Local Teenager Inspires Students In Taiwan July 18, 2018
Seven years ago, when Katherine Commale was 10 years old, she was featured in the Community Courier, along with her mother, Lynda, for their work in raising money to purchase mosquito bed nets to help prevent the spread of malaria in Africa. Their efforts, which began at Hopewell United Methodist Church in Downingtown, led them to become spokespersons for Nothing But Nets, a United Nations program that raises awareness and funds to fight malaria.
Katherine has continued her work with the cause through the years and most recently was invited to visit Taiwan by the Maria Social Welfare Foundation. While there, she was the keynote speaker at a convention called Hero Talks, where she gave an address to more than 5,000 Taiwanese students and their parents. She also received the Global Charity Ambassador Award from the vice president of Taiwan and met separately with the president of Taiwan in the presidential office.
Katherine, a resident of Downingtown, explained that her story about raising funds for mosquito netting was featured in the book "Hero 365" by Taiwanese author Kuang-Tsai Hao.
"My story was published in a book and it became required reading for all Taiwanese elementary students," said Katherine. "He wrote an inspirational story or motivational story for every day of the year, and I was (featured on) one of the days."
The whole family was able to take part in the recent trip to Taiwan, including Katherine's mother; her dad, Anthony; and her younger brother, Joseph. "It wasn't about sharing our story and the statistics about malaria; it was more about teaching the kids to become service-oriented and to give back to the community," Katherine said.
Katherine and her family spent June 10 through 17 in Taiwan, and she gave a speech during a Hero Talk event three days into the trip. "I looked up, and there were thousands of seats; it was overwhelming," she said. "My mom and I had practiced the speech that we wrote, so I was secure with that. I just had a little bit of stage fright in the beginning."
She noted that her speech was translated from English into Mandarin Chinese. "We would speak for two to three sentences and then it had to be translated," Katherine said. "It was a little choppy, but it went better than we expected."
Following the speech, other students talked about their efforts in the community. "Some of the projects were about the homeless; others were about bullying - some of the same problems we have here," Katherine said. "They got to hear my story, and I got to hear theirs."
While there, the family also had time to sightsee. "Taiwan is beautiful, and I would definitely go back," she said. "It has the magnitude of New York City, but is cleaner. Their subway system is so nice. They are very respectful people, and they love their country. They are very patriotic."
While in Taiwan, Katherine was photographed, interviewed by journalists and asked for her autograph many times. "It was overwhelming. When we gave our talk, there were 300 or 400 students lined up to meet me and my family," she recalled. "I have never experienced that much love. It wasn't like I was a celebrity; I was their hero.
"I looked up to my mom when she got me into Nothing But Nets when I was 5 years old," Katherine added. "I was an inspiration for them in the same way that my mom inspired me."
Katherine, who will be a senior at the Germantown Academy in the fall, plans to attend college after high school to study biology. "I would like to work for a pharmaceutical company - maybe in genetics," she said. "I would love to bring (my story) to college - to reach a bigger audience and share this story. Also, to go back to Taiwan would be amazing."
For more information about Nothing But Nets, readers may visit www.nothingbutnets.net.
Conserving And Preserving July 18, 2018
Grant Will Support Water Quality Improvement
Thanks to a grant, Lancaster Farmland Trust has incorporated water quality improvement into its farmland preservation efforts. The three-year grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will enable the trust to focus on the combination of on-farm conservation practices with the permanent preservation of farmland.
Linking these efforts will ensure maximum long-term impact on water quality and allow Lancaster County to continue to be the "garden spot" of the region, said the trust's executive director, Karen Martynick. "We believe (that) a big part of the solution to Lancaster County reaching its required Chesapeake Bay reductions and improving local water quality includes protecting our farmland and finding farmers the resources to increase their conservation practices," she commented.
Lancaster Farmland Trust currently has more than 40 farmers on the waiting list for preservation. To identify the strategic farms for preservation and water quality improvement, these farms will be prioritized according to impairment of the local watershed, proximity to surface water, conservation practices already in place, and opportunities for improvement.
All farms currently preserved by Lancaster Farmland Trust are enrolled in their Smart Farms program, and many are already engaged in conservation practices on their own. Because Lancaster Farmland Trust annually monitors each preserved farm, the trust's staff members are able to track the effectiveness of conservation practices and maximize the financial investment made on each farm.
