Luehm Family Headed To El Salvador March 22, 2018
After spending the last eight years houseparents at Milton Hershey School, Jeff and Katy Luehm of Hershey are planning to move to El Salvador where they once served as Peace Corps volunteers. This time, they will be working with an organization called The Father's Heart Foundation to help create a sustainable home and community for orphaned children.
The Luehms are working with the founders of The Father's Heart Foundation to raise the funds needed for the next phase of the project and begin to bring kids into family-like homes with houseparents. They seeks donors who want to help provide homes to children in need. Their long-term plan is to create a completely self-sustaining community through investing in an aquaponics agriculture business that will support the operating costs of the organization.
For now, the Luehms seek donors to enable them to build the first residential building and finish the first phase of the aquaponics project. They are looking to form partnerships with individuals and faith communities. The Father's Heart Foundation seeks to raise $400,000 for this next phase of their mission. That money will enable them to build the infrastructure needed to employ up to seven houseparent couples and bring in up to 42 orphaned children.
For more information about The Father's Heart Foundation, readers may visit www.fhfusa.org, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deemer To Release Fifth Book On Manheim History March 22, 2018
"Long ago, someone mentioned to me that Manheim was actually the band capital of Lancaster County (at one point). We've had more bands here than you can shake a stick at," stated Henry E. "Hank" Deemer. Thirty local bands and musical groups are featured in Deemer's fifth and final publication in his series on Manheim history, "The Bygone Musical Bands and Groups of Manheim and a Potpourri of 30 Manheim Incidents/Events, People, Places, and Other Good Stuff From Long (And Not So Long) Ago."
The bands pictured and detailed in the 115-page book cover the period from 1870 to the 1980s. "Small bands were very popular ever since the start of the nation and especially during the Civil War," said Deemer. The Liberty Cornet Band is the earliest band Deemer focused on, and a list of the band's members include last names still familiar in Manheim today, such as Bomberger, Gibble, Witmyer, Shearer, Young, Ensminger, and Danner.
"I began thinking - more and more - about those men of music and what they all did for a living and how they could do both considering the hardships of life in a rural community like Manheim back then," Deemer wrote in part one. He discovered that in the early 1900s a large portion were engaged in Manheim's thriving cigar industry, while others worked as merchants, shoemakers, bakers, laborers, and farmers. According to Deemer, the hourly wage around 1894 was 12 cents, which caused him to marvel at how musicians were able to afford uniforms, instruments, and repairs and to fit in rehearsals and traveling - most likely via horse and wagon - with their work schedules. Records of the Germania Band's performances in 1904 and 1905 included places like Salunga, Brickerville, Mastersonville, and Gettysburg, along with participation in the Landisville Band Fair and the Franklin and Marshall College Parade.
"I know that I have missed (including) dozens (of bands in the book); it's just that I don't know about all of them," noted Deemer.
The "Potpourri" section of the book covers 30 events and various people, places, and things that Deemer says Manheim natives may or may not remember from 1868 to 2017. Dewey Obetz, Christian Bear, Benjamin F. Heiges, George L. Heiges, and Harry Gantz are a few of the local profiles. Photographs of historic buildings, artifacts, signs, advertisements, and more pepper the pages as well.
"In my closing remarks, I'm always hammering away at history being lost. The history of this town is too valuable to lose," said Deemer. "What I've done here is nothing more than a refresher course and hopefully it jogs people's memory."
As of Wednesday, March 28, a limited number of copies of the new publication will be available for the public to purchase at the following Manheim locations: Longenecker's Hardware, 127 Doe Run Road; Sloan's Pharmacy, 73 S. Main St.; and the Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation, 27 Market Square. Proceeds from the sales of the books will benefit the Historic Manheim Preservation Foundation.
Deemer graduated from Manheim Public Schools in 1953, served in the United States Navy until 1957, and graduated from Penn State University in 1961. Today, he is a retired accountant with a lifetime of knowledge and stories about his hometown.
"Fraternal and Beneficial Organizations of Manheim" was released in 2013, followed by "Manheim: A Selected Look Back," "Manheim: One More Look Back," and "Historic and Notable Buildings of Manheim."
To inquire about obtaining copies of Deemer's earlier books, interested individuals may call the foundation at 717-665-5560. Additional details are available at www.manheim1762.org.
Sunflower Wreath Sale Scheduled March 22, 2018
The Amazing Racers Relay For Life team will host a sunflower wreath fundraiser. Handmade wreaths may be ordered until Saturday, April 7. Pick-up will be held on Saturday, May 5.
