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Farmers Market Posts Hours April 28, 2017

Lititz Farmers Market, 9 N. Water St., Lititz, will be open every Saturday from May 20 to Oct. 14. The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.

To learn more, visit www.lititzfarmersmarket.com.

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Lancaster County Community Concerts April 20, 2017

About 15 years ago when Barbara Bagri of Mount Joy returned to Lancaster, she learned about the Lancaster County Community Concert Association (LCCCA), which had been offering six quality concerts per season for one low subscription price. "When I saw the price for these concerts, I thought it was unbelievable, and I joined up right away," said Bagri, who has now served on the board of the 501(c)3 for about 10 years.

"Our mission is to promote a love of music," said Bagri of the September to May series, which will begin its 88th season in September. Over the years, the series has brought a variety of musical programs to Lancaster, including orchestras, dance troupes, and world-class pianists. Only a few years back, The Five Browns, piano-playing siblings, graced the Lancaster Mennonite Fine Arts Center stage at 2176 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, where the concerts are held. Other visitors have included Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a South African male choral group that won a Grammy the same week as its appearance in Lancaster. "We try to have an orchestra (each season), but they're very expensive, and we can't have one every season," said Bagri, who listed the Capetown Orchestra among recent visitors. The organization tries to schedule a dance troupe each year as well and recently hosted the Siberian Dance Troupe.

For the 2017-18 season, LCCCA has lined up a variety of talented performers, including vocalists, guitarists, opera singers, dancers, jazz and big band musicians, and a boys' choir. More information may be found at the LCCCA website at www.lccapa.com.

Bagri noted that the schedule will include the Three Redneck Tenors in September and Andy Hackbarth, who plays classical and indie-rock guitar and sings, in early November. Also in November, LCCCA will host the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, subtitled "I've Got a Little Twist." "That is a takeoff on 'Oliver,'" noted Bagri. "I am really looking forward to that show," she added, remarking that she expects to hear music from Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe mixed in with Gilbert and Sullivan.

In March of 2018, LCCCA has lined up Ensemble Espanol, a Spanish Dance Theater experience, and in April 2018, the Side Street Strutters will take to the Fine Arts Center stage. "They will play early New Orleans jazz, Dixieland blues, and big band swing," said Bagri.

The final concert of the season will be held in May 2018, and it will feature the Keystone State Boys Choir. "They are the only boys' choir that has sung on all seven continents, including Antarctica," commented Bagri.

According to Bagri, a season ticket for six concerts may be enjoyed for a nominal price. "We have almost 1,100 subscriptions, and they are mostly local, but we would like to have more," said Bagri, who added that students may receive a discount with identification. Readers who wish to purchase tickets may call 717-392-8423.

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Spring Fling To Introduce "Ice Pool Of Terror" April 20, 2017

"This will be the greatest Spring Fling event to date," asserted Cole Heckaman, a Penn Manor High School junior and a co-coordinator of this year's event, which will be held on Friday, May 5, from 3 to 9 p.m. at Comet Field, located near the high school on Comet Drive, Millersville.

A crew of 95 students will run the event, with teams handling setup, teardown, parking, waste management, and other important tasks. The overall leaders of the event, who were responsible for planning fundraisers, securing sponsors, and scheduling vendors, include seniors Amanda DiCamillo and Cameron Lovett as well as Cole and his classmate Hannah Brown. Amanda and Cameron were on the committee last year, and Cole and Hannah will lead it next year. The overlap of students provides continuity for the event and prepares the following year's leaders to do their jobs well.

"A lot of it (has been) learning how to reach out to companies and take initiative to get things done," Cole said.

Typically, Spring Fling includes a variety of activities, food vendors, and fireworks. This year, wristbands for unlimited access to the inflatables, including an obstacle course, may be purchased for a set fee. Additionally, a previous pair of senior coordinators began a tradition of adding a new contest each year. Last year's was a hot dog eating contest, which will be repeated at the upcoming Spring Fling at approximately 6:30 p.m. Several heats will be held, in which competitors will race to finish a specified number of hot dogs with their buns. The winners of the heats will compete against each other for the prize. The contest will be open to the public. A total of 200 hot dogs and 200 buns have been donated by a local supermarket, so the coordinators hope for a good turnout.

"We expect it to be bigger this year," Cameron remarked.

