Like a talented musician amidst a world-class orchestra, it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd at the Spooky Pooch Parade.
LakewoodAlive Teams With Bentley Wealth Management Of Raymond James To Complete Yard Beautification Projects
Susan Bednar held her coffee cup in one hand and her pet poodle in the other as she watched the scene unfolding in her front yard with a noticeable sense of satisfaction.
Registration is required for this program. Register online: connectingforkids.org/register, via email: email@example.com or call: 440-250-5563.
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS’ GUIDE 2017
City Council kicked off the 2018 city budget-writing process in early September by proposing a dozen innovations to improve City operations as well as neighborhood priorities originating with Lakewood residents. Councilmembers put forward initiatives that are modest in cost but could lead to quality of life improvements. Examples include park improvement plans for Webb and Kauffman Parks, increased shade at pools, full-court outdoor basketball, curb repair, improved bicycle infrastructure, installing electric vehicle charging stations, purchasing clean power, calming traffic, recycling in parks, and opioid addiction intervention.
30 Lakewood Merchants Attend Each Session at Lakewood Public Library
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at the Turkish Cultural Center
Popular Autumn Canine Event Brings Bark to Kauffman Park on October 21
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at Clock Electric
The dog days of summer are still ahead, bringing more opportunities to socialize for Lakewood dogs and their owners. Many will head to Lakewood Dog Park. On any given day, many dozens of dogs scamper and sniff across 2/3 acres of park grounds.
It’s harvest season for the Harrison Elementary Community Garden and the inaugural year has resulted in a banner crop.
Sponsorship and Vendor Opportunities Now Available for Popular Canine Event
Between Tuesday August 8, 2017 and Monday August 14, 2017 the Lakewood Police Department has taken five reports of wheels and tires being stolen. In these cases all four wheels and tires were removed, leaving the vehicle propped up on a paving stone.
In all of these cases the vehicles were Honda products, four Accords and 1 Civic. Thefts were reported on August 8, 12 and 14. The time range of these thefts is from 3 p.m. to 10 a.m. With the exception of one case all of the vehicles were parked on the street. There was a dark colored SUV seen in the area of one of these thefts.
If anyone sees anyone tampering with their vehicle or their neighbors please contact your police department as soon as possible.
The cases are currently under investigation. If anyone has any information please contact the Lakewood Police Department at 216-521-6773.
Two groups presented divergent plans for the former site of Lakewood Hospital at a July 25 joint meeting of the city’s Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board.
Carnegie Management and Development Corporation proposed a “transformative” project, in its team’s own words, emphasizing glass-walled buildings and a Detroit Avenue plaza. During a question-and-answer session which followed, members of the public, the Planning Commission and the Architectural Board questioned that transformative character, repeatedly.
Both of the committees expressed reservations about the proposed plaza, and a general sense that the Carnegie plan would be a self-contained anomaly in Lakewood’s landscape. The Carnegie team described the project as simultaneously “transformative” and “seamlessly integrated,” but struggled at times to explain how both could be achieved.
A noticeably different reception greeted the second proposal, by CASTO and North Pointe Realty, Inc.
Throughout its presentation, the CASTO team focused on how their plan would relate to the existing community around it, on social, commercial and architectural levels. While also including public space, their design proposed a green “courtyard,” behind buildings that would sustain the line of Detroit Avenue storefronts.
Judging by the mellower question-and-answer session which followed, the CASTO team seemed successful in its goal of harmony over transformation.
The goal of preserving the Lakewood Hospital building in some form, however, largely eluded both developers. Carnegie proposed reusing bricks from the building, and the arches of its facade. The CASTO team proposed a faithful renovation of the nearby Curtiss Block, but admitted difficulty in repurposing any of the hospital building itself.
The CASTO proposal also offered few specifics about restoring economic activity lost by the decision to close Lakewood Hospital, which was the city’s largest employer. The Carnegie team spoke of replacing or exceeding the number of jobs lost, but later in its presentation referenced a figure well short of that goal.
