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Caylor Receives Eagle Award November 9, 2018

Alexander Douglas Caylor was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor held on Sept. 22 at Saint Paul's United Methodist Church in Elizabethtown.

He is the son of Douglas and Lisa Caylor of West Donegal Township and the grandson of Wilbert Cavalancia of Pittsburgh, Eleanor Caylor of Kersey, and the late Wayne Caylor and the late Maureen Cavalancia.

Alexander earned his Eagle rank while a member of Boy Scout Troop 51, based in Elizabethtown. He began his Scouting career as a Tiger Cub in Pack 56 in Knox and joined Troop 51 shortly after his family relocated to the Elizabethtown area. While a member of Troop 51, Alexander served as senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, bugler, and librarian. In 2017, he completed Boy Scouts of Amerca's National Youth Leadership Training.

For his Eagle project, Alexander collected items for and prepared bags containing nutritious, shelf-stable food and hand warmers that were distributed daily to clients at the Elizabethtown Community Housing and Outreach Services (ECHOS) winter shelter. In addition, he filled backpacks with toiletries that were given to shelter clients at the discretion of shelter staff. Finally, he led a team of volunteers to help pack up supplies and equipment used to run the shelter.

A senior at Elizabethtown Area High School, Alexander is a 2019 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. He is captain of the school's Quiz Bowl and "Brain Busters" teams and a member of the computer programming competition team. He plays trumpet for the school's marching, concert, and jazz bands. His plans after graduation are to attend college, major in physics and minor in history, and continue playing trumpet in the college band.


Dye To Receive Award November 9, 2018

The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) will present the 2018 Government Lawyer of the Year Award to Daniel J. Dye of Manheim, senior deputy attorney general in the Criminal Prosecutions Section of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, on Nov. 15 at Committee/Section Day in Harrisburg.

Presented by the PBA Government Lawyers Committee, the award honors a government lawyer who has made a significant singular contribution or has dedicated his or her career to outstanding service to the profession for the benefit of the public or a government entity.

Since joining the Attorney General's Office in 2012, Dye has provided legal counsel and support to special agents in connection with criminal investigations and prepared and charted the course of cases that are submitted to a Statewide Investigating Grand Jury. Dye has continued to prosecute an active caseload of crimes. Among his recent significant accomplishments was organizing and leading a five-year investigation of seven Catholic dioceses through two grand juries.

Prior to joining the Office of Attorney General, Dye served as an assistant district attorney in the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office for four years, prosecuting crimes as a member of the Special Victims Unit. While in law school, he clerked in the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office.

Since 2012, Dye has held the position of director of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General's Medical and Legal Advisory Board on Child Abuse, which functions as a consulting and advisory board to local investigators in difficult-to-solve child homicide and abuse cases. He is also actively involved in child welfare efforts in his community, including raising awareness and funds for the Lancaster County Children's Alliance.

Dye received a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University and a Juris Doctor from Penn State Dickinson School of Law.


Ninth-Grader Wins Audio-Essay Contest November 9, 2018

Hempfield High School ninth-grader Annie Keitel won the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Voice of Democracy audio-essay contest at the local level. The 2018-19 topic was "Why My Vote Matters." Her audio-essay will move on to district competition.

Established in 1947, the VFW's Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the opportunity to express themselves via a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient's American university, college, or vocational/technical school.


Nominations Sought For Women's Hall Of Fame November 9, 2018

The Lebanon County Commission for Women is seeking nominations to the 2019 Women's Hall of Fame. The goal of the commission is to seek out hidden heroines - women who have quietly used their talents to increase the quality of lives in Lebanon County - and hear their stories. Nominations will be accepted by the commission through Friday, Nov. 30.

The categories for which a woman can be nominated are leadership, community, agriculture, athletics, justice, healthy lifestyles/health care, arts, education, military, and science/technology. The nominee must live and/or work in Lebanon County and should excel in one of the categories. The commission invites everyone to submit nominations for women they believe should be recognized and honored for their work or volunteer activities.

