Food Box Project Set For Dec. 17 December 8, 2017
The annual Christmas food box delivery in Columbia sponsored by the Columbia Lions Club and Sunsnappers will be held on Sunday, Dec. 17, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Columbia Borough Fire Department, 726 Manor St. More than 700 food boxes, along with toys for children, will be delivered to families in Columbia, Marietta, Wrightsville, Mountville, Millersville, Manheim, and other areas. Families that registered in advance will receive their food boxes between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Several hundred volunteers, including Boy Scouts and members of high school sports teams, will assemble the boxes from 9 to 11 a.m. The community is invited to assist with the assembly and delivery.
The food boxes will include all the items for a Christmas dinner, including turkey, potatoes, milk, bread, eggs, canned vegetables, and cranberry sauce. In addition, toys will be provided for children age 10 and under and who are not receiving toys through the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
The project is supported by donations from area businesses, organizations, and residents. The Columbia-Middletown Elks 1074 Ladies Auxiliary coordinates and sponsors the toy distribution.
Ken Kramer helped to start the project more than 20 years ago as a member of the Columbia Jaycees. Kramer, who is a member of both the Lions and Sunsnappers, said the project has grown from just five boxes in its first year to more than 750 last year.
"The food box project has become an annual tradition," Kramer said, noting that he enjoys seeing members of the community spend a few hours assembling and delivering the boxes. "We have volunteers of all ages, including the younger kids who pack groceries in the boxes. Then we have older kids from the high schools and adults who carry the boxes and frozen turkeys to the delivery area. We literally have people lined up out the door to help."
Lions president Jack Gamby said the event helps bring people together in the spirit of giving. "We have Christmas music playing in the background. You'll see people wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers. It brings out the Christmas spirit in all of us. People really have fun with it," Gamby said. "People who receive the boxes are really appreciative too, and that makes it all worthwhile."
To find out more, readers may search for the "Columbia Christmas Food Boxes" page on Facebook.
Veterans Invited To Join American Legion Post December 6, 2017
Supporting veterans, promoting patriotism, and awarding scholarships to deserving students are just some of the services provided by American Legion Charles F. Moran Post 475.
The post is called a paper chapter because it does not have a building and social hall like other local American Legions. Rather, members meet eight times a year at a member's home, and the post's executive committee meets monthly at the Chester County Airport.
"We are one of the few paper chapters," explained Glenn Gilbert, post commander, noting that American Legions across the United States are chartered by the Congress of the United States. "Our challenge is getting our message out - what we do," he commented. "It would be easier if we were meeting in a Legion building, but we don't have that."
"We did not join the American Legion because we were looking for a (social hall) or to trade war stories. We were looking to help and give back to veterans," added Chuck Wimer, chapter adjutant, noting that the post works closely with the Coatesville Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center to provide assistance to veterans.
The post is named for a Downingtown resident, who was one of the first local soldiers known to have died in World War I. The post officers noted that while the chapter is based in Downingtown, it is open to all veterans and active-duty military personnel.
In order to be eligible for membership, veterans must have served between the following dates: World War I, between April 6, 1917, and Nov. 11, 1918; World War II, between Dec. 7, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946; Korean War, between June 25, 1950, and Jan. 31, 1955; Vietnam War, between Feb. 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975; Lebanon/Grenada, between Aug. 25, 1982, and July 31, 1984; Panama, between Dec. 20, 1989, and Jan. 31, 1990; and the Gulf War/War on Terrorism, from Aug. 2, 1990, to the present.
According to Gilbert, the American Legion has four pillars that were established in 1919, when the organization was formed - veterans affairs and rehabilitation, national security, Americanism, and children and youths.
To foster the Americanism pillar, the local post members provide an honor guard at area parades, attend the funerals of veterans, and take part in Veterans Day ceremonies. The post members team up with players and coaches of the Diamond Dogs, the Downingtown Legion baseball team that it sponsors, to replace the American flags on the graves of veterans every Memorial Day.
