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Brittany's Hope Schedules 5K May 24, 2018

Brittany's Hope will hold its annual Walk of Love Cross Country 5K and Fun Walk on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 8:30 a.m. at Star Barn Village and Ironstone Ranch in Elizabethtown.

The event will also include games, children's activities, competitions for adults, drawings, and food.

The organization hopes to raise $65,000. All donations will go directly to orphaned children. All nonprogram expenses, such as fundraising and overhead, are paid for by a corporate benefactor.

Space will be limited. Separate registration fees have been set for walkers and runners. Children age 12 and under may participate for free. To register, readers may visit For more information, readers may contact Alicia Kautz at 717-367-9614 or email


Protecting Local Waterways May 23, 2018

Expo Set For June 6

Promoting good stewardship of the land within the Chiques Creek Watershed in order to protect the Chiques Creek and preserve it for future generations is the primary mission of the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance (CCWA), according to CCWA president Steve Gergely. The Chiques Creek Watershed covers approximately 126 square miles of area beginning in Lebanon County and extending 31 miles to the creek's confluence with the Susquehanna River near Marietta Borough. "No matter where we live, we can all become mindful of our local environment and our impacts," Gergely said.

One of the ways the organization gets the word out about its objective is by hosting the annual Watershed Expo, which will be front and center this year as a featured event during the Lancaster County Conservancy's Water Week, set for Saturday, June 2, to Saturday, June 9. The Watershed Expo will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, at the Manheim Farm Show Complex, 502 E. Adele Ave., Manheim.

The public is invited to attend the free expo, which will include an assortment of educational exhibits and family-friendly activities, including rain barrel painting, a giveaway, fish shocking, a home composting workshop, a model rain garden, a native plant display, fish print T-shirt making, a streambank fencing exhibit, beekeeping and reptile displays, and water balloon slingshots.

Lisa Sanchez, a naturalist from the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation, will lead an interactive lesson that will give participants a chance to look for macroinvertebrates in the creek.

Attendees may enjoy live music from Songsmith and free ice cream and beverages provided by a local dairy. Free reusable shopping bags will also be distributed at the expo. Additional food will be available to purchase from local food trucks.

Some of the participating exhibitors include Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Lancaster Environmental Center, Lancaster County Conservation District, Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, Lancaster County Beekeepers Society, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and more.

Organizers hope to educate the public on various ways individuals can have an impact on and make a difference in the health of local watersheds. "This can range from large projects, like the recent Logan Park stream restoration project, to smaller everyday activities like composting, installing rain barrels and rain gardens, and being aware of the chemicals in lawn fertilizers," Gergely stated. "It's also a great way to see what other organizations are up to regarding local and regional efforts to protect our waterways."

The CCWA is a nonprofit organization driven by local volunteers and community leaders. To learn more, readers may visit


Foster Parent Sessions Planned May 23, 2018

Families United Network, 412 S. Angle St., Mount Joy, is seeking foster families. The organization will host foster parent orientation sessions on Thursdays, June 7 and 28, from 6 to 8 p.m.

To attend either of the sessions, readers may call 800-722-0136 or email Holly at


SCORE Celebrates Small Businesses May 23, 2018

When SCORE members and guests gathered at the Ware Center in Lancaster on April 24 for the SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon Small Business Awards Luncheon, they had much to celebrate. Bobb Bewley, Lancaster-Lebanon chapter president, welcomed the group and explained the purpose of SCORE, noting that it is a volunteer organization of 67 business mentors committed to the mission of fostering small businesses with mentorship and education, which he said are critical success factors in starting and growing small businesses.

According to Bewley, in 2017, SCORE volunteers met with 637 new clients and conducted 93 workshops and roundtables, providing more than $1 million in services at no cost to clients. Five of those clients were honored at the luncheon.

Bewley introduced Ken Yancey Jr., SCORE CEO from Washington, D.C., who announced that the Lancaster-Lebanon chapter was named the national chapter of the year. The award is given to the chapter that has provided the most benefit in the community.

SCORE mentor Kathryn Ross introduced the business sponsor representatives, who then presented the awards to the small businesses which had flourished under the tutelage of SCORE mentors.

Clint Krushinsky presented the first award to Mary Beck, who began her own geriatric care management business in Hummelstown. Beck noted that her SCORE mentor, Don Houghton, was instrumental in her success because he brought his expertise as a businessman and helped her prioritize her business goals, persuading her to view her business plan as a working document. She noted that he continues to encourage her as her business grows.

