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St. Rita's Cookie Sale to feature Italian knots, biscotti, pizzelles

| Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 8:52 p.m.

The St. Rita's Cookie Sale starts 9 a.m. Saturday, with all those wonderful cookies that people come for from long distances. We can just go over to their social hall and buy as many dozens as we want. The price hasn't gone up in years, so get there early and then enjoy every morsel. The St. Rita Christian Mothers put a lot of effort into making these delicious Italian knots, biscotti and pizzelles.

Santa Claus will arrive at the South Connellsville Playground at 6 p.m. Saturday. There will be a bonfire, Christmas music and a Chinese basket auction. You can take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, and kids can get their photo taken with Santa and one of his live reindeer. Hot chocolate and other refreshments and a light-up contest will be featured. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service will hold a coat drive, so remember to bring any coats you can donate.

The HObo Model Railroad Club will hold an open house on Sunday afternoon. They are located on the third floor of the Connellsville Community Center. This will be your last chance to see this display. In 2013, they will be building a new one on the first floor.

Santa will visit with children at the Carnegie Free Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. Bring your camera for pictures.

Scott C's Auto Sales will sponsor Stage Right! presenting “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” from 11 a.m. to noon in the library auditorium. This is a free event. All ages are welcome. Get there early as seating is limited. Stage Right is a group of professional actors. They always put on a terrific performance.

Mary Dreliszak is quite the organizer, but I bet even she didn't know how big her idea of Operation Sandy Claus would get! It looks like Cavanaugh Trucking will be able to fill the 18-wheeler that driver Bob Prinkey will be taking to New Jersey. Details are being added by the hour. If you want to help, go to the Facebook page “Operation Sandy Claus: Pinelands Regional Junior and Senior High Schools” or contact Mary Dreliszak at 724-984-0860 or

Dec. 16 is the spaghetti dinner fundraiser at South Connellsville Fire Hall to help the U-13 Kick-It 3v3 girls soccer team raise money for their trip to Disney World to compete for the World Championship. It will be held upstairs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dinner will include spaghetti, meatballs, salad, roll, dessert and drink; eat-in or take-out. The costs are $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Everyone is invited.

Craig Appliance has furniture, too, and if you haven't been in there lately, stop in and see the great selection of big-screen TVs, recliners, and a roll-top desk that is really nice. There are also good ideas for Christmas gifts, such as progressive-scan DVD players.

I recently read a fun and funny book by local author Chris Rodell. The title is “Use All The Crayons.” It would make a great stocking stuffer for someone who enjoys off-the-wall humor. The foreword is written by Arnold Palmer. You can read some of his zany ideas and find out how to buy a copy at

Calvary Assembly Church in Connellsville is excited to host a Celebration of Lights worship celebration from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. It is free to the public and will feature contemporary and traditional Christmas music. The music and worship will be enhanced with Christmas-themed pageantry such as banners and waves.

“We will celebrate the birth of Jesus in a royal way and invite his presence into the place. Prayer will be available at the end of the celebration,” pastor Matt Goldsberry said.

Downtown Connellsville is pleased to continue its partnership with Seton Hill University E-Magnify by presenting a four-part series on “Core Four,” a business planning course, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Jan. 8, 15, 22 and 29 at ArtWorks Connellsville, 139 W. Crawford Ave. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m., so come early. The cost is $100 total for the four classes. It is open to all entrepreneurs. RSVP is required. Please call Michael Edwards at 724 626 0141 or go online to Deadline to register is Jan. 4. Class fees (typically $300) are underwritten through a grant from Chevron and the Community Foundation of Fayette County. All materials are included with registration.

After sending packages just a few weeks ago, Linda Shearer of the Connellsville Area High School Patriots received these messages, which are amazing:

“I am currently in Southern Afghanistan and in the Army. There really isn't much semblance of Christmas time here and you and the rest of the Patriot club really brightened our day. I received a few packages from the Patriots club. I wanted to just tell you and the students in the club thank you. I really appreciated it. We get mail here once a week or so. Today there were a lot of packages sent to my platoon. Everyone in my tent got something and we split up the packages from you guys so everyone got something. It was like Christmas opening them up. One of the packages had a stocking in it that we instantly hung up in our tent and filled it with the other treats in the boxes. Everyone put on a Santa hat as we continued to open boxes. It really made our day today. So again Thank you!! Adam Knepper.”

And this one: “Dear CAHS Patriots, greetings from the Middle East! I just wanted to let you know that our detachment recently received some care packages from your school. We are greatly appreciative! It is very exciting for all of us out here to get mail! Let alone care packages! We all gathered around and opened them and marveled at the goodies that you guys sent! The cards are hanging up around our tent so we can read them and remember what exactly it is we are out here fighting for. Thank you for your kind words, thoughtful gifts, and the encouragement during this holiday season. Wishing you all the happiest holiday season! With great thanks, Chrystal Kjeldgaard, aviation electronics technician third class, United States Navy.”