Nomination forms and information about the Women's Hall of Face can be obtained at or via email at The nominee's accomplishments and contributions to the community should be detailed in the nomination. Persons developing the nomination can also include their thoughts as to how the woman has served as a role model. Awards will not be presented in categories were fewer than three nominations have been received. Nominees that are not selected for induction to the 2019 Hall of Fame will automatically be submitted for nomination the following year.

Current members of the Lebanon County Commission for Women, previous inductees, and members of the Hall of Fame committee are not eligible for nomination. The list of these persons is available on the website. Individuals with questions may direct them to the commission via email or by visiting the Lebanon County Commission for Women's Facebook page.

The luncheon and induction will be held on Wednesday, March 27, during Women's History Month. This spring will mark the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Women's Hall of Fame. Proceeds from the Women's Hall of Face luncheon support the various projects of the commission, which in past years have included contributing to the Memory Garden for Susan Funk Klarsch at White Deer Run, the H.O.P.E.S. Family Shelter project, and the Lebanon Historical Society.


Garden Spot Village Wins Award November 9, 2018

Ruth Dunlap, resident of Thistledown, the Cooperative Living House at Garden Spot Village, accepted the 2018 LeadingAge Innovation Award on behalf of Garden Spot Communities at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo in Philadelphia on Oct. 28.

LeadingAge Awards Committee selected Garden Spot Communities as the recipient of the 2018 Innovation Award in September. According to Kathryn Roberts, board chair of LeadingAge and the awards committee, the award is given to recognize programs for their innovation and excellence.

Garden Spot Communities was chosen for the award because its leadership team recognized the need for affordable housing for older adults on fixed incomes, explored different opportunities and concepts to develop a Cooperative Living House and partnered with the local community to build the home. Members of the New Holland and greater Lancaster community helped to build the home by donating funds and materials and volunteering.

Garden Spot CEO Steve Lindsey believes that the Cooperative Living House is a project that can be scalable for the future.

Garden Spot Village welcomed the first residents to Thistledown in March.


Family Wins Photo Contest November 8, 2018

Harrisburg residents the Bellises participated in The Fresh Air Fund's Friendly Towns Program this past summer and were among the winners of the 2018 Photo Contest. All winners were selected from the hundreds of photos submitted by volunteer host families along the East Coast and southern Canada. The photos capture the fun-filled experiences the volunteer host families shared with Fresh Air children over the summer. Categories included Backyard Fun, Friendship, New Experiences, Exploring Nature, Swimming, The Beach and Ice Cream.

The Bellises' photo was selected as a winner in the Family category. The photo features Fresh Air child James, 12, hiking with the Bellises, his host family, in Harrisburg.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, nonprofit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. For information about hosting a Fresh Air child next summer, readers may contact Jennifer Nahm at 717-756-5429 or visit


Student Wins Poster Contest November 8, 2018

Emma Barker, a sixth-grade student at L.J.M. Elementary School in Red Lion Area School District, recently won a local competition sponsored by the Windsor Lions Club. Emma, 12, is from Red Lion. Emma's poster was among 600,000 entries submitted worldwide in the 31st annual Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs International sponsored the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.

Emma's poster was selected as the local winner by Windsor Lions Club president Matthew Dietz, club Peace Poster Contest chair Jola Shoff, and club members Blain Howard, Ian Shoff, and Donald Dietz. The posted was chosen for its originality, artistic merit, and portrayal of the contest theme, "Kindness Matters." The judging took place at L.J. M. Elementary School on Oct. 26. Dietz said he was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at L.J.M.

Commenting on her poster and the contest, Emma said, "Although everyone is different, we all need to be treated the same."

Emma's poster will advance to the district level. It will then be considered for the multiple-district and international levels.

At the international level, one grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners will be selected. The grand prize includes a cash award and a trip for the winner and two family members to an award ceremony. The 23 merit award winners will each receive a certificate and a cash award.

