#252 OCTOBER 2021

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2 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

Philanthropic Educational Organization Women Helping Women Reach for the Stars

By Katie Donald for Hometown magazine hilanthropic Educational Organization, P.E.O., has been celebrating women helping women to reach for the stars in Punxsutawney as Chapter W for more than 70 years and internationally 150 years. Chapter W was organized in Punxsutawney on April 24, 1951, with 14 charter members as part of the largest women’s international organization of the time that focused on literacy, social and philanthropic work and educational loans. Through membership, the P.E.O. Sisterhood has brought together more than a half-million women in the United States and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them. In addition to the educational philanthropies, the P.E.O. Sisterhood provides a framework of support and community for all members. What started with a bond of


On the cover: P.E.O. Chapter W Sisters. See caption, far right and Joel, Scott, and Marcia Bowers, Fighting Fire with Family

‘Punxsutawney Hometown’ magazine © Copyright 2021 — All Rights Reserved. Schedule your advertising in our next edition! We reach 100% of the local and area homes and businesses! - Concentrated Circulation 8,100+ copies of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine are direct-mailed to homes in Punxsutawney and surrounding towns and areas, giving our advertisers nearly 100% coverage . . . we deliver to every home and business! (As always — our circulation is verified — mailing and printing statements available.)

tions. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a nonprofit organization that has helped more than 116,000 women pursue educational goals by providing over $383 million in educa-

We are the only Punxsutawney-owned media!

Punxsutawney Proud, Boosting our Hometown! Publisher Mary L. Roberts Advertising Mary L. Roberts Tracey Young Art Director Melissa Salsgiver

Hometown Writers Jennifer Skarbek, Editor S. Thomas Curry Shirley Sharp Mary Ellen Pollock-Raneri Marty Armstrong Dr. Gloria Kerr Danielle Merrow All material submitted becomes the property of Punxsutawney Hometown magazine. Mary Roberts......................(814) 952-3668 Tracey Young......................(814) 938-9084 hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com

Our business mailing address: 129 Aspen Rd., Punxsutawney, PA 15767 With our office located in: Railroad Building, Suite 100 N. Penn St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767 Yearly Subscriptions: $37 — First Class Mail www.punxsutawneymagazine.com

(front row, left to right) Joyce Cooper, Donna Bruder- Smith, Sue Wolfe, Peggy Knott and Colleen Casaday; (second row) Sue Shields, Michele Neal, Holly Grusky, Susan Lamey, Lisa Switlick and Karen Burkett; (third row) Delores Chicka, Cheryl Ploucha, Betsy Neal, Mysti Dinger, Katie Donald and Sandy Walko. Not pictured: Amanda Behrendt, Jean Cole, Elizabeth Depp, Roberta Dinsmore, Melissa Dunkel, Melissa Franklin, Darla Gardner, Katie Laska, Amy Pepple, Sandy Philliber, Deb Rummel, Kerri Stebbins, Joan E. VanDyke, Flo West and Barb Williams. Submitted photo.

Mrs. Louis Brown, of DuBois; Mrs. A.H. Davis, Mrs. Roy E. Miller, Jr. president of the new chapter; mrs. H.B. Winter, Mrs. T.D. Jenkins, chaplain; Mrs. Mick Tronzo, guard, and Mrs. R.E. Miller, Sr., vice president. Back row) Mrs. Jesse P. Long, recording secretary; Mrs. Guy M. Musser. Mrs. Noble V. Fritz, Mrs. George Picard of Plumville; Mrs. J.M. Lukehart, Mrs. H. A. Philliber, treasurer, and Mrs. R.J. Bamford, corresponding secretary. Submitted clipping of Spirit photo from April 25, 1951.

friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is now one of the oldest women’s organizations in North America, with close to 6,000 chapters. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, members are passionate about P.E.O.’s mission: to celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspiraAUTO • HOME • BUSINESS • LIFE


Chapter W charter. (submitted photos)

tional assistance, making a difference in women’s lives through six international philanthropies, a foundation and two additional philanthropies specific to Pennsylvania. P.E.O. Educational Loan Fund (ELF) is a revolving loan fund established in 1907 to lend

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money to qualified women students to assist them in securing a higher education. P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund (IPS) is a fund established in 1949 to provide scholarships for international women students to pursue graduate study in the U.S. and Canada. Chapter W member Katie Donald is currently the state chairperson for this fund. She works with chapters all across the state of Pennsylvania to facilitate P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE) was established in 1973 to provide need-based grants to women in the U.S. and Canada whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families. P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA) was established in 1991 to provide substantial meritbased awards for women of the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral-level degree at an accredited college or university. P.E.O. STAR Scholarship (STAR), established in 2009, provides scholarships for exceptional high school senior women to attend an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the U.S. or Canada in the next academic year. Cottey College is a nationally ranked, fully accredited, independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women located in Nevada, Missouri, has been owned/supported by P.E.O. since 1927 and offers baccalaureate

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Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 3


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4 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

P.E.O. members at the 50 year celebration of Chapter W, May 19, 2001 at the Country Club (front row) Louise Rowse, Annie Laurie Williams, Dorris Loennig, Judy Clough (First Vice-president of PA State Chapter), Betty Long, Emma Zimmerman, Esther Stein, Betty Benson and Betty Philliber; (back row) Barbara Williams, Roberta Dinsmore, Joyce Cooper, Donna Kengersky, Mary Jo McMillen, Beverly Divelbiss, Eleanor Caylor, Irma Stein, Sandra Philliber, Marie Jenks and Kristeen Philliber. Submitted photo.

Pool; Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce; Camp Friendship; various churches; Garden Continued from previous page Club, Career Woman’s Club, Rotary, Rails to and associate degrees in a variety of majors. Trails, IUP, Punxsutawney Area Community Cottey College, a debt-free institution, welFoundation Inc.—just to name a few, and nucomes women from around the world. merous sisters have been honored as the P.E.O. Foundation is a nonprofit corporation Woman of the Year for Punxsutawney over established in 1961 to encourage tax-dethe course of history. With a current memductible giving to the educational and charibership of 32, the sisters meet monthly for a table projects of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. business meeting and program. Each year The PA Emergency Assistance Fund (EAF) Chapter W conducts fundraising activities. offers assistance through local chapters to aid Most notable for the area is a pecan sale during the holiday season. The sisters of Chapter W also participate in local Chapter W has assisted with many local women and their efforts to advance their educational career. One of those women is Kelly Neal Owens who was studying to be a Doctor of Optometry at the PennNovember 7, 2002, (kneeling) Peggy Knott; (front row) Emma Zim- sylvania College of Optometry merman, Betty Long, Marie Jenks, Annie Laurie Williams, Betty at Salus University. Owens was Philliber, Louise Rowse, Esther Stein, Lynn Nicklas, Kristeen a recipient of the ELF loan and Philliber; (back) Lynn Nicolas, Judy Clough and Eleanor Caylor. utilized the loan to assist with the expenses of attending multiple externship sites. When asked what she thought was important for women to know about PEO and the opportunities that are available, she said, “Paying for a doctorate becomes very expensive. The ELF loan was a low interest loan which did not accrue interest until 6 months after gradChapter W picnic at Betty Bundy’s on August 5, 1993 (front row, kneel- uation. The PEO organization ing) Helen RundeII and Dorothy Wood front row, standing) Arvilla helps many women achieve Hayes, Grace Davis, Ruth Brown, Thelma Cobb, Betty Philliber, Betty their goals in a more finanBundy. (back row) Betty Long, Ruth Fleckenstein, Ada Shields, Vircially viable way.” ginia Donahey, Julia Tronzo, Patricia Wilson. (submitted photos) Since graduating from Salus Pennsylvania women in need. Grants are University in 2016, she has been practicing at available when public or other private sources Clarion Eye Care in Clarion, PA, where she of assistance are not applicable and represent became a partner in 2019. She is currently a single time need. The working toward her goal of expanding their Pennsylvania Cottey College Scholarship Vision Therapy program to help bring needed Fund (PCCSF) grants scholarships annually service to the Western Pennsylvania commuto qualified women with Pennsylvania resinity. dence who are enrolled at Cottey College. The sisters of Chapter W PEO participate The amount is up to one-third of the yearly each year in the annual convention and, on comprehensive fee, depending upon the need. rotation, in the international convention. So, who are the PEO Sisters of Chapter W There are many opportunities that are availin Punxsutawney? The sisters of Chapter W able through PEO to give back to the comare members of the community and surmunity, to connect to other sisters rounding area, an eclectic group, who share internationally, to gain leadership experiences the same appreciation for education for and to show support for fellow women in women across many different levels of post their educational advancements. For more inhigh school education. The sisters of Chapter formation about how to get involved with W can be found throughout the community Chapter W or the grants and loans that are in various groups volunteering their time to available, contact Chapter President Karen make a difference in efforts such as the folBurkett at kburkett01@icloud.com for more lowing: Punxsutawney Revitalization Group information. (PRIDE); George C. Brown Community •••

Joel, Scott, and Marcia Bowers (submitted photo)

Husband and wife, Brett and Kali Toven (submitted photo)

Fighting Fire with Family

By Danielle Merrow According to Scott, he began his for Hometown magazine firefighting career on February 28, 1983, when he followed his friend Kevin into would walk through fire for you.” volunteering as a junior firefighter at age It’s an everyday saying that people 16 – the youngest age that someone is utter for its figurative meaning; allowed to join. At that age, a firefighter however, for the Bowers family of is permitted to respond to emergency calls Punxsutawney, facing fire and flames is a but has limited family business responsibilities. At that’s taken quite 18, Bowers moved up seriously. Leading to become a fullthe way is Chief fledged firefighter, Scott Bowers of the and, by 1988, he was Big Run Area promoted to Captain. Volunteer Fire By 1989, he was Company, followed assistant chief, and by his wife Marcia, from there worked daughter Kali and his way to deputy son Joel, as well as chief by 1990. In the kids’ significant 1992- nine years after others. These family joining the fire members have company - Bowers followed one another was named chief, a into fires and have role he filled for the become the largest next fifteen family unit to serve consecutive years. in a fire company in Scott’s wife Marcia the area. In fact, reminds him that he when Joel and his Scott and Marcia Bowers and her dad (who was (submitted photo) fiancee Heather also a firefighter) Grove tie the knot next year, they will be took off on a structure fire during their the third husband/wife firefighting duo in first date. “You ditched me,” Marcia says the department. to her husband, laughing. Scott nods in With the family gathered around a table agreement, admitting that it’s impossible at the new location for the Big Run Area to ignore an emergency situation; he’s Volunteer Fire station, it’s easy to see always tuned into what’s going on. their love and affection for one another. This was evidenced by Marcia when she They tease often, laughter flowing adds that her groom and all of his constantly through conversation that groomsmen wore their pagers to their shows how genuinely they care for one wedding. “They didn’t have them turned another and how unconditionally they on,” she says. “But as soon as the support one another.


