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CrossNet Banquet

According to Meredith Dahl, executive director of CrossNet Ministries in New Holland, the annual CrossNet spring banquet is much more than just a fundraiser. "It's a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate what God has done this past year and dream together about what we can do in the future," said Dahl.

This year's banquet will feature Ruth Graham, daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham. She will speak at two CrossNet events in March. The organization's 18th banquet will be held on Tuesday, March 26, at Shady Maple Banquet Center, 129 Toddy Drive, East Earl. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m., and a buffet dinner will begin at 6:15 p.m. There is no cost to attend the banquet, but seating is limited, and reservations are necessary to attend. Organizers recommend that reservations should be made by Monday, March 18.

On Wednesday, March 27, Graham will speak at a breakfast at the same venue. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m., and breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. The breakfast will include a question-and-answer period with Graham. Meet-and-greet sponsorship opportunities are available for the breakfast. Tickets for the breakfast may be purchased at or by calling 717-355-2454.

Graham is known for her passion to tell people about God's comfort and loving acceptance. She speaks of ways to move from a place of hurt to wholeness in Christ. Graham will speak from a biblical perspective on the banquet theme of "Hope in the Darkness," while sharing her own faith journey and how it has been impacted by life's unexpected challenges.

Dahl noted that organizers of the banquet were first drawn to consider Graham when they heard her speaking at her father's funeral, which they watched online. "We were really encouraged by her story and her authenticity," recalled Dahl, who added that she feels Graham has an important message to share. "She highlighted the fact that Billy Graham was a highly respected and loved evangelist, and even his family had some difficult things happen (to them)."

Dahl shared an image that she remembered Graham discussing when she spoke at the funeral. "We appreciate that she talks about her dark times and how when she returned (from those) her dad was there with loving and open arms," said Dahl. "It was a picture for her of how God is with us." That concept aligns with the mission of CrossNet to offer help and hope in the name of Christ. "That hit home because that is what we want our message to be at CrossNet - that God's arms are open for everyone to come home," said Dahl.

In addition to Graham's talk, the evening will include an update from Dahl on the ministry with assistance from Carl Edwards, director of development and ministries. "We have some exciting videos to share," said Dahl. "One is a story of life change and the other is a program highlight video." Part of offering help and hope is making area residents aware of the needs in New Holland. "Our focus is going to be the poverty and trauma that a lot of people in our community have experienced and how we can become numb to that (fact)," explained Dahl. "We as a community have to become more informed and be open to learn how we can best address needs and empower people and see lives changed by Jesus."

CrossNet Ministries, located in three buildings on Franklin Street, has been a fixture in New Holland for more than 25 years. Currently, the ministry offers a youth center, food and nutrition center, Power Packs affiliation, and free summer lunch program, in addition to a number of community programs.

The banquet, which attracts about 1,200 area residents, will feature a buffet including a chicken dish, a beef dish, and a number of sides. A salad bar and dessert bar will also be included. The breakfast, which can accommodate 800 attendees, will also be served buffet style.

Readers who would like to learn more about CrossNet may visit


Twain Tales"

The writings of Mark Twain are undeniably an American treasure, and Becky Degan, director of the Hinkletown Mennonite School (HMS) spring play, wants to share that treasure with audiences. "People know (the characters) Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, but (Twain) wrote so much more," said Degan. "I would like audiences to take home an appreciation for Mark Twain's humor and these (students') abilities to tell these stories with the humor he intended."

Degan will have the opportunity to share Twain with audiences when HMS presents "Twain's Tales" at the school, 272 Wanner Road, Ephrata, on Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2. The March 1 performance will be a dinner theater presentation, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Performances on March 2 will be held at 2 and 7 p.m.

The play will include five of Twain's works - four short stories and one scene from the book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," featuring Arthur Hamilton as Tom Sawyer and Adrian Ropp as Huck Finn. Other tales will include "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," "Is He Living or Is He Dead?" and "The Joke That Made Ed's Fortune." The fourth tale, "The Belated Russian Passport," will give actors the opportunity to interact with the audience. "The young traveler ... keeps asking the audience, 'What do I do now?'" explained Degan of the story, which takes a young man accidentally into Russia.

