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Hope's Closet Sets Hours January 9, 2019

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All men's and women's sweaters in a range of sizes will be available at a special price.

A final clearance sale on Christmas decorations will be held, including tree trimmings, lights, wall and door decorations, table centerpieces, and more. A large selection of scrubs as well as games, toys, and books will be available.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages. Free food and bread will also be available. For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070 or visit "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or at www.pathwaycc.org.

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Faithfully Serving Conestoga Valley December 26, 2018

Organization Brings New Programs To Area

"We have some new programs," said Angela Trout, director of development with Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (CVCCS). Trout was referring specifically to Back-on-Track Financial Coaching and the Rooted After-School Tutoring and Mentoring Program. Back-On-Track just completed its first year at CVCCS. The Rooted program just finished its second year serving Smoketown Elementary School students.

According to Trout, the after-school program began in 2017 under the mentorship of a Center for Champions, based in Harrisburg. "(Center for Champions) sent us a program coordinator who guided us," explained Trout, who added that in 2018 a group of CVCCS staff members began collaborating to run the program.

Currently, the program is serving 13 at-risk Smoketown students in fourth through sixth grades. Volunteer mentors from area churches meet with the students beginning at 3:15 p.m. each Tuesday school is in session from October to May. They spend time in Bible study, and the students read to the mentors and play math games. "The mentors talk (to the students) about Jesus and how Jesus loves us," explained Trout, who added that the program is blessed with more mentors than students this year.

At this time, Rooted is only offered to Smoketown Elementary students who walk to the CVCCS location adjacent to the school at 2420 Gehman Lane, Lancaster, and then are delivered to their homes by bus when the session ends. Trout noted that CVCCS would like to see the program offered in Leola and Brownstown as well, but she added that the expense of materials and solving the transportation issues have prevented Rooted from being offered in more locations. "We are working to strengthen this program now and hoping that in the future we could expand this to other schools," she said.

Back-on-Track kicked off in January 2018 and served its first client in May. Clients must live within or attend a church located within the Conestoga Valley School District. The program involves individual financial coaching for clients who are generally referred by churches. Trout explained that clients of Back-on-Track may not normally qualify for CVCCS services, but they are generally living paycheck to paycheck and may be only one car repair or medical bill from a downward spiral of debt that could eventually lead to homelessness. "(Back-on-Track) is a customized program because each situation is unique and different," explained Trout. "We meet with (the clients) to find out what their needs are."

According to Trout, clients qualify for the program based on specific situations and whether CVCCS is able to assist them. Clients who qualify must agree to attend three one-on-one financial coaching sessions tailored to their specific needs. Trout noted that financial coaches Dottie Slothower and Gayle Smith are often teaching basic financial literacy, including how to make good financial decisions, balance a checkbook, understand compound interest, and spot predatory loan practices.

Both Slothower and Smith have been educating themselves about training programs and affordable housing issues because many of the clients are considered underemployed. Programs such as the Workforce Talent 2020 Project administered by the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Foundation, New Choices for Development, and CareerLink can help people access free training. Affordable housing help can often be obtained from Homes for Hope, Tabor, or Rapid Rehousing.

Because CVCCS wants to help the clients reduce debt, clients will be allotted up to three visits at the CVCCS Food Pantry and the CVCCS Clothing Bank.

In addition to the food pantry and clothing bank, CVCCS operates a Weekend Blessings program, which provides food items to students throughout the school district who qualify for free and reduced lunches. The organization also held a Christmas party for clients on Dec. 15, 2018.

Readers who would like to learn more about CVCCS and its programs may search for CVCCS on Facebook, visit http://cvccs.org, or call 717-208-3711.

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Hope's Closet To Open Doors December 26, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All men's and women's sweaters will be available at a special price.

A final clearance sale on Christmas decorations will be held, including tree trimming, lights, wall and door decorations, table centerpieces, and more. A large selection of winter clothing for children as well as games, toys, and books will be available.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages. Free food and bread will also be available. For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070 or visit Hope's Closet-York on Facebook or at www.pathwaycc.org.