Chad Hotsko presented the award to Anne Kirby, founder of a local community co-working space. Kirby said, "Organizations like SCORE have helped me prosper." She added that her mentor, Jerry Glenn, was willing to ask her the tough questions. Kirby said that she had long referred members of her own organization to SCORE and that she finally took her own advice and connected with a mentor, calling it "one of the best business decisions I ever made."

Alejandro Rosada presented an award to Patrick Rohal, a local doctor who has founded a direct primary care model practice. Rohal said that he and his mentor, Hugh MacMaster, worked together to revise Rohal's business plan, and that MacMaster guided him in crucial matters such as how to hire employees, while helping him to stay true to the vision of his practice as it grew. Rohal noted that working with SCORE gave him reassurance that he was on the right track.

John Anderson, Millersville University president, presented the award to Jason and Sara Hurst, owners of a fencing company located in Gap. Jason discussed how the Hursts, whose mentors included Fred Engle, Joann Brayman, Eric Parker, and Dave Diffenderffer, founded the business with the goal of using it to build people. "We want our business to empower people," he said. "SCORE has walked us through the business plan and market research and set us up for success."

The final award was presented by Brian Jones. He introduced Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program representatives Ezra Rothman and Steve O'Neill. Rothman noted that VITA has grown from preparing 2,000 returns per year seven years ago to preparing more than 10,000 free tax returns this year. More than 200 volunteers at locations throughout the county saved clients more than $2.7 million in tax preparation fees and helped to bring them more than $13 million in refunds. O'Neill added that VITA's success is based on empowering and supporting volunteers and staff, and he thanked VITA's SCORE mentors, Kevin St. Cyr and Tim Douglas, for their part in that success.

Readers who would like more information about SCORE may call 717-397-3092 or visit


Riverlands Trail Festival Expands Offerings May 22, 2018

Hiking, biking, and paddling will all be in the mix of activities at the Susquehanna Riverlands Trail Festival on Saturday, June 2, along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail in celebration of National Trails Day. The community is invited to hit the trail any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Organizers said that this year's event has expanded to include a launch event hike at the Wilton Meadows Nature Preserve in Wrightsville, a youth canoeing race, and an assortment of activities at the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, 41 Walnut St., Columbia.

Fritz Schroeder, director of urban greening for the Lancaster County Conservancy, noted that National Trails Day is organized by the American Hiking Society and encourages individuals, clubs, and organizations from around the country to host events centered on recreational trail activities like hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, bird watching, and more.

Lancaster County Conservancy will host a public launch event at Wilton Meadows Nature Preserve. A 3-mile hike will begin from Highpoint Scenic Vista, 199 Hilt Road, Wrightsville. The hike will continue along the Mason-Dixon Trail through meadows and woodlands to the preserve and will end at John Wright Restaurant, 234 N. Front St., Wrightsville.

High school students are invited to take part in the third annual Pennsylvania Student Leadership Canoe Classic, which is sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and will begin from the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center. High-schoolers may team up in pairs of two to test their canoeing skills against teams from across Pennsylvania. Interested individuals may sign up at No entry fee is required; however, each participant is required to complete one of the following actions in an effort to support clean water: plant a native tree, sign a pledge to stand with student leaders restoring waterways, or organize a clean water advocacy, action, or awareness campaign at school.

Columbia Crossing manager Hope Byers noted that additional activities at Columbia Crossing will include live music, disc golf, cornhole, nature journaling, bicycle helmet fittings for people of all ages, stretching instruction from local yoga teachers, and on-land demonstrations for kayak fishing and paddle boarding. Organizations such as hiking, birding, and running clubs will have information about their activities, and Lighten Up Lancaster County will offer healthy snacks and a hydration station learning activity. A food truck will have other items available to purchase.

Children's activities will be available throughout the day in the park, including an opportunity to paint part of a local mural.

Also of note, the Hempfield Fifth Element Club will be plogging the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail before and after the event. "Plogging is a new, environmentally conscious fitness trend where people pick up rubbish while on a run," explained Byers.

People exploring the trail will be able to stop at the Marietta trailhead for furnace tours at Musselman-Vesta Iron Furnace, Furnace Road, Marietta. Conoy Township and East Donegal Township will offer other activities along the trail, too.