Proceeds will support the American Cancer Society. To place an order, contact Mandy Salimbeni at email@example.com.
Students Compete In Chemistry Challenge March 22, 2018
On March 5, middle school students from the Lancaster County area demonstrated their knowledge of chemistry concepts, important discoveries, and chemical safety awareness at the local level of national chemistry competition You Be the Chemist Challenge, an academic question-and-answer competition created by the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF). The Challenge aims to engage students in grades five to eight in chemistry through a dynamic event that partners industry members with schools and organizations in the communities in which they operate.
The local-level portion of the Challenge was held at Manheim Central Middle School in Manheim. Students from across Lancaster County participated, totaling 29 students from three schools.
The top four students from the Lancaster County Local Challenge were Bailey Garman, Manheim Central Middle School, first place; James Ellis, Ephrata Middle School, second place; Matt Mercer, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, third place; and Sam Cassidy, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, alternate.
The top three students will advance to the Pennsylvania State Challenge on Saturday, April 14, at Penn State University, Main Campus, 201 Old Main, University Park. The winner of the state competition will move on to compete in the National Challenge on Monday, June 18, in Washington, D.C. There, they will compete with state winners from across the country.
At the national competition, each participant will receive fun prizes, including T-shirts and gift certificates to the Discovery Channel Store. The first through fourth-place winners will also receive scholarships for future educational use. In addition to the Challenge and prizes, each participant and a chaperone will be treated to various activities in the Washington, D.C., area.
For more information about the competition, readers may visit www.chemed.org.
CASA Information Sessions Slated March 22, 2018
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County offers an important way to directly impact the lives of children locally by providing volunteers for children in foster care. No experience is necessary. All that is required is the desire to help the most vulnerable members of the community.
CASA of Lancaster County will offer three information sessions to learn how to become an advocate and a voice for children in foster care. Sessions will be held on Tuesday, April 17, at noon at Paul Davis Restoration, 1704 Hempstead Road, Lancaster; on Tuesday, May 15, at 6 p.m. at CASA, 53 N. Duke St., Suite 218, Lancaster; and on Tuesday, June 19, at noon at Ephrata Rec Center, 130 S. Academy Drive, Ephrata.
The sessions are free and open to the public. Reservations are required due to limited seating. The program will not exceed 60 minutes. To reserve a seat, readers may contact CASA at 717-208-3280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schreiber Center Announces 2018 Ambassadors March 22, 2018
A little girl who suddenly lost the use of her arms and legs when she was 8 months old. A boy born with cerebral palsy. A brother and sister each with their own set of challenges. And a 7-year-old with Down syndrome. The stories among this year's group of Schreiber Ambassadors are all different. But the families have one thing in common: They came to see if Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center could help. They came looking for hope.
The five Ambassadors were introduced on March 24 at Schreiber's 36th annual gala, and each has a story of continuing hope. They include Kami Appleby, Paxton and Giuliana Grasso, Roberto King, and Connery Pham.
Kami is 2 years old and has been receiving services from Schreiber since July 2016, when she became ill with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord. The illness left the previously healthy baby paralyzed from the neck down. Kami has worked through physical and occupational therapy to regain her lost mobility, increase her core strength, and improve her fine motor skills. Her mother, Juliann, says Kami now has enough strength to walk with the aid of a walker and will soon be using forearm crutches.
"Kami has had a wonderful experience so far at Schreiber," Juliann said. "We are so thankful to her therapists for always trying something new with her, to push her further in her recovery. We truly feel like it's a team effort to help her."
Paxton, age 4, was born with a brain hemorrhage that caused hydrocephalus, or swelling on his brain, and has led to him having sensory issues. He has been coming to Schreiber since early 2017 for therapy and to attend Schreiber's S.T.A.R.S. Preschool. He receives occupational therapy to help him work through his sensory issues and to learn how to calm down when he is feeling overwhelmed. Paxton has changed from a quiet, anxious little boy to an outgoing preschooler who looks forward to attending school.
Paxton's older sister, Giuliana, is 5 and was born with Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome. Like many other children her age, Giuliana attends kindergarten and loves macaroni and cheese, playing with Barbies, and dancing. At Schreiber she has begun the work of catching up physically through physical and speech-language therapy.
"Giuliana has made leaps and bounds during her time at Schreiber," Giuliana's mother, Andrea, said. "From being able to communicate her wants and needs to the ability to run and jump and play with her friends, she has become much more independent. The therapists here are exceptional. They are giving her the tools to be successful for years to come."
