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Schedler Named Executive Director Of Naaman Center June 23, 2017

On Saturday, July 1, Steve Schedler will transition from serving as the clinical director of Naaman Center into a new position as the Elizabethtown-based nonprofit organization's executive director. Schedler will be taking over for Tricia Frank as she retires. Frank has served as executive director since 2009.

Schedler joined the staff of Naaman Center in 2009 as clinical supervisor. He is a licensed social worker and holds certifications as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Clinical Supervisor through the Pennsylvania Certification Board. As clinical director, he oversaw the clinical operations for all of the Naaman Center locations, which include Elizabethtown, Elizabethville, Gap, Lancaster, and Quarryville.

Prior to his time at Naaman Center, Schedler worked in human services beginning in 2001 and served as a program director at Philhaven. He earned his Bachelor of Science in psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Social Work from Temple University. The Franklin County native currently lives in the Hershey area with his wife, Amy, and their two children.

Schedler said that one of the reasons he was interested in the executive director position is the amazing team of staff, board members, and volunteers that he has worked with during his time at Naaman Center.

"We're here to be available for support for anybody who might need it," Schedler said. "We want people to know that recovery is real and it is possible."

Naaman Center offers intensive outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, as well as specialized counseling for adolescents and individuals. The mission of Naaman Center as listed on its website is "to facilitate the restoration of people caught in the grip of drug and alcohol addictions and related mental health issues by providing a team of professionals who assist persons to pursue healing in an atmosphere of Christian faith and loving compassion." Thanks to the support of area churches, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals, Naaman Center has been able to maintain its commitment to treating individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

"We're a resource for people even if they need to just talk or ask questions," stated Schedler. "It can be complicated to make those first steps, but we're available for people. We want to see as many people get into recovery as possible."

To learn more, folks may call 888-243-4316 or visit


Volunteer Opportunities Posted June 22, 2017

Columbia Crossing River Trails Center and the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce (SVCC) Visitors Center have announced a need for volunteers. Among the benefits of volunteering are opportunities to reconnect with old friends, make new connections, and share knowledge of the area with guests.

Columbia Crossing is the trailhead for the Northwest River Trail. The facility houses information about the trail, downtown Columbia, and the Susquehanna Riverlands corridor. Additionally, the Crossing hosts community activities and features river-related exhibits. Volunteers offer visitors information regarding programs, events, and attractions.

SVCC's Visitors Center greets more than 10,000 guests to the region each year, with guests hailing from nearly every state and from an average of 14 countries annually. Volunteers help plan and/or provide assistance with fundraising events for the center; interested individuals may visit for additional information on events. Other volunteer opportunities include staffing the reception desk, stuffing mailers, and serving as tour guides for the trolley that runs throughout Columbia during the summer weekends and for special events.

Individuals who are interested in volunteering may call the Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce at 717-684-5249 or Columbia Crossing at 717-449-5607.


Shoppes On Market To Relocate June 22, 2017

Jewel David Ministries (JDM) has announced that it will relocate its retail business, Shoppes on Market, to Trellis Place, 153 E. High St., Elizabethtown, in September. The Lights of Hope Thrift Store will close permanently by the end of July. Despite being retail successes, the Shoppes on Market and the thrift store had difficulty operating in their present locations. JDM will continue to focus on its core mission of providing affordable Christian counseling services and education to combat situational homelessness at it 222 S. Market St. location.

"Shoppes on Market was born out of the idea to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for local residents and have the proceeds help fund the mission of Jewel David Ministries," said Dolores Reidenbach, who founded JDM in 2010. "Since we opened the doors of Shoppes on Market, we have seen several new businesses opened in the business incubator of Shoppes and grow to the point where they left Shoppes to open their own location."

Reidenbach explained that under this reorganization, the Shoppes will relocate to Trellis Place, owned and operated by JDM, but ownership of the Shoppes will transfer from JDM to a few of the business owners who have been active with Shoppes on Market.

Shoppes on Market will remain open at its current location until Friday, July 28. The community is invited to a celebration at Shoppes on Market as part of Elizabethtown's Second Friday on July 14 at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Originally opened in 2012 as a "Mall Without Walls," Shoppes on Market allowed local entrepreneurs to rent space to launch and operate their own business within Shoppes' space. Shoppes regularly featured approximately 30 businesses under one roof. Challenges with the building had become an issue, and for over a year, the leadership of JDM discussed multiple options to relocate and to move both the Shoppes and Lights of Hope Thrift Store.

"We have been looking for a space that would be suitable to the needs of both businesses in an effort to keep one or both of them open," said Lethea Myers, a JDM board member. "But since we could only find an alternative for Shoppes on Market that fit, we had to make the difficult decision to not renew our lease at the current location and close the Lights of Hope Thrift Shop."

