This weekend we baked pies so the Thanksgiving countdown clock has officially started. At work the crunch to get everything done before the early quit on Wednesday continues while my teenage son probably knows the exact number of minutes left until his school break. We all get a break from the real world thanks to our Thanksgiving break whether is be one or five days. In between relaxing with family, food and football (or in my case the Macy's parade) why not take a few minutes to give someone else a bit of holiday joy?
Each year the Republican Herald asks readers to submit the names of local military personnel who will be away from home for the holidays and asks us to drop a card in the mail. You can help make someone's day by sending a card to one of these people with local ties:
From the hometown of Barnesville:
RCT YOST, CHARLENE E.
4th RTBN PLATOON 4047 CO O
PARRIS ISLAND SC 29905-6445
From the hometown of Lake Wynonah:
PSC 76 BOX 3258
APO AP 96319-0011
From the hometown of Pottsville:
USS PAUL HAMILTON
UNIT 100169 BOX 1607
FPO AE 96667
From the hometown of St. Clair:
SSGT TYLER PANGONIS
7473 MEADOW ST. 1A
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99506
I do know that the military is very particular about their addresses so please copy exactly what you see above and all caps and printed (not cursive) will make the military mailman the happiest! If you'd like to reach them by December 25, all cards and packages with APO/FPO addresses must be mailed by December 11 while domestic addresses have until December 14. If you decide to send a package, please scroll down for some advice and restrictions here.
I know so many of you don't want to hear about Christmas-y things until after Thanksgiving. But the fact is, one of my favorite Christmas things happens on the weekend after Thanksgiving so it's time to make plans now! The Schuylkill Ballet will be performing The Nutcracker Suite on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7 pm and Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3 pm. So it you're a lover of Tchaikovsky, ballet, local talent or even five foot tall mice this is something you can't miss. Tickets are available online at www.schuylkillballet.com or at 570-617-5616. Advance tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students.senior citizens and $6 for children ages 3 to 10. tickets at the door are $12 for all ages.
If you know someone so enamored with the Nutcracker that simply attending the performance won't be enough, why not have tea with Clara, the ballet's heroine? Tea will be at The Walk In Art Center, Schuylkill Haven from 10 am to noon on Sunday, November 18. The $10 tickets includes tea (of course), goodies, performances, raffles and photo opps with the cast. Who doesn't want a selfie with the Sugar Plum Fairy? Tickets are available online at www.schuylkillballet.com or at 570-617-5616.
Another early Christmas event will be Santa's arrival at the Fairlane Village Mall on Saturday just after 11 am. There will be visits with Santa until 7 pm, a magic show at 11 am and a myriad of free activities from noon until 3 pm --balloon animals, face painting, caricatures and more.
Santa will also be dropping in on the folks of Shenandoah that same day at noon. If you miss him skydiving into Shenandoah valley School district's Veterans Memorial Stadium, try and catch him on his fire truck ride through town. Studium gates will open at 10:30 am for anyone who wants to see Santa fly! there will also be several events throughout the day at the police station, American Legion Memorial Garden, Girard Park and Anthony P. Damato American Legion Post 792: horse-drawn trolley rides, hot chocolate & cookies, holiday skits, light displays and more.
Thanksgiving really seemed to sneak up on me this year. I think it was a combination of the summer weather so late in the year and the fact that Thanksgiving on the 22nd is the earliest Thanksgiving can be. Most of us are happily making our holiday plans -- buying our cranberries, getting the folding chairs out of the attic, eagerly awaiting our Thanksgiving entertainment of choice (parade or football game). But for some the 22nd will be just another Thursday. If you or someone you know is looking at Thanksgiving that way why not sign up for the Knights of Columbus Meal Delivery.
