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VFW Recognizes Safety Officers January 16, 2019

The James A. Danner VFW Post 537 recently held a Safety Banquet to honor all first responders from the area and to specifically recognize one firefighter, one emergency medical technician (EMT), and one police officer. VFW Post 537 sought nominations from supervisory officers in Fairview Township, Newberry Township, and the borough of Goldsboro.

To be eligible for an award, nominees had to meet various criteria. The three primary criteria were recognition by their colleagues, unswerving loyalty to and active performance in safety of citizens, and dedication to their official responsibilities over a period of years, showing continuous growth in responsibility and experience.

The Firefighter of the Year for 2018 is Kyle Harbold. He serves as the fire police captain, assisting the Newberry Township Police Department in both emergency and nonemergency situations. He had the highest response to calls within the Newberry Township Fire Department.

Leslie Garner of Newberry Township's EMS was selected as the Post 537's Emergency Medical Technician Award winner for 2018. Garner began as an EMT in 2002 and became a medic in 2008. She has served as a full-time medic in Newberry Township since 2013.

Post 537 chose Detective Daniel Grimme of Newberry Township Police Department as the Police Officer of the Year. Grimme, an eight-year veteran of the Newberry Township Police Department, serves in the department's Criminal Support Unit. In the past year, he was instrumental in prosecuting several individuals who illegally delivered narcotics. In addition to general investigations, he also investigates domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Nominations for the 2019 Safety Officers can be submitted at any time prior to Sunday, Sept. 1, to the James A. Danner VFW Post 537. For more information, readers may call Charlie at 724-630-4956.


Local Residents Earn Honors January 16, 2019

Gavin Mast, Rhoda Mast and Christopher Mast, all of Morgantown, recently placed in the 2018 National Corn Growers Association's (NCGA) Corn Yield Contest. They won the state second place in the A Non-Irrigated division, state second place in the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated division, and state third place in the Irrigated division, respectively. They all won with Pioneer P1442AM brand corn, which yielded 263.97, 277.87 and 268.07 bushels per acre, respectively.

The NCGA Corn Yield Contest is an annual U.S. competition among corn growers with the goal of capitalizing on the high genetic yield potential of corn hybrids. Growers compete in six corn production classes: two for non-irrigated, two for no-till/strip till non-irrigated, one for no-till/strip till irrigated, and one for irrigated acres.

For a complete list of national winners, state winners, yield totals, and products, readers may visit More information about the NCGA is available at


Art Festival Receives Honor January 15, 2019

The art festival of Long's Park Amphitheater Foundation was recently rated the best Art Fair on the East Coast and one of the top 50 in the nation by, a juried fine art fair and art shows listings website promoting attendance at art fairs, craft shows, and art festivals nationwide.

Close to 1,000 nominations were received online, and there were more than 2,000 voters. The surveys asked participants to select their five favorite art fairs and craft shows and which one is the best. The factors judged included quality of art, venue setting and ambiance, affordability/wide price range, family-friendly/children's activities, number of exhibitors, location, accessibility, parking, variety of media, and food and music.

The America's Best Art Fairs Awards are based on online voting by art fair patrons, collectors, organizers, and artists, both regionally and nationally. The national survey of art fairs and festivals is designed to recognize achievement in art fair event production and promote the cultural importance of fine art events across America.

All proceeds from the art festival fund the Summer Music Series each year. To learn more, readers may visit


O'Donnell Earns Eagle Scout Rank January 10, 2019

Jacob O'Donnell of Troop 97 has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. This is the highest rank BSA offers. Jake's Court of Honor was recently held at the Londonderry Scouting Complex in Londonderry Township. Committee chair Ted Pauley of Troop 97 bestowed the rank of Eagle Scout on Jake on behalf of the National Boy Scout Council.

Jake began his Scouting career as a Cub Scout with Pack 97 when he was in first grade. He went on to join Boy Scout Troop 97, where he was a member of the Panda Patrol. While in Troop 97, he was inducted into the BSA Order of the Arrow, BSA's national honor society.

Community service is an important part of reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. By the end of 2018, Jake had completed a total of almost 250 community service hours, including volunteer work for the Epilepsy Foundation, the Autism Society, Adopt-A-Highway, Fountain of Life Food Bank, Middletown Home, Geyers United Methodist Church, Middletown National Night Out, and Toys For Tots. Jake has participated in Londonderry Township flood relief projects, acted as a disaster victim during a disaster drill sponsored by an area hospital, helped to clear trails at Sunset Park, and helped at the Londonderry Elementary May Fair. He has taken part in numerous projects for the Londonderry Fire Company. In addition, Jake has served in color guards for Helping A Hero, multiple Londonderry Township Fourth of July celebrations and the Highspire Fire Company's State Firemen's Conference.

