Working to Improve
The Heritage Trail Project First Responders Get an Upgrade
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 1
elcome to the summer issue of Bedford County Magazine! This year, it seems summer started in early March. However, the warm days have given people a reason to get outside early and often. Bulbs bloomed earlier and joggers are out in force. So I hope you’ve had a chance to get out there and take advantage of the early summer, and while you’re at it, let us know what you’re up to. We try to feature as much local content as we can in each issue and hope that you enjoy that content. Now, we want to get even more local and ask you directly for your stories in each issue. These features don’t have to be about you or someone you know doing something extraordinary like climbing Mt. Everest or swimming the English Channel. We want to know what makes our readers tick. It could be that you’ve always wanted a classic Thunderbird and have been restoring one for the past few years. We’d like to see it, and I’m sure others would too. So let’s start off with that, since we’re coming into car cruise season: If you or someone you know has a pretty interesting restoration project going on in the garage, let us know! Email our editor, Pamela Palongue, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 724.942.0940. We’ll be happy to hear your story and may even send one of our photographers out to capture your work for the next issue. Keep in mind that the project doesn’t necessarily need to be current – if you’ve been cruising in your restoration project for some time now, that’s OK, too. But we’d like to know what you did at the nuts-and-bolts level to get your baby roadworthy. If you’re just not sure one way or the other whether you have a good story, call Pamela and she’ll be happy to help you out! Looking forward to seeing some whitewalls and chrome in the fall issue! Have a great summer!
Do you have a classic car that you’ve restored? If so, we’d like to hear about it. Email your name and contact information to email@example.com
Wayne Dollard Publisher
Fall Content Deadline: August 16
IN Bedford County is a non-partisan community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Bedford County area by focusing on the talents and gifts of the people who live and work here. Our goal is to provide readers with the most informative and professional regional publication in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
IN Bedford County | SUMMER 2012 |
Circulatory Centers Immediate Vein Relief ...............................
Homewood at Spring House Estates Preferred Choice for Area’s Seniors ........... | 41 FEATURES ON THE COVER
Bedford County Resident Juli Dull. Photo by Bob Webb
Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Summer 2012
Here Comes the Sun It’s definitely summer, and you’re ready to enjoy every minute of it. Before you grab your sunglasses and head outdoors, check out our skin protection tips on page 4.
What’s Inside 2 3 4
Women’s Health — A Lifelong Plan of Action Exhausted and Sleepy? Pamper the Skin You’re In Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins
5 6 7
Your Health Care Goes Mobile Talent + Imagination + Learning = Events You Won’t Want to Miss The Doctor is in (the Hospital)
© 2012 UPMC
Bedford High School Musical ..........................................
Bedford County Resident Profile ....................................
Young at Heart Games ......................................................
Heritage Trail Project .........................................................
Honoring Bedford’s Beginnings ......................................
EMS Radio Upgrade ............................................................
UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use ........
Bedford Borough Manager Retires ................................
Bedford County Historical Society ................................
Local Singer Eyes the Great White Way .........................
Charter School for Hyndman .............................................
South Central Blind Association .......................................
Harry T. Ritchey’s Secret to a Long Life ........................
Man Cave ............................................
Downsizing Your Home .................
Home Design Trends .......................
View from the Front Porch ...........
❋What do you get when you pair good old
reliable Nathan Detroit with Lady Luck? Well, it ’s the perennial spring musical favorite “Guys and Dolls,” which was the selection this year for Bedford High School.
Photos by Bob Webb 4
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The young cast of about 30 carried out a successful run of performances March 16 and 17 under the direction of Aaron Biller, who joined the district’s music department in August 2010. Biller, 24, is in charge of all the choirs at the high school and is the percussion instructor with the marching band. But at this time of year, his attention is turned toward the musical theater stage. “We start talking about the musical in the fall,” Biller said, explaining that auditions are held at the end of November before Thanksgiving break. All the books, libretto and music come sometime in December and rehearsals begin in January. The choice of musical depends on what talent is available at the school, Biller noted. “This year we knew we had a lot of guy talent; that’s what led us to ‘Guys and Dolls.’” Last year, the high school did “Godspell.” And while Biller is the musical’s director, he is quick to point out that the production is a team effort. “There are a lot of students that help out behind the scenes,” Biller said. Some cast members
even pull double duty working on stage and behind the scenes as well. He also gets an assist from school staff including Bobby Mellott, who is in charge of the colorguard and indoor guard during the school year; Spanish teacher Nikki Dibuono; and fourth grade teacher Melissa Palko. The core team of Biller, Dibuono and Palko work together on music, blocking, sets and publicity, Biller explained. “Things change from year to year depending on the show,” Biller said. “Last year, we had a freshman cast as the lead. He has more of a supporting role this year.” Students audition every year, and sometimes students who may not have even considered trying out for the musical may get approached because they’re seen as right for particular parts. “One girl cast in one of the lead roles had never been in theater before to my knowledge,” Biller said. He added that the show is cast based on the characters, the ensemble and how everybody’s characters will play together. “We want the end result to be as good as possible and to be successful, so we’re willing to think outside the box.” Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 5
Hometown Woman Works to Improve Downtown Bedford By Dana Black McGrath Photos by Bob Webb
uli Dull is a life-long resident of Bedford who now is working full-time – and then some – toward the improvement of her beloved Bedford. Although she was born in Colorado while her father was serving in the military, both of Dull’s parents were from Bedford and returned to town shortly after she was born. Most of her extended family also is from Bedford County. Dull, who lives in Bedford, has served as manager of the Downtown Bedford, Inc. (DBI) organization for the past five years. She is a graduate of Bedford High School and went on to earn a degree in business management from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Before taking on that position, she owned a gift shop, Deepwood Gallery, in town for nearly 11 years but decided to sell the business to spend more time with her young family. “I had two boys at home and I didn’t want to keep working weekends and evenings,” she explains. During that time as a business owner, she actually was one of the town’s merchants who worked to start the town’s Main Street organization. “I was familiar with the program because I helped to establish it as a merchant,” she said. After selling her business but before landing her position at Downtown Bedford, Dull launched a career in real estate, and still actively works as a realtor with
SKS/Coldwell Banker Realty. Her background and experience in real estate make her uniquely qualified to handle the task of keeping the town’s storefronts filled. “There are only two to three empty storefronts in town, and with the economy the way it is, we’re doing pretty well,” said Dull. Wearing that many hats may be daunting for many people, but Dull thrives on the busy pace. “I do better when I am busy,” she says. “I like to be organized, and if I have more to do, I feel better.” Downtown Bedford is a main street organization that is Pennsylvania-certified and nationally recognized. The program was established eight years ago. The non-profit organization’s vision is to revitalize downtown Bedford. According to the DBI website, “Downtown Bedford, Inc. is an association of persons interested in the enhancement of the business and tourism environment of the Bedford area through the cooperative efforts of the area’s business, civic, and social community.” A part of that effort includes providing $150,000 in grants to area businesses for signage. Owners may apply for up to $6,000 in grant money, provided by the state, to improve the look of their business. Details about the program and the application process are available at the DBI website. “It has helped to make the Main Street area look a lot better,” said Dull.
“I do better
when I am busy. I like to be organized, and if I have more to do, I feel better”
That program, along with a strong working relationship with the Omni Bedford Springs resort, has helped the downtown area to become a destination point for tourists and other visitors. “Some may think it is a narrow area, but when downtown Bedford succeeds, it helps the whole county,” says Dull. To that end, Dull also serves as a board member for both the Bedford County Visitors Bureau and the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce. She also credits the borough for its support of the organization. The downtown area has been improved by a streetscape project that is about to enter its third phase. Improvements include upgrades to sidewalks,
banners, trash receptacles, welcome signage, and pedestrian lighting. “It just makes the area more walkable and pleasing,” says Dull. Already East Pitt Street and parts of Richard and Juliana streets have been completed. Phase three will bring improvements to West Pitt Street. Once the third phase is complete, $1 million will have been invested in the revitalization project. “It helps all the surrounding areas too,” Dull says of the improvements to the streetscape. “If there is a nice place to go, people will come back to the area.” Dull also is responsible for organizing promotions and events that encourage people to shop, eat and even stay for the weekend in Bedford. Continued on next page
“ When Downtown Bedford succeeds, it helps the whole area” On April 12, DBI hosted its annual “Girls Night Out” fundraiser, an evening of shopping and socializing at Bad Boyz Bistro. “The men do all the work for it,” says Dull, “so the women love that.” Antiques on the Square, an out-
door antiques dealers marketplace, returned to town on Saturday, May 26, during Memorial Day weekend. The event features vendors, live entertainment in the Gazebo, and yard sales throughout the borough. During the summer months, DBI hosts two “Hot Summer Nights” in town. The first was June 21 and the next one is August 16. “It’s like a big block party,” explains Dull. “It has been very successful for us and very highly attended.” Hot Summer Nights features bands, food, beer sales, and many community groups, such as the Rotary Club and schools, make food for sale to benefit their organizations. DBI also participates in the National Night Out program, set for Aug. 7, with partners First National Bank and the Bedford Police Department. Area emergency responders, including ambulance, fire, state police and local police departments, along with the district attorney’s office and sheriff’s office, turn out to visit and provide demonstrations for the community. Fall fun in downtown Bedford includes the annual Fall Foliage festival and the Halloween Costume Promenade. In December, DBI’s holiday events include the Snowflake Social fundraiser at the Omni Bedford Springs resort and a Family Fun event in the town’s public square. ❋ For more information about Downtown Bedford and the events mentioned here, visit the website at www.downtownbedford.com.