When Merv and Carolyn King adopted Roberto from Guatemala, they were told the baby had some physical delays because he had been in a crib so much, but it turned out that Roberto had cerebral palsy. Roberto received services through the Intermediate Unit and then through Schreiber. Through hard work, Roberto, now a 12-year-old, has learned to sit, stand with support, and walk with crutches. Sometimes the difficulty of the work can be a struggle to deal with, even for a funny, sociable kid like Roberto.
"He gets pushed to try new things," Carolyn remarked. "Everybody is friendly and understanding when your child (fights against the therapy), and they cheer him back up."
Like Giuliana, Connery has Down syndrome. She plays soccer, likes watching the television show "Max and Ruby," and wants to be a day care teacher when she grows up. Connery has made remarkable progress with Schreiber's occupational and speech-language therapy.
"The level of support and care at Schreiber is so very personal to our family," said Connery's mother, Kara. "The staff is amazing, ready, and eager to help her progress. There is always an element of fun with every session."
The 2018 Ambassadors will participate in a number of events for Schreiber throughout the year. To learn more about the organization, readers may visit www.schreiberpediatric.org and www.facebook.com/schreiberpediatric, follow @SchreiberCenter, or call 717-393-0425.
Historical, Cultural Groups Receive Funds March 21, 2018
State Sen. Andy Dinniman recently announced that eight cultural and historic organizations in Chester County were awarded more than $67,784 in state funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).
The funding comes through the PHMC Cultural and Historical Support Grant Program, which provides support for resources and operating expenses to museum and historical organizations according to a formula based on their size and operating budgets.
Seven organizations in Chester County were awarded the grants. Grants include the following: $7,361 for the American Helicopter Museum, $24,975 for the Chester County Historical Society, $8,277 for the Graystone Society, $4,000 for the Green Valleys Association, $4,078 for Historic Sugartown, $10,651 for Historic Yellow Springs, $4,000 for the Mill at Anselma, and $4,442 for the Wharton Esherick Museum.
The grants were approved at the March 16 meeting of the PHMC. In addition, the PHMC approved two new historical markers in Chester County.
One marker celebrates Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall of Chadds Ford, who were Quaker abolitionists active in the Underground Railroad, collaborating with Thomas Garrett and Harriet Tubman. Their home, Oakdale, located on Hillendale Road, was the first stop north of the Delaware line on the Underground Railroad. The Mendenhalls were charter members of the Longwood Progressive Meeting, which hosted abolitionist speakers such as Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison. Dinah Mendenhall was part of a delegation that met with President Abraham Lincoln to advocate for the abolition of slavery.
Sunset Park in Penn Township also received a historic marker. Sunset Park was a country and bluegrass music venue that operated for more than 50 years. Some of the biggest names in the music business played there, and it became one of the premier venues outside of Nashville. Sunset Park helped spread the popularity of this type of music nationwide. Bluegrass icon Ola Bella Reed was member of the Sunset Park house band.
Starting A Circle Of Hope March 21, 2018
In many cancer treatment facilities, private rooms are assigned to patients for when they receive chemotherapy, but Connie Radziewicz is thankful that her doctor's office has a different setup. "We are in a back room with about 10 chairs all around, so then you get to talk to each other. That's where you get to know each other and love each other," explained Radziewicz, who was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in 2013. "We call ourselves the 'Chemo Sobbies.'"
Radziewicz, who recently had a fifth reoccurrence of cancer, has had multiple surgeries and 30 rounds of chemotherapy in the past few years and is set to go through five more rounds of chemotherapy in the coming weeks. Meeting other women going through treatment and forming a support group fortuitously among themselves has helped her more than she could ever put into words. "Most of them are in their 50s and 60s, but others are in their 20s and 30s," said Radziewicz. "We laugh and we joked and carry on. If you have to be in a place like that, that room is where you want to be."
Inspired by the love and support Radziewicz has felt among those women, she decided to form Circle of Hope, a support group for anyone who has been impacted by cancer. "I realized how much the Chemo Sobbies mean to me, that love and support. We're family," said Radziewicz. Circle of Hope held its first meeting in March and will continue to meet from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month at Wrightsville Assembly of God (AOG), 365 Orange St., Wrightsville, where Radziewicz attends.
The informal gatherings are for men and women of all ages at any point in a journey with cancer - whether they are in treatment or remission themselves or are walking that path alongside of a loved one. Preregistration is not necessary; folks may simply show up.
