The Daily Item
Cheers: To the 200 visitors and residents of Mifflinburg who turned out Dec. 1 as the borough lit its Christmas tree. Fortuitously enough, no sooner did Mayor David Cooney throw the switch to illuminate the tree — an abandoned tradition he brought back four years ago — than a light snow or sleet began to fall. Businesses were open on that Sunday evening, hoping to draw visitors downtown before the tree lighting. Crowds moved inside the former borough building, where choruses of “Merry Christmas” were knocked down with hot cocoa and cookies.
Cheers: To Zion Student Center, an after-school program for kindergarteners through sixth-graders at Zion Lutheran Church, in Sunbury. Among those who help children with geography and math and spelling are Lori Ssebulime, Sue Herman and Judy Hoover, who are teaching English as a second language to many children. “The church is really trying to meet a need in the community,” said Ssebulime, director of the center. “Last year we had quite a few Spanish kids. We really made a difference with their grades because we’re able to help them with their homework.” Zion Student Center operates in conjunction with the Shikellamy School District, except on half-days, when the center is open all day.
Cheers: To seniors at Meadowbrook Christian School, Milton, who raised $800 in their first Cancer Awareness Month Dress Down Benefit Day in October. Several seniors wanted to find a way to show support for families within the school who are struggling with cancer. The seniors proposed that in October, during the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a date would be chosen when everyone at the school could choose to pay a small fee to dress down. The money raised would be given to a Meadowbrook family battling cancer. This year, the decision was made to donate proceeds to Mr. and Mrs. Brian Rehm. Brian Rehm has taught at Meadowbrook for 32 years and his wife is in a cancer journey.
Cheers: To a triumvirate of Valley octogenarians, who for 60 years have met before the holidays to bake, socialize and catch up ... and bake. Erma Walter, 82, Helen Smith, 86, and Marjorie Bassett, 85, spent Wednesday like they have some 60 other times before Christmas making sugary concoctions, such as chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter blossom, cornflake and a other types of cookies. Known for their three-day baking marathons, the women say their time in front of the oven is when they get to spend the most time with each other. “We could be here until next Tuesday talking about our cookies,” Smith said.
Cheers: To Warrior Run High School senior Kaitlyn Bohannon, who recently got to meet a former Super Bowl champion and state legislators while she received the the Carolyn G. Fischer Award for Citizenship. The Warrior Run Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the district, chose Bohannon to receive the award at the recent Economics Pennsylvania Adam Smith ceremony. She was selected based on her outstanding academic achievements and extracurricular involvement and activities. “Kaitlyn is not only one of our most gifted students, she also gives back to the school and the community through volunteering and community service,” said John Kurelja, superintendent of the Warrior Run School District. Andy Russell, a former Pittsburgh Steeler and vice president of Economics Pennsylvania; Fritz Heinemann, president of Economics Pennsylvania; state Sen. John Gordner and state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver presented Bohannon with the award.