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he opening ceremony for the Young at Heart Games was held on April 30 at the Procare Sportsplex in Bedford. All competitors were required to be over the age of 50. The participants enjoyed the competition and the camaraderie of the games. The Young at Heart Games were cosponsored by Colonial Courtyard at Bedford and The Area Agency on Aging. They celebrated their 10th anniversary this year by featuring a month’s worth of competitive events at various venues throughout Bedford County. Events included bowling, a 1-mile walk, basketball foul shooting contest, golf putting contest, tennis, tabletop shuffleboard, billiards, darts, golf scramble, bocce, horseshoes, football and softball throw, 500 card bid and Texas Hold ‘Em. There were separate categories for age group and gender. The locations included the Bedford Moose Lodge, Bedford Elks, Schellsburg VFW, Everett Little League Field and Bedford High School. The first year of the event there were only 25 participants, but that has now grown to more than 200, according to Susan Koontz, director of marketing and admissions at Penn Knoll Village and president of The Young at Heart Games. “The games have really grown in popularity over the years as word of mouth has spread,” she said. “The participants really enjoy the camaraderie, and many friendships are made. It’s competitive, but it still remains light-hearted and fun.” According to Koontz, the idea for the games was formulated by community leaders as another way to bring the community together and keep the older residents active. “Many communities have a Senior Olympics. The Young at Heart Games is Bedford County’s version of that,” Koontz stated. “Our goal is to continue to grow the event each year.” The games were set up like the Olympics, with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals being awarded in each category of an event. It was $10 to enter and each participant was given an event t-shirt. Meals were provided at most of the events free of charge. For the entry fee, participants were able to sign up for as many events as they desired.
Following the games, there was an awards banquet held in May for the participants, sponsors and volunteers. The banquet had a country hoedown theme. Koontz is so grateful for the amazing sponsor support the event receives each year. “The increased sponsorship we continue to receive each year makes the event the great success it is,” said Koontz. “I want to thank each and every one of them.” For more information on next year’s Young at Heart Games call Koontz at 814.622.3211, and if you are interested in sponsorship of the event, please call Mick Gordon at 814.622.5140.
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 9
R H&BT Rail Trail Highlights Area Scenery & History By Dana Black McGrath
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esidents and visitors of Bedford County soon will be able to enjoy many improvements to the areaâ€™s popular recreational ttrail, rail, the H&BT Rail Trail. Like many other trail networks throughout the region and the country, the trail utilizes an abandoned railroad right-of-way, this one left behind by the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad. Winding along the Raystown branch of the Juniata River, the trail con connects Hopewell Borough and Tatesville. The trail will encompass mileage from the north end of Riddlesburg, south along the bank of the Raystown branch of the Juniata River to Cypher, and then over land away from the river to Tatesville. Along the way, the trail intersects with two public parks, Riddlesburg Park at the northern end and Cooper Park near the center of the trail, and also stretches across a former railroad bridge. In all,
the trail covers 10.6 miles, all of which is owned by Broad Top Township, explains David Thomas, township secretary. The township purchased the property with the intention of developing it into a recreational rail trail. “We have been working with a citizens advisory committee and a nonprofit group, doing planning about how to use and how to develop the trail,” says Thomas. Divided into three phases, the project is funded through a $162,000 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Enhancement Program grant. Other funding includes a $23,000 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources C2P2 grant, a $10,000 REI grant, and other various sources of matching funds.
The first phase calls for improvements along the two most northern miles of the trail, between the southern end of Raystown Lake and Everett. “It is perfectly situated because a lot of people access the lake for recreation,” says Thomas. “We can now provide them with another venue for recreation.” The trail is open now, but it is not
groomed, Thomas explains. Phase one of the project will include putting down the trail base, signage, fencing, a rest area, trail heads and parking lots. Construction is expected to begin within the month, according to Thomas. “The township has its own construction crew, so we will be doing our own work,” he says, and anticipates that the first phase will take about one month to complete. “This will really highlight what’s already existing,” he says. “It’s beautiful now, but will be even more so.” There are many historic features along the trail: at the north end are the beehive Coke ovens at Riddlesburg that were part of the area’s historic iron making industry, and the river flows through Hopewell, which is home to the historic foundry, now the Keystone Foundry Museum. Continued on next page
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 11
I can’t wait to see it in the fall”
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Continued from page 11
“There is a lot of history within arm’s reach of the trail,” says Thomas of the many points of interest that may be explored along the way. The township has already started applying for funding for phase two of the trail project, which will stretch for three to four miles. That portion will lead to Cooper Park, an 80-acre public recreation area owned by the township, and also will include the railroad trestle bridge that crosses the river. Plans call for a new deck to be laid on the bridge and to make the bridge part of the trail. Trail heads that already are built will be converted so the trail, which crosses several state routes, is accessible at a number of different places. Phase three of the project will address the remaining mileage, which veers away from the river and winds through the wooded valleys, passing through unique architectural elements left behind by the railroad, such as stone arches. “I can’t wait to see it in the fall,” says Thomas of the picturesque landscape. At present, the H&BT Trail is passable from Riddlesburg to Hopewell and from Cooper’s site to the truss bridge with no exit. For more information, visit the website at www.railstotrailsofbedfordcounty.org.
ver 100 people gathered at the Bedford County Historical Society on Sunday, March 11, for the Bedford County Day celebration honoring the March 9, 1771, formation of the ninth county of the province and the first west of the Tuscarora Mountain. According to Ellen J. Espenshade of the Bedford County Historical Society, Bedford County was created by an act of the general assembly of the province entitled “An act for erecting a part of the County of Cumberland into a separate county.” Bedford County’s boundaries, declared by commissioners Robert McCrea, William Miller, and Robert Moore, were stated as beginning “where the province line crosses the Tuscarora Mountain, and running along the summit of that mountain to a gap near the head of Path Valley, thence with the Juniata to the mouth of Shaver’s Creek, thence northeast to the line of Berks County, thence along the Berks County line northwestward to the west boundary line of the province, thence southward according to the several courses of the boundary of the province to the southwest corner of the province, and from thence eastward with the southern line of the province to the place of beginning.”
Bedford’s Beginnings Honored in Annual Celebration By Kim Smith
Espenshade said the first Bedford County Day celebration was held March 9, 2008. “We then have held our ceremony in subsequent years on the Sunday closest to that date,” she continued. “In 2007/2008 the Bedford County Historical Society initiated a Bedford County flag contest with the approval of the county commissioners. We dedicated the flag, designed by Todd Greenawalt, at the first ceremony.” This year’s ceremony started with the song “Make Them Hear You,” performed by the Everett Area High School and Middle School Tribe under the direction of Sean Cogan. The president of Continued on page 16
Everett Area High School & Junior High Tribe
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 13
radio upgrade New Radio System Enhances Coverage for County Emergency Responders By Dana Black McGrath • Photos by Bob Webb
roving that patience is truly a virtue, the many years of waiting actually paid off with a lower price tag and improved technology for the new Bedford County Public Safety Radio Network. The Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Digital P-25 platform conventional system “is performing way beyond our expectations,” says David Cubbison, director of emergency services for Bedford County. The system will connect the roughly 600 first responders in the county’s law enforcement, EMS and fire departments. “It’s a real success story and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” says Cubbison. “It’s an exciting time to be here.” It is an accomplishment that has been many years in the making. The upgrade was first considered nearly 15 years ago, according to Cubbison. At that time, emergency services personnel approached the county’s Board of Commissioners about concerns with the existing system, which at
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that time already was 16 to 17 years old. The system was starting to fade and was becoming technologically outdated. There were many needs, and many unmet needs. The county also was starting to see significant growth. Sliced in the middle by the Pennsylvania Turnpike, other major highways including I-99, I-70, SR 30, and SR 220 cut through the county bringing major truck and vacation traffic. “We needed something new and something that would prepare us for the future,” explains Cubbison. First responders including fire, EMS, law enforcement personnel as well as community members spent years trying to figure out what would work best. They came up with a plan for a completely new analog system (state-of-the-art for the time), which would cover all emergency services. But, once that dream system was bid, estimates came in at a hefty $12 to $15 million – and that was 15 years ago.