Laura Brenner, communications coordinator for the trust, noted that conservation efforts utilized in Lancaster County include streambank fencing to keep livestock out of streams and reduce farm runoff and erosion into streams, physical improvements to barns with spouting to channel rainwater into designated areas, concrete barnyards, and curbs to keep nutrients in place. Additionally, larger manure storage pits allow farmers to apply manure when it can be used by their crops, instead of when the pit is full and needs to be emptied.
Lancaster Farmland Trust is an active participant in water quality efforts within Lancaster County, as well as throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The trust believes this unique approach of combining land preservation with stewardship is easily replicated in other communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. Through the grant period, Lancaster Farmland Trust will document the practices and findings to share with other land trusts.
According to www.lancasterfarmlandtrust.org, the trust works in partnership with landowners to preserve their farms and way of life for future generations - ensuring that farms will be in agricultural use forever, eliminating the threat of development, and protecting the rich, valuable soils - by placing a conservation easement on their property. A conservation easement is a legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a landowner and the trust restricting real estate development, commercial and industrial uses, and certain other activities on a property that are mutually agreed upon by the trust and the property owner. Each easement is customized to the particular needs and future plans of each individual farm family.
For more information about the grant and the water quality improvement efforts, readers may call the Lancaster Farmland Trust office at 717-687-8484.
Schreiber Pediatric Hires Lewis, Sollenberger July 18, 2018
Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center recently named Courtney Lewis director of the financial development department and hired Kaitlyn Sollenberger to fill a new social worker position in the social services department.
Lewis will oversee the three-person staff that works in Schreiber's fundraising department. Her work will include directing special events, grant writing and supporting fundraising communications. She previously served as vice president of marketing and communications for First Family Health in York. She received a bachelor's degree in speech communications and a master's degree in emergency/crisis management from Millersville University. She lives in Lancaster.
Sollenberger has a background in early childhood education and behavioral health. Most recently, she worked as an early education teacher at U-Gro Learning Centres in Hummelstown. Previously, she was a behavioral health worker at Children's Crisis Treatment Center in Philadelphia. She received a bachelor's degree in social work from Messiah College and a master's degree in social work from Millersville University. She lives in Mount Joy.
Power Packs Project Hires Thompson July 18, 2018
The Power Packs Project board of directors welcomed Jennifer Thompson as the organization's new executive director. A resident of Lancaster, Thompson comes to Power Packs with experience in both the nonprofit sector and the restaurant industry.
In the past, she served as director of community initiatives at the former St. Joseph Hospital in Lancaster, president and CEO of St. Joseph Health Foundation, and interim vice president of St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation. After operating a cafe and catering company in Lancaster, she served as a restaurant consultant.
Thompson holds a master's degree in education from Winthrop University and a culinary arts certificate from the Culinary Institute of America. She is a Healthy Communities Fellow through the American Hospital Association and was named to the 40 Under 40 list by Central Penn Business Journal.
Power Packs Project provides healthful weekend meals, recipes, and nutrition education for food-insecure families in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. To learn more, readers may visit www.powerpacksproject.org.
A Community Of Recovery July 18, 2018
For several years, TTC/Potter's House has hoped to build a faith-based rehab facility to combat drug addiction. On July 14, TTC/Potter's House staff, area representatives, and friends of the ministry gathered at 261 School Lane, Brownstown, located along the Conestoga River, to dedicate the property to that cause and break ground for the recovery center, to be called Still Waters.
TTC/Potter's House is a nonprofit, Christ-centered ministry that offers a holistic approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of pre-release and post-release prisoners and individuals desiring to overcome addictions. The organization is in the midst of a capital campaign seeking to raise $2 million for Still Waters Recovery Center, which will include a 30- to 90-day intensive program in a controlled environment.
Wendell Metzler and Ryan Forbes opened the ground-breaking event by telling their story of an unlikely friendship between a repeat offender, Forbes, and a police officer, Metzler. As Forbes finished speaking, he began to compare the fallow ground near the river to the fallow ground in the hearts of those fighting addiction, noting that the new center will provide the opportunity for the seed of Christ's love to be planted in those hearts.
Lloyd Hoover, executive director of TTC/Potter's House, echoed Forbes' thoughts as he noted that Still Waters can be a place that tells a new story of recovery from addiction. "I declare here today the need for a higher power (to overcome addiction) is an absolute necessity, and that higher power is Jesus Christ, our Lord," said Hoover. "This place (can) become a place of transformation and recovery, and today we are turning soil for a new day."
