping for Hurricane Harvey Relief

September 13, 2017 at 2:35 PMPartnerShip

Hurricane Harvey was one of the most devastating storms of the past century and the cleanup is underway in Houston, Texas. PartnerShip wanted to do its part to help recovery efforts and has partnered with several local Westlake, OH community organizations to provide drop-off locations for items needed to help Houston and its residents get back on their feet. PartnerShip will pay the cost of shipping donated items to the Houston Food Bank

“We wanted to help,” says PartnerShip President and COO, John Finucane, “and the best way to do that was to arrange and pay the cost of shipping the most needed items, like non-perishables, paper products and cleaning supplies, so that they could be distributed to those that need it most.”

The needed items list includes:

  • Canned, ready-to-eat items with pull tops, like vegetables and fruit
  • Protein in pouches or pull-top cans, such as tuna, beef stew, chili, and canned chicken
  • Peanut butter
  • Snacks, like granola bars, breakfast bars, etc.
  • Toiletries, paper goods and diapers
  • Bug spray
  • Garbage bags and cleaning supplies, like mops, buckets, brooms, bleach wipes, and bleach

Donations can be made at these Westlake, OH community drop-off locations:

While we appreciate any act of generosity, we ask that these items not be donated: clothing, used items, fresh fruit and vegetables, and perishable food items.

Our neighbor SJT Enterprises will store, sort and palletize the donations until they are ready to be shipped to Houston.

If you would like to help in the recovery, monetary donations can also be made to your choice of organization:

Drop-off donations will be accepted until Saturday, September 30, 2017, but financial donations can be made at any time to the organizations listed above.

Happy Holidays from PartnerShip!

December 21, 2016 at 4:01 PMLeah Palnik

Around the holidays, we like to reflect on how grateful we are for the amazing community we live and work in. Each year we seek out local charitable organizations that support causes near and dear to our hearts to make donations to. We’ve made our selections for this year and want to share a little bit about them with you.

Debra (The Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America)
This organization is dedicated to finding a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which affects 1 out of every 20,000 live births in the United States. EB is a genetically based disease characterized by chronic, painful blistering. The skin and mucous membranes are so fragile that the slightest touch can cause severe blistering inside and outside the body. The mission of Debra of America is to improve the quality of life for all people living with EB, their families, and caregivers through programs and services while funding research to find a cure and treatments for EB.

Wigs for Kids
For over 30 years, Wigs for Kids has been providing Hair Replacement Systems and support for children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns, and other medical issues. The children they help are treated for different periods of time, depending on each child’s particular circumstances – sometimes even for several years. Wigs for Kids helps children suffering from hair loss look like themselves and live their lives.

Shoes and Clothes for Kids (SC4K)
SC4K provides a unique service for income-eligible families in Greater Cleveland by distributing new shoes, clothing and items for infants and youths. SC4K has positively impacted the lives of area children by giving them the pride and confidence that comes with having new shoes and clothes, for the past 46 years. This pride and confidence is essential to a child’s success in school and in life.

Child Life Wish List
The goal of Child Life Wish List is to help Child Life programs attain their wish list goals. These wish lists are made by children who have severe illnesses and require hospitalization. Child Life Wish List raises funds through donations and special events, and by acquiring and distributing much needed supplies and materials to Child Life programs at surrounding hospitals.

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids
W.A.G.S. 4 Kids is dedicated to providing mobility service and autism service animals, meeting the specific needs of children with disabilities in Northeast Ohio. Utilizing its award-winning ODRC Accredited Cell Dog Training Program, each dog provides therapeutic, task, emotional and physical support for children with disabilities and their families. The organization is driven by the belief in early intervention and will work with a family as early in a child's life as there is a need and an interest.

These donations would not be possible without the support of our customers. Thank you for your business and have a wonderful holiday season!

The History of Semi Trucks

July 21, 2015 at 9:28 AMMatt Nagel
Semi trucks didn't take over our highways overnight. Like everything else, semis have a long and detailed history all starting with their invention in 1898 (more on that later in the post). We recently came across a video that goes through the entire history of semi trucks step-by-step to show you how we got to where we're at today. The video, put together by TruckertoTrucker.com, also goes into some interesting stats as well as top selling brands in the trucking industry. All-in-all the video does a great job of walking you through the history and pointing out the innovations and inventions that make freight shipping by truck one of the most popular and efficient ways to transport your goods from point A to point B.

Now that you've seen the history of the semi, it's our duty, as Clevelanders, to provide you with Cleveland's contribution to trucking. As you saw in the video above, Alexander Winton is credited with the invention of the semi truck in 1898, and Winton Motor Company was located in.....you guessed it - Cleveland, Ohio! Which means that PartnerShip calls the oldest, and most experienced, trucking city in the world it's home. We came across a slightly older video than the one above that highlights the Winton Motor Company's innovations in yet another trucking staple - the diesel engine.

Cleveland Playoff Plates - A PartnerShip Tradition

June 11, 2015 at 1:45 PMMatt Nagel

From fantasy football leagues to Super Bowl squares to NCAA brackets, there seems to be additional gaming around every major sporting event. Most of these games have a potential payday that makes the added stress all worth while, but those winnings often end up parlayed into other sports bets...so why not play for something with true meaning that you'll treasure forever - like a carefully decorated Styrofoam plate

That's right, a plate has been the sole object of many PartnerShip employee's greatest desires over these past 2 months or so (right behind an NBA championship, of course). With our Cleveland Cavaliers in the midst of a historic postseason, we guess scores of each game and award the plate to the employee with the closest guess. The employee then proudly displays the plate outside of his or her workspace as a constant reminder of how much smarter they are than everyone else. In the event of a tie, the “PPGB - PartnerShip Plate Governing Board” has full authority to determine the winner via foosball match, rock-paper-scissors, or other measures. As you'd expect, the competition is fierce with this kind of prize at stake.

You may be asking yourself how such a sophisticated contest came about. Like many honored traditions, it had humble beginnings. The playoff plates were started back in 2007 when both the Cavs and Indians made postseason runs. Employees began guessing scores and, with a need to keep track of those scores, a plate was the only item to write on in reaching distance. From then on, the plate became a coveted and indispensable part of Cleveland playoff life at PartnerShip. 

The next question you're probably asking yourself is how the fantastic plate designs (like the one pictured in the upper right corner) are achieved. We caught up with Harry Centa (which was no easy task during "plate season" as he refers to this time of year), who holds the title of Playoff Plate Creative Director, and we asked about his artistic process when designing the plates.

"The keys to a good plate are symmetry, style, and symbolism, also known as the 3 S's of plate design." Harry went on to say, "I can't take all the credit, though. I receive help and input from many plate enthusiasts in the office."

Harry also made note of another important aspect of making a plate, saying "Very careful consideration must be lent to the player theme of each plate. We’ve had a Kyrie Irving tribute plate, a Kevin Love tribute plate, Tristan Thompson, and even whole team themes. The office favorite has to be the Matthew Dellavedova (Delly) plates, he’s a cult hero and there are a number of great directions and subtleties you can apply to the overall design of a Delly themed plate."

When it comes down to it, the plates add something a little extra to the already special experience of watching the hometown Cavaliers battle for a championshipPart superstition, part team-building, part bragging-rights, the playoff plate benefits are many and the fun is never-ending.