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The Susquehanna Chapter of PASR (Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees) held its fall meeting Tuesday, September 18 at the United Methodist Church in Montrose.
Pictured (l-r) are present and future local PASR Presidents: Gary Parker, Mary Ketterer, and Bob Orner (far right) with PASR State President Ureneus Kirkwood.
The well-attended gathering was presided over by President Mary Ketterer, who welcomed Ureneus Kirkwood, PASR State President. Pres. Ketterer reported success in reaching the goals of 2007 and announced Robert W. Klenk as the recipient of the John Dillon Service Award for outstanding contributions to PASR.
Membership in the local association has been steadily increasing and is now at 180. All retired school employees are encouraged to join. Associate memberships are also available for spouses of retirees and non-public school retirees.
The bus is filling up for our Radio City Christmas Show trip December 5, but some space is still available. Dennis and Karen Holbrook are in charge of this event.
Community Service Chairperson Mimi Klenk presented Joan Benson with the Outstanding Volunteer award. Mrs. Benson, a Blue Ridge retiree, has clocked over 500 volunteer hours. School retirees give back to their communities.
A moment of silence was given for deceased members.
The group was well entertained by the Sweet Adelines from Elk Lake High School under the direction of Barbara Holbert.
Susquehanna Chapter was proud to have State President Ureneus Kirkwood conduct the installation of new officers and committee chair people. Following installation, Pres. Kirkwood addressed the group on the status of legislation affecting the membership.
Following the meeting, a delicious luncheon was served by the ladies and gentlemen of the church.
The Turnpike Senior Line Dancers have taken their show on the road. Thursday, October 4, they performed at Barnes Kasson's Skilled Nursing Facility for 35 residents, plus eight staff members and a few visiting family members. They were celebrating Country Music during the month of October, so our line dancing show was perfect. We not only did our regular show, but we also showed them how we run our classes at Turnpike Senior Center each Tuesday at 1:00.
They all enjoyed the show and some were even dancing along with us in their chairs and clapping to the beat of the music. Some of the staff also joined in when I was teaching a new dance.
The dancers, Bud Kaiser, Marsha Testa, Vicki Swanson, Judy Nelson and teacher, Elaine Kaiser had a lot of fun and will be dancing for them again in the spring.
Come join us in the Spring when we start up again. It is good exercise and a lot of fun.
When you have a choice to sit it out or dance – dance!
At the second local Software Freedom Day, held Saturday, September 15, organizers Billy Davies and Carl Bufford presented the Susquehanna County Library with CDs to distribute free to the public. Carl donated copies of TheOpenCD along with an informational brochure. The CD contains a collection of high-quality, free software, including replacements for expensive programs like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and more. CDs of Ubuntu, a version of the Linux operating system, are also available. Stop by the Main Library in Montrose or the branches in Susquehanna, Hallstead/Great Bend, or Forest City for a free copy of these CDs.
Pictured are Billy Davies (left) and Carl Bufford (right), presenting free/open-source software CDs to Hilary Caws-Elwitt (Systems Librarian, center left) and Susan Stone (Administrator/Librarian, center right) of the Susquehanna County Library for distribution to the public.
The Software Freedom Day 2007 celebration was one of over 330 worldwide, advocating free and open source software, which is created by a global community of software developers. You can install it on as many computers as you like, share it with friends, make copies and even join in and help make it better! The local website, sfd2007.gbztraining.com, has a wealth of material for those interested in learning more. Scroll down the website to a comprehensive list of free books and articles, and even a craft project. Local team leader William Davies may be reached by calling 865-368-1912 or by registering at the website. There is also an email mailing list – to be added, email Hilary Caws-Elwitt (Systems Librarian) at email@example.com.
Software Freedom Day 2008 will be held September 20, 2008.
In what is fast becoming a TREHAB tradition, the community action agency, which serves six counties, hosted a gala dinner on August 23 to honor outstanding participants in its programs. Some 60 attendees – the honorees, TREHAB staff and members of the board of directors, and guests – attended the event, held in Tunkhannock.