Rob Wetherholtz, associate ministry director for TTC/Potter's House, whose family had owned the land along the river for decades, spoke of a vision the Lord gave him for the property as a place of healing for the lost and addicted in need of a way home. "This is where we come to the green pastures beside the still waters," he said, referencing both the 23rd Psalm and the name of the facility.
Jay Myelin, member of the TTC/Potter's House board, noted that the capital campaign that the organization began a year ago has raised $750,000. "We have a long way to go yet, but we have a great start," he said, adding, "But it's not about the numbers and buildings; (it's about the staff's) heart and vision for transformation of lives. ... There is nothing we do any more rewarding than that."
Rep. Keith Greiner of the 43rd District told the gathering that he grew up not far from the site of the ground breaking. "In Harrisburg, we know there's a problem with opioid addiction, and we are trying to do things legislatively," said Greiner. "But a ministry like this can mean a story like Ryan and Wendell's can happen to a lot of people."
Rep. Dave Zimmerman of the 99th District said that the Still Waters setting brought to mind the need for quiet spaces. "In Scripture, Jesus would find a secluded place (to pray)," he said. "For all those who struggle with addictions, there is hope."
As representatives and friends of the ministry stepped forth to take hold of shovels and turn the earth, Samuel Mwangi, pastor of Carpenter Community Church in Brownstown, offered the prayer of dedication. "We are trusting God that this property is not just buildings and a curriculum," said Mwangi. "We are trusting God for a divine power to change every life that steps on this property, (where) the name of Jesus will be honored as lives are changed."
Following the dedication, five clients of TTC/Potter's House gave their lives to Christ and were baptized in the river adjacent to the property.
Readers who would like to know more about the ministry may visit www.transitiontocommunity.com.
Color My Dreams 5K To Support Hands Across The Street July 18, 2018
Hands Across the Street serves people in Columbia and the surrounding areas in more ways than one, and Deb Bixler is hopeful that the inaugural Color My Dreams 5K will help to make the community aware of the breadth and depth of the organization's outreach efforts. Hands Across the Street is based at Columbia Presbyterian Church and offers free community meals, a Summer Food Service Program for children, Fourth Street Cafe events, a clothing bank, a winter shelter, and a comprehensive transitional living program.
"There are a lot of people in need, and sometimes we live in our own bubble or we reach out to faraway places instead of right here (in our community), and there are needs right here," remarked Bixler, who is organizing the 5K together with her family and other volunteers. All proceeds from the event will support Hands Across the Street.
The Color My Dreams 5K is set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Chickies Creek Day Use Area, 1467 Long Lane, Columbia. People of all ages are invited to run or walk the course, which will follow a loop on Long Lane and through open fields and trails. The race will step off at 10 a.m. Five color stations will be situated at various points along the route, and organizer Eric Price noted that eco-friendly, biodegradable powder will be used for the color materials that will douse participants. Volunteers, including local student cheerleaders, will be on hand to provide plenty of crowd support for participants.
To register in advance, interested individuals may visit www.has5k.com. Separate prices have been set for adults and for children age 13 and under. The deadline to be guaranteed a race T-shirt is Monday, July 30, but folks may continue to register after that date and on the day of the event. Event-day registration and check-in will be open from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Participants will also receive breakfast during that time.
Several local food trucks will have items available to purchase during and after the race, including savory and sweet stuffed waffles, ribs, wings, ice cream, milkshakes, and more. A local disc jockey will be spinning tunes as well. Yard games will be set up to enjoy, and children may also play on the park's playground. "It's a family-type event," said Bixler, noting that folks who may not be interested in running or walking in the 5K are still more than welcome to attend the event and support Hands Across the Street.
"It's definitely community-driven. We're just trying to educate people in the local area and across all of Lancaster County about what Hands Across the Street does," Price said.
According to www.columbiahas.org, 87 percent of students residing in Columbia Borough qualify for free or reduced lunches at school. During the summer months, Hands Across the Street steps in to meet that need. Hands Across the Street's Summer Food Service Program offers free meals to youths under age 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays through Aug. 17 at eight locations in Columbia and Wrightsville. A full list of those locations is available at www.columbiahas.org/projects. In 2017, the Summer Food Service Program served more than 8,000 meals to local children.