A community project that demonstrates leadership skills is required as part of earning the Eagle Scout rank. The Middletown Anglers and Hunters group has been extremely supportive of Jake and Troop 97 over the years. Consequently, Jake wanted to give back to the organization that supported him, his fellow Scouts, and the community as a whole. Jake organized a team to work on numerous projects at the Middletown Anglers and Hunters' facility in Londonderry Township. Among those projects, Jake repaired and painted the target range and built shooting tables for the rifle range.

Jake also demonstrated his leadership qualities by holding the positions of troop quartermaster and patrol leader within Troop 97. Jake has become an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 97 so that he can share his love of Scouting by encouraging younger Scouts. He plans to help them develop their camping and outdoor skills.

Jake was a member of the Ender Dragon Patrol during the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in Bechtel, W.Va., with Troop C203. He was among the 50,000 Boy Scouts from around the world who attended the event in 2013.

Jake said he particularly enjoyed Scouting's High Adventure camps. He sailed at Sea Base High Adventure Camp in the Florida Keys in 2016 and canoed in the backwaters of Atikokan, Ontario, Canada, at the Northern Tier High Adventure Camp in 2018.

Jake has logged 108 nights of tent camping, 60 miles in trail hiking and more than 75 paddling miles with Troop 97. In addition, he has earned 28 merit badges during his Scouting career.

Jake is the son of Tammy and Ralph O'Donnell of Londonderry Township. Tammy has also been an active volunteer and has especially been involved in fundraising so that troop members can experience Scouting programs. Ralph has been involved with Pack 97 and Troop 97 for more than 13 years, serving as the troop treasurer and as a committee member.

Boy Scout Troop 97 is sponsored by Londonderry Fire Company in Londonderry Township.


Student Organizes Fundraising Events January 10, 2019

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) has announced its 2019 Students of the Year candidates, which include Logan Conrad of Elizabethtown. The program is a seven-week initiative in which select high school students from around the country participate in a fundraising competition to benefit LLS.

Logan, 14, is a freshman honors student at Elizabethtown Area High School. He is a member of the soccer team and participates in Mini-THON, chess club, and Model UN. He has become involved with LLS because he would like fewer families to be affected by cancer.

The campaign began on Jan. 13 and will run through Saturday, March 2. Logan's fundraising page is available at

Logan is organizing a cornhole tournament fundraising event, slated for Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5 p.m. at Funk Brewing, 28 S. Market St., Elizabethtown. A portion of the proceeds will go to LLS. To register, readers may visit

In addition to this event, Logan plans to organize events at school to engage his peers, place donation boxes at several local businesses, and organize other fundraising activities.


Local Student Wins Scholarship, Will Study In China January 9, 2019

"I want to make a real change and a real difference in the world," stated Ryan Morris of Honey Brook, who is taking steps to achieve that lofty goal. Morris recently won the Schwarzman Scholarship, a prestigious graduate fellowship that will allow him to study in China after college. Morris will graduate in May from Penn State Berks with a Bachelor of Science in business with a concentration in marketing and management and a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation.

As a Schwarzman Scholar, Morris, 22, will receive a fully funded scholarship to study at the new Schwarzman College at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Morris will join the Class of 2020 in pursuing a master's degree in global affairs with a concentration in economics and business. He will study a curriculum that was developed by academics from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Oxford universities.

Morris did not follow a direct path on the road to becoming a Schwarzman Scholar. In fact, his original goal was to become a professional race car driver. He fell in love with racing as a child when his parents presented him with the gift of a go-kart. "Going back to the very beginning, I was 7 years old driving quarter-midgets at the Honey Brook Raceway on Route 322," he said.

Morris, a 2014 graduate of Twin Valley High School, competed in the NASCAR Whelan All-American Series in his senior year, but decided to give up racing completely. "I learned there is a lot more to life than winning races," he commented. "(I believed that) if I wanted to make an impact, I needed to get an education and became a college student full time and become involved in student government."

He noted that his high school guidance counselor suggested that he consider Penn State Berks. "I came for a tour and fell in love with the campus," he recalled.

