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St. Rita Christian Mothers' cookie sale is Saturday

| Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011

The much anticipated St. Rita's Christian Mothers' Christmas Cookie Sale starts 9 a.m. Saturday in the church social hall. Rita Pratt, president of the Christian Mothers and in charge of this event, told me they started baking right before Thanksgiving and have baked 1,000 dozen, yes dozen, of Italian knots and 800 dozen, yes dozen, biscotti and pizzalles — plus a huge holiday assortment. That effort requires over 800 pounds, yes pounds, of flour, 300 pounds, yes pounds, of powdered sugar and 120 dozen eggs! They get some donations of sugar and flour and some monetary gifts that help with the packaging materials, because the packaging is also a big project.

There are 18 to 22 faithful volunteers ranging in age from early 20s to 95 years old. Pratt is encouraged that younger volunteers are helping out; they will learn how to carry on this cookie sale tradition that has been going on for more than 40 years. It is a fundraiser for St. Rita's Church. The Rev. Joe Bonafed is very supportive of the project. Pratt said that people come from all over the area to buy cookies on this day each year — some from Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Rostraver, Brownsville and Uniontown. They sell out each year, so get there early.

Also, Saturday is a fun, interactive mystery matinee show at the Carnegie Free Library that includes a delicious meal by Ethel's Edibles — stuffed chicken breast, parsley potatoes, green beans and dessert. "Someone Snuffed Santa" is a fundraiser for the library. The Banquet Bandits are the performers. The play was written and is directed by Mark Hofmann, he also plays Harold Forskinsky, the Jewish restaurant owner who has to discover who snuffed Santa. It will be held in the auditorium. You can take the elevator up.

This show has been performed in different venues since last holiday season. The audience is part of the production. Everyone needs to reserve by Friday so the meals and set-up can be arranged. Call Casey Sirochman, director and head librarian, at 724-628-1380 or e-mail casey.ccfl@gmail.com. They want to get a good crowd for this fundraiser. Tickets are $30.

The "Storage Wars" fundraiser for the CAHS baseball team will take place at Falcon Stadium on Saturday, too. Based on the popular A&E television show, the team has gathered many interesting items to pack the "lockers," "rooms" or "units" as they call them on TV. This isn't junk, there is a lot of terrific merchandise and there are other surprises planned. Tickets are $10. You can get them from team members and their parents; by calling Janice Huey at 724-880-6432; or at the gate. The baseball parents will be serving free food and beverages. If anyone would like to donate any merchandise to the event, they can do so by leaving a message with Robin Bernhardt at 724-366-9587 to make arrangements for delivery to the stadium.

On Dec. 16, Greenwood United Methodist Church will present an outdoor live nativity from 6 to 7 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. with a performance by the Scottdale Concert Band of its Christmas concert inside the church. Refreshments will follow. The program will benefit Connellsville Area Community Ministries. Nonperishable food items and monetary donations are appreciated.

The leads in "Beauty and the Beast," the Junior High East 2012 musical have been announced. They are Beast, Nathan Shultz; Belle, Courtney Keslar; Lumiere, Jordan Hosfelt; Cogsworth, Dale Barnhart; Mrs. Potts, Alysia Cramer; Chip, Emily Keslar; Madame de la Grande Bouche, Taylor Neiderhiser; Babette, Laura Miller; Maurice, Noah Allison; Gaston, Dalton Oplinger; and Lefou, Jeremy Welsh. These students, as well as the rest of the cast and crew, will be working hard from now until March when we'll get to see the results presented on stage.

Mayor Pete Casini is trying to gather South Connellsville veteran names to add to the Honor Roll. If you know of anyone, please bring a copy of their admittance or discharge papers to the borough building as soon as possible.

South Connellsville is planning a holiday celebration on Dec. 10 that will include Santa arriving at the playground in a helicopter and his live reindeer waiting nearby ... more details to come.

You can get a free download of the original holiday song, "Christmas Kind Of Year," written by Levi Graft and Stephen Gallo, by going to their Facebook page, The Lay Jains.

Another beautiful Connellsville Crossroads magazine has been published and is on sale now. Thanks to Patty Yauger and Pat Stefano for surpassing all expectations when technology complications slowed things down for this issue. They even had to add extra pages in this edition. A subscription to the magazine makes a great Christmas gift for that hard-to-shop-for person who has everything or for someone who has moved away and would like to recall fond memories of home. They will think of you each time Connellsville Crossroads arrives in the mail. You could also buy a Carnegie Free Library tote for only $8 and buy some back issues to put in it as a thoughtful and unique gift. Each quarterly magazine includes features on Connellsville area history and happenings and lots of beautiful photos.

The Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce holiday windows are bright and colorful thanks to the decorating talents of Dan from ArtWorks.

Cramer Tree Farm is selling Christmas trees at South Side Grocer. Bob Cramer cuts them just a day or two before setting them up for sale, so they are very fresh and stay nice for weeks. The price and selection are great, too.

Just a reminder that since the flood at Fayette County Community Action Food Bank in Uniontown, Connellsville Community Ministries needs more help than ever, especially cereal, tuna, chicken, ravioli and monetary donations — anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming dates: Dec. 10, holiday celebration in South Connellsville, St. Rita Mothers' Cookie Sale, Storage Wars at the stadium, and Banquet Bandits at the library; Dec.11, HObo Model Railroad Club Open House, noon- 5 p.m. room 301, Community Center; Dec.16, Live nativity and Scottdale band at Greenwood UM Church; Yoga every Saturday at 10:15 a.m. in the library. Preschool storytime every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the library.

If you have a local upcoming event that you would like mentioned in this column, e-mail it well in advance so I can include it at crisliphenry@gmail.com .

Have a great week, everyone.

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