For more details on the Color My Dreams 5K, readers may visit www.has5k.com or call Price at 813-215-7801 or Bixler at 717-615-2934. Volunteers are also needed for race day and may contact Price or Bixler to sign up to assist.
Event Raises Funds For Scholarships July 17, 2018
The first Team Meghan 3K Walk and Silent Auction to benefit the Meghan M. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund was held on June 16 at Cassel Vineyards of Hershey. Close to 130 walkers and volunteers gathered to raise funds and to honor and celebrate the life of Meghan M. Johnson and the impact she had on many people. Radio personality Patsy Sympson was the master of ceremonies.
Information about the event and the scholarship fund is available at www.teammeghan.org.
A 2017 graduate of Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown, Meghan M. Johnson passed away on Nov. 21, 2017, after a long battle with Stage 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. She was five days shy of her 19th birthday.
Scholarships will be awarded to two members of the Lower Dauphin High School Class of 2018 and will continue every year in perpetuity. The scholarship committee's goal is to expand the Meghan M. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund to several other Pennsylvania high schools in 2019.
YCLC Plans Tutor Training July 17, 2018
The York County Literacy Council (YCLC) is seeking volunteers to tutor English as a Second Language (ESL) and native-born adult students who are seeking to improve their literacy skills. YCLC provides free and confidential literacy services to adults in York County. Tutors may help students to study for their GED or to reach a literacy goal such as being able to read to their children, securing or improving employment, and working toward entry into an institution for higher learning.
Volunteer tutors do not need a background in education to help students to accomplish their literacy goals. The next training session will be held at York County Literacy Council, located in the United Way Building at 800 E. King St., York, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Aug. 13, 20, and 27, and Wednesdays, Aug. 15 and 22.
Participants must attend all sessions. The parking lot may be entered from Sherman Street.
After completing the training, the tutors will meet with their students once per week for one and a half to two hours in a public location arranged by YCLC. YCLC coordinators will help tutors with the selection of materials and lesson planning throughout the tutoring experience.
Requirements to be a tutor include a high school diploma or equivalent, sensitivity, patience, reliability, and attendance at training, pending a preliminary interview. To register for the training, readers may contact 717-845-8719 or email@example.com. For additional information, including a complete training schedule, readers may contact Rita at 717-845-8719 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.yorkliteracy.org.
YCCF Posts Board News July 16, 2018
York County Community Foundation (YCCF) recently announced the addition of Liz Dellinger and Michael Glezer to its board. In addition, four longtime board members retired upon the completion of their terms, including Henry Christ, Dave Davidson, Michael Hady III, and Bill Hartman, former YCCF president and CEO.
Dellinger is the director of treasury management at York Traditions Bank. She holds a degree from the University of Delaware and has served on various community organization boards, most recently as president of the YWCA York board.
Glezer serves as the CEO of Wagman Inc. He attended the University of Delaware and holds an M.B.A. from Loyola University Maryland. Already a member of YCCF's finance committee, Glezer has also accepted the role of treasurer on the YCCF board and joins the energy committee.
The YCCF 2017-18 board of directors includes Jeffrey D. Lobach, chair; Krista Snyder Darr, first vice chair; Bruce Bartels, second vice chair; Ronald L. Hershner, Esq., secretary; Holly A. Mayer, assistant secretary; Michael Glezer, treasurer; John Bailey; Timothy J. Bupp, Esq.; Joseph P. Clark II; Jane M. Conover, ex-officio; Dominic DelliCarpini; Elizabeth Dellinger; Chloe R. Eichelberger; Jennifer Geesey; Michael Haun; Darryl E. Jones; Jack Kay; Timothy Kinsley; Susan D. Krebs; Matthew Poff; Scott C. Rogers; Maria L. Royce; Jack Shorb; Patti Stirk; Joseph G. Wagman; Daniel Waltersdorff; and Tim Warfield.
School Supply Drive To Benefit Local Students July 13, 2018
Almost as quickly as the school year ends, summer always seems to race to a finish, and the preparations for a new school year begin. To help ensure that children in Columbia Borough are ready, Columbia Life Network is once again hosting its annual school supply drive to collect items for students of the Columbia Borough School District and Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School.
Items requested include new backpacks, pencils, pens, crayons, rulers, scissors, binders, notebooks, glue sticks, and more. Several opportunities for the community to donate school supplies to the effort are planned. The first will be at several local retail stores on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Once the list of locations is finalized, it will be posted at www.facebook.com/columbialifenetwork/.
