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'Miles of pennies' reaches goal as Abilene shines in Veterans Day event

| Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

While more than 200 happy and hungry folks enjoyed a great buffet and others carried containers of pennies, change and bills into Vanderbilt Fire Hall on Nov. 11, four area bands were tuning up for an incredible concert that featured bluegrass, country, rock and contemporary music. The buffet was provided by the Dawson Honor Roll Committee with much help from the Tri-Town Area Historical Society and volunteers from churches and the community.

Baskets were donated for a Chinese auction, as well as door prizes, artwork and crafts. A concert began after the buffet with Mountain Laurel Bluegrass, High Ryder, The Del Sols and concluded with a reunion concert of the famous band Abilene, bringing back together five musicians with unparalleled talent.

Abilene was an entertainment fixture in the area several years ago, winning “Nashville Star” and touring several states promoting their recordings. The appreciative crowd was treated to intricate arrangements of cover and original songs done to perfection by Keith Taylor, Herb Humphries, Larry Miller, Jay McNight and Tim Burkhart.

With donations collected at the Veterans Gala, the “Mile of pennies” campaign has reached its goal of the equivalent of 5,280 feet of pennies.

Did you ever wonder how many pennies that would take? The unofficial answer would be somewhere in the vicinity of 1,056,000 — wrappers anyone? Pennies will still be accepted as the drive to place an honor roll for Korean- and Vietnam-era veterans still has a long way to go. The marble has been ordered, and the names are being refined to be placed on the bronze plaque. Several fundraisers have been semi-planned for the future to include a sit-down dinner and an antique auto show. For information about the campaign or submit names for the monument, call 724-529-7298. The committee needs the names of veterans of any military service that lived in Dawson or Lower Tyrone Township at the time they entered the military during the Korean or Vietnam War era. The Honor Roll Committee would like to thank veterans and military and all who donated, volunteered time and talent, attended, and in any way helped to make this event a great success!

The Tyrone Presbyterian Church, located at 420 Jimtown Road, Dawson, is holding a fundraising event from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 1. For a donation, you can enjoy an array of homemade soups, breads and desserts.

Dawson Volunteer Fire Co. is selling tickets for a Christmas Bash to be held on Dec. 1. Tickets are $10 each. See any firefighter for tickets or more information. Keep in mind that this group of guys and gals hosts weekly bingo games at 7 p.m. every Tuesday.

Dawson VFC would like to thank their friends and neighbors for their generous support during their local fund drive: Your continued support helps us to maintain operations and provide our members with the training that keeps them ready for any emergency. Thank you.

Highlands Hospital is holding its 15th annual Festival of Trees. On display in the lobby of the medical facility are a number of Christmas trees that are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. If you see a tree that you would love to call your own, you can purchase a ticket for $2 and take a chance on winning that tree. Tickets are available from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day, through Dec. 7. Drawings for the winners of the trees will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 7. All proceeds from the sale of the tickets benefit ongoing projects at Highlands Hospital.

Thanksgiving is Thursday, which means Christmas is just around the corner. In today's economy, the thought of a child waking up on Christmas morning without a gift or two send parents' hearts into a tailspin. Now, more than at any other time of the year, help is needed by many area families with young children. Can you help? We all know that Toys for Tots annually distributes toys to needy children, but did you know that other organizations do as well, like Connellsville Community Ministries, the area Salvation Army service units, and many area churches and schools. I know many of us don't have a lot of money to play with, but, if every family that is financially able would donate just one new toy to one of these groups, many area children would wake up to a joyful Christmas morning.

If you feel that you have a lot to be thankful for this year, won't you please help a family who is not as fortunate get the same feeling? Can you help put a smile on a child's face on Christmas morning? If you can, I promise you will feel fantastic knowing that you helped in some small way, and you will have that Christmas feeling long after the holiday season is over.

The Daily Courier is a drop-off point for the annual Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Campaign in our area. Many stores in the region have collection boxes for Toys for Tots as well as various other organizations that are working hard to make Christmas a little brighter for area children. Please help if you are able, and thank you.

The Dawson/Perryopolis Salvation Army Service Unit is requesting donations of new toys to help them in their efforts to make Christmas a little brighter for about 125 area children. The Tri-Town Market in Vanderbilt has been kind enough to permit this group of volunteers to place a drop-off box in their store to help them meet their goal. If you are able, won't you please consider making a donation, no matter how big or how small? Your kindness will be appreciated, I am sure. This service unit would like to thank Tiffany Gray and Rick Adobato for their assistance with this project.

That's it for this week, friends. If you have a submission for this column, email your information to You can also give me a call at 724-529-7927 or drop me a line at 276 Banning Road, Dawson, PA 15428-1175. Please have your information to me before 8 p.m. Tuesday so that I can prepare my column for the following week.

Until next time, enjoy each day that God gives you and have a fantastic week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Beth Lynn is a Lower Tyrone Township resident.

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