To connect the five tales together, the action in introduced by five storytellers who have gathered on a general store porch in Hannibal, Miss. Degan has been working with the narrators to help them develop a stage camaraderie. Madison Stauffer, who will play storyteller Tess Brady, noted that some of the ways of speaking used in the play are unusual. "We have to do a Southern accent," she explained. "Instead of 'get,' we say 'git.'"

Because several students play a number of different roles, Degan has been helping students learn how to transform from one persona to another. "Working with them to understand (how to play) more than one character (has been a process)," said Degan.

Degan, who teaches at HMS, said that she has enjoyed journeying with the students as they delve deeper into Twain's works with the goal of sharing them with audiences. "One of my favorite parts is helping them understand the stories," said Degan. "Mark Twain wrote a lot about human nature, and a lot of (his writing) is tongue-in-cheek and satire." Degan noted that as the students read the material multiple times they come to better perceive the humor. "They start to ... find the stories entertaining and amusing."

Hamilton and Ropp, who are friends in real life, are enjoying the chance to argue with each other as their onstage characters.

As opening night approaches, the students' thoughts are turning to what the show will bring to audiences. Isabelle Stauffer, who plays storyteller Flo Warren, said that she hopes the audiences will laugh at the humorous material. "I hope they will get a smile," added Madison.

Readers who wish to purchase tickets for the show may visit or call 717-354-7100. Tickets will be discounted for children ages 4 to 8 and free for children age 3 and under.


Lenten Tea

A Lenten Tea will take place on Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. at Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church, 1199 Valley Road, Quarryville. The featured artist will be singer-songwriter Frances Drost.

Drost is a concert artist and inspirational speaker who began her own company as a way to encourage people on their journey through life. She aims to weave real-life experiences and messages throughout her music. She has served a total of more than 16 years on staff as the director of worship at various churches, and she has shared the stage with Kay Arthur, Dee Brestin, Ruth Graham, Margaret Feinberg, Bonnie Keen, and Ellie Lofaro. She has also been featured as a guest on the Chris Fabry Live Radio Show.

She has eight CD projects and several singles. She was the winner of the 2009 Momentum Award for Female Artist of the Year and was also nominated for Inspirational Artist of the Year at the 2009 Momentum Awards ceremony in Nashville.

Additionally, Drost is a songwriter for Songs of Love, a nonprofit organization that connects songwriters with terminally ill children. She has composed and recorded hundreds of songs for the families with their child as the focus of the song.

Admission is free, but a freewill offering will be accepted.

Registration is required so that organizers can have enough space prepared for guests. To register, readers should contact Boni Henry at 717-808-4534 or by Sunday, March 3, with their name and the number of people in their party.


York Symphony Orchestra Concert

The York Symphony Orchestra will present "Beethoven and Bruckner" on Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, 50 N. George St., York. The performance is part of the Classical Series.

The concert will open with "Overture to Leonore No. 3," Beethoven's only completed opera. It tells the story of Leonore, who disguises herself as a prison guard to rescue her husband from death in a political prison.

The concert will also feature Bruckner's Fourth Symphony, subtitled "Romantic." Symphony No. 4, which premiered in Vienna in 1881, was the first of Bruckner's symphonies to achieve significant public success and remains among his most popular and frequently performed works.

Separate fees have been set for adults and for students. Tickets are available at or by calling 717-846-1111.


Valentine's Breakfast Buffet

The 12th annual all-you-can-eat Joanna Furnace Valentine's Breakfast Buffet, which will include a live musical performance, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works, 1250 Furnace Road, Geigertown.

The family-friendly Valentine's Breakfast Buffet, open from 7 a.m. to noon., will feature a traditional menu, including fresh country sausage, ham, scrapple, bacon, creamed chipped beef, scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, fruit sauce and beverages.

In keeping with the Valentine's Day theme, the event will have a focus on chocolate. Whipped hot chocolate will be offered along with chocolate-covered strawberries and pancakes with chocolate chips. Strawberries will also be available for sale to eat at home.

Denver-area guitarist Phyllis Hummel will play acoustic guitar and sing a variety of romantic ballads throughout the event. Hummel has been performing for more than 20 years in the tri-county area.