The Trail Festival is organized by the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape. To learn more, readers may visit


CASA Receives Donation May 17, 2018


CASA Holds Community Awareness Breakfast May 17, 2018

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County hosted its sixth annual Community Awareness Breakfast on April 27 at the Cork Factory Hotel Ballroom. Board president William Stratton welcomed the more than 130 guests, and CASA executive director Jessica Laspino shared the organization's mission and vision. A former foster child shared about his experience in care and the positive impact of having a CASA volunteer by his side.

The event concluded with CASA director of community outreach Melissa Leibig asking guests to join CASA in helping children in foster care by making a commitment to the organization. Options for assisting the organization included making a donation, taking the first step to becoming an advocate, and committing to spreading awareness about CASA and the youths served in local communities. The event raised more than $30,000 in donations and brought several new volunteers to the organization.

CASA will host information sessions on Tuesday, May 15, at 6 p.m. at CASA, 53 N. Duke St., Suite 218, Lancaster, and Tuesday, June 19, at noon at Ephrata Rec Center, 130 S. Academy Drive, Ephrata.

A court-appointed special advocate volunteer is a trained citizen age 21 or older who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child in court. The children that CASA volunteers advocate for have been abused and neglected and placed into the foster care system. CASA volunteers work to help ensure a safe and permanent home for the children as quickly as possible. For more information or to make reservations for an information session, readers may call 717-208-3280, email or visit


Catholic War Veterans To Host Hero Walk May 11, 2018

The members of the Columbia Catholic War Veterans Post 1306 invite the community to join the seventh annual Columbia Hero Walk on Saturday, June 2. Walkers, runners, and bicyclists of all ages and ability levels are welcome to participate. Strollers and pets are also welcome at the event, which will take place rain or shine.

Columbia Hero Walk organizer Donald Androsky shared that the funds raised through the Columbia Hero Walk will benefit the PA Hero Walk, which supports veterans exclusively in Pennsylvania who may be having a difficult time medically or economically. Androsky emphasized that the PA Hero Walk is run by volunteers, so the money does not go toward any staff expenses - only to helping veterans.

According to organizer Ed Wickenheiser, the PA Hero Walk has helped to raise nearly $2 million since 2013 to support veterans in Pennsylvania who need assistance with housing, food, clothing, vehicle and home repair, appliance purchases or repairs, and utility payments. A check for the funds raised at the Columbia event will be presented to the leaders of the PA Hero Walk when they pass through Columbia on Wednesday, June 13, during the organization's walk across Pennsylvania.

Columbia Hero Walk registration for individuals and teams will open at 7 a.m. at Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, 41 Walnut St., Columbia. To register in advance, individuals may call 717-449-5635. Participants will receive an event T-shirt.

Cyclists will depart at 7:50 a.m., and walkers and runners will step off at 8 a.m. Participants may complete 16.2 miles along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, finishing at Fisherman's Wharf, the Falmouth access point off Route 441. Several exit points are available for individuals who would prefer to complete a shorter portion of the trail. Comfort stations with beverages and snacks will be offered at five points along the route. Transportation back to Post 1306, 250 N. Seventh St., Columbia, will be provided for participants with the exception of bicyclists.

The top three individual and team finishers in both walking and biking categories will receive awards at a ceremony at Post 1306 after the race. Free refreshments and a chicken barbecue meal will be available for participants, and door prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m. "The food will be outstanding. It always is," Androsky remarked.

Last year's walk in Columbia raised nearly $10,000, and organizers have upped the ante for 2018 with a fundraising goal of $15,000. Wickenheiser noted that the annual walk is one of several ways that Post 1306 reaches out to veterans. The post also hosts an annual catch-and-release fishing event for veterans at Lake Aldred and sponsors quarterly outings for the veterans from the Lebanon VA.

Androsky noted that individuals who would like to support the Hero Walk but are unable to participate may mail donations or drop off contributions earmarked for the Hero Walk at Post 1306.


Animal Wellness Workshop Planned May 9, 2018

Noble Hill Farm Horse Rescue, 2002 Noble Road, Kirkwood, will hold an animal wellness workshop on Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will feature miniature horse yoga, reiki for horses and people, acupuncture with veterinarian Elizabeth McKinstry, a Native American talking circle and drumming. Jan Reeps will discuss animal communication.

