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Issue Home May 24, 2005 Site Home

Spring ASSETS Class Graduates
Sweethearts Honored
Wedding Announced Pratt – Denkenberger
Engagement Announced Elliott – Raymond
GBH Ambulance Gets Service Award
Great Bend/H Ambulance Hosts Open House
Dairy Princess Says “Farewell’”
VFW Post 6223 Hosts District Meeting

Keep Our Children Emotionally Healthy
PARSE Meeting
Blue Ridge Senior Center Update
Association Reaches 1000-Member Goal


Spring ASSETS Class Graduates

Montrose - The TREHAB ASSETS Program graduated its 24th class of small business entrepreneurs from Susquehanna and Wyoming counties during a ceremony held at The Tea Room of the Montrose Bible Conference on Monday, May 9. Some 60 graduates, guests, and program trainers attended the evening dinner and graduation.

TREHAB Executive Director Dennis Phelps welcomed the graduates, who then individually introduced themselves and described their new and/or expanded businesses.

The TREHAB ASSETS Program (A Service for Self-Employment Training Support) is a training, mentoring and technical support program for entrepreneurs in the process of beginning or expanding a small business. ASSETS participants complete an eight-week series of classes held in Susquehanna and Bradford Counties.

The keynote speakers for the event were Susquehanna County Commissioner Roberta Kelly and JamesEtta Reed, division chief of the PA Department of Community & Economic Development.

“I enjoy being in the company of risk-takers, dreamers and doers,” said Commissioner Kelly in congratulating the graduates. After describing some local businesses that had started out small and became very successful, she told the graduates that Susquehanna County is ready to take off economically and that “my success as a county leader is tied to your success.” She concluded by stating that “small business is where America works.”

Members of the ASSETS TREHAB graduating class pictured at the celebration dinner (l-r) are: seated on floor – Lisa Goodman and Nancy Tyler; seated – James Kinsley, Beverly Townsend, Janice Gavern, Caroll Burnham, III, Bettyann Seelenbrandt, Sandra Meixsell, Julia Garner, Cheylyn Adams, Lori Martin; standing – Don Hammernick, ASSETS Program Director Mary Anne Waddington, Phil Baldwin, John Amirault, Scott Doyle, Pat Donohue, TREHAB Executive Director Dennis Phelps, Susquehanna County Commissioner Roberta Kelly, and DCED Division Chief JamesEtta Reed.

Ms. Reed, also using examples of business success, which she termed a “process”, congratulated the graduates because “you have defined your dream, you have articulated it, and you are working to fulfill it.” She concluded her remarks by quoting Sam Walton, successful founder of WalMart, who tells prospective entrepreneurs that they must “commit with passion to your business.”

Mary Anne Waddington, ASSETS Program Director, also congratulated the graduates and presented each with a certificate of completion of the program.

Anyone interested in learning more about the ASSETS-Trehab program should contact Mary Anne Waddington at 278-5225, or 1-800-982-4045, ext 5225.

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Sweethearts Honored

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Graytock, Sr., (above left), Simpson, PA, were recently honored for over fifty-one years of marriage. Jackson Postmaster, Diane Stanley (above right) presented the couple with a framed sheet of the new Love Bouquet stamps. The Graytocks were one of twelve couples who entered the Sweetheart Contest held at the Jackson Post Office.

Andy and Marie met when they were small children. They were married on October 10, 1953 in St. Michael’s Church, Simpson, PA.

Marie is a homemaker and retired after eleven years with the NEIU. Andy is currently a supervisor for Fell Township. He is retired from the Department of the US Army and Army Reserves. He was a member of the Field Artillery, Constabulary Forces in the Occupation of Germany from 1948–1952, served in the Korean War, and Operation Desert Storm. He received his mandatory discharge in 1991.

Andy and Marie are the parents of three children, Andy, Jr., Andrea, and Kathleen. They have one grandchild, four-year old Laura Graytock.

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Wedding Announced Pratt – Denkenberger

Thomas Michael Denkenberger and Kerri Anne Pratt were married on July 10, 2004 by Rev. Ralph Christianson at the First Universalist Church, Brooklyn. The reception was held at the American Legion Gardner Warner Post 154, Elk Lake.