While the county commissioners and the committee continued to work on the idea, no progress was made because there was no funding to support the project. When Cubbison took over as director of emergency management nearly five and a half years ago, he knew he had to get serious about the upgrade because there were significant problems with the existing system. The county’s expansive 1,016 square miles were being served by just three towers and the system was still utilizing vacuum tubes. When parts were in need of repair, in many cases the county purchased the last replacement parts available nationwide and in some cases parts needed to be fabricated. The system was designed in the late 1960s to early 1970s and was put in operation sometime around 1986. Usually such systems have a lifespan of about just 15 years, explains Cubbison. After Cubbison took over his position, a consultant was brought in to explore possibilities for the system, but after a little over two years, a productive solution still had not been found. Cubbison took matters into his own hands. He approached the county’s radio vendor, ComPros of Altoona, directly, to start designing a system that would meet the county’s needs. But, funding still was a stumbling block. The county had considered a bond issue or taking out a loan to pay for the new system, but was struggling to find a way to pay for the muchneeded upgrade. Then, county 911 coordinator Pam Corley came up with an idea. She proposed utilizing revenue generated through 911 surcharges on consumers’ home and cell phone service. That would bring in enough money to secure a bond issue, and subsequent funds from the charges would be utilized to pay off the bond. County commissioners approved and finally the county was able to move forward with the new design, which was mostly developed. This time around the estimated cost was $4.7 million – still significant but much less than the previous estimate of $12 to $15 million. Helping to keep costs down, the fire and EMS departments applied for a federal grant that would cover the costs for the majority of their portable radios. “We had to be patient, and not rush,” Cubbison says. “There is a tendency to do what is fastest, but we intentionally dragged our feet.” What was state-of-the-art when the process began 15 years ago – an analog system – is no longer the latest and greatest. Instead, the county has opted for a digital system. Still, the waiting game paid off. When the first digital systems were introduced, Cubbison explains, there were still some flaws with the technology. For example, there was difficulty distinguishing between ambient noise and voices. By the time the county was ready to move forward, such issues had already been addressed. “We moved forward carefully and methodically, listing our unmet needs and things just kept falling into place one step at a time.” And, by stalling, the county was in a better position to comply with new government regulations that would require all systems to utilize narrow band frequency by Jan. 1, 2013.
“It has brought us more clarity and greater penetration,” he says of the new system. He expects that once complete, the system will actually come in under budget by several hundred thousand dollars. For the first time, the county will have a redundant system, he explains, which means the system utilizes a “double loop” to back itself up should one system fail. Capabilities include a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that brings up every piece of data that has been entered into the system. It also allows for cell phone tracking, which already has been utilized to find those who are missing. The national standard on mobile radios is 95 percent coverage, but with this new system, Cubbison estimates the coverage in the county is closer to 100 percent. On portable radios, the coverage is above average at about 92 to 93 percent. Signals are relayed from nine high-profile towers, eight of which are broadcast towers. Cubbison expects that there will need to be some fine-tuning over the next year, which he compares to buying a brand new car. “We want to see this last 15 to 20 years,” he says. To make certain the system lasts, there are plans for regular annual maintenance. The new system has made Bedford County a safer place for all citizens.
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 15
Continued from page 13
Farmer’s Market Fresh fruits and vegetables will be sold every Wednesday from June through September at the corner of Penn and Julianna Streets in Bedford. For more information, please call 814.623.0048.
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the historical society, Glenden Casteel, welcomed guests to the event and several Girl Scout troops formed a color guard, carrying the United States and Bedford flags. Espenshade added that the event featured songs and poems such as “Bedford Town,” recited by Zachary, Ryan, and Rachel Howsare, and “A Response to the Blue Juniata” written by Cyrus Cort. State Representative Dick Hess presented a certificate in recognition of March 9 as Bedford County Day, and guest speaker State Senator John Eichelberger spoke of Bedford County’s proud tradition of history. Commissioner Steve Howsare talked about the importance of preserving history for future generations and General Clay Buckingham, who serves with the Officers Christian Fellowship at White Sulphur Springs, spoke about several areas of Bedford history including geologic, economic, and transportation. Music for the event centered on the American flag and the War of 1812, due to this being its bicentennial year. The celebration concluded with a “You’re a Grand Old Flag” medley performed by the Everett Tribe. Gillian Leach, executive director of the Bedford County Historical Society, describes the annual event as a patriotic ceremony with a historical bent. “Bedford is our county seat,” she said. “We want to teach students and other people in the county our history.”
Health and Wellness News You Can Use | Summer 2012
Here Comes the Sun It’s definitely summer, and you’re ready to enjoy every minute of it. Before you grab your sunglasses and head outdoors, check out our skin protection tips on page 4.
What’s Inside 2
Women’s Health — A Lifelong Plan of Action
Exhausted and Sleepy? Pamper the Skin You’re In Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins
5 6 7
Your Health Care Goes Mobile Talent + Imagination + Learning = Events You Won’t Want to Miss The Doctor is in (the Hospital)
© 2012 UPMC
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 17
Women’s Health — A Lifelong Plan of Action Throughout her life, a woman’s body undergoes profound physical, hormonal, and emotional changes that involve important health care considerations.
For all women, routine gynecological exams are key to a healthy life, allowing doctors to tailor services to her individual needs. “There are several important things every woman should keep in mind when it comes to her health,” advises Ralph Aldinger, DO, chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and chief of surgery at UPMC Bedford Memorial. “First, she should establish a strong relationship with a physician she trusts. Second, she should practice regular health care maintenance by scheduling regular examinations and tests — such as PAP smears and mammograms. And third, she should never hesitate getting help when something doesn’t feel right,” says Dr. Aldinger.
Childbearing years The 20s and 30s are a woman’s primary childbearing years. Promoting good health is the focus of care during this life stage. Obstetric services at UPMC Bedford Memorial range from preconception counseling and family planning, to pregnancy and delivery (including midwifery). Because bone mass peaks around age 30, doctors also emphasize bone health, exercise, and calcium intake. UPMC Bedford Memorial offers comprehensive care for expectant mothers and their newborns, including the option of delivery with a midwife at the hospital.
Midlife and menopause “Menopause is a major transitional period in a woman’s life,” says Alonzo Grant, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist with UPMC Bedford Memorial. “While it’s a completely natural biological process — occurring in most women between the ages of 45 and 55 — it causes estrogen levels to plunge, resulting in decreased muscle mass and bone density, plus hormonal changes that can disrupt a woman’s life and sap her energy.” He says women often unnecessarily endure symptoms like excessive bleeding, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and frequent urinary urges. “New treatments can make this transition much smoother,” says Dr. Grant.
Adolescence: The time to start With more than four decades of experience, Robin Torres, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UPMC Bedford Memorial, says the time for women to start building a positive and trusting relationship with a gynecologist is early in life. “These are critical, formative years as teenagers embark on the path to becoming grown-up women,” says Dr. Torres. “A conversation with a gynecologist can help debunk old wives’ tales, provide assurance that something worrisome is perfectly normal, and even answer embarrassing questions girls are afraid to ask parents or teachers.”
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While the senior years bring freedom from pregnancy and menstruation, health issues for older women can be complex. A gynecologist can help women deal with health problems, as well as guide them to healthy behaviors that can help prevent, delay, and control disease, and protect against frailty. Older women are at increased risk of such problems as cancer, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and urinary incontinence. UPMC Bedford Memorial offers a full range of state-of-the-art gynecologic services, as well as high-risk obstetrical care. To learn more, visit UPMCBedfordMemorial.com.
Exhausted and Sleepy? At UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center, doctors can diagnose and treat sleep apnea, often with surprisingly fast results.
Overweight and diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, and an irregular heartbeat, Robert Guthrie underwent a sleep study at UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center to evaluate his pulmonary function and suitability for gastric bypass surgery. He was shocked to discover he had sleep apnea so severe he actually stopped breathing 147 times per hour. Affecting 12 million Americans, sleep apnea doesn’t just disrupt sleep. Untreated, it can cause serious health problems and lead to deadly accidents due to exhaustion. “I was totally clueless. It was serendipity that took me to a sleep expert, and it probably saved my life,” says Robert, 65, who immediately began using a nighttime breathing apparatus known as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Within a week, he was sleeping soundly for the first time in six years. “It was life changing,” says the Hopwood, Pa., resident. “I feel 20 years younger.” Most people don’t know they have obstructive sleep apnea, usually caused when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. People with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly. With each interruption, the drop in oxygen levels prompts the brain to send a surge of adrenaline to kick-start breathing, which also leads to a spike in blood pressure. “This can happen 600 times a night. It’s a burden on the cardiovascular system and affects the quality of sleep,” says Patrick J. Strollo Jr., MD, medical director of the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center. According to Dr. Strollo, if you snore loudly, wake up exhausted despite a “good night’s sleep,” or feel tired or sleepy during the day, you should talk to your primary care physician. Since sleep apnea cannot be detected while you’re awake, your doctor may ask you to participate in an overnight sleep study.