The Knights will be cooking and delivering Thanksgiving meals throughout Schuylkill County. To register call 570-516-9514, 570-628-3333 or 570-773-0627. Leave your name and phone number and someone will call you to get your information. You have to call by 5 pm on Thursday, November 15th (TOMORROW). Meals will be delivered between 10 am and 2 pm on Thanksgiving day and someone must be at the address to be delivered. Meals will not be left on porches.
If your dinner is all taken care but you want to help those who need a great Thanksgiving meal call the Knights and ask how you can help. They'll need help for the entire week before the holiday. Maybe you can help make someone's holiday a little brighter.
Want a lighthearted way to get in the Thanksgiving mood? Enjoy a free movie and popcorn at the Majestic Theater on Saturday, November 17 at 7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm). Hosted by the Pottsville Recreation Commission and sponsored by M&T Bank, this movie will be keeping with the season -- Free Birds a hilarious animated movie about two rival turkeys, time travel and the traditional Thanksgiving day fare.
Our local businesses are doing their part to help educate you about issues that affect you and your loved ones. On Monday, November 12 you can stop by the Seltzer Group, 610 Route 61 South, Orwigsburg to receive a free car seat safety check between 10 am and 2 pm. and it's always reassuring to hear "Yes, you're doing it right." about anything concerning your kids! So stop by and get a thumbs up or some help learning the correct way to install your seat.
Social Security -- it's something we all think about and most of us have an endless list of questions and confusion. Melissa Valentine and Brent Voynar with Edward Jones and Prudential will be at Luther Ridge at Seiders Hill, 160 Red Horse Road Pottsville on Wednesday, November 14 at noon for the Lunch & Learn Series. The topic? A Closer Look a t Social Security Benefits. Register with Diane Wolfgang at 570-621-7200 or Diane.K.Wolfgang@consulatehc.com
Veterans Day may be over but the events for and about veterans continue. Check out updates to an earlier post here
Are you intimidated by Shakespeare? He's actually funny, a sucker for fight scenes and hopeless romances. So there's pretty much something for everyone. And, unlike high school, you don't have to take a test after the play! So how about giving him another chance? There'll be a Shakespeare Festival at the Majestic Theater on Saturday, November 10. It will feature snippets of several different plays performed by students of Schuylkill Haven, Pottsville and Nativity High Schools. All tickets are $10.
If you're looking for something more modern, how about VANISHED a movie by Shamokin native Matt Spade. Enjoy secrets, small towns, disappearing kids and evil on Saturday, November 10 at 7 pm. Tickets are $5 each. then, when Spade becomes a famous director and/or writer you get to say, "I knew him when his movie played at the Majestic!"
In honor of Veterans Day, the Majestic Theater will also be presenting Anton & Siegfried, a one act play about World War I. Tickets are free but free will offerings will be accepted. There will be two performances on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11 at 3 pm and 6 pm
You can check out some additional Veterans Days events added to an earlier post here
I've been voting since I was 18 including absentee voting done weeks before the actual event, voting in rain and snow and many times voting with a toddler in tow. When they were younger my children enjoyed voting day for three main reasons:
It's raining as I write this but I hope you'll brave the rain to cast your vote tomorrow. Polls open in Pennsylvania at 7 am and will remain open until 8 pm so you have plenty of time to get their and exercise your right to vote. Go ahead - exercise your right to vote! You won't even break a sweat!
As always many churches/fire companies/etc. turned polling place for a day will be hosting food sales - usually pork and sauerkraut with some homemade baked goods thrown in for fun. Below is a list of dinners I know about in case you're hungry after all that exercising!
Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ, Ashland
Frackville Elks, Frackville
Cost $9, $8 for Elks members
Trinity Lutheran Church, Pottsville
11 am to 1:30 pm
Lansford American Legion, 3 W. Ridge Street, Lansford
11 am to 5 pm
Cost $10. Takeouts available.
Pine Grove Lodge 409 F&AM, 23 Oak Grove Road, Pine Grove
11 am to 7 pm
Cost $8. Takeouts and children's platter available. Call 570-345-0165.
