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Annual Fundraiser To Feature Vendors, Crafts And More November 12, 2018

Residents of Luther Acres, the Luthercare community in Lititz, have been working for months to prepare items for the upcoming annual Holiday Bazaar. This year, the event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, in the Community Room in the Towne Center, 250 St. Luke Drive, Lititz. Shoppers will be able to pay for their purchases via cash or check at each section of the bazaar or take a slip to the credit card cashier to pay for their purchases there.

A new feature this year is the addition of outside vendors. Some of the crafts to be sold by these vendors include pottery, handcrafted cards, fabric wreaths, watercolor art, hand-painted bibs and aprons, piggy banks, Christmas items, heirloom sewing, kaleidoscope photography, coasters, note cards, ornaments, doll clothes and felted hats, wooden signs, specialty ribbons and bows, quilted runners, hand-beaded purses, and woodwork items.

The Attic Treasures Committee will offer a selection of many gently used household goods and carefully chosen items from Luther Acres residents. The Jewelry Committee members have been sorting and pricing necklaces, bracelets, and earrings to be sold to new users after being donated by residents and their families. The Baked Goods Committee will sell home-baked cakes, cookies, pies, candy, and other goodies in the space of the Pub, located across the hall on Luther Acres' "Main Street" of the Towne Center. Baked goods from Luther Acres residents have been known to sell out before the end of the bazaar.

This year's Craft Section will offer many different items made by Luther Acres residents, including knitted hats and scarves for adults and children, as well as totes of different sizes, decorated wreaths, ornaments, holiday decor, handmade train sets, and more.

The bazaar is a fundraising event that enables the Residents' Council to fulfill its commitment to various causes. The majority of the funds will be directed toward the Luthercare Caring Fund.

In conjunction with the bazaar, the public is invited to a pancake breakfast in Katy's Grill in the Towne Center from 7:30 to 10 a.m. on Nov. 17. Hosted by the Friends of Luther Acres, the breakfast will feature pancakes, sausage, and juice for a set fee.


The GateHouse Promotes Addiction Recovery November 9, 2018

November is set to be a busy month for The GateHouse, whose mission is to restore the human spirit through recovery. On Nov. 1, the organization's main office moved into the fifth floor of the Griest Building, 8 N. Queen St., Lancaster, and the office's previous home at 817 N. Cherry St., Lancaster, is being converted into a center for behavioral health services.

Members of the public may tour the new headquarters from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, as part of the Extraordinary Give. During The GateHouse's ExtraGive Soiree, attendees may enjoy refreshments and learn about the mission, vision, and values the organization has offered since 1972 to Lancaster County residents who struggle with addiction.

Then, on Thanksgiving Eve, which is Wednesday, Nov. 21, The GateHouse will host the 39th annual TurkeyThon from 7 p.m. to midnight. According to development manager Rick Yanchuleff, the day before Thanksgiving has historically seen the heaviest usage of drugs and alcohol by folks who are struggling with the emotions and realities of the holiday. TurkeyThon was created to celebrate recovery through fun, food, and fellowship. A complete turkey dinner will be served, and AA and NA meetings will be held all evening. Breakout sessions will be held on the hour, and some will have guest speakers. Counselors will be available to speak with guests.

Folks may drop in at any time, and there is no charge to participate. Games and other fun activities will be available for children.

"It's a family event," Yanchuleff said. "Addiction affects everyone."

The festivities will take place in a large tent set up on the lawn of The GateHouse Mountville, 465 W. Main St., Mountville. Parking will be located across the street in the lots of Froelich Park and Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ.

The GateHouse is also working to further expand its facilities. Currently, The GateHouse runs a halfway house for approximately 20 men in Lititz and one for about 20 women in Mountville, but a new halfway house will soon be opened in the Rockefeller mansion in Marietta. The new home will have a capacity for 30 women, and the Mountville house will become a facility for men. At all of the houses, clients arrive just after they have completed detox. Once they successfully conclude a 90-day stay, the clients move into one of four transitional living houses in Lancaster city. After they graduate from that stage of the program, clients may live on their own while receiving intensive outpatient treatment.

Yanchuleff noted that the treatment program is customized to each individual. "They're not run through a cookie-cutter process," he said.

The GateHouse is a nonprofit organization that is not specifically faith-based, but God plays an integral role in the recovery process, Yanchuleff said. Clients participate voluntarily; they are not committed. The GateHouse accepts medical assistance and some insurances as well as safe pay. To offset costs and increase awareness of the organization, Yanchuleff is working to develop a donor base.