Another opportunity to drop off donations will be at the popular "Jail 'N' Bail" event during the Columbia Borough Police Department's National Night Out from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Glatfelter Field, 1249 Lancaster Ave., Columbia. Throughout the evening, donors will receive tickets that can be used to help their favorite local celebrity get out of the makeshift "jail." Celebrities will include teachers and administrators from Columbia Borough School District and Our Lady of the Angels, Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz, Columbia Borough Police Chief Jack Brommer, Ray McCarty of the Columbia Boys Athletic Association, and Columbia Public Library staff members.
School supplies may also be dropped off at Columbia Life Network, 336 Locust St., Columbia, between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon on Mondays through Fridays. Monetary donations are also accepted by Columbia Life Network and will be used to purchase other supplies that are needed throughout the school year.
Jamie Widener, who has been serving as the executive director of Columbia Life Network since November 2017, said that the costs of school supplies continue to rise each year and having assistance can provide a tremendous amount of savings for families. The school supplies are divvied up and donated to each of the schools in Columbia and then distributed to students according to need.
Widener said that financial donations are also crucial for helping teachers and families out during the midpoint of the school year - typically after the holiday break - with restocking items. Columbia Life Network reaches out to the schools at that time to see what they need. "A lot of time they're asking for simple things like tissues, because at that point it's flu season," Widener noted.
Columbia Life Network exists to offer a hand up to residents in need in the Columbia Borough and surrounding areas by connecting them with available resources and facilitating efforts to develop services to answer needs within the local community.
As of this summer, Columbia Life Network has teamed up with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Community Action Partnership, and several other groups and businesses to bring Fresh Express to the area. Income eligible individuals and families are now able to pick up free fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month (excluding November) at Park Elementary School, 50 S. Sixth St., Columbia. Volunteers to support the Fresh Express program are desperately needed, Widener noted. To register for the program or to sign up to volunteer, readers may contact Widener at email@example.com or 717-684-8094.
Chamber To Host Music In Memorial Park July 12, 2018
The Mount Joy Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor Music in Memorial Park for the community beginning on Sunday, July 29, with The Kracker Beez. Live music performances are set to take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on four consecutive Sundays in War Memorial Park, located off Marietta Avenue in Mount Joy. There is no charge to attend.
In addition to The Kracker Beez on July 29, the summer music series will include The Celtic Martins on Aug. 5, SweetLife Music on Aug. 12, and the Bainbridge Band on Aug. 19.
The members of Rotary Club of Mount Joy will have their famous french fries for sale, as well as hot dogs and cold beverages available for purchase on July 29 and Aug. 5 beginning at 5 p.m. Monies raised at Music in Memorial Park will help to fix Mount Joy's Rotary Clock, which has been removed from its downtown location for refurbishing and will return in good working order by the end of the summer.
The Chamber's free ice cream social will take place on Aug. 19, while supplies last.
In the event of inclement weather on the evening of a concert, the concert will be moved indoors to New Path Community Church, 22 W. Main St., Mount Joy.
At the first three concerts, tickets will be available to purchase for the Chamber's 23rd annual chicken barbecue, which is set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Milanof-Schock Library, 1184 Anderson Ferry Road, Mount Joy. There is a set cost for dinners, which will include a half-chicken, a baked potato, a roll and butter, applesauce, a whoopie pie, and a beverage. Folks may also opt to purchase a half-chicken and beverage.
The Mount Joy Chamber of Commerce is made up of approximately 200 businesses of all sizes, as well as churches, organizations, nonprofit groups, and individuals. Members pay minimal yearly dues depending on the number of employees. Information on members is published in the Chamber's yearly business directory and on the Chamber website. Members can also take advantage of advertising in the Chamber newsletter, email blasts, and other advertising. The Chamber holds monthly luncheons on the second Wednesday of each month, monthly mixers at member businesses, and ribbon cuttings and grand openings for its members.
Every year, the Chamber awards seven scholarships totaling $4,500 to local students, and it also holds community events including Music in Memorial Park and visits with Santa. The Chamber is currently in the process of refurbishing the large welcome sign at the east end of town.
The Mount Joy Chamber is self-funded with member dues and upgraded memberships and two yearly fundraisers: the annual banquet and benefit auction held each spring and the chicken barbecue held on the third Saturday in August every year.
The Mount Joy Chamber of Commerce was established in 1939. For more information, readers may visit www.mountjoychamber.com or call 717-653-0773.
