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Sun Protection Tips Provided September 18, 2018

Due to the time of year, sun protection may slip down the list of health and wellness priorities. But harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays are present year-round, and one study notes that children sustain a significant amount of sun exposure at school. About 23 percent of lifetime UV exposure occurs before the age of 18, and this exposure can have far-reaching effects.

Sun damage is cumulative, so sun exposure during childhood can contribute to skin cancer risk later in life. The best way to mitigate that risk is to educate young children on effective sun protection, instilling healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Children should understand that summer vacation is not the only time they are exposed to the sun's rays.

The Skin Cancer Foundation offers several recommendations for keeping children sun-safe during the school year. UV rays are most intense from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and this is when students are usually outside for recess, physical education class, and after-school sports. Parents should check with the school to see if there are adequate places for students to seek shade during outdoor activities. Shade can be provided by gazebos and roof structures, awnings, shade sails, and natural shade, such as thickly leaved trees.

Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection for the body, children should be sent to school in densely woven and bright- or dark-colored fabrics, which offer the best defense. The more skin that is covered, the better, so long sleeves and long pants should be chosen whenever possible.

Children should be sent to school with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect their face, neck, and eyes. If a child will not wear a wide-brimmed hat, a baseball cap is better than nothing.

Sunscreen should be part of the morning routine. At least 30 minutes before children go outside, parents should apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to their skin. Older children should learn to apply sunscreen themselves and make it a routine habit. To remain effective, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. At a minimum, remind children to reapply sunscreen before after school sports and outdoor activities.

One ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a golf ball) should be applied to the entire body. Parents should remind children to cover those easy to miss spots, such as the back of ears and neck, as well as the tops of the feet and hands.

There is a chance a school does not allow students to use sunscreen or wear a hat outdoors during the school day without written permission from a physician. If that is the case, The Skin Cancer Foundation has created a sun protection permission form that parents and doctors can sign, allowing students to bring these items to school to apply and use as needed. The form is available at www.skincancer.org/schoolnote.

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Sports Eye Safety Tips Posted September 18, 2018

Prevent Blindness, an eye health organization, has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month to help educate the public on the need to protect vision while participating in sports activities. New annual data from Prevent Blindness shows that more than 33,000 Americans were treated for sports-related eye injuries last year.

Eye injuries from any sport may include infection, corneal abrasions, fracture of the eye socket, swollen or detached retinas or a traumatic cataract. Eye injuries from water sports may include eye infections and irritations, and scratches or trauma from other swimmers.

As part of September's Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness has posted tips on buying sports eye protectors.

Shoppers should always consult an eye care professional to get the best eye protection for their sport and lifestyle.

Wearers of prescription glasses should ask their eye doctor to fit them for prescription eye protection. Monocular athletes, those with only one eye that sees well, should ask their eye doctor what sports they may safely play.

Athletes should not buy eye protection without lenses. Only lensed protectors are recommended for sports use. Athletes should make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop in against the eyes may cause serious injury.

Fogging of the lenses can be a problem when a person is active. Some eye protection options are available with anti-fog coating. Others have side vents for additional ventilation. Shoppers should try on different types to determine which is most comfortable for them.

Shoppers should check an eye protector's packaging to see if the item has been tested for sports use and if it is made of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate eye protection is the most impact resistant.

Sports eye protection should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eye guards from cutting the skin.

Athletes should try on eye protectors to determine if they are the right size. The strap should be adjusted so it is not too tight or too loose. Athletes should consult their eye care professional to ensure eye protectors have a comfortable, safe fit.

During Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness is offering printed materials to assist eye care professionals in educating consumers on the importance of eye safety during sports. To request a free kit, readers may contact Angela Gerber at 973-882-0986, ext. 972, or agerber@libertysport.com.

For more information on sports eye injury prevention or contact lens safety, readers may call Prevent Blindness at 800-331-2020 or visit www.preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety.