Ruth Sivers, State College, was the maid of honor. The bridesmaids were Michelle Kinder, Bensalem, PA; Jennifer Reed, Hop Bottom; and Sarah Manzer, South Gibson, cousin of the bride.

David Denkenberger, Princeton, NJ, brother of the groom was the best man. Groomsmen were Nate Seymour, Alexandria VA, brother of the groom; Sean Seymour, Berkeley, CA, brother of the groom; and Dustin Pratt, Kingsley, brother of the bride.

The bride is the daughter of Kelly Pratt, Montrose and Markie Pratt, Kingsley. Kerri is a 2000 graduate of Mountain View High School. She graduated in May, 2004 from the Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry with high distinction and a minor in Watersheds and Water Resources. Kerri is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego. Kerri’s environmental chemistry research focuses on the chemistry of particles in the atmosphere using aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

The groom is the son of Charles and Martha Denkenberger, Montrose. Tom is a 2000 graduate of Montrose Area High School. He graduated in May, 2004 from the Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with highest distinction and a minor in Chemistry. Tom is currently pursing a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of California, San Diego, Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Tom’s research attempts to understand the fundamental molecular causes of aging, which if understood, could enable biomedical breakthroughs to improve the quality of life.

For their honeymoon, the couple toured the Canadian Rockies and relaxed while backpacking and fishing in the national parks.

Tom and Kerri Denkenberger currently reside in La Jolla, CA.

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Engagement Announced Elliott – Raymond

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Elliott, Susquehanna, PA proudly announce the engagement of their daughter, Mary Winter-Elliott to Patrick G. Raymond of North Pole, Alaska.

Patrick is the son of Mr. Phillip Raymond, North Pole, Alaska and Mrs. Kathy O’Brien, California.


They are currently together in Norfolk, VA serving their country in the US Navy and will be married here in Susquehanna County on October 15, 2005.

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GBH Ambulance Gets Service Award

On May 14 at the fifth annual EMS Banquet held in Wysox, PA, the Bradford Susquehanna E.M.S. Council awarded the 2005 Outstanding Emergency Medical Service  Award To Great Bend Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance. "In Recognition Of Your Efforts To Provide Emergency Medical Service To The Communities In Your Service Area."

Pictured is the GBHVAS station.

The GBHVAS has been back in service since February 18, 2005. Having (since) been toned out for 98 calls, and having answered to 92 of those calls, with over 94 percent average, this compared to a national average of 70 present calls answered by volunteer ambulance squads. The Great Bend Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance Board of Directors is very proud of their volunteer crews.

The GBHVAS has been serving the area for over 50 years.

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Great Bend/H Ambulance Hosts Open House

On Sunday, May 15, the Great Bend-Hallstead Volunteer Ambulance held its first open house at the Ambulance building on Church St. in Great Bend. Free blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, and assorted health information was made available to the public who visited the facility. Refreshment was supplied by many area vendors and restaurants and in attendance were local government officials of the Boro and Township. Displays of new emergency equipment , two defibrillators donated by the VFW and the American Legion, as well as a new computer donated by the EMS Council and Simmons-Rockwell along with other community businesses. Contributions over the past several months for the new turnout gear equipment were recognized. These contributions were from area businesses and service clubs and are helping the Board of Directors obtain new turnout gear for the volunteer squad.

Pictured (l-r) are: Tony Conarton, President, GBHVA; Tom Lacey, Post 6223 VFW; Rick Rood, Commander, American Legion; Jody Resseguie, Squad Captain, GBHVA.

On hand from the VFW Auxiliary Post 6223 were President Joan Tompkins, Willimina Soller and Treasurer Charlene Jacques presenting a check for the turnout gear. Also in attendance was the Hallstead-Great Bend Civic Club President Annette Senior, Evelyn Galloway, Roberta Lupo, and Dixie Russell. The Civic Club also presented a much appreciated check for the Turnout Gear. Awards were handed out to squad members for different achievements. Games were held for the children in attendance.

The Ambulance Squad is in appreciation for all the donations made to the Open House, and to the support from the community for the fund drive.

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Dairy Princess Says “Farewell’”

It has been an exciting year. I can’t believe that a year has gone by so fast. I would like to thank my Mom and my Dad for being so supportive to me in the last year while I served as Dairy Princess. My Mom has been there through every promotion helping me with my many accomplishments. I would also like to thank Evie Goff and Mary Puzo, County Committee co-chairs. If it weren’t for them I don’t think the things I set out to do could have been possible. Also to my Ambassadors Karley, Karin, and Ashley, thank you for helping with the many promotions we did together and the ones you did on your own.

