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Daisy Troop Takes Part In Garden Project August 23, 2017

Despite their young age, members of Daisy Troop 4044 recently learned an important lesson about gardening and feeding the hungry through the troop's first community service project.

The troop, composed of girls ages 5 and 6 who attend Lionville Elementary School (LES), where the troop meets, joined members of the LES Garden Club in its efforts to grow fresh produce for the Chester County Food Bank (CCFB). LES currently has several raised bed gardens located behind the school that are designated as CCFB gleaning gardens.

In April, the Daisies, who at the time were kindergarten students at LES, visited the gardens and planted spring annuals, including marigolds, in the garden bed in order to attract butterflies. They also planted pepper seeds in a different garden bed.

The troop, which formed in September 2016, used a portion of the proceeds from its first Girl Scout Cookie sale for the garden project. "We wanted the girls to decide what to do with their cookie money, and we talked about using the money as a way to give back to the community," explained troop leader Andrea Colleluori, noting that some of the money was saved for patches and events, while some helped to fund a celebratory "bouncy party." "They raised $800, and 10 percent of the money was used for the garden project."

Colleluori noted that the girls sold between 200 and 250 boxes of cookies during their inaugural cookie sale. "(They manned) two or three cookie booths," she added. "I wanted them to get a taste of cookie sales."

The troop members returned to the gleaning gardens in June and helped to pick vegetables. "We got to harvest radishes, kale and collard greens, and we got to try the radishes," Colleluori said. The girls plan to return for fall harvesting in October, at which time they are also scheduled to pay a visit to the CCFB.

"This (project) was an introduction (to community service)," Colleluori explained. "We wanted to give back to the community because that is what Girl Scouts is all about."

The girls left a permanent marker of their project in the form of a heart-shaped garden stone, which is etched with all their names. The stone was placed in the butterfly bed. "They can come back and see something tangible and be able to say 'I helped with this,'" said Colleluori.

The troop members are now first-grade students at LES. Colleluori noted that when they get to second grade, they will advance to Brownies.


Clothing Drive August 23, 2017

The Charles Ludwig VFW Post 7362, 755 Rancks Church Road, New Holland, is seeking donations of clothing for its second annual clothing drive for veterans at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.

Organizer and post commander Norman E. Brower Jr. noted that clothing for both men and women veterans, such as pants, shirts, dresses, skirts, blouses, and new stockings, will be accepted, as well as items such as carry-on bags and suitcases.

Interested individuals may schedule an appointment to deliver items to VFW Post 7362 by calling Brower at 717-824-2343.

According to Brower, many times veterans will arrive at the Coatesville VA Medical Center with only the clothing they are wearing. After receiving help through the center's programs and services, the veterans are able to leave the center to find employement and go on to lead a successful life.

VFW Post 7362 offers many programs and services to the community, including an American flag retirement program as regulated by the flag code, services to veterans and their families through the VA administration, and donations of hospital equipment.


Volunteers Sought To Harvest Crops August 23, 2017

The Knights of Columbus Saint Elizabeth Council is looking for volunteers to assist with harvesting potatoes and onions on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The crops were planted in April for the Farming Project for the Hungry. Participants should bring older clothes, work gloves, sunscreen, and a hat.

The harvest will be donated to the Lord's Pantry of Downingtown. Last year, volunteers harvested 1,700 pounds of potatoes. After sorting and stacking, the project yielded 47 crates of potatoes that were delivered to the Lord's Pantry to help with its efforts.

This is a family project, so adults can bring children. Beverages and snacks will be provided, and the Knights will grill hot dogs and possibly cook potatoes to serve for lunch.

The farm field is located on Route 100, 4 miles north of Ludwig's Corner (routes 100 and 401). For attendees driving north, the field is located on the right side of the road between Priser's/Little's John Deere Store and Pughtown Road. Individuals should look for a sign along Route 100 at the dirt road.

For more information, readers may visit


Wilshire Hills Lions Club To Host Blood Drive And More August 17, 2017

"We're small but mighty," said Wilshire Hills Lions Club president Lori Eshleman.

The club was chartered in May 2014 through the sponsorship of the Mount Joy Lions Club. Currently, the group has about 21 members, and one of them, Bill Brown, will serve as the 2017-18 District 14-D governor.

"As a new club, it's been a learning process, but as we say, we don't know what we don't know," said Deb Keeports, who holds the offices of vice president and secretary. "We've kind of struck out on our own. In the beginning, we had no money, so we focused on serving without money."