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Program To Discuss AMD September 13, 2018

The William H. and Marion C. Alexander Family Library, 200 W. Second St., Hummelstown, will be the site of a presentation by Dr. Gary Kirman on the early detection and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The program will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 7 p.m. on the second floor in conference rooms A and B.

The event is being held to raise the awareness of the current diagnostic technology available to diagnose the presence of AMD before vision loss occurs. A discussion of the effectiveness of early treatment for AMD will also be presented.

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Individual Assessment Forms Available September 13, 2018

The Borough of Mount Joy advises individuals and businesses that were affected by flood damages to complete Individual Assessment forms available at the borough office, 21 E. Main St.; at http://mountjoyborough.com/; or at www.lancema.us/forms-resources.php.

Completed forms should be emailed to borough@mountjoypa.org, faxed to 717-653-6680, or mailed to or dropped off at the borough office. Office hours are Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Coalition Posts Informative Event September 13, 2018

Share Your Wishes Coalition invites the community to a free event on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the third-floor conference room at the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion, 2100 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster.

The coalition aims to be a supportive community where conversations about end-of-life decisions are discussed openly and honestly, without fear or avoidance, so that a person's wishes and values are honored during the last stages of life.

Advance care planning is a process that enables individuals to make plans about their future health care. Advance care plans provide direction to health care professionals, family, and other loved ones when people are not in a position to make or communicate their own health care choices.

The free workshop will focus on what advanced care planning is, how to select a health care agent, how one can express his or her wishes, and how to share the plan. Attendees will also be able to reflect on their values and beliefs.

Individuals are asked to preregister by calling 888-LGH-INFO (888-544-4636).

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Support Groups Scheduled September 12, 2018

The Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, invites the community to several support groups. There is no cost to attend.

Individuals who serve as a caregiver to a loved one are invited to a Dementia Caregiver Support and Education Group on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The meeting will have a focus on spiritual care. The group meets every third Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Masonic Village's Health Care Center Courtyard Conference Room. For directions and to preregister, call 717-367-1121, ext. 33764.

Those who have lost a loved one are invited to attend the monthly Bereavement Support Group on Thursday, Oct. 18. The group meets every third Thursday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the large recreation room in Sycamore North, located on the first floor. Refreshments are served. For more information, call Heidi Young, bereavement coordinator, at 717-367-1121, ext. 33576.

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Home Water, Septic System Workshops Set September 12, 2018

Penn State Extension, in partnership with the ELANCO Source Water Collaborative, will offer two free workshops about home water systems. The events will be held on Monday, Nov. 5, in the Terre Hill Community Center, 131 W. Main St., Terre Hill. Workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. They will include protecting, testing, and treating private water supplies. Septic system inspection and maintenance will also be discussed.

Free drinking water testing will be provided for the first 30 households to register at each workshop. Water will be tested for coliform bacteria, E. coli, pH, total dissolved solids, and nitrates. Results from these simple educational tests can help guide attendees in future testing by accredited labs. Sample collection instructions will be provided after individuals register.

Support for the workshops is provided by the Master Well Owner Network grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences research and extension programs are funded in part by Pennsylvania counties, the Commonwealth of PA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Individuals may register by Wednesday, Oct. 31, by visiting http://extension.psu.edu/home-water-and-septic-workshop or calling 877-345-0691.

Qualified persons with disabilities are encouraged to participate. Individuals who anticipate needing any type of accommodation or who have questions about the physical access provided may contact Jennifer Fetter at 717-921-8803.

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Stadium Installs Blood Pressure Kiosk September 11, 2018

The American Heart Association, with the support of the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, recently installed a new blood pressure monitoring kiosk at the Barnstormers' stadium in Lancaster. Carol Culliton of the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation and representatives from the American Heart Association were on hand before the Lancaster Barnstormers game on July 18 for a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

This is the first blood pressure kiosk the American Heart Association has installed in Pennsylvania. The kiosk is located inside the main concourse near the box office and is available for any member of the public to use during all events held at the Barnstormers' stadium. The kiosk provides instructions to ensure the user receives an accurate blood pressure reading and information to interpret their blood pressure reading and make healthy lifestyle choices that can help control their blood pressure.