Reservations for the Valentine's Breakfast Buffet are not required. There will be separate admission prices for adults and children ages 5 to 11. Children under age 5 may eat for free.

The breakfast is the first event of the 2019 season at Historic Joanna Furnace, the 1791 iron-making community maintained and preserved by the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association (HCVHA). Events will continue in March with an Irish-themed breakfast on Saturday, March 16, and a potpie sale.

"In March, we will also do interpretive training activities for people who are interested in becoming tour guides for the historic Joanna site," noted Mark Zerr, HCVHA executive director.

Programs for students will also be offered in 2019, and the HCVHA will work on completing two significant restoration projects, which include restoring the wheelwright shop and the bosh, which is the hottest part of furnace where iron ore transforms and becomes molten iron.

"April 1 will kick off our bosh preservation project. We are restoring the original equipment from 1898," Zerr pointed out. "We were awarded an $80,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in Harrisburg to complete the project, which will cost about $180,000."

The site is also the location for three major annual festivals - the Hay Creek Festival in September, the Apple Festival in October and Christmas at Joanna.

Information about the events will be available at the upcoming breakfast. "This year we are looking forward to attracting new families and retired people to join us in our quest to become an even more significant historical and educational center," said Zerr.

Net proceeds from all events are used by the HCVHA to support the educational programs and restoration of Joanna Furnace, located just off Route 10 on Furnace Road, north of Morgantown.

For more information, readers may visit, call 610-286-0388 or search for "Hay Creek Valley Historical Association" on Facebook.


Lancaster Family History Conference

Sometimes genealogist Darvin Martin finds himself in the role of scientist. More specifically, Martin has found himself becoming well-versed in genetic science. He has developed an understanding of DNA and how it is passed from generation to generation. With the advent of basic genetic testing available through companies like and, a whole new aspect of genealogy has opened up.

"There are huge benefits of DNA testing, but they lie in the deeper testing - not the basic ethnicity testing - which can reveal relatives," Martin said. "You can share family trees and see how you connect."

There are some myths about genetic testing, however, and Martin hopes to dispel them during his presentation "The New DNA Reality: Forging the Path Between Discovery and Privacy," which he will give on Friday, March 29, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (LMHS), 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, as part of the 40th Lancaster Family History Conference.

"Everyone assumes their DNA is private, but that's not the case," remarked Martin, conference committee chair. He explained that while a particular combination of DNA might be unique to a specific person, the components of those genes may be accessed through other avenues, as they come from their parents, who got their DNA from their respective parents, and so forth. "The way that we think about DNA is an illusion because nature does not work that way," Martin said.

During his presentation, Martin will discuss two recent cases in which DNA from genealogical sites helped law enforcement officers trace and confirm the identity of perpetrators of crimes committed long ago. Additionally, Martin will address the concept of ethnicity and the uncertainty of genetic testing for ethnicity.

"It's a false assumption that you can quantify ethnicity. Ethnicity is not just genetics; it's also history and culture," Martin asserted.

Martin explained that because of the way genes are randomly distributed, a pair of biological siblings might test as having genetic markers similar to people in completely different parts of the world. One way in which testing is helpful, however, is in men from Western European backgrounds. By tracing Y chromosomes, it is possible to see how surnames have changed over time. Martin related a story about two family groups in different states that discovered they share a Y chromosome and thus a common ancestor. It turned out that the last name of Carpenter was the English translation of the original German surname of Zimmerman.

Martin's presentation may be attended in person, or folks may watch it online live or at a later date. There will be an array of other presentations, seminars, discussions, and field trips offered before and during the Lancaster Family History Conference. The conference will examine how legal records are a helpful resource for understanding the details of one's ancestors' lives. Pennsylvania has a collection of legal records starting as early as 300 years ago. Genealogist Judy G. Russell will present the keynote address, "No Person Shall Gallop Horses in the Streets: Using Court Records to Tell the Stories of Our Ancestors' Lives," on Saturday, March 30. Russell has worked as a reporter, writer, legal investigator, defense attorney, federal prosecutor, and law editor, along with as an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers Law School.