Support Groups Will Meet July 12, 2018
Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, will offer support groups to the community. There is no cost to attend.
The Bereavement Support Group will meet on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the large recreation room in Sycamore North, located on the first floor. Refreshments will be served. For more information, readers may contact Heidi Young at 717-367-1121, ext. 33576.
The Dementia Caregiver Support and Education Group will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Health Care Center Courtyard Conference Room. The group is open to anyone who serves as a caregiver to a loved one. For directions and to register, readers may call 717-367-1121, ext. 33764.
Sustaining Values July 12, 2018
GOTR Endowment Puts Focus On Future
Girls on the Run (GOTR) Lancaster program director Jennifer West never wants to see a girl miss out on taking part in the program because of a lack of funds. "The worst thing we can hear is that a girl didn't participate because it costs too much money," said Jennifer. "We want to make the program accessible to every girl regardless of financial limitations."
The GOTR endowment, created in honor of Ellen McCabe, West's stepmother, and administered by the Lancaster Community Foundation, will work to make sure that never happens. "The money GOTR will (receive) from the endowment will go directly to financial assistance for girls in need," explained West. GOTR Lancaster executive director Carrie Johnson elaborated, "We will receive a percentage each year based on how much is in (the fund)," she said, adding that about half the girls who take part in the program receive scholarship funds.
GOTR uses physical activity coupled with specific lessons to help develop competency in areas related to social, psychological, and physical development for girls in third through eighth grades. GOTR is not a competitive running program, but the curriculum uses running to teach life skills and promote health.
According to West, McCabe was an integral part of GOTR Lancaster from its inception in March 2009. "She talked to us about fundraising and helped us find donors," said West, who noted that McCabe willingly shared her knowledge of how to run a nonprofit organization with West and Johnson. "She was very much a cheerleader and encourager who got us really excited and helped us to stay focused throughout the entire process," said West. "The entire way, (McCabe) was there giving us ideas and supporting us in any way we needed."
When McCabe passed away in the fall of 2016, West's husband, Peter, made a suggestion. "My husband said, 'Ellen loved GOTR, and she would do anything for it,'" shared West, adding, "She saw how it was changing these girls." Peter suggested the family start an endowment fund in McCabe's memory for GOTR. "Ellen felt no matter how much money you have, you should give a percentage away," said West.
Seeing the work of GOTR continue is important to both West and Johnson. "We want the same values to continue (into the future) for girls in the community and the thousands of girls we reach every year," explained Johnson. "That can't happen unless we have big-picture thinkers who value today and tomorrow equally. Our children are our future, and that is where hope lives."
According to Johnson, creating the endowment is an investment in the future. "(The endowment embodies) the intention to continue supporting girls for generations," she said. West noted that the funds will support Lancaster-area young people in years to come. "Sustainability is key. Our thought process was that if you invest, you want to make sure the money will be used correctly," she said. "Should GOTR ever cease to exist, the endowment will be used for another organization that supports youths in Lancaster."
Johnson lauded the Wests for their forward thinking. "Endowments create an important opportunity to keep money working positively in our community over time," she said, noting that while many people make gifts to causes, only a small percentage leave funds to an organization. "When people are gone, their gifts are gone," said Johnson.
West said that she hopes area residents will consider the endowment in their planned giving. "We invite and encourage the community to give toward the endowment fund," West said.
Readers who would like to learn more about the endowment may visit www.lancfound.org/fund/girls-on-the-run-endowment-fund.
Still Roarin' - Lions Club Helps Support Community July 12, 2018
Former Bareville, Leola, Leacock Lions Club president Justin Kulp likes how club activities fit into his regular schedule. "I am pretty busy, but it has been practical to stay a member and active," said Kulp. "The expectations (of a club member) are realistic."
The 34-member club met in the Leola Community Park on July 9 for a barbecue, but members generally meet at the Upper Leacock War Memorial Building, 54 W. Main St., Leola. "We meet the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:15 p.m.," shared Kulp.
The club supports a number of local organizations, including Upper Leacock Township, the Leola Branch Library, the Leacock and Bareville fire departments, and the Leola Ambulance. The Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services, Leola Homes of Hope, and Cub Scout Troop 54 have all been recent recipients of financial donations from the club. A Conestoga Valley High School student award is also given. More than $10,000 was bestowed on local groups and individuals in the last year.