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ceremony was over, they shifted their jackets back to show the pagers clipped to their belts.” Marcia got involved with the fire company by becoming treasurer in 2000, a position she still holds. Years later, in 2009, Scott and Marcia’s daughter Kali decided to follow her dad’s footsteps into the business of being a first responder by becoming a certified EMT when she turned 16, as a high school junior. Two years later, Kali’s younger brother Joel was the last family member to join, on his 16th birthday in 2012, the day he was eligible. Marcia, Kali and Joel completed their

firefighter training together. Tears of pride shine brightly in her eyes as Marcia recalls completing the certification process with her children. “I was at home with my kids when they were young. I’ve worked for the school district for ten years and have held an administrative position within the department for years. When the kids decided they were going to be firefighters, I just kind of figured, ‘if they’re all doing it, I might as well do it too,’” Marcia remembers. “For me, there was no decision about it. I never even thought about it, that’s just what was going to be,” Joel says with a shrug. He emphasizes that he never felt any pressure from his dad to join. Kali adds, “All my life, all I knew was the fire department. My dad has always been an active member. Being at the fire station all the time grew my interest, especially in the medical side of the department. I have always had a strong interest in helping people, and watching my dad and other members really inspired me to follow this line of work.” A stay-at-home mom and current student, as well as assistant volleyball coach for Punxsutawney High School, Kali picks up shifts as an EMT when she can, but occasionally helps out as a firefighter too. “With having close family nearby we have good help if we need it with the kids,” she says. In addition, Kali is in charge of rentals for the event center at the fire hall. Joel has risen through the ranks to become fire captain, while devoting his - Continued on next page

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Captain Joel Bowers (submitted photo)

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6 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

Continued from previous page days and many evenings each week to being the athletic trainer for the Punxsutawney Area School District. Scott’s mother Debbie Bowers admits that it’s not easy knowing that the whole family is putting themselves in danger. “We don’t have a scanner anymore, and that’s made it easier,” she says, holding back emotion. “I used to stand by the scanner, listening, waiting to hear that they were coming back.” Likewise, the family says that many holidays have been interrupted by calls. “Lots of dinners cooked and left uneaten, Christmas presents half-opened and abandoned… it happens with this line of work. It’s happened more than once,” the family says. “It’s kind of neat,” Scott reflects. “It’s neat looking around that truck, with my wife by my side, my kids with us, all suited up and ready to go. But it’s also scary. We know the risks. We know what could happen.” Despite all the risks, the family knows they’re doing the work they’re meant to do. In fact, both Kali’s and Joel’s significant others are also first responders: Kali’s husband Brett Toven began as a junior firefighter at McCalmont Township Volunteer Fire Company where he is now Lieutenant, while also being a Big Run Volunteer firefighter. Brett says, “My family has been members for my entire life, so I saw it as a family tradition. In my department I have two uncles, my brother and a cousin that are all currently active members. My grandfather was one of the founders of McCalmont Township Fire Department in the 70s.” Joel’s fiancée, Heather Grove, began with her EMT certification in 2019,and is currently working through her firefighter classes. “For me,” says Grove, “it was just a way to spend time with Joel.” (The family contributes a collective “awwww!” at this comment.) “Between his full-time work and his volunteer work, and the fact that between the two of us, someone has always been in school or studying for one extra certification or another, our time together is limited. If I wanted to see him, I needed to be here [at the fire hall]. If I’m here, I might as well be certified and work.” Grove is also the fire department’s recording secretary and is currently working toward a position as a physical therapy assistant as well.

Brett Toven (submitted photo)

Similarly, Grove’s parents are both life members of Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department. The call to be a volunteer firefighter, Joel says, is “being a part of something bigger than yourself. After a call, no matter how crappy, we’re going to be able to say we’ve given everything we have. We don’t ever want to be able to say we could’ve done more. We have the quality and the quantity here: the quality of work - knowing we’ve done it the right way, because that’s the way we were taught. We have the quantity in manpower. And you’re doing it for you, even if you’re not getting paid for it.” About the other people of the department, Marcia adds, “A lot of our members are here because they just want to work.” “If I said there’s no personal satisfaction in this, I’d be lying,” Scott admits. “But the ultimate goal is helping the community. We do this as a team. We all work together. It’s not for any one person; it’s for everyone.” Joel describes his volunteering as “an obsessive hobby- one you want to keep learning about. And learning doesn’t feel like work. You just want to know more about it.” Over the years, Scott has had to continue learning to keep up with fire rescue technology more than the rest of his family. “The way we put out fires hasn’t changed,” he notes, “but the technology in our tools has. We train and retrain often on the newest features on the equipment we use- the JAWS, our SCBA, the features in our trucks, all of it. It keeps changing, and we will sometimes train to use equipment that we won’t see for a long time because our budget doesn’t allow for the newest of everything, but we still need to know how to use it. Everything we learn is to keep us safe and to help us rescue people safely.” The family explains that the annual budget is one of the biggest obstacles for not only the fire department in Big Run, but for all area fire companies. Operating on about $125,000 annually means the departments all rely heavily on community support and fundraising. Scott says that for Big Run, that budget covers the mortgage on the new fire station, their equipment and their trucks. October is Fire Prevention Month, so Scott, Joel and Brett are joining members from eight local fire companies to present a demonstration day at the Punxsutawney Area Elementary School on October 8. - Continued on next page

Fighting Fire Continued from previous page

“It’s always fun,” Scott says of the presentation. “We show the kids the equipment, explain how it works and talk to them about fire safety. We even stay and have lunch with them, so we get a lot of interaction. These programs really do work; the younger we start talking to them about it, the more likely it is that the information will stick.” In all the years he’s been in this line of work, Scott can attest that the number of calls the department responds to each year has definitely increased. “Back in the ‘80’s, we saw less than a hundred calls a year, maybe 50-60 a year. I remember more of those; the details are much more clear. 2019, though, was the highest ever; we had 441 cases. With COVID, the number of calls we were dispatched to dropped significantly, but this year we will hit 300 calls by the end of the year.” Obviously, not all of the calls the department receives are for emergencies. “We’re the number people call when they don’t know who else to call. When people need help with anything, they call us. We’ve gotten calls for flooded basements, lost dogs, the ever-popular cat in the tree. We’ve rescued radiocontrolled airplanes from trees. We’ve been called to chase cows,” Scott notes. Unfortunately, not every call is guaranteed to have a good outcome. “I can tell you where each of the fatalities I’ve seen have happened,” Scott says. I remember all of it. Every detail. But I can’t dwell on it. It’s part of the job, and I have to set it aside so I can be ready for the next one.” Joel agrees, saying that while the debriefing conversations after a loss are designed to be helpful, it can often result in bringing up past experiences that they thought they had already dealt with and moved past. However, Kali and Brett agree that talking it out with other members is helpful for both of them. Marcia recalls the one incident that made her question her choices. “It was a house fire,” she says. “My partner was right in front of me on the hose line; we were advancing toward the fire, and I fell into a hole in the floor and into the basement. And at that moment, I asked myself, ‘what the h— am I doing?’” She says she often finds solace in praying, bicycling, and reading when she’s working through the aftermath of a difficult call. Overall, though, she says the volunteer work she does is satisfying. “Pushing my body to do the physical work we do has been so rewarding,” she says. Heather and Joel point out that it’s almost more rewarding to get home after a call that’s taken a long time - “you’re so exhausted, you just can’t wait to get to bed,” they say. “Then you lie down for an hour and a half, only to wake up to another call coming in. And you get up and do it all again.” Brett and Kali say that for both of them, they are fulfilled by helping others and keeping their community safe. “Knowing I can make a difference in someone’s life who I may not know or ever see again. Also, the ‘thank you’ that we receive, you know they truly mean it. It’s not just a

normal ‘thank you’ that you may receive after holding a door for someone,” Kali says “The work itself is more satisfying as a volunteer,” Scott says. “The paperwork, the politics, all of that is the downside, but we have so much respect for everyone around us. Getting to work alongside other area departments and helping each other out really gives us a sense of community.” Scott’s father Larry adds, “I know Scott has instilled community work in his family. Their relationship with Gaskill Township and surrounding municipalities is strong.” The department covers approximately 5,500 residents in about 95 square miles and is equipped to handle virtually any situation. Scott and Marcia are each certified as a PA State Certified

Firefighter I, as well as an EMR (Emergency Management and Response) and Vehicle Rescue technician. They are also trained in advanced RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) and have completed the Essentials of Firefighter course. As for the next generation of Bowers firefighters, Brett and Kali have two children, a son and a daughter, who will certainly carry on the family legacy. “We have no doubt that they will want to become firefighters,” they say. “Our son is already completely fascinated with it and wants to be down at either station any chance he gets. When you ask him what he wants to be when he gets older, he’ll say ‘a police officer in Pittsburgh and a firefighter.’ We hope he continues with those dreams and fulfills them.” •••

Pizza & Prevention 20th Anniversary

Promoting disaster prevention and introducing you to your volunteer firemen To comply with suggested good health practices, the event 2021 will be a coupon card sale only from from October 2nd to October 23, 2021 COUPON CARDS WILL BE SOLD AT: Central Fire Station Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Lindsey Fire Station Every Day from 8:30 - 10 a.m. Elk Run Fire Station Mon, Wed, Fri. & Sat. 4 - 8 p.m. to make arrangements to get cards another time, call 814-938-7901

Coupons cards for a Chief Pizza with pepperoni can be purchased for $9.11 plus tax

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Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 7

Seen in its present form in the summer of 2021, the historic Punxsutawney bandstand in Barclay Square has a history of nearly 90 years of being the spot for community services and activities. (Photo by S. Thomas Curry)

The Bandstand: A Useful Historic Landmark By S. Thomas Curry of Hometown magazine




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ith its comforting green area of lawn and landscape and its floral beauty of color provided by the Punxsutawney Garden Club, Barclay Square is a quieting “resort” space most of the days of the year in the heart of Punxsutawney. The pleasant days of summer and fall are welcomed by local and area residents of Punxsutawney, as well as visitors, with many activities focused on use of Barclay Square, weather permitting. When compared to the various activities that took place there and the ways in was used in the 19th century, such as circuses, militia training, the site for local July 4th fireworks, an open field for geese and pig to roam and a local field for baseball games, the present day activities in the park are just as numerous but perhaps not as varied. Since its designation as a Public Park in 1821, in Rev. David Barclay’s Plan for Punxsutawney, it has been a prized piece of land, with many efforts to improve the square of land and “fix it up as it should to add a hundred percent to the beauty of the town.” (The Punxsutawney Spirit, April 17, 1901) One of the major improvements to the park in the center of town was a three-year effort from 1901 to 1904. The costs were underwritten by the Punxsutawney Iron Company. When work was completed, the old park was turned over to the borough for its future and history as a beautiful park. As plans were developed by the landscape designer, many suggestions were offered by local residents, especially about what should be located in the center of the vast open space in the center of the park. Some people suggested a statue should be erected to honor the founder of the town who deeded the land to the borough. Another proposal was for a soldiers’ monument there, inscribed with the names of area soldiers who served in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. (In the early 1900s, the most recent war was the Spanish-American War in 1898.) Among many suggestions, the list was reduced to three. A list included a flower bed, an ornamental fountain or a rustic summer house. None of the ideas for the center of the park were completed. In 1911, a bandstand for the park was promoted to be placed in the center of the park. However, a wood, octagonal, “gazebo-style” bandstand was built in the northwest corner of the park, near the Pantall Hotel.

Passersby, with attention to the park, will focus on the center of many of the activities and community services, whether for a casual walk or driving by in a vehicle. There, with its history since 1932 in the center of the park, is the community’s treasured Memorial Bandstand, With the annual national Veterans Day ahead on November 11, attention could be on the bandstand again. The day, on the 11th day of the 11th month, was originally named Armistice Day and was meant as a day of reflection after World War I ended in 1918. That war among world nations was referred to as “the war to end all wars.” In 1954, the former Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day, a day of tribute to honor veterans of all U.S. wars. After World War I, a Memorial Service Building When World War I ended in 1918, Punxsutawney people went to the streets blowing whistles, holding impromptu parades and other demonstrations of joy. Places of business closed. The local newspaper reported, “...people went crazy with joy and thanksgiving...” Shortly after the war, a project to erect a life-size bronze doughboy monument was proposed for the park as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors and Red Cross nurses of southern Jefferson County of four wars. That project was abandoned and in its stead a “memorial service building” was planned by the Memorial Association committee, with a fund-raising campaign organized to cover the costs of the proposed building. The plans for the building were for it to be built in the public park (Barclay Square). Committee members were reminded that the space was donated to the town and was to be used solely as a public square. It also included the right to construct there a public building. The committee was given assurance that borough council would give its consent. The planned memorial building included a library, rest rooms and meeting rooms for patriotic organizations. Construction of the building in the park was not approved, and the effort to erect a worthy memorial to area men and women who served in the nation’s wars was left to history. At that time, in addition to World War I veterans, there were veterans of the Civil War and Spanish-American War. Memories of the 1918 Armistice faded, celebration parades and dances were aban- Continued on next page

structure was presented to “patriotic service organizations” of Punxsutawney. One of the Civil War veterans (nearly 90 years old) walked seven miles from his home near Rochester Mills to participate in the dedication.