Susquehanna County was represented at the recent TREHAB Recognition Dinner by (l-r): Weatherization Department Director Gary Wilcox, Delbert Lewis – Weatherization staff, TREHAB Board President Henry Pease, ASSETS program honoree Angela Deleteris, TREHAB ASSETS Director Maryanne Waddington, Home Services Director Cindy Shepherd RN, home care aide Barbara Summers.
TREHAB Executive Director Dennis Phelps welcomed the guests and introduced those at the head table, including several board members, county commissioners and special guests, including the guest speaker for the evening, Lisa Yaffe, Director of Business Development for the PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). Henry Pease, president of TREHAB’s board, also greeted the attendees and congratulated the honorees.
Following dinner, TREHAB program directors or advisors and counselors presented awards to 15 persons who had participated in eight different TREHAB programs, along with two long-term TREHAB employees who had been chosen for special recognition.
Among those honored was Jamie Barnes, who received her GED diploma and is currently teaching life skills to students in foster care. Megan Cavanaugh, caseworker for the Independent Living Program, introduced her and spoke of her accomplishments.
Charity Field, ASSETS microenterprise program counselor for Bradford and Tioga counties, recognized Todd Bastion and Steve Wilcox for their successful business startups in Bradford County, while Mary Anne Waddington, ASSETS program director, gave special recognition to Angela Deleteris, whose cheesecake business has now been in operation since 1999. She also recognized Melanie Brace, whose talent in fudge making has resulted in the opening of a retail store in Laceyville. Ms. Brace won a statewide CAP (Community Action Program) award last October, and now serves on TREHAB’s board of directors as a consumer member.
From the Workforce Development Program, six participants from three counties were honored. From Sullivan County, career advisors Sue Kinsey and Connie Carr congratulated Gwen Williams and Darla Treaster; Susquehanna County career advisors Johnine Barnes and Bethene Summers presented awards to Katie Carroll and Heather Kays; and in Wyoming County advisor Barb Mark recognized the achievements of Michelle Boyd and Karin Morrison for their successes through the program.
Jerry Cronk, TREHAB Housing Development Director introduced two of his staffers Amy Bell, First Time Homebuyer Program Counselor for Bradford County, and Peggy Cranmer, Director of Tenant Services in Bradford County. Ms. Bell honored Shone and Kimberly Lattimer, while Ms. Cranmer gave special recognition to Barbara Kirch, a resident of the Lockhart apartment building in Sayre.
Ms Cranmer called Ms. Kirch “a godsend” who has organized group activities, bingo nights and all sorts of “bells and whistles” to make apartment living fun for the Lockhart’s seniors. In return, Ms. Kirch thanked TREHAB for providing senior citizens like her with comfortable and convenient living spaces.
Special recognition also went to two TREHAB employees, each of whom has provided 21 years of service through their respective programs. Barbara Summers was introduced by Cindy Shepherd, RN, Director of the Home Services Program which has served housebound residents of Susquehanna County for the 21 years that Ms. Summers has been working with the program as a home services aide. Weatherization Department Director Gary Wilcox honored 21-year employee Delbert Lewis for his expert service to the program. In response, Mr. Lewis called on his years with TREHAB to respond positively to the many changes that occur as TREHAB reacts to changing regional needs.
“Don’t let changes scare you,” he told his fellow staffers and customers. “Just go with them,” underscoring the fact that TREHAB is an organization constantly changing and adapting to local needs.
In brief comments, guest speaker Lisa Yaffe emphasized the need for “connecting and linkage” on the community level. She praised TREHAB for nourishing the creativity and ideas of both staff and customers in order to provide services that help not only individuals but also the entire community.
“ You have to have passion,” she noted, “but also have an entrepreneurial spirit.” Calling Executive Director Phelps a “social entrepreneur,” she pointed to the many times that the PHFA had partnered successfully with TREHAB in such community efforts.