"Generally, people in recovery know of The GateHouse, but (others) don't," he remarked.

The hope is that through events like the ExtraGive Soiree and TurkeyThon, members of the public will become familiar with The GateHouse and seek out ways to support the organization and its clients.

For more information about The GateHouse, readers may visit or call 717-393-3215. Folks who would like to donate or volunteer may contact Yanchuleff at or 717-205-3026.


Coming Together For Christmas TreE-town November 9, 2018

This year, the Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce (EACC) is spearheading a collaboration between numerous local businesses and organizations to focus holiday efforts under one brand: Christmas TreE-town. EACC executive director Heather Hohenwarter said that the initiative will highlight the many events that take place in the Elizabethtown area during the holiday season.

"The idea behind Christmas TreE-town was to curate the many existing events under one banner," Hohenwarter explained. "It made sense to create a central source of information for families racing to check things off their hectic holiday to-do list, like 'visit Santa,' 'see Christmas lights,' 'buy teachers gifts.' So why not do it all in charming Elizabethtown?"

A website for Christmas TreE-town,, recently launched and includes a comprehensive events calendar, suggested itineraries, and featured events such as the first-ever Star Barn Village Christmas Drive-Through Light Show opening for the season on Friday, Nov. 23, and longtime traditions like the annual Elizabethtown Holiday Parade, which will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. The theme of this year's parade, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas," will also be carried out in the inaugural holiday window decorating contest being coordinated by the Chamber.

Elizabethtown-area businesses may enter the window decorating contest by registering at in order for judges to have a complete list of participants to include in judging. The deadline for completed entries will be Thursday, Nov. 29. Judging will take place between that date and the day of the Holiday Parade, at which the contest winners will be announced. Rep. Dave Hickernell, Cindy Phillips, and Tyler Smith will serve as judges. A cash prize will be awarded to the winner, along with gift baskets to the second- and third-place contestants. Plus, everyone is encouraged to vote for their favorite window display at the "Christmas TreE-town" Facebook page in order to determine the Fan Favorite - the winner of which will also receive a gift basket filled with treats and gift cards to area attractions.

Christmas TreE-town will also feature an array of new decorative banners, flags, and - of course - Christmas trees in the center square to add to the charm of the holiday season in Elizabethtown.

The Christmas TreE-town Express will offer a complimentary bus shuttle for visitors traveling to and from the interactive model railroad displays created by The Train Guys at the Elizabethtown Public Library, 10 S. Market St., and the Masonic Village and Elizabethtown (MV&E) Model Railroad Club at Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive. It will operate on a continuous loop between the library and the Masonic Village Health Care Center parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 1, 8, and 15. On these days, the last shuttle back to the Masonic Village will leave the library at 3:45 p.m.

Additionally, downtown businesses will offer special promotions, sales, and activities during the E-Town Nights Old-Fashioned Christmas celebration on Friday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more details, readers may email, visit, or contact Kelly Fuddy at the EACC at 717-361-7188. Local churches, groups, and businesses with holiday events that they would like to promote are also encouraged to contact the Chamber to have those added to the Christmas TreE-town website calendar.


Chamber Announces Visits From Santa Claus November 8, 2018

The members of the Mount Joy Chamber of Commerce are excited to be hosting visits from Santa Claus once again this year. Santa will be at Chamber member Pies Galore & More, 76 E. Main St., Mount Joy, on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, and Saturday, Dec. 8, from noon to 3 p.m.

Refreshments will be served. Candy canes will be available for children, along with Christmas-themed coloring pages. The coloring pages may also be picked up at the Chamber office, 62 E. Main St., Suite 1, or at Pies Galore & More during regular business hours. The Chamber office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays to Fridays. Pies Galore & More is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays to Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Finished artwork may be returned to Pies Galore & More to be hung up in the windows of the business for the entire Christmas season.

Adults may enter to win a Mount Joy Money gift certificate. Mount Joy Money is a Chamber program that began in 2006 and is designed to keep dollars in Mount Joy. Since 2006, more than $40,000 in Mount Joy Money gift certificates has been sold. For a full list of the participating Chamber members, readers may stop in at the Chamber office.

New for this year, Chamber member Lanco Federal Credit Union in Mount Joy will be gifting those who visit Santa with one 5-by-7-inch photo. Attendees may bring a personal camera to take additional photos.