A circa 1940 postcard shows the “Soldiers Memorial Band Stand” in its placement in the grassy area of the park. On the front of the bandstand a plaque reads: “In Honor of Those Who Answered the Call to Arms for the Defense of Their Country.” (Postcard courtesy of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society)

The Bandstand Continued from previous page

doned and programs in the park were dropped or became brief. In 1926, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Punxsutawney supported a plan to erect a life-size doughboy monument on a space in Punxsutawney’s park. It was to be mounted on a square granite base with brass tablets on each side to recognize veterans of the wars. It was considered to be an appropriate way to remind residents of the future that “Punxsutawney has a strong interest in her soldiers.” (The Punxsutawney Spirit, June 26, 1926) Ten years after the Armistice signing and

Construction of the bandstand began in August 1932. It was completed for its dedication on Armistice Day November 11, 1932. After construction, a sidewalk was placed in the park to reach it from the front and around it to the steps. (Photo courtesy of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society)

the end of World War I, in 1928, members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars revived programs for a November 11, 11:00 a.m. service in Barclay Square (The Public Park was officially named Barclay Square in 1928.). Introduced was a program of traditional flag raising, patriotic musical numbers, speakers and a brief period of silence to concentrate and pray on the spirit of sacrifice by ex-servicemen. The most impressive program for the celebration of Armistice Day was held in 1932 when the Memorial Bandstand was dedicated. About 1,000 people were reportedly crowded into Barclay Square when the new bandstand, of original design from native stone, was presented as a structure that would “last longer than mortal life” to

honor those men and women who answered the call to defend the nation. (The Punxsutawney Spirit, November 12, 1932) The ceremony began at the nearly eightstory wood flagpole, with heads bowed and uncovered during the tolling of the bell in the tower of the Municipal Building (located then along Torrence Street west of the present Fait Funeral Home). The firing of three volleys by the firing squad of the American Legion followed; next, the sounding of taps by the Drum and Bugle Corps (of the American Legion). As the huge flag was raised, the Municipal Band performed the National Anthem. Veterans of the U.S. Civil War (only a few remaining at that time), the Spanish-American War and World War I were in formation in front of the new bandstand as the

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The Memorial Bandstand The old wood, octagonal bandstand that had been used since 1911, a disfigured, unsightly eyesore in the northwest corner of the park, was removed and given to the Boy Scouts for a future use. Band concerts were held in the vacant grassy area of the park. For concerts, a temporary structure was built to accommodate a band of 50 pieces and was placed in the lawn area. According to newspaper reports, the placement was to provide “maximum comfort by the audience.” (The Punxsutawney Spirit, July 30, 1931) It was the Kiwanis Club, in 1931, that began the action to consolidate funds in the community that had been raised since World War I to provide some form of memorial to “soldiers and sailors” of past years. Public funds from the proposed Memorial Service Building and the Doughboy statue project were available. Joining the Kiwanians to develop plans for a “band shell” in Barclay Square was the Rotary Club. Approaching council, the joint committee of the groups suggested that a stone pavilion without a top be erected in the center of the grassy area of the park. Some older residents joined in on a controversy to erect a substantial, permanent bandstand in the park. Brought to the attention of borough council was a clause in Rev. - Continued on next page



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Continued from previous page the time of the early 1820s when the deed was filed. The controversy ended as it was found that the ground known today as Barclay Square was public property and borough council had the right to permit a building “of any kind” to be erected. Work on the bandstand began immediately in August 1932. Staking out the land and digging and hauling away dirt were days of labor. The memorial bandstand was to be four feet, ten inches in height, so that it would not interfere with a view of residences and buildings on Union Street. It would be 32 feet deep, with the same width, designed by architect John Zeedick, a Punxsutawney native who had been an architect in Pittsburgh at the time. The plan would include lockers and toilets underneath to be used by band members and performers. Its location in the “oval” was to be 160 feet from Mahoning Street, directly in the center, east to west. Six lights were to be mounted on the top of the bandstand “shelves.” Two large bronze eagles, to be cast by the Punxsutawney Foundry and Machine Company, were to adorn the east and west corners of the front. A sidewalk would be added to reach the bandstand. The cement for it, and the replacement of old worn-out walks from the landscape plan of 1904, was donated by the Punxsutawney Beef and Provision Co.


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Punxsutawney’s Memorial Bandstand was dedicated on the observance of Armistice Day of November 11, 1932. It was truly a community effort. In thanking the many people who provided donations of labor and materials to complete the bandstand, the president of the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial committee commented, “donations of such generosity make a town...” In reporting the completion of the impressive site the newspaper stated, “It dispels all fear that existed that it might destroy the beauty of the park...” (The Punxsutawney Spirit, November 12, 1932) During his dedication speech, Frank S. Jackson, superintendent of schools, remarked, “It commemorates and it also serves. Not only to the soldiers of all wars but to the future development of community life, to enlightenment and enrichment of the life of the children of Punxsutawney is it dedicated.” At the time of the dedication, the question asked of the participating patriotic organizations was, “Do you accept this memorial on behalf of the veterans...?” (The Punxsutawney Spirit, November 12, 1932) Aren’t we glad they did! Its beauty, uniqueness and usefulness have been among our reasons to take pride in hometown Punxsutawney. Among all the historic buildings in the Punxsutawney architectural landscape, the Memorial Bandstand must be among them. There is more to the history of the bandstand in the memories of many residents as we reflect back to the community spirit and pride of 1976, 1982, 1995. The ideas, plans and efforts in restoration and improvements to the bandstand will assure its presence and use for future generations. •••


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Event Held to Present Historical Preservation Certificates of Commendation and to Dedicate 2020 & 2021 Tiles at Coal Memorial By Coal Memorial Committee for Hometown magazine he Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society and the Coal Memorial Committee held a combined event on September 5, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church in Punxsutawney. The purpose of the event was to recognize historical preservation in the Punxsutawney area and to commemorate the addition of tiles to the Punxsutawney Area Coal  Memorial. Historical Preservation Certificates of Commendations were presented by Society President Scott North to the following: The Gardner Mansion, a restoration of the original Dr. John E. Grube residence at 306 W. Mahoning Street; the American Heroes Project, spearheaded by the Lemon Drops; and the Restoration of the North Findley Street Cemetery by the North Findley Street Cemetery Guild. The Gardner Mansion, located at 306 West


Mahoning Street, is one of the historic homes along the section of West Mahoning Street referred to as Millionaire’s Row. The building had fallen in-to disrepair when purchased in 2019 by Adlai Pennington and Leonard “Hari” Gardner. The restoration has returned the building to a beautiful facility and has adapted it for use as a bed and breakfast, which will permit many visitors to enjoy and appreciate the home. Darla Gardner accepted the award on behalf of the Gardner Mansion. The American Heroes Project involved the placement of banners, honoring veterans, throughout the community. The banners remind the community of the selflessness and dedication put forth by the men and women who have served our country through in the U.S. Military. The American Heroes Project was spearheaded by the Lemon Drops and is a fitting tribute commemorating our regional military history. Ongoing responsibility for this project has been transferred to the Punx-

2020 and 2021 Memorial Tiles added to this panel at the Punxsutawney Area Coal Memorial, 404 W. Mahoning Street, on September 5, 2021, are shown in the above picture. They include from top left: Eugene Catalano, coal dealer; Salvatore Ferari and his sons, James A. Ferari, Nick Ferari, Joseph Ferari, John Ferari and Nunsie Ferari, coal miners; Fred Barilar, mine owner and Michael Koromas, miner; the Big 6 and Tri-County Trolley Leagues which included Baseball Teams from Adrian, Anita, Big Run, DuBois, Eleanora, Eriton, Helvetia, Punxsy Railroad YMCA, Ramsaytown, Reynoldsville, Rossiter and Sykesville; Thomas Quentin “Tucker” Craft, Steam and Diesel Locomotive Engineer, B&O Railroad; Blair and Wayne Hess, tipple operators; Lawson Kunselman, miner; William James Hockin, miner; Percy Hockin, Sr., mine superintendent; Percy Hockin, Jr., miner; James Hockin, miner and inspector with the Mine Safety and Health Administration; Victor E. Belin, Brakeman, B & O Railroad; David S. Hockin, miner; Seven generations of railroad men: Solomon J. Talladay, Reubin S. Taladay, Franklin J. Taladay, John J. Taladay, Jerome D. Taladay, Mark F. Taladay, and Jake Davis; McGregor “Mack” Busch, miner; and Eli English, miner. (Other tiles shown on this picture, dedicated in 2019, include the following: John Pisarck, miner; Leo “Bob” Engle, miner, The Stanley Karolick Family, Stanley, Stanley Jr., and Mike , Miners; Peter Yeder, railroader; Stanley “Ray” Joseph Manners, miner, The Maloney Family, Patrick, John E. and John F., miners, and Walter Stilson Blaisdell, mine doctor. (Photo courtesy of S.J. Sharp)

sutawney Chamber of Commerce. The North Findley Street Cemetery Project addressed the restoration of this Heritage Cemetery where one may find the graves of veterans of the Revolutionary War, Civil War and Spanish American War, as well as early settlers and ancestors of many of today’s residents. According to North, “The Society recognizes the North Findley Street Cemetery Guild for their forward thinking as they work

to bring alive the histories of those resting within the cemetery and to beautify the grounds.” Restoration included resetting the bricks in the entry way staircase and adding a handrail to increase safety. The cemetery grounds were cleaned, new plantings were made and some headstones were refreshed. A new sign board has been installed which will provide information about the cemetery. The restoration work was made possible by - Continued on page 13

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By Melissa Salsgiver of Hometown magazine unxsutawney residents Emery and Margaret “Margie” Secosky celebrated their 70th anniversary in July. They were married on July 28, 1951. When it rained on their wedding day, Margie was upset, but her father assured her that it was God’s way of blessing her and Emery with a long life together.


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Emery and Margaret Secosky at their wedding in 1951. Submitted photo.

