In 1917, the first American civilian casualty of World War I was a Red Cross nurse, Clara Edith Ayres, of Attica. On Memorial Day, Ayres will be honored on the anniversary of her death with a ceremony in her hometown. The Attica Historical Society will hold a ceremony Monday in the entertainment building of the Attica Fairgrounds, following the 10 a.m. Memorial Day parade. Historian Marjorie Waterfield of Whitehouse, who has written about Ayres, will speak at the ceremony and a historical marker will be unveiled. The program will conclude with a graveside ceremony at Attica Venice Cemetery with a wreath laying on Ayres’ grave and the reading of a letter from American Red Cross President/CEO Gail McGovern honoring Ayres’ service and sacrifice. Lavinia Dock’s “The History of American Red Cross Nursing,” written in 1922, recounts the story of Clara Edith Ayres, Red Cross Nursing Badge 4809, as part of a unit assigned to the British Expeditionary Forces and No. 18 General Hospital at Dannes Camiers, France. According to the book, Ayres was killed instantly during an on-board gun drill, when a defective shell exploded prematurely. When the ship returned to New York, her body was returned to Attica, where she was met by the Ohio National Guard and escorted to the First Methodist Church, where she lay in state in a flag-draped coffin. She was buried with a military salute next to her husband, who had died a decade earlier.
A free community lunch will be offered in Forest’s Gormley Park at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays this summer. Lunches begin this Tuesday and continue through June. The event follows the Forest-Jackson Public Library’s 10:30 a.m. program at the park. Lunch is sponsored by the Forest United Methodist Church with support from the Friends of the Library and the Hardin County Community Foundation. For more information, call Elois Cramer at 419-273-2897.
The City of Findlay Recreation Department is starting an in-house youth lacrosse league for this spring. The league is for boys and girls ages 4-18. Practices will begin April 18 and continue on Tuesday and Thursday nights through June 1. All practices will take place at Emory Adams Park on the east side, across the foot bridge. Registration is $25 for children under 6 and $45 for ages 7-18. Register by Friday to ensure a free T-shirt. Call 419-424-7176.
A piano program will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, 2330 S. Main St. Those performing include Alan and Nigel Woodall, Ethan Zheng and Sammie Dong, all Piano Guild National winners; Courtney Baker, Keith Sansalone, Angela Erford, David Chen and Yana Rao. Ryan Zheng, a Piano Guild International winner who earned his high school diploma in piano performance, will perform at 6:30 p.m. and then present his senior recital at 7:30 p.m. Both segments, arranged by Ryan Zheng and Marlene Rayl, are open to the public.
Story time sessions for preschoolers ages 3-5 will resume Tuesday at the McComb Public Library, 113 S. Todd St. Sessions are offered from 6:30-7:15 p.m. weekly. Story time is on a drop-in basis, registration is not required. Children enjoy books, finger plays, music and crafts. Call the library at 419-293-2425 for more information.
The remaining Plein Air Gatherings are an opportunity for artists to get together and paint or draw outdoors “en plein air” in the parks. This program is open to all adult and teen artists who use any medium conducive to working outdoors. Bring whatever supplies and equipment needed and dress for ground and weather conditions. If it rains, the session will be canceled. Locations are as follows: May 10 group paints at Riverbend Recreation Area, meets at the Big Oaks parking lot; May 17 group paints at Litzenberg Memorial Woods, meets at the gatehouse; May 24 group paints at Riverside Park, meets at the waterfalls overlook; and May 31 group paints at Blue Rock Nature Preserve, meets at the Edgar Avenue parking lot.
A free community meal will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. May 31 at Pandora United Methodist Church, 108 E. Washington St. The meal this month is provided by Rebecca Circle and includes ham, potatoes, green beans, dessert and beverage.