Amanda and Cameron's addition to Spring Fling is the "ice pool of terror." Dozens of keys will be submerged in a wading pool filled with ice and water. Contestants will fish keys from the water in the hope of finding the key that unlocks a prize box containing cash and other goodies. The pool obtained for the challenge is decorated with cheerful colors and friendly aquatic life, but searching for keys in ice-cold water will be truly terrible, the organizers promised.

A dunk tank will be offered this year, and numerous teachers have bravely agreed to take a turn on the hot - er, wet - seat.

"Even on warm days, the water is cold," Cameron said, recalling his turn in the dunk tank last year.

The main purpose of Spring Fling, the coordinators noted, is to recognize student organizations and help them raise money. At least 25 student groups have submitted applications to sell food or host games at the event. For example, the football team will offer a speed and accuracy throw, and the marching unit will award prizes for tossing balls into instruments.

The fireworks display is expected to begin at 8:45 p.m.

Donations will be accepted for parking at Comet Field. The proceeds will go to the Penn Manor Family Fund, which aids district families in need.

Spring Fling will be held rain or shine, but it will be moved inside the high school, 100 E. Cottage Ave., Millersville, in the event of severe weather. Announcements will be posted at www.pennmanor.net and tweeted by @SpringFlizzle if the event is moved indoors. Folks may follow @SpringFlizzle to receive updates about the event.

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Easter Bunny Visits Hospital April 19, 2017

For more than a decade, the Chester County Sheriff's Office has teamed up with Chester County Hospital to spread cheer in the pediatric and maternity wards during the Easter season. Leading the effort each year is a furry, six-foot rabbit.

On April 13, Cpl. Brad DeSando and Chester County Sheriff Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh escorted the Easter Bunny to the hospital, where visitors, staff, and patients awaited their turns to get photos.

The visit was particularly special for Jodi and Jason Kukulka of West Chester, who had just welcomed a baby girl into the family a day earlier. Their son, Owen, turned 3 on April 16, and they have a photo of his visit with the Easter Bunny at Chester County Hospital when he was born. This time around, Owen got a junior deputy sheriff's pin as well as a stuffed bunny.

In another room with a newborn, DeSando, a certified child-seat technician, noticed that the infant safety seat was not properly set up and worked with the couple to fix it.

Three-day-old Noah Preston, the son of Lai-Onda Welcome, who works for the county's Juvenile Probation Department, and her husband, Titus, got to meet the Easter Bunny on his way out of the hospital. Also, 2-year-old Ameer Amer, son of Mahmoud and Hadeel of West Chester, was excited to meet the Easter Bunny and receive a stuffed rabbit.

The Easter Bunny also posed with Jackie Felicetti, director of the hospital's Human Resources Department. Felicetti recently authored a children's book about eggs that is available in the hospital's gift shop. Proceeds from its sale go entirely to fund improvements to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Sam and Eleanor Meiner founded Easter Bunny Inc. in 1995, receiving 501(c)(3) status in 2001. At the national Sheriff's Conference in Washington, D.C., in 2004, the Meiners began the process of partnering with sheriff's offices in order to extend the organization's mission. Chester County signed on for the following year, receiving a free costume and stuffed bunnies to distribute.

According to the Easter Bunny Inc. website, 100 sheriff's offices and four police departments participated last year, delivering smiles to 9,000 hospitalized children in 29 states.

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Bark For Life Set For April 29 April 13, 2017

Community interest has resulted in the introduction of a Bark For Life event to southern Lancaster County. Relay For Life of Solanco event chair Trudy Grove noted that a Bark For Life has been successful in Lancaster, but Southern End residents wanted one located closer to home. As a result, a Bark For Life event will be held at Legion Memorial Park, 172 S. Lime St., Quarryville, on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration will open at 8 a.m.

Bark For Life will be similar to Relay For Life in that there will be opening and closing ceremonies and participants may stroll around the track, but otherwise, the event will focus primarily on activities for dogs. Fly ball demonstrations will be offered, there will be contests, and prizes will be awarded for cutest dog, biggest dog, smallest dog, and best costume. Every participant will receive a canine-themed goodie bag.

The event will be held rain or shine. People who plan to participate are asked to register in advance at www.relayforlife.org/barksolancopa so the organizers can plan adequately. Day-of registrations will be accepted as well.