The Chamber will also be accepting donations of nonperishable food items for the Mount Joy Food Bank from Nov. 24, to Dec. 8 during Pies Galore & More regular hours and during Santa visits. Nonperishable food items may also be dropped off at the Chamber office.

For more details, readers may visit or


Christmas In The Country Set For Nov. 10 November 8, 2018

The 41st annual Christmas in the Country bazaar and craft show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ (UCC), 1850 Marietta Ave., Lancaster. The bazaar typically draws more than 1,000 visitors each year and boasts 60-plus juried crafters who are carefully selected for each new show.

This year's bazaar will include many longtime and new vendors who will feature crafts such as handmade wreaths, baskets, pillows, stained glass decorations, jewelry, paintings and other artwork, doll clothes, holiday and seasonal ornaments and decor, hand-carved wood novelties, and more. In addition to the crafters, the bazaar will include the Apostles Crafters Room, which will offer handmade craft items created throughout the year by church members. There will also be a Corner Cupboard with jams, jellies, candies, and other homemade treats.

Food will be available in the fellowship hall throughout the event. The menu will include soups, sandwiches, hot dogs, barbecue, beverages, and a large variety of homemade baked goods. The soups for sale will be vegetable beef, vegetarian chili, and chicken corn.

An assortment of homemade pies and apple dumplings will once again be made by the Bischoff family and members of the Apostles choir. This year, pie varieties will include apple, blueberry, sweet and sour cherry, and pumpkin. A selection of sugar-free pies and dumplings will also be available.

Throughout the day, special music will be presented in the sanctuary by some of Church of the Apostles' talented musicians and choir members. Visitors are invited to sit, relax, and enjoy the music during shopping breaks.

Proceeds from the food tables, Apostles Crafters, and rental fees will go to the UCC Disaster Ministries Fund, a ministry that responds to the needs of people affected by hurricanes around the world, as well as to outreach missions, community projects, and special needs of the church.

There is no charge to attend Christmas in the Country, and there will be ample parking available at the church. For more information, readers may visit or call the church office at 717-392-5718.


Holiday Shopping Fair To Aid Animal Shelters November 8, 2018

More than 100 vendors will fill the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster, on Saturday, Nov. 17, for the sixth annual Holiday Shopping Fair. The event will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and proceeds will benefit Furever Home Adoption Center and Pet Pantry of Lancaster County.

"We have a really good mixture of crafters, vendors, and (brick-and-mortar) businesses," said fundraising coordinator Tina Krueger.

For the first time in the history of the event, printed and digital photographs with Santa Claus will be available. The shopping fair is pet-friendly, and the photos will be as well. For a small fee, pets and people may pose with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"You can have (photo cards) ready for Christmas," suggested Pet Pantry executive director Melody Sanders.

Another first for the event is the addition of a variety of hot and cold foods for people. The menu is being finalized, but it will represent Lancaster County, Krueger said.

"Come hungry," invited Furever Home executive director MJ Meinzer.

The first 100 adult attendees will receive goodie bags. While admission to the shopping fair is free of charge, attendees are asked to bring items to donate to the two organizations. The wish list includes bleach, toilet paper, paper towels, liquid or powder kitten formula, canned kitten food, dry cat food, and dry dog food.

"This is the first time we're actually having a shortage of dog food," Sanders remarked. The Pet Pantry routinely distributes pet food to more than 200 households from four locations in Lancaster and Chester counties. To encourage contributions, people who donate items at the shopping fair will be rewarded with entries in a prize drawing.

The hosting organizations will also benefit in another way at the event. A company evaluating the user-friendliness of packaging will give a donation to Furever Home and Pet Pantry for each adult age 50 or older who takes a dexterity test.

The proceeds from the shopping fair will be shared between the two organizations, which have begun to work together to meet the needs of cats in Lancaster County. Approximately 110 felines are being cared for by the combined network of foster homes. Furever Home operates a facility at 5984 Main St., East Petersburg, where about 25 cats live without cages as they wait to be adopted. Pet Pantry, located at 26 Millersville Road, Lancaster, can house approximately 35 cats on-site and runs a veterinary suite and a thrift store as well. Eventually, Pet Pantry would like to move to a new facility where the two organizations could combine efforts under one roof.

"We have a lot of duplication of services," Meinzer explained.