At UPMC’s Sleep Medicine Center, patients stay in a private bedroom where a sleep technician applies sensors that measure breathing, heart rate, brain activity, and other body functions during sleep. A team of specialists diagnose sleep apnea by looking at the test results and reviewing medical history. Treatment options may include a CPAP machine like Robert uses, which blows air through a special mask worn over the nose. “I wasn’t wild about wearing the mask. But staying on it was a no-brainer — it’s worth it for a good night’s sleep,” says Robert. For information about the UPMC Sleep Medicine Center, visit UPMC.com and click Our Services for an alphabetical listing of departments and services.
Other health consequences of sleep apnea According to Mark Lipitz, DO, a neurologist and board-certified sleep specialist at UPMC Bedford Memorial, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, memory problems, weight gain, and daytime sleepiness. “Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea — but many people with sleep apnea snore,” notes Dr. Lipitz. “This is not a problem to keep from your family doctor. Sleep apnea can have significant health and safety consequences, but it can usually be treated effectively and inexpensively.” For information about the UPMC Sleep Disorders Clinic at UPMC Bedford Memorial, call 814-623-3572.
1-800-533-UPMC 193 Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com
Pamper the Skin You’re In Your skin is a multitasking marvel. Soft, pliable, and strong, it protects your organs, regulates body temperature, detects and fights off infection, and even repairs itself.
Goodbye Spider and Varicose Veins
But most of us take our hard-working skin for granted. A little TLC will help keep it healthy and looking good from the inside out.
They’re more common — and easier to treat — than you think.
Keep it clean Daily cleansing can take a toll on your skin, so be gentle. Take shorter baths or showers using warm water, choose a mild cleanser, pat or blot skin dry, and apply a moisturizer that’s appropriate for your skin type.
Eat, drink, and be healthy Feed your skin from the inside for a healthy glow on the outside. Experts recommend a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Drinking plenty of water keeps skin hydrated.
Get moving Regular exercise promotes circulation that energizes skin cells and carries away waste products. It also promotes the restful sleep that’s needed to rejuvenate skin.
Be sun smart Small amounts of daily sun exposure add up, so protect skin from the sun’s rays whenever you’re outdoors — even in wintertime. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and apply it liberally and often. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants provide even more protection.
Check it out Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 90 percent of all skin cancers occur on parts of the body exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, and hands. Mohs micrographic surgery has proven to be an effective treatment for most skin cancers. This type of surgery removes as little normal tissue as possible and is often used to remove skin cancer on the face. Regularly checking your own skin can help find cancers early, when they are easier to treat. You’ll find the American Cancer Society’s skin self-examination guide and other sun safety tips at cancer.org. Sources: American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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They can be tiny or bulging, painless or throbbing. But nearly half of us can expect to get spider or varicose veins, especially after age 50. “The good news is that many techniques now make vein treatments more safe, comfortable, and effective,” says Ellen D. Dillavou, MD, a vascular surgeon at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
What new treatments are available? Among the newest is the injection of polidocanol for the treatment of spider veins. “It’s a cosmetic procedure that works much better than saline to collapse surface veins,” says Dr. Dillavou. “Spider veins do reoccur, though, so expect to do ‘touch ups’ periodically.” Injections also are used for larger veins and may replace older procedures like a “vein stripping.” For treating varicose veins, radiofrequency ablation (a minimally invasive procedure in which radiofrequency energy seals the vein closed) is a popular treatment among her patients, says Dr. Dillavou, “because it’s comfortable and effective.”
Are varicose veins dangerous? “Varicose and spider veins typically don’t pose a health risk, but they can point to chronic venous insufficiency (CVI),” says Ziad Khoury, MD, a cardiologist who also practices vascular medicine at UPMC Bedford Memorial. “It’s a visual cue that blood may not be optimally flowing from the legs to the heart, which can lead to more serious problems.” Other CVI symptoms include painful, tired, restless, achy, itchy, or swollen legs or ankles. In more advanced cases, skin changes and ulcers can develop. “The problem becomes more difficult to treat as it advances, so it’s important to always share your symptoms with your doctor,” says Dr. Khoury. To learn more about vascular services at UPMC Bedford Memorial, visit UPMCBedfordMemorial.com.
Your Health Care Goes Mobile It’s now easy to manage your medical records or get automatic access to select test results — because HealthTrak has an app for that.
Need to keep track of your elderly parents’ appointments and test results? Want instant access to your children’s immunization records? Run out of medicine while traveling and need a refill? Have a follow-up question for your doctor after office hours? All are available with a click of your mouse — and most with a tap on your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ — via UPMC HealthTrak, an Internet-based service that allows patients, and approved family members, to receive and manage information about their health. Recent upgrades include a new mobile HealthTrak application that provides patients with secure access anytime and anywhere.
HealthTrak also provides patients with automatic access to certain test results, including x-rays, lab, and pathology tests, with links they can use to help interpret information. This makes it easier for patients to keep track of their cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels, and other important health numbers. UPMC hopes to add cardiology test results in the near future. Also on the horizon are plans to use photos to identify some skin conditions or diseases.
“We’re giving people what they want — even when they’re on the go. It’s a convenient, safe, and free way to manage their own health,” says G. Daniel Martich, MD, UPMC chief medical information officer.
Going mobile is fast and easy To access HealthTrak data using a mobile device, you must first secure a HealthTrak account through UPMCHealthTrak.com. You should then download the free “MyChart app” from the App Store, iTunes Store, or Google Play (formerly Android Market). The mobile app provides access to everything except eVisits, or online doctor visits. According to Dr. Martich, more than 100,000 patients have signed up for HealthTrak — and nearly 6,000 are mobile app users. Online medical care is seen as the wave of the future. The number of HealthTrak users is expected to increase dramatically once word spreads about its overall convenience and newest features — including access for authorized family members.
More patient-centered solutions HealthTrak gives users immediate access to a wide range of personal medical information, which allows them to take a more active role in managing their health.
Sign up today!
Adults juggling the health care of their children and aging parents can use the “proxy access” feature to keep track of health records and appointments, refill prescriptions, communicate with doctors, and ask billing questions.
Easy, direct signup for HealthTrak is available online by going to UPMCHealthTrak.com and clicking “Sign up now” under New User. Follow the steps to complete an online application and answer personal questions designed to ensure that you, and not another person, are creating the account.
Parents will especially appreciate having instant access to a child’s immunization record when they need it. Approved caregivers find eVisit, the online doctor visit service, very useful for the diagnosis of common, non-urgent ailments in their elderly relatives.
If you have difficulties, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the UPMC HealthTrak Support Line at 1-866-884-8579.
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 21
Talent + Imagination + Learning =
Events You Won’t Want to Miss UPMC Senior Communities’ year-long calendar of entertainment, movies, and educational seminars aims to enrich the lives of seniors — and delight the public, too.
What do Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, a Meryl Streep movie, and acupuncture have in common? All are among UPMC Senior Communities’ upcoming 2012 Legacy Lineup. “We’re committed to providing residents at all our senior communities with activities that will capture their interests, generate conversation, and stimulate their minds,” says Nanci Case, vice president for sales, marketing, and activities for UPMC Senior Communities. “Through The Legacy Lineup and other programs, we’re bringing seniors — and people of all ages — together to relax, laugh, and learn.” Open to the public, The Legacy Lineup programs are offered at UPMC Passavant Hospital Foundation’s Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Woods Village, UPMC Senior Communities’ independent living facility located on the UPMC Passavant campus. “You can attend a Legacy Lineup event every week of the month, with many events offered at no charge,” says Greta Ceranic, marketing director for Cumberland Woods Village. The Legacy Theatre is part of a state-of-the-art conference center and 247-seat amphitheatre funded through a generous $16.5 million grant by the Passavant Hospital Foundation. One of the Foundation’s primary goals is public education and outreach. UPMC physicians, nurses, and other medical staff members also use the facility for professional development training. “And funds raised through The Legacy Lineup support UPMC Senior Communities Benevolent Care Fund,” adds Ms. Case, “providing financial assistance and other support services to residents in need at all 17 UPMC retirement communities.”
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Productions showcase local and national talent “Each month, The Legacy Lineup features at least one major production featuring a band, soloist, or performance troupe,” says Ms. Ceranic. “Earlier this year, the Tamburitzans appeared to a sell-out crowd. Later this year, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand impersonators will perform with a full orchestra.” The 2012 lineup also includes the Jaggerz and the Fabulous Hubcaps, as well as a major holiday production in December. Because seating is limited, advance tickets are recommended. Group discounts and ticket packages are available.
Spend Mondays at the movies From cinematic classics like Citizen Kane to recent blockbusters like Iron Lady with Meryl Streep, seniors can enjoy free matinee movies every Monday at 2 p.m. at the Legacy Theatre.
Explore your interests at learning seminars On alternating Tuesdays at 11 a.m., The Legacy Lineup offers educational programming that covers a wide range of subjects, from tips on aging, caregiver support, health and nutrition, history, and local topics of interest. The seminars are free and open to the public, but advance reservations are requested. For the full 2012 calendar of activities, or to make reservations, call 412-635-8080 or visit TheLegacyLineup.com.