The couple met at her sister’s wedding. 13year-old Margie approached Emery, who was a few years older, and proclaimed she knew his nickname, “Blackie.” They also attended Hurst high school (Now Mt. Pleasant) together in Norvelt, PA. They married when Margie was 17 and Emery was out of the Air Force. Emery was a Staff Sargent, serving in the era between WWII and the Korean War. They previously lived on a “farmette” in Greensburg. When Emery retired from his factory job in Greensburg, the couple was looking for activities to fill their time. Emery quickly completed all the jobs left to do at their house. The couple then started making trips to Punxsutawney to visit with relatives who lived near Punxsutawney Church of God. They frequented auctions and sheriff sales to fill their new-found extra time. At one sheriff’s sale in 1997, Emery decided to bid on the property which included a house that had been abandoned for some time. To Emery’s surprise, his bid was accepted and the couple then had lots of extra

Emery and Margaret Secosky in 2021. Submitted photo.

on them on their rainy wedding day, the number seven seems to be a lucky number for the couple. They raised five children, making their family a family of seven, and they have seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. They were married in July, the seventh month of the year, and are celebrating their 70th anniversary. Much love and admiration to Margie and Emery in their 70th year of marriage. Friends can send an anniversary card or note to them at: Emery and Margaret Secosky c/o Hometown Magazine 129 Aspen Rd. Punxsutawney, PA 15767 •••

Soft Skills Training For High School Students and Adults


obert Cardamone, representing the Punxsutawney Regional Development Corporation (PRDC), announced Soft Skills Training will be offered to area high school students and local businesses and adults beginning October 19, 2021 at the IUP Punxsutawney Campus. This training is designed to enhance the participant’s soft skills. Topics include “The Do’s and Don’ts of Professionalism in the Workplace,” “The Powerful Effects of Body Language in Life and Work,” “Expanding Your In-Group,” “Conflict Resolution and Teamwork,” and a Practical Exercise where participants take on the roles of employer, customer, and employee. Cardamone stated the training is free, but registration is required, and participants must com-

mit to attend all five sessions and demonstrate a willingness to elevate their employment skills. Cardamone stated cost for the training is being provided by PRDC and noted there will be a sixth optional session designed to provide participants with practical job seeking experiences. Muth stated participants who complete all program requirements will receive a certificate of completion and inclusion in a mini-resume directory (if interested). Employers and individuals interested can obtain registration forms by emailing iuppxy@iup.edu OR info@punxsyprdc.org. Paper copies are available at the IUP campus. Questions can be addressed to Robert Cardamone at 814-952-3341. •••

Event Held to Present

Continued from page 11 a grant from the Rotary Club and the volunteers of the member organizations of the North Findley Street Cemetery Guild, chaired by Robert Lott, who accepted the award on behalf of the Guild. After the awards portion of the event, the Coal Memorial Committee presented a program which centered on the impact of baseball in developing leadership skills among residents of mine communities. Tom Curry began the program with a reading of an editorial from the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph reprinted Pittsburgh Daily Commercial Newspaper on October 3, 1866. The essence of this editorial was that baseball was a pass-

realized the value of having the teams went far beyond the game. Baseball was a motivator. Baseball helped to create community loyalty, productive employees and was a training ground for leadership development among miners. The repartee between, by Bob Lott and Bob Nastase, both former coal miners, told of baseball players who lived and worked in mining communities. Some local mine team players used their baseball skills to gain positions on Major League Baseball teams. Other mine town ball players used their discipline and teamwork skills, learned on the ball field, to advance to higher positions in mining, including mine supervisors and owners. Others used their skills to secure their education, enabling them to become attorneys, physicians and business owners. The impact of the eight-hour day included

more productive workers and improved the quality of life for residents of mining communities. The event concluded with the reading of the names of individuals honored on tiles added to the Punxsutawney Area Coal Memorial. These new Memorial Tiles include individuals who worked on the railroad and in mines, many of whom played on coal town baseball teams. One tile commemorates the Big 6 and the Trolley League Teams, which were comprised of teams primarily from coal towns. These teams played games and provided entertainment throughout the Punxsutawney Area. The tiles have been installed at the Punxsutawney Area Coal Memorial at 404 West Mahoning Street in Punxsutawney. Visitors to the Coal Memorial may review the tiles from dawn to dusk daily. These tiles repre-

sent many stories from the coal mining era in Punxsutawney. This article has been prepared by the Coal Memorial Committee of the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society. Resources used in preparing this article are from PAHGS, The Punxsutawney Spirit and Newspapers.com. Comments may be directed to PAHGS, P.O. Box 186, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. Individuals desiring to honor a coal or coal industry related worker in 2022 are encouraged to purchase their tile by June 30, 2022. A Coal Memorial tile may honor persons who worked in any aspect of the coal industry including railroads and ancillary services. Additional information and from may be found online at www.punxsyhistory.org , or may be requested by email to: punxsyhistory@outlook.com, or calling 814938-2555 and leave a message. •••

The American Heroes Project that was spearheaded by the Lemon Drops, a community group in Punxsutawney, was one of the Historical Preservation Activities recognized by the Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society on September 5, 2021. Other Historical Preservation activities recognized included the original Dr. John E. Grube Home at 306 West Mahoning Street, which was restored and is now the Gardner Mansion Bed and Breakfast, as well as the North Findley Street Cemetery restoration by the North Findley Street Cemetery Guild. (Photo courtesy of S.J. Sharp)

ing fad which would soon disappear. This was followed by a skit, set 100 years later, in which two old miners were listening to the final inning of game seven of the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates. When Bill Mazeroski hit a homerun in the bottom of the ninth, winning the game and the series for the Pirates, the miners began reminiscing about local ball games and players from mining communities. From the opening of the first industrial coal mine at Walston, workers in the mines in southern Jefferson County were required to work 10-12 hours a day, six days a week, with only the Sabbath day as respite from work. This changed in 1897, when 150,000 miners in western Pennsylvania, under the leadership of John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers Union, went on strike, resulting in the coal operators’ accepting the Union’s request for an eight-hour work day. An eight-hour work day provided local coal miners the opportunity for leisure time activities. Baseball became one of the leisure time activities and progressed to be a major part of each community’s culture. Local mine community teams flourished. Mine operators welcomed and supported them. They

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 13


An “E”xplosion of Siblings in Service - Part 1

By Marty Armstrong for Hometown magazine s WWII took place over a span of years, the reporting of sibling service will surely be a multi-year project. There are plenty of places to look to identify sets of siblings, and two new sources brought forward two sets of five siblings each. The appeal to present both families was irresistible; there was the symmetry of three men and two women from the Esposito family, together with two men and three women from the Erdesky family, paired with their ongoing careers in health and human services by many on the one hand and government service by many on the other. Exploring all of this will require two separate reports.



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A New Source On a visit to the Mahoning Valley VFW Post 2076 building, located on Punxsutawney’s Maple Avenue, to examine the wall where tiles of honor recognize local veteran service from all periods revealed an impressive row of tiles for five Esposito siblings: three sons and two daughters of Joseph (1893-1928) and Julia Mary Mottey Esposito (1895-1951). Born in Italy, Mr. Esposito was a WWI veteran serving in the Quartermaster Corps. His service then may have been his pathway to citizenship as that was common among immigrant soldiers. He certainly became a naturalized citizen and a member of the American Legion, as well as maintaining membership in the Knights of Columbus and Ss.C.D. A former Metropolitan Insurance agent, he died when the children were young. Mrs. Esposito, a resident of Second Avenue, in addition to her church membership and service, belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary. When her children came to adulthood in the 1940s, they, like many others, chose several avenues of military service. Presented in the order in which their tiles are placed at the VFW are the following: Sgt. Francis H. Esposito, U.S. Army Air Corps – 1943-1946


14 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

Betty Esposito Boston, Nursing Corps U.S. Army – 1943-1944

Anna Elizabeth “Betty” Esposito Boston (1922-2006), RN, served as a cadet in the US. Army during WWII. She later worked at hospitals in both Punxsutawney and Indiana, served as a Candy Striper advisor and volunteered with Home Health, American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the Punxsutawney Ambulance Service. In addition to her Ss.C.D. membership and service, Betty was a member of the Punxsutawney Nurses’ Club and named Punxsutawney Woman of the Year in 1986. She was married to Frank A. Boston.

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initially as a ground crew member in Nebraska. Out of school, he had previously been employed as a draftsman; later, he was employed as a mechanical engineer of Rohm & Haas Kentucky, Inc. He was also a member of the American Legion, the Kentuckiana Construction Users Council and the Lions Club. Esposito was married to the former Ruth Haines.

Francis Henry Esposito (1923-1984) enlisted in the Air Corps at age 20 and served

Rose Mary Esposito, Nursing Corps U.S. Army – 1943-1944

Rose Mary Esposito (1925-2006), a graduate of Indiana Nursing Hospital, served as a cadet in the U.S. Army while still in her teens, a career she continued in civilian life. 2nd Lt. Jerry Esposito, U.S. Army Air Corps (4 medals and 3 bronze stars) – 1944-1946

Gerald “Jerry” Esposito (1924-2003) served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Corps during WWII, becoming a B-17 “Flying Fortress” navigator in Italy, receiving awards for meritorious achievement in aerial flight in sorties over Germany, Austria and Italy, including massive engagements in northern Italy prior to the Allied capture of Bologna and breakthrough into the Po Valley. Prior to enlistment he had worked as a mechanic at Fleetwing Aircraft Co, in Bristol, Pennsylvania. After the war, beginning with the Punxsutawney Ambulance and, later, the Citizen’s Ambulance Service, based in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Esposito witnessed the transition to the community-based ambulance services of today. (In earlier years, ambulance service - Continued on page 19

The Paper Dress By Mary Ellen Pollock-Raneri for Hometown magazine


hat is yellow and black and read all over?” That’s what the magazine ad asked. Of course, it was a paper dress that was designed like the Yellow Pages of the old phone books! I remember how badly I wanted to own this very hip fashion statement that I spied in an ad in the Sunday paper, way back when I was about 12 years old. Lucy loved to look at those advertisements, too, for different kinds of clothing that she would dream of purchasing. There were slacks with an expandable waistline – in about 10 different colors, you know: five pairs for 10 dollars. Or sometimes, the ads touted some kind of pullover polyester shirt that was stretchy with a zipper up the front. The advertisement claimed that the top would go with every skirt or pants ever created. Anyways, in the “World of Fashions by Mom,” Lucy finally bought me something that was not homemade. Why? Because she knew that I really wanted it. She bought me a paper dress for a dollar, plus shipping and postage. Long before the glory of the postal tracking numbers, all of us customers that lived in the 60s simply checked our mailboxes every day for our packages that we ordered. We didn’t have a clue when our purchases would arrive. I think it was way more fun that way – that anticipation and the surprise of finally opening the mailbox and spying a box or a wrapped bundle waiting for us.

My daily job was always fetching the mail for Lucy, but I didn’t mind. It gave me a chance to see if a girlfriend had sent me a letter (Yes. We wrote to each other in the summertime when school was out. In cursive. Gasp!). Besides that, I loved to be the one who brought the packages and mail into my mom. Now, I was waiting with baited breath for my own personal package: my Yellow Pages paper dress. I could hardly wait to get it. I remember it arrived just before the 4th of July that summer. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. With short sleeves and a round neck, the one-piece paper dress was like the dad’s prize fishnetlegged lamp in The Christmas Story, to me. You may think that the “fabric” would be kind of scratchy because it was paper, but its texture was like a thick soft dryer sheet, fibers of paper all woven together in a beautiful vibrant yellow with the black writing. I was so stylish and cool that I could hardly stand it. My mother was proud of that purchase, too. “Wear it downtown,” Mom suggested. “They are having Fourth of July sidewalk sales, and you can show it off,” she added. I mean, you would think that it was HER dress; she was just so excited about the unveiling of the new extraordinary fashion. So, I got all dolled up with my new duds. The dress pulled right over my head – there was no zipper or any buttons. I slid right into it. Then, I put on a pair of sandals. I was ready for a day on the town with Mom and Dad. We began our walk down Main Street under a hot summer sun, and we sauntered past racks of clothing set out on the sidewalks. I pretended to browse, but I was sure that everyone was looking at me and my amazing new dress! I casually looked around to see if anyone was looking at me in my Yellow Pages creation. I was sure that

no one else would have been wearing such an amazing creation. Finally, we arrived at the end of the street and went into J.C. Penney’s to check out the shoes. While Mom and I perused some new footwear, Dad relaxed in one of the chairs there by a metal foot measuring tool. You know the kind – with the slide that pinned in your foot so you could tell what size shoe you wore. Anyway, he motioned for me to come sit by him, and I did. Flopping down in the chair beside him, I was grateful to find a seat, and I was happy to relax a bit. It’s a tough job being a summertime catwalk model. As soon as my rear end hit the chair, I heard it - a terrifying sound - probably the most horrible sound you could imagine, that is, if you were wearing a paper dress. “RIIIPPPPPPPPPPP,” the dress growled. I was afraid to stand up. I knew in my heart what had happened, and I really hoped that my whole backside wasn’t hanging out in J.C. Penney. “Dad,” my voice quivered, “I ripped my dress.” Mom, who was nearby, heard me and dashed over. “What?” she asked. “What happened?” Well, I told them both about it and, true to form, my mother remained calm in the midst of a crisis. “It’s no big deal,” Lucy pronounced as she examined the six-inch tear that was at the middle of my backside. Actually, my whole butt could have been hanging out, but Lucy always remained cool and composed in a crunch. When the going got tough – Mom got going. She just resolved the problem with, “We will tape it when we get home.” Appalled at the thought of Scotch tape on my brand new outfit, I thought I would fling myself on the floor right there in the department store and weep uncontrollably. But, I didn’t. I pulled myself up by my paper bootstraps. “Okay,” I whispered. “Do you think it will be okay to walk back to the car?”

