A Great Day for Croquet in Greensburg

| Sunday, June 10, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

Great day for Croquet

Restaurateur Ernie Vallozzi knows a little something about recipes — especially recipes for success — with the annual Westmoreland Croquet Club tournament being one of his most successful collaborations.

Version 2012 was held Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, with about 2,000 white-clad players and spectators in attendance.

Tournament co-founder Vallozzi said he is most proud of the fact that the tournament showcases and benefits a number of nonprofit organizations, instead of just one.

He also is gratified by the growing national status of the event, marked by the participation this year of players from the National Croquet Association. “They've shown an interest before,” he said. “But this is the first time they've sent players.”

Seen on the fields and in the sponsor tents were event coordinator Amy Dicesere with Pat, Dr. Jack Smith, Dr. Mike Rutigliano, Amanda McDivitt, Mark Pallitto, Patrick Holway, Trevor Holway, Dave Pallitto, Don and Kim Kramer, Mike and Debbie Busch, Patty Buhl, Jen Miele and Jason Cinti, Ron and Susan Ott, Harris and Janet Ferris, Nicole Gantshar, Dr. George and Linda Austin, Mud and Phyllis Kluska, Jan Taylor and Pat Condo, Karen Kohut, Donna Tidwell and Tom Guiher.

Also, state Rep. Tim Murphy with Nan, Barbara Ferrier, Phyllis Miller, Pat Kardash, Kelli Belanger, Marcy Zajdel, Ellen Marsili, Judy Ross, Allison Ross, Autumn Hardek, Ginny Barnett, Mal Fuller, Lladel Lichty, Mary Jane Snyder, Dr. Keith Gjebre, Lucas Piatt, George Shaner and Michael Philopena, Candace Cassidy, Jill Briercheck, Karen Cuneo, Jim and Jo Rossi, Debbie Bridge and Rick and Joyce Versaw, representing major sponsor Versatech Inc.

— Shirley McMarlin

Girl Scouts turns 100

The 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting was celebrated during a June 4 reception at the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center in downtown Greensburg. And yes, Thin Mints received their due — along with other attributes that founder Juliette Gordon Low said were a “magic thread” binding members together over the past century.

Keynote speaker was former Pennsylvania first lady Michele Ridge, herself a Girl Scout and daughter of a troop leader. She noted societal improvements for women, due in part to the influence of scouting, since the days when women were expected to “speak softly and carry a big lipstick.”

Also speaking was Westmoreland County Family Court Judge Michele Bononi, who introduced Girl Scout Gold Award winner Meg Swearman of North Huntingdon. Now a sophomore at Seton Hill, Swearman said one of the most valuable lessons she learned in scouting was to be both a leader and a team player.

Welcoming guests was Pat Burkart, CEO of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.

Troop 2416 of the Central Westmoreland Council was represented by all five members, who this year sold more than 2,600 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. (That's more than 500 boxes apiece, folks!) Members are Katherine Stupar, Rebecca Dickinson, Penelope Fjellanger, Megan Handy and Ashley Riser. Leaders are Donna Dickinson and Cathy Stupar.

Also on hand were JoAnne Boyle, Jayne Huston, Bonnie Lewis, Cori Begg, Shelby Miller, Frankie Graham, David Volpe, Margaret DiVirgilio, Sister Lois Sculco, Ann Emmerling, Annie Urban, Michaelene Ressler, Melissa Somerville, Molly Somerville Monz, Nicole Bononi, Molly Robb Shimko and Kary Coleman Hazen.

— Shirley McMarlin

On the Front Porch

About 3,300 on Friday relaxed on Greensburg's front porch — Robertshaw Amphitheatre — to the music of Carbon Leaf.

People lounged on blankets and chairs on the hillside of St. Clair Park for the second concert of the SummerSounds series, which will be held in the park through Aug. 31.

Preshow music was by Brittany Hautz, a member of the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle.

Carbon Leaf, based in Richmond, Va., played “Another Man's Woman” and “Blue Ridge Laughing” and other original music.

The band formed 20 years ago with a Celtic sound that morphed into an “amalgam of Americana, bluegrass, folk-rock and whatever else came out,” said Richard McCormick, SummerSounds committee member. McCormick wrote descriptive bios for each of the bands in the concert program created by Graphitti Design.

Sean and Karen Sekora of Pleasant Unity brought their son, Seth, 8 months, who wore a T-shirt custom-printed with “My First Concert” and scored an autograph from lead singer Barry Privett.

Committee member Gene James thanked season sponsors Dollar Bank and Peoples Natural Gas, and advised concertgoers not to park on the bridge on North Maple Avenue to avoid getting a ticket.

Seen at the concert: Greensburg Mayor Ron Silvis, Councilman Randy Finfrock, Dr. Richard and Janet McNeel, Mark and Terrie Barill, with their son, Brendan, Gary Naylor, Gabe Felice, Jim and Karen Steeley, Nancy Jamison, Christina Jamison, Helen Miller, Linda Kubas, Bob and Pam Errett, Carl Dunkel and Paula Schutte, Ron and Patty Reno, Jack Hopkins, George and Donna Smozski and artist Brian McCall, who sketches the performers at every concert.

— Dawn Law

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