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At the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association's annual meeting, held on January 27 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Hall in Montrose, a standing-room-only crowd listened to annual reports, enjoyed refreshments, and learned fascinating facts about the Starrucca Viaduct.
Pictured (l-r) are members of the 2007 Board of Directors: top row – Brenna Aileo, Mary Jo Bayer, Ellen O'Malley, Judy Decker, Cathy Chiarella, Carol Carpenter; middle row – Jed Garm, Jeff Loomis, Duane Hinds, Ron Smith, Kim Harwood; front row – Cornelia Page, Eleanor McKeage, Alice Wood, Susan Stone (Administrator/Librarian). Not shown: Gladys Bennett, Mary Ann Warren.
Rev. Cesaretti welcomed everyone to St. Paul's community hall. The hall was donated by a member of the community 80 years ago, and he emphasized how lucky we are to have visionary benefactors who create institutions – like the library as well – to benefit generations into the future. Mrs. Connie Page, President of the Board of Directors, said, "In this, the Association's 100th year, I am delighted to call the annual meeting to order." She then asked Treasurer Duane Hinds to give the financial report. Mr. Hinds said that he was happy to repeat his predecessor's comments that Administrator/Librarian Susan Stone and her staff do a remarkable job of adhering to the budget and spending it wisely.
Mrs. Page then gave the President's report. She thanked the many people who make the Association successful, and asked the staff and board to rise and be recognized. Mrs. Page touched on the highlights of the year, including the auction (to be held again this year on April 14) and the Blueberry Festival (which raised an all-time high of $55,000). She also drew the audience's attention to the membership drive card, which contrasts figures from 1907 with today's. Mrs. Page then invited Mr. Kim Harwood, chair of the New Library Committee, to address the audience. Mr. Harwood said that plans for the new library (to be built on land donated by the Montrose Area School District) have been drawn up by architect Thomas Horlacher, a presentation has been developed, and a capital campaign will begin once all the pieces are in place.
The Historical Committee report, presented by Mrs. Sue Bennett-Dyson, detailed the many activities of the Historical Society, including the rededication of the Civil War monument and the accompanying book, as well as the Scenes of Susquehanna County Railroads calendar. Mrs. Elaine Henninger, Chair of the Library Friends, described another productive year for the Friends, including once again the best Blueberry Festival ever, the 27th annual.
Mrs. Susan Stone, Administrator/Librarian, called attention to the photo on the cover of the program, which showed the main room of the library in 1910. She indicated the many features which are the same (the lights, the shelves, much of the furniture), but talked about the vast changes in quantity and quality of services. Mrs. Stone told some amusing anecdotes about staffing the newest such service, Ask Here PA (live 24/7 statewide reference). She thanked the many volunteers who help at the Library and Historical Society and asked them to stand. She then asked everyone who had ever helped at a Blueberry Festival to stand, and few in the room remained seated! Mrs. Stone concluded with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut, "The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries," to which she added "Use them!"
Mrs. Cathy Chiarella, First Vice-President, honored two long-time library employees, Eleanor Manz and Hilary Caws-Elwitt, for 15 years of service and presented each of them with a special gift.
Following the business portion of the meeting, the audience of over 100 enjoyed delicious refreshments. Local author and long-time railroad historian William S. Young then took the stage, showing historic slides of the Starrucca Viaduct, dispelling myths about its construction and size, and answering many questions from the audience. Bill listed the Presidents of the United States who rode over the Viaduct, and the many artists who depicted it. It is a remarkable engineering feat, constructed in just seven months but able to carry loads dozens of times larger than the maximum envisioned when it was designed. (Note: the Association newsletter had a typo in the date of construction for the Viaduct; it was built in 1848).
For more information about the Association or any of its programs and services, please visit susqcolibrary.org and susqcohistsoc.org, or call 278-1881.
Help celebrate National “Week of the Young Child,” April 22-28, by displaying artwork in your Susquehanna County business. Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services) is coordinating a countywide, young art display to recognize the talents of our young children and honor the early educators involved in shaping a child’s future. Research shows children who receive a quality educational experience before the age of five achieve greater success later in life.