During the week of the conference, from Tuesday, March 26, to March 30, registrants may use the LMHS library and archives free of charge.

The March 30 sessions will take place at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster.

Early registration will end on Wednesday, Feb. 27. General registration will end on Wednesday, March 20. To register, readers may visit or call the LMHS at 717-393-9745. Registration for field trips and seminars is completed separately from the conference, but priority seating will be given to conference attendees.


Marine Corps League Meeting

The Marine Corps League, 430 Acorn Road, Downingtown, meets the fourth Monday of each month, with the exception of holidays, at 7:30 p.m. The next scheduled meeting will be on Feb. 25.

Membership is open to those interested in supporting veterans and local communities. For more information, visit or call 610-518-5375.

The entrance to Acorn Road is on Chestnut Street.


William Bird's Time in Amity"

The Boone Area Library, 129 N. Mill St., Birdsboro, will present "William Bird's Time in Amity" by Charles Miller, president of the Amity Heritage Society, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5. Bird was an iron maker. Amity Township is celebrating its 300th anniversary.

The program is free and open to the public. To register, call the library at 610-582-5666. Attendees are encouraged to bring photos, ledgers, and old items of interest that they would like to learn more about.


Conservation District Tree Seedling Sale

York County residents are invited to participate in the 45th annual York County Conservation District (YCCD) tree seedling sale on Thursday, April 11, at Rocky Ridge County Park, located off of Mount Zion Road in York.

Each year, more than 20,000 seedlings are sold and planted in York County and surrounding areas. Featured this year will be numerous seedlings native to the area, as well as a variety of fruit-bearing shrubs and trees, such as apple and cherry trees. At the sale, one free blue spruce or white pine seedling will be handed out per person to attendees who bring the required coupon.

To view the descriptions of the seedlings and trees that will be available, place an order, and print a coupon for a free seedling, readers may visit

Orders will be accepted through Monday, March 18. Orders will be available for pickup at Rocky Ridge County Park between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on April 11. Walk-in sales will also be available on pickup day at Rocky Ridge County Park while supplies last.

Proceeds from the sale will support the YCCD's educational programs including the Envirothon program, which attracts 1,000 students each year. For additional information, readers may contact the YCCD at 717-840-7430 or visit the website.


Ministry in the Retirement Years"

The Retired Clergy and Church Workers Association at Garden Spot Village (GSV), 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland, will sponsor an event on Thursday, March 14, with Dr. Ron Gibson. Gibson, professor at Lancaster Bible College and former pastor at Christian Fellowship Church in New Holland, will speak on "Ministry in the Retirement Years."

The event will begin with refreshments at 9:30 a.m. The presentation will follow, and the event will conclude with lunch. The event will be held at the GSV chapel and is free of charge. All retired clergy and church workers are invited to attend. Readers should preregister by calling 717-355-6000 or 717-355-6134.


Community Meal

Weaverland Anabaptist Faith Community Church, 210 Weaverland Valley, East Earl, will offer a hot community meal on Wednesday, March 13. Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6 p.m.

Registration is not required, but meals are dine-in only. The public is invited to attend. For details, call the church at 717-445-6348.


Ins and Outs of Composting and Mulch"

The Green Thumb Garden Club will present "Ins and Outs of Composting and Mulch" on Thursday, March 14, at Kreutz Creek Valley Library, 66 Walnut Springs Road, Hallam. Master Gardener Iona Bradley will deliver the program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The program is free and open to the community. For details, contact Melanie Markowski at 717-617-7457 or


Basket Bingo

Coatesville Area Lions Club will host its annual basket bingo on Sunday, March 3, at Wagontown Fire Hall, 412 W. Kings Highway, Wagontown. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and bingo will start at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets will be discounted when purchased in advance and full price at the door. For more details or to purchase tickets, contact Rita at 610-357-8537 or Proceeds will benefit Lions Club charities.


Lucy's Hair Work" Workshop

Mount Bethel Cemetery, 700 Locust St., Columbia, will hold a program, "Lucy's Hair Work," in the cottage on Sunday, March 10, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The workshop will focus on the Victorian-era tradition of making keepsakes from a loved one's hair, especially someone who had died. Participants will learn how to create a corsage or pin featuring flowers, leaves and hair. Participants may bring their own hair, or they may use some that will be provided.