"We're excited about the Bark, but not a lot (of people) have signed up," Grove remarked.

There is a cost to participate in Bark For Life, but folks are encouraged to raise funds in excess of the participation fee. The proceeds will support the American Cancer Society (ACS), whose goal is a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Registration is also open for teams who will participate in the Relay For Life event that will be held from 4 p.m. on Friday, June 23, to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at Solanco High School, 585 Solanco Road, Quarryville. Folks may register at www.relayforlife.org/pasolanco. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the event, and those interested may contact ACS community manager Stephanie Delp at 397-3745 or stephanie.delp@cancer.org.

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"Help The Fight" Plans Fundraising Events April 12, 2017

"We help people battling breast cancer pay their bills," said Lynda Charles, who founded Help the Fight with her husband, David. "We have found that most people are one major illness away from bankruptcy."

The organization is dedicated to providing financial support to individuals who are receiving treatment for breast cancer and for those who need the necessary screening process, including mammograms and genetic testing, to detect breast cancer.

"Being able to tell a patient you can help them is the best part (of working for Help the Fight)," said administrative coordinator Susie Dailey.

Help the Fight was created in 2009 after a confluence of events. In 1989, Lynda's mother died from breast cancer at age 49. Twenty years later, David's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then within weeks, a co-worker was also diagnosed with the disease. Lynda recalled her mother's fight to live and saw the financial impact on David's sister, and she wanted to help. Within two and a half weeks, the Charleses and their friends and co-workers put together a bake sale that raised $9,000.

Initially, Lynda ran Help the Fight out of the three-car garage located on the Charles farm outside Millersville. Recently, however, the organization moved into space in a storefront at 143 Oakridge Drive, Mountville, that is nestled between David's two businesses. Lynda is pleased to have her garage back for its intended use, but she is even more excited about Help the Fight's progress.

"We are growing, and we are helping all the local communities," Lynda remarked.

Last year, Help the Fight supported 185 patients. Applicants must provide verification of their diagnosis or testing order, and the information is held in strict confidence. The process is not a long one, and in fact, some applicants have received funds within 12 hours of applying.

"It's difficult to reach out and ask for help, yet that's what we (are here for)," Lynda said. "We want to alleviate even the smallest amount of stress for them."

Bestowing money requires raising funds, and Help the Fight has numerous fundraising events throughout the year. An annual gala affair is held at Spooky Nook in October and features a buffet, prizes, auctions, and dancing.

"We've grown because everyone who comes wants to come again," Lynda said. "We work very hard for that event."

Help the Fight hosts a cash giveaway during the month of June, and entry tickets are on sale now. Orders are also being accepted for a sub and sandwich sale. Orders are due by Thursday, May 11, and deliveries will be made on Thursday, May 18.

On Saturday, April 22, Help the Fight will host a "back to our roots" bake sale and yard sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Yard sale spaces are available for a fee for folks who would like to sell their items. Donations of individually wrapped baked goods for the bake sale are also accepted.

To reserve spaces, order sandwiches, or learn more about Help the Fight, readers may call 455-7095, email helpthefightnow@gmail.com, or visit www.helpthefight.org. Updates are also posted on the organization's Facebook page.

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Volunteers Clean Up Parkesburg April 11, 2017

Parkesburg Community Cleanup Day, held on April 1, brought out people of all ages and all segments of the community to work together for the good of everyone.

The group met at Minch Park and spread out from there, tackling all kinds of cleanup projects. The day was sponsored by the Parkesburg Area Business Association (PABA) and supported by Parkesburg Borough Council. One of the main projects was to clean up the park's playing fields.

"(PABA) and Parkesburg Borough teamed up with the Southern Chester County Babe Ruth League, which plays baseball at the field, and Southern Chester County All-American Football League, which plays football here," PABA member and organizer Jennie Alexander said. Also involved were Boy Scout Pack 135 and Troop 135, Girl Scouts, youths from the Parkesburg Point and interested residents.

"We're working on the fields, getting them ready for the new season, and working all through town picking up trash and replanting the planters," Alexander said.

With water provided by the Keystone Valley Fire Department, the volunteers power washed structures before adding a fresh coat of paint. One focus was the building known as the "block house" at Minch Park, which houses the concession stand, kitchen, storage area and public restroom.