Morris decided to apply for the Schwarzman Scholarship at the suggestion of Dr. Sandy Feinstein, his honors adviser. He noted that the criteria for the scholarship includes serving in student government and creating a start-up company, both goals he had attained. He is a two-term president of the college's Student Government Association and co-founded Traduki Technologies LLC, which offers real-time language translation services. The company matches health care professionals with freelance translators who are available to translate for patients in person or via video chat, phone call or text message.

"Through Invent Penn State, I got some seed money to start a company," Morris explained. "We (developed) a mobile app for language interpretation. Doctors and nurses who have patients that come in will have access to medically certified interpreters."

Morris took part in an interview for the Schwarzman Scholarship last fall in New York City. "Everyone I was going up against were from Ivy League schools, (places like) West Point and great schools around the world," he said. "I am a small-town, Twin Valley guy and Penn State student; I felt like Rocky going against Apollo Creed."

Morris stated that he plans to continue working with Traduki Technologies remotely while studying in China. "Through my start-up, I am already tackling one (area) of health care, which is the language barrier that can limit health care access," he said. "My goal is to come out of this strong enough to build the company even more. Like I told the interviewers, I want to be like Elon Musk - create companies and use business techniques to solve a problem."


Northwest EMS Presents Scholarships January 4, 2019

On May 16, Northwest Emergency Medical Services (NWEMS) presented Robert C. Stirling Educational Scholarships to three students at Manheim Central High School's (MCHS) awards ceremony for graduating seniors. The ceremony took place at Manheim Central Middle School.

The scholarship is offered each spring through the Stirling family and NWEMS, which the Manheim Veterans Memorial Ambulance Association merged with in 2013. A committee of NWEMS and Stirling family representatives selects the recipients each year.

The $1,000 educational scholarship is named in memory and honor of Bob Stirling, who was known for his enthusiasm for the town and community of Manheim, where he lived and worked. Stirling owned an insurance business, was active in many community and civic activities, and was a lifetime member of the Manheim Veterans Memorial Ambulance Association.

Stirling's interest in the ambulance service began when he assisted a volunteer ambulance crew at an accident that had occurred in front of his home on East High Street. On the crew that day was Clarence "Mike" Graham, one of the ambulance's founding members, who asked Stirling if he would like to ride along and assist with the transport of the patient. That invitation led to more than 30 years of service for Stirling with the ambulance association. After Bob's passing in June of 1994, his family and the Manheim Veterans Memorial Ambulance Association created an educational scholarship for residents of the Manheim Central community who are pursuing a career in the medical field.

The first scholarships were awarded in 1995, and NWEMS proudly continues the tradition today. The 2018 recipients are MCHS seniors Billie Jo Bollinger, Lauren Dorwart, and Elli Weaver.

Bollinger is the daughter of Keith and Michelle Bollinger. She plans to attend Lock Haven University to pursue a career as a physician assistant and to continue playing field hockey and running track. Bollinger said that her love of biology and anatomy and physiology, combined with career shadowing a physician assistant, influenced her decision to follow that career path. At MCHS, she participated in field hockey, softball, and track. Bollinger was a member of Science Honor Society, Math Honor Society, English Honor Society, Science Club, Spanish Club, Interact, Student Council, and Medical Careers Club.

Dorwart, the daughter of Tom and Sara Dorwart, plans to major in nursing at Penn State Altoona. "I've always wanted to help people, and this has been what I wanted to do since middle school," shared Dorwart. Her goal is to become an anesthesiologist. During high school, Dorwart served as the student athletic trainer for the football and wrestling teams and was a member of Student Council and Medical Careers Club. She was also a student adviser for Manheim Central Foundation for Educational Enrichment (MCFEE).

Weaver is the daughter of Nevin and Robin Weaver. She plans to attend Lebanon Valley College to pursue a career as a physical therapist. Tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and going through physical therapy was a big part of her decision to take that career route, Weaver said. At MCHS, she played basketball and was a member of Interact, Student Investment Club, National Art Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Medical Careers Club.

Stirling scholarship applicants do not need to be graduating seniors, but they must plan to pursue a degree in a medical program. To learn more, readers may visit


Society Awards Scholarships January 3, 2019

The Lancaster Medical Society Foundation, a foundation of the Lancaster City and County Medical Society, recently awarded its 2018 scholarships to Sara D. Fuhrman of Bainbridge, Matthew L. Miller of New Holland, and Frank G. Lee of Lancaster.