Food and beverages will be available.

There is a requested donation. Attendees are encouraged to register early. For more information, readers may call 717-529-2358.


Flourishing Riverlands May 9, 2018

Susquehanna Heritage To Host River Experience

On Friday, June 1, Susquehanna Heritage will offer the 2018 River Experience to the community from 6 to 9 p.m. in The River Room at John Wright Restaurant, 234 N. Front St., Wrightsville. Susquehanna Heritage is a Pennsylvania-designated Heritage Area with a focus is on the riverlands shared by Lancaster and York counties. "The tradition of River Experience began in 2009 as an avenue to raise funds to support our mission to connect people to the river and its history," recounted Betsy Buckingham, development and outreach director. "It has grown tremendously over the years, starting out in a large tent on the grounds of Shank's Mare Outfitters overlooking the Susquehanna River."

After being held at various locations along the river - and once in downtown York - for the past several years the event has been hosted by John Wright Restaurant in its River Room, which Buckingham noted includes a balcony with incredible views of the river and the iconic Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Wrightsville and Columbia.

Local restaurants and other establishments will offer a variety of food and beverage samplings to guests. Live music will be performed by the jazz duo of Steve Meashey on bass and Kirk Reese on keyboard. Plus, depending on the winds, a tethered hot air balloon will add to the ambiance.

A silent auction will feature river experiences such as pontoon boat rentals, sailing lessons, a guided tour to the Safe Harbor petroglyphs, and guided paddle tours, as well as other items from the riverlands. Bidding for the silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. and end at approximately 8 p.m.

Susquehanna Heritage board members will highlight some key projects and programs that proceeds from the event will support.

"We work with partners to make the Susquehanna Riverlands an even better place to live and visit," said Buckingham. "One big project we have underway is a feasibility study for a river shuttle to connect Columbia Crossing in Lancaster County and the Zimmerman Center in York County."

Susquehanna Heritage offers river-related experiences for people of all ages at both the Zimmerman Center for Heritage in Wrightsville and the Columbia Crossing River Trails Center, including science-based experiences, Junior Ranger programs, and guided hikes into Native Lands Park to learn about the Susquehannock Indians.

"River Experience is a great way for us to get our friends and supporters who love the river together. Those friends invite other friends to introduce them to all there is to see and do in the Susquehanna Riverlands," Buckingham said. "It is also a great way to showcase local restaurants along the river, in York and Lancaster counties, and in the river towns of Columbia, Marietta, and Wrightsville."

Interested individuals may make reservations for River Experience by visiting or by calling Buckingham at 717-252-0229, ext. 6. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.


Master Naturalist Program Sets Training May 9, 2018

The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program will hold training sessions in Lancaster County on Tuesdays, Aug. 14 through Oct. 30, and on four Saturdays, Aug. 25, Sept. 15 and 29, and Oct. 13. The classes will take place at the Lancaster County Conservancy, 117 S. West End Ave., Lancaster. Class size is limited for the program.

Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is seeking citizen volunteers who are passionate about nature and want to help protect the natural heritage by giving back. Volunteers will learn about the natural history and ecology of their local ecosystem and more. After training, they will extend that knowledge to the community through volunteer service in natural resource education and conservation. Master Naturalist volunteer service opportunities are many and varied and accomplished annually.

Master Naturalists learn basic ecology, geology, hydrology, and plant/animal communities of local natural areas; teaching techniques and interpretation tips; values and benefits of natural areas; and locations and secrets of little-known natural areas.

Participants must attend all training dates and times. For a detailed schedule and more information or to apply, readers may visit and click on Become a PA Master Naturalist, or they may contact Ellyn Nolt at or 717-368-4899.


PARR Seeks Donations May 4, 2018

Pennsylvania Racehorse Re-homing, Rehabilitation, and Rescue (PARR) has helped provide second homes and careers to more than 200 retired thoroughbred racehorses since its founding in 2013 by Dr. Kate Papp. In addition, PARR has taken on horses with difficult medical issues that have required them to live their life out on PARR's farm.

PARR is seeking donations from corporations and individuals so that it may remain open and continue operating. According to volunteer and board member Dr. Bryan Langlois, one main need is funds to help cover rent payments for the farm on which PARR operates, as well as to provide hay, feed, and medications.