Lucy responded with her usual, “Of course it will be okay,” and that’s just what we did – the three of us marched right back to the car. If Mom said it would be okay, I believed her and followed her directions. She could have been leading me to the Paper Dress Slaughter, but I believed in Lucy. She was the Great and Wonderful Oz who could fix anything. When we arrived back at the car that was parked down by the town square, I scrambled to get in the back seat. Bad Move Number Two! Double RIIIIPPPPPP! I did it again. They just didn’t make the Yellow Pages like they used to, I supposed. Naturally, it didn’t help that I jumped in the back seat at about one hundred miles an hour, so no one would see me, or see the tear in my dress. Now, I had a new brother or sister for the first tear – only this tear was way worse. I actually ripped the whole back of my new paper dress completely open from head to toe, except for a small piece of paper up by the neck and one strand of paper at the bottom by the hem. Sadly, I gave new meaning to the expression, “baby got back.” What happened to the Yellow Pages outfit? I’m sure you could figure it out. We couldn’t tape it or glue it back together. For sure, Mom couldn’t sew it, even though she tried. So, eventually, I retired the paper dress to the garbage can in a solemn and dignified service later that day. Yes, I was the King of the Hill for about two hours at the sidewalk sale downtown. And, the destiny of the paper dress? Well, it probably went to a paper shredder somewhere. Looking back, I kind of wish I would have kept my frock, even if it were torn. I checked on the internet and I think it’s worth about 1,800 dollars as a collector’s item these days – in pristine condition, of course. Nevertheless, when I think back on that day, I feel like I wore an 1,800-dollar dress, even though it only cost my mom a dollar. It was all worth it for just a couple hours of being a fashion statement in my hometown. •••

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James L. Hollis of Punxsutawney January 25, 1953 - August 26, 2021  James was a 1970 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School and went to technical school in Pittsburgh.  He served in the United States Air Force from 1972 to 1976.  He was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church of Punxsutawney where he taught the adult Sunday School class for many years and also served as a Lay Leader in the church.  James enjoyed planting trees, making jewelry, bird watching, gold prospecting and working on equipment.  He previously worked as an equipment operator for P&N Coal Company and Castle Gas in Indiana.  In addition to his wife Cheryl (Means) Hollis, surviving relatives include two children, son Laybn (Kayla) Hollis and daughter Karah Hollis; five siblings, John (Ruth) Hollis, Tim (Jeanice) Hollis, Dave (Memoree) Hollis, Amy (Matt) Taladay and Molly Hollis; father and mother-in-law Robert (Janice) Means; sisters-in-law Rhonda (Doug) Swan and Jen (Scott) Kopnitsky; and several nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents, Helen (Yoder) and John Hollis, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Peggy Neal and Sara Edge. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Victoria Ann Snyder of Punxsutawney September 7, 1948 - August 28, 2021  Vickie was a lifetime member of Ss. Cosmas and Damian Roman Catholic Church. Over the years, she was active in church activities including teaching children’s religious education; singing in the choir; working at the Saint Vincent DePaul food bank; knitting and crocheting prayer shawls; and sewing lap quilts as part of the Parish Health Ministry.  Vickie was a Secular Franciscan since her profession in 1986. She served as Minister and as Secretary of the Saint Clare Fraternity. Additionally, Vickie served two terms on the Lady Poverty Regional Executive Council for the 4-state Lady Poverty Region for the Secular Franciscans.  Vickie was one of the first residents of the Mahoning Towers in Punxsutawney where she enjoyed the company of tenants and staff, playing card games with friends and teaching those games to her nieces and nephews.  Vickie was preceded in death by her parents, Clayton Snyder, Sr. and Elizabeth (Pistorius) Snyder. She is survived by her three siblings, Clayton (Elise) Snyder, Jr., Michael (Donna) Snyder and Mary Lou (Tom) Brown; her nieces and nephews: Jodi (Joe) Despoy, John (Tawnya) Snyde, Bryon (Carrie) Snyder, Kirk Snyder and Coeli Liptok, Trisha (Marc) Skarbek, Mary Anne (Mark) Fedder, Dr. Dan (Angela) Brown, Beth (Ben) Dereume and Katie (Nick) Irwin; as well as many great nieces and nephews. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Shirley A. Piekielek of Punxsutawney May 19, 1937 - September 1, 2021  Shirley attended Harmony Elementary and

16 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

graduated from Punxsutawney Area High School in 1955. She went to Allegheny General Hospital School of Nursing, class of 1958, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, class of 1973.  She was employed as a registered nurse in many locations, which include Allegheny General Hospital, Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, Brookville Hospital, Pennsylvania Department of Health in Butler, Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, Punxsutawney Home Health and the Punxsutawney Area Hospital.  She enjoyed volunteering for Punxsutawney Home Health Care, Punxsutawney Area Hospital, Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society and the American Cancer Society. Shirley also enjoyed golfing, quilting, crafts and baking.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Punxsutawney where she served as a trustee and volunteered with mission projects.  She is survived by several nieces and nephews, Richard and Paula Conrad, Ronald Baranoski and Kevin Baranoski, Judy Kash, Paul and Connie Piekielek, Jim and Kelly Piekielek, Bill Piekielek and wife Kirstin MacDonald Piekielek, Jim and Mary Roberts, John Piekielek and Daniel Piekielek; a great-niece, Carla Whitfield; several great-nieces and nephews; and cousins Boyd Edmondson, Carol Edmondson-Kida and Diana McDonald.  In addition to her husband, Stanley Edward Piekielek, and parents, Margaret Ruth (Dormire) and Wilfred Edmondson, she was preceded in death by a brother, Allan Edmondson and a niece, Laurie Baranoski. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Richard “Dick” James Kolodick of Smicksburg December 8, 1946 - September 3, 2021  Dick was a graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School, class of 1964. He was a member of the undefeated 1964 football team. Dick attended Dodge City Junior College and Fort Hays Kansas State Teachers College where he was on both the football and golf teams.  After college, he was a physical education teacher for ten years in Kansas and Pennsylvania, a coal miner and an employability counselor for North Central PA Regional Planning and Development.  He was inducted into the Punxsutawney Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Dick was an avid fan of Punxs’y football and basketball and enjoyed watching the games with the “Mahoning Club.” He was also instrumental with the planning and development of the Jack Hart Memorial at the Jack LaMarca Stadium. In addition, Dick coached his children’s Little League baseball and softball teams for ten years. He was also on the Little League board for five years.  Dick was a lifetime member of the Ss. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church and the Men’s Fraternity.  In addition to his wife, Eileen (Elkin) Kolodick, Dick is survived by his three children: son Rick (Erin) Kolodick and granddaughters Isabel and Adeline; daughter Amy (Jason) Dunlap; and daughter Laura Nary. He is also survived by his three brothers: Joseph (Merry)

Kolodick, John (Fran) Kolodick and Nick (Margie) Kolodick; two uncles: Nick and Steven Greshock; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Ethel (Gresock) Kolodick.  Dick was well known for his jokes and storytelling. But most of all, he loved being a papa to his granddaughters and sitting around the fire with his family while smoking a stogie and sipping on a Manhattan. Deeley Funeral Home, Inc. www.deeleyfuneralhome.com u Kirk Eric Wayne Sweat of Rochester Mills October 6, 1965 - September 3, 2021  He served in the US Navy from 1986-1991 on the CV 60 USS Saratoga in operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He also served in the Mediterranean and Red seas and supported ground troops in Kuwait and Iraq from 1990-1991.  Kirk was store manager at Martins Grocery Store in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.  In his spare time, he enjoyed spending time with family and friends, hunting, fishing, camping, playing corn hole and bowling.  He is survived by his wife, Brenda (Peffer) Sweat; daughter, Rachel Sweat; parents, Paul R. “Sonny” and Erika (Nusser) Sweat; sister, Nicole (Scott) Shettle; sisters-in-law, Dorothy (Blair) Stiffler, MaryAnn (Todd) Eyler, Ruth (Brian) Smith and brother-in-law, Lester (Betsy) Peffer; nieces and nephews, Channing and Logan Shettle, Jeremy and Rebecca Eyler, Briana Irwin, Cody and Cheyenne Smith, Nick Strawcutter, Reece and Tori Peffer, Becky and Hannah Gresock and numerous great-nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his two best friends, Neil Ford and Joe Kelly. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Jeffrey E. Lavender of Coolspring March 13, 1955 - September 7, 2021  Jeff was an active member of the Coolspring United Methodist Church where he was a Sunday School teacher, a lay minister and trombone player. He was a graduate of Clarion University with a degree in music education. Jeff was employed by MPP Innovation in Falls Creek for over 20 years. He was a substitute music teacher in numerous school districts, including Punxsutawney and Brookville. Jeff enjoyed playing his slide trombone, running, walking with his wife, Gail, reading, collecting 33 LP records and mowing. Jeff loved his family, God and especially his wife, Gail.  He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Gail (Hilliard) Lavender, father and mother-in-law, Ray (Lorraine) Hilliard, sister-in-law, Kitty Hilliard, brother-in-law, Kevin Douglas, nephew, Ian Douglas, a sister, Sharon Lavender, two brothers, Dwight Lavender and wife Irma and Brad Lavender, an uncle, Alton (Pat) Ison, numerous cousins and his Coolspring United Methodist Church Family.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Mary Ruth (Ison) Lavender, and a sister, Brenda Lavender. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u - Continued on next page