Radziewicz volunteered with Memorial White Rose Home Health & Hospice and Hospice & Community Care for many years after her mother died of ovarian cancer. "The families felt free to talk to me because they knew that I had been through it with my own mom," she said.
"I would like to make sure that others know that they do not have to walk alone on their journey with cancer, that we would love to be a part of their support system," Radziewicz emphasized, adding that anybody who would like to share their stories or receive support is welcome.
"Cancer doesn't define you; it's how you react to it," she continued. "That's part of what I'm hoping to do with (Circle of Hope) - to have people understand that just because you have this disease doesn't mean you can't live. I choose to live, and I'm grateful just to be alive."
Aside from forming invaluable friendships with people she likely would not have crossed paths with if not for her diagnosis, Radziewicz said that she has also been steadily chipping away at her bucket list. Parasailing and visiting the Creation Museum have been checked off, while snorkeling and visiting the Grand Canyon remain high on her list of things still to try.
Radziewicz and Laurie Salimbeni, a friend from treatment who has since passed away, applied to Camp Mak-A-Dream in Montana and were both accepted. The camp provides medically supervised, cost-free experiences for individuals affected by cancer, and Radziewicz and Salimbeni attended during a week set aside specifically for women with ovarian cancer. "It was awesome," said Radziewicz with a smile. "We were both on chemo at the time and still climbed the butte. I rode a horse for the first time when I was there, too. You can still live your life, even if you have cancer."
Individuals with questions about Circle of Hope may contact Radziewicz at email@example.com or 717-252-1210.
Former Patient Creates Blankets For Children At CHOP March 21, 2018
After spending a great deal of her young life in the Cardiac Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she ultimately received a heart transplant, Allison Carcella learned that long-term patients are in need of comfort whenever possible.
As part of a project titled Alli's Snuzzles, Alli made fleece and flannel blankets that she donated to CHOP for young cardiac patients who have long stays in the hospital.
In lieu of presents for her 15th birthday in January, Alli asked for donations to make the project a reality. "Instead of birthday presents, I asked for fabric and sewing supplies," Alli said. "A lot of my family is good with sewing. We were able to get bolts of fabric and gift cards as well."
Since her birthday, Alli, the daughter of Gina and Chris Carcella of Glenmoore, spent free evenings and weekends creating the blankets with her mom and her sister, Angela.
A majority of the blankets were made of single layers of fleece; the others were made of flannel. "We used fleece material and cut fringes (at the edges) and tied the fringe together to make a decorative border," Gina explained.
"The flannel blankets were made of two layers," Alli added. "We laid out the fabric, pinned them, sewed three of the edges, turned them inside out and finished sewing the other edge," she explained. "We did (the sewing) whenever we had time. If I came home and we had fabric, I would tie (the blankets) while we were watching TV or doing family stuff together."
Both Alli and Gina emphasized that anyone may donate items to CHOP. Specific instructions about donations can be found by visiting www.chop.edu/giving/get-involved and scrolling down to "Donate Items to Child Life" under "More Ways to Get Involved."
For the blanket donation, Alli and her mother had to prewash the blankets in nonfragrant detergent and seal them in plastic bags. Included in the bags were labels that read, "Alli's Snuzzles - A handmade blanket to keep you warm wherever you are," and, "This blanket was made with love by Allison, a heart transplant patient at CHOP in 2014."
"There is a child life specialist who works in the Cardiac Center where (Alli) stayed," Gina stated. "She will store them and hand them out when she sees fit."
Alli was diagnosed with a heart problem at 9 weeks of age. After spending 10 years on various medications, doctors determined that she was in need of new heart in 2013.
At age 11, she spent six months in and out of CHOP and became the first patient to leave CHOP with a left ventricle assist device (VAD). Implanted in the patient's heart, the VAD helps patients survive while they are waiting for a transplant. Alli received her new heart in June of 2014.
Alli, who must return to CHOP on a regular basis for checkups, said she hopes that the blankets will provide comfort to the recipients. "I think it will bring comfort and joy," said Alli. "When I was in the hospital, they gave out pillowcases, which (provided a) little splash of color and they were homemade and cozy. That's kind of what I wanted to do with the Snuzzles.
"It is something I wanted to do," she added. "It's just to help other people."
Alli said that her new heart enables her to enjoy mostly the same activities as other teenagers. Now a ninth-grader at Downingtown High School East, she is a member of the school choir, enjoys art and is helping with costuming for the upcoming school play.