Fuhrman received a $5,000 scholarship, Miller received $3,000, and Lee received $2,000. They were selected through a competitive review process with submissions from more than 20 applicants from across Lancaster County.

Fuhrman is a Tufts University graduate and a second-year dual-degree medical student at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. In addition to her Doctorate of Medicine, she is working toward a master's degree in urban bioethics, with a focus on women's health in underserved urban populations.

Miller graduated from Messiah College and is currently in his second year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Lee is a graduate of Duke University and a student in the SELECT Program at the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida.

Founded in 1991, the Lancaster Medical Society Foundation is a nonprofit organization formed to grant scholarships to students from Lancaster County who are accepted at or continuing a medical degree at an accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school. Scholarship recipients exemplify good character, motivation, academic achievement, and financial need. Since the foundation's inception, more than $234,000 in scholarships has been given to local students.

For more information about the scholarship, how to apply, or how to make a gift to the foundation, readers may visit, then select Scholarship Foundation, or contact the society at 717-393-9588.


Cullings Receives Extra Mile Award January 2, 2019

Karen Cullings, interim executive director of Dauphin County Library System, was honored with Leadership Harrisburg's Extra Mile Award in the employee category at a special breakfast at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg on Dec. 13, 2018. Cullings was nominated for the award by the staff and senior management team of the Dauphin County Library System. Board president Andy Enders said she was honored for her inspired thinking, vision for the role of a library, and leadership.

Leadership Harrisburg created the Extra Mile Award with the intent to recognize volunteers and employees who significantly impact the success of their nonprofit organization, community group, faith-based institution, or school. Nominees are selected because they are the champions of the Capital Region and their work is vital to the health of their communities. Other award winners for 2019 are Karim Ouard, a volunteer with Tri-County Community Action Agency, and Kathy Anderson Martin of The Salvation Army, Harrisburg Capital City Region.


Prothonotary Receives Public Service Award December 31, 2018

The Exton Region Chamber of Commerce has announced the winner of the 2018 Senator Robert J. Thompson Public Service Award. Chester County prothonotary Matthew Holliday was recognized as the public official who has made an outstanding contribution to the Exton region.

Holliday knew at age 8 that he wanted to dedicate his life to public service. From the moment that transformed his life as a young boy, he knew that his path forward would be helping people with honesty and humanity.

Holliday has just finished his third year as Chester County prothonotary, an elected position. As prothonotary, he is chief clerk for the courts of law. He manages a budget of more than $1.4 million, presides over public ceremonies such as the oath of citizenship at naturalization ceremonies, implemented an e-filing system and identified a language service that provides real-time translations for customers in more than 70 languages via the phone, and has been involved with other tasks.

He has been recognized for the humanity that he brings to his position. For example, according to Holliday, he and his head court clerk, Phyllis, helped a man obtain a court order in a matter of hours so the man's deceased brother could be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Additionally, he and colleagues, including Judge Cody, Judge Allison Bell Royer, and Sheri Madiro, prevented a young couple's wedding from being canceled when the county government closed a few hours early due to a sudden snowstorm.

In addition to his current work, Holliday served as chief of staff to state Rep. Dan Truitt for five years and political director of the Republican Committee of Chester County for more than a year.

As a volunteer, Holliday has been involved in Chester County organizations for more than a decade while also serving on multiple nonprofit boards. Holliday currently serves on the board of directors for Friends Association for the Care & Protection of Children, West Chester Business Improvement District, Student Services Inc., West Chester Public Library, Rotary Club of West Chester, The Friars' Society Alumni Association Board, West Chester Area Senior Center, Fame Fire Company, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, The Arc of Chester County, Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, West Chester University Alumni Association, and West Chester Downtown Foundation.

The award was to be bestowed at the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce (ERCC) Annual Review Luncheon on Jan. 8, at the Downingtown Country Club. During the luncheon, Laurie Kerkering, president of the ERCC, was to present the accomplishments of the Chamber in 2018 and what is in store for 2019.

ERCC's mission is to advance the economic success of its members and the community by providing opportunities for businesses to build relationships, market their business, share industry knowledge and provide community outreach. For more than 40 years, the ERCC has been focused on meeting the diverse needs of its members and providing a wide array of events and programs to enhance the business climate and quality of life in Exton.