To learn about the independent living, personal care, assisted living, and skilled nursing options offered by UPMC Senior Communities, call 1-800-324-5523 to schedule a tour. Locations include Allison Park, Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Greensburg, Lawrenceville, McCandless, Monroeville, Penn Hills, Scott Township, and Washington, Pa.
The Doctor is in (the Hospital) If you’ve recently been admitted to a hospital, chances are you didn’t see your primary care physician there. More and more hospitals, including UPMC Bedford Memorial, are turning to hospitalists to care for patients during their hospital stay. Hospitalists are doctors who work exclusively in the hospital taking care of admitted patients. They do not have a private practice outside the hospital. At UPMC Bedford Memorial, four hospitalists split time caring for hospitalized patients.
Many advantages “There are many advantages to having hospitalists — for doctors and their patients,” says Lisa Duvall, DO, a family practice physician with UPMC-Pennwood Family Medicine. “Primary care physicians (PCPs) are very busy and may not be available to answer hospitalized patients’ questions any time of the day or night. A hospitalist is available 24/7 to be at a patient’s bedside,” she adds. At UPMC Bedford Memorial, hospitalists see patients every day and are available throughout the day to meet with family members, review test results, order follow-up tests, answer nurses’ questions, and deal with any problems that may arise. “Having a hospitalist on the care team means patients and family members have someone to talk to. There’s no waiting to hear about test results or to be discharged,” says Dr. Sharma. Primary care doctors benefit because they can spend more time in the office seeing patients. And they automatically receive reports about their hospitalized patients, along with any recommended follow-up care and tests.
Sharing information The move to an electronic health records system is making the transfer of information between hospitalist and PCP more seamless and efficient. “The PCP has access to health data in real time, making it possible to check on their hospitalized patients daily,” says Dr. Duvall. Hospitalists can see complete histories of their patients immediately, which can mean a faster and more accurate diagnosis.“I can walk into a patient’s room already knowing their entire medical and family history. We don’t have to deal with paper charts or decipher handwriting from a year ago,” says Dr. Sharma.
A smooth transition
“We provide a continuum of medical care,” says Kirti Sharma, MD, medical director and lead hospitalist at UPMC Bedford Memorial. “We’re there around the clock handling patient care from admission to discharge and back to their primary care physician.” According to Dr. Sharma, most hospitalists are medical doctors who are comfortable in the acute care setting of a hospital. They undergo the same training as other internists, including medical school and residency training, and can handle medical procedures such as intubations and lumbar punctures. Some hospitalists also undergo specialized training within residencies tailored to physicians who will enter the hospitalist setting.
Hospitalists are involved in planning and coordinating a patient’s discharge. “The hospitalist will dictate a discharge summary that is forwarded to the PCP for follow-up care,” adds Dr. Duvall. They also help arrange for transitional care, including nursing home care or home therapy. For information about the complete range of services and specialties available at UPMC Bedford Memorial, visit us at UPMCBedfordMemorial.com.
1-800-533-UPMC 23 7 Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com
UPMC Bedford Memorial 10455 Lincoln Highway Everett, PA 15537
UPMC Today is published quarterly to provide you with health and wellness information and classes and events available at UPMC. This publication is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice or replace a physician’s medical assessment. Always consult first with your physician about anything related to your personal health.
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Replace hurt with happiness. James Glah, DO, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at UPMC Bedford, has been restoring hope to Bedford County residents for more than 25 years by providing high-quality total knee and hip replacements, and carpal tunnel surgery that get his patients back to living their lives. Dr. Glah and his experienced team offer comprehensive solutions no matter what kind of pain you’re experiencing. And because it’s a UPMC affiliate, UPMC Bedford Orthopaedics is backed by a leader in innovation and quality. Call UPMC Bedford Orthopaedics today at 814-623-1166 and get back to living your life with mobility, strength, and hope.
Orthopaedic surgery services at
UPMCBedford.com Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
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Bedford Borough Manager to Retire By Kim Smith
ohn Montgomery has spent more than half his life working as Bedford borough manager, but all good things must come to an end. “My last official day is September 9,” he said. Montgomery, 60, is retiring after 35 years of service. “I was an assistant the first year I was here,” he said. Montgomery acknowledged that 35 years in his position is a bit of an oddity, but credited those around him with contributing to his longevity at the borough. “If you look across the commonwealth it probably is unusual,” he said. “I’ve had good people serving on boards; we haven’t got into any major riffs, which sometimes happen. When the chips are down, I know I have people I can depend on.” Montgomery described some of his duties as borough manager over the last three decades. “Public waste systems, parks, streets; I manage all that, take care of complaints, and field technical questions people have. I have three employers: the Water Authority, the Municipal Authority, and the Borough Council,” he said. He added that he has always tried to temper his business sense with a sense of compassion; for example when complaints are lodged against residents who don’t clean up their trash or mow their lawns. “Is it an older person who’s been sick or can’t get around? I try to take these things into account,” he said. “Is there a reason why? If there is, I take people at their word.” In looking back, Montgomery said the biggest challenges usually came down to dollars and cents. “I regret not having enough money to have the streets in as good a condition as I’d like them to be,” he said. Along with the challenges, there have been plenty of accomplishments such as “modernizing things at the borough and getting them compliant, and contributing to the effort of making the town look better,” Montgomery said. “The thing that gives me the most joy is having a visitor come to town and tell me how nice it looks. It’s my hometown. That’s important to me.” He obviously feels a great deal of pride for Bedford. “There’s a lot of history here. It was well-preserved,” he said. “That adds a lot to the community.” When considering the strides made during his 35 years as borough manager, Montgomery refuses to take credit. “I didn’t do anything all on my own,” he said. “I believe in being a team player.” As for how he hopes to be remembered as a borough manager? Montgomery doesn’t spend much time thinking about that. “I didn’t
get into the job for recognition,” he said. “It was just to make a contribution to the town.” He said his plans following retirement include a little travel and a lot of tinkering. “My wife Pamela and I will probably take a short trip out west, and then I’ll just do some things I haven’t had time to do like do some things around the house.” Montgomery also plans to become more active at his church, something his duties as borough manager have sometimes made difficult. Dean Lemley, borough council vice president, said he has worked with Montgomery for 11 years off and on. As the person in charge of personnel and finance for the borough, Lemley said Montgomery is going to be missed. “John’s always been a great guy to go to for information,” he said. “He’s done a great job through the years. People don’t really know how much John does.” Lemley added that being borough manager is not an easy job. “You’ve got to know a little about everything because you have to deal with a little bit of everything,” he said. He has a feeling it will take Montgomery some time to adjust to retirement. “Personally, I think he’s going to have to stay busy,” said Lemley. “He’s not the sort of guy to sit in a rocking chair.” Jim Wehling has been on the borough council for five years. He said Montgomery has been instrumental in making the borough what it is today. “He’s really had a lot to say about how the borough’s developed,” Wehling said. “We’re certainly going to miss John. I think people have been very grateful for the time and effort John has put in. We’re very appreciative for what he’s done for the borough.”
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 25
ince 1985, the Bedford County Historical Society has been honoring one, two and sometimes even three historians during its Annual History Banquet. While three people were honored during that initial celebration, single winners were selected up until 2003, when a husband and wife were chosen. From that time on, single recipients have been selected for the society’s Historian of the Year. This year, however, the society has decided once again on dual honorees for its awards dinner that was held April 21 at the Homewood at Spring House Estates. The speaker was Roger Kirwin, the society’s 2011 Historian of the Year, who talked about the War of 1812. This year, Lynn Garn, Ph.D., was recognized for his research into his family history which resulted in a 707-page book entitled The Garn Family, Including Carn, Garnes, Garns and Gern. The second honoree is Debra Topinka, a member of the Cumberland Valley Township Historical Society, who worked to get a marker replaced along the Mason-Dixon Line at the PennsylvaniaMaryland border in Cumberland Valley, Md. The original concrete marker had been removed in 2002 for road work. It was not replaced until Topinka researched the matter at the request of Shirley Imler of Bedford. Topinka interviewed area residents, engineers, and historians in both Pennsylvania and Maryland. She wound up brokering between the highway administrations of both states to get a road marker built and placed in the proper location in 2011. Dr. Garn’s book traces his family roots back to Johannes Gerns, who was born in Germany around 1686. It also seeks to connect American family members who spell the name Garn, Garnes, Garns, Carn and Gern. Dr. Garn, who holds a doctorate in physics from The American University in Washington, D.C., has been doing genealogical research for 35 years and has published articles in The American Genealogist, Mayflower
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Descendant and Generations, the genealogical journal of New Brunswick, Canada. The Bedford County Historical Society was formed in 1937 to preserve, protect and document the history of Bedford County for future generations, as well as educate the public concerning the same, said Dr. Raymond Jackson, reading from the society’s mission statement. Jackson, who is retired, is a volunteer and research coordinator for the group. “We have an extensive library on the history of Bedford County and genealogy,” Dr. Jackson said. The historical society has outreach programs for students and offers lectures to the public on a variety of topics as well. “We also have field trips and I do research for people who aren’t able to come to the library,” Dr. Jackson said. The historical society headquarters, which is also a library, is located just outside Bedford Borough in a historic barn built by John Todd, the great-uncle of Mary Todd Lincoln. For more information about the Bedford County Historical Society and its Annual History Banquet, please call 814.623.2011.