Various sponsorship opportunities are available, including options of sponsoring a horse or a stall. Readers may also donate at or by sending funds via PayPal to the email address

PARR is a 100 percent volunteer-run organization. Its mission is to provide aftercare for raced or trained thoroughbreds and care for others in need. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, readers may visit


Walk To Benefit Wounded Warriors May 4, 2018

The sixth annual Lititz Walk for Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors will take place on Saturday, May 12. The community is invited to support the event, which is hosted by the VFW Auxiliary to Lititz Springs Post 1463, Lititz civic organizations, and the Lititz recCenter. The event will kick off at the rec center, 301 Maple St., Lititz, with registration from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Individuals are welcome to join the walk at any time. Once registered, participants will receive a souvenir pin and may enjoy a map-guided walk of the historic streets and sites of downtown Lititz. The Friends of Veterans Fair will take place at the Lititz VFW, 14 N. Spruce St.

Registration fees have been set for individuals, for families, and for students and seniors age 65 and up. Cash and check will be accepted at the registration table. Proceeds will benefit the Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors Inc. (PAWW), a volunteer organization providing 24-hour, emergency financial assistance for Pennsylvania's veterans and their families. Individuals who cannot attend the event are welcome to make a donation to PAWW.

PAWW, which is not affiliated with the Wounded Warrior Project, was founded in 2006 by the late Maj. Gen. Gerald T. Sajer, former Pennsylvania adjutant general, and his wife, Helen, after their son returned home from Iraq safely. The state-wide project began as weekend visits to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to meet with recovering veterans. As it grew, the Sajers began to bring soldiers and their families to their farm in Adams County. The organization is now dedicated to aiding veterans through the long-term recovery process. To learn more, readers may visit


Arm Of Hope 5K To Aid Children In Ghana May 4, 2018

Eating three meals a day, playing simple games, and sleeping on a clean bunk bed inside a concrete building are not be likely to be the highlights of an American's week at summer camp, but for children from the slums of Accra - the capital of Ghana - these are luxuries that they look forward to for a whole year.

For the fifth summer in a row, volunteers from Hope Community Church, 1806 Harrisburg Ave., Mount Joy, will travel to Ghana in July to conduct a summer camp for youths in partnership with Arm of Hope. The Ghanaian-run ministry operates weekly Bible clubs and an education sponsorship program for children living in slum areas.

To raise funds to cover the expenses for the approximately 300 youths who attend the camps in Ghana, Hope Community Church will host the fifth annual Arm of Hope 5K on Saturday, May 19. Race organizer Greg Grove, who has traveled to Ghana several times to help with the camp, explained that the race proceeds will go toward meals, crafts, games, and camp scholarships so that the children can enjoy a week away from the slums. The camp features one week for elementary school-age children and one week for high school-age students.

"The kids stay there, and it gives them a place to sleep and a place to bathe. It's a big deal and a good experience for them," remarked Grove. The daily camp routine includes a time of teaching in the morning, followed by crafts, small group activities, games, and sports. Each evening features a different activity, and Grove said that one of the highlights last year included roasting s'mores over a campfire. "That was the first time that any of the kids had done that, and they loved it," recalled Grove.

The Arm of Hope 5K will be chip-timed, and runners will step off at 9 a.m. Participants of all ages are welcome to run or walk the course, which Grove described as flat and family-friendly. Strollers and pets on leashes are also welcome to participate. Interested individuals may register in advance at or on race day beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Grove noted that individuals who register online in advance will receive an email with an optional invitation to create a personal fundraising page. By sharing the page on social media or through email, the idea is that additional funds can then be raised for Arm of Hope, which will enable more students to attend camp. According to Grove, it costs approximately $50 to send a child to the camp. "Kids come from all over, and we don't like to turn anyone away," said Grove.

Post-race beverages and refreshments will be available for all 5K participants. Every participant will be entered to win door prizes and gift cards donated by local businesses, and the winners will be announced during the post-race awards ceremony.

Hand-carved wooden trophies from Ghana will be awarded to the top overall female and male finishers. The top two female and male finishers in each age category will receive their choice of a homemade baked good as an award.

To learn more about the Arm of Hope ministry or to sponsor a child, interested individuals may go to Additional information about Hope Community Church is available at or by calling 717-653-7168.