Tour Scholarship Winners Posted December 26, 2018

The York County Solid Waste Authority (YCSWA) has announced that nine schools and approximately 560 students will participate in the YCSWA's Tour Scholarship Program in 2019. The Tour Scholarship awardees for 2019 are Dover Elementary - Diane Benner, grade one; Leib Elementary - Teresa Dull, grade four; Manheim Elementary - Lesa Uffelman, grade two; Susquehannock High School - Elizabeth Worley, grades 11 to 12; Southern Elementary - Jen Collins, grade four; Shrewsbury Elementary - Cindy Procopio, grade four; and Washington Elementary - Amy Gotwals, grade two.

For more than 20 years, the Tour Scholarship Program has been offered by the YCSWA to local schools to pay the costs of buses and drivers needed for classes to take field trips to the York County Resource Recovery Center (RRC) and Education Center. In return for the tour scholarship, participants complete an activity or project on an aspect of solid waste management such as recycling or litter prevention.

The RRC is a technologically advanced and environmentally safe waste-to-energy facility where York County's household trash is used as fuel to produce electricity. Tour participants get a first-hand glimpse into this process beginning with a presentation followed by a walking tour of key areas of the facility.

To learn more, readers may visit


YCHS Association Names Inductees December 26, 2018

York Catholic High School's (YCHS) Athletic Association will induct seven new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame. The Athletic Hall of Fame honors former coaches and student-athletes, as well as athletic program volunteers.

The inductees will be introduced on Saturday, Jan. 19, prior to the start of the girls' varsity basketball game versus Camp Hill scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. tip-off. The induction and reception will immediately follow the game in the cafeteria.

The inductees include Lisa Bornt-Davis, Class of 2003; Tim Marks, Class of 1979; Genevieve McGann, Class of 2009; Mary McGann, Class of 2009; Angelina Ortenzio, Class of 2008; Dave Strine, Class of 1973; and Tom Zielinski, Class of 1979.


Foundation Presents Scholarships, Makes Donation December 24, 2018

The Sweet Jane's Wish (SJW) Foundation recently awarded two $3,000 scholarships to senior members of the tennis teams from Downingtown high schools. The Downingtown High School West award was presented to Allie Campbell, and Grace Yatcilla was the scholarship winner from Downingtown High School East.

The SJW Foundation, a fund of the Chester County Community Foundation, honors the memory of Jane Gerlach Booge, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2012 at age 47. Booge attended Downingtown High School from 1981 to 1984 and played on the girls' tennis team.

In addition to the tennis scholarships bestowed in the fall, the SJW Foundation presents two additional scholarships to senior members of the Downingtown high school ice hockey teams every spring. This year, the scholarship awards have been increased from $2,500 to $3,000.

Board member Alexandra Grigson explained that students must apply for the scholarships, with the process including writing an essay. Their coaches submit recommendations as well.

"They have to be good students, and they have to show compassion, empathy, determination and kindness - some of the same traits that Jane demonstrated," said Grigson. "That is judged from the essays and what the coaches say about the kids."

She noted that Jane's father, Jerry Gerlach, SJW president, sends out scholarship applications to the coaches. "The coaches distribute (the applications), and the students (complete them)," Grigson said. "We go through and read them; we assess who really sounds like they are representing Jane."

In the applications, students are invited to write about their experiences playing sports and their extracurricular activities. Grigson said that she was especially impressed with the essays written by this year's scholarship recipients.

"(The students) talked about their community service and what they have tried to do to change their culture," Grigson said. "We are all capable of generosity of spirit, and these two young women demonstrated this daily. We are honored to have them join the previous 18 recipients of this award."

Representatives of the board present the scholarships to the students at their schools' sports banquets. To date, SJW Foundation has awarded $50,000 in scholarships to seniors who have participated in the student tennis and ice hockey programs and are furthering their education at a university, college or trade school.

In addition to the scholarships, the SJW Foundation provides financial support to Living Beyond Breast Cancer's (LBBC) Cis B. Golder Fund, which provides small grants to local women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are experiencing overwhelming out-of-pocket health care costs. LBBC in partnership with Bringing Hope Home, offers grants to breast cancer patients to help with rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, child care and the costs associated with physical therapy, fitness and nutrition management programs.

Chester County resident Diane Hagar is a local recipient of a grant. The grant allowed her to pay her oil bill balance in time for the winter season. "The support from my family and friends and the organizations like LBBC are truly what gets me through each day, especially the dark ones," Hagar sated. "I am blessed despite cancer."