Users will also have the opportunity to register for the American Heart Association's evidence-based blood pressure control tracker called "Check. Change. Control." The program provides users with ongoing information and tips via email and helps them track progress toward lowering their blood pressure over time using an online tracker. Anyone in the Lancaster community can take advantage of the "Check. Change. Control." program by visiting www.ccctracker.com/aha/Gunterberg and entering campaign code GCFBP to register.

According to new blood pressure guidelines released in November that define high blood pressure beginning at 130/80, nearly half (46 percent) of U.S. adults may have high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure. It is sometimes called the "silent killer" because it has no symptoms. Improving access to blood pressure monitoring tools and education can help more individuals manage high blood pressure.

For more information about controlling high blood pressure and other healthy living tips, readers may visit www.heart.org.

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Safe Driving Reminder Posted September 10, 2018

Motorists, parents, and children are encouraged to refresh their memories about how to share the road safely with school buses and other school transportation vehicles.

Pennsylvania law requires motorists stop at least 10 feet away from school buses when their red lights are flashing and their stop arm is extended. Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn. Drivers should not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety. Penalties for failure to obey school bus safety laws can result in a $250 fine, five points on a driving record, and a 60-day license suspension.

Parents are reminded to ensure that their children are at the bus stop early to avoid rushing. Students should stay where the bus driver can see them while boarding or exiting the bus.

For more information and tips on school bus safety, readers may visit www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/Safety/TrafficSafetyAndDriverTopics/Pages/School-Bus-Safety.aspx.

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Concussion News Posted September 10, 2018

Students, parents, and coaches are reminded about ways to prevent, recognize and manage concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Concussions can have serious short-term and long-term impacts, especially on young people, whose brains are still developing. In 2011, the Safety in Youth Sports Act was signed into law in Pennsylvania, requiring all school entities to develop return-to-play policies for student athletes with concussions, as well as requiring related training for coaches.

Readers may visit www.health.pa.gov and search for "traumatic brain injury" for approved curricula for coaches and other school personnel, along with frequently asked questions about the law and many other state-related resources. Most importantly, if parents think their child has a concussion, they should seek medical attention, discuss the injury with the coach, and not allow the athlete to return to play without permission from a health care professional.

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Paper Shredding Event Slated September 7, 2018

West Donegal Township, Mount Joy Township, and East Donegal Township will host a shredding event on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon at the West Donegal Township building, 1 Municipal Drive, Elizabethtown.

The event will be free of charge to all residents and businesses that reside or are located within these three townships. Residency identification will be required. The amount of items to be shredded will be limited to a maximum of three banker boxes or 32-gallon bags of paper per property. Shredders handle staples, paper clips, and folders as well as colored paper. Boxes or bags containing any materials that cannot be shredded will not be accepted.

Shredding services and equipment will be provided by a shredding services company that is AAA NAID certified. Individuals can watch while their paper is shredded by bonded personnel and equipment. All shredded paper will then be taken for proper and green disposal, and the township will be provided with a Certificate of Destruction.

While there is no charge to have paper shredded, participants are asked to bring donations of canned goods and boxed items to benefit the Conoy Brethren in Christ Church's food bank. Last year, more than 20 boxes of donated food and nonperishable items and almost $200 in monetary donations were donated. The food bank's greatest needs include canned meats, juice, canned/boxed pasta, jams and jellies, cereals, pancake mixes and syrup, and paper products. Baby food and formula will also be accepted. Perishable items, glass containers, frozen food, fresh produce and meat, and homemade food will not be accepted. Donations should be nonexpired, nonbreakable, and in unopened containers.

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Series To Address Opioid Epidemic September 7, 2018

Lancaster County Joining Forces (LCJF), in partnership with Compass Mark and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, will present a free, three-part series addressing the opioid epidemic in Lancaster County. All sessions are free to attend and will take place on select Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Alliance Church of Elizabethtown, 425 Cloverleaf Road, Elizabethtown.