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Hope's Closet Sets Hours December 10, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children age 12 and under will be able to buy Christmas gifts from the Children's Secret Gift Shop. All items will be nominally priced.

Men's and women's sweaters and slacks in sizes from extra small to 3X will be available for 50 percent off. Cardigans in various styles, colors, and designs will be available. There will be a large selection of children's winter sweaters, tops, pants, and more, along with a variety of children's games, toys, and books.

There will be a special on Christmas decorations, including tree trimmings, lights, door and wall decorations, table centerpieces, and more.

Attendees may register to win a name-brand set of china or a Christmas gift basket that includes a gift card. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will be also be free food and bread.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook or visit ww.pathwaycc.org.

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Turkey Donations To Benefit Local Families December 6, 2018

York County Food Bank partnered with six area churches for the first-ever Bring Your Turkey to Church Day on Dec. 9.

In celebration of the holidays, the purpose of Bring Your Turkey to Church Day was to help to feed local residents in need. Members of the following churches brought frozen turkeys with them to the service: Chapel Church, 3050 Cape Horn Road, Red Lion; St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 25 Springettsbury Road, York; Unitarian Universalist Church of York, 925 S. George St., York; St. John's Blymire Church, 1009 Blymire Road, Dallastown; St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 947 N. George St., York; and Trinty United Church of Christ, 32 W. Market St., York.

York County Food Bank volunteers were slated to pick up the turkeys from the participating churches and bring them to the food bank.

Community members who would still like to donate a turkey may bring it to the food bank, 254 W. Princess St., York, before Friday, Dec. 14.

All of the turkeys collected will be used to help to provide 1,600 holiday meals packed through the Food Bank's Give A Meal program. The Give A Meal program partners with 10 school districts throughout York County to assure that no family goes to bed hungry this holiday season. Holiday meals are packed and distributed to the school districts, which then give them to families in their area who are in need of a holiday meal.

For more information or to learn how to help, readers may contact Debbie Krout at 717-818-4557 or email debbiek@yorkfoodbank.org.

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Hope's Closet Sets Hours November 21, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children age 12 and under will be able to buy Christmas gifts from the Children's Secret Gift Shop. All items will be nominally priced.

Men's and women's sweaters and slacks will be available for 50 percent off, with sizes from extra-small to 3X. Cardigans in various styles, colors, and designs will be available. There will be a large selection of children's winter sweaters, tops, pants, and more, along with a variety of children's games, toys, and books.

There will be a special on Christmas decorations, including tree trimmings, lights, door and wall decorations, table centerpieces, and more.

Attendees may register to win a name-brand set of china or a Christmas gift basket that includes a gift card. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will also be free food and bread.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Emmanuel's Closet Offers Assistance November 20, 2018

Emmanuel's Closet, a community pantry for people in need, serves the Dallastown Area and Red Lion Area school districts and is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Emmanuel's Closet is located in the basement of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 205 W. Main St., Dallastown. An appointment is required to register before receiving any services.

Donations are requested to meet the needs of the community. Needed items include canned cooked meat, canned beef stew, canned tuna, spaghetti sauce, dry pasta, canned vegetables, soup, canned fruit, hamburger/tuna/chicken stovetop meals, gelatin, pudding, cake and dessert mixes, icing, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, and fruit juice. Monetary donations are also accepted.

All donations can be delivered to St. John's Blymire United Church of Christ, 1009 Blymire Road, Dallastown. For more information or questions, readers may call St. John's church at 717-244-0655.

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Hope's Closet Posts Extended Hours November 7, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Nov. 17, with extended hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Men's and women's sweaters and slacks will be available for 50 percent off. Christmas gifts, decorations, and children's coats and other clothing will be available. Children's games, toys, and books will also be available.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will be free bread.

Shoppers may enter a drawing for a Christmas gift basket, including a gift card. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Faith Harvest Sunday Scheduled November 7, 2018

Spry Church, 50 School St., York, will celebrate Faith Harvest Sunday on Sunday, Nov. 18, at the 9, 9:45, and 11 a.m. worship services. Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items. The items will help stock the church's food pantry, which serves many families of the community each week. Faith Harvest Sunday will be a day for attendees to give thanks to God for all He has given them.