The possible slip was not the only one of the evening, as many attendees questioned the words “expand the footprint” included on one of Carnegie’s slides. The group explained this as a reference to still-confidential efforts to acquire further property in the neighborhood, and suggested that it should have been left out of the presentation. The gaffe may add to questions raised by Carnegie’s hiring of former Lakewood mayor Ed Fitzgerald, who helped oppose efforts to keep the hospital open.
The City of Lakewood has announced plans to select a developer this fall, and invites citizens to direct further comments and questions to http://www.onelakewood.com/downtownrfq/.
LakewoodAlive, Citizens Bank Join Forces to Complete Yard Beautification Project on Waterbury Avenue
The elderly homeowner observed the scene unfolding before her with a look that mixed joy and amazement. Never before had she experienced anything like this, as 15 volunteers helped restore the backyard of the Waterbury Avenue home that’s been in her family since 1930.
“I can’t begin to express my appreciation,” said Ms. Waterbury (real name withheld). “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had anyone help me like this.”
LakewoodAlive's Housing Outreach Program recently partnered with a superb group of volunteers from Citizens Bank to complete this yard beautification project for Ms. Waterbury, 79, a retired science teacher. The project consisted of everything from clearing brush to planting flowers to painting fences and doors.
For one July Saturday each summer, a transformation takes place in Downtown Lakewood. Detroit Avenue ceases to serve as a bustling main street, undergoing a conversion into an urban playground for families, friends, festival-goers, runners, beer enthusiasts and music lovers alike to celebrate a city’s vibrancy.
Meghan F. George has secured another important endorsement in her campaign for Lakewood City Council At Large. Lakewood Firefighters Local 382, representing about 80 firefighter/emergency medical technicians has joined Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 in supporting her campaign.
"I am pleased to have the support of Lakewood's hard working firefighters, and honored to have the confidence they have placed in me. The endorsement of Lakewood Police and now Lakewood Firefighters demonstrates both groups believe it is more than empty campaign rhetoric when I pledge to fight for resources, funding and training to maintain and enhance the already high level of service both provide."
"I intend work hard and to make it my point to renew old friendships and to get out and meet as many Lakewood residents as possible prior to this November's election." said candidate George.
I am a candidate for Lakewood City Council At Large, and as a lifelong Lakewood resident, I know that safety is and always will be Lakewood residents’ most important concern. Therefore I am pleased to announce the endorsement of my candidacy by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25, representing Lakewood Police Officers. I believe our safety forces need to be provided the tools and training to allow them to perform their jobs to the best of their ability and I strongly support fully funding these departments.
Noting that Lakewood is “a great community that’s only getting better,” Councilperson Tom Bullock said today he is running for re-election to continue the positive changes seen in the city today.
LakewoodAlive Hosts Pair of Community Events During Weekend of July 7-8
WE CELEBRATE: At a recent Lakewood City Council meeting, six Lakewood Homes were acknowledged, and the homeowners were congratulated, as winners in the 2016 Beautiful Home Awards sponsored by Keep Lakewood Beautiful. The Beautiful Home Awards contest is an effort by KLB to both raise awareness of, and to appreciate, the efforts of so many Lakewood property owners who invest time, talent and resources in making their properties visually appealing. Gardening is a way that people both enjoy nature and literally show their pride in their home and community.
The six winners and their gardeners for 2016 are: Sarah Loomer and Zach Smith, 1050 Lakeland; Debbie and Ric Rada, 2033 Bunts; Ray and Joanne Heinart, 2388 Woodward Avenue; Paul and Terry Schuerger, 14216 Bayes; Jonathon Tallman and David Reichert, 1538 Elbur; and Linda White and Gail Perusek, 1287 Summit.
The winning homes were selected from over 20 nominations. All neighborhoods of the city received nominations and the winners represent North, South, East and West side areas. Judging is based on criteria that includes eye catching landscaping and thoughtfully maintained homes.
Secure Your Tickets Now for a Chance to Win a Charge Grater Commuter Bicycle Courtesy of Beat Cycles
LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Stripping & Refinishing Woodwork Safely” Workshop On July 13
When it comes to restoring the woodwork within your home, you likely have a vision for how you want the finished product to look. But how do you go about converting that vision into reality?