Shoppes on Market store manager Tammy Stout will stay with JDM but transition to a new role.

The Elizabethtown Food Cupboard, which has subleased space within Shoppes on Market, is planning to remain at its current location.

After Lights of Hope closes, any remaining inventory will be sold to Community Aid, which operates four thrift stores in Pennsylvania. In addition, Community Aid will add a donation box to the parking lot of Trellis Place. Individuals may continue to donate to JDM by placing clothing and other items in the bin. Community Aid will then buy the items from JDM, allowing the proceeds to stay within Elizabethtown. An auction is planned for 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, at Lights of Hope to sell any remaining furniture and fixtures from the thrift store.

JDM will continue to operate the nonprofit Christian counseling center, House of David, and Trellis Place. The counseling center serves individuals, couples, families, and children with a variety of issues and concerns. House of David provides education and training in basic money management, goal setting, and support counseling for individuals and families struggling with homelessness. Trellis Place is boutique-style building that houses two businesses and serves as a small event venue.

To learn more about JDM, readers may visit


Fair Premium Books Available June 22, 2017

Premium Books for the 44th annual Elizabethtown Fair are available at Brandt's Farm Supply, Elizabethtown Borough office, Elizabethtown Public Library, Groff's Meats, White Oak Mills and Winters Heritage House Museum. The books include information on livestock and competitive exhibits as well as contests for children and adults. Some of these entries have early deadlines. Entry information is also available at

This year's book cover painting was created by Nancy Landis. The original watercolor, donated by Landis, will be auctioned off at the arts and crafts auction on Friday, Aug. 25.

The fair will run from Monday through Saturday, Aug. 21 to 26. The deadline for livestock entries is Tuesday, Aug. 1. For information on livestock entries, readers may contact Sharon Fullerton at 717-689-0010 or visit the fair website.

Residents of all ages are encouraged to enter crafts, needlework, baked goods, produce, and plants in the competitive exhibits, to be held at the Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church, located adjacent to the fairgrounds. Entries will be received on Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Preregistration for contestant numbers only will be held on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at the church. For more information on these entries, readers may call Linda McKinne at 717-653-8782 or visit the fair website.


Rwandan Trip Underscores Impact Of Shoebox Gifts June 22, 2017

"Everyone thinks it's just a Christmas event, but it's much more than that," said Millersville resident Deb Ward, who serves as the area coordinator for Lancaster and Lebanon counties for Operation Christmas Child (OCC), an organization that is known for its distribution of "shoebox gifts" to children in need around the globe.

As the area coordinator, which is a volunteer position, Ward spends between 10 and 15 hours a week recruiting participants, equipping volunteers, and speaking to church and community groups in the two counties she serves.

Ward is even more dedicated to OCC following a visit to the African country of Rwanda from May 18 to 25 as part of a team that distributed shoebox gifts. She noted that while gifts are collected in November each year, logistical issues and travel times may make distribution take five or more months. Prior to the distributions, OCC leadership teams in each country introduce local pastors to the program and provide training in how to use the gifts as educational and evangelistic tools. Ward noted that in Rwanda, which is trying to recover from the 1994 genocide, widespread poverty has resulted in minimal resources for children, and most are too poor to attend school.

One particular delivery was especially impactful for Ward. As the van in which her team traveled neared Deliverance Church-Kinyinya, six children ran alongside the vehicle. Ward was excited to share gifts with the eager youngsters, but she was heartbroken to discover that the six children were not part of the 60 who had been selected to receive gifts at that church.

"That's why I want to pack more shoebox gifts," Ward commented. "They were running because they saw joy, hope, and brightness. We brought the light of Christ with us."

Along with the boxes of gifts, the children received copies of "The Greatest Gift," a booklet that presents the Gospel. They also were invited to enroll in "The Greatest Journey," a 12-lesson Bible study course that teaches children how to follow Jesus. At the conclusion of the course, participants receive copies of the New Testament.

Extensive information about packing shoeboxes is located at, but through her experience, Ward gained insights on what makes good gifts.

While cardboard shoeboxes may be used, plastic boxes with locking lids are preferred. OCC has provided cardboard boxes for a number of years, but it will make OCC-branded plastic boxes available later this year.

The favorite gift among recipients was sunglasses, with jump ropes, soccer balls, jewelry, harmonicas, and kazoos also highlights. Dolls and stuffed animals also had universal popularity.

"Even older children loved the stuffed animals," Ward said.

She noted that small cars had trouble being used on dirt surfaces, so toys with larger wheels are preferred. Additionally, when packing, folks should remove as much of the plastic wrapping around items as possible in order to lessen the amount of trash created at the distribution sites and to make it easier for children to access the items.