Locally, the Windsor Lions Club will recognize Emma and seven other students for their participation. The recognition will take place at the club's Tuesday, Nov. 20, meeting at itsclubhouse, 24 E. High St., Windsor.

For more information, readers may visit and use the hashtag #peaceposter on social media.

Lions Clubs International is a service club organization with 1.4 million members in more than 47,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a commitment to community service and helping youths throughout the world.


Library Director Receives Award November 7, 2018

On Oct. 26, Marguerite Dube, director of the Chester County Library and its Henrietta Hankin Branch, received the Difference of One Award at the Chester County OIC's 39th annual Award Gala. Dube received the 2018 Difference of One Award for her dedication to public service and personal commitments to excellence in helping her community and its members.

The Chester County Library partners with the Chester County OIC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free adult basic literacy education and life skills programs that prepare individuals for employment leading to economic self-sufficiency. The library supports adult literacy through its Adult Graded Reading collection and by providing office space, computers, supplies, and other amenities.

Dube began her career at the Chester County Library in January 2001 as the business/finance manager. She developed a passion for library services and in 2006 was awarded an IMLS grant to pursue a master's degree in library science at Drexel University. In September 2008, she was appointed as the director at the Chester County Library. During her tenure, she has overseen many physical changes to the buildings and strives to create a welcoming atmosphere for all the library's customers. She said one of her major accomplishments has been the redesign of the balcony area of the library, which houses the new young adult area, the Jacobs Technology Center with its Digital Media Lab, and the spacious OIC adult tutoring area.

The Difference of One Award is given in memory of the Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, founder of OIC of America. Sullivan impacted the quality of life in Philadelphia by developing an economic empowerment plan that led to a set of principles that aimed to empower people in their own communities in Philadelphia, across the country, and around the world. The Difference of One Award, developed by Chester County OIC, is given in honor of people who singlehandedly have made a difference in supporting the values of Chester County OIC.

The mission of the Chester County and Henrietta Hankin Branch libraries is to provide informational, educational, and cultural services to the residents of Chester County so that they may be lifelong learners. The Chester County Library and District Center is located at 450 Exton Square Parkway, Exton. For more information, readers may visit


Stauffer Celebrates 100th Birthday November 7, 2018

Mary Sensenig Stauffer turned 100 years old on Oct. 28. Friends and family came to Fairmount in Ephrata, where Mary lives, to celebrate the occasion. Mary also received a visit from state Sen. Ryan P. Aument, who awarded her with a citation from the state of Pennsylvania.

Mary was born at home in Frysville during World War I and the 1918 flu epidemic. She married Ivan Stauffer in April 1944, and they had been married for 66 years when Ivan passed away in 2010. They had five children, 10 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren. Mary is the last of her siblings still living.

Ivan and Mary and their family lived on a farm between Martindale and Red Run, raising a variety of animals and enjoying flower and vegetable gardening. Mary was an avid quilter until the age of 88, and she also enjoyed sewing, smocking, baking, and reading. She was a member of the Blue Ball Church of the Brethren, where she served as a deacon's wife, taught Sunday school and Bible school, hosted evangelists, and participated in the sewing circle. She attributes her good health and vitality to drinking goat's milk most of her adult life and to following Exodus 20:12, which focuses on honoring one's parents.

For more information about Fairmount, readers may visit


MdSPSA Will Honor Players November 7, 2018

The Maryland Slow Pitch Softball Association (MdSPSA) recently announced the selection of 13 candidates for induction into the MdSPSA Hall of Fame located at Ripken Stadium, Aberdeen, Md. Among the nominees are Gino Anselmi, Dundalk, and Butch Hensel, Parkville.

Anselmi was a first baseman and outstanding hitter. In 1980, while playing for the Phil Mar Inn, he was selected as the Baltimore Metro State "B" Tournament Most Valuable Player with a batting average of .800.