Sanders shared that Pet Pantry needs to buy a truck to haul the new mobile unit, which enables veterinarians to offer spay/neuter clinics away from headquarters. Sponsors for the truck are welcome, and Sanders invited folks unable to attend the shopping fair to donate to the Pet Pantry as part of the Extraordinary Give on Friday, Nov. 16. On that day, donations may be made at

Krueger noted that Furever Home and Pet Pantry are always looking for sponsors, volunteers, and donors. For more information, readers may email Krueger at, call Pet Pantry at 717-983-8878, or call Furever Home at 717-560-6400.


Wesley UMC Plans Three Holiday-Related Events November 8, 2018

Wesley United Methodist Church (UMC), 40 W. Main St., Strasburg, is anticipating welcoming community members to three special events.

A home business, craft, and antique show will be held in the fellowship hall and pole barn, beside and behind the church, respectively, on Saturday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"It's Small Business Saturday, and we want to encourage people to stay in town and shop," said church member Kay Graybill.

Nearly 30 vendors are slated to participate in the event, which is new to the church. Previously, the congregation had hosted yard sales in spring and fall. The items at the Nov. 24 event will include kitchen products and cookware, handbags and totes, self-defense equipment, wooden items, knitwear, essential oils, surprise balls, jewelry, neck wraps, makeup and other skin care products, home decor, and gifts for men. Candy and baked goods will be offered, and the kitchen will sell barbecue, hot dogs, and snacks.

The holiday festivities will continue with Breakfast With Santa, an event co-chaired by Graybill and Vickie Buller. The meal will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the fellowship hall. Children age 2 and under will be admitted free of charge, and one price has been set for everyone else. Youngsters attending the event may make crafts and write letters to Santa. There will be a variety of holiday games for attendees to play, and Santa Claus will be available for photos. A full buffet meal will be offered; the menu will include scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit, milk, juice, hot chocolate, and coffee.

"Members of Interact at (Lampeter-Strasburg) High School will help us," Graybill said. "It's a fun morning out."

The bakers of the congregation will spend the month preparing for the annual cookie sale, which will run concurrent with Breakfast With Santa. The church will be open from 8 a.m. to noon as part of the Strasburg Heritage Society's Holiday Home Tour, and baked goods will be available during those four hours. Folks may tour the church, sample cookies that will be for sale, and enjoy coffee during the event.

Last year, church members made more than 216 dozen cookies in about two dozen varieties. Most cookies will be sold by the dozen, while a few will be available in quantities of six.

"I make coconut macaroons because most people don't make them," said cookie coordinator Wanda Albright.

"A group of us gets together to make sandtarts. There are women who have rolled them for years," Graybill commented.

"It's a fun thing to do," Albright added.

Traditionally, the bakers made 90 dozen sandtarts, but this year, that number will be reduced. Previously, the excess cookies were served at the performances of the Christmas pageant, which had been an annual tradition for more than 50 years. Since the pageant has been discontinued, fewer cookies will be needed. Graybill noted that memorabilia from the dramatized retelling of Christ's birth will be on display in the church during the cookie sale.

For more information about any of the upcoming events, readers may call Graybill at 717-371-8753.


Solanco Toy Drive Scheduled November 8, 2018

The 16th annual Solanco Toy Drive has kicked off. New, unwrapped gifts for youngsters are being collected until Friday, Dec. 14, at The Daily Grind, 221 W. Fourth St., Quarryville; Quarryville Family Restaurant, 134 E. State St., Quarryville; and Nickel Mine Floor Covering, 359 Buck Road, Quarryville. Organizer Jodi Conklin requested that each item have a value of at least $10. While gifts will be accepted for all children through age 12, there is an emphasis on ages 6 to 12.

The toys will be distributed at Nickel Mine Floor Covering on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. Solanco Neighborhood Ministries will give vouchers to people in eligible households. Without exception, the vouchers must be presented at the time of distribution to receive toys.

Conklin and her twin girls, Emily and Haley, started the Solanco Toy Drive on the occasion of the twins' 6th birthday. Although Conklin has attempted to step back from leading the effort several times, she has never quite managed to do so.

"I feel at this point it's our responsibility to give back to our community in this way," Conklin explained. "It's a great honor to be able to be a part of something that blesses so many."

She noted that the toy drive has had an immeasurable impact on her family, which also includes a set of twin boys. "It's taught our children to be thankful for their blessings; it's taught them to be aware of their surroundings and to step up when they see a need," Conklin added. "It has brought us close to people that we would never have met otherwise, and it's given us an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with our community."