LakewoodAlive will host “Knowing Your Home: Stripping & Refinishing Woodwork Safely” on Thursday, July 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sherwin-Williams’ Lakewood location (14711 Madison Avenue) The 10th workshop of 2017 for this popular home maintenance educational program will focus on the proper steps for stripping woodwork, as well as how to refinish wood to achieve the look you want in your home.
Stroll along Detroit Avenue through Downtown Lakewood these days and you can’t help but notice an additional splash of color and greenery enhancing the district’s vibrancy.
Now in its 11th year, LakewoodAlive’s Blossoms Program has resulted in the addition of 54 flower boxes for 2017 – the most boxes yet – stretching east-to-west along Detroit Avenue from the Westerly Apartments to Cerny Shoes. Geraniums and impatiens dot this urban landscape, creating a more appealing commercial district.
The Blossoms Program is designed to help Downtown Lakewood merchants make their storefronts more inviting and attractive. LakewoodAlive partners annually with Lakewood Garden Center to provide an opportunity for merchants to purchase professionally-planted Earth Box planters with flowers appropriate for the sun/shade needs of each location.
The Lakewood Division of Aging and the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging are pleased to announce that the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program is once again to be offered in 2017. The SFMNP program will provide selected eligible seniors with $50 in coupons which can be used for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at any of the local farmers markets.
There are eligibility requirements for this program. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. They must be Lakewood residents, and they must fall within the income guidelines. The guidelines are as follows: $22,311 or less for a single-person household, or $30,044 for a two-person household.
Much-Anticipated Festival Returns to Downtown Lakewood; Schedule of Events Unveiled
Get ready to add some sizzle to your summer. Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2017, sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, is back for its eighth year on Saturday, July 8 from 4 to 10 p.m. in Downtown Lakewood.
One of the region’s most highly-anticipated street parties, the Summer Meltdown drew nearly 10,000 attendees from across Northeast Ohio to the heart of Lakewood last year. This “something for everyone” event and fixture on our city’s summer calendar takes place on Detroit Avenue between Marlowe and Elmwood, offering seemingly endless recreation and celebration opportunities, including a 5K race, 1 Mile Kids Fun Run, street festival, outdoor activities, games, food vendors, beer garden, live music and more.
Families will love the street festival component, which features free programs from 70+ businesses and nonprofits organizations, including numerous interactive opportunities. Activities range from a sprinkler park to skateboarding to demonstrations of yoga and other exercises.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at The Nicholson House
You’ve likely observed the incessant advertisements on television or radio: “Replace your old, leaky windows with new energy-saving windows.” But does this actually apply to your home and how do you know whether you should repair or replace?
LakewoodAlive will host “Knowing Your Home: Windows 101” on Thursday, June 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Nicholson House (13335 Detroit Avenue). The ninth workshop of 2017 for this popular home maintenance educational program will focus on the repair and replacement of windows with a major emphasis on wooden windows.
Popular Live Music Program Returns for 11 Weeks Starting July 7
It won't be long before live music floods Downtown Lakewood, echoing through neighborhood streets and beckoning families and concert-goers alike to the heart of the city.
LakewoodAlive announces the diverse and talented line-up of musical performers for the 2017 Front Porch Concert Series sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James. See the schedule below for weekly performers comprising the popular live music program, which takes place each Friday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. from July 7 through Sept. 15 on the front porch of Lakewood Public Library (15425 Detroit Avenue).
Like a crowd-pleasing encore performance, this summer series is sure to delight its audience, as it features a wide array of free, live music for 11 consecutive Fridays. Cleveland-based reggae sensation Carlos Jones kicks off the series with his catchy island vibes that will heat up the summer evening on Friday, July 7.
The familiar crack of the bat and roar of the crowd will resonate across Madison Park when LakewoodAlive hosts the inaugural “Battle of Birdtown” Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at George Usher Field.