Hensel, a Stewartstown resident, was a player and manager for more than 40 years. In 1970, he founded Overlea Athletic Club (AC) with his neighborhood and high school friends. Overlea AC played in various ASA, USSSA, and independent leagues in Baltimore County under several different sponsorships. He had a playing and managerial career record of 820 wins and 322 losses.

The induction and award ceremony will occur on Saturday, March 23, 2019, during the MdSPSA annual banquet at UAW Hall, 1010 Oldham St., Baltimore. Tickets for the banquet can be purchased by contacting Chip Mack at 410-960-3877 or

The Maryland Slow Pitch Softball Association is a nonprofit group dedicated to recognizing and sustaining Maryland's contribution to the success of slow pitch softball as a national sport. The group provides recognition of individuals for outstanding achievements and contributions to the success of slow pitch softball in Maryland by the establishment and administration of the Maryland Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame.


School Honors Young Artists November 7, 2018


Seniors Of The Month Recognized November 2, 2018

Tyler Flick and Maura Burrell have been selected as November's Seniors of the Month at Manheim Central High School. The Manheim Women's Club sponsors the Girls of the Month and honors them at a dinner meeting at the end of the year. The Boys of the Month are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Manheim. Both students are invited to a luncheon at Pleasant View Town Square North held in Stiegel Dining Room the month they were chosen. Seniors of the Month are chosen by the professional staff of the high school based on academic achievement, character, and involvement within the school and community.

Tyler, 17, is the son of Steve and Katie Flick of Manheim. Tyler has participated in school activities such as Project Purple and the stock market investing club, and he has been involved with football and track. He has coached flag football and helped with the setup of the Manheim Central MCFEE auction. Tyler plans to attend college after graduation.

Maura, 17, is the daughter of Susan Haugh of Lititz. Maura is involved in Science Olympiad, concert band, science club, Spanish club, and marching band, where she is a section leader. She was named to the LLMEA County Band in 2017 and 2018 and lettered in track and field. She is a member of the Rho Kappa Honor Society for history, National English Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society for math. She was named Student of the Month for September 2017 and is the 2018 Rotary Club winner of the Family Values Award. Maura has volunteered as a tour guide at Wheatland and within Gretna Music. She plans to major in history and minor in a social science and get her doctorate in history or go to law school.


Redcay Receives Award November 2, 2018

Dr. Jessica Jadi Redcay, second-grade teacher from Landisville Primary Center in the Hempfield School District, received the 2018-19 Pennsylvania Elementary Teacher Excellence Award from the Technology and Engineering Education Association of Pennsylvania (TEEAP).

The Teacher Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to technology and engineering education classroom teachers and is presented in recognition of a teacher's outstanding contributions to the profession and his or her students. The Teacher Excellence Award provides public recognition on a local and state level through TEEAP and is presented at the annual TEEAP Conference. This year's conference was held on Oct. 18.

In addition, this past spring, Redcay received the 2018-19 International Elementary Teacher Excellence Award from the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) in Atlanta. This teaching award was given for her work with STEM programming and technology at the elementary level. Redcay worked closely with Hempfield School District administrators to pilot a STEM curriculum in second grade.


PPA Project Stream Grants Awarded October 31, 2018

The Cultural Alliance of York County, as the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) partner for York, Adams, Franklin, and Fulton counties, recently awarded 28 PPA project stream grants for arts-related projects occurring in 2018-19, totaling $42,532 in funding. York County organizations receiving project stream grants are as follows:

Animal Advocates of South Central Pennsylvania received a grant for live musical performance during the first-ever York Harvest VegFest.

Creative York received funding to host intergenerational art classes at Crispus Attucks Senior Center with students from Crispus Attucks Charter School.

The Dillsburg Arts Council received funding to host public series of cultural program in its Dillsburg facility.

Jessica and Friends was awarded a grant to host a community concert of the Hosanna Ringers Bell Choir, comprised of 10 adults having intellectual disabilities, on Friday, March 29, 2019.