The historical society headquarters, which is also a library, is located just outside Bedford Borough in a historic barn built by John Todd, the great-uncle of Mary Todd Lincoln. Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 27
Local Singer Eyes
a e r G t e Th
icky Howsare is a young man with a big dream: making a name for himself on the Broadway stage. If the Bedford County teen’s local success is any indicator, that dream just might come true. Howsare, who turns 18 in July, sings and plays the piano. “I do ‘50s doo-wop and early ‘60s British invasion,” he said. Howsare added that his musical inspirations include Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, and Frank Sinatra, among others. He credits his paternal grandmother, Faun, with launching his career in 2009. Howsare said he always loved singing but never considered doing it professionally until she gave him a nudge. “I didn’t know I was good enough to sing in front of people,” he said. “I always liked oldies music and my grandma recommended I go to Donahoe Manor and sing oldies music there. It was a new feeling. I liked it. People were paying attention to me. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces; the impact I was making on them. It was just incredible. It took them out of their nursing home for a while. I like making people happy.” Betsy Wakefield, activities director at Donahoe Manor, said the young performer is a big hit with residents. “He probably gets the biggest crowd,” she said. “The residents always really enjoy his performance. He gets them involved during the performance, and stays and talks to them afterwards.” Howsare said entertaining at Donahoe Manor opened the door for more opportunities. Since that first performance he’s sung at Colonial Courtyard in Bedford, Frostburg Village in Maryland, Pen Knoll, class reunions, coffeehouses, and various church services and functions. Howsare said he realized his career was moving to a different level when people started calling him and asking him to sing. Prior to that, he had been making all the initial contacts. In 2010 Howsare participated in the Cumberland, Md., “We’ve
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Got Talent” competition, going on to win the first prize of $1,000. For week one Howsare sang “Hurt” by Elvis Presley, week two “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha,” week three Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” and he clinched top honors in week four with “How Great Thou Art,” an Elvis Presley arrangement. Howsare said his parents Rick, owner of Rick’s Stump Removal, and Bobbi, who works for children and youth at the Bedford Courthouse, have been a tremendous source of support in his career goals. “There was not one second they said to me ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do?’” he said. In fact, Bobbi runs sound for his performances. He said his high school classmates are also supportive and excited about his burgeoning career. “They tell me ‘You’re going to make it big someday.’” Currently a senior at Bedford High School, Howsare plans to attend the University of Louisville, Kentucky, after graduation and major in vocal performance. Aware of the challenge of making it big as a performer, he said the core classes in his major will allow him to earn a master’s degree in music education with two additional years of school, which would enable him to teach. Howsare has a practical side, but it definitely takes a backseat to his dream – a career on Broadway. Although not initially impressed with show tunes, a ninth grade role as Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast,” followed by a 10th grade performance as the baker in the production of “Into the Woods” ignited his interest in musical theater. “In 10th grade I fell in love with Broadway music,” he said. While Howsare knows he’ll have to earn his chops before hitting the big-time, he already has his eye on several parts he’d love to play on stage: Albin in “La Cage aux Folles,” Edna in “Hairspray,” and, first and foremost, the lead in “The Phantom of the Opera.” “That,” he says, “is my absolute dream role.”
y a W e t i Wh
By Kim Smith
â€œI fell in
In 10th grade
love with Broadway
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 29
Charter School for Hyndman Students By Kim Smith
hen it comes to Hyndman Charter School it’s all about community involvement. Malynda Maurer, CEO and principal, said the school for grades K through 12 opened July 1, 2011, when Hyndman Middle/Senior High School closed, and there was no local school. “Many people wanted to keep their children here,” Maurer explained. The Hyndman community rallied to start the charter school, Maurer said. “A charter school is a public school of choice,” she said, adding that it is “a community-oriented school.” HOPE is an acronym that describes the charter school’s educational philosophy: Help, Opportunity, Practicality, and Empowerment. The school’s vision is three-pronged – “to be an educational organization that provides education for the person as a whole; designs individualized instruction based on passions, interests, and needs; and encourages support and participation from local businesses and community members.”
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Maurer said the HOPE for Hyndman Charter School meets in the former middle/senior high school building. “We are in the same building, however the majority of teachers are new, and the rules of how we operate are all different,” she said.
Maurer adds that the community emphasis is a big part of the charter school experience.“Our board is composed of community members. Decisions are made right here instead of down the road.”Referring to the present school year as a year of firsts, Maurer said, “Everything that’s happening this year is a first for us. This is my first year as a principal/ CEO, [although] I used to work for a charter school. I was able to take that knowledge and apply it here in this situation.” One of the charter school’s most notable “firsts” took place on June 5 when 27 students graduated. Former teacher Les Bistline was guest speaker for the event. The school’s motto is a quote by Helen Keller: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!” That ideology explains why senior Shane Bistline spent a big part of his summer vacation in 2011 at the school. “I came up and helped during the summer,” he said. “I helped teachers move their desks around and get stuff organized for the coming year.” He added that he was one of about 10 students who gathered at the school to get it ready for the coming year. “We were up here three days a week for at least three hours a day,” he said. Bistline, whose father Richard is the athletic director, said the new school has brought the Hyndman community together. “There’s just something new in the community,” he said. “It felt like it brought life back to the town. It feels good to be part of a new experience.”
Sugar Maple Camp Field Trip
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 31
South Central Blind Association Gives the Gift of By Kim Smith
Betty Lundquist (left) with Crystal Clites
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arlene Wareham said she was “devastated” six years ago when, during a visit to her eye doctor, she was told she would have to relinquish her driver’s license. The 57-year-old retired Everett Elementary School teacher suffers from a progressive genetic eye disease. “The macular never developed,” she said. Shortly after losing her license Wareham needed transportation for an appointment. She contacted the South Central Blind Association at 100 East Pitt Street, Suite 209, in Bedford. Wareham was familiar with the agency because it had helped her mother, who had the same eye condition. In April 2007 Wareham stepped in as a volunteer for the agency when another worker, coincidentally one of her former second grade students, resigned to have a baby. Today Wareham plays an active role in the organization. “I’m a full-time volunteer,” she said. “I do the mailing, help do preschool vision screenings, and first grade education programs.” Wareham also assists with programs at senior centers. Along with volunteering, Wareham remains a client. “[The organization] provides transportation for me if I need to go to the doctor and has helped me get a CCTV, which enlarges small stuff so I can read it,” she said. The CCTVs, which are donated, are loaned out to clients and then returned to the agency. When she thinks back to that day in the doctor’s office, Wareham is confident that it was part of a bigger plan. “When the Lord closes one door, He’ll open another,” she said. “I just feel that this is where the Lord has led me.” South Central Blind Association director Abby Dively has been with the agency for 29 years, the last 10 in her current position. A private, nonprofit charitable organization, the association’s mission is “to support and promote the interests of the blind and visually impaired, to prevent blindness and to help individuals live an active and independent life.” Individuals in Bedford and Fulton counties are eligible for services if they have a visual acuity with best correction of 20/70 in the better eye, or have a corresponding loss of visual fields, or any progressive sight-threatening disease or significant functional limitation. Dively, a prevention of blindness specialist and life skills coordinator, working alongside fellow life skills coordinator Crystal Clites, said the agency
offers a number of services for the visually impaired. The Transportation/Escort Service provides transportation to and from doctor’s offices, grocery stores, banks, and local utility companies, among others. Clients are also aided once they reach their destinations, Dively said. Support Services involve sorting mail, reading, making shopping lists, organizing and paying bills, and filling out applications. Labeling items in the home is another service offered to clients who are totally blind. The Support Group meets monthly to discuss issues and experiences relevant to the visually impaired. Through sharing ideas and feelings, members learn to cope with vision loss and develop self-confidence and independence in a supportive atmosphere. The agency conducts preschool vision screenings as well as a Treasures in Sight program that emphasizes eye safety to first grade elementary school students. “Last year alone we performed over 2,760 hours of service with just part-time employees,” she said. “We screened nearly 300 individuals and did educational programs for over 600 students.” Dively said helping clients with their independence is the most rewarding aspect of her job. “They are so appreciative of the things you do for them,” she said. Dively recalls conducting a vision screening with a child who has Down syndrome. “I realized she knew sign language so I signed the words to her and we were able to screen her,” she said. Another special memory involved helping a longtime client celebrate her 90th birthday. “We took her a dozen roses,” Dively said. “There’s a friendship that develops. They’re more than clients. I would say they’re all my friends.” Client Betty Lundquist, diagnosed with macular degeneration, learned about the South Central Blind Association from a former employee. “I thought that was the end of my life, that I would be stuck here in this apartment,” she said. “That’s when Crystal (Clites) came along. She takes me to the grocery store, the post office, to do my banking, even to buy apples so I can make applesauce. I enjoy being able to get out and do things for myself. The South Central Blind Association has helped me to obtain my independence again, and for that I am truly grateful.” Darlene Wareham (above) Abby Dively (left) Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 33
By Heather Holtschlag
