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Connellsville Senior Center to serve Thanksgiving Day Dinner

| Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 9:01 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Connellsville Senior Center. Brian Higbee is letting everyone know so those who would like to volunteer that day will call by Wednesday.

Last year, the meal count was 465, including those who dined in and those who took out or got delivery. That number is expected to grow to nearly 500 this year. Total number of servers at the senior center in 2011 was 96; the number of churches involved was 14.

This event is sponsored by the Connellsville Ministerial Association and is headed by Pastor Higbee's wife, Janis.

“CityChurch of Connellsville has been the church on point since the beginning. But we will have close to 15 other churches involved this year,” Higbee said.

Those who want a meal delivered must call 724-628-0700 by 4 p.m. Wednesday. Those who would like to attend and need a ride must call by 4 p.m. Wednesday so that transportation to and from the dinner can be arranged.

“Why do we do this? Jesus said that to be great, one does not need to be the brightest, the richest, the most popular, or even the best looking. He said that greatness comes by being a servant,” Higbee said. “To who? To the least of these. To whoever can't if we can. It brings out the very best in us. So many have no one to celebrate this holiday on which we give thanks to God — no family, no friends. So we simply provide the food and the making of family and friends happens automatically.

“CityChurch gets revved up for this as do all the churches that get involved. It is one of our favorite ways we serve,” he added. “You don't have to be part of a church to get involved. Just let us know where you want to help. Food donations? Food prep team, serving, greeting, delivery, picking people up and taking them home, hosting; however you want to serve, we have a place for you. Just give us a call at CityChurch 724-628-0700 and we can plug you in.”

“It's a Connellsville Christmas” will bring lots of people and activity to town next weekend. On Nov. 30 at the Connellsville Community Center, there will be a bonfire starting at 6 p.m., carolers, the Hall of Trees, and Santa arrives by fire truck at 7 p.m. It will be fun. On Dec. 1 at the Community Center, the Christmas Market will line the halls with many opportunities for you to do your holiday shopping and the Hall of Trees continues. There will be a puppet show and a movie in the Edwin S. Porter Theater, followed by Santa's return for the “Best Dressed” contest at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be sold. The events end there at 5:30 p.m. so everyone can walk over to Wesley United Methodist Church for the concert that starts at 6 p.m.

A favorite part of “It's a Connellsville Christmas” for many is the cookie sale that partners an area nonprofit organization with one of our Connellsville businesses. The nonprofit members have been busy baking so they will have plenty of cookie selections at their location. If you want to plan ahead, here are the match-ups: Finley's Fighters at West Side Jewelry, Angels of Mercy at Atkins Music Center, FRIENDS of the Library at Carnegie Free Library, and at Val Rumbaugh's Massage and Yoga Studio Louisa Clawson will sell her homemade cookies and fudge with proceeds going to Finley's Fighters, Rhetts Snydrome/ Erica Miller at Pat's Bridal, Fayette Friends of Animals at Lid'l Lyns, Believe In Connellsville at Jalyn's, Connellsville Area Historical Society at La Boheme, Fayette County Cultural Trust at ArtWorks and Buy Local at T&A House of Treasures

The Christmas concert at Wesley United Methodist Church is another highlight of the weekend. It will be held on Dec. 1 at the church. The program will include selections by Fay-West Brass, Callie Garlick, Sarah Hamman, Alysia Cramer, Josh Wiltrout, Taney Basinger, Marina Stefano and Trent Bauer, Audra McFadden and Courtney Keslar and Vince and Cait Cuneo. The evening also will feature St. Rita's Choir singing a traditional carol, “Stainless the Maiden,” and “Tu Scendi dalle Stelle” in traditional Italian. Also, St. John's Choir singing a traditional Slovak carol, “Out to the Hills, to the Forest, Run!” and “Tichá Noc” by Franz Gruber — the Slovak edition of “Silent Night.” Attendees then will hear a very special presentation by the former Holy Trinity Choir singing “Lulajże Jezuniu” in traditional Polish, followed by the Combined Choirs of the Catholic Churches of Connellsville singing “Angels We Have Heard on High,” a traditional carol. The program is not presented in this exact order; it begins at 6 p.m. A reception, sponsored by Fayette County Cultural Trust, will be held in the church dining area immediately following the concert.

In downtown on Saturday, the nonprofit cookie sales at the businesses will be going on, Santa photos will be at ArtWorks along with poinsettia sales and a unique craft for children in ArtWorks Learning Center — all of this will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Church tours are scheduled on Saturday and / or Sunday with the schedule to be announced soon. The Presbyterian Church will present it creche and angel display both Saturday and Sunday.

At the Carnegie Free Library, the FRIENDS will be selling cookies and cookie jars and other nonprofits will be set up there, too.

This is a general listing of the “It's A Connellsville Christmas” happenings with details to follow in the Daily Courier. Surprises might include Frosty or the Grinch walking along the sidewalk. The Fayette County Cultural Trust has received generous sponsorships for “It's A Connellsville Christmas” and is appreciative of the business community's support.

