350 shared messages of gratitude for Takeform display at Medina park

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 21 December 2021 at 9:53 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Staff at Takeform in Medina, Medina merchants and winners of a holiday contest pose in front of a new gratitude panel created by Takeform and erected in Rotary Park for the Christmas season. At left are Mike and Kara Zambito, Decorate Medina chair Jaye Sullivan, and Jordan and Brett Grollnes with son Patrick, who won Takeform’s contest. At right are Ryan Scaja, engineer at Takeform; Shannon Dent, designer; engineers Jesse Follman and Doug Robertson; and Andrew Szatkowski, operations manager at Takeform.

MEDINA – When Takeform employees learned they weren’t going to have a float in this year’s Parade of Lights, they knew they had to do something else, said Takeform director of operations Andrew Szatkowski.

“We really missed working on a float, so we started thinking about it and ideas just snowballed,” said designer Shannon Dent.

They decided to have a booth at the Parade of Lights, where they would ask the crowd to take a slip of paper and write down what they were grateful for. To encourage people to their tent, they gave away Christmas ornaments, said Szatkowski.

Three hundred and fifty people participated.

At the end, one winner was drawn, 8-year-old Patrick Grollnes, whose answer was, “My family and friends.”

Patrick, 8, who won Takeform’s contest at the Parade of Lights, poses with Santa Claus, his mother Jordan and sister Adeline in Rotary Park, where his reason for being thankful is one of those engraved on the Gratitude Wall designed by Takeform employees.

As winner, Patrick and his family, parents Brett and Jordan and sister Adeline, were treated to dinner by Mike and Kara Zambito of Zambistro’s in their popular outdoor igloo.

It was pretty cool, Patrick said.

“Patrick is a big eater, so he really enjoyed having a multi-course meal,” his mother said. “It was a real nice treat the week before Christmas.”

Meanwhile, Takeform had contacted Jaye Sullivan, chair of the Decorate Medina Committee, who said they could erect their display in Rotary Park. The layered display features an 1880’s picture of Medina’s downtown with an acrylic overlay engraved with the messages of those who filled the slips at the parade.

This wall of Holiday Gratitude and Greetings will stand in Rotary Park until about the first of February. It features a background picture of 1880’s Medina with a plastic overlay engraved with reasons why hundreds of people who attended the Parade of Lights are grateful.

Reasons for giving thanks included many who said “family and friends and good health.” But others were thankful for their community, for small towns like Medina, Godzilla, deer season and one said, “Everything I have.”

Dent said it took her about 10 hours to lay all the comments on the plastic.

The Takeform group said the display is most beautiful at night when it is lighted.

It will remain up until about the first of February, Szatkowski said.