Continued from previous page Ada May “Toots” (Messer) Bishop of Punxsutawney, PA July 14, 1945 - September 7, 2021  She was a 1964 graduate of Delsea Regional High School and enlisted in the USAF after graduation.  Ada was preceded in death by her parents, George and Reba Messer, her bothers, Thomas, Joseph and Steve Messer, her first husband, Chester Thompson and in-laws Calvin and Della Bishop.  She is survived by her husband, Calvin “Dick” Bishop, daughter, Debby (Tom) Stahl, son, Reginald Sr. (Tammy) Thompson, stepson, Dr. Richard (Julie) Bishop, stepdaughter, Nicki Bishop, brother, George Messer, Jr., and brother-in-law, Bill (Wanda) Bishop.  Ada is also survived by several grandchildren: Christopher (Rachel) Gottberg, Reginald Jr, Shyenne and Ariella “Ellie May” Thompson, Austin and Walker Childers, Carsyn Bishop, Alysa, Anthony and AJ Winterburn, as well as her great-grandchildren: Joseph “Jo Jo” Gottberg, Owen, Eziekel, Samantha and Oliver Thompson and Braxton Levy and a special nephew, Ethan Bishop, USCG active and her four-legged companions Crosby and Hank.  Ada retired with 26 years of service in the US Air Force as a Master Sargent of Base Commands. She was also an integral part of the administrative staff for the 757th Flying Squadron at the Youngstown Air Base.  Ada was a member of the Rossiter American Legion Post #582 and was the first and only woman member of the Honor Guard. Richard L. Fait Funeral Home www.faitfuneralhome.com u Ryan James Meneely of Chambersburg June 10, 2007 - September 8, 2021  Ryan was a 9th grade student at Chambersburg Area Senior High School. He was a reserved, kind-hearted, loving soul. Ryan enjoyed being outdoors, playing video games, sled riding, swimming, listening to music, visiting his grandparents and eating chocolate, sweets, and spicy foods. Ryan was great at drawing and sketches, and he adored his sister. Overall, Ryan was a happy kid who enjoyed his life to the fullest.  He is survived by his parents, Matthew and Trisha (Yarger) Meneely; a sister, Kaitlyn Meneely; paternal grandparents, Jim and Debi Meneely of Punxsutawney; maternal grandparents, Lanette Blair, Sligo, and Everett Yarger, Dayton; two great-grandmothers, Lillian Kimmy, Dayton, and Joanne Boyer, Rimersburg; an uncle, Joel (Katharina) Meneely and their children, Parker and Maleena; aunt, Cassie Meneely, Punxsutawney; paternal relatives: three great-aunts, Connie (Dick) Venesky, Denise (Ed) Manges, Donna (Francis) Miloser; a great-uncle, Denny (Karen) Whitesell; ma-

ternal relatives: a great-aunt, Darcy (Larry) Kiehl; two great-uncles, Keven (Dianna) Blair and Derek Blair. He was preceded in death by numerous family members. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u John F. Kaylor, Sr. of Punxsutawney September 12, 1937 - September 9, 2021  John was a member of the Punxsutawney Eagles and Rossiter American Legion. He enjoyed hunting and spending time with his family. John especially enjoyed making his own homemade horseradish and sharing it with his friends and family.  He is survived by three children, John Kaylor, Jr., Robin (Bill) Troutman and Vickie Burkett; seven grandchildren; 12 greatgrandchildren; and a good friend, Rick Laska.  He was preceded in death by parents, John C. and Mary Mildred (Smith) Kaylor, three brothers, William, Paul and Harry Kaylor, a sister, Mary Gallina, and a granddaughter, Jessica Troutman. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Ellen L. Bishop of Punxsutawney November 26, 1952 - September 13, 2021  Ellen was a longtime active member of The Salvation Army of Punxsutawney. She graduated from the Indiana Hospital School of Nursing. Ellen started her career as a nurse at Indiana and DuBois hospitals, before working for Punxsutawney Area Hospital, where she worked her way up to nursing supervisor. She primarily worked nightshift, where she would oversee all nursing departments in the hospital. Ellen stepped away from nursing after working 35 years at the hospital. Her church and her family were the most important things to her.  She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Warren L. Bishop; two sons, Eric (Marie) Bishop and Matt (Teresa) Bishop; three grandchildren, Carson, Tyson and Susann Adalyn Bishop; a brother, David Shields; and a sister, Mary (John) Stamler. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Hilda (Shields) Stuck, and two sisters, Karen Ishman and Donna Gallagher. McCabe Funeral Home Inc. www.mccabewaldronfh.com u Walter R. Hurd of Punxsutawney October 15, 1924 - September 17, 2021  Walter was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army. He para-trooped into Normandy, France on DDay, June 6, 1944. He later paraglided into Belgium on December 17, 1944 and entered the Battle of the Bulge. In 2019, Walter re-

ceived the French Legion Medal of Honor at the 75th DDay ceremonies in France for acts of heroism during World War II. He returned to Normandy several times for the DDay Anniversary celebrations. After his service to his country, Walter was a policeman for a short period of time. He then worked for a number of different bread delivery companies, before he became a Prudential Insurance Agent for many years. For years he went door to door selling insurance and collecting premiums, particularly in the Sykesville area.  On February 27, 1948, he married Ruth A. Johnston. She preceded him in death in 1975. He later married Cloyann Freas/Rieg, she also preceded him in death.  Mr. Hurd was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as baseball and golf. He was an amateur photographer, mostly making family movies and outdoor films.  He was the last surviving Charter Member of the Clover Ridge Lodge. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2076, the Punxsutawney Lions Club and John W. Jenks Masonic Lodge #534. Walter celebrated fifty years of Masonic membership on March 3, 2020 and received the fifty years Masonic Service Emblem.  He is survived by two sons, Randy (Wendy) Hurd and Rick (Jill) Hurd; one daughter, Wendy (Douglas) Depp; one stepson, John (Cora) Rieg; two daughter inlaws, Patricia Hurd and Dr. Lisa Witherite Rieg; one son inlaw, Mark Georgek; twelve grandchildren; seventeen great grandchildren; one brother, Glenn (Jennette) Hurd; sister inlaw. Caroline Hurd and Brother inlaw, Robert Radomsky. many nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents, Herbert H. and Dove L. (Barrett) Hurd, he was preceded in death by two wives, Ruth A. Johnston and Cloyann (Freas/Rieg); two sons, Richy A. Hurd and Wally L. Hurd; one grandson, Brady Hurd; one stepson, David Rieg; one stepdaughter, Stephanie Rieg; three brothers, Robert, Hugh and Herbert Hurd; three sisters, Eleanor Norris, Sarah Scarano and Joann Radomsky. u  Please visit the website of the funeral homes listed to view complete obituary, sign their guestbook, plant a tree and offer your condolences. u  If you have a loved one who has passed away and would like to publish it in Hometown magazine, please contact us at hometown@punxsutawneymagazine.com or call 814-952-3668. uuu

(“From Our Past,” researched by S. Thomas Curry, features items of interest from past editions of Punxsutawney and area newspapers.  September 17, 1868 — A match game of Base Ball was played between the Covode Club, of Covode, and the Triadelphian club, of Oliveburg, on the grounds of the latter, on the 12th [Saturday] of which we append the score. The score was Oliveburg Triadelphians 35, Covode Orientals 23. The return game will be played at Covode, on Saturday next. (Punxsutawney Plaindealer) [Note: The game, played at Covode on Saturday, September 19, had a final score of Oliveburg 73, Covode 58.]  September 18, 1889 — A new Punxsutawney street has been opened to the public, running from J. H. Morrison’s residence on West Mahoning Street to the creek. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) [NOTE: The street was named Morrison Avenue. The Bennis House of the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society is on the corner of Morrison Avenue on West Mahoning Street.]  October 2, 1903 — Speaking of old times in Punxsutawney, the other day an old citizen said he remembered that less than thirty years ago, about 1870, there were only two street lights in town, miserable old oil lamps. The town council talked seriously of the folly and extravagance of maintaining so useless a luxury, and complained bitterly that the cost of oil was over a dollar a month. (Punxsutawney Spirit)  October 8, 1940 — A West End mother asks that something be done to protect the children at the four-way intersection of North Main Street with the north approach of the West End bridge and the entrance to Perry Street. Scores of children must cross that dangerous intersection at least four times daily on their way to and from school, and it takes little imagination to picture the dangers that confront the youngsters there when they have to watch traffic coming from four different directions. A traffic light or someone to direct traffic at that point when the children are going and returning from school is clearly indicated. (The Punxsutawney Spirit) [Note: The “West End bridge” is reference to the original “Margiotti Bridge” that was built and opened in September 1937. With a new bridge recently completed, traffic lights were installed at the intersection at North Main Street.]  October 9, 1901 — E.C. McKibbon, secretary of the Punxsutawney Iron Company, is planning to build a modern cottage on his lot, corner Main and Morrison avenue, recently purchased from the Mitchell estate. (Punxsutawney News) [Note: Main Street in this news note is reference to West Mahoning Street. The McKibbon “cottage” is the Bennis House of the local historical society.]  October 15, 1890 — George H. Mundorff, formerly one of the editors of the defunct “Punxsutawney Star,” now a resident of Hazelton, Kansas, is in town. (Punxsutawney News) •••

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Continued from page 14 was typically provided by local undertakers.) He served there as manager and CEO until his retirement in 1992. Additionally, Esposito worked to facilitate the training of EMTs through “Freedom House,” the Emergency Medical Services Institute and various published EMS magazine articles. He was also a past president of the American Diabetes Association and received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Trauma Society in 1985. Gerald attended Girard College prior to the war, received a B.S from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an M.S in public health administration the University of Pittsburgh. He was married to the former Elizabeth Anibaldi

Don Esposito, Seaman U.S. Navy, 1945 – 1946

Donald Joseph Esposito (1927-1998) joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 18 in 1945. After basic training in Samson, NY, he deployed overseas until March 1, 1946. In civilian life, he worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In addition to his Ss.C.D. membership and service, Esposito was a member and past commander of American Legion Post 62 in Punxsutawney and was active with the Samson Unit of U.S. Navy veterans. He was married to the former Virginia Smith. The Veterans of Foreign Wars In the early years of our country, war veterans formed a variety of associations, generally, one for each war or conflict. The Grand Army of the Republic, or GAR, was one such group consisting of Civil War veterans. They marched in parades and looked after one another’s welfare. Flag holders with GAR insignia hold U.S. flags at these Civil War veterans’ burial sites. Such an organization has a limited life span. In the aftermath of WWI, two organizations with similar purpose but different membership potential were formed: the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Punxsutawney has both organizations, and some veterans belong to both. One can

Jefferson County flag, donated by former Jefferson County Commissioner, Paul McMillen. Displayed at Mahoning Valley VFW Post 2076, Maple Avenue, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

look online to see the aims of each group. Clearly, they are intended to be service organizations in that they work strenuously to be of service to their members and the community. With the consolidation in 2015 of the Robinson-Morrison Post 2076 from Punxsutawney and the VFW Post 9044 from Big Run, the Mahoning Valley Post 2076 was formed. When a new building was deemed necessary, the Punxsutawney Lions Club assisted with fundraisers, including the wall of memorial tiles described earlier. The spacious meeting room has become a place that other groups can reserve for events. Several things are very visible when one enters the building. There is, of course, the large memorial tile wall. It’s very impressive. Second, there is a Jefferson County flag, designed some years ago and donated to the VFW by a former Jefferson County Commissioner. Another item is a very, very large VFW emblem, lit from behind, and which was donated by another post that is no longer active. A photograph barely does it justice. Anyone able to visit the new building in person can appreciate these and other visual symbols of the Post’s history. One has only to follow the news to see and hear what the Post continues to do to serve its members and the community at large. •••

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can help you give


WE BUY LAND CALL 814-952-8425

AIR Call fo CONDITIONING a freer S P E C I A L estimate


We are open


Supplies for: Plumbing • Heating Well Water • Electrical YOUR HEATING HEADQUARTERS

Furnace & Boiler Parts for Trane, Reznor, Burnham, Beckett, Air Ease, American Standard, Rheem, Miller & More • Oil Nozzles & Filters • Duct, Duct Fittings & Registers

724-397-8838 800-705-8838

or toll free

6791 Rt. 119, S. of Marion Center


Our popular fundraiser is underway


Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 19

BOB’S ARMY814-765-4652 & NAVY Downtown Clearfield •

The Ultimate Retirement Community One & Two Bedroom Luxury Apartments “55 & Older” Fishing, hunting, military surplus, boots, archery, guns, ammo, shooting, reloading, trapping, camping supplies, game cameras, gun safes, tree stands, clothing and much more



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407 East Mahoning Street Punxsutawney • (814) 938-5474



We service all brands of Heating & Cooling systems. • Residential • Commercial FREE Estimates




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814-856-3211 abcHeatingCooling.com PA002409


Punxsutawney Area Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. The facilities of the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society Facilities will remain closed to the public until COVID-19 is controlled.

h Gift Shop items may be purchased online h Genealogy searches may be requested by phone, e-mail or regular mail h Watch for our reopening later in 2021 h A new exhibit “SPORTS” will be in the Griffiths Galleries at the Lattimer House Find us at: WWW.PUNXSYHISTORY.ORG Email: PUNXSYHISTORY@OUTLOOK.COM

400 & 401 W. Mahoning St.