Conklin and the other volunteers who help to coordinate the event have heard countless stories of how the toy drive has met a need when parents or guardians have felt hopeless. The volunteers strive to conduct the collection and distribution with honor, dignity, and love, Conklin said. She noted that some families that have been recipients of gifts have later been able to give back to the event. "It's a joy to see familiar faces contribute after knowing their struggles in years past," Conklin commented.

For more information about donating to the toy drive, readers may call Conklin at 717-806-2993. Those who would like to receive vouchers may contact Solanco Neighborhood Ministries at 717-786-4308 or


Tour To Steep Visitors In History And Holiday Spirit November 7, 2018

Like many of the homes in Marietta, Cynthia McComsey's East Market Street abode boasts quite an expansive history. Stone mason Joseph Hopkins built the two-story log cabin between 1810 and 1815 after having purchased the plot of land from Andrew and Esther Hershey. The Hersheys had bought the plot in 1804 from none other than David Cook, the founder of Marietta's east section, known as New Haven. Hopkins covered the cabin with pebble-dash stucco before selling it to grocer Samuel Hipple, who split the property into two rental units.

Today, utilizing furniture that provides maximal storage space is McComsey's key for making the most of the small space. The home's interior features antique furnishings, redware and yellowware, and a collection of original pieces of artwork, amidst the low ceilings and wide-plank flooring. Her house will be one of the eight private homes appearing on the 53rd annual Marietta Candlelight Tour of Homes, set to take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Presented by Marietta Restoration Associates (MRA), the self-guided tour will feature local homes as well as historic buildings including St. John's Episcopal Church, Union Meeting House, Old Town Hall, Susquehanna Waldorf School, First National Bank, the Marietta Community House, and Pioneer Fire Company. According to tour chairperson Darlene Pruett, it is the longest continually running holiday home tour in Lancaster County.

Tickets may be purchased in advance for a discount at or at any of the locations listed on the website or by calling 717-426-4048 by Thursday, Nov. 29. Tickets may be purchased in Marietta on the day of the event at the Donegal Intermediate School parking lot, 1177 River Road, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as at Old Town Hall Museum, North Waterford and Walnut streets, and First National Bank, 100 E. Market St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Separate prices have been set for tickets purchased in advance and those bought on the day of the event.

The tour will be held regardless of weather. Parking and shuttle bus service will be available from various stops throughout Marietta. A map is provided with the tour program.

All proceeds from the tour will benefit the MRA and its efforts to restore and preserve the historic buildings in Marietta.

Marietta has several special holiday events planned in the weeks leading up to the tour as well, beginning with a Christmas decorating demonstration on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at the Union Meeting House, 82 N. Waterford Ave., Marietta. The event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, the community is invited to the annual tree lighting celebration at Waterford and New Haven streets. At 7 p.m., the Donegal Alumni Band will perform Christmas carols at the Old Town Hall, 3 W. Walnut St., Marietta, followed by a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and their elves at the Union Meeting House.

Borough residents and business owners are also welcome to take part in an outdoor Christmas decorating contest. Illumination judging is set to take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, and regular judging will occur from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 1. Ribbons will be awarded in the following categories: Entryway, Natural Materials, Children's Fantasy, Illumination, Businesses, and Best of Show. The ribbons will be displayed outside of the winning homes during the Candlelight Tour of Homes.


Donations Of Winter Items Sought November 7, 2018

Senior Commons at Powder Mill, 1775 Powder Mill Road, York, will collect winter items on behalf of Veterans Helping Hand Inc. to help homeless veterans and those in need. From Tuesday, Nov. 27, to Saturday, Dec. 15, new or gently used gloves, hats, and scarves will be accepted at Senior Commons at Powder Mill from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, readers may visit


2018-19 LIHEAP Applications Open November 7, 2018

The start of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) application process for the 2018-19 season has begun. LIHEAP provides assistance for home heating bills to keep low-income Pennsylvanians warm and safe during the winter months. Assistance is available for renters and homeowners. Crisis and regular LIHEAP applications are available now through Friday, April 12, 2019.

During the 2017-18 LIHEAP season, 344,008 households statewide received nearly $116 million in LIHEAP cash benefits. These households received an average season benefit of $337. LIHEAP benefits are paid directly to the utility company.

Consumers are encouraged to enroll in LIHEAP and to explore other assistance programs available from their utilities and various nonprofit groups. Combined, these many different resources help hundreds of thousands of households and families across the commonwealth every year.

The program's goal is to prevent LIHEAP customers from entering the winter season with shut-off utilities. Eligibility for the 2018-19 LIHEAP season is set at 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines.

