Monday, January 21, 2019 Medina

Local Medina County News

Gift packages for sale to benefit families for fallen safety personnel

  • 22646051

Halee Heironimus

The Gazette


Brunswick Hills Township police Officer Piekut Przemyslaw and firefighters Shawn Barrett, Mike Drum and Guy Storch hold “Made in Medina County” gifts that are available for sale at Baskets Galore. PHOTO PROVIDED


BRUNSWICK — As a way to promote local businesses and raise money for Bluecoats of Medina County, Baskets Galore is featuring a special “Made in Medina County” gift package for the holiday season.

For a limited time, 50 percent of the proceeds from a $29 Medina County-themed gift package will be donated to the nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of safety personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty, including police, fire and emergency/medical personnel.

The Medina County-themed gift design was inspired by Baskets Galore owner Deborah Wasylko.

“As a corporate gift designer, I was looking for a way to engineer a gift to give back to the Medina community and its vendors using in this gift while supporting Bluecoats,” she said. “This is one way that Medina County can share a bit of its community during the holidays, and show its support for those who serve us every day (and) the people who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.”

In turn, Wasylko proposed that half the proceeds from gifts purchased through Thursday will be donated to Bluecoats.

The gifts can be purchased at the store, 1434 Town Center Blvd., C-50, or online at

Local items offered include:

  • McJak toffee, lollipops and fudge, Medina;
  • Medina Creative Living coffee, Medina;
  • A.I. Root candle, Medina;
  • Island Delights Banana Chocolate Drizzlers, Seville;
  • Just Mike’s Jerky Beef sticks, Medina;
  • American Classic Snack Company’s Sweet Bourbon Crunchers, Wadsworth.

Wasylko, who has been on Bluecoats’ Board of Directors for the last four years, said she wanted to bring awareness and generate sustainable income for the organization because of her personal connection.

When her son, Gabe, was 18 months old, he had a febrile seizure — his fever went so high that he became non-responsive — in the middle of the night. Panicked, Wasylko called 911.

“Kids die from this,” she said. “In five minutes, the Brunswick EMS and police arrived to help and get our son, Gabe, to the nearest hospital for care.”

Now 20 years old and studying at the College of Wooster, Gabe still cherishes the little hand-sewn bear that was given to him as reminder of the safety forces who saved his life.

“That inspired me to come up with a sustainable way to give back to Bluecoats,” Wasylko said. “People don’t know that we have them here and I wanted to build awareness for the organization and all EMS, firefighter and police that do so much for us. We take that for granted in Medina County.”

Wasylko said the gift will be available for purchase all month and past the holidays. For information, visit or call (330) 220-0088.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or

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