St. Clair Lions Club, 259 McCord Avenue, St. Clair
11am to sellout
Cost $9. Takeouts available. Call 570-429-9939.
St. Michael the Archangel Parish Center, Minersville
Noon to 6 pm
Cost $9, Children under 10 $5. Advance tickets recommended Call 570-544-6853.
First United Methodist Church, Mahanoy City
3 pm to sellout
Cost $9. Takeouts available. Call 570-773-1024.
Sometimes you can recognize them by their baseball caps emblazoned with their former military branch or unity (like my dad). Other times they blend in perfectly and you're surprised when you find that a friend or neighbor is a veteran. But there is one day when many veterans, no matter how low key they are the other 364 days of the year, stand up and say, "I served!"
Veterans Day is fast approaching and this year it falls on a Sunday. Sunday brunch -- what a perfect way to celebrate the service of the veteran in your life. There are many events for veterans happening throughout the county in the next week. But even if you won't be attending an event, why not just say "Thanks" to a veteran you know next Sunday.
Friday, November 9
Veterans Day Assembly
At Tamaqua Area high School at 7:25 am. everyone is invited.
Veterans Program and Breakfast
At Minersville Area High School starting at 8:30 am
Veterans residing in the Minersville School District can register at 570-544-1400 Ext. 1009. Please call by November 7
Veterans Day Assembly
At Tri-Valley High School, Hegins at 1 pm. Cofee and refreshments at 10:30 am, homestyle meal at 11:30 am.
At Church of Nazarene, Route 901, Lavelle from 4 pm to 7 pm. free for veterans and their spouses.
Saturday, November 10
At Lehigh Valley Hospital, E. Norwegian Street in the Wall Auditorium (third floor) from 7:30 am to 9:30 am
Schuylkill County veterans and current members of the US military can register at 888-402-LVHN or LVHN.org/vetbreakfast
Sunday, November 11
At St. Luke's Hospital-Miners Campus in the hospital cafeteria from 7 am to 10 am
Veterans breakfast is free and their guests can eat for $4. There will also be health screenings, prizes and more.
Register at 866-STLUKES prompt 4 or www.go.activecalendar.com/sluhn/event/veterans-breakfast-1
Veterans Day Brunch
At St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church parish center, Pottsville at 11:30 am (immediately after 11 am Mass) Brunch is free for veterans and $5 for non-veterans. Sponsored by Cub Scout Pack 615
Veterans Day Dinner
At American Legion Post 38, Schuylkill Haven at noon
For all veterans and one guest each. Please call 570-385-5013 for information.
Monday, November 12
Prayer Service and Breakfast
At Trinity Academy, Cherry & Chestnut Streets, Shenandoah starting at 8:30 am
All area veterans can register at 570-462-3927 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans Day Program
At Shenandoah Valley High School at 11 am. There will also be a flag retirement ceremony at Columbia Hose Company (across the street from school) at 9:30 am
Wednesday, November 14
At Schuylkill County VA Clinic, 1410 Laurel Blvd., Suite 2 from 11 am to 2:30 pm
To learn about your veterans benefit register at 570-622-1995 by Nov. 9
Thursday, November 15
Holiday Cards for Veterans
At Orwigsburg Free Public Library starting at 6 pm
Stop by to make a holiday card or two for local veterans or active military personnel. All ages are welcome to write a letter, draw a picture or create a card. the library will take care of distributing them -- all you have to do is bring your creativity.
Tuesday, November 20
At Rosewood, 401 University Drive, Schuylkill Haven between 8 am and 10 am
All area veterans can register at 570-385-0557
Not all veterans easily find their way back into civilian life after service. To help them, the James E. Humphrey Funeral Home, 1112 W. Market Street, Pottsville is collecting new or gently used sweaters, gloves and clothing throughout the month of November. Help our nation's veterans in need through Operation Sweaters for Veterans.