"After (the) transplant, I was able to go on roller coasters (for the first time). Apparently, I am a big adrenaline junkie," she added.
To read about Alli's medical journey, readers may visit www.chop.edu/stories/cardiomyopathy-and-heart-transplant-allisons-story.
Art Program Seeks Participants March 21, 2018
A local group is exploring the possibility of hosting an art program in York in connection with the services of Fine Arts Miracles Inc. The program will be open to adults who are on the autism spectrum; people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; people with physical, emotional or economic challenges; and anyone else who is having difficulty with the activities of daily living.
Anyone interested in participating in the pilot art program may call 717-318-0782 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Callers may leave messages.
WGC Competitive Grants Issued March 21, 2018
Eight York area nonprofits are the recipients of grants from the Women's Giving Circle (WGC) of the York County Community Foundation (YCCF). They were selected as part of the most recent WGC Competitive Grants Program, for a total of $44,400 in grants.
Grants were awarded to City of York's Bureau of Health - Zagster Bike Share Program: $9,000 for one new bike station as part of Year 2 expansion of the pilot program designed to increase recreation-related physical activity and to provide multimodal transportation opportunities; Cultural Alliance of York - CelebrateARTS! MLK, Jr. Celebration: $1,400 to support a new event dedicated to serving children and families living in the York City neighborhoods surrounding the downtown as part of the Cultural Alliance's week of free cultural events in January; Downtown Inc. - Foundry Park Security Camera Project: $2,500 to install high-quality securing camera and monitoring equipment in Foundry Park as part of larger effort to fill gaps in York's downtown security camera infrastructure and improve public safety; and Leadership York/Leadership for Diverse Schools (LDS) - Project TEAM at Spring Grove School District: $1,000 to expand LDS graduates' efforts to create a positive school culture across the Spring Grove School District that supports problem solving, conflict resolution, resiliency, leadership, and anti-bullying.
Grants were also awarded to Watershed Alliance of York - Expansion/Promotion of Codorus Water Trail: $1,000 to build on past efforts to promote the Codorus Creek as a major recreational destination; York Academy - Makerspace Program at Upper School: $10,000 to support acquisition of equipment needed to outfit new makerspace/design center within the new high school (to be opened to students in fall 2018); York College Center for Community Engagement - YCCOSP Generations of Hope: $9,500 for a new program to better prepare York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program recipients for meaningful employment in York and enable them to participate in organizations that shape the future of York City and York County; and York County Bar Foundation - Hard Bargains 1777 public art installation: $10,000 for detailed historical and design development for a large, permanent outdoor public art installation that commemorates the work of the Second Continental Congress in York in the fall of 1777 and highlights the adoption of the Articles of Confederation.
The Women's Giving Circle of the YCCF builds a community of thoughtful, effective philanthropists. They aspire to advance York County's social capital through the Circle's community leadership, charitable investments, and course of study. They forge new relationships among women of diverse ages, interests, and backgrounds. To learn more, readers may visit www.yccf.org.
Adopt A Shelter Pet Day Posted March 21, 2018
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day will be celebrated on Monday, April 30. The community is invited to join the Humane Society and local shelters and fly a Celebration of PAWS flag on April 30 to raise awareness and show support for paws in need.
Each flag purchased will provide 20 meals to shelter animals in Berks and Lancaster counties. To order a flag, readers may visit www.celebrationofpaws.com/fundraising-sales.html.
Free DMV Practice Tests Available March 21, 2018
The Library System, on behalf of The Public Libraries of Lancaster County, has announced a partnership with Driving-Tests.org, a company dedicated to driver safety and education, to offer free Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) practice tests to library patrons. The practice tests are based on the state's actual DMV materials.
Driving-Tests.org provides accessibility tools that let users hear selections read aloud, convert them to MP3, translate pages into other languages, magnify text, and mask portions of the screen for greater visibility on the driving practice tests. The new program will work as an outreach to several groups of patrons, including teenagers, those with disabilities, and seniors who need to take a renewal exam, as well as patrons at every other stage of life.
For direct access to the new resource, readers may visit https://lancasterlibraries.driving-tests.org/pennsylvania/.
VTF Grants Will Serve Veterans March 21, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf announced recently that 13 Pennsylvania counties' Veterans Affairs offices will receive $150,000 in grants and 18 charitable or veteran service organizations will receive $650,000 in grants from the Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF). The fund is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).
The VTF is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver's license or photo ID and also renewing a motor vehicle registration. Additionally, proceeds come from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plate and private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $2,832,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
Grantees slated to receive funding identified $520,193 in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $1.3 million for veterans' initiatives during the next two years.