The Penn-Mar Irish Festival was awarded a grant to add a Celtic Cultural Tent to its festival activities.

RafikiAfrica received a grant to fund an African Festival in the summer of 2019 in York.

SpiriTrust Lutheran received funding to host a concert of the York Symphony Chorus for seniors from elder care facilities throughout York County.

The White Rose Chorus received funding to produce its annual show at DreamWrights Center for Community Arts.

The Unforgettable Big Band received funds to host Big Band Christmas Spectacular at the Belmont Theatre.

York City Special Events received funds to add a large-scale interactive community mural activity to the 2019 Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival.

The York County History Center was awarded a grant for a History Maker Sessions Series open to families and school-age children throughout the summer of 2019.

The York Junior Symphony Orchestra was awarded a grant for its fall 2018 and spring 2019 concerts.

YOUTH Program Inc. and Teaching Museum for the Fiber Arts and Textiles received funding for three open house events and demonstrations highlighting the fiber arts.

The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream grants provide opportunities for arts organizations, individual artists and community-based groups to apply for up to $2,500 in funding to support performances, exhibitions and other arts projects that are presented to the public.

The grants are administered by the Cultural Alliance of York County but are funded by the taxpayers of the commonwealth through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. These grants expand the Cultural Alliance's mission to support the creative community.

Founded as a United Arts Fund in 1999, the Cultural Alliance's annual campaign supports eight partner agencies and funds the Creative Impact Award grants that bring arts and culture to life in York County. Since its inception, the Cultural Alliance's annual campaign has granted $8 million in monetary support and more than $2 million in in-kind support.

For more information, readers may call 717-812-9255, visit or search for "Cultural Alliance of York" on Facebook.


Student Receives Spirit Award October 31, 2018

Susquehannock High School student Jensen Perry was recently awarded the Susquehannock Alumni Association's ninth annual Alumni Spirit Award. The award was presented during halftime of Susquehannock High School's homecoming football game on Oct. 12. The honor is awarded to an individual who exemplifies outstanding school spirit for an extended period of time.

Perry is known for his positive attitude and perseverance. In late June 2018, Perry was flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where he underwent emergency heart surgery and spent 42 days in the intensive care unit. He is recovering and has since returned to school.

Susquehannock High School teacher Tom Laure congratulated Perry on his achievement. This is the first time that a current Susquehannock High School student earned the award.


DVGRR Wins Top Award October 31, 2018

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR) has been named a 2018 top-rated nonprofit by GreatNonprofits, a provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits. DVGRR rescues golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and doodles in need of new homes, accepting dogs from the greater Mid-Atlantic area, including puppy mill survivors and many strays found in Puerto Rico.

The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is based on the rating and number of reviews that DVGRR receives from adopters, volunteers, donors, and supporters. DVGRR has again earned a five-star rating.

DVGRR's reviews can be found at


Students And Bus Drivers Honored October 31, 2018

In a recent ceremony at the governor's residence, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers joined other Pennsylvania school bus safety advocates to honor nine students for communicating important school bus safety messages and six school bus drivers for their superior driving skills.

The students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, were recognized for their winning entries in the 2018 School Bus Safety Poster Contest. They were chosen from 352 public and private school student entries. First-place entries earned the honor of being forwarded to a national competition. The theme for this year's contest - "My School Bus, The Safest Form of Student Transportation!" - reflects the commitment school bus drivers show daily to both parents and students.

Among the local honorees were Alivia Spitz, Reiffton School, Reading, first place for third- through fifth-graders; Sally Nguyen, Reiffton School, Reading, second place for third- through fifth-graders; Desteny Keiser, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, second place for sixth- through eighth-graders; and Emalie Brown, Upper Dauphin Area Middle School, Lykens, third place for sixth- through eighth-graders.