Anyone needing assistance from the food pantry may contact the church office at 717-741-1429 on or before any Wednesday for pickup on Thursday morning between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. If this time is not suitable, the food pantry is also open on the second Monday of each month for pickups between 6 and 7 p.m. To reserve food to pick up at this time, readers may call the office any time before the Monday pickup time.

Spry Church welcomes the public to attend its worship services and events. For more information, readers may email office@sprychurch.com.

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Food Giveaway Event Slated October 31, 2018

Pleasant Grove Church, 850 Pleasant Grove Road, York Haven, will host a free community event on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m. in the church basement.

The church will provide items to complete community members' Thanksgiving meals. Items will include canned peas, corn, string beans, and yams; instant potatoes; cranberry jelly; biscuit mix; gravy; stuffing; pie filling; gelatin dessert or pudding mix; and hot chocolate mix. No turkey will be available.

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Bazaar To Benefit Food Bank October 26, 2018

Connie Shartle and Sue Rohrer have been crafting once a week for about 10 years. Seven years ago, they decided to invite some of their friends to join them in a Christmas Bazaar. This year's Old-Fashioned Christmas Bazaar Drop-In, which is open to the public, will take place at the home of Connie and Dan Shartle, 256 Old Delp Road, Lancaster, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Attendees who bring food items for the Lititz Warwick Community Food Bank will be entered to win a gift basket.

This year, some of the vendors include Beth Beyer of Manheim, Jen Eberly of Lititz, Liza Peachey of Elizabethtown, Christina Bonner of Lititz, Linda Queen of Columbia, Ellen Howard of Lebanon, Connie Shartle of Manheim Township, and Sue Rohrer of Lititz. Items available for purchase will include jewelry, baked goods, crocheted/sewn items, floral arrangements, Christmas ornaments and decorations, and more.

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Hope's Closet Posts Extended Hours October 25, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Nov. 3, with extended hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A special will be offered on men's and women's sweaters and slacks, which will be available for 50 percent off. Christmas gifts, decorations, and children's coats and other clothing will be available.

Free clothing items will be available for people of all ages, and there will be free bread.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Church Sets Food, Clothing Distribution October 23, 2018

St. Paul's Evangelical Congregational Church, 2120 Main St., Rothsville, will offer free food, shoes, hats, gloves, and scarves to people in need.

The giveaway event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Yard Sale To Benefit Free Pantry October 5, 2018

The Little Free Pantry of Salem Lutheran Church of Kissel Hill will be supported by a benefit yard sale to be held on Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the rain dates of Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19 and 20. The sale will be held at the home of Mel and Sue Rohrer, 635 Kissel Hill Road, Lititz, next to the Lititz Public Library.

The yard sale was the idea of 12-year-old Phillip Bonner, the Rohrers' grandson, who was recently hospitalized for almost one year. Thankful for the support he received from the Warwick Released Time staff and students from Salem Lutheran and Kissel Hill Elementary, as well as prayer support from the church and the community, Phillip decided to give back.

Phillip held a yard sale over the summer, which netted a small amount for the pantry. He then asked his grandparents to hold another yard sale so that more funds could be raised. All monies from his stand will be donated to the Little Free Pantry, an outreach of Salem Lutheran.

Anyone can access the free pantry on the porch of the church, 26 Owl Hill Road, Lititz, 24 hours a day. The motto is "Give what you can and take what you need."

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Salem UMC To Host Giveaway October 4, 2018

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Salem United Methodist Church (UMC), 140 N. Penn St., Manheim, will spread love by hosting a giveaway of shoes, coats, hats, and children's books from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Anyone in the community is welcome to browse the selection and take what they need. Shoes and coats will be available in a variety of sizes for infants through adults.

Karen Potter, who organizes the event along with the members of the church's Wrestling With Grace Sunday school class and the Salem Family Ministries committee, said that this will be the third year for the giveaway. Potter came up with the idea while going through a book study at church. "It was about doing something for others, so I thought, 'Well, what can I do?'" recalled Potter. Serving at the Manheim Central Food Pantry made Potter keenly aware of - and eager to help meet - the existing and growing needs of local residents.