Saturday, you can park your car anywhere and walk to every venue that is participating in this special weekend. Really, think about it, start out on the West Side, walk across the bridge to downtown, walk up to the Community Center, walk over to the library then to the Presbyterian church and finish your day at Wesley UM Church for the concert and reception. You can eat lunch or dinner at any of the restaurants or buy refreshments at the Community Center, Doesn't it sound like a great idea?

Lori Kosisko wants to remind everyone of this: “If we are to keep our Community Center open for the coming New Year and for years to come, we must raise funds. We are working on many changes at the Community Center. Our goal is to make the Community Center a true part of the Connellsville community, open to all. Our plan for the future is to make the Community Center the true center meeting place for all members of the community. A place where art, business, charities, sports, religious groups, and all members of the community come to meet, share ideas, and grow for a better future. Here is where we need your help. We are not asking for money, rather, we are asking for you to please come and be part of the holiday event with us on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. We are appealing to local businesses to help us with providing one decorated Christmas tree for our Christmas tree auction. We encourage local businesses to decorate the tree in a way that would advertise your business or display a particular theme. Christmas trees should be 8 feet high or less. Tree sponsors may set up a table to advertise your business or sell your goods or services. So far we have been blessed with many people that wish to help make this event a very special celebration for our wonderful city. For more information visit, or call 724-626-0300

The window and storefront decorating contest is going on. Believe In Connellsville is happy to see the enthusiastic participation. For more information, call 724-628-3639 or 724-628-1513

Everyone is invited to come to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa for Light-Up Night at 5 p.m. Nov. 23. The Connellsville Junior High 8th Grade Chorus will be singing traditional Christmas carols for this special event. They have been invited back each year for many years. The director is Marilee C. McFadden.

Professional Development Trainings For Child Care Providers will be held Dec. 15 at Carnegie Free Library. Instructor is Cathy Brady, certified instructor for PQAS (PA Quality Assurance System). The program includes a DVD presentation, handouts and group discussion. Registration must be made in advance by calling Cathy at 724-430-0888 or Casey at 724-628-1380.

The Buy Local Holiday Giveaway will start Friday. Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 3. One winner will receive $500 in gift cards. A second winner will receive $250 in gift cards from Buy Local businesses. For contest details and a list of Buy Local businesses, visit The Buy Local representatives will be selling delicious raspberry cookies at T&A House of Treasures on Dec. 1.

South Connellsville Borough will hold its third annual Holiday Celebration on Dec. 8 with Santa visits, a treat, bonfire, horse-drawn wagon rides, hot chocolate and refreshments. You can have pictures taken with a live reindeer, too.

The Annual Festival of Trees is now going on in Highlands Hospital lobby, sponsored by the Hospital Auxiliary. Opportunities will be sold Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 7, when at 7 p.m., the winners will be drawn.

There are 10 theme trees. There is also a Giving Tree. Anyone in the community

who would like may put something new on this tree. These items will be given to

Connellsville Area Community Ministries to pass out to the needy for Christmas. On Dec. 3, Connellsville Junior High 8th Grade Chorus, directed by McFadden, will perform. St. Rita's Choir will present Christmas carols 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Henry F. Molinaro is the director. Refreshments will be served after the entertainment. All proceeds will benefit ongoing projects at Highlands Hospital.

The FRIENDS of the Library is hosting a Vendor Fair for nonprofits at the library on Dec. 1 for “It's a Connellsville Christmas” The group has spaces available for $10 per space. They will provide tables until the tables are gone, then the vendor will need to provide their own table. The library does have an elevator and is handicapped accessible. For more information and to reserve a space, contact Cathy Kumor at or 724-626-1114. The $10 setup fee benefits the FRIENDS of the Carnegie Free Library.

Dec. 8 is the annual St. Rita Cookie Sale. You won't want to miss that!

Dec. 16 is the spaghetti dinner fundraiser at South Connellsville Fire Hall to help members of the U-13 Kick-It 3v3 girls soccer team raise money for their trip to Disney World to compete for the World Championship. Everyone is invited.

Mark your calendars for these events: Nov. 23, Junior High 8th Grade Chorus at Nemacolin; Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 Connellsville Community Center events, Dec. 1 and 2, “It's a Connellsville Christmas,” including Presbyterian Church creche and angel display, cookie sale, church tours and Wesley UM Church Holiday Concert Saturday night; Dec. 3, Junior High 8th Grade Chorus at Highlands Hospital lobby; Dec. 5, St. Rita Choir at Highlands Hospital lobby and visits with Santa at Carnegie Free Library; Dec. 8, St. Rita cookie sale and Christmas celebration in South Connellsville and Stage Right and visits with Santa at Carnegie Free Library; Dec. 16, spaghetti dinner fundraiser at South Connellsville Fire Hall.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

If you have a local upcoming event that you would like mentioned in this column, email it well in advance so I can include it at

Nancy Henry is a Connellsville resident.

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