The club has focused on food and coat drives, adopting a section of a road for litter control, and hosting outdoor activities for guests of Veterans Victory House. As it has grown, the club has expanded the list of community organizations it supports. Sub sales, vendor bingos, and White Cane Day in October have enabled the club to make financial contributions. Groups impacted by the Wilshire Hills Lions Club include The Loft food pantry, Hershey Mill Homes, Mom's House of Lancaster, Pet Pantry of Lancaster County, Hambright Elementary School and other Penn Manor School District students, Beacon Lodge, Holiday Hope, Girls on the Run, VisionCorps, Leader Dog, and Zoe International. The group also installed a butterfly garden at Woods Edge.

Several activities are planned in the coming months.

The Wilshire Hills Lions Club will host a blood drive by the American Red Cross from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31, in the banquet room of the Lancaster Tennis and Yacht Club, 2615 Columbia Ave., Lancaster. Walk-ins will be welcome, but folks are encouraged to schedule an appointment to donate by calling 800-733-2767 or visiting and entering "Wilshire." Everyone who attends the blood drive will receive a Target eGiftCard by email.

The club will also participate in the area Lions' Benefit at the Ballpark on Monday, Sept. 4. The Lancaster Barnstormers will host the Somerset Patriots at 3 p.m. The gates to the stadium, 650 N. Prince St., Lancaster, will open at 2 p.m. Several ticket options are available and may be purchased by emailing Dawn Rissmiller at Guests may bring used eyeglasses to the game and drop them off at the Lions' table on the concourse.

The Wilshire Hills Lions Club will host a coat drive in October and a vendor bingo in November. The dates for both events will be posted at

New members are welcome, and guests may attend the club's meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the Lancaster Tennis and Yacht Club.

"I'm a veteran, and this club holds vets in high regard, and I want to be a part of that," said club treasurer Karen Montgomery, explaining why she is a member.

"My grandfather was a Lion," Keeports remarked. "I saw what my grandfather did - giving back to the community and helping people out - and I wanted to be involved."

Eshleman, who also volunteers with Holiday Hope, which is dedicated to giving families in need a happy Christmas, joined Wilshire Hills Lions Club upon the invitation of her best friend. "I love being able to help (year-round)," she said. "It's great doing service projects. You can choose the amount of time committed (to service)."

"That's what makes this club so great," Montgomery added. "You can be active as much or as little as you choose."

Folks who would like to learn more about the club may visit the aforementioned website, email, or call Eshleman at 717-350-5536.


Volunteers Install Inclusive Playground August 16, 2017

Oxford-area residents turned out in force on Aug. 13 to help install a new playground at the Oxford Memorial Park near the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Second Street. The new facility is specially designed to offer elements that are accessible to children of all physical abilities so that everyone can play together.

"It went very well. The community was very well represented, and we were able to assemble the playground by the end of the day," Oxford Rotary Club member Raymond Fischer said.

The idea for the inclusive playground was generated more than two years ago by Paul Matthews, who lost his son, Eli, to cancer. During his family's personal struggle, Matthews learned that there are very few facilities where a youngster who has physical challenges can play and have fun with his or her friends and siblings.

The new playground in Oxford has elements that are lower to the ground for those who cannot climb or reach, as well as spacing that is wide enough to allow access by a wheelchair.

"This is a playground for all children, so children with disabilities can utilize this along with other children," Fischer said. "We're hoping that it does get some really good use, and I feel that it will. There are not many inclusive playgrounds around, and we are very fortunate that we have one here in Oxford, and I'm proud of that."

The idea of a new inclusive playground was well received by the borough council. The existing playground at the park was showing its age and needed an update, but the complete change to an inclusive-style playground would be expensive. The total project cost was expected to be approximately $200,000, and finding the funds for the project was a big challenge. A substantial donation of $50,000 from an anonymous individual got the ball rolling, plus the borough government was able to provide about $35,000 in assistance.

Stepping in to help with the fundraising was the Oxford Rotary Club, which had formed the Oxford Rotary Foundation, a nonprofit branch of the club that is able to solicit funds for projects that are in keeping with the Rotary slogan of "Service Above Self."

"Two years ago, when we began the Oxford Rotary Foundation, we took this on as a project to help raise money for the borough to build this inclusive playground. We were very excited about that," Fischer said.

Donations by Rotary Club members were joined by contributions from community members, students and children in the community, plus the foundation was able to apply for grants to help with the funding. Contributing the physical labor to assemble the playground was also a big help toward completion of the project, saving an estimated $17,000.

"There were Rotary Club members there, but the bulk of the folks who were there (for the playground assembly) were people from the community who came out to help," Fischer said. "I'm sure there were well over 100 people there."