“We are the anti predatory lending, the anti sub-prime people,” she concluded.
A great many farms today are family-owned and operated. Evergreen Lane Farm is a family-owned and operated farm in Susquehanna County. It is owned by Mark and Cindy Tompkins of Montrose.
The Tompkins family, Mark, Cindy, Trevor and Mariah at their dairy farm.
Mark and Cindy have two children, Trevor and Mariah. Both children are very active in the dairy industry. Trevor is on the Susquehanna County 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Team, 4-H Dairy Judging, and treasurer in the Born to Show 4-H Dairy Club. Trevor is also a Holstein Association Junior member, and shows both dairy and dairy beef animals. Mariah is a Susquehanna County Dairy Maid, member of Born to Show 4-H Dairy Club, a Holstein Association Junior member, and shows dairy calves from their farm.
Mark’s parents, Warren and Ida Tompkins purchased the farm in 1964. In 1990, Mark and Cindy took over the farm, added a pipeline and a free-stall barn. In 1996 the Tompkins family was awarded the Dairy of Distinction. Cindy commented, “We feel it's important to educate the public about all aspects of dairy farming. We also concentrate on improving the genetics in our herd to build for a great future.”
You may find Mark milking, managing the herd, tending the crops or doing any other chores that need to be done. Cindy helps with milking, raising calves, the financial accounting, and does general chores.
The farm consists of 70 registered Holstein cows and 63 replacement heifers and calves. On the farm you might find some help during chore time. Trevor helps milk, feeds calves and cows, helps in herd health, works in the field and helps with other chores that need to be done. Mariah helps by feeding calves and cows. Roy Johnson has worked on the farm for over 20 years. He helps with milking, raising heifers, field work, and repairs. Amos Lyon and Nathan Oleniacz also help out with feeding, milking and enjoy showing animals from Evergreen Lane Farm. Allen Oakes helps with heifers and milking whenever an extra hand is needed.
Since 1990 the Tompkins family has welcomed thousands of visitors to the farm to tour their family’s facility. Some visitors have traveled from as far away as Poland and New Zealand.
Locally owned Endless Mountain Stone Company, located near the Borough of Susquehanna, Susquehanna County, has marked its place in the history of Princeton University. Endless Mountain Stone has been supplying stone for historic restoration on the Princeton campus for many years. Thursday, September 27 was a special day for the local bluestone company; dedication of the Whitman College section of Princeton University in New Jersey was held. Over thirty craftsmen employed by Endless Mountain Stone Company have had a hand in this two-year project.
Whitman College is the sixth college facility at Princeton University and the sixth residential college, the first building to be built in its entirety from the ground up. Whitman's distinctive arches and towers which complement the other collegiate gothic dormitories on the western part of the campus, hearkens back to the great universities that emerged in Europe. The slate roofs, cast bronze lamps, bluestone ashlar which is set off by the limestone trim, mahogany windows and oak beamed ceilings evoke centuries of academic history.
The project cost is in excess of $80 million, made possible by a $30 million donation from Meg Whitman, founder of eBay, and her family. Over forty other donors supplied the balance of the funds needed to complete the project.
World known architect, Demetri T. Porphyrios designed this amazing complex of seven buildings. There are acres of gardens, bluestone walkways and courtyards.
Whitman College's striking facade was carefully crafted by seventy-seven stone masons and thirty laborers who spent a year creating the college, stone by stone. Susquehanna County's local stone craftsmen quarried and fabricated 3,000 tons of bluestone ashlar veneer on a guillotine machine. The remaining 2,200 tons of bluestone came from NY Quarries, Inc., in Alcove, New York. The two companies were required to complete the coloring blend needed to closely match existing architecture on the older bluestone buildings that already exist at Princeton. Endless Mountain Stone's craftsmen fabricated all of the floors and walkways. It also made the patios, cap stones and other creative landscape features, totaling over 50,000 square feet. This project took over two years and consisted of over 150 truckloads of special bluestone.
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