"We have had generous donations from local businesses to get all of this done at no cost to local taxpayers or the borough," Alexander said.

Keeping the community clean and the park ready for use is a benefit to all residents. "This is where the kids play. To have a nice, safe environment for the kids, that's what we're striving for," PABA president Allan Fellman said. "It's a nice little community. We want people to be happy and safe."

Tony Ross, vice president of the Southern Chester County Babe Ruth League, appreciated the help in preparing the ballfields for play. He explained that the league would ordinarily be conditioning the fields on its own. "It's nice when we have the community come together for our kids. It's an unbelievable accomplishment," he said.

With such a good turnout for the cleanup day, PABA is hoping to make this an annual spring effort. "People are coming out to walk the streets and clean up trash and to clean up here at the park," Alexander said.

For more information about PABA and its efforts in the community, readers may visit www.paba-pa.org or search for "Parkesburg Area Business Association" on Facebook.

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Yard Sale Will Fund Mission Trips April 11, 2017

The missions committee of Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church (MOPC) will host a yard sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, inside the fellowship hall of the church, 1199 Valley Road (Route 372), Quarryville. Items donated by church members have been priced and will be displayed in the hall.

"We (will) pretty much have the place packed," said committee member Dan Henry.

As donations have come in, Dan and his wife, Boni, along with other committee members, have organized the items in boxes on the lower level. Before the event, Boy Scout Troop 87 members will carry the boxes up to the fellowship hall.

"They're a big help, making 50 to 60 trips up the stairs," Dan remarked.

The kitchen will be open during the yard sale, with breakfast and lunch foods, as well as beverages, available for purchase.

While the public is invited to shop the sale, community members are also welcome to sell their own items in the parking lot. The missions committee has opted to request a set percentage of sales rather than a flat fee. Folks who would like to reserve a space may call the Henrys at 717-687-8554.

The proceeds from the yard sale will be used to fund two mission trips. A group of adults will be traveling to visit MOPC's sister church in Tamshiyacu, Peru, in early June, and a group of teenagers will attend a Reach Workcamp in Crossville, Tenn., in July.

MOPC has been sending volunteers to Peru since 2005. The church has partnered with First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson City, Mo., where Dan's brother is a pastor. Teams from the two churches meet in Miami and then fly together to Lima, Peru, where they take a smaller plane to Iquitos, which is located on a tributary of the Amazon River. The group stays in Iquitos, but they take a speedboat up the river to Tamshiyacu.

This summer, the group anticipates performing repairs and maintenance on the Tamshiyacu church, school, and pastor's residence, as well as running a Bible school for children. In addition to the work, the visitors will renew friendships established on previous visits, Boni said.

Sending youths to Reach Workcamps is also a tradition at MOPC, with teams participating since 1994. During the weeklong mission of service to low-income communities, the youths clean up and repair homes for individuals in need. They may build ramps, fix roofs, paint interiors and exteriors, tidy flower beds, and groom landscapes. The youths also receive spiritual input during the week.

For the past few years, MOPC's youths have been joined by students from a church in Lebanon County. This year's team of 11 is nearly evenly divided between the two congregations. A relationship between the two entities was formed at a past Reach week, and when the Lebanon church was unable to field a team, the youths who wanted to go traveled with MOPC. The Lebanon participants have actively raised funds for the costs of the trips, Dan noted. With their help, more than 18,000 peanut butter eggs were sold last year, and that number may be exceeded this year. The eggs were sold through Easter and most likely will not be available at the yard sale.

For more information about the yard sale or the mission trips, readers may call the Henrys at the aforementioned number.

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Post 7012 Holds Easter Egg Hunt April 11, 2017

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Summer Camp Programs Set April 6, 2017

Lancaster Country Day School, 725 Hamilton Road, Lancaster, will offer more than 20 week-long summer programs in June, July and August for children ages 3 to 17. Camps will feature a range of topics, including art, animation, dance, robotics, science, sports, theater, and more. Full- and half-days are available, as well as an à la carte option.

Camp programs will include Creative Writing Workshop, Preschool Fun Camp, Shaking Up Shakespeare, LEGO NXT Brick Programming Camp, Soccer Camp, Principles of Engineering Design, and others. To browse the options and register, readers may visit www.lancastercountryday.org/summer.

For more information, readers may contact Kristin Wolanin at wolanink@lancastercountryday.org.

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