LakewoodAlive, Lakewood Historical Society To Host 2nd Annual Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic On June 4
It’s a celebration of the rich history of Birdtown and you’re invited.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at Lakewood Public Library - Madison Branch
Ward 4 Councilman Dan O'Malley will be hosting a series of community forums throughout the year to give residents an opportunity to ask questions, express concerns, or share ideas with him to improve our city and neighborhoods. These town hall-style meetings will also give residents a chance to learn about what's happening at Lakewood City Hall and exciting new initiatives for our community.
Here are the details for the first "Council on Your Corner" event.
Community Forum in Birdtown with Councilman Dan O'Malley
Thursday, May 18th at 7 p.m.
2080 Quail St.
Lakewood, OH 44107
Refreshments will be provided.
This event is free and open to the public.
Builder Dana Paul was all smiles on this unseasonably-warm April evening as he unveiled the fruits of his tireless labor – a beautiful, new-build home at 1427 Scenic Street in Lakewood.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at 1st Choice Roofing Company
Spring sunshine and warmer winds have finally arrived here in Lakewood, Ohio and the Keep Lakewood Beautiful organization is celebrating this time of year with its Annual Earth Day and Great American Cleanup on April 29th from 9-11 a.m. beginning at Madison Park. Come one or come all, and help spruce up the Madison Ave. commercial district. Learn from an arborist, and then we will plant trees in observance of Arbor Day, plant flowers, and mulch trees and large planters. Meet near the Madison Ave. entrance to Beck’s Pool in Madison Park. For more information or optional pre-registration see: http://www.onelakewood.com/KLB or call 529-6601.
The Lakewood Police Department announces a reunion for all graduates of LPD’s Citizens’ Police Academy on April 24 at City Hall in the auditorium, beginning at 6:30pm. Anyone who has completed the 12-week course is invited to attend, hear an update from the police department, learn about new body camera technology and reconnect with classmates from the past.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at Cleveland Lumber Company
Distinguished Group of Panelists to Participate in Discussion at Lakewood Congregational Church; Public Invited to Attend
Front Porch Concert Series, Summer Meltdown, Spooky Pooch Parade, Chocolate Walk and Light Up Lakewood drew 35,000+ attendees last year
Mark your calendars for plenty of fun in Lakewood this year. LakewoodAlive announces its schedule of community events for 2017 – a collection of five events spanning 15 dates that will afford attendees ample opportunities to celebrate Lakewood’s vibrancy.
The Front Porch Concert Series, Lakewood Summer Meltdown, Spooky Pooch Parade, Lakewood Chocolate Walk and Light Up Lakewood encompass a diverse slate of events that truly offers something for everyone. Collectively, this quintet of LakewoodAlive events drew more than 35,000 attendees to Downtown Lakewood during 2016.
From 1962 to 2017 the Lakewood Women’s Club has shaped & contributed to the Lakewood community. Past achievements include the sponsorship of the Women’s pavilion in Lakewood Park. Over $30,000 in scholarship money has been awarded on merit to high school women seniors to pursue further studies. Since 1995 over $200,000 has been awarded to support vital community organizations in Lakewood including the Beck’s Center, Live Well Lakewood, Meals on Wheels, the HUGS Foundation & Trinity Church community outreach programe to name a few.
Calling Lakewood homeowners and residents: Now’s the perfect time to add a splash of color to your home’s exterior.
LakewoodAlive announces the return of its Paint Lakewood Program for the 2017 season. This innovative program is designed to help make it more affordable for qualified Lakewood homeowners and residents to beautify their homes through exterior painting.
Paint Lakewood will provide a grant of up to $3,500 to Lakewood homeowners and residents for exterior paint, supplies and professional labor costs to paint their home. The program has been designed to offer a grant on a sliding scale to help reduce the cost of a whole house paint.
The Paint Lakewood Program’s primary goal involves revitalizing Lakewood’s neighborhoods while reducing lead hazards by educating residents on lead safety issues.
Masonry Basics on April 6; Front Yard Curb Appeal on April 8
A pair of free workshops hosted by LakewoodAlive in early April will afford area homeowners the opportunity to learn two useful skill sets from industry experts.