Program Will Promote Water Protection May 3, 2018

The Fishing Creek Watershed covers the geographic area around Fishing Creek, which runs for 12 miles from East Drumore Township through Drumore Township to the Susquehanna River. The mission of the Friends of Fishing Creek is to monitor, preserve, enhance, and promote the watershed through education, community involvement, and watershed improvement projects. An event on Saturday, June 2, will combine the elements of education and community involvement.

The Friends of Fishing Creek will partner with the Quarryville Library to kick off the library's Summer Reading Program and the Lancaster County Conservancy to mark the beginning of Lancaster Water Week. From 10 to 11:30 a.m., the Friends will host a make-and-take event at the library, 357 Buck Road, Quarryville. Youngsters ages 5 to 13, along with parents and guardians, are invited to stop by to make terrariums and to learn about the importance of water and conservation strategies. The youths will also receive a reading list of books about water.

Friends treasurer Jan Hartle noted that the terrariums will demonstrate the water cycle: transpiration, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. Materials will be provided, and all the terms will be defined during the event. The group hopes that at least 100 youngsters take part.

"We will talk about habits around water in order to help people conserve water," Hartle said. "We will encourage them to talk with their families (about what they learned)."

Lancaster Water Week is dedicated to raising awareness around the importance of fresh water, which is a nonrenewable resource.

"It may seem like we have an unlimited and renewable resource, but 97 percent of the Earth's water is in the salty oceans, 2 percent is frozen in the ice caps, and 1 percent is left to meet all the needs of the people, animals, and plants," Hartle explained. "We need to conserve and preserve (the available fresh water): Think before using chemical fertilizers and properly dispose of old cleaning products and medications so they don't end up in the water supply."

Youths who would like to make a terrarium are asked to register by Saturday, May 19, by visiting or or by stopping by the library.

Registration is not required for the additional events that will be held at the library on June 2. For more information, readers may contact library director Sylvia Drennen at 717-786-1336 or Folks who would like to learn more about the Fishing Creek Watershed may visit or email


Williams Joins Board Of Directors May 2, 2018

The American Heart Association, a voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease, recently announced the appointment of Lindsey Williams to its Lancaster Division board of directors.

Williams currently serves as assistant director for Visiting Angels Homecare of Lancaster. Williams holds a bachelor's degree from University of Wisconsin and is a member of the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management. In addition to her service to the American Heart Association, she is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer's Association and Manheim Soccer Club. She lives in Mount Joy with her husband, Austin, and two daughters.

For more information about the American Heart Association, Lancaster Division, readers may visit or


Freezin' For A Reason! April 30, 2018

Polar Plunge Set For Feb. 3

Dover residents Bill and Karen Plappert can remember when two former Special Olympic coaches came up with the idea for a Polar Plunge in York County as a way to raise money for the Special Olympics York County (SOYC). "Our son, Michael, volunteered to do the plunge and help his fellow athletes by raising money," said Karen, who opted to volunteer with team registration with Bill. Folks of all ages came to the inaugural event to experience the thrill of plunging into the Susquehanna River in February.

The plunge turned out to be a big hit, Karen said, and it continues to grow. According to Karen, the event now provides a major portion of the amount needed to fund SOYC's annual budget. Michael's team, The Beach Boys and Friends, is composed of several of his fellow athletes, relatives, Special Olympics volunteers, and the pastor and members of Dover United Church of Christ, where the Plapperts attend.

Last year, The Beach Boys and Friends team raised nearly $11,000. Only the Blue Line Plungers - a group of current and retired law enforcement officers and their family members from throughout the county - edged out The Beach Boys with their financial contributions.

SOYC public relations coordinator Robyn Liggins-Smith - also a proud mom of a SOYC athlete - said that the Blue Line Plungers are always the first team in the river at the Polar Plunge and have supported the event since it began. "My son (and the) other athletes enjoy the plunge and all the activities that happen before the plunge," said Liggins-Smith. "Special Olympics has become a second family for many of us, and the Polar Plunge brings us all together."

The 10th annual York County Polar Plunge will take place on Saturday, Feb. 3, along the Susquehanna River at 124 N. Front St., Wrightsville. Registration and sign-in will open at 9:30 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. and a costume parade and contest at 10:45 a.m. Awards will be given for the best costume and most original costume. "Basically, they can wear whatever they want," said Liggins-Smith. "One year, we even had (someone wearing) a six-foot walrus (costume).