The lecture series will kick off on Sept. 25 with Jack Sodak of Retreat at Lancaster County sharing on "Addiction - A Disease of the Mind and Body." On Oct. 9, Joel Jakubowski will speak on "How to Help a Loved One Struggling With Drug Use." The series will conclude on Oct. 23 as Deb McCoy of Compass Mark presents "How to Talk to Children About Drugs." To register for any or all of the sessions, interested individuals may visit www.lancasterjoiningforces.org.

According to Rosemary Search, health promotion specialist with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, LCJF launched as a community collaborative in 2017 with a primary aim of supporting and coordinating countywide efforts to reduce the number of deaths from overdoses of heroin and other opioids. LCJF brings key stakeholders and community members together to strengthen existing initiatives across all sectors, identify and address gaps in services and resources, and implement strategies for prevention, intervention, and monitoring.

"Opioid-related overdose deaths constitute a serious public health concern across the United States," stated Search. The United States federal government declared a national public health emergency in October 2017, with Pennsylvania declaring a statewide disaster emergency in January 2018.

"Lancaster County is not alone in this crisis, but it displays a higher rate of drug-related overdose deaths than the nationwide average," said Search, noting that more than 160 Lancastrians died from accidental overdose in 2017. "The opioid crisis is not a problem happening 'somewhere else,' nor is it limited to our nation's cities or among certain socioeconomic populations," Search emphasized.

Lancaster County is not only well-known for things like its agriculture and natural beauty, Search noted, but also for the way that its people come together to address the needs of the community. "Joining Forces is just the latest example - in this case bringing together dozens of organizations to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for opioid abuse prevention and help for those trapped in addiction," said Search.

LCJF strives to implement a continuum of care with an emphasis on both broad, community-based education and awareness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles, while also connecting people who are experiencing addiction to appropriate treatment and recovery support. Some of the organization's efforts include producing and distributing more than 93,000 brochures about opioid addiction and how to get help throughout the county and working with schools. LCJF currently offers evidence-based prevention programming in 13 school districts.

In the first three months of 2018, Lancaster County's rate of overdose deaths was down 20 percent from 2017, according to Search. "Early data from April through May suggests that rate of overdose deaths continues to head downward," said Search. "While it is too soon to say if this is a definite trend, we can say that this coordinated response to our county's opioid crisis exemplifies the concern and compassion we all share for the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens."

Individuals who would like to learn more about hosting a presentation or series of presentations through LCJF may contact Sue Lackmann at 717-544-3284 or selackma@lghealth.org.

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Northwest EMS Works Toward Fundraising Goal September 6, 2018

Northwest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is more than halfway to its goal of raising $30,000 to purchase bullet-resistant vests for crew members. The EMS agency intends to provide the vests due to the opioid crisis and an increase in active shooter threats. Northwest EMS covers the northern tier of Lancaster County from Conoy Township to Clay Township, including Elizabethtown and Manheim.

As payments for ambulance services decrease, the EMS agency based in Elizabethtown decided to ask area residents to help protect its crews. The community responded, and to date the agency has received $15,151 in checks, including at least 20 from donors who paid the full $500 cost of one vest, and $1,665 from the GoFundMe page, for a total of $16,816.

Recently the EMS agency received help from the Northwest Regional Police, which patrols West Donegal and Mount Joy townships. The Northwest Regional Police Commission donated $1,000, and the Northwest Regional Police Association, representing the officers, donated $500.

Contributions may be made at www.gofundme.com/invest-in-ems.

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Health Care Forecast Event Posted September 6, 2018

The Central Penn Business Group on Health (CPBGH) will host its 19th annual Healthcare Forecast Breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Lancaster Country Club, 1466 New Holland Pike, Lancaster.

Attendees will hear from key figures responsible for affecting change in the health care delivery system. Participants will also hear about the results of the 2018 Healthcare Survey, which includes information about how area employers are handling the rising costs of health care.