Online applications for LIHEAP can be completed at Paper applications are available through local county assistance offices. For helpful tips on keeping warm throughout the winter while saving money on utility costs, readers may visit

For more information on LIHEAP, readers may visit


Holiday Tree Tips November 7, 2018

Natural Christmas tree aficionados love the authenticity such trees provide during the holiday season. Natural trees also provide a unique aroma that can make holiday celebrations feel more homey. A few simple strategies can help holiday revelers ensure their Christmas trees make it through the holiday season unscathed.

When purchasing natural trees, holiday celebrants, especially those who like to buy their trees in early December, may be concerned about keeping their trees fresh throughout the holiday season. Several tips can help trees last until the final present is unwrapped and the last of the egg nog has been consumed.

The first tip is to buy a freshly cut tree. Whenever possible, people should cut their own trees. This ensures that the tree they bring home is fresh, increasing the chances it will remain so throughout the season. If it is not possible to cut one's own tree, the National Fire Protection Association notes that fresh trees should have green needles that do not come off when touched. Trees that appear to be dried out or those that shed needles when touched should be avoided.

The Tree Care Industry Association advises consumers to protect their Christmas trees as they transport them home. The tree should be wrapped in a plastic wrap so it makes it home damage-free. A damaged tree might not make it through the holiday season.

Pre-cut trees should be cut again before leaving the lot. Pre-cut trees can make it through the holiday season looking their best, but buyers should request that employees cut as much as two inches off the bottom of the tree before leaving the lot. Once trees are cut, sap begins to seal their base, making it hard for them to absorb water. By requesting that between one and two inches be removed from the bottom of the tree at the time of purchase, buyers are ensuring their trees will be able to absorb the water they will need to make it through the season when they get home.

To prevent the base of the tree from drying out, the tree should be placed in water the moment it gets home. Freshly cut trees may initially need the water in their tree stands filled in the morning and then again in the evening. As the season progresses trees likely will not need their stands filled more than once per day.

The tree should be placed away from heat sources. Placing trees away from heat sources, such as radiators, fireplaces, heating vents, and lights, reduces the likelihood that trees will dry out and also reduces the risk of fire.


Making Lighting Displays Safer November 7, 2018

Lighting displays are one of the many things that help make the holiday season a special time of year. Holiday lighting displays present a perfect opportunity for communities and individuals to showcase their festive sides.

Safety should always be a priority when stringing holiday lights both inside and outside a home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes that each year between 2009 and 2014, fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees. Lighting displays strung on home exteriors also can pose safety risks if homeowners do not exercise caution. Fortunately, various strategies can help homeowners safely decorate their homes' interiors and exteriors this holiday season.

The NFPA recommends celebrants who prefer natural Christmas trees choose ones with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Dry trees are more likely to catch fire than freshly cut trees. Adding water to the tree stand each day will keep trees fresher longer. When placing the tree, avoid placing it too close to heat sources, making sure it is at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, and lights.

All lights, including those going on trees inside a home and those being strung outside, should be inspected prior to being strung. Owners should look for any worn or broken cords and replace any defected lights.

When stringing lights, individuals should always work with at least one other person. This makes it safe for homeowners who must climb ladders to string lights on especially tall trees and/or on their home exteriors.

People should avoid working outdoors in inclement weather. The weather during the holiday season can sometimes be unpleasant or unpredictable. People should check the forecast before stringing exterior lights to ensure Mother Nature will not pose a threat. They should avoid hanging lights if the forecast predicts wet, icy, or windy conditions that can make ladders unstable.

Individuals should turn lights off when going to bed and/or leaving the house. Interior and exterior holiday lights should not be left on when no one is home or everyone inside is sleeping. If left on overnight or when no one is home, lights may contribute to fires that damage homes and may even prove fatal.

Holiday lighting displays help make this time of year special. Following some simple safety procedures when decorating with lights can ensure everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday season.


Annual Gift Fair Slated November 6, 2018

Gifts That Give Hope will hold its annual Gift Fair on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Farm and Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road, Lancaster.

Thirty local, national, and international nonprofits will offer opportunities to purchase alternative gifts that will directly benefit the organizations' missions. Shoppers who purchase gifts will receive greeting cards to give to loved ones. The Marketplace will feature tangible gift items available for purchase; these items will be social enterprise, fair-trade, or both. The event will also feature family-friendly activities and local food vendors.