“Knowing Your Home: Masonry Basics” takes place on Thursday, April 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1st Choice Roofing Company (11309 Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland). Two days later, on Saturday, April 8, LakewoodAlive invites attendees to the Lakewood Public Library Auditorium (15425 Detroit Avenue) for “Knowing Your Home: Front Yard Curb Appeal” from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
For “Masonry Basics,” LakewoodAlive has partnered with 1st Choice Roofing and Nehls Masonry L.L.C. to provide a basic understanding of masonry maintenance and repairs. Frank Nehls will offer a hands-on demonstration tackling the basics of tuckpointing, pointing and repointing masonry bricks and block in foundations and chimneys. A mason for nearly three decades, Frank will equip attendees with insight for determining whether a job qualifies as a DIY opportunity or requires professional assistance.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at Lakewood Public Library
The arrival of spring beckons the return of sunshine and warmth, yet also typically results in an increase in encounters with pests within your home. That’s why now is an opportune time for area homeowners to attend our latest free workshop.
LakewoodAlive will host “Knowing Your Home: Managing Pests” on Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Lakewood Public Library Auditorium (15425 Detroit Avenue). The third workshop of 2017 for this popular home maintenance educational program will delve into how to deal with common household pests including:
- Bed bugs
This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Clough’s office prepares official minutes.
The meeting took place at Westlake City Hall beginning at 9:30 am. The first half-hour was a closed session devoted to financial matters. The meeting adjourned at 10:39 am.
Present: Mayors Clough (Westlake), Koomar (Bay Village), Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood), Kennedy (North Olmsted), and Bobst (Rocky River).
Also present: Renee Mahoney (fiscal officer)
Renee Mahoney reported on the newly formalized internet banking policy. The mayors have forwarded the proposal to their finance directors and the topic will be discussed at the next meeting.
2016 Financials: There is a total of $300,000 in cash and the checking account. All items were within budget. The cities' contributions for 2017 will be the same as for 2016. Most income comes from seizures.
RTA: Superior Avenue has been reopened to bus traffic. There is talk of limiting Superior’s use to rush hour.
For one February night, The Bottlehouse Brewery Lakewood morphed into a sea of plaid complete with bushy beards, paper axes, pancake stacks and all the necessary elements for throwing a party fit for a true lumberjack.
LakewoodAlive hosted Loving Lakewood: Lumberjack Bash presented by Geiger’s on Saturday night, February 25th, drawing a sellout crowd of 215 plaid-clad lumberjacks and jills. Proceeds from this fundraising event will support LakewoodAlive’s programming as we strive to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.
Before guests even entered The Bottlehouse, they were greeted by something you don’t see every day – a chainsaw artist on Madison Avenue carving a wooden sculpture. The final product, which featured a Lakewood-style home with tall trees and “Lakewood” carved into the front, served as a live auction item before the night was through.
Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at Cleveland Lumber Company
The right flooring can enhance a room's warmth and character while increasing your home's value. But with no shortage of flooring options available today, finding the right fit for your space can seem daunting. Thankfully, LakewoodAlive is here to help.
LakewoodAlive will host "Knowing Your Home: Flooring Options" on Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Cleveland Lumber Company (9410 Madison Avenue in Cleveland). The second workshop of 2017 for this popular home maintenance educational program will highlight various flooring options for the different rooms in your home.
February 21, 2017 - Meeting Highlights
Proposed Name Change of Housing Committee
The council proposed three different solutions. First, leaving the existing committee structure as is; second, changing the name to Housing and Development Committee; and third, creating an entirely separate Development Committee. They plan on meeting again for deliberation.
Downtown Lakewood Request for Qualifications
The council opened public engagement of redevelopment of former hospital site. They expressed their desire to foster open discussion about what new businesses residents would like to see downtown.
This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Clough’s office prepares official minutes.
Home Educational Series Kicks Off March 2 with "Creating a Sound Investment"
Winter tends to be a time for hibernation and relative inactivity, but not for Dana Paul, builder of the spectacular new single-family home coming to fruition at 1427 Scenic Street in Lakewood.
As the saying goes, it takes a village. This is especially true in the case of LakewoodAlive, a volunteer-driven organization that relies heavily on community members to help fulfill its mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods.
