I hope you'll take a moment today to think of our military veterans and the sacrifices they made to serve our country. If you are or know a veteran, you can check out a list of events commemorating Veterans' Day happening here.
While the military is on your mind, why not take a moment to send a Christmas card or package to a local resident who won't be coming home to Schuylkill County for the holidays because they will be serving our country? When addressing your envelope/package please no cursive. Military postal workers prefer black ink, printed UPPERCASE.
For Deliver by December 25 send Priority or First Class Mail by Dec. 2 or Parcel Post by Nov. 25
APO AE 09309
SGT. DITTMAR, JEFFREY R.
GOLF COMPANY PSD
CAMP SHORAB APO AE 09354
APO AE 09309
For Deliver by December 25 send Priority or First Class Mail by Dec. 9 or Parcel Post by Nov. 25
CPL COLE J. SMELTZ
MACG 18, UNIT 37176
OKINAWA JPN 96372
U.S.S. PAUL HAMILTON
FPO AP 96667
For a couple of weeks my mom, the holiday organizer, has been sending rumbles through the family in person, by phone and by text (my mom doesn't text but she does order texts through me - I'm sort of her 21st century Western Union). Who is working? Who has other dinners? Will they bring food? Surprise guests? Vegetarians? Football fanatics? Our Thanksgivings only involve around a dozen people (give or take a few surprise guests) but there's a lot of planning. After all, no one wants two bowls of green beans or not enough chairs for the whole gang. So Thanksgiving planning (stressing) really begins around October 15.
Every year we complain to varying degrees about the hoopla that surrounds Thanksgiving but deep down, we realize we are lucky to have the hoopla. Some people have no family or no dinner to look forward to at Thanksgiving. If you know someone who doesn't have Thanksgiving hoopla in their future, they can turn to several local organizations to make their Thanksgiving cheerier. Unless otherwise noted, all meals are free. Note that most of the deadlines are November 21 at 5 pm. If you already have Thanksgiving covered why not call anyway to see if they need any help chopping, cooking, serving, or delivering?
Holy Apostle Episcopal Church
Meal at 307 East Hancock Street, St. Clair for those in the surrounding area on Nov. 28
You must register by Nov. 21 by calling 570-429-2272 or 570-429-7107
Eat in meals will be at 1 pm, meals for pick up will be at noon, delivery of meals will begin at 11 am
Knight of Columbus
Delivers a hot Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 28 between 10 am and 2 pm. You must be home to accept delivery.
You must register by Nov. 22 at 5 pm. Call 570-516-9514, 570-617-5771 or 570-628-3333. If no one answers leave your name and phone number and someone will call you back for your information.
Mahanoy Area Minsterial Association
Breakfast at St. Mary Center, 620 W. Pine Street, Mahanoy City at 9 am
Tickets are $8. You must order tickets at church office by Nov. 22
Meal includes: pastries, ham, eggs, homefries, coffee and tea
Guest speaker: Re. Craig Zimmerman of St. Paul's United Church of Christ
Salvation Army - Pottsville
Meal at 400 Sanderson Street, Pottsville 11 am to 2 pm. Eat in ONLY. You must register by calling 570-622-5252.
Salvation Army - Tamaqua
Meal at 105 West Broad Street, Tamaqua from 11 am to 4 pm. Shut ins can call for delivery by November 21 at 570-668-0410.
We'll have to call this post this and that because it's a little bit or everything!
Do you have an extra or outgrown coat hanging in your closet? Instead of leaving it for the moths, get your new or gently used coat to someone who needs it. M&T Bank, Main & Centre Streets, Shenandoah is sponsoring their 23rd annual Coat Drive from now until Thanksgiving. Drop coats in need of a home at the bank. For more information call 570-462-2734.
Do you want to learn more about the Pottsville Police Department and how to stay safe? Stop by Coffee with Cops on Thursday, November 7 from 9 am to 10 am at the Pottsville Library. There will be an informal discussion with Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky and Captain John Morrow.
Are you thinking about changing careers? Come to the Open House at the Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing, Lehigh Valley Hospital Nurses Building, 450 Washington Street, Pottsville (1st floor multipurpose room) to tour the school, meet the faculty and learn more about registered nursing from 4 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, November 7.
Enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of Schuylkill County at the annual Farm-City Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the Sweet Arrow Lake County Park clubhouse. If you'll be coming, register by Nov. 6 (TODAY) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-622-3742 Ext. 5. This is a free event to discuss the problems faced by both the rural and urban residents of Pennsylvania. Cost of admission is a covered dish. Doors open at 5:30 pm and dinner begins at 6 pm.
Don't forget to get out and vote tomorrow. Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm.
I'm uncertain why or when the tradition started but many fire companies, churches and other organizations host meals (usually pork and sauerkraut) on Election Day. Perhaps because fire companies, churches and other spots are often polling places? If you want to pick up a hot meal when you cast your vote there is probably a food sale in your neighborhood.
Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ
2400 Centre Street, Ashland from 10 am to 2 pm
Food Sale includes: hot dogs, BBQ, soup, baked goods
Items $1 to $6
Cressona Fire Company No. 1
From 11 am to 8 pm
Eat in or Take out. Delivery available locally or to businesses
For more info call 570-385-2249
Elks Lodge 1533
307 S. Third Street, Frackville from 11 am to 6 pm
Pork and Sauerkraut, Mashed Potatoes, Bread, Appleasauce.
Eat in or Take out
$9 per meal, $8 for Elk members
For more info call 570-874-2500
MIchael the Archangel Parish Center
538 Sunbury Street, Minersville from noon to 6 pm
Pork and Sauerkraut meal
Eat in or Take out
$9 adults, $5 children ages 10 and under
For more info call 570-544-6853
Schuylkill Masonic Temple Association
1000 E. Market Street, Orwigsburg from 11 am to 7 pm
Eat in or Take out
$9 adults, FREE for children ages 8 and under
For more info call 570-366-1385
Masonic Lodge 1533
23 Oak Grove Road, Pine Grove from 11 am to 7 pm
Eat in or Take out
$8 per meal
For more info call 570-345-0165
Trinity Lutheran Church
300 W. Arch Street, Pottsville from 11 am to 1:30 pm
Pork and Sauerkraut
$9 per meal
We've been marking November 11 as a commemoration of military service in various forms since 1919 when President Wilson declared it as Armistice Day, a day to remember the end of World War I and all those who served during that war. It transformed to its present form in 1954 when Armistice Day was transformed to Veterans' Day - a day to commemorate the service of all military veterans. Veterans are all around us and, for the most part, their service goes unnoticed by those of us who work with them, are friends with them or rely on them as they work at their after-military careers. But now is the time to notice.
There are many organizations showing their appreciation for veterans this month. If you know a veteran, tell them about these opportunities to enjoy a meal or event and spend some time with fellow veterans
November 8 from 4 pm to 7 pm
Veterans Appreciation Dinner at Church of the Nazarene, Route 901, Lavelle. This free meal is sponsored by Bixler Pyrotechnics. Call Mike for more info at 570-527-6008.
November 9 from 7 am to 10 am
Veterans Breakfast at St. Luke's Miners Campus, 360 West Ruddle Street, Coaldale. This meal is free for veterans and $4 for their guests. Please register by November 6 by calling 1-866-STLUKES, option 4 or at sluhn.org
November 9 from 7:30 am to 9:30 am
Veterans Breakfast at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill, Wall Auditorium, Third Floor, 700 E. Norwegian Street, Pottsville. For veterans and current members of the military. To register call 888-402-LVHN or at LVHN.org/vetbreakfast
November 11 from 8:30 am to 10 am
Veterans Breakfast at Minersville Area High School cafeteria for Minersville Area veterans. Register by November 4 by calling 570-544-1400, Ext. 1009.
November 11 from 6 pm to 8 pm
Veterans Day Dinner at Elks Lodge 695, 135 E. Centre Street, Mahanoy City. This meal is free for veterans and $10 for non-veterans. Advance registration is required. Call 570-205-1450. There will also be a guest speaker, Brenda Zechman of the Schuylkill County VA.