The breakfast will focus on how to use artificial intelligence to cost-effectively assist one's workforce in making better buying decisions; ensuring one's workforce has access to the tools and resources being developed to assist them when they need care; the role that plan design may play in assisting employees to make better decisions about care; the role of data in creating effective plan design; and facilitating and understanding the care process for people in need of significant care.

Separate costs have been set for CPBGH members and for nonmembers. Registration includes breakfast. To register, readers may visit www.cpbgh.org.

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Pesticide Applicator Training Posted September 6, 2018

The Penn State Extension's Agronomic Pesticide Applicator's School will be offered on Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Southeast Agricultural Research and Education Center, 1446 Auction Road, Manheim. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., the first breakout session will start at 8:30 a.m. and the last session will end at 3:30 p.m. Commercial or private pesticide applicators in need of continuing education credits are invited to attend.

Topics will include general pesticide safety and updates on current weed, insect and disease issues in Pennsylvania. Certified Crop Advisor CEUs and pesticide credits from Delaware and New Jersey have been approved for the meeting. Pennsylvania and West Virginia pesticide credits are pending. Each session will have a separate sign-in sheet for Pennsylvania, Maryland, and CCA credits, so participants may attend as many sessions as they want.

The fee includes a catered lunch. The registration deadline is Thursday, Sept. 13.

For more information and to register, readers may visit http://extension.psu.edu/agronomic-pesticide-applicator-school or call Penn State's Extension registration desk at 877-345-0691 from Mondays to Fridays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

For more information about the event, readers may contact Liz Bosak at the Dauphin County Extension Office at 717-921-8803 or the Perry County Extension Office at 717-582-5150. To arrange for accommodations, readers may call 717-921-8803.

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Organizations To Offer Forum September 6, 2018

Samaritan Safe Church/Safe Places is partnering with The Emerald Foundation to offer "When Institutions Fail to Protect Our Children: A Community Forum," focused on child sexual abuse, at The Emerald Foundation, 2120 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.

The forum is for people who care about children and their safety. It will focus on what can be done to protect children, including in settings such as churches, athletic clubs, and youth organizations. It will also highlight how parents, adults, and community members can respond.

No registration is required. Readers with questions may call Lizz at 717-560-9989 or email LDurbin@scclanc.org.

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Teal Sisters Seek To Raise Awareness September 4, 2018

Kate Green, Kathy Kuhns, Maureen Lewandowski, and Connie Radziewicz are just a few of the 20-plus women who make up the Teal Sisters, a multigenerational support group for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After crossing paths at the office of Dr. Jacqueline Evans, a Lancaster-area gynecologic oncologist, the ladies began meeting together in 2015 on the fourth Tuesday of each month to talk and support one another. Teal is the color that symbolizes ovarian cancer, so the ladies also sport the shade for Teal Tuesdays.

"We met informally at each other's houses but decided in addition to talking about where we were and laughing, we'd (raise) some awareness, because ovarian cancer is silent," explained Green. "But we're not silent about it."

To jumpstart those efforts, the Teal Sisters marched in the Millersville Parade in 2017, flanked by a teal pickup truck as they handed out teal mints and lollipops and information about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. According to Lewandowski, who leads educational presentations on the topic with other Teal Sisters, ovarian cancer is usually not detected until it has progressed to stage three or four, but early detection can mean the difference between life and death.

Lewandowski references the BEAT acronym provided by the NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative when teaching others about the symptoms, which include: Bloating that is persistent; Eating less, feeling fuller; Abdominal and/or back pain; and Trouble with bladder and bowels. "The big thing is if the symptom lasts for more than two weeks," emphasized Lewandowski. Many women are unaware that a Pap test does not test for ovarian cancer; therefore, Lewandowski urges women to be their own advocate and request an ovarian cancer screening if they are experiencing any symptoms.

"All of our stories are different, but every single one of us at one point said something like, 'Well, I thought it was just fill-in-the-blank, but then it wouldn't go away,'" said Lewandowski. "You don't want to think you have cancer."

"Most of the people in the group have ovarian cancer, but we'd like to increase awareness for all types of gynecological cancers," Lewandowski continued. "The important thing for people to know is that there's treatment. The doctors are very conscious of the quality of your time."