Secure Your Bash Ticket Now and Get Growing
This contest might sound strange at first, but chances are it will grow on you. LakewoodAlive has unveiled details regarding the Epic Beard Contest, which will serve as a centerpiece of Loving Lakewood: Lumberjack Bash presented by Geiger's.
Lumberjacks and jills are cordially invited to attend the Lumberjack Bash – a fundraiser for LakewoodAlive – on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at The Bottlehouse Brewery Lakewood (to secure tickets, visit LakewoodAlive.org). Upon arrival, however, guests may find themselves in a hairy situation.
The Epic Beard Contest presented by Men's Cuts invites Lumberjack Bash attendees to compete for the opportunity to claim an honor in four bearded categories: 1. Most Unique Beard, 2. Sexiest Beard, 3. Longest Beard and 4. Best In Show.
The facts set forth in Bad Government 11 (http://lakewoodobserver.com/read/2016/12/20/bad-government-11-new-foundation-is-objectively-worse-in-every) were delivered to City Council during the public comment portion of the Council Meeting on December 19, 2016.
Don’t miss the homegrown, hyper local news, events, opinions, photos and cartoons that impact and reflect our community.
A week ago we embraced a new calendar year, and the world is grabbing their life preservers, and jumping from the last one. But before we climb aboard, "Freedom! 17," let's sift through the rubble of 2016 and delve into the greatest of what last year had to offer.
Tickets for Fundraising Event at The Bottlehouse Brewery Lakewood on Sale Now
Many of us spent Saturdays this fall watching college football or enjoying the autumn foliage, but that was not the case for LakewoodAlive's all-star team of experienced volunteers known as the "A Team."
Walk past the historic Curtis Block building at 14501 Detroit Avenue in Downtown Lakewood and you’ll notice an attractive new window display. This vibrant addition to the urban landscape represents a culmination of a collaborative effort spanning months.
LakewoodAlive’s Design Committee worked with the City of Lakewood to activate the Curtis Block’s storefront windows. The end result: A beautiful window display installed just in time for Light Up Lakewood on Dec. 3.
The Design Committee – consisting of Chair Robert Donaldson, Randy Doi, Bryan Evans, Chris Frohring, Bili Kribbs, Dru McKeown, Marcia Moll, Jim Pinter, Heather Rudge, Rick Sicha and LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews – sought to enhance the aesthetic appeal of this architecturally significant building, which was constructed during the early 20th century and has been designated as a historic structure.
Lakewood High School Juniors Sarah Bene and Abe Dalisky Honored on December 3
Lakewood High School juniors Sarah Bene and Abe Dalisky have been named Light Up Lakewood Queen and King for 2016. Students chosen for this honor have demonstrated their love for Lakewood through providing outstanding service to the community. In addition to reigning over the Light Up Lakewood Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, Sarah and Abe were both awarded $500 scholarships sponsored by Plantation Home in Downtown Lakewood. Both winners have agreed to provide at least 24 hours of service to the community during the coming year.
This is the fifth year that David Stein, owner of Plantation Home and Cotton, and President of the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance (DLBA), has sponsored the scholarship. Stein states, “It's an honor for us to encourage the youth of our community, and to thank them for their commitment to volunteerism.”
Whether running a road race or carrying his native country’s flag, Makorobondo "Dee" Salukombo is no stranger to being in the lead. Now he’s poised to lead the parade at the center of Lakewood’s longtime holiday tradition.
LakewoodAlive announces that Dee has been selected to serve as Grand Marshal for the holiday parade taking place during Light Up Lakewood 2016 on Saturday, December 3, in Downtown Lakewood. A 2008 Lakewood High School graduate who starred in track and cross country, Dee represented his native Democratic Republic of the Congo by running the marathon during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Dee arrived in the United States in 2004 as a refugee from Congo, where a devastating Civil War has resulted in millions of lost lives. Despite enduring immense challenges in his youth, Dee flourished at Lakewood High and also graduated from Denison University, earning All-American status. Dee has since founded Project Kirotshe, which seeks to provide better educational and athletic opportunities for children in Kirotshe, Congo, where he was born.