ome women are notorious for taking up space – closet space, kitchen space and bedroom space can overflow with shoes, clothes, jewelry and general knick knacks. And, especially if the woman’s space is spread throughout the entire house, her man might just need one room to call his own: a “Man Cave.” The idea of a Man Cave is definitely not a new one, and may have been referred to by different names, such as “The Boys Club,” a “Mantuary,” or a retreat. The concept has been around for years and has been marked by random surges in popularity, the most recent being just a few years ago when TV shows such as “Man Caves” began appearing. Although the purpose of a Man Cave has changed from its initial appearance hundreds of years ago, the basic concept remains the same: a place for men to go to escape the routine domesticities of everyday life. A Man Cave can be any room in the house – the garage, an attic or even an extra bedroom – designed and decorated to a man’s tastes, and can incorporate a specific theme such as sports, cars or guitars and other musical instruments. In some homes, the purpose of a Man Cave may be to provide some space to the man where he can relax and unwind and feel more at home in a house that often consists of female-driven décor and accessories. In other houses, a Man Cave might be a place where a sign is hung that states “No Girls Allowed,” or a place
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where he can hang out with his buddies and not feel like he needs to impress anyone. Studies have shown that when a man has a place to call his own within the home, there is increased marital harmony and decreased marital stress. Because these rooms are designed to meet each man’s own personal taste, every Man Cave is different. He may choose to stock his room with nice furniture, a big screen television, a bar or even game accessories such as a pool table, pinball machine, or dart board. Other popular must-haves are billiard lights over the pool table and a free-standing beer tap in place of a fully stocked bar. If price is no object, the man may want to get the best of everything – from quality made bar stools and bar to the finest glassware. He may even choose to adorn the walls with various video games or hang guitars. He can display his team spirit by hanging wall decals of his favorite team’s logo throughout the room, or even on the pool table, a set of cues, or glassware. In addition, he can buy pillows, rugs, lamps and other furniture to match, making his Man Cave the perfect place to watch the game. Any room, no matter the size or shape, can be transformed into the Man Cave of his dreams. All it takes is a bit of thought and creativity…and maybe a favorite football game.
By Dana Black McGrath
hether you are an empty nester looking to simplify your lifestyle or a homeowner struggling to make a high monthly mortgage payment, downsizing your home may be the right solution for you. There may be many advantages to homeowners who choose to scale back. For senior citizens, there are many advantages to letting go of the responsibilities of maintaining the family home. Moving to a senior living community, condominium or patio home often means an association will handle most of the drudgery that comes with home ownership, such as grass cutting, snow removal and exterior maintenance. Inside, there usually are more up-to-date amenities that make daily life a bit easier, and less square footage which means less housecleaning. Downsizing also is an appealing option for those looking to save money by reducing their monthly mortgage payments. With the struggling economy, many find that this is a necessity more than a preference as homeowners face the challenges of loss or reduction of salary. Whatever your circumstance or reason for downsizing, there is still the consideration of scaling back what you take with you into your smaller home. Letting go of family and personal treasures is not an easy task, but right-sizing your belongings to fit your new space is an essential part of the process. The National Association of Senior Move Managers, a nonprofit organization that facilitates the physical and emotional aspects of relocation for older adults, offers the following tips for downsizing and destressing your move, suggestions that also may be applied to others who are starting the downsizing process: 10. Start early – end happy: Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets and file cabinets.
Get generous: Now is the time to make arrangements to gift some of your belongings to special people in your life, charities and churches.
Save your memories: Consider ways to preserve family photos and stories.
New looks for books: Books take up lots of space and are heavy to move. Consider donations to libraries or sales to used bookstores.
Use it up – don’t move it out: Plan to use as many canned goods, frozen foods and paper products as you can before moving.
Recycle the toxins: Put together a box or two of household, yard and automotive cleaning products as well as paint which are considered to be hazardous.
Don’t lose touch: Create a list of people, places and utilities/services that need to be notified of your change of address.
Plan your space ahead of time: A floor plan will help you determine the pieces of furniture that will fit into your new home.
Pack a survival bag: Put together a bag for moving day including things such as personal need items, kitchen essentials, basic tools, cleaning supplies and payment for the mover.
Ask for help: Don’t be too proud or independent-minded to ask for help. And don’t wait until the last minute to do the asking.
Finally, once you accomplish your downsizing goal, you may find yourself faced with the question of what to do with the profits of the sale of your home. If you don’t already have one, it may be time to seek the services of a qualified financial advisor to help you determine how to best make your money work for you.
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 35
Design & Construction By Dana Black McGrath
t used to be that a first-floor laundry or home office was among some of the hottest home construction trends. Now that those are a standard more than a luxury, building trends are emerging that reflect our changing needs as our lifestyle, culture and economy change with the times. Local realtors have noticed a strong trend toward multi-generational dwellings, sometimes referred to as the mother-in-law suite. Aging parents are now much more likely to live with their children, partly because it’s more cost effective for everyone concerned. Older adults are happier living in the home environment and they often help with child care and other household responsibilities. Although many homeowners elect to transform their basement into an “elder space,” wing additions are more common. By having the addition on one level, the older individuals do not have mobility issues with stairs. Ideally though, there should be some separation for the privacy of everyone.” Also dominant in contemporary design is a trend toward classic architecture that blends modern and traditional elements to create timeless, elegant spaces with interiors that are light and simple rather than ornate and heavy. Outdoor living spaces are another design essential for all regions, not just for single-family homes but also for multi-family properties. In our area, many have embraced this trend by enhancing their outdoor space with comfortable outdoor furnishings and even outdoor kitchens. Consideration of cost-effectiveness in building is another new trend. For instance, many new homes are rectangular because they are less expensive to build. The trend is moving away from multiple odd roof lines that create unnecessary interior volumes, reducing 36
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construction and operating costs for homeowners. These principles can be seen in many of the new construction developments around Bedford County. Another trend is the elimination of the formal living room in favor of a more flexible space that is adjacent to the kitchen and family room. Many who build new homes opt for only one “formal” room – rather than a formal living room and separate dining room. Homeowners also frequently take out interior walls to open up the space that was once a formal dining room. Buyers want to maximize their space. People like multifunctionality. It’s a better use of space and generally there is better lighting to a room when an interior wall is removed. Kitchens, long known to be the heart of the home and one of the most important design elements of any house, are also being impacted by new trends. Many designers are coming up with creative storage solutions to allow windows above the countertops rather than cabinets, thus keeping the kitchen light and bright. Another trend in newer homes is the man cave. Once referred to as the recreation room or game room, the man cave may take several different forms, but oftentimes functions as a room for the use of the whole family, despite the misnomer. Today’s building trends reflect the way we live and what is important to us.
View from the T
he front porch may rank near the bottom of the list when people talk about their homes, but it ranks near the top in terms of importance. In Bedford County, many country homes have beautiful front porches that span the entire length of the home. Considered a home’s “welcome mat,” the front porch offers a home’s first – and oftentimes only – impression to family, friends, and passersby. The friendlier it looks, the more appealing the home. So how can you dress up your front porch so that it contributes to the charm of your neighborhood, or, if a front porch is still just a dream, how can you add to your house but stay within budget? If your goal is to add a front porch onto your home, you may first want to take a good look at the front of your home and plan a porch that matches your home’s style. Think about whether you want the porch area to be a simple transition into your home, or whether you want to create an entirely new living space. Also, determine how much space you will have to dedicate to a front porch area. If it’s a small, transitional area, you may not be able to give the area a complete overhaul, but rather enhance the space that is already there with charming accents. When it comes time to decorate the front porch, consider what room the porch leads to within the house. If it leads to a traditional living or dining room, for example, you likely will not want to decorate the porch in a tropical theme.
Also, choose a type of paint for the front door that contains a high gloss and a color that will be noticeable. Consider changing the hardware as well. Go for house numbers that appear strong and bold, which could give your entire exterior a new look, and add a door knocker for a touch of elegance. Before adding furniture to a roomier porch, make sure to attend to the paint on the sides and floor. Repair any paint that is peeling and add a fresh coat to the sides and floor first. And when adding the furniture, look for a piece such as a loveseat that can hold two people, and an ottoman that can double as storage space. The largest piece of furniture should face outward, with smaller pieces surrounding it. Artwork that is made to handle the elements of the outdoors can add attention and attractiveness if hung above the sitting area, and look for rugs and pillows that can finish off the space. Blinds or curtains can help prevent sun damage to the furniture and artwork, and can be of aid when people are sitting there. One final note to keep in mind when designing and decorating your porch is to decorate for the seasons. Add pumpkin décor during Halloween or floral accents during the spring and summer. A harvest wreath in the fall and an evergreen wreath in the winter also can add to the beauty of the season.