Post 475 awards college scholarships to one student each from Downingtown High School East and West, presents school medals to eighth-grade students selected by their teachers as good citizens, and sponsors a young man to attend Keystone Boys State, a good citizenship training program.
"The Downingtown post started the awards program with an award to the outstanding girl and boy in the eighth grade, and the award has gone national," noted John O'Neal, chapter historian. "(Awarding of the scholarship) is based on (academics), citizenship, and need." O'Neal noted that the scholarships are funded by a trust that was established in 1992. A separate trust supports the American Legion sponsored youth baseball team.
Post 475 has approximately 90 members, and most of them are senior citizens. The chapter is seeking younger veterans and active-duty military personnel to join the post in order to ensure that the chapter continues. Those who join are asked to pay a yearly membership fee.
"Our motto is 'Still Serving America,'" noted Gilbert, adding that the American Legion will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019. For more information about the American Legion, including membership, readers may email email@example.com.
CATRA Seeks Volunteers December 6, 2017
The Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association (CATRA), located in Grantville, is looking for volunteers to help with its riding program. Therapeutic riding helps children and adults with disabilities achieve their goals of muscle conditioning, improves balance and eye-hand coordination, and helps the nervous system find and use undamaged pathways for improved body functioning. Riders enjoy friendships, improve self-esteem, and increase socialization.
Volunteering at CATRA is ideal for those who love horses - or who ever wanted to own a horse. Volunteers care for and handle very special equines. Additional opportunities are available to assist with the care of an array of interesting animals such as miniature horses, goats, dogs that ride the horses, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and a potbellied pig.
Any amount of time is appreciated, and scheduling is at the convenience of the volunteer. You can donate an hour, or a whole afternoon. Morning or afternoon is available seven days a week, year-round.
A volunteer orientation will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. Interested readers are encouraged to contact 717-919-4587, 717-649-9822, or firstname.lastname@example.org for directions. Readers may also visit www.catra.net and click on Volunteer to register as a volunteer.
Dyslexia Center Receives Contribution December 6, 2017
At a recent meeting of the Board of Governors of the Children's Dyslexia Center of Lancaster, Larry A. Derr, District Deputy Grand Master of the First Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, presented checks totaling $2,310 to the center. The checks included one in the amount of $850, representing the proceeds from a districtwide car show, and a check in the amount of $1,460, representing money raised at several blood banks that the lodges in the district sponsored through the Blood Club of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Pennsylvania.
The Children's Dyslexia Center of Lancaster provides professional treatment, free of charge, to children with dyslexia and is sponsored by the Lancaster Lodge of Perfection, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
During Derr's nine years of service as District Deputy Grand Master, the First Masonic District has raised and contributed more than $19,237 to the Children's Dyslexia Center in Lancaster. The First Masonic District is composed of the following Masonic Lodges: Lodge No. 43 and Lamberton Lodge No. 476, both of Lancaster; Mount Lebanon Lodge No. 226 and Mount Olivet Lodge No. 704, both of Lebanon; Columbia Lodge No. 286 of Columbia; Charles M. Howell Lodge No. 496 of Millersville; Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551 of Mount Joy; Manheim Lodge No. 587 of Manheim; Ephrata Lodge No. 665 of Ephrata; and Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682 of Elizabethtown. The district has been a longtime supporter of the Children's Dyslexia Center in Lancaster, where tutoring service is provided to 30 students in the Lancaster County area.
Scout Installs Flagpole At Bart Township Building December 6, 2017
The start of the monthly Bart Township board of supervisors meeting on Nov. 1 was moved outdoors for the dedication of the new flagpole, which had been installed by Josh Greineder as his Eagle Scout project.
A ceremonial flag raising was led by Greineder as fellow Scouts raised the colors, and then spectators said the Pledge of Allegiance, which is done at the start of every Bart Township meeting.
Although there is an American flag inside the township office, there has never been an exterior flag at the building at 46 Quarry Road, Quarryville.
The need for a flagpole was communicated to Greineder when he was looking for a project to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. "One of my mom's friends said that Bart Township was looking for somebody to build a flagpole," he said.