Each promotion was a different learning experience for me. In one year I did not think I would accomplish so much. There were so many exciting times. I remember my first promotion. It was at the Forest City Regional School. I went to the first graders and made shaker pudding with each student. They were so excited to see a Princess, there were so many questions. One question I will not forget was, “Where did the Dairy Princess come from?” The little boy had never seen a Dairy Princess and he thought that it was the coolest thing in the world to have one in his classroom. After the promotion was over he came up to me and asked for a hug. That will be a forever memory.

Susquehanna County’s Dairy Princess gathered her family for a photo at their family farm in Uniondale. Pictured (l-r) are the Zembrzycki’s, Katelyn, Linda, Amanda, Bernie John, Brian and Bernie.

There were many promotions I enjoyed and will always remember, like the ice cream sundaes we served at the Courthouse in Montrose. It was so neat to meet Commissioner MaryAnn Warren and other important people that work in County Government. Many of the people introduced themselves to me and congratulated me on being the Susquehanna County Dairy Princess.

Another highlight was attending the Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess Seminar. At Seminar there were so many girls, they were friendly and happy to make new friends. After all of the workshops and events at Seminar, as we left all of the girls were each others friends. Seminar was a great experience.

The promotions that were the most fun were the ones done at the Harford Fair, like the Giant Sundae where 500 people came for ice cream. Another was handing out trophies and ribbons at the dairy shows at the Fair and at the 4-H dairy roundups. I loved watching all the 4- Hers wash their cows to get them ready for the show. All the 4-Hers did a wonderful job showing their animals.

Probably one of my biggest accomplishments was working with the Forest City School to get a milk vending machine in the school. Milk vending at my school has been very successful. Other highlights included parades, picnics, school promotions, Day on a Dairy Farm and Dairy Day.

As I say good-bye I would like to tell you a little about my family. I live on a dairy farm in Uniondale with my Mom, Linda; Dad, Bernie; my brothers Brian and Bernie John and my sister Katelyn. We have 125 cows, heifers and calves on our farm and are currently milking 65 cows. Living on our family owned and operated dairy farm, I have found there are many things that need to be done and there is just not enough time in one day to do it all, but my family works hard each and everyday to do the best job possible.

I’m sure the 2005-2006 court will work hard to do their best promoting dairy products. I would like to say to them, “Good luck and congratulations on being part of the Dairy Princess Court.”

Being Dairy Princess, I have had one exciting year. Thank you to all who helped me do dairy promotion work for our local dairy farmers. Representing Susquehanna County as Dairy Princess has been one long journey but every minute of it was worth it.

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VFW Post 6223 Hosts District Meeting

VFW Post 6223 Great Bend/Hallstead 2005 district meeting recently took place at the Great Bend Post. The roast beef dinner was served after the well attended meeting by over 12 Posts. Pictured abover (l-r) are: Post Commander, Edward Arnold; President of Post Auxiliary, Joan Thompkins; 14th District Commander, Deborah Young; State President from Harrisburg, Teresa Grace; Auxiliary District President, Ester Mills.

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Keep Our Children Emotionally Healthy

In 1995 the Susquehanna County Coalition For The Prevention of Child Abuse was formed and in 2000, The Susquehanna County Safe Kids Chapter was started. These two organizations, made up of community members, have done many things in an effort to keep our children safe from harm. The need to educate our community is an ongoing process with both organizations ready and willing to meet the challenge.

One of the most misunderstood areas of harm to our children is emotional and/or mental abuse. This method of abuse has very few, if any, physical signs. There are no broken bones or black and blue marks, but the inward destruction of a child's self esteem and self respect.

Examples of this type of abuse are: name calling, indifference, belittling the child, lack of praise, isolation and deprivation of outward signs of affection such as hugs and kisses. All these things lead to a child that is starved of love and affirmation. Children should not have to guess about their importance to their family, they have a right to know.

Parents, as well as other members of the family and community, such as teachers, must take time to praise children when it is deserved in order to reinforce their self esteem. This is not to mean that children do not require correction. Children crave discipline and structure. When this is accomplished with care and compassion, children have the opportunity to grow up emotionally healthy.