More information about the grant program is available at

SJW Foundation scholarships and donations are funded by an annual golf outing, dinner and auction. This year's event will be held on Monday, Sept. 9, at Whitford Country Club in Exton.

For more information, readers may visit or


Controller's Office Receives Award December 21, 2018

The Chester County Controller's Office recently received notification of an award bestowed upon it by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). A Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting was presented to County Controller Margaret Reif and her staff for the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). A copy of the CAFR can be found at

The GFOA Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and finance reporting, and its attainment "represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management," notes the GFOA.

The award for the 2017 CAFR marks the 37th consecutive year that Chester County has earned the GFOA accolade, ranking the county as one of the top in Pennsylvania and one of fewer than 60 counties out of more than 3,000 nationwide that have been recognized for 37 years or more.


Boy Scouts Earn Eagle Award December 18, 2018

Boy Scouts Cody Mifsud and Matthew Sowinski, members of Lionville Troop 216, recently earned the Eagle Scout Award, the highest honor in Boy Scouting.

Both young men joined Cub Scout Pak 216 in the fall of 2008 and became members of Den 5, led by Chris Mulcahy. They crossed over to Troop 216 in March of 2013 and set their sights on earning the Eagle Scout Award.

When it came time to plan their required Eagle Scout service projects, they both focused their efforts on the Chester Springs Library, which moved into its present location at 1709 Art School, Chester Springs, in April of 2016. The newly relocated library was in need of some added external improvements.

Cody's project was expanding the sidewalk leading to the library with pavers and creating a bike patio where patrons can park their bikes. He also completed landscaping at the library's entrance.

Matthew's project was to add a patio and a picnic table to provide library visitors and workers a place to enjoy the outdoors. He also laid crushed stone in a large area and completed the beautification project by fencing in the air-conditioning unit.

Cody celebrated his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sept. 15, and Matthew's Court of Honor was held on Nov. 17. Both events took place at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Exton, where the troop meets.

Both young men attained the rank of Eagle before turning age 18, which means they can continue to be active in Scouting. They currently serve in the youth leadership for Troop 216 and hope to inspire other boys to reach for the rank of Eagle Scout.

For more information about Troop 216, readers may visit

More information and photos of Cody's and Matthew's projects, as well as those of other Scouts and students, can be found at


Students Earn Recognition December 18, 2018

Students at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., were recognized for fall semester achievements and accomplishments during a special gathering on Dec. 11 in Lehman Auditorium. Several local students were recognized.

Sarah Ranck of Lancaster received the Peer Tutoring Award given for excellent service as a peer tutor for three years.

Lauren Hartzler of Manheim received Royals Athlete of the Week given for Athletic Contribution for her accomplishments in field hockey.

Kelsey Troyer of Lancaster received Royals Athlete of the Week and EMU Record for Career Saves given for Athletic Contribution for her accomplishments in field hockey.

Erik Peachey of Lititz received Royals Athlete of the Week given for Athletic Contribution for his accomplishments in men's soccer.

Maria Yoder of Lancaster was named to the Blue Jay Classic All-Tournament Team, Royals Athlete of the Week, and CoSIDA Academic All-District Team given for Athletic Contribution and Academic Performance for her accomplishments in women's volleyball.


DMVA Bestows Awards December 18, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) recently inducted three new members into its Hall of Fame, recognizing their exceptional service to the department, the Pennsylvania National Guard, and Pennsylvania's veterans. Honored were retired Maj. Gen. Walter F. Pudlowski Jr., retired Command Sgt. Maj. Nicholas "Chip" Gilliland, and Helen Sajer.

The DMVA Hall of Fame, established in 1998, recognizes unique and exemplary contributions and significant achievements by an individual in service and support of DMVA. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor conferred upon an individual by the department.

Pudlowski, of Grantville, entered the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier in October 1965 and was later commissioned through the Army Officer Candidate School program. He served in the United States and Panama and was a platoon leader in Vietnam.

After leaving active service in 1972, Pudlowski served in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He served in leadership assignments in the 1st and 2nd Battalions 109th Infantry and Headquarters 55th Brigade and as the 28th Divisions G3, chief of staff and deputy commanding general for Maneuver. From October 1998 to October 2003, he commanded the 28th Infantry Division, preparing troops for various combat and peacekeeping missions throughout the world.