The board of supervisors was pleased at the prospect of having the work done. "I thought that was an excellent project," supervisor chairman Robert Girvin said at the dedication. "We worked together, (but) basically Josh did everything. He got the materials (and) the funding and did the job for us. We surely appreciate it. A government building should always have a flagpole."
Greineder, a 15-year-old resident of the Millersville area, is a member of Troop 64. He entered Scouting as a Bear and went on to the Boy Scouts. His favorite Scouting activities are camping, leadership roles, and mastering new knots to tie.
For his Eagle Scout project, Greineder raised funds, dug and set the foundation for the pole, and built a retaining wall around the base. The pole is buried 3 feet deep and reaches 17 feet above ground. With the help of friends and fellow troop members, Greineder installed the pole in October. To complete the project, he even supplied the 3-by-5-foot American flag that now flies from the pole.
"There were some challenges that I didn't think about, but we went through it," Greineder said. "It was fun. I liked planning it and figuring out how it would end up and the design of it."
A plaque at the base of the pole, donated by former township secretary Valeria Keene, reads "In honor and memory of those who served Bart Township."
"Bart Township was founded in 1744," Girvin said. "That's a long time, and there have been many men and women who have served the township, and we appreciate it."
Greineder is a homeschooled sophomore who is interested in robotics and computer science. He hopes to attend Thaddeus Stevens College.
The Torch Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary December 6, 2017
In 2007, The Torch Community Center, 2846 Main St., Morgantown, was founded by a group of residents who wanted to establish a place for people to find support, enjoy Christian fellowship and take part in social activities. Today, The Torch is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and it continues to offer a growing schedule of programming.
"(The Torch) is a place where everyone from the very religious to (those who do not attend church) can feel accepted and loved," said director Edward Kurtz.
The Torch facility, which is located in the Clock Tower Plaza, includes a pool table, a small kitchen area, a stage for performers and coffeehouse-style booths and sofas designed for conversation. There is also a library featuring books for both adults and children.
Kurtz, a retired pastor, reported that many special events have happened at The Torch over the past 10 years. "One couple got engaged here, and there were two weddings," he stated. "Many have come to the Lord and find The Torch a place to fellowship with other people. Many find comfort in praise and worship and (attending) prayer gatherings."
Among the activities offered at The Torch are prayer groups and talks by guest speakers, along with pizza and karaoke nights. "We offer a lot of smaller prayer meetings, inspirational meetings and one-on-one (guidance)," said Kurtz. "We do what people would call counseling, but I don't call it that. We point people to Jesus; He is the Wonderful Counselor."
Among the most popular activities offered at The Torch are Christian music open mic nights hosted by the Roland Zimmerman Family on the first Sunday of each month. "There is such a spirt of worship in here," said Kurtz. "It's so neat."
For the open mic nights, musicians may register at 6:30 p.m.; music takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Musicians are offered a small stage, room for tuning, a keyboard for pianists, four microphones with stands, sheet music stands and tools. No drum sets are allowed, but hand drums and percussion instruments are permitted. Musicians are encouraged to perform acoustically or a cappella. More information about the program is available at www.facebook.com/ChristianOpenMic and www.openmic.rolandzimmermanfamily.org.
The Torch is open daily except for Saturdays beginning at 5 p.m. It is closed on Saturdays with the exception of special meetings.
Activities scheduled for December at The Torch include a prayer group that meets on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. On Thursdays in December, pizza and karaoke night is scheduled for 6 p.m. Guest speakers are featured on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. All programs are offered free of charge.
Additionally, TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), a nonprofit weight loss support group, meets on Tuesdays from 8:45 to 10 a.m. at The Torch.
The Torch will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 25 and 26, and on Friday, Dec. 29. There will be a New Year's Eve program on Sunday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m.
The Torch Community Center is located in the rear building at the Clock Tower Plaza on Route 23, just west of Morgantown. For more information about The Torch, readers may call 610-286-2881, email email@example.com or visit www.thetorchcc.org.