Ward recommended shopping now for flip-flops and warm-weather toys and to stock up on back-to-school supplies as the season changes. Christmas in July packing parties can also be fun, she noted.

There is an ongoing need for volunteers, and Ward is particularly looking for participants ages 16 to 23 to help on a student relations team that is forming. To learn more, readers may contact Ward at 717-344-4501 or


Recent Graduate Achieves Perfect Attendance June 22, 2017

Aron Possler was one of more than 220 students who graduated from Lampeter-Strasburg High School on June 1, but he was one of the few - and possibly the only - with a perfect attendance record stretching back to kindergarten.

Aron, who is the son of Franz and Amber Possler of Strasburg, has a passion for learning.

"Aron thrives on becoming more knowledgeable on any subject," Amber said. "Missing a day or two really impedes that process."

Franz, in particular, influenced Aron's desire to never miss a day. As a first-grader and again as a ninth-grader, Franz missed the first three weeks of school, thanks to family trips to Europe. Amber noted that missing that much school at once was difficult because Franz had so much material to catch up on in a short time.

Aron's dedication to scholarship has paid off, as he was inducted into the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He served as the president of Tri-M, and he was also a member of Thespian Society, Pioneer Interact, the Heroes program, and the Outdoor/Environmental Club. Aron put his musical talents to use in the concert band, concert choir, orchestra, jazz band, and the marching unit, in which he served as section leader of the pit. Additionally, he played mallet percussion in the pit orchestra for "Annie Get Your Gun," and he sang in the ensembles for "Pippin" and "High School Musical." He also auditioned into the competitive Lancaster-Lebanon Music Educators Association county chorus and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association district chorus.

If all continues to go well, Aron will maintain his perfect attendance streak this fall when he enters the University of Delaware, where he will major in biochemistry.


Scout Completes Garden Project At Friendship Elementary June 22, 2017

Branden Shaffer recently completed his Eagle Scout Project as a member of Troop 116, which is sponsored by Hibernia United Methodist Church. The project was completed at Friendship Elementary School in the Coatesville Area School District. The building is not only the place where Branden attended elementary school, but it is also where he was introduced to Scouting as a member of Cub Scout Pack 36.

For his Eagle Scout Project, Branden created gardening beds at the school's entrance to enhance the appearance of the front of the building. "When we did cleanup days with the Cub Scout Pack when I was in third grade, we re-mulched all the beds," he recalled. He added that he became familiar with the area again since his sister, Emily, is a student at Friendship.

The project began in January of 2016 when the Scout met with Brad Bentman, school principal. The work on the garden bed took place in the spring of 2016.

"It took over a year to completely do the project and the workbook that is required to get the (Eagle Scout) Award," Branden said. "You have to (get approval) from the Chester County Boy Scout Council and get the beneficiary to sign off on the project."

The work took place over four Saturdays. "The first day we removed all the existing plants and cut down three holly trees that were overgrown. We could not put the beds in without getting rid of them first; that was part of the demo," Branden recalled. "On the second day, we laid out the beds and put down landscape fabric. The third day we picked up and planted all of the plants, and on the fourth day, we mulched."

He noted that the plants he chose are considered low-maintenance. "One of the concerns we had is that there was no (staff) to maintain the front of the building, and we took that into consideration when ordering the plants," Branden stated. "We planted things that do not need a lot of water, like dwarf plants and drought-tolerant plants, like daylilies."

During the planning phase of the project, Maria Toth, who had been the secretary at Friendship Elementary School, passed away. "She had worked at Friendship Elementary School for 20 years, and we decided to include in the landscape design a rock with a commemorative plaque (in her memory) that would be donated by the teachers and staff," Branden noted.

In fact, he pointed out, the school was involved in the planting project from the moment that Branden presented a sketch of the proposed garden beds to the school. One of the teachers, Sarah Shaver, helped with the work and also leads a garden club that will help maintain the area.

"The majority of the mulch was donated and given to us at a reduced price by a local business. The plants we went out and bought," said Branden. "We fundraised through family members, and the school did a fundraiser by selling lollipops. The teachers also had dress-down days where they could help pay for the project."

Troop 116 will hold Branden's Court of Honor at Hibernia United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 22. Although he has "aged out" and can no longer be considered be a Boy Scout, Branden said he wants to remain involved with the troop. "I am no longer a Boy Scout, but I can be an adult leader," he said. "I can still go on camping trips and teach merit badges."

Branden, 18, a graduate of Coatesville Area Senior High School, plans to attend West Chester University in the fall, where he will study computer science.


Local Resident Crowned Mrs. Pennsylvania June 21, 2017

Oxford resident Valerie Ross was crowned Mrs. Pennsylvania America 2017 on June 10 during a competition held at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Less than a week later on June 16 in Kennett Square, she made her first public appearance after obtaining the title.