30 East Main St., Brookville

#1 Hotline 1-800-927-6167 or 814-849-8313 www.brookvillegmdealer.com THE PLACE WHERE GREAT MEALS BEGIN

Specializing in the finest quality Beef, Pork, Chicken & Smoked Meats



We accept Visa, Mastercard and Access Card New Hours: Tues.-Fri., 9 to 5;

6036 Rt. 119, Punx’y Sat. 8 to 4 Closed Sun., & Mon. North of Big Run

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WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL 1167 Paradise Rd., Punxsutawney • 1 mile North of Big Run Hours: Mon.- Fri. 7 to 6; FINANCING 814-427-2838 Sat. 8 to 2; Closed Sun. AVAILABLE

Manufacturer of Roofing & Accessories

• 40 Year Warranty • 21 Colors

Buy direct from the manufacturer, no middle man!




20 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252


Hometown Community Happenings


rom the staff of Hometown magazine and the Community Calendar at Punxsutawney.com, here is a list of events coming up in our area: At press time, Coronavirus restrictions and mask requirements were changing. Please check with the host organization’s website or Facebook page for up-to-date information.   n Hometown Steelers Football contest winner: The final score of the September 12 game against the Bills was 23-16. Yvonne Thompson won the tie breaker with her guess of 41 points. She wishes to redeem her gift card at Shop’n Save. Congratulations, Yvonne! n The Weather Discovery Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Contact the center for admission prices. n The Punxsutawney Memorial Library is open, and fall literacy programs for children and adults are being organized. n Jeff Tech offers Adult Education Courses. Call 814-653-8265, ext. 182 or go to www.jefftech.info for more information. n Through Sept. 30: Free books at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library book sale room. n Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. Visit the Punxsutawney Memorial Library and get something new to read. n Oct. 1: Senior Expo, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Punxsutawney First Church of God, sponsored by Rep. Brian Smith. Free and open to the public. n Oct. 1 & 2: Magical World of Dancing Horses Annual Dinner Show at Beaver Run Equestrian Theatre, 3460 Rt. 410, Punxsutawney. For tickets, call 814-246-8221 or go to www.imagine-dancinghorses.com. n Oct. 1 & 2: Bazaar for All Seasons at Woodland Ave. UM Church. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch both days, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Crafts, soup, candy, baked goods, yard sale items. n Oct. 1 & 2: Grange’s Helping Hands free clothing. Friday, noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grange Church of God. Call the church or see the Facebook page to ensure this event is open. n Oct. 2-10: 68th Annual Allegheny Toyota Autumn Leaf Festival in Clarion. n Oct. 2: Gobbler’s Knob Wine Festival, tickets on sale now. Contact the Groundhog Club for more information. n Oct. 2 & 3: 32nd Annual Smicksburg Fall Festival, events at the community park. n Oct. 2 & 3: Hazen Flea Market at the Warsaw Township Vol. Fire Co. grounds, near Brookville. n Oct. 2 & 3: Open House at Rainbow Mountain Alpacas, Punxsutawney. Check Facebook for a complete schedule. n Oct. 2-23: Pizza & Prevention 2021 will be a coupon card sale only. Coupon cards will be on sale at Central Fire Station on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., cards will be available at Lindsey Fire Station every day from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and at Elk Run Station Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. To make arrangements to get cards another time, call 814-938-7901. Coupon cards for a Chief Pizza with pepperoni can be purchased for $9.11 plus tax and redeemed at Punxsy Pizza. Proceeds benefit the Punxsutawney Fire Department. n Oct. 5: Punxsutawney Chamber of

Commerce Annual Awards Mixer, 5-7 p.m. at Gobbler’s Knob. n Oct. 7: Living in a Digital World presentation, 6 to 9 p.m. at Punx’y Area Community Center, presented by Western PA CARES for Kids and Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett. Free & open to the public. n Oct. 8-10: Applefest at Mahaffey Camp & Conference Center. Go to www.mahaffeycamp.com for complete schedule. n Oct. 9: Mahoning Shadow Shuffle, sign up at runsignup.com. Benefits the Mahoning Shadow Trail. n Oct. 9: Annual Bazaar at Cloe United Methodist Church, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take-out soups by the quart. Sloppy joes, hot dogs, crafts and bake sale. n Oct. 9: Fall/Christmas Vendor Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Three Prim Sisters, Punxsutawney. Check Facebook for a complete list of vendors and address. n Oct. 10: Clergy Appreciation Day. Treat your clergy person to something special from one of Hometown’s advertisers. n Oct. 12: Open House Event, 5 to 7 p.m. at S&T Bank, Hampton Ave. n Oct. 14, 15 & 16: Fall Expo & Swap Meet at Coolspring Power Museum, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is an admission charge. Museum is closed Oct. 17. n Oct. 16: Boy Scouts Environmental Science Day, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Weather Discovery Center. Registration information at 814-938-1000 or email info@weatherdiscovery.org. n Oct. 16 & 17: Potters’ Tour in Smicksburg. n Oct. 18: Coping with Loss Support Group, 2-3:30 p.m. at First Church of God, Punxsutawney. n Oct. 19: Blood drive, noon to 6 p.m. at Punxsutawney VFW on Maple Ave. Benefits American Red Cross. n Oct. 19: Firearms Rights & Concealed Carry Seminar, 6 p.m. at Big Run Event Center, sponsored by Rep. Brian Smith. Seating is limited; RSVP by Oct. 5 at www.RepSmith.com or 814-849-8008. n Oct. 20: Drive-Through Community Meal, 5 to 6 p.m. at the Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church. Enter the alley off East Mahoning St. beside the Pantall and drive toward Union St. Meals will be handed to the driver. The meal will include an entrée to be heated at home and a dessert. n Oct. 21: Meet the Candidates Night, 5 to 7 p.m. at Punxsutawney Eagles. Sponsored by the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce. n Oct. 23: Girl Scouts Cadette Breathe Journey Day, 9 a.m. to noon at Weather Discovery Center. Registration information at 814938-1000 or info@weatherdiscovery.org. n Oct. 23: First Annual Punxsy Barstool Open golf tournament, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Proceeds benefit LISA’s Ladybug Patient Care Fund. Information can be found at several local restaurants. n Oct. 23: Halloween Bash Spooktacular, 4 to 10 p.m. at National Guard Armory. n Oct. 28: PAHS Powder Puff football game, 6 p.m. at the PAHS Stadium. n Oct. 30: Halloween Parade & Trick or Treating. Parade at 6 p.m., line up at Arcade parking lot. Costume judging at Central Fire Hall after the parade. Trick or treating follows. n Nov. 2: Election Day. Get out and vote! •••


You’re In ...You’re Out WE DO IT RIGHT!


Earn Points on your order by getting a code in the McDonald’s App. Redeem Points for FREE FOOD on Future orders!

Starting Oct. 1st Mon. & Tues 4 pm to 2 am; Kitchen 4 to 9 pm Wed. - Sun. 11 am to 2 am; Kitchen 11 am to 9 pm

NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY FOR OIL CHANGES State Inspection & Mechanic Work by Appointment

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to noon



108 N. Findley St., Punxsutawney TAKE-OUTS WELCOME



2021-22 SCHEDULE 09/12 09/19 09/26 10/03 10/10 10/17

Home of the Big Daddy

10/31 11/08 11/14 11/21 11/28 12/05 12/09 12/19 12/26 01/03 01/09


Have a

207 Hampton Ave., Punx’y



Closed Mon. • Tue. - Thurs. 10:30-8, Fri. & Sat. 10:30-9 • Sun.11-8

Full Menu • New Menu Catering • Six Packs to Go Remodeled Dining Room Please call ahead during this time for Hours & Days.


@ Bills Raiders Bengals @ Packers Broncos Seahawks Bye Week @ Browns Bears Lions @ Chargers @ Bengals Ravens @ Vikings Titans @ Chiefs Browns @ Ravens

1:00 pm 1:00 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 1:00 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 8:15 pm 1:00 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 8:20 pm 1:00 pm 4:25 pm 8:15 pm 1:00 pm

1. Complete the coupon on this page. 2. Guess the winning team and the total number of points you think will be scored in the Steelers vs. Broncos Game and enter the guesses in the spaces provided on the coupon. 3. Enter one of the participating advertisers on this page in the space provided to redeem your coupon should you be the contest winner. 4. Clip and forward the coupon to:‘Steelers Football Contest,’ c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767. PLEASE MARK YOUR TEAM PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER ENVELOPE. 5. Entries must be received by 4 p.m. Thur., Oct. 7 6. No purchase necessary to participate. All entries must be original magazine coupon (no photocopies). 7. In the event two or more contestants correctly pick the winning team and total number of points, one winner will be randomly selected and awarded the winning prize. In event two or more contestants tie for closest to the total score, one winner will be randomly selected to win the $20 certificate. Each issue we will give one $20 certificate. 8. Hometown magazine retains the right to make any final decisions regarding the contest, and by submitting an entry, contestants agree to abide by the rules of the contest.

Complete, Clip, Drop off or Mail to: Steelers Football Contest c/o Hometown magazine, 129 Aspen Road, Punxsutawney, PA 15767

TO QUALIFY FOR Name __________________________________ CONTEST YOU THE ST MARK YOUR TEAMU Address ________________________________ M PICK & TOTAL POINTS ON TH OU TSI DE OF E E Zip __________________________________ ENVELOPE. ON THON E ENTRY PER ENVLY ELOPE. Phone ________________________________

Coupon for Game of Sun., Oct. 10 Step 1: Guess the Winning Team: __ Steelers vs. __ Broncos Step 2: Guess the Total Points that will be Scored in that Game: _______ Total Points Step 3: Should I win, I would like to redeem my merchandise certificate at: (List business from this page) _____________________

Everything Under Foot

Total Discount Foods


Fresh Bakery, Deli & Fruits We Sell Only U.S.D.A. Choice Beef, Pork, Lamb and Veal




Sun., Oct. 10 • 1 p.m.

Hometown magazine ‘Steelers Football Contest’:

Jim Stellabuto’s

Groundhog Plaza, Punx’y

Indiana Street, Punx’y

Steelers vs. Broncos



Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sat. 7:30 a.m. - Noon

*Some weeks may be subject to “Flexible Scheduling”


(Next to Dairy Queen)

Instant Lube and Oil

Rt. 36 S. in Cloe, 2 Miles South of Punx’y


119 South, Punx’y



588 W. Mahoning St. Punxsutawney

CARULLI AUTO SALES & SERVICE Let us take care of your vehicle We offer a full line of

Auto Repairs


CRW Home Center

www.crw.doitbest.com Mon. - Fri. 7-5:30; Sat. 7-2

313 Martha St. Punxsutawney



FLOORING WAREHOUSE Waterproof Vinyl Flooring -............................ From .59¢ sq.ft. Waterproof Click Flooring - ........ $1.99 sq.ft. – $3.99 sq.ft. Carpet - Many Styles ....................................... From .79¢ sq.ft. Remnants - BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! Outdoor Carpet - .............................................. From .99¢ sq.ft.

Professional guidance for the DIY’er. Tools and accessories at wholesale prices.

(all the components you need to build your custom shower in stock)

Call for Free Estimates • 814-371-9432 930 Beaver Drive • Beaver Grove • DuBois, PA 15801 Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 21

2021 GIRLS’ GOLF (front row, from left) Coach Morgan Vanleer, Katherine Crago, Maeve Hanley, Nevaeh Parente, Kierstin Roley and Coach Brad Constantino. Photo by Abbey Stello.

Providing Families the Best Care at Their Worst Time

2021 BOYS’ GOLF (front row, from left) Lohgan Smelko, Joel Mehalic, Alex Shumaker and Dysen Gould, (back row) Jake Sikora, Kyle Poling, Jimmie Neese, Donnie Neese and Sawyer Hall. Photo by Abbey Stello.