Donations Sought To Benefit Shelters December 6, 2017
Gemma's Angels of Hershey is seeking toy and monetary donations for Christmas parties it operates in four shelters in Harrisburg. Parties will take place at Shalom House, Evergreen House, and Lourdeshouse, and new this year will be The Santa Bus at Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families, where parents can shop for free from donated toys placed on a bus.
Brand-new toys for homeless boys and girls are welcome. To register to buy a toy or to donate and allow Gemma's to buy one, visit www.GemmasAngels.org/holiday.
Gemma's Angels is celebrating its 22nd year of collecting toys and conducting parties, with its first party having been held at Interfaith Shelter in 1995. For more information, call 717-298-0150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area Volunteer Drivers Needed December 6, 2017
RSVP of the Capital Region - York County is seeking volunteer drivers age 55 and over to help support those who need to be driven to appointments and various places in the York and Hanover areas. The drivers will assist in the SpiriTrust Lutheran "Touch-a-Life Program" in the York and Hanover areas.
Volunteer benefits include transportation reimbursement, free supplemental liability insurance, recognition and appreciation events, and assistance with clearances. Interested readers may contact Scott Hunsinger at 443-619-3842 or email@example.com.
Radio Station Seeks Helpers December 5, 2017
RSVP - York County seeks volunteers age 55 and over for WYCO Radio Station FM 106.1 in York. The volunteer opportunities are assistant station manager, data entry person, fundraiser, and public speaker.
Volunteer benefits include transportation reimbursement, free supplemental liability insurance, recognition and appreciation events, assistance with clearances, and more.
Interested readers may contact Scott Hunsinger at 443-619-3842 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VITA Program Seeks Helpers December 1, 2017
RSVP - York County is seeking volunteer phone schedulers and greeters age 55 and over for SpiriTrust Lutheran's VITA Income Tax Program in the City of York. Volunteer benefits include transportation reimbursement, free supplemental liability insurance, recognition and appreciation events, assistance with clearances, and improved personal happiness.
Readers may contact Scott Hunsinger at 443-619-3842 or email@example.com for more information.
Donations Sought For Toys For Tots November 30, 2017
Northwest Emergency Medical Services (NWEMS) has been a collection site for Toys for Tots since 2014. It operates from four stations, and donation boxes are placed in a variety of locations throughout its response area. Because the local collections are successful and garner many donations, the toys are delivered to Toys for Tots via ambulance. In 2016, NWEMS collected enough toys to fill two ambulances, and this year's goal is to fill three ambulances.
Helping NWEMS to get closer to that goal is Lauren Eckroth, age 10, who has been saving money to buy toys for the collection. Her mother, Melissa, matched her donation. On Nov. 27, they dropped off the toys they purchased at the Elizabethtown station.
Community members are encouraged to donate to the collection as well. Donation boxes have been set up at the Elizabethtown station, 380 W. Bainbridge St., Elizabethtown; the Manheim station, 60 W. Colebrook St., Manheim; the lobby at the East Donegal Township Municipal Building; the Masonic Village Farm Market, 310 Eden View Road, Elizabethtown; and Esbenshade's Greenhouse Customer Service, Route 322, Elizabeth Township, with the business also placing donation boxes at its two locations in Berks County. Additionally, boxes were placed at the Brickerville Fire Company's bingo events in November and at the Santa Run in Manheim on Dec. 2.
Donations will be accepted through Sunday, Dec. 10, as NWEMS representatives will gather the donations in the morning on Monday, Dec. 11, to be delivered to the Toys for Tots warehouse. The Toys for Tots distribution dates are Tuesday through Saturday, Dec. 12 to 16.
VFW Post Visits Medical Center November 29, 2017
The James A. Danner VFW Post 537 and Auxiliary visited the Lebanon VA Medical Center (VAMC) on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. During the visit, the group personally visited more than 75 hospitalized veterans and thanked them for their service. The group also gave a gift bag and a Veterans Day card to each veteran.
The visit also offered an opportunity for the VFW to deliver a check for $16,000 to be used at the Lebanon VAMC. A significant portion of the gift is the result of the annual golf outing sponsored by the VFW Post 537 Auxiliary each September. The gift was to be equally divided into four funds: Christmas gifts; hospice; recreation; and Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.