The school bus drivers received certificates and governor's citations for winning the 2018 Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition, which was held in June and tested the drivers' knowledge of safety rules and safe operation of buses. Honorees included Shanon O'Brien, Chester County, Krapf Bus Companies, first place in the Conventional Bus category; Michael Webster, Lebanon County, Brightbill Transportation, first place in the Transit-Style Bus category; and Ruth Del Vecchio, Chester County, Krapf Bus Companies, second place in the Transit-Style Bus category.


Feifer Receives Award For Writing Program October 26, 2018

Landisville Middle School English language arts teacher Scott Feifer has been recognized with an award for his Writing Circles program by the Juvenile Detention Centers and Alternative Programs (JDCAP) Association. The program had been nominated for JDCAP's Ongoing Program of the Year Award in Pennsylvania.

Feifer has been volunteering his services at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center for 15 years and spends an estimated three to six hours each week at the intervention facility offering his programs to residents in both detention and shelter, making sure he gets to meet with each on-level group.

According to Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center program director Bryan Hubbard, Feifer is known for his ability to bring out the best in others. Through the Writing Circles program, Feifer aims to inspire residents to express their feelings, thoughts, and emotions and to begin to process difficult issues. During one of his sessions with the residents, Feifer led them through the reading of Walt Whitman's poem "Miracles" and they then used the poem to create their own collaborative "Miracles" poem. Residents are given the choice to share their writings with the group. Feifer responds to the residents' writings with comments about what the individual shared. Sometimes the youth care worker staff members join in and share, which helps to build positive relationships between residents and staff.

Feifer also conducts Writing Circles at Manos House, a local placement for youths with drug and alcohol issues, as well as at the York Development Center and at the Lancaster Public Library. With the addition of the Youth Intervention Center PULSE and ETC programs, he has started offering a family circle program with residents and inviting their families to take part in the process.


Library, Gilbert Win Awards October 25, 2018

The Pennsylvania Library Association named Martin Library as Library of the Year during the association's recent annual conference. The York County library is the first to receive this statewide award, which is in its inaugural year. The designation comes on the heels of the library's recent award as a Pennsylvania Forward Gold Star Library.

Each year, the Pennsylvania Library Association recognizes members who have contributed significantly to the library profession and the betterment of libraries in Pennsylvania. This year, the 2018 Awards Committee opened nominations for the new Library of the Year Award to honor a library that exhibits excellence in serving its community, advancing staff development, and leadership.

Among the library's accomplishments is its partnerships with community agencies, public and private schools, early childhood education centers, area hospitals, and the county prison. Martin's longest-standing partnership is the School Library Aides at Martin (SLAM) program. For 31 years, SLAM has placed highly trained staff into the libraries of the School District of the City of York, making it possible for students to receive library services. Martin Library also delivers the district's after-school program, providing learning enrichment, learning support, special activities, and meals to more than 800 children five days a week during the school year. This year, students will learn coding through library staff.

In 2017, Martin Library opened the award-winning Salem Square Library. The library provides workforce development, job search assistance, after-school STEAM programming, early childhood educational programming, and public technology access in the heart of the Salem Square neighborhood.

The library has a history of bridging the digital divide by bringing new technology, assistance, and training to community members. Its Tech Guru regularly visits all York County libraries to help residents with their computers, tablets, and phones. In addition, Martin Library supports makerspaces, including robotics and coding for all members of the community.

The Pennsylvania Library Association also presented Paula Gilbert, director of youth services for York County Libraries, with its highest professional laurel, the Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented annually to a librarian who exemplifies exceptional meritorious statewide service to libraries of the Commonwealth and service to the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Gilbert's legacy of service includes serving as chair of the Pennsylvania State Youth Services Task Force, as Public Relations Committee chair for the Pennsylvania Library Association, and as the association's first vice president, president elect, and president. Following her year as the association's president in 2013, Gilbert has remained actively involved serving as the PA Forward Training Committee chair. She also participates on the One Book, Every Young Child Committee for Commonwealth Libraries.