"This is a state title, so it represents all counties in Pennsylvania," said Ross, who will go on to represent the state in the national Mrs. America Pageant, to be held in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 26.

The competition is similar to most pageants. "There are three main categories. The first one is your interview. Half of the competition is based on the interview, and (during) the interview they base it on your poise, beauty, and the way you can speak," Ross explained.

In addition, there are swimsuit and evening gown segments as well as a costume section.

After winning at the county level, Ross worked to prepare for the competition for the state title. "Over the last year I did all the things I needed to do," she said. "I made appearances as Mrs. Chester County, I worked on my interview style and the way that I would present myself for this county and this state, and I went to our competition very prepared to take the crown."

Ross is a relative newcomer to this type of competition. "I was introduced to the idea of pageantry about a year ago, more so to bring light to my nonprofit organization, the You Are Beautiful Project," she explained.

You Are Beautiful is a project founded by Ross in 2015 to help bring focus to high-risk youths. "The You Are Beautiful Project works with kids who have been fostered, trafficked, homeless, disabled or (who) have lost a parent to military service," she said. "The mission is to help these youths see their self-worth, to know that they are worthy of being loved and that their past does not define their future. Our goal is to help them redefine what their future can look like." More information about the organization can be found at

"I originally was not interested in pageantry, because I did not want my nonprofit to be about that," she added. "But when I realized the platform it could create for those kids, I realized it was worth putting myself out there for it."

Ross is a busy person in addition to her duties as Mrs. Chester County and now Mrs. Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and from Villanova University with a master's degree in nursing, with a specialty in anesthesia. She now works with an anesthesia group in Chester County.

She and her husband, Thomas, are also consultants for a manufacturer of premium skin-care products. Ross also serves as the director of volunteers for My City Gives in Philadelphia, an organization that provides volunteer services for various events and foundations.

"Over the summer there's going to be a lot of preparation for Mrs. America. I do have a lot of personal appearances scheduled," Ross said. "I still have a family, I still work, and I already give back to the community."

For more information about Ross and the pageant, readers may visit


GVWA Posts Summer Camps June 21, 2017

It is not too late for youths to take part in the Summer Nature Day Camps being held at Green Valleys Watershed Association (GVWA). Camps take place at Welkinweir, GVWA's headquarters, a 197-acre nature sanctuary and arboretum that includes ponds, streams, meadows and forests.

Camps began on June 19 and will run weekly on Mondays through Fridays, through Aug. 11. Each camp week has an independent theme and is open to 4-year-olds through seventh-graders. Themes include animal adaptations, water conservation, insects, birds, nature's artists and outdoor survival skills.

Camp days begin at 9 a.m. and run until noon for 4-year-olds and children entering kindergarten. Children entering grades one through seven attend camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Parents who need extended-day activities for their children can register for before-camp care or after-camp care for additional fees.

Dawn White, GVWA's environmental education coordinator, said that the camp activities can be adapted when hot and humid weather hits the area. "(On hot days, children) play some water games and will visit the stream," she explained. "We have an air-conditioned building, so groups can rotate between (outdoor) activities and indoor activities like microscope viewing, crafts and sit-down games."

Campers are grouped by grade levels, and participants learn through hands-on exploration and activities, such as hiking in the woods and meadows of the nature preserve, searching for wildlife in its natural habitats, making nature-inspired art and more. Every Friday, all campers enjoy a campfire with s'mores provided by GVWA. At the end of the day, campers present the highlights of their week for their families.

Each group of campers is led by adult camp counselors. "There is a senior counselor, a junior counselor and volunteers, so there are at least two staff (members) per 13 children," White stated. "For the younger kids, second grade and under, there are at least three staff (members)."

White announced that the following weeks of camp currently have open spaces: for children age 4 and entering kindergarten - all weeks through Aug. 11; for children entering grades one and two - July 5 to 7; for children entering grades three, four and five - July 3, 5 and 7; July 10 to 14; July 17 to 21; July 24 to 28; and July 31 to Aug. 4; and for children entering grades six and seven - July 10 to 14 and July 17 to 21. Children may also be placed on waiting lists for camp weeks that are already closed.

To inquire about availability before registering, readers should contact White at or 610-469-8646. Camp registration procedures are available at

The GVWA also maintains a Summer Nature Day Camp Scholarship Fund to assist families that cannot financially afford to send their children to camp. "We still have nine kids who want to come to camp and are waiting for scholarships," White noted. For information about donating, readers may visit the previously mentioned website and scroll down to "Contribute to Summer Camp Scholarships."

The GVWA and Welkinweir are located in East Nantmeal Township at 1368 Prizer Road, Pottstown. Individuals may visit for more information.


Five Generations Of Family Gather June 21, 2017

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