Food Bank Makes Holiday Appeal November 29, 2017
The York County Food Bank is committing to provide 5,000 turkeys and nonperishable food items for holiday meals to families in need. Thirteen school districts are partnering with York County Food Bank on its Give-A-Meal Program this year. Each of the school districts is collecting nonperishable food items to complete the holiday meal through food drives and donations from students and their families, who are also volunteering to package the meals.
The York County Food Bank, 245 W. Princess St., York, will also accept donations of frozen turkeys from the community. Donations of can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays through Tuesday, Dec. 12. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals can donate turkeys and nonperishable foods or monetary donations to purchase the turkeys. Individuals and groups may also volunteer to package the meals. Donations will be accepted through Dec. 12, when volunteers will collect and package the meals and prepare them for delivery or pick up for the families receiving them.
For more information or to learn how to help, readers may contact Debbie Krout at 717-846-6435, ext. 204, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organization Donates Handmade Items November 28, 2017
Individuals who sew, knit, or crochet united their talents to create 3,350 handmade winter hats, scarves, mittens and gloves for children in the Allison Hill neighborhood. The effort was spearheaded by the Sew Much for Charity organization.
The items were to be distributed by Scott Heiland, founder and presiding elder of City of Refuge Evangelism (CORE). The Sewin' Sisters Sowing group has provided the Allison Hill neighborhood with handmade winter outerwear items for the past four years; however, group representatives noted that it could not keep up with the growing need in the area. The Sewin' Sisters are grateful to the other individuals who donated their time, talent and money to create warm winter accessories.
For more information on Sewin' Sisters Sowing or Sew Much for Charity, readers may call Marcellene Currens, founder, at 717-561-9964.
School Holds Feathers For Families Program November 24, 2017
Fourteen families from the greater Elizabethtown area were able to enjoy Thanksgiving food baskets, compliments of Elizabethtown Area Middle School (EAMS). The baskets contained all the ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner, including a frozen turkey, vegetables, bread, yams, stuffing, gravy, and more. In addition to the holiday foods, the baskets contained other items, such as coffee, pancake mix, syrup, cereal, and juice.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, EAMS students, faculty, and staff took part in the school's annual Feathers for Families program. For the program, students sold paper feathers to construct a giant turkey in the lunchroom, with small and large feathers available for separate fees. The feather sale raised $1,860, which was used to purchase the traditional Thanksgiving food items.
This year, a grocery store in Elizabethtown donated $50 gift cards to be distributed by the middle school to families in need before the Christmas break.
Prior to Thanksgiving break, about a dozen students gathered after school to pack the items into food baskets for delivery to the families. In addition to the after-school packers, eighth-graders served in other capacities as part of the project, including feather sellers and hangers, money counters, shoppers, and food basket distributors.
The Feathers for Families program - the school's eighth-grade service learning project - has steadily grown since it was launched in 1995. In year one, the school raised $750 to put together food baskets for eight families.
Kiwanis Club Completes Service Project November 24, 2017
Members of Kiwanis Club of Middletown recently completed a service project after learning about a children's support program run by the Children's Resource Center. The platform of the program offers a caring setting for children who have been neglected or abused.
The program supplies services and items for the health and comfort of the children. One of the items the group seeks to provide to children is a lap blanket. To provide support in this area, the members of the Kiwanis Club decided to make no-sew fleece lap blankets for the center.
Additionally, the club networked with other groups in the Middletown area to raise interest in becoming involved in the project. Among those involved were the ladies of the Stitches of Love group from the Middletown First Church of God, ladies from the Lower Swatara Fire Company Auxiliary, and members of the Kiwanis Club, along with three grandchildren of club members.
The outcome was 37 crocheted and no-sew lap blankets for children coming to the center's program.
The members of the Kiwanis Club of Middletown focus on touching the lives of children through their service projects. This project will now be added to the club's children's projects, bringing the number of ongoing service projects to eight.