CARES is looking for businesses willing to display artwork created by children from various childcare, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs. CARES will take care of setting up and removing the display. Businesses just need to provide the space in April.
If your business is willing to participate, contact Susquehanna County CARES by March 16. Call CARES at (570) 879-8766 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
There are a few dairy farmers today producing or heading toward producing organic milk. You may ask, what is organic milk? Organic milk is milk produced by cows that seasonally graze on pastures totally free of any form of artificial insecticides, herbicides or fungicides. Instead, natural products, such as lime and cow manure are used to increase soil fertility. Organic farmers aim to create a healthy, balanced soil, rich in natural nutrients. During the late fall and winter months, cows producing organic milk feed up on stored crops grown in soils containing only natural nutrients.
Henningstead Holsteins Farm, located in Mehoopany is working to change to organically produced milk. The Henning farm has been a family farm since 1844. Steve and Tina Henning and family bought the farm in 2005. Henning’s milk about 30 animals, most of the cows being Holsteins. The Henning cows will produce organic milk without receiving synthetic hormones or antibiotics. The reason the Hennings want to switch to organic milk is the price difference they believe being organic will bring them, as they want to keep their dairy farm profitable. The organic process is going to take them one year to transfer the cows to organic, and three years for field crops to become organic. Organic milk is believed to be more pure and natural.
The Four Seasons 4-H Club met on February 11 for a Mystery Dinner. 4-Her's families were invited to participate.
Food names were disguised on the menu, and participants had to guess what they were ordering. For example, a fork was called "A Snowman's Arm" and a lime slushy was called "Martian Snow." The food came in five courses, and the participants could only order everything once, including their silverware, which was also listed on the menu. The members had to be creative when they received some courses without silverware. The 4-Hers played outside until everyone arrived and dinner was ready. A game was also played during dinner.
A business meeting was held after the Mystery Dinner. The next meeting will be held in March at Farmhouse Ceramics, where members will begin working on their ceramics project.
The art of medicine is practiced at the Endless Mountains Health Systems Hospital in Montrose, and now you can also view fine art at that facility. Last fall, the Hill Country Artists were asked to exhibit paintings in the hallways for the enjoyment of the patients, staff and visitors. Since that time, many positive comments have been heard about the paintings.
Paintings ready to be hung at Endless Mts. Health Systems Hosptial, Montrose.
Recently the artists changed the paintings, providing a fresh group of artwork. Several new members have joined the Hill Country Artists, so visitors may see work of artists they have not been familiar with. The following artists are presently represented at the hospital: Rita Eddy, Chris Olsen, Jennie Bowen, Maureen VanNostrand, Ethel Hollister, Chris Lathrop, Jay Krimmel, Sally Krimmel, Diane Stizza , Rich Griffith and Celia Warner.
Two businesses, a manufacturer and a non-manufacturer, will each be awarded $1,500 and honored for making a difference as employers and leaders in our communities. Nominations for the 2006 Business of the Year Award are now being accepted by the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission until March 30, 2007. Winners will be honored at NTRPDC’s annual meeting in April.
Nominated businesses must be located in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga or Wyoming Counties. They will be evaluated based on growth in employment and sales, community involvement, and overall business accomplishments. A business may nominate itself or be nominated by another individual or organization.
Deadline for submission is March 30. Forms can be downloaded from NTRPDC’s website at www.northerntier.org or by calling (888) 868-8800 or (570) 265-9103.
The second annual Realtor Workshop put on by the Susquehanna County Conservation District (SCCD) was once again well received. The workshop, designed to inform local realtors about the District’s role in the county, gave a comprehensive overview of the resources available through the District while building on the information presented in last year’s workshop. The intention of putting on an annual Realtors Workshop is to help realtors answer some of the more common questions asked by landowners.
The workshop began with an overview of the various programs the SCCD is involved with, presented by District Manager Jim Garner. Marlene Bailey reviewed some of the relevant details and answered questions regarding the county’s Ag Land Preservation program. For the remainder of the workshop, Jen Morelli and Willie Keeney spoke and answered questions about the District’s programs and available resources that would be useful for realtors assisting landowners.