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 37
HOW WILL YOU CHOOSE A
By Dana Black McGrath
It’s no secret that this is the time of year when more and more “for sale” signs start to dot neighborhood streets.Whether you are planning to buy or sell a home, build a new one or renovate a century-old one, chances are you will be looking for a real estate agent to help guide you through the process. According to Realtor.com, there are 53 real estate agents in Bedford alone! Choosing the right professional to represent you is an important decision, one that could end up saving you money or adding to your bottom line. You need a seasoned professional to best represent your interests. When it comes to selecting an agent, one should realize that not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) website explains that: “The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of NAR and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.”
The organization is the nation’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members—including NAR’s institutes, societies and councils—involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. This is an important consideration when choosing an agent, whether you are a buyer or a seller. No matter which side of the real estate transaction you find yourself on, an agent can ensure that your interests are best represented. If you are planning to sell a property, a seller’s agent is obliged to get the best deal for the seller. He/she is permitted to give potential buyers only material facts about the listing. Loyalty is to the seller, not the potential buyer. On the other hand, if you find yourself in the market for a new home, a buyer’s agent is obligated to secure the best deal possible for the buyer. He/she is permitted to pass on any information obtained about the property or seller to his/her buying client.
According to the website Realtor.com, the following are some questions you should ask during your selection process when interviewing potential agents: ■ Is the agent REALTOR®? ■ Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency. ■ Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region. ■ Is real estate the person’s full-time career? ■ What real estate designations does the agent hold? ■ Which party is he or she representing: you or the seller? This discussion is supposed to occur early on, at “first serious contact” with you. The agent should discuss your state’s particular definitions of agency, so you’ll know where you stand. ■ In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you?
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HOW WILL YOU CHOOSE THE
Right Mortgage for Your Bedford County Home?
By Dana Black McGrath
hether you are buying your first home, refinancing Balloon mortgages offer a fixed rate with low payment for a your current home, or looking to finally buy your certain period, but after that period the entire balance of the loan dream vacation property, chances are you are going becomes due. Interest-only loans allow the borrower to pay only to be shopping for a mortgage. the interest on the loan for a fixed term, but after that period the A mortgage is a product, and if you are going to be committed entire balance of the loan becomes due. to it for 15 or 30 years, you want to ensure that you get the best Reverse mortgages, a popular option for seniors, enable the deal possible. Price and terms are often negotiable. homeowner to cash out equity. The borrower does not have to To help with the legwork of comparison shopping for a pay back the loan or interest as long as he/she lives in the house. mortgage product, many consumers turn to the services of a There are a variety of factors that can influence the type of mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers do not lend money; instead loan for which you may qualify. One of the most significant is they have access to several lenders and arrange deals for their your credit score. Typically, the lower your score, the higher the clients. interest rate you will pay. Conversely, the stronger your score is, There are several types of loans that a consumer may the more competitive the rate you may secure. consider – fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans, a balloon mortgage, interest-only loans and reverse mortgages. The product that is right for you depends on your financial circumstances and goals. Fixed-rate mortgages have an interest rate that stays the same throughout the term of the loan, typically 15, 20 or 30 years, which helps protect against any rate increases over that time. But, if interest rates go down, you are still obligated to pay the higher rate. While adjustable-rate mortgages offer an initial lower rate, after that initial period rates will fluctuate over the The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s publication life of the loan, so if interest rates rise, Looking for the Best Mortgage offers the following advice concerning so will your monthly payment. FHA loans, available through the mortgage interest rates: Federal Housing Administration, enable • Ask each lender or broker for a list of its current mortgage interest rates borrowers who may not otherwise and whether the rates being quoted are the lowest for that day or week. qualify for a home loan to secure a mortgage with a low down payment, but • Ask whether the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when the amount of money you may borrow is interest rates for adjustable-rate loans go up, generally so does the limited. Similarly, VA loans, guaranteed monthly payment. for eligible veterans, offer low rates with • If the rate quoted is for an adjustable-rate loan, ask how your rate and loan a small or no down payment, but again payment will vary, including whether your loan payment will be reduced the amount of the loan may be limited.
when rates go down. • Ask about the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate.
Bedford County| Summer 2012 | incommunitymagazines.com 39
Oldest Resident Shares Secret to
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Ask Harry T. Ritchey the secret to living 95 years and he’ll say no smoking or drinking had a lot to do with it, but something else might have been even more instrumental: “I wasn’t too serious,” he smiled. Ritchey, who turned 95 on May 12, holds the distinction of being Hyndman Borough’s oldest resident. “I came here as an infant a couple of months old,” he said. A self-professed “people person,” Ritchey said he has always held jobs that allowed him to interact with the public. “I started my working career at The American Store in high school, working two hours after school for five cents an hour,” he said. “I had all sorts of jobs, even worked for a funeral director; that’s when they had funerals in the home. We’d get the room ready.” Ritchey said that one particular job helped shape his destiny by showing him what he didn’t want to do. “I worked on the railroad track at night. It was hard work all the time. I made up my mind I was not going to do that [for a living].” After attending Catheman’s Business School in Cumberland and a stint as a Yeoman First Class in the Navy, Ritchey took the civil service exam and became Hyndman’s postmaster, a job he held for 38 years. “I retired August 4, 1984,” he said. Ritchey didn’t let retirement relegate him to rocking-chair status, though. In the years since, he has served as business manager to a baseball team, a charter member of the VFW, and a part of the Hyndman community parades. He has also been involved in Hyndman’s United Church of Christ, and still attends when his health permits. “I rang the church bell for many years,” Ritchey said. “I like people,” he adds, and apparently the feeling is mutual. On Saturday, May 12, a birthday celebration was held in the parish hall of the United Church of Christ in Ritchey’s honor. “My 21-year-old granddaughter began making plans in January,” he said. The celebration included sandwiches, snacks, and beverages in the festooned parish hall. There was also memorabilia from Ritchey’s life on display. “They really went all out for it,” he said. At one point the guest of honor released a bunch of balloons. “The next day was Mother’s Day, so they used the leftover balloons for that,” Ritchey said. Guests presented Ritchey with a poster featuring his picture with sentiments, blessings, and well wishes written in the margins. Ritchey said he also received birthday cards at the party and a few prior to the event. “I had well over 100 cards,” he says. When asked if he had any pearls of wisdom for today’s young people, Ritchey drew upon nearly a century of experience when he replied, “I’d say do your best, whatever you’re going to do, and have a goal,” he said. “Also, keep a sense of humor. It helped me.” –Kim Smith
Homewood at Spring House Estates A
ribbon cutting ceremony was held this past April at Spring House Estates, a Homewood Retirement Center in Everett, PA, officially dedicating its Heritage Wall and celebrating Homewood Retirement Centers’ 80 successful years of providing continuing care retirement communities for seniors. The Bedford County Chamber of Commerce was present as well as Spring House residents and some Homewood senior management including President Ernie Angell, VP of Operations Conrad Peachey, VP of Fundraising John Warren, and Spring House Executive Director Gina Montgomery. President Ernie Angell spoke about the birth of the Homewood legacy 80 years ago when visionary George Pearson left $100,000 in his estate to the Potomac Synod of the Reformed Church to build ‘a home for widows and spinsters.’ Soon after that and in 1932, the first residents moved into a home at 1805 Virginia Avenue in Half Way, Md., which later became known as Homewood. The original culture at Homewood was one of giving, with early residents benefiting from the generosity of the church members who would regularly bring in staples. In 1972, the benevolent fund at Homewood was officially created to assist residents whose assets were depleted. Today, the Homewood Foundation recognizes the broadened mission of the foundation and in 2012 is estimated to provide over $6.3 million for subsidy and benevolent care for its residents. Along with this, Angell was proud to report that in 2011, “119,000+ hours in giving back to our communities via Homewood employees and residents volunteering were tracked.” He closed with a thank you to all in attendance and how proud he is to be part of the Homewood organization.
Bedford County’s #1 Retirement Community is getting BIGGER & BETTER... We’re E X P A N D I N G A G A I N with a 30-unit apartment addition and an indoor pool! We’re NOW taking deposits on these new 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartments. RESERVE YOURS NOW... Choose your floor plan, customize it, plus save BIG on pre-construction savings!
Call 814.623.0349 to reserve your apartment and receive $500 toward upgrades! We’ll even freeze your base rent through 2014!
Spring House Estates – Where neighbors become friends and friends become family 150 Victoria Ave. • Everett, PA 15537 • 814.623.0349 • www.homewood.com
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