Up to a total of $150,000 in grant funding was available for new, innovative, or expanded programs or services provided by county directors of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The two areas of emphasis for grantees in this category were veterans' outreach and veterans' courts.
The grantees are Bedford County Office of Veterans Affairs: $5,767 for veterans' outreach equipment; Cambria County Office of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to support veterans' court services; Clarion County Office of Veterans Affairs: $8,500 for veterans' outreach equipment; Clinton County Office of Veterans Affairs: $5,000 for veterans' outreach equipment; Fayette County Office of Veterans Affairs: $14,710 to expand veterans' outreach; Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs: $13,583 to support service dogs for veterans; Juniata County and Mifflin County offices of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $26,000 for veterans' outreach; Lackawanna County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 toward its veterans' court; Lehigh County Office of Veterans Affairs: $10,190 for mental health first aid training; Montgomery County Office of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 for its transportation program; Potter County Office of Veterans Affairs: $11,250 for veterans' outreach events; and Warren County Office of Veterans Affairs: $5,000 for veterans' outreach events.
The VTF grant also identified up to a total of $650,000 in funding available to veteran service organizations and 501(c)(3) charitable organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Funding priorities for grants in this category were veterans' programs focused on transitional housing/community living, unique veteran health services, or other programs addressing newly identified, unmet, or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
Grants are being awarded to American Legion Post 210, Doylestown (Bucks County): $7,500 for veteran outreach events; Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $50,000 for its MilitaryShare program; Community Hope, d/b/a Hope for Veterans, Allentown (Lehigh County): $50,000 to provide low-income veterans and their families with financial assistance; David's Drive 831, Coatesville (Chester County): $15,000 for financial assistance to veterans in need; Dog T.A.G.S., Mechanicsburg (Cumberland County): $49,325 for service dogs to veterans; Meghan Shortt Wilent Foundation, North Wales (Montgomery County): $11,175 for therapeutic services to veterans with post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injuries; Military Assistance Project, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $20,000 to provide free legal services to veterans; Operation Touch of Home, Brodheadsville (Monroe County): $25,000 for essential care packages and emergency financial assistance to veterans in need; Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, Camp Hill (Cumberland County): $45,000 for emergency financial assistance to veterans in need; Safe Harbor Easton, Easton (Northampton County): $40,000 to provide housing services to homeless female veterans; Second Harvest Food Bank, Erie (Erie County): $50,000 for its MilitaryShare program; Travelers Aid Society, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $50,000 to provide transportation assistance to veterans; Veteran Community Initiatives, Johnstown (Cambria County): $50,000 for its Operation Family Caregiver Program, supporting post-9/11 service members and their families; Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $50,000 for its Heroes Matter program, providing emergency assistance to homeless veterans; Veterans Multi-Service Center, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $25,000 for its women veterans' program; Veteran's Helping Hand, York (York County): $32,000 to provide emergency assistance to veterans in need; Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 364, Johnstown (Cambria County): $30,000 to assist and educate veterans on mental health issues; and Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $50,000 to support homeless veterans' reintegration back into society. All grant awards are contingent upon the completion of a fully executed grant agreement.
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the Commonwealth. Tax-deductible donations can be made at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov or mailed to PA Veterans' Trust Fund, Bldg. 0-47 Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003.
To learn more about the VTF, readers may visit www.vtf.pa.gov or follow DMVA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/padmva.
OSHA Campaign Has Launched March 21, 2018
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a regional campaign to raise awareness about the four leading safety hazards in the construction industry. The "Focus Four Hazards" campaign will serve employers and employees in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
From March through June, the campaign will educate employers to recognize, evaluate, and control electrical, struck-by, fall, and caught-in/between hazards. Each month, OSHA representatives will participate in "Toolbox Talk" discussions focused on one of the four hazards.
The campaign is designed to promote and encourage a safe workplace so that employers and employees finish each day without injury. In Pennsylvania, OSHA's Harrisburg area office will work with employers in Adams, Berks, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Mifflin, Perry, and York counties.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, readers may visit www.osha.gov.
Farm Loans Available March 20, 2018
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) servicing Lancaster County has announced that it has funding reserved specifically for use by targeted underserved groups, as well as beginning farmer loans. The loan programs are designed to help farmers purchase and operate family farms.
According to farm loan manager Tiffany Lutz, the loans help to encourage and assist farmers in owning and operating their own farms and ranches, participating in agricultural programs, and becoming integral parts of the agricultural community.