A Commitment of Spirit, Pride and Service in Our Community

Good Luck to All Teams!


Andrew R. Philliber, Supervisor/ Funeral Director 114 Maple Ave., Punxsutawney


FUNERAL HOME Lisa J. Waldron, Supervisor Andrew R. Philliber, Funeral Director 831 Market St., Mahaffey



GOOD LUCK, TEAMS! 22 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

JACQUE PERRY INSURANCE • Auto • Home • Business • Life

31 Universal Drive Punxsutawney



Mahoning Physical Therapy Twolick Valley P.T. • Medicare Certified • Aquatic Therapy • Office Hours by Appointment

2021 GIRLS’ TENNIS (front row, from left) Chloe Aul, Hannah Pearce, Hailey Smith, Alexia Matts; (back row) Emily McMahan, Brooke Skarbek, Rachael Porada, Olivia Burkett, Kaylin Smith, Mya Galentine, Leanne Zampini, Chloe Presloid. Submitted photo.

Mahoning Physical Therapy Medical Center, Marion Center, PA

(724) 397-9100

405 Franklin St., Clymer, PA

(724) 254-1010

Welcome To The Pharmacy That’s Still Close By. With five pharmacists ready to serve you: • Michael Horner, R. Ph. • Kim Horner, R. Ph. • Jennifer Moore, R. Ph. • Joe Presloid, R. Ph. • Matt Kunselman, R. Ph.


132 West Mahoning St.


Mon.- Fri 9 to 7, Sat. 9 to 2 Visit our website:




Country Club Pro Shop Dan Pisarchick - Golf Professional


2021 BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY (front row, from left) Coleton Yoder, Michael Clemmer, Eric Surkala, Michael Setree, Evan Groce and Andrew Barnoff, Evan Mohney; (back row) Alex Momyer, Colby Thompson, Daniel Lenze, Ian Young, Isaac Greenblatt, David Kunselman, Cody Pifer, and Jaden Schidlmeier. Photo by Abbey Stello.

Stop and see our fully stocked Pro Shop Offering Private Lessons

MIDTOWN AUTO PARTS • Parts • Paint • Hoses • & much more




200 Prushnok Dr.





& Welding Co. 46 Anchor Inn Rd. Punx’y


Let’s Go, Chucks!

Punxsutawney Community Health Center Punxsutawney Community Health Center 814-938-3310 200 Prushnok Drive, Punxsutawney, PA 200 Prushnok Dr., Punxsutawney 814-938-3310

OFFERING FAMILY MEDICINE AND INTERNAL MEDICINE We gladly accept Medicare, Medicaid (ACCESS), and most insurances. Sliding fee billing is based on household income and family size, and is available to those who qualify.

primary-health.net Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 23


Starting Oct. 1st Mon. & Tues 4 pm to 2 am; Kitchen 4 to 9 pm Wed. - Sun. 11 am to 2 am; Kitchen 11 am to 9 pm

108 N. Findley St. Punxsutawney

21920 Rt. 119, Punxsutawney


Home of the Big Daddy


Have a

207 Hampton Ave., Punx’y



Closed Mon., Tue. - Thurs. 10:30-8, Fri. & Sat. 10:30-9, Sun.11-8

2021 GIRLS’ JV/VARSITY VOLLEYBALL (front row, from left) Aaliyah Anthony, Abbey Schaffer, Emily Wisnesky, Ava Bodenhorn, Kahli Reddinger, Cheyenne Haskins and Samantha Griebel; (second row) Brynn Hergert, Kinsee Barnett, Brynn Hicks, Madelyn Neely, Faith Kimmerle, Megan Edney and Teaghan Riggie; (third row) Trinity Edney, Sydney Hoffman, Kaylee Guidice, Emma Galando, Alyssa Campbell, Emily Dobbins, Danielle Griebel, Riley Doverspike, Lexi Poole, Kylie Diem; (back row) Coach Kali Toven, Coach Alli Lunger, Ciara Toven, Morgan Riggie, Percy Edney, Zoey Hoover, Head Coach Glenn Good. Not pictured: Maisie Eberhart. Photo by Abbey Stello.


We service all brands of Heating & Cooling systems. • Residential • Commercial FREE Estimates


24 Hour Service

814-856-3211 abcHeatingCooling.com PA002409

24 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252


Board Games, Comics & More!

Follow us for more info!


214 W. Mahoning St., Punx’y


Weddings Parties

Graduation Funerals



Specialty Cakes & Cookies for All Occassions Ccall us at 814-618-5818. Let us cook your meal and all you have to do is pick it up.

WE PROTECT WHAT’S PRECIOUS TO YOU. When coverage really counts, count on...

Matthew E. Kengersky 814-938-3092 contact@kengerskyinsurance.com

Locally Owned & Operated State Inspection • Alignments Custom Pipe & Exhaust Bending Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5 Sat. 8:30-12

Call Brian Horner


behind Mahoning Valley Milling Co. Just off Indiana St., Punx’y

Full Menu • New Menu Catering • Six Packs to Go • Remodeled Dining Room Mon.-Thur. 5 a.m. - 7 p.m. • Fri. 5 a.m. - 8 p.m. • Sat. 5 a.m. - 7 p.m.

119 South, Punxsy (Next to Dairy Queen)


2021 JV/VARSITY FOOTBALL (front row, from left) Cooper Ritchey, Clayton Wooten, Justin Miller, Ean Wazelle, Luke Miller, Zeke Bennett, Davin Iannacchione, Brett Dean, Griffin White, Malachi Hales, Ryan Kanouff, Landon Peterson and Jaden Layne; (second row) Brady Keener, Mason Nesbitt, Quinton Voelkel, Gage Bair, Seth Moore, Peyton Hetrick, Kolton Koppenhaver, Griffin Barrick, Angel Gonzalez, Logan Gotwald, Gabe Rowan, Aidan Price and Harry Yoder; (back row) Cameron Powell, Gabe Kengersky, Emanuel Yoder, Noah Weaver, Landon Martz, Matthew Grusky, Logan Ellenberger, Hunter Harris, Kaden Heigley, Alex Phillips, Nick Wisnesky, Brady Weaver, Andrew Yoder, Jack Rentko. Missing from photo: Anthony Gould, David Kunselman, Noah Kanouff, Riddick Lydick, Alex Phillips, Kyle Varner, and Logan Young. Photo by Mary Roberts.

Supporting our local athletes...

The Punxsutawney Booster Club Good Luck, Chucks!!!

LOCAL Products… LOCAL People!

Quality Window & Door Products …with Installation Done RIGHT! PA8019

FREE Estimates


www.burke-sons.com 110 GASKILL AVE., PUNX’Y

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 25




Delivery orders accepted up to 30 min. of closing Sun., thru Thurs., 11 am to 9 pm Fri., & Sat., 11am to 10 pm W. Mahoning St., Punxy Plaza PIZZA TOWN GIFT CARDS MAKE GREAT GIFTS!

Oil and Lube Express West Main St., Brookville Our Average Oil Change Only Takes 10 Minutes!

No Appointment Necessary Open 8 to 5 Mon.-Fri.; 8 to Noon Sat.


GOOD LUCK, TEAMS! A hometown bank you can count on . . . both today and in the future!

2021 BOYS’ SOCCER (front row, from left) Aidan West, Ben Gigliotti, Alex Momyer, Garrett Bartlebaugh and Alexander Deppen (back row) Kyle Crawford, Brayden Robicheau, Angelo Pape, Nick Johns, Zachary Wymer, Preston Martz and Jaugar McDivitt. Photo by Abbey Stello.

Member FDIC

Punxsutawney 814.938.0271 Big Run 814.427.2051 www.marioncenterbank.com



2021 CHEERLEADING (from left) Mikayla Harris, Rylee Agnello, Mackenzie Clontz, Audrey Johnson, Abigail Blair, Eve Bennett, Kaitlin Shaffer, Kylee Smith and Piper Petroff. Photo by Abbey Stello.



$ 29

26 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252

~ Punxsutawney Hometown magazine.

Hometown sports photos by Abbey Stello unless otherwise noted.

SHIELDS INSURANCE Casteel Chiropractic As an independent insurance agency, we give you up to 8 quotes with one phone call!


Our sincere apologies for any errors or omissions.



Our job is to keep your spine in line for a better, healthier you!

221 W. Mahoning St., Punxsutawney

"We address the cause, not the symptom"

814-938-5291 or 800-242-9291 www.shieldsinsurance.com AUTO LIFE HOME BUSINESS

410 East Mahoning St.


NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS X-Rays (on your first visit) Accepts Most Insurance MON., WED. & FRI. 8:30-1 & 2:30-7 CLOSED TUE. & THUR.

FAMILY DENTISTRY Jon J. Johnston, DMD 106 W. Mahoning St. Punx’y, PA

938-4210 PDA Member




● New Construction ● Additions ● General Remodeling ● Ditchwich & Bobcat Services ● Roofing, Siding, Soffit/Fascia

2021 GIRLS’ SOCCER (front row, from left) Caitlynn Boozer, Kendall Couser, Isabella Kunselman, Layla Fyock, Lydia Miller, Izzy Lester, Olivia Bish, Abby Zanaglio; (back row) Bella Gigliotti, Lilly Houser, Avery Powell, Mary Grusky, Rachel Houser, Becca Martin, Jolena Wintermyer, Abby Mcadoo, Kaitlyn Bair and Ashlyn Catarouche. Photo by Abbey Stello.

814.938.2565 Bill Hawk, Owner PA# 017948 814.590.3459

Nicholas Gianvito Attorney at Law

Good Luck, Chucks! 314 W. Mahoning St. Punxsutawney

814-938-1776 www.nglawoffice.com

Dr. Nathan C. Stebbins 2021 GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY (front row, from left) Claire Skarbek, Laura Rittenhouse, Jordann Hicks, Libby Gianvito, Taylor Bair, Hannah Surkala, Penny Gambino; (back row) Jacinda Gigliotti, Amy Poole, Madison Momyer, Madison Rudolph, Elizabeth Long, Ella Newcome, Emily Bussard, Hannah Fetterman. Not pictured: Abbey Stello. Photo by Abbey Stello.




PLUS Over 100,000 Options for: Fundraisers, Fairs, Corporate Events, Grand Openings, Banquets, Festivals, Schools, Parks & Recreation, Birthdays, Graduation, etc.

(814) 938-2346 Toll Free 800-933-2346 www.MIKESCOMEDYMAGIC.COM

• Contact Specialist • Pediatrics • Infant Eye Care • Special Needs Patients • Ocular Disease • Emergencies


Good Luck Punxsy Cross Country!!

• Magicians • Mechanical Bull Rides • Giant Obstacle Course • Balloonists & Clowns • Comedians • Laser Tag • Party Rentals • Wedding D.J.'s • Trackless Train

Full Service Optical & Complete Line of Contact Lens Options for the Enitre Family

Mon. 8-6 • Tues. 8-5:30 Wed. 8-7:30 • Thur. 8-2 Fri 8-5 • Sat. by Appt.


Our family protecting yours, since 1932 John Kness, Agent

Nancy C Gotwald, Agent

Mon-Fri 8:30-5, Sat 9-12 407 S. Main Street, DuBois

Mon-Sat by Appointment only 2725 Rt. 36 N, Punxsutawney



200 S. Findley St. Downtown Punxsutawney Insurances: Medicare, Blue Cross/Shield, VBA, NVA, VSP, Gateway and more.

Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252 – 27

McCabe Waldron

FUNERAL HOME INC. Andrew R. Philliber, Supervisor / Funeral Director 114 Maple Ave., Punxsutawney


FUNERAL HOME Lisa J. Waldron, Supervisor Andrew R. Philliber, Funeral Director 831 Market Street, Mahaffey


www.mccabewaldronfh.com 28 – Punxsutawney Hometown – October 2021 - Issue #252