There is still some work to be done on the new playground before it can be put to use. Cement is needed at some posts, and a gravel base needs to be installed before the rubberized playground surface can be put in.

"The goal was to get it done by Labor Day weekend, and it looks like that will come to fruition," Fischer said.

A ribbon-cutting for the new playground is planned for Saturday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m. during the Apple Festival in the park.

For more information about the Oxford Rotary Foundation and the playground, readers may visit


Lions Club Posts News August 16, 2017

The York New Salem Lions Club has posted its club news.

Lions Clubs International members around the world are celebrating the organization's 100th anniversary this year. In observance of the milestone, clubs were asked to do something to celebrate. The York New Salem Lions Club chose to place a bench in the square of New Salem.

Other recent Lions Club activities included presenting two scholarships to high school students in May. The scholarships totaled more than $2,000 and will go toward the students' college expenses. In the past 40 years, the club has given more than $60,000.

Additionally, York New Salem Lions Club member Kenneth Shearer received a gold pin for being a Lions Club member for more than 50 years.


Epilepsy Support Group Will Meet August 16, 2017

The Epilepsy Foundation will offer a Lancaster County support group on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Park City Center, 142 Park City Way, Lancaster, in the Community Meeting Room, Kohl's wing, from 6 to 8 p.m. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Meetings will offer the latest information, resources, and social support to attendees. Meetings are free and open to people with epilepsy, friends, family members, and health professionals.

For more information about this support group, readers may contact Elizabeth Beil at or 215-629-5003, ext. 104. Preregistration is not required, but requested for proper planning. For a complete list of support group dates, readers may visit


Scout Installs Etiquette Signs Along Trail August 11, 2017

When 17-year-old Barry Ashway was tossing around ideas of what to do for his Eagle Scout project back in November 2016, he and his father turned to Lancaster County Parks and Recreation administrator Paul D. Weiss for possibilities. Weiss suggested making etiquette signs to install along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail.

As traffic increased on the newly completed trail, Weiss said that some bicyclists were traveling too fast at times and there had even been a few accidents. Barry, who lives in Columbia and will be a senior at Hempfield High School (HHS) this year, said he immediately decided to go with the project. "I grew up right next to the trail, so it really meant a lot to do something there," remarked Barry.

Creating the signs only took a few hours, but completing the entire project took several months - something that Barry said taught him a lot of patience. One of the challenges was dealing with three different municipalities - Columbia Borough, Conoy Township, and East Donegal Township - to obtain approval for the signs and meet each of their requests and specifications for placing the signs.

According to, the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail is approximately 14 miles long and spans a total of five municipalities. The trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal, and those who use the path can look for abandoned canal locks, iron furnaces, and the former quarry operation at Billmeyer along the way. The trail is utilized by walkers, runners, and bikers. "I frequently go for runs on it," Barry noted.

Barry attended a township meeting in January and gave a formal presentation about the project. He received the necessary approval and was elated to learn that the members of the Lancaster Bicycle Club liked the concept of the signs so much that they were going to fund the entire project.

By early June, Barry had installed 16 signs at various points along the trail, with the northernmost sign placed about a mile south of Bainbridge and the southernmost sign located near Chickies Rock. The signs offer short reminders to trail users such as "Mind Your Speed." "The purpose of the signs is to give people a basic understanding of trail etiquette and (remind them) to be safe on the trail," Barry commented.

Barry has been a member of Troop 267 of Silver Spring since he was 11. "I knew as soon as I joined that I wanted to do an Eagle Scout project," he recalled. His Scoutmaster is Eric Crabtree. In addition to Boy Scouts, Barry plays rugby at HHS and enjoys playing the guitar. He is the son of Craig and Christin Ashway of Columbia.

Barry said his Eagle Scout project honed his communication skills, teaching him to talk to adults with ease. Completing the project gave him a tremendous sense of satisfaction. Barry said, "When you get it done, you feel really respected because you're giving back to the community."


Coatesville Rotary Seeks New Members August 9, 2017

The first Rotary Club was founded in 1905 by Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who wanted to form a club of business professionals who could work together and exchange ideas.

Today, the club has evolved into a network of volunteers who take part in various service projects in their own towns and around the world.

Locally, the Rotary Club of Coatesville is seeking new members who want to make a difference in the community by helping others through various service projects.

"(Harris) wanted to start a (club with) a group of men who were in different businesses," explained Coatesville Rotary member Dave Seegers. "Originally, there was only one member (allowed) from each profession. It has grown considerably since then."