In addition, a portion of funds are reserved for targeted underserved groups, defined by the USDA as women, African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, and Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Funds may be used to purchase or enlarge a farm; purchase easements or rights of way needed in the farm's operation; construct or improve buildings such as a dwelling or barn; promote soil and water conservation; pay closing costs; purchase livestock, farm and home equipment, feed, seed, fuel, fertilizer, or insurance; fund hired labor; and perform other improvements.
Applicants must meet eligibility requirements. Additional information on applications is available at the local FSA office, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, or by calling 717-397-6235, ext. 2.
Crafting A Legacy March 20, 2018
Pat Wise and Kathy Hoffman knew they wanted to do something crafty in their mother Mary's memory after she passed away in 2003. When Mary had been in a nursing home, the sisters made her a neck pillow. After noticing how many other patients could benefit from the same thing, the sisters made at least 50 neck pillows for everyone in Mary's ward in her honor. An earlier project included making satin pillowcases for everyone.
While both of those endeavors proved successful, it was hand-making fidget quilts that Pat and Kathy settled on after Mary passed. "When someone has Alzheimer's, they fidget," explained Pat, who worked as the secretary at Hospice and Community Care for several years. Kathy has volunteered at Hospice since 2003 and said that the idea behind the small, lap-sized quilts is to give a person with Alzheimer's or dementia something to do with their fingers and hands. After making several and giving them to patients at Hospice and Longwood Manor, the sisters received reports back from staff members about what worked and what did not. "Through testing them what we found out was that just a touch of this sometimes brought back a memory," shared Kathy.
Pat and Kathy include various textures and patterns on the quilts as well as a zipper, a Velcro strip, ribbons, and a few soft tags along the edges. "We try to include at least four elements, and it all has to be washable," Pat said. Fabrics might include pieces from children's clothing, part of a textured rug, or a neck tie. "For someone who worked in an office their whole life, seeing a tie (might bring) back memories," Kathy noted.
Each quilt they make includes a tag sewn onto it that says "Mary's Quilt Made With Love." Giving the fidget quilts away at no charge is imperative for the sisters, who said that they simply wanted to honor their mother's memory by doing something for others. "She raised (all six of her children) on her own, and anyone who knew her knows that she was just a really wonderful person," Pat said.
Though the sisters, who grew up in Columbia and now each reside in Maytown, are quick to say that they are not great sewers by any means, they both love making crafts, decorating, and doing things for others. A friend's daughter refers to them as "the real housewives of Maytown."
Pat and Kathy estimate that they have given away 206 fidget quilts since they began creating them in 2016. Their workspace is set up in Pat's bedroom, and they usually commit two days a week to the project with a table temporarily positioned over the bed and sewing machines side by side. Hospice often donates quilts to the ladies for the project, and the pair scours area thrift shops and fabric and craft stores for other materials. "This is the most labor-intensive (project) we've ever done, but also the most rewarding," said Kathy.
At first, Pat and Kathy's fidget quilts were primarily given to Hospice so that Home Hospice team members and volunteers could access them as needed when visiting patients with dementia. However, after connecting with Erica Helmick in volunteer services at Hospice, the quilts have been given to the Alzheimer's Association, Visiting Angels, and to the memory units of a few other local nursing homes. They have also taught the quilt-making technique to their sister who lives in Florida, and she has recently begun making fidget quilts to give away in her community.
Since the fidget quilts are usually distributed to patients by staff members, Pat and Kathy do not get to witness the patients' reactions, but they hear countless stories about how much patients love them. One nurse relayed that the patients quickly became very attached to the quilts, not wanting to part with them at any point.
"We really feel this is our calling," Pat reflected. "Mom would love that we do this."
SECA Will Offer Free ESL And GED Classes March 16, 2018
The Southern End Community Association (SECA) has offered various sports and recreation activities for years. Now, it is adding something less physical to its offerings. In conjunction with Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) and the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, SECA will offer adult educational classes free of charge. All classes will be held at the SECA building, 299 Park Ave., Quarryville.
"We want to offer more programs for the community," explained SECA executive director Nicole Luecker, noting that the idea for the classes came from a Solanco Family Life Network meeting. "If they go well the first time, we will have them again."
Literacy Council instructor Linda Cullen will teach English as a Second Language (ESL) from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from April 10 to June 28. Interested students must attend one of the information sessions, which will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 27 and April 3, and on Thursdays, March 29 and April 5. Participants do not have to know any English to join the class, and those with high proficiency may be referred to volunteer tutors.