The chicken dance, set for 11:15 a.m., will be performed by all of the chicken plungers in attendance. "A chicken plunger is someone who supports the plunge but does not go into the water," explained Liggins-Smith.

Plungers will begin assembling in waves around 11:45 a.m., and the plunge will start at noon. SOYC athletes will lead each wave of participants to the river. Plungers may dip in just a toe or go all in for a total of three minutes. "When they come out (of the water), the smiles on their faces tell you why they do it," said Liggins-Smith.

The 2017 Polar Plunge, which raised a total of $91,000, had about 900 plungers and 500 chicken plungers. "The temperatures were a very warm 35 degrees," recalled Liggins-Smith. With temperatures reaching especially frigid lows this January, Liggins-Smith said that the Lake Clarke River Rescue team, which is stationed in the river at each Polar Plunge to ensure everyone's safety, will make the determination as to a potential cancellation. "If the river is frozen, we may have to postpone, but in the nine years we have had the plunge it has never been canceled," noted Liggins-Smith.

Heated tents will be set up for participants to change into dry clothes afterward. Coffee, hot chocolate, and water will also be available.

Folks may register to participate as an individual or a team at A preregistration event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 124 N. Front St., Wrightsville. Interested individuals may sign up then or turn in the money they have raised and pick up T-shirts, which are distributed to those who raise $25 or more.

SOYC, which provides training and competition opportunities free of charge to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, currently has 360 athletes participating in 15 sports programs.


Donegal HUB Slates Poverty Workshop April 27, 2018

The Donegal HUB, formerly the Donegal Cold Weather Collaborative, will hold a community event in the cafeteria at Donegal High School, 1025 Koser Road, Mount Joy, on Tuesday, May 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. The free event will be a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop presented by Chuck Holt.

Attendees will be presented with an overview of what poverty looks like in the local community. Attendees will investigate mental models of class, learn hidden rules of class, discover four causes of poverty, and understand the resources needed to overcome poverty. The goal of the training will be to create a new mental model of what life is like for those in poverty and begin to evaluate policies and procedures in how community members interact with underresourced individuals and their families.

The Donegal HUB encourages everyone in the Mount Joy, Marietta, and Maytown area to attend. For more information or to preregister by Monday, May 7, readers may email


Foster Parent Orientations Set April 27, 2018

Families United Network, 412 S. Angle St., Mount Joy, is seeking foster families. The organization will host foster parent orientation sessions on Thursdays, May 10 and 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.

To attend either of the sessions, readers may call 800-722-0136 or email Holly at


Sportsman's Club Slates Annual Veterans Fishing Derby

Veterans from the Lebanon Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center will enjoy a day of fishing at the fifth annual Veterans Fishing Derby at the Elstonville Sportsman's Association on Saturday, May 6.

According to Elstonville Sportsman's Association vice president and event chairman Brian Zolna, the pond was stocked earlier this month for the opening day of trout season and will be restocked one week prior to the Veterans Fishing Derby to help create optimum fishing conditions.

Kickstands will go up at 9:30 a.m. for the riders in the Elstonville Motorcycle Club, who will escort the buses of veterans from the Lebanon VA to the club at 3133 Pinch Road, Manheim. Zolna anticipates that anywhere from 25 to 50 veterans will take part - a number that can vary depending on the weather. "So far we've been lucky. We've had good weather every year," he remarked.

The Elstonville Sportsman's Association will supply fishing rods and all of the necessary equipment needed for the day, and each veteran will also be paired with a volunteer. "For every veteran that shows up, we have a person that is assigned to that person to help them for the day," explained Zolna.

Fishing will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m. Members of the association's BB gun team, which is open to youths ages 8 to 15, will also volunteer at the event.

Snacks and beverages will be available for the veterans throughout the day, and club members will also serve a chicken barbecue meal with all of the fixings for lunch, with homemade baked goods available for dessert.

The catch-and-keep-style event allows each participant to catch up to five fish. "We fillet the fish for them, and we cook it for them right there on the spot if they'd like," Zolna said.

Prizes will be awarded, including first-, second-, and third-place awards for the largest fish caught and several other categories.

The Elstonville Sportsman's Association is a nonprofit organization with several acres of land for members to utilize for hunting and fishing, shooting and 3-D archery events, and a rifle range. The association supports several area charities. For more information on becoming a member, interested individuals may visit

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