After the Gift Fair, alternative gift items will be available for purchase online through Monday, Dec. 31. For more details, visit


Woodcrest Villa Plans Craft Event November 2, 2018

The crafters group at Woodcrest Villa will host its third annual craft event on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the VIVA Centre's Gamber Auditorium, 2001 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. Staff members, residents, and their relatives will also take part, and hot food and baked goods will be available for purchase.

Proceeds from the event will support the benevolence fund of Mennonite Communities. For more information, readers may call Shirl Fitzsimmons at 717-984-2720.


Mount Hope Sets Bazaar, Open House November 1, 2018

Mount Hope Nazarene Retirement Community, 3026 Mount Hope Home Road, Manheim, will hold a holiday bazaar and open house on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first floor in the resident dining hall.

Gift purchases will be available via cash and carry and preorder sales. Vendors will sell beauty items, handmade cards and crafts, jewelry, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and more. Homemade baked goods and other treats will be for sale.

Proceeds will benefit activities for Mount Hope residents. Tours will be available upon request.

Also, Mount Hope recognizes the generosity of attendees of its benefit dinner on Oct. 20 at Chiques Church of the Brethren.

Individuals are welcome to donate to Mount Hope during the Extraordinary Give on Friday, Nov. 16, by visiting


Archery Hunts Rescheduled For Silver Mine Park November 1, 2018

Permits Established For Hunting, Vending, And Firewood Collection

The response to the archery hunts scheduled for Pequea Township's Silver Mine Park, 200 Silver Mine Road, Conestoga, was predominantly positive. However, as a result of a legal challenge, the hunt was canceled, and all participants' entry fees were refunded. Hunters may rejoice, though, as another hunt has been scheduled and a new permitting process has been established.

The hunt will be held during the Pennsylvania Game Commission's late archery season on Wednesday, Dec. 26, through Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Hunting will be authorized with a Pequea Township Wildlife Management Archery Hunt permit, and only 96 permits will be issued through a random drawing. Successful applicants must be properly licensed to participate on the days of the hunt. Archery hunters must possess a valid archery license and a valid antlerless deer license for Wildlife Management Unit 5B. A fee for the wildlife management permit was established by the board of supervisors during the Oct. 17 public meeting.

The decision to host the hunt in the 67-acre north portion of the park was approved unanimously by the board of supervisors. Cynthia Evans-Herr, vice chair of the board of supervisors and secretary of the Pequea Township Parks and Recreation Board, noted that the park and the surrounding community are overrun by deer. According to her research, 640 acres of land are needed to healthfully sustain 30 deer. In comparison, more than 30 deer have been counted in the park. When the deer are not destroying farmers' corn and soybean crops, they are eating the native plants in the forests, making room for the invasion of nonnative species.

"Our forest is full of invasives," Evans-Herr lamented. "We need to do what is necessary to manage our resources."

Hunters who want to purchase a wildlife permit must submit a standard postcard with their name, complete mailing address, phone number, hunting license number, and anterless deer license number for Wildlife Management Unit 5B, as well as the words "Wildlife Management Archery Hunt - Late Season." Only one application per hunter may be submitted. The cards must be mailed to Pequea Township, 1028 Millwood Road, Willow Street, PA 17584 by Monday, Nov. 19. A drawing will be held at the park barn at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, with Lancaster County treasurer Amber Martin participating. Successful applicants will be notified by mail; those in attendance may obtain their permits that night; at the barn at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26; or on the morning of each hunt day.

In addition to establishing the hunting permit, Pequea Township has created permits for firewood and vendors. With a firewood permit, folks may collect downed wood in the park for their personal use. Standing trees may not be cut, and each permit will allow up to two cords of wood for one fee. Gleaners may not drive into the forests, but wheelbarrows will be allowed.

"There's a lot of hardwood along the roads," Evans-Herr remarked. "It's a lot of wood if someone wants to be industrious."

The vendor permit will give permission for sellers to offer food, beverages, or other items at the park. Evans-Herr noted that of the three, this permit has received the most attention on the park's Facebook page.

For more information about the hunt or the permits, readers may call Pequea Township Parks and Recreation Board chair Tim Weaver at 717-672-1479.


Creating From The Heart October 31, 2018

The crafters of Woodcrest Villa spend a lot of time in stitches, of both the sewing and laughing varieties.

"We don't only work, but we enjoy what we're doing. We laugh and talk," said Hilma Mumma.

"And support each other," added Kathy Denlinger. "Not only in the work we do, but also in the benevolent fund for Mennonite Communities."