In its first year, the event featured only shoes and was coined Salem Shoes for the Soul. After that event was met with such success, organizers decided to expand and offer coats, hats, and children's books for the event's second year. Hats available at the giveaway are created by members of the Knit Wits, a knitting ministry that meets at the church on a monthly basis to knit, crochet, and loom items to distribute to folks in need.

Donations of new and gently used shoes, coats, and children's books for the giveaway are welcome and may be dropped off at Salem UMC on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Financial donations to purchase new items to help those in need are also accepted.

The giveaway is being hosted in conjunction with Wednesday Night Supper, which takes place on a weekly basis at the church from September to May. Meals are served free of charge at 5:15 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.

"At Salem we try to be the church instead of simply coming to the church," explained pastor John Laughlin. "(Methodism founder) John Wesley said that we know God with our heads, we love God with our hearts, and we serve Him with our hands. This giveaway is just a natural outreach we can do for our community."

Salem UMC holds a weekly traditional worship service at 9 a.m. and a contemporary service at 11:15 a.m. Sunday school classes for people of all ages are offered at 10:15 a.m. To learn more about the church, readers may call 717-665-2331 or visit https://salemumcmanheim.org.

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Hope's Closet Posts Hours September 26, 2018

Hope's Closet at Pathway Community Church, 1731 W. Philadelphia St., York, will be open on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope's Closet will offer a sale on men and women's sweaters and slacks. All styles and colors of men's and women's sweaters in sizes from extra small to 3X will be available.

The children's department features clothes, games, toys and books. Household items include curtains, bedding, glassware, cookware, shelves, and more. A variety of Christmas decorations, including ornaments, lights, and gift items, will be available.

Free clothing items are available for people of all ages, along with free bread.

For more information, readers may call Pathway Church at 717-793-8070, search for "Hope's Closet-York" on Facebook, or visit www.pathwaycc.org.

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Donations To Benefit Food Pantry September 20, 2018

Garden Spot Village, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland, will collect nonperishable food items for the New Holland Food Pantry during the New Holland Farmers Fair and parade on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Volunteers walking with the Garden Spot Village float will accept food during the parade. Donations may also be dropped off at the Garden Spot Village booth on South Roberts Avenue throughout the fair, which is slated for Oct. 3 through Saturday, Oct. 6.

The community is invited to donate canned goods, laundry detergent, and personal hygiene products. Other needs include peanut butter, salad dressing, crackers, canned vegetables, and more. To view a list of current needs, readers may visit https://elancocross.org/what-we-do/food-nutrition-programs/.

For more information, readers may call 717-355-6000.

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Trinity AG Distributes Free Food At Melton Center September 11, 2018

As part of the Trinity Compassion Ministries (TCM) program at Trinity Assembly of God (AG), free food is now being distributed every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Charles A. Melton Arts and Education Center, a nonprofit community center located at 501 E. Miner St., West Chester.

Visitors will receive a bag of nonperishable food, as well as frozen food donated by local convenience stores. No proof of income or residency is required.

"We are giving away canned foods and nonperishable food, and we have them prepacked in bags, so people can just pick them up," explained Caleb Gudgeon, director of TCM. "(However), if people just need canned vegetables, they can (take those); it's very informal.

"We are also giving out frozen breakfast sandwiches, chicken bites and soft pretzels," he added.

At this time of year, the volunteers from Trinity AG are stationed outside the Melton Center on Thursday evenings. "Whenever the weather is nice, we will be right outside in the picnic table area," Gudgeon noted. "In the case of inclement weather and when it gets colder, we will move indoors." He added that signs will be posted directing visitors to the food giveaway.

Gudgeon said that people are still learning about the distribution, which officially began on Aug. 23. "People will get to know us, and we'll grow from there," he said.

The food distribution is the latest effort by TCM, whose mission is to serve hungry people in the community through its Joseph's Closet food bank.