And another: “Ms. Shearer, We the men and women of the military have received your packages. We appreciate the time you and your students put into these Christmas packages. Their faces were full of joy and it is always good to see these kinds of smiles on their faces. We thank you all for your blessings and support. We wish every one of you a Merry Christmas! V/R, AD1(AW) Alberto Lunapuentes.”

And another: “Dear CAHS, Thank you for the gift boxes that you all so generously sent to us out here in Southwest Asia. Being away from home during the holidays is difficult but having the support and the warm thoughts that are projected in the care boxes brings a type of peace and serenity to the environment that we are exposed to out here. We, the men and women of Fleet Air Reconnaissance One Detachment SWA wish to extend our deepest thanks and wish you all a very joyous holiday season. God bless and thank you again. Very respectfully, The Men and Women of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One DET SWA Maintenance Team.”

Justin Teets, a 2011 CAHS grad, is the newly elected president of the St. Vincent College Student Government Association Executive Board for 2013. A sophomore politics major with minors in economics and criminology, law and society, he has served as president of his freshman and sophomore classes and was named SGA member of the year in 2011-12. He is a member and president of the College Republicans and serves as an admission ambassador and student photographer for the office of public relations. He is the student-alumni relations committee chair. He will be interviewed at halftime of Saturday's men's basketball game by Dow Carnahan of WCNS radio in Latrobe. You can hear the interview on 1480-AM or by going online to and clicking ‘listen' to the St. Vincent College Bearcats. Teets is also a freelance photographer for the Daily Courier.

Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School has announced that its 2013 spring musical will be “Les Miserables.” Nick Bell sure doesn't pick easy ones, but as always, the students will perform a breathtaking production, I'm sure.

And at Connellsville Junior High, Ben Haines has announced the 2013 spring musical will be “The Little Mermaid Jr.” I can't wait to see this one.

Discover the history of the D.L. Clark Co., Pittsburgh's favorite chocolate company, from the Clark bar to the Zagnut, presented by Joshua Scully, guest local teacher at the Carnegie Free Library, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Dec. 12. Register online at or call 724-628-1380.

The Annual Festival of Trees, sponsored by the Hospital Auxiliary, is going on in Highlands Hospital's lobby. Opportunities to win a tree are being sold from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays until Dec. 7, when winners' names will be drawn at 7 p.m. There are 10 theme trees. There is also a Giving Tree. Anyone in the community who would like to can put something new on this tree. These items will be given to Connellsville Area Community Ministries to pass out to the needy for Christmas. St. Rita's Choir will be presenting Christmas carols at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Henry F. Molinaro is the director. Christopher Mickey is the accompanist. Refreshments will be served after the entertainment. All proceeds will benefit ongoing projects at Highlands Hospital.

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

Jackie Lynn's Photography owner Jackie Lynn takes wonderful holiday photos of children and families. She is taking appointments through next week if you would like to book a sitting. Call her at 724-322-2903 or email

The holiday edition of Connellsville Crossroads magazine is on sale now at ArtWorks, La Boheme and several other area locations. There is emphasis on Bullskin's heritage as well as church stories and recipes and so many other features. Be sure buy a copy.

Cramer Tree Farm has fresh-cut Fayette County Christmas trees for sale behind South Side Grocer on Green Street and at County Market in Mt. Pleasant. Bob Cramer is at the Green Street location from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There are all sizes starting at $25.

This Christmas season enjoy the glow of a homemade soy candle from ArtWorks Connellsville. These candles come in a variety of scents from Cinnamon Sticks, Stocking Fir, Winter Wilderness, Vermont Sugarhouse and more. Soy candles last much longer and are more fragrant than regular candles. Speaking of scents, the FRIENDS of the Carnegie Free Library have their dry cookie mixes at ArtWorks. Just add the liquid ingredients and bake. Fill your home with the fresh aroma of Death by Chocolate or Andy's Cranberries. The proceeds of these cookie mixes go directly to the library.

Have a great week, everyone.

Mark your calendars for these events: Dec. 5, St. Rita Choir at Highlands Hospital lobby and visits with Santa Claus at Carnegie Free Library; Dec. 7, Operation Sandy Claus deadline; Dec. 8, St. Rita Cookie Sale, Christmas Celebration in South Connellsville, and Stage Right and visits with Santa at library; Dec. 9, HObo Open House at community center; Dec. 12, Clark history at library; Dec. 16, spaghetti dinner fundraiser at South Connellsville Fire Hall.

If you have a local upcoming event 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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