Today's Rotary is open to men and women from various professions. "We have people from all ages and walks of life. We have judges, lawyers, plumbers, teachers and electricians," Seegers said. "We put more stress on (finding) good people who would be interested in the club. We are extremely helpful to the community."

The Coatesville club is part of Rotary International, which includes approximately 33,000 clubs in more than 165 countries, with 1.2 million members. Seegers noted that the club originally got its name because members would rotate their meeting locations from office to office.

The Rotary Club of Coatesville meets on Thursdays at noon at the Coatesville Country Club, 143 Reservoir Road, Coatesville. Meetings typically last about 90 minutes and include a speaker from the community. Attendees may purchase their own lunches.

Shelly Pelet-Galpan from Locust Lane Riding Center addressed the group on Aug. 3, and Vanessa Briggs from the Brandywine Health Foundation was the speaker on Aug. 10. For the next meeting on Aug. 17, Mike Trio is scheduled to discuss the Coatesville Grand Prix to be held in September.

Coatesville Rotary was formed in 1924, and its motto matches that of other Rotary Clubs: "Service Above Self." In keeping with the motto, the club supports many organizations. "We donate dictionaries to all third-grade students in the (Coatesville Area School) District," Seegers said. "We meet with the students, tell them about Rotary and (distribute) the dictionaries."

The club also gives scholarships to students in the district and helps provide backpacks to students in need. "Every year our Rotary also collects donations and food items for the Chester County Food Bank," Seegers reported.

The club's biggest fundraiser is selling hamburgers and hot dogs at the Brandywine Strawberry Festival. Money raised helps support community grants. The club recently presented grants to a local Boy Scout troop, the Coatesville Library, Handi-Crafters, the Salvation Army and the NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO).

"Right now, we are very involved with the PULL Program, which stands for Pop Up Lending Library," Seegers noted. PULL stations are currently being created by Arts Holding Hands and Hearts Inc. (AHHAH), and the stations will be filled with books that youngsters may take home. Coatesville Rotary donated the funds to build eight new PULL stations, and members helped build the lending library boxes during a workshop held in July at Good Works in Coatesville.

Those interested in joining the Rotary Club of Coatesville are invited to attend a meeting. Those who join the club must complete a membership application and will be asked to pay yearly dues.

"If you are looking for an exciting and dynamic opportunity and to be a part of such a remarkable organization, attend a meeting or visit," Seegers added.

For more information, readers may visit the previously mentioned website or


USO Volunteer Opportunities Posted August 9, 2017

RSVP of the Capital Region and the USO are looking for volunteers to assist in 50 USO Center positions at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville. Volunteer jobs include greeting, registering, and assisting guests; providing assistance to callers, including directions and information; food and beverage preparation; and cleaning and tidying the USO.

Volunteers must be age 18 or older if a resident of Dauphin, Perry, or Cumberland counties. Volunteers must be age 55 or older for residents of Lebanon, Lancaster, York, Adams, or Franklin counties per RSVP regulations. Qualifications include reliable, professional communication skills, detail-oriented, utilizes problem-solving and decision-making skills, and adheres to all health and safety regulations. A criminal background check will be required at the USO's expense.

Opportunities are available throughout the week based on the volunteer's schedule. Two- and four-hour time slots are available monthly. Orientation and job training are provided. All RSVP volunteers are insured by RSVP for excess liability, accident, and auto.

For further information, readers may contact RSVP of the Capital Region at 443-619-3842 or


ABE/GED Program Seeks Tutors August 9, 2017

RSVP of the Capital Region - York County is seeking volunteer tutors for the York County School of Technology ABE/GED Program. Volunteers need to have a bachelor's degree.

Volunteer benefits include transportation reimbursement, free supplemental liability insurance, recognition and appreciation events, paid assistance with clearances, free two-hour tutoring training, and improved personal happiness.

To become a volunteer, readers may contact Scott Hunsinger at 443-619-3842 or or Beverly Strayer at 717-747-2130, ext. 5509, or


CASA Grant Will Add Services August 2, 2017

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lancaster County has been awarded a $37,000 grant from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. Funds will be used to help more abused or neglected children in Lancaster County benefit from the services of a CASA volunteer. These volunteers help ensure that children who have been removed from their parents' care receive appropriate services, have a voice in determining their futures and, ultimately, find a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.

The federal grant funds distributed through National CASA are provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, as authorized under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990. The funds are awarded through a competitive process. In 2016, National CASA awarded over $4.4 million in federal grants.