Communities must meet the challenge of keeping our children safe from this type of harm. We have many children who need our help. There are those who suffer daily because of unmet emotional needs. We must help improve their lives. They need to know that there are people who care and are appreciative of their efforts and accomplishments.

Everyone has a part in preventing emotional abuse. Parents, think of your children, teachers, think of your pupils, and community members, think of your grandchild, niece, nephew, and neighborhood children. Come up with positive things to say to them. Give them a hug, give praise whenever possible. Tell children they are special and loved.

These are some ways to prevent emotional abuse and to help victims of this type of abuse heal. Not only will you make a child's day and increase their sense of self respect, but you will feel better about yourself too.

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PARSE Meeting

On May 10, the Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees met at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore. Cynthia Sims gave a reading on the meaning of Memorial Day.

Legislative Chairman Jesse Bacon read a letter he had received from Representative Tina Picket, stating that a yearly Cost of Living Adjustment for state retirees is growing in popularity. Although COLA HB 2496 has virtually died, there is a new bill, HB 132 which also pertains to a yearly COLA for retirees. Mr. Bacon urged members, as well as all state retirees, to continue to write to the legislators. He also suggested we ask other state retiree organizations to participate in soliciting the legislators for a yearly COLA.

Regional Vice President Smith advised members that there will be no changes in retirees’ health benefits.

The next meeting will be held at the Towanda Gun Club on June 14. It is requested that members bring a new retiree to the meeting. The support of all retirees is essential. For more information or to make reservations, contact Susquehanna County Vice President John Benio at 278–2380.

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Blue Ridge Senior Center Update

Recently read that laughing is good exercise - so we have been having a "laugh-in" session before lunch. Don't think it takes off many pounds but we all feel better.

Swimming has started. Quite a few are going. Some say the water is cold - others told me it was great. Guess that old saying is true - "No two people think alike."

Something different. A busload went to the Casino at Monticello, NY. It was a fun day. One could play the machines, watch the horse races, and enjoy the excellent buffet lunch that was included. I heard there were some winners, but no BIG winners. Anyhow everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Mary White and Ruth Button are back. It is good to see them both. Mary had some time in Florida and Ruth was in North Carolina.

Another trip this month; this time to LeRaysville to visit the cheese factory and also Dottie-Lou's.

On the 21st we celebrated Kindergarten Day. We couldn't go to see the children, so Miss Palmer's pre-school group came to see us. There were seven in all. Miss Palmer and her helpers lead the children in singing, they also planted seeds in containers for us to watch grow and enjoy. It was a lively group, they were so adorable, two were babies.

Had a very interesting speaker. Michelle Bernotsky, a nurse from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, spoke on "Overview and Management" in regards to diabetes. Very good speaker, very good information. Even those of us who do not have diabetes, learned a lot.

The fellowship continues. Our last Brown Bag Day of the month was a Pizza Party and Bingo. We always get a large crowd out for this affair. People love pizza and some love playing Bingo.

April Birthdays: Goldie Small, Jim Bender, Don Ritner, Ruth Button, Mary Maston, Helen Elbrecht, Irma Bender and Gerri Munson. It was so good to see Gerri out for lunch one day this month. She has not been up to par, but looked good. We miss you Gerri (Larry too), continue to get well.

Our regular activities continue. We play cards and dominoes, the exercise group meets, council meeting is held to plan our schedule for the coming month, sometimes there is trivia, and always the friendly chatter of many spirited people.

Till next month.

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Association Reaches 1000-Member Goal

On May 16, the 2005 Membership Drive for the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association reached its goal of 1000 members. Administrator/Librarian Susan Stone says, "A huge thank you goes to all of our valued members, and we thank and congratulate Mary Jo Bayer and Judy Decker who led the committee! We depend on the financial support of our members to help us continue to provide excellent library services to the entire county, and to support the Historical Society and museum, despite our lean years for state funding." Local support is one of the factors used to determine the amount of funding provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – the more local support, the more funding received.

Members of the Association support county-wide library services and the county Historical Society. They receive a quarterly newsletter devoted to the Association's activities and events, and are entitled to vote at the annual meeting in January. (The Historical Society has a separate membership for genealogy research and their semi-annual Journal.) Contributions are accepted at any time to help support the Library and Historical Society in your community.

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