The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

July 9, 2014

Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, friends ready for annual summer festival

DANVILLE — Pony rides, a bounce house, indoor bingo and a cake walk will all be new attractions at this year’s Summer Festival on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Cyril and Methodius at Villa Sacred Heart.

The festival, which in the past has attracted people from other states, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

There also will be ethnic foods, homemade baked goods, games, a flea market and a dinner.

Homemade food will include hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage sandwiches and French fries along with ethnic foods haluski or cabbage and noodles and stuffed cabbage. Potato pancakes will be new. Baked items will include breads, cookies and kolacky, a filled dessert. There will also be homemade lemonade, ice cream waffles and corn on the cob.

Sister Sue Pontz and Linda Baranoski, of Charleston, S.C., are coordinators of the event and have headed the festivities for about 25 years.

“We have been friends for over 30 years. We used to live in Chambersburg,” said Baranoski who with husband, Tom, a deacon in South Carolina, moved to Charleston in 1987.

The Baranoskis would volunteer in a small capacity and attend the festival.

After the sister in charge took sick, Sister Sue was asked to head the project at the last minute and called Baranoski for help.

“I jumped on a plane and flew here,” Linda said.

Since then, she spends about three weeks in Danville preparing for the festival. Now that her husband is retired, he has more time to help as well.

“We leave one or two days after the festival. I still have a part-time job,” she said.

“It’s a pilgrimage. The sisters are always very welcoming,” she said.

Tom visits area businesses for donations for a silent auction held during the festival and for prizes. “Businesses are very generous,” he said. The generosity includes a VIP pass at the Red Roof Inn, an overnight stay at Best Western, gift cards from The Pine Barn Inn, a vacuum donated by Lowe’s, a gas grill from Cole’s Hardware, gift cards from Beiter’s Department Store, pizza from Unida and donations from Burger King, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donut, Giant, Rohrbach’s, Scott’s, Bernardi’s Jewelers, D’s Clothier, Hunter’s Dairy Freez, Dillon Floral and many others, he said.

They also sell plants which have been donated by businesses.

“It’s definitely a team effort. It’s always very rewarding,” Tom said of their volunteering.

“And it’s fun. It’s a real break from our schedule,” Linda said. Tom said he looks forward to coming to Danville every year.

“We love having them here,” said Sister Sue. Tom also helps with the daily mass on the grounds along Railroad Street.

Sisters Loretta Marie and Teresa Urda oversee the flea market of thousands of items filling the gym. They have numerous pieces of glassware, pottery, wood carvings, metal knickknacks, housewares, kitchenware, floral arrangements, holiday decorations including lots of Christmas items, books galore, toys, CDs, DVDs, puzzles, decorative tins, baskets, yarn and much more. Sister Loretta cleans all the articles and Sister Teresa prices them.

Friends and family donate the items throughout the year for the sale.

Proceeds benefit the Villa Sacred Heart complex and retired sisters there.

The festival, which has been held for about 40 years, usually attracts some busloads from Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. Some people have attended from New York and Connecticut in the past.

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