There is a fee to attend, and preregistration is required. Space is limited. To register, readers may email


Hearth and Harrow Grand Opening Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Pleasant View Retirement Community, 544 N. Penryn Road, Manheim, has planned a grand opening for its recently renovated restaurant space, called Hearth and Harrow, located in Pleasant View's Town Square North building.

Hearth and Harrow will offer a restaurant, a bistro, a coffee bar, and an outdoor patio. At the center of the restaurant area is a hearth oven. Pleasant View's goal is to partner with Lancaster County food vendors to bring the farm-to-table movement to the reitrement community.

Hearth and Harrow's bistro will feature flexible entree stations and an ever-changing menu. A wide variety of foods, including pizzas, breads, baked pastas, and desserts, can be prepared in the hearth oven. Locally purveyed coffee will be served in the coffee bar area, along with homemade pastries and grab-and-go selections. The private dining room may be reserved for intimate gatherings or small business meetings. Hearth and Harrow will also feature expanded patio seating, festoon lighting, firepits, and a refinished fountain.

Several events have been planned for the week of Monday, March 4, to celebrate the grand opening of Hearth and Harrow. The events will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Manheim Chamber on March 4 at 8 a.m.; a giveaway to the first 100 patrons on Tuesday, March 5; live music on Wednesday, March 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.; free meals for children all day on Thursday, March 7; and a build-your-own-pizza special on Friday, March 8.

The coffee bar will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The bistro will be open on Mondays through Saturdays from 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch as well as on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant will offer tableside service on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Third Coast Percussion

The Arts at Millersville will welcome Third Coast Percussion on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. to Biemesderfer Hall in the Winter Center, 6 W. Cottage Ave., on the Millersville University campus. The quartet will perform its multimedia soundtrack of the children's book-to-film "Paddle to the Sea," featuring works by composers Philip Glass and Jacob Druckman.

"Paddle to the Sea" features imaginative sounds and world-premiere recordings intended to evoke the aquatic world.

Third Coast Percussion is a Grammy-winning, artist-run quartet of classically trained percussionists David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin and Sean Connors. Hailing from Chicago, the decade-old ensemble aims to present performances that celebrate the depth and breadth of musical possibilities in the world of percussion.

Ticket prices will vary. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box offices at the Ware Center and in the Student Memorial Center on the Millersville University campus. Tickets are also available by calling 717-871-7600 or visiting


Community Lenten Preparation Service

Bethel E.C. Church, 3716 Main St., Conestoga, will hold a community Lenten preparation service on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. The service will offer an opportunity for attendees to prepare their hearts and minds individually and as a community for the season of Lent by worshiping together.

All are welcome.


Vietnam War Veterans Ceremony

Rep. Sue Helm and Sen. John DiSanto will co-host a special ceremony to honor area veterans of the Vietnam War on Friday, March 29. The event will take place at 9 a.m. at Widener University School of Law, 3800 Vartan Way, Harrisburg.

Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, adjutant general of Pennsylvania, will be the event's keynote speaker. Vietnam veterans who reside in the 104th Legislative District and/or the 15th Senatorial District and who served in the U.S. Armed Forces between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are invited to attend. A 50-year commemorative lapel pin will be presented to veterans in attendance.

Veterans must register to attend the event and receive a pin. Readers may call Helm's district office in Millersburg at 717-692-0833 or register at


The History of the Conestoga Wagon"

Lititz Historical Foundation will present a program on Saturday, March 16, at 1:30 p.m. at Lititz Public Library, 651 Kissel Hill Road, Lititz.

Lancaster County historian Art Reist will discuss "The History of the Conestoga Wagon." Attendees are asked to preregister by calling 717-626-2255 or emailing


Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash

Manheim Community Library, 15 E. High St., Manheim, will host a Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash on Wednesday, March 6, from 10 to 11 a.m.

The registration deadline is March 6 at 9 a.m. To register, readers may visit and search for "Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash" or contact 717-665-6700. More information is available by finding the Manheim Community Library page on Facebook and clicking on Events.

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