In his final assignment before retirement in November 2005, Pudlowski was the special assistant to the director of the Army National Guard and was called upon to serve as the acting director of the Army National Guard and as the National Guard Bureau J3 operations officer during Hurricane Katrina. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and the U.S. Army War College.

Gilliland, of Palmyra, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1986, completing basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Va. He was then assigned to B Company, 159th Aviation, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. In 1988, he was reassigned to B Co, 7/101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He left active duty and served in the Individual Ready Reserve. In 1991, he was called back to active duty to support Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

After briefly returning to the Individual Ready Reserve, Gilliland joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1994 and was assigned to Company G, 104th Aviation. He served in Company G until May of 1996, when he was hired as a CH-47 instructor at the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site.

In November 2009, Gilliland was selected as the state command sergeant major, Pennsylvania National Guard, and served in that position until May 2012. In May of 2012, he resigned as the state command sergeant major to serve as the senior non-commissioned officer, B Company, 2-104th Aviation, Task Force Nomad, for a 17-month train-up and deployment to Afghanistan. Upon returning from his deployment, Gilliland was assigned to the State Aviation Office as the senior aviation sergeant major until his retirement in February 2014. He currently works as chief, Division of Reintegration and Outreach, within the Office of Veterans Affairs at DMVA.

Sajer, of Camp Hill, is the president and founder of Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors Inc., an all-volunteer, statewide nonprofit corporation formed to assist wounded and disabled veterans of the commonwealth to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sajer and her husband, the late Maj. Gen. Gerald T. Sajer, established the nation's first Family Support Program for the Pennsylvania National Guard, which created networks to inform and support the families of National Guard soldiers and airmen as the frequency and length of their deployments to support the war efforts in Iraq increased.

Sajer also conceived, established, and operated an annual youth camp at Fort Indiantown Gap for the children of National Guard soldiers, serving for six years as the camp nurse. This program served as a model for many other states. She also undertook major organizing and fundraising activities for Sergeant's Grove and the Keystone Lodge at Fort Indiantown Gap, a meeting and recreation site dedicated as a living memorial to those who have served in the Pennsylvania National Guard. Sajer graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing and is a retired registered nurse.

For more information about the DMVA, readers may visit


Students Win Essay Contest December 13, 2018

Three Lampeter-Strasburg (L-S) School District students were among the winners in the 2018-19 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) essay contests sponsored by Post 7294.

Eighth-grader Bethany Barrall received first place in the middle school Patriot's Pen written essay contest for her entry based on the theme "Why I Honor the American Flag." Bethany is a student at Martin Meylin Middle School.

In the high school Voice of Democracy audio essay competition, L-S High School freshman Grace Remollino received first place and L-S High School senior Pierson Castor received second place. The contest's theme was "Why My Vote Matters."

All three students received cash awards from the VFW and the Auxiliary. Bethany's and Grace's essays will advance to the regional VFW competition and from there could move forward to the state and national competitions. More than 120,000 middle school students and 40,000 high school students submit VFW-sponsored essays each year.


Miss Solanco Pageant Held December 13, 2018

The 64th annual Miss Solanco Scholarship Pageant was held on Nov. 24 at Solanco High School. The event was presented by the Quarryville Teenage Club.

Noelle Schneider was chosen as Miss Solanco 2019. She received a $2,000 scholarship. First runner-up Jessica Richardson received a $1,000 scholarship, and second runner-up Victoria Phillips received an $800 scholarship. Kelly Foose was named Miss Congeniality.

The master of ceremonies was Kayla Repasky, Miss Pennsylvania 2018.


Landis Receives Recognition December 13, 2018

Andrea Landis, a 2005 graduate of Penn Manor High School and a 2009 graduate of Lebanon Valley College, was honored by the Charles County school board in Maryland at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Landis, who is in her 10th year as a life skills special education teacher, was cited as the exemplary employee of Indian Head Elementary School of Charles County. She was nominated by her principal, Shane Blandford.

She was recognized for her ability to get to know children in order to understand them. Additionally, she created a Buddies Club, allowing students in the club to participate in activities that promote kindness and acceptance of others' differences. As special education team leader, she has assisted her team in creating schedules that maximize teaching and learning, and she has also helped her team to understand special education updates and requirements. She provides advice on student behavior and other concerns to her team and the entire staff. She was also asked to be administrator in charge if the principal and vice principal are out of the building.

Landis resides in La Plata, Md. She is the daughter of Greg and Terri Landis of Lancaster.

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