CASA of Lancaster County will offer its next volunteer training from Monday, Sept. 11, to Monday, Oct. 2, with a swearing-in ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 4. Classes will meet every Monday and Wednesday at a location to be determined. Admission to preservice training for volunteer advocates is contingent upon completing the necessary prerequisites.

For more information about becoming a CASA volunteer or other ways to get involved, readers may visit or contact 717-208-3280 or


Seasonal Garden Service Offered August 1, 2017

Dauphin County Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions at Penn State Extension - Dauphin County Office, 1451 Peters Mountain Road, Dauphin. The public is invited to call with gardening questions or bring in samples of plants or insects from their gardens for analysis and/or diagnosis. All insects brought into the Dauphin County Office must be dead and must be in a container, preferably with isopropyl alcohol due to the bed bug problem.

This service will be available to the public through Friday, Oct. 27. Office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Readers may also call the Master Gardeners at 717-921-8803 or visit


Grange Plans Hoagie Sale July 26, 2017

Chester Valley Grange, 3285 Phoenixville Pike, Malvern, will hold a hoagie sale on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Italian, turkey, ham, tuna and egg salad hoagies will be offered. Each hoagie will include oil or mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, peppers and oregano. There is a fee for the hoagies.

The food must be preordered by Monday, Aug. 7. To place an order, email or call 610-913-0906. Proceeds will benefit the Grange's community service projects.


Lions Club Presents Donations July 26, 2017


Seasonal Garden Service Posted July 24, 2017

Dauphin County Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions at Penn State Extension - Dauphin County Office, 1451 Peters Mountain Road, Dauphin. The public is invited to call with gardening questions or bring in samples of plants or insects from their gardens for analysis and/or diagnosis. All insects brought into the Dauphin County Office must be dead and must be in a container, preferably with isopropyl alcohol due to the bed bug problem.

This service will be available to the public through Friday, Oct. 27. Office hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Readers may call the Master Gardeners at 921-8803 or visit


Project Linus Seeks Materials July 21, 2017

Project Linus is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization seeking bright-colored or child-friendly fabric as well as yarn, except wool. Project Linus creates handmade blankets and afghans to be distributed to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.

To find out where to drop off donations, readers may contact 717-887-5448 or To learn more, readers may visit


Scouts Earn Silver Award July 19, 2017

Several members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 20670 recently completed and earned the Silver Award. The girls, who will be seventh- and eighth-graders in the fall, created borrowing boxes for Rexroth Park in Lower Windsor Township. The boxes, which are available for individuals to use during their visit to the park, contain toys and equipment such as bats, balls, kites, bubbles, table games, and flying discs.

During their six-month Silver Award journey, the girls fine-tuned their creativity, organization and letter writing skills; learned about time management and budgeting; and sought out assistance from local community members by securing donations and monetary contributions.

The girls invite community members to make use of the borrowing boxes and comments in the visitor's logs within the boxes.


Post 476 Honors, Supports Youths July 19, 2017

The Charles F. Moran American Legion Post 475 has announced its yearly recognition and support of local youths. Post 475 awarded college scholarships, presented school medals that praised the qualities of good citizenship and character, sponsored a young man that attended Keystone Boys State, helped sponsor a teen American Legion baseball team, and continued its involvement in Scouting programs.

The American Legion scholarship winners are Nicholas Cacchione of Downington East High School and Logan Hillsinger of Downington West High School. Several nominees were put forward by each school. Then a three-man team headed by post historian and service officer John O'Neal conducted extensive interviews with the candidates selected by the schools. The two scholarships are worth $4,000 each.

Recognition also went to eighth-graders Alexa Houseknecht and Sean Herrmann from Downingtown Middle School, Kathryn McFarland and Jalen Ward from Lionville Middle School, and Lila Ceribelli and Gabriel Calabro from St. Joseph School. The school award program takes into consideration the student's participation in activities, such as athletics, clubs, offices, and church activities. The students write essays describing their idea of a good American and what they are doing as a good American, both as individuals and in their community. The award honors students for exemplifying character, courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. According to O'Neal, the school award program was started by Post 475, expanded to the Pennsylvania Department, and then adopted nationally.

The Post and O'Neal recently received a letter from Louis Margay, thanking Post 475 from sponsoring him so he could attend Keystone Boys State.

The Charles F. Moran Post 475 sponsors an American Legion Senior Baseball Team consisting of 17 young men ages 16 to 19. The team, the DtownDogs, finished its season at 9-5 and competed in the Chester County Legion playoffs.

The Post is also working with several Scouting programs.


Club Donates To Program July 19, 2017

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