To raise funds for these donations, the club hosts a number of yearly events, including a challenging 5K run, held each September. This year's Lions 5K Country Run/Walk will take place on Friday, Sept. 14. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the race will step off at 6:30 p.m. The event will begin at Leola Community Park and Pool, Upper Pavilion, 23 E. Main St., Leola.
According to Kulp, the club holds a pancake and sausage breakfast at the War Memorial Building each spring and a few chicken barbecues each summer, along with one or two hoagie sales. One of Kulp's favorite club fundraisers is White Cane Days. "We hang out at Oregon Dairy and Sharp Shopper," said Kulp. "We're not pushy in asking for money, but people talk to us, and it's amazing how generous people are." Kulp noted that the two-day events often raise as much as $1,000.
The Bareville, Leola, Leacock Lions business directory fundraiser is well-known in the local area. "Don Allen pours his heart into creating the Leola business directory that we sell," said Kulp. "(Allen) is the editor-in-chief, and the rest of us sell ads. This is still a community that relies on paper communications."
Because each meeting includes small club fundraisers, Kulp noted that administrative costs are easily covered. "That allows us to keep the money we raise through fundraising going back out to the community," Kulp said. He added that the Lions Clubs International Foundation requires some funds from the group. The international organization enables local clubs to help in the work to fight the devastation caused by diseases like measles.
Kulp reiterated that taking part in club activities is not as taxing as some nonmembers may believe. "People think they are way too busy to be part of a club, but if they can make half the meetings and pay (all) their dues and help at some of the fundraising events, (they) are a full-fledged active Lion," said Kulp. "You can choose one or two events to really participate in (because) we have enough active (club members to) allow us (to do that)."
Long associated with serving the blind and visually impaired, the club also accepts gently used eyeglasses and supports local organizations such as VisionCorps.
Readers who would like to learn more may search for "Bareville, Leola, Leacock Lions Club" on Facebook or call 717-656-7375.
Group Sponsors Service Dog July 12, 2018
"Isn't he handsome?" Erika Herold practically gushed. Herold's praise was not for a significant other or family member. Rather, it was bestowed on 6-month-old yellow Labrador named Woody who was happily rolling in the grass at Herold's feet.
Herold, a logistics analyst at Woodstream Corporation in Lititz, and other Woodstream employees raised $5,000 to sponsor Woody to become a United Disabilities Services Foundation (UDS) service dog. Woody is several months into the BARKS Prison Program, through which he is being trained by an inmate at Moshannon Valley Correction Center in Phillipsburg. While at the prison, Woody is living with his inmate handler around the clock. The inmate training program has proven to be successful. Normally, inmates teach puppies up to 50 commands, but many dogs are reaching that goal ahead of schedule.
On June 8, Woody, accompanied by UDS staff accountant Mary Langton, visited Woody's sponsors when the corporation held a company picnic at its facility. Langton said that Woody will spend a total of 18 months working with a designated inmate. "Woody will come back to us for (his) final six months of training to refine the skills he will need to (work with) the client he is chosen (to serve)," explained Langton. Langton is pleased with Woody's progress so far. "He is very smart, and he seems to bond quickly," she said. As Woody lolled in the grass and employee sponsors rubbed his stomach, Langton noted, "He is not afraid of crowds."
Herold met Woody for the first time when UDS held a sponsor meet-and-greet event just before Woody left for Moshannon. "This is the first time we have sponsored a service dog," said Herold, adding that the idea was brought to the company by an employee whose spouse is associated with UDS. During the training period, Herold receives updates concerning Woody, which she passes along to employees.
One of the privileges sponsors appreciate is the honor of helping to choose a moniker for their designated pup. "We had a company contest to name him," said Herold, who passed along the three suggestions that received the most votes to UDS. "(Because UDS staff members) don't know what disabilities the person he is matched with will have, they consider names for how easily they can be pronounced, so his name will work with anyone who is assigned to him," Herold said, adding that she was glad "Woody" was chosen because it reflects the company name.
Herold said that when company staff first heard about the service dog sponsorship program, they were intrigued. "We said, 'Wow, this is something we want to do,'" she shared. "It's a win-win." Herold explained that the employee sponsors were happy to know they are helping the inmate who is training the dog because that person receives the opportunity to become certified as a trainer and gain competence in an area. "When he comes out (of prison, the inmate) has training to (work with) service dogs. It gives him a niche skill," said Herold.
