Willowick Jennifer Boresz Engelking, 40
Willowick shores are a constant for Jennifer Boresz Engelking. When she watches her kids trek through the sand in search of beach glass and fossils, she is reminded of herself doing the same. “I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids. We’d catch lightning bugs and play baseball across the yards, ride around the street,” Engelking says of growing up in Willowick.
Engelking remembers going to Walker’s Hardware with her dad and CP’s Cooler for ice cream. Shoregate Town Center, a local shopping area, looks different, but the bread at Alesci’s hasn’t changed. “The smell of the bread baking and everything they have there just takes me back to going there as a kid.”
Another place that stayed the same is Rudy’s Quality Meats. “They’ve known my family since seeing my grandma come in, then my parents and now my husband and I go there,” Engelking says. “They remember us. You don’t get that a lot.”
Willowick’s Lake Metroparks rescued the Engelking family throughout the pandemic. Lakefront Lodge not only hosts summer concerts, but front-row seats to Lake Erie’s vibrant sunsets — Engelking says the real beauty begins after the sun disappears.
Simple gestures like residents filling their windows with teddy bears for kids to spot during the pandemic also lightened the mood. “It was a fun way to give kids something during a rough time,” Engelking says.
Hauling bags of rocks — and that extra special beach glass home — Willowick becomes its own treasure for Engelking. “[My kids] love it just as much as I always did.”