Thursday, May 24, 2018
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22 stayed for shelter at Perrysburg Heights Community Center


Some of the children who stayed Monday night at the Perrysburg Heights Community Center.

Jason Craig Enlarge

Kristie Koester found frozen frying oil as she tried making lunch for about 17 children and a few adults at the Perrysburg Heights Community Center on Tuesday.

The community center at 12282 Jefferson Street has been open to the public since Sunday, providing heat, shelter, and food for anyone in need. It was to be open until this morning. On Monday night, five adults and 17 children slept in the community center for safety -- although the children stayed up most of the night playing video games, eating snacks, and socializing.

Ms. Koester, a Perrysburg Heights Community Association board member, made hamburgers and helped with making french fries for people in the center Tuesday. Her and her two children have been there since Sunday.

"We want to give people with not the best opportunity at home to come here and be warm," she said. "We've offered to take pets here too."

The food at the center isn't all from the community association. Ms. Koester said Churchill's Market brought bread, a bakery delivered three dozen donuts, and people have gone out of their way to help.

Jason Craig, board treasurer, said it was "horrible" seeing two families walking in the cold to the center, but he was glad they came to have heat.

"It's literally so cold the inside of our front door has ice on it," Mr. Craig said.

Ms. Koester said families were very thankful to be there and helped volunteer to cook for the children and play volleyball with them.

"We're still here trying to help," Ms. Koester said. "Why waste this building."

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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