The members of the crafters group meet year-round on Friday mornings in the craft room on the top floor of the VIVA Centre on Woodcrest Villa's campus. Using a variety of donated materials and having voted on what to make, the volunteers form hundreds of whimsical and practical items that they sell in the craft room and at the craft event they have hosted for the past few years to support the benevolent fund.

"(Even though we laugh a lot), we're serious about our cause," said crafter Anne Fessenden. "A fair amount of the residents have used up all their funds, and they're supported by the benevolent fund."

The community is invited to support the fund by purchasing the group's crafts and other items at the third annual craft event that will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the VIVA Centre's Gamber Auditorium, 2001 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. The crafters will sell walker bags, fall and holiday decor, ornaments, wreaths, small cloth Christmas trees, decorative serving plates, gift card envelopes, gift bags, and more.

Staff members, residents, and their relatives will also take part in the craft event. They are expected to offer jewelry, doll clothes, knitwear, pillows, papercrafts, and wooden items, among others.

Additionally, hot dogs, doughnuts, baked goods, and beverages will be sold.

Cash will be the only accepted form of payment at the craft event.

The crafters noted that their inspiration is nonagenarian and resident Grace Keener. They invite Woodcrest Villa residents to participate in the craft gatherings on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon. Artistic talent is not a requirement for volunteers.

"A lot these ladies have great artistic skills. They're accepting, though, of those of us who don't feel as artistic," crafter Kris Douglas-Kinsey said gratefully.

The craft room is also open throughout the week, and crafters offer services such as gift wrapping, jewelry repair, and the restyling of wreaths and silk flower arrangements.

"Members of our community stop by to see what's going on," said volunteer craft coordinator Shirl Fitzsimmons. "A lot of people buy gifts for family and friends (when they're here)."

For more information about the crafters or the craft event, readers may call Fitzsimmons at 717-984-2720.


Ken's Cancer Fighters To Host Craft Show October 31, 2018

When the members of Ken's Cancer Fighters, a Relay For Life team, were asked why they raise money for the American Cancer Society, co-captain Deb Jones indicated the back of their team T-shirts. There, 20 names were listed under the headings of "in memory of" and "in honor of," up from 16 the previous year.

"We've lost a lot this year," Jones remarked.

"It shows you the scope (of the reach of cancer)," said team member Nancy Yale.

"Everybody's touched by cancer," added Carol Allison, the other co-captain.

The members of Ken's Cancer Fighters host fundraising events throughout the year. They participate in the East Petersburg community yard sale and host an ongoing candy sale. The team will have candy bars in flavors like sea salt caramel, almond toffee, and chocolate mint available for purchase at its annual craft show on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Living Hope Community Church, 2823 Columbia Ave., Lancaster. Also at the event, more than 25 vendors will sell a variety of products, including small tools, jewelry, antiques, yard art, fragranced wax melts, stamped goods, holiday decor, crocheted items, scarves, and more. The team will sell chili and soup by the bowl or quart, along with hot dogs, snacks, coffee, and baked goods.

Last year's craft show brought in $2,000, contributing to the best-ever fundraising total for the team.

"This year, we'll do better," Yale asserted. "We're selling a lot of chocolate. I work in a department with hungry men. That's where my candy bars go."

In addition to selling candy bars, Yale makes yard art that she sells at two events in the spring. She donates all of her proceeds to the team. The team members indicated a desire to add more activities to their fundraising calendar.

"We would like more events to do fundraising instead of the same things," said team member Barb Deery, suggesting that a painting night is in the works.

Folks who would like to be kept up-to-date on fundraising activities for Ken's Cancer Fighters, as well as those who would like to inquire about vending opportunities at the craft show, may call Allison at 717-394-8583.


Dover Library Friends To Offer Santa Letters October 31, 2018

The Dover Area Community Library Friends will offer a fundraiser featuring personalized letters from Santa written to any child or adult. The program will run from Monday, Nov. 12, to Wednesday, Dec. 12. Form letters are available for pickup at the Dover Area Community Library, 3700 Davidsburg Road, Dover. Completed letters should be mailed via the special Santa Express mailbox inside the library.

Details are available with the form letter at the library desk in the Santa packet. Each letter will be handwritten on Christmas stationery, including personal references, and sent through the United States Postal Service promptly after Saturday, Dec. 1, to the recipient's home address.

There is a cost. Proceeds will benefit the Dover Area Community Library.

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