Some of the topics discussed included permitting conditions for earth disturbance activities and for impacting waters of the commonwealth, subdivisions and developments, general permits, identifying streams and wetlands, building a pond, and a review of some of the resources the District can provide. For information or assistance call the Conservation District office at (570) 278-4600 ext. 280.
Susquehanna Royal Arch Chapter #276 welcomed new members at their February 12 meeting. Pictured (l-r) are: row 1 – Maurice Sweitzer (Grand Represtative from the Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of NY State), Robert DiPalma (new member), Kieth Foster (new member), John P. Zickler (DDGHP); row 2 – Erwin Herman (PHP, Secretary), Jim Kerr (King), Rich Klim Sr. (Scribe), Dan Rupakus (PHP); row 3 – Gene Graves (Pursivant, KYCH), Elson Stone (KYCH), Barney Wilkins (MEHP 2007), Anthony Gerchman (Treasurer, KYCH), Robert Page (PHP, Master of the Second Vail), Robert Benson (KYCH, Chaplain). Absent from photo were new members Jeff Burman and Robert Severs, and members Gary Gray, Gerald Parks PHP, Dean Lewis (KYCH), David Lewis (PHP), and William Hand (PHP). The Susquehanna Royal Arch Chapter meets the second Monday of the month at 107 Euclid Avenue in Susquehanna.
The United Way of Susquehanna County is excited to report that they have exceeded their 2006 fundraising goal, and raised $251,000 to help 19 area agencies. Although the flooding hit our area hard and impacted donor giving, this amount is up $36,000 over the organization’s 2005 donations. This is attributed to the generosity of 81 new donors and 26 existing donors who increased their donations. We are looking forward to expanding our presence by going into new businesses and community groups this year.
Pictured are Bob Welch, Campaign Chairman and Ruth Donnelly, Executive Director.
On January 16, the United Way held their annual celebration at the VFW in Montrose. Approximately 80 attendees enjoyed good food prepared by Campaign Chairman, Bob Welch and dessert by “A Touch of Class” restaurant at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center. Awards were given to individuals and agencies who have really made a difference this year. In addition, the winners of the campaign prizes were announced. They were: Jane Arnold – $500 in merchandise or fuel from Pump N Pantry; Amy MacConnell – one year full membership to Montrose Fitness; Paulette Rafferty – AAA trip valued at $250 and Elly Conroy – $250 in fuel oil and service from Hinds Oil. Ms. Conroy graciously donated her prize to help people with emergency fuel needs this year.
The 2006 campaign will be remembered for several outstanding community events this year. Despite the flooding that occurred just prior to the event, the Punt Pass and Kick Contest on July 3 was very successful. Many people enjoyed the break from the devastation that was plaguing so many residents of Susquehanna County. After the event, the United Way was able to provide hot meals to some of the many volunteers assisting with flood relief. In an ongoing effort to ease the difficulty that flood victims experienced, The United Way held a food distribution in the summer and provided toys for children who may not have had a Christmas at all. The public also enjoyed a murder mystery dinner and dessert auction fundraiser in October at the Summit Tea Room.
Ruth Donnelly, Executive Director and her staff are busily planning for another great year of events. Mark your calendars for June 2. The United Way’s third annual Punt Pass and Kick Contest will again be held in Montrose, featuring area native Chris Snee, lineman for the New York Giants. A golf tournament in June is also being planned, as well as a second annual murder mystery dinner and dessert auction.
You may have noticed the expansion and renovations happening at the United Way offices at 36 Lake Avenue in Montrose. This is possible due to the generous gift of a private foundation. The newly renovated offices will hold both the United Way of Susquehanna County and the Community Foundation. The work is expected to be completed sometime in late 2007. Until then, United Way offices are relocated next door at 6 Locust Street.
The United Way is very grateful for its volunteers. Volunteer individuals and businesses wishing to get involved are always welcome. No special skills are required – just a love for helping people. Learn more at www.unitedwayofsusquehannacounty.org, or contact staff at (570) 278-3868.
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