Cullen enjoys teaching ESL classes and appreciates diversity in the classroom, as she says that her students do better in that environment. "It's a better class with lots of languages," she said. "Participants can't (resort to) their own language."
Cullen said that many of her students have taken her class in order to improve their job status. Helping folks find and maintain sustainable jobs is one of the goals of the Literacy Council. In addition to employment assistance, the Literacy Council provides individualized services and programs to help adults to achieve their goals, whether they are transitioning to job training or secondary education, acquiring skills to function in their communities, or supporting their children's educational success.
"Our name is a bit of a misnomer," Literacy Council program director Jenny Bair commented. "We go beyond basic reading."
IU 13 instructor Laura Binkley will lead the GED/high school equivalency class. Interested individuals must attend an information session on either Monday, March 26, or Wednesday, March 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. The class will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from April 4 to June 11 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Binkley's goal is to help students acquire the skills they need to pass subject tests. She will teach group lessons and offer independent work. While Binkley will not offer GED testing, she will provide information about exams that will be held in Lancaster in the coming months.
There is no cost to attend the classes, and course materials will be provided. Students must be at least 18 years old and not enrolled in high school. Child care will not be offered during the classes.
For more information, readers may contact Teresa Dolan at email@example.com or 717-786-4308.
Society Receives Book Donations March 16, 2018
Local author Todd Gontz recently donated several copies of his book, "Operation Cinder," to the East Petersburg Historical Society (EPHS), 6045 Lemon St., East Petersburg. The society is open on first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon.
For more information about the book, readers may visit www.operationcinder.com.
This summer, EPHS will host Civil and Revolutionary War encampments. More information is available by searching for "East Petersburg Historical Society" on Facebook.
Donegal Students Assist With Trout Stocking March 16, 2018
Stocking streams with trout in time for fishing season is a community endeavor in Lancaster County, with volunteers, neighbors, and even local students pitching in to help. On March 9, students from the emotional support class at Donegal Intermediate School had the opportunity to assist with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's (PFBC) trout stocking event, which helps to supplement the fish population living in the waterways before opening day on Saturday, March 31.
PFBC Officer Jeffrey Schmidt conducted an interactive presentation in the students' classroom on Feb. 23 in order to prepare them for the task. Schmidt explained the stocking process, which entails using buckets provided by the PFBC to transfer fish from the truck to the waterways. Making sure that the buckets do not come in contact with the receiving water is important, Schmidt said, as to prevent cross-contamination between the water in the creeks and the stocking truck. As with every education program Schmidt presents, he also spoke on boating safety, emphasizing the importance of wearing a personal floatation device/life jacket.
"I have three primary objectives for the student teams," Schmidt said. "Safety first, learn something new in engaging in the outdoors, and take away an earned self-reward in your efforts and accomplishments."
On stocking day, the Donegal students were guided by IU 13 job trainer Becky Surra, who coordinates the students' involvement with PFBC. "This (was) their first time helping, and they (were) really excited," said Surra.
The school van closely followed the PFBC stock truck, with a caravan of vehicles driven by community volunteers behind them as they journeyed from Conoy Township Park to various stops along the Conoy Creek, Donegal Springs Creek, and Chiques Creek.
"The student stocking volunteers are a valued hands-on asset in accomplishing the work to stock trout waters in advance of both the opening day, as well as throughout the spring trout season," Schmidt noted.
Individuals interested in helping with the stocking efforts are welcome to participate on any of the upcoming dates scheduled for northern Lancaster County. The final preseason stock is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 23, at the PPL Service Center, 651 Delp Road, Lancaster, for the Little Conestoga Creek and Swarr Run. An in-season stocking event is planned for Tuesday, April 24, at Conoy Township Park, located along Route 441 in Bainbridge. Additional dates and details are available at the PFBC's website, www.fishandboat.com.
Once the season commences, fishing licenses are required for anyone age 16 and older. In addition, trout anglers age 16 and older must possess a trout/salmon permit to fish for trout. Licenses may be purchased any time either through the Fish and Boat Commission's website or at local issuing agents, including Kinsey's Outdoors, 1660 Steel Way Drive, Mount Joy; Kmart, 1605 S. Market St., Elizabethtown; and Longenecker's Hardware, 127 Doe Run Road, Manheim.
PFBC will host Mentored Youth Trout Days on Saturdays, March 24 and April 7, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On both days, youths age 15 and younger may join an adult angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish stocked trout waters.