While I like to hope that most military personnel transition easily to civilian life, for some the change is more difficult and they need a little help. Operation Sweaters for Veterans is helping those in need by offering gently used sweaters, gloves and clothing to veterans in need. You can donate your gently used clothes (and remember women are veterans also) by donating them at James E. Humphrey Funeral Home, 1112 West Market Street, Pottsville from November 1 through November 30.
There is also a Veterans workshop today at the Orwigsburg Memorial Building from 10 am to 4 pm to help veterans make disability claims or arrange for counseling. You can make appointments by calling 717-884-4305.
ATTN: Most town Trick or Treats, Trunk and Treats and other Halloween events previously scheduled for Thursday have been moved to today because of the rain predicted for Halloween might. Please keep your eyes open on the way home from work when the littlest ghosts and goblins will be haunting your neighborhood. Excited ghosts and goblins often forget to look both ways while out searching for treats. Keep everyone safe!
Normally, by now I would be encouraging only the bravest of hikers to attempt a November hike but this year's weather has remained welcoming even for the your more "delicate" hikers like me! Come out and enjoy this incredible autumn for as long as you can. And visit this post periodically for updates as more hikes and events are scheduled.
Friday, November 1
Long Loop Hike at 10:30 am
Meet at Crow Trail parking lot, Tuscarora State Park off Tuscarora Mountain Road for this 7 mile hike rated moderate. Naturalist Robin Tracey will lead a hike that includes the best of three of the park's trails. Leashed dogs are welcome if they are friendly with people AND dogs. Bring a lunch!
Saturday, November 2
Wee Ones Walk from 10 am to 11 am
Meet at Waterfall Road parking lot, Sweet Arrow Lake County Park for this 1 mile hike rated easy. Porcupine Pat McKinney will lead a walk that uses the senses to appreciate the early days of fall. If you enjoyed October's hike this one will take a different route.
Sunday, November 3
Bear Valley Hike from 9 am to 3 pm
Meet at the entrance to Bear Valley Road and Rausch Creek ATV Park near Valley View at Gap Street for this 10 mile hike rated moderate. Led by Sojourner Steve, this hike will include the Bear Valley Swamp, old mines, Adams Rock and the entrance to Willimastown Tunnel.
Sunday, November 10
Journey to Boxcar Rocks from 1 pm to 3 pm
Meet at the state game lands parking lot off Gold Mine Road south of Tower City for this 3 mile hike rated moderate. Led by Mike Centeleghe, this hike will head toward the massive Boxcar Rocks.
Sunday, November 17
Buck Ridge Hike from 9 am to 1 pm
Meet at Mt. Pleasant Hose Company, Buck Run for this 5 mile hike rated easy. Led by Hiker Jim, this hike will include West Creek, views of Lake Buck Run, old Airport Run and more.
Saturday, November 9
Prune Shade Trees with a Purpose from 10 am to 3 pm
Arborist Frank Snyder and other trained pruners will conduct a "hands-on" workshop on how to prune a tree in a healthy way. Meet at the Large Pavilion of Sweet Arrow Lake County Park and dress for the weather and be prepared for some light physical activity.
Not only the little girls like to dress up like princesses. Teen girls are looking past Halloween to dressing up for the Christmas formals and dances. But what to do if a formal gown isn't in your budget? Call on your Fairy Godmother, otherwise known as the men and women of the Frackville Rotary Club who will be playing Fairy Godmother when they open up their Cinderella's Closet on Saturday, November 3 at the Cressona Mall. Open from noon to 4 pm, Cinderella's Closet will be offering gently used formal dresses and gowns, shoes, accessories, purses and more. Dresses are $10, everything else is $1.
A few tips for the gals coming looking for the perfect dress. Wear clothes that are easy to slip out of so you can try on dresses in the convenient dressing rooms. Come early to get the most choices. Bring a friend who can help you grab some great dresses to try on and give you an honest opinion. Even if you think you know your size don't forget that sizes vary depending on the designer (in more expensive dresses you will probably go down a size!) Happy hunting!
There's still time to donate a dress or an accessory for the closet. Stop by the Holiday Inn Express near Frackville with your donation.
Want some Halloween fun? Check out updates to the Halloween events post here