Of course, Herold is most excited about the chance Woody has to positively affect the life of a person with a disability. "He is going to be a lifeline," said Herold. "(Woody) will affect not just the person, but their whole family, and he can give someone their life back. That gives me chills."
Herold is looking forward to the road ahead as Woody grows and learns the skills he will need to be a service dog. "Our sponsorship is for two years, and at the end we get to go to his graduation," said Herold. "What really touches me is that it is a long program that will have an effect for years down the road."
Readers who would like to learn more about UDS may visit www.udservices.org.
Memory Loss Support Group To Meet July 12, 2018
The Memory Loss Support Group for Caregivers will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the community room at Mount Joy Mennonite Church, 320 Musser Road, Mount Joy.
The topic will be "When to Consider a Nursing Home."
Fundraiser To Benefit Police July 11, 2018
A fundraising campaign is underway to help equip the New Holland Police Department with Cuddle Bear book and plush sets to offer to children that they encounter during police calls.
The goal, with the help of community members and local businesses, is to provide a way for officers to comfort young children at crash scenes and in other situations where children are traumatized. The practice simultaneously fosters good relationships between police officers and the community they serve.
Through the Literacy for a Lifetime program of Usborne Books and More, donations will be matched at 50 percent. Donations of any amount will be accepted.
The fundraiser will continue through Thursday, July 26. For more details, readers may visit www.gofundme.com/cuddle-bear-to-the-rescue.
Memory Loss Support Group To Meet July 11, 2018
The Memory Loss Support Group at Landis Homes, 1001 E. Oregon Road, Lititz, will meet at 7 p.m. on on Tuesday, July 31, in the Warwick Room of The Heritage. The topic for the evening will be "Dietary and Nutritional Considerations for Persons with Dementia" presented by Haley Irvine, registered dietitian at Landis Homes.
The meeting is open to caregivers of persons with memory loss and other forms of dementia. The group operates in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter. For more information, readers may call Landis Homes at 717-581-3939.
GateHouse Board Honors Employees July 11, 2018
The board of directors of The GateHouse recently held its annual appreciation dinner for the staff of The GateHouse at The Emerald Foundation Community Center in Lancaster. Each year, members of the board honor employees who have reached new heights through education and certificate advancement that focus on drug, alcohol and opioid addiction recovery.
This year, the board honored Casey Ellis, director of human resources; Lori Fallon, REI coordinator; Tim Gageby, AAC; Alejandro Galarza, recovery specialist; Fran Halligan, counselor; Kristi Martarano, Leadership Lancaster; Kysha Payne-Word, AA Human Services; Brandi Simone, counselor assistant; Brook Turnbull, case manager; Dr. Verlina Velazquez-Millings; and Jessie Zebold, CAAC. Jim Marshall, director of facilities, was awarded the honor of 2018 Employee of the Year.
The board of directors also voted to re-elect John Conahan as president. Mark Walmer has changed to the role of vice president from secretary. Ken Falk remains as treasurer. Amanda Mellinger was nominated and voted in as secretary. Ryan Vandenberg, Laurie Bodisch, Bri Callahan, Susan Deely, and Greg Funk were nominated to the board for the first time.
The GateHouse, founded in 1972 and located in Lancaster County, is an organization that offers programs licensed by the state of Pennsylvania to provide residential and outpatient drug, alcohol and opioid addiction treatment.
Organization Selected To Implement Program July 11, 2018
The Children's Aid Society was one of two organizations selected by York County Children and Youth and Penn State to implement the Incredible Years series of evidence-based programs to prevent child abuse in York County. The Children's Aid Society will implement the new program in York County alongside community partner Holcomb Behavioral Services.
The Incredible Years Series is a set of interlocking, comprehensive, and developmentally based programs targeting parents, teachers and children. The training programs that compose the Incredible Years Series are guided by developmental theory on the role of multiple interacting risk and protective factors in the development of conduct problems. The programs are designed to work jointly to promote emotional, social, and academic competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavioral and emotional problems in young children.
The Children's Aid Society Southern PA District Church of the Brethren is an organization with centers located in Chambersburg, New Oxford and York. The organization provides child-centered art and play therapy, individual counseling for children and adolescents ages 2 to 18, referral services, community education, support groups, the God's Closet free children's clothing bank, emergency respite care for children ages 2 to 6 in a 24-hour crisis nursery, family advocacy, and parent support groups.