Green added, "Your life does not stop. I went to the China in the middle of my chemotherapy. There are options out there, and if one doesn't work, you try something else." The Teal Sisters make it a point to say they are "living with cancer" rather than the commonly heard alternative of "dying with cancer." "We're not gloom and doom," said Radziewicz.

In September, which is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the Teal Sisters will take part in Turn the Towns Teal, a national campaign to promote awareness of the symptoms and risk factors associated with ovarian cancer. The ladies encourage individuals, businesses, and communities throughout Lancaster and York to get involved by displaying biodegradable teal ribbons on their property. Some towns participate by turning fountains teal or lighting up buildings at night with teal spotlights. Lewandowski recalled that the Pennsylvania State Capitol was aglow in teal for the month of September last year.

The Teal Sisters will be tying teal ribbons along Hellam Street in Wrightsville and, they hope, in as many other locations as possible. To order teal ribbons and learn more about Turn the Towns Teal, readers may visit www.turnthetownsteal.org.

Individuals and organizations that would like to inquire about having the Teal Sisters give an educational presentation on the risk factors and subtle symptoms of ovarian cancer may contact Radziewicz at conniesratt@comcast.net.

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Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic Planned August 31, 2018

PAWS and The Dogs' Den will hold a low-cost vaccine and microchipping clinic on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the War Memorial Building, 54 W. Main St., Leola, in the back parking lot. Distemper, rabies and Bordetella vaccinations will be administered for a fee per vaccine. Microchips will also be available for a set price, which includes registration.

All pets must be on a leash or in a pet carrier. Breeders will not be serviced. For details, contact 717-957-8122, ext. 5, or spotrx@pawsofpa.org.

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Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic Planned August 31, 2018

PAWS and The Dogs' Den will hold a low-cost vaccine clinic for cats and dogs on Sunday, Aug. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PAWS, 9803 Jonestown Road, Grantville. Distemper and rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs will be administered. For a three-year rabies vaccination, proof of previous rabies vaccination is required. Microchips will also be available for a set price, which includes registration.

The clinic will be first-come, first-served. Breeders will not be serviced. Cash and checks will be accepted as payment. All cats must be in secure carriers, and all dogs must be leashed. For details, readers may contact The Dogs' Den at 717-469-7325 or doggieden@aol.com.

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Organization Sets Open House At New Facility August 29, 2018

A Woman's Concern, a local pregnancy resource center founded in 1972, has been located in downtown Lancaster on Duke Street for more than 20 years. In August, the organization opened a new location at 1102 Millersville Pike to help support the community.

The new location triples the size of the center's original home office, enabling it to reach a new quadrant of the city while expanding its programs, services, and resources to serve more families. It will still maintain a presence in Lancaster city with its East Chestnut Street satellite location. A Woman's Concern continues to offer free, confidential care, support, and services to women and families in need.

To celebrate the opening of the new location, A Woman's Concern will host an open house event on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will provide an opportunity for members of the community to tour the new facilities, as well as meet the staff and some of the volunteers. The celebration will include face painting, small games for children, free diapers and wipes for anyone in need, a chance to register to win a new car seat or stroller, and an opportunity to learn about the classes and services provided by A Woman's Concern.

The center provides free pregnancy and parenting services, including pregnancy testing, non-diagnostic ultrasound exams, parenting education, and support. Education is provided before, during, and after pregnancy. Through the Parenting Education Program, mothers and fathers can sharpen parenting skills while earning "points" for the purchase of new items for newborns and babies from the center's baby boutique.

In addition to these services, A Woman's Concern is considering offering services to fathers, providing additional medical services, and furthering efforts to reach out to the Latino community. Currently, a bilingual team member is available to provide parenting classes in Spanish.

Appointments at A Woman's Concern are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment or for more information, readers may call 717-394-1561 or visit www.pregnancylancaster.com. Those who would like to support the center or view the new facility may contact Mary Ann Albertini at maryanna@pregnancylancaster.com.

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