Gilbert is also involved in the United Way's early learning initiative, FOCUS. Her long-standing partnership with the School District of the City of York has included providing trained library aides to manage the school libraries, offering a Migrant Education Program and summer learning programs at schools, providing behavior specialists, and offering the after-school program.

Gilbert has worked with countless organizations to bring high quality literacy opportunities to children of all ages. Her efforts include GOAL (Grade One At the Library), the initiative to put library cards in the hands of all York County first-grade students. Since the program's inception, more than 30,000 first-graders received library cards when they were learning to read. Gilbert also connected York County children and families to LEAP Into Science, a STEM initiative from the Franklin Institute.

Gilbert has been recognized as a Children's Champion by the York Area Association for the Education of Young Children, a Hometown Hero by the York Revolution, a Rising Star Hero by the Crispus Attucks Association, and a recipient of the MLK Image Award for community improvement by the Black Ministers' Association of York. She is currently serving on the Healthy York County Coalition Leadership Council, the Community Progress Council's Policy Board for Early Head Start/Head Start, and the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

To learn more about York County Libraries, readers may visit


Chester County Presents Farm Awards October 24, 2018

The Chester County commissioners, along with the Agricultural Development Council, recently presented two agricultural awards at Ar-Joy Farms in Cochranville, including the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award and the Farmers of the Year Award. The event was also a dual celebration of National Farmer's Day on Oct. 12 and the 30th year of the county's agricultural award program.

Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell presented the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award to Charles "Charlie" Graydus, an agricultural mechanics teacher and mentor at Octorara Area High School. Graydus started his teaching career in technical education at the Oxford Area School District in 1993. Six years later, he joined the agricultural mechanics department at Octorara, where he has been encouraging students to be their best and get involved in agriculture, regardless of whether or not they have grown up on a farm, for nearly the past two decades.

Complementing his work as a teacher, Graydus has also served as the adviser for the school's FFA chapter. Students from Octorara FFA win awards at the state level every year. Graydus also teaches a multi-day tractor and farm safety class for teenagers, sponsored by the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau. In these roles, he has helped thousands of high school students develop their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success in the agriculture industry and beyond.

Graydus and his wife, Carla, also raise a small herd of black Angus beef cattle and champion pumpkins at Hidden Well Farm in Elverson.

The 2018 Farmers of the Year Award was presented to dairy farmers Duane and Marilyn Hershey of Ar-Joy Farms in Cochranville for the installation of cutting-edge methane digester technology on their farm, as well as for their advocacy work on behalf of the dairy industry both locally and nationwide.

Although methane digesters are a more common sight on farms throughout Europe, the Hersheys' digester is one of a handful in Pennsylvania. The Hersheys use the digester to convert cow manure, snack chip waste from a local potato chip company and used frying oil from area restaurants into methane gas, which is then burned to generate energy. The digester produces enough energy to power the farm and provide a surplus, which the Hersheys sell back to the electric company. The digester also produces additional byproducts, including sterile bedding material for the farm's cows and an odorless liquid fertilizer, which is spread onto the crop fields.

In addition to running the 800-cow milking operation and raising crops on approximately 550 acres, the Hersheys operate their own milk hauling company in partnership with fellow dairy farmers Walt and Ellen Moore of Walmoore Holsteins.

Off the farm, Duane and Marilyn are advocates for the dairy industry at the local, state and federal levels. Marilyn, who received the 2017 Dairy Woman of the Year recognition by the World Dairy Expo, writes a monthly column for Hoard's Dairyman, serves on the National Dairy and Research Promotion Board and is chair of Dairy Management Inc., the nation's dairy check-off board for research and promotion. Duane serves on the national board of Land O'Lakes, the member-owned dairy cooperative that processes Ar-Joy Farms' milk into butter, chocolate and fluid milk. Additionally, Duane and Marilyn regularly open their farm to visiting agricultural delegations and accept speaking engagements to help educate the public about the importance of dairy.

For more information about the Chester County Ag Council and the awards program, readers may visit

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