Gudgeon explained that volunteers pick up food every day from local restaurants, fast-food establishments, grocery stores and convenience stores. The items are then delivered to partner organizations for distribution in Coatesville, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., among other areas.

"We distribute 2,500 pounds of food a week. We literally feed thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area every single week," said Gudgeon.

The community is invited to help the church with its food ministry. People may donate canned food at any time by placing donations in the waterproof food collection bin located outside the church. Items that the food bank is especially in need of include soup, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly.

The church is in need of volunteer drivers to pick up and deliver food. A driver's license and a clean driving record are required. Volunteers are also being sought to help with the distribution at the Melton Center on Thursday nights.

Trinity AG is located at 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, readers may contact Gudgeon at 610-692-1897 or calebgudgeon@trinityag.org. Those in need of food are also asked to contact Gudgeon.

More information about the church is available at www.trinityag.org or www.facebook.com/TrinityAGWC.

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Grant Provides Van For Food Donation Pickup September 11, 2018

Thanks to a grant from the KTA Funding Hope Foundation, Trinity Assembly of God (AG) has been given a helping hand with its mission to serve hungry people in the community through its Joseph's Closet food bank, part of the church's Trinity Compassion Ministries (TCM) program.

Dave Kovach, president of KTA Funding Hope Foundation, recently visited Trinity AG in West Chester to present the church with a check for $14,000. The funds were used to purchase a 2016 Dodge Ram that is helping to transport food that is donated by local restaurants, fast-food establishments, grocery stores and convenience stores.

"The whole back of the van is used for storage. We pick up food every single day," explained Caleb Gudgeon, TCM director. "We distribute 2,500 pounds of food a week. We literally feed thousands of people in the greater Philadelphia area every single week."

Trinity AG and KTA Foundation logos will eventually be added to the van.

Gudgeon explained that he filled out a grant application at www.ktafundinghope.org, hoping to receive at least part of the money to finance the cost of the van. "I told them that whatever they could do would be helpful," he explained. "They got back to me in a couple weeks, and they said that they wanted to pay for it in full to help out our ministry."

Kovach, a managing partner at Kistler-Tiffany Advisors, explained that the foundation has a mission to provide financial support to individuals and charitable organizations in the community, as well as those that help animals.

"We're a financial planning company, and we created a charitable foundation," Kovach explained. "We do not give to general funds. We want to know that our money is doing something. Buying the van is exactly what we are looking to do. We debated as a board if we were going to give (part) of the money, and we just decided to finance the whole thing."

In addition to the grant to Trinity AG, the foundation recently donated educational materials to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County and provided a grant to Surrey Services for Seniors.

Trinity AG pastor Jimmy Smuda said the van donation was a blessing to the church and the ministry, noting that the church uses three vans to pick up food donations. The items are then delivered to partner organizations for distribution in Coatesville, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., among other areas.

"One of the vans totally broke down. We would have really been stuck had (the foundation) not supplied a new one," he said. "It was perfect timing."

The community is invited to help the church with its food ministry. People may donate canned food at any time by placing donations in the waterproof food collection bin located outside the church. Items that the food bank is especially in need of include soup, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jelly.

The church is also in need of volunteer drivers to pick up and deliver food. A driver's license and a clean driving record are required.

Trinity AG is located at 1022 Pottstown Pike, West Chester. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, readers may contact Gudgeon at 610-692-1897 or calebgudgeon@trinityag.org. Those in need of food are also asked to contact Gudgeon.

More information about the church is available at www.trinityag.org or www.facebook.com/TrinityAGWC.

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Donations Sought To Benefit CVCCS August 29, 2018

A donation drive is taking place in September to benefit the food bank at Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services (CVCCS). The goal of the drive is to decrease the prevalence of hunger and poverty in Lancaster County.

Individuals who donate two cans of food or a set minimum financial amount to CVCCS will receive admission to a performance of the Magic and Wonder Show from Wednesday, Sept. 12, to Wednesday, Sept. 29, at Bird-in-Hand Stage, 2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand. Individuals must present a valid ID at the box office along with their donations.

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