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Ridge Insurance Celebrates 20 Years Agency In the Community!




Improvements In Seneca Valley

“I’d like to have my questions answered in just one phone call.”

Here’s the Plan At UPMC Health Plan, we believe customer service should be a service to you, not a headache. That’s why we offer you a personal health care concierge. A live person who lives here and can answer all your questions in just one phone call. Sure, we win awards for our customer service. But it’s the reaction we get from satisfied members that we find most rewarding.

To find out more visit


G 2013 SPRIN

IN Seneca Valley is a community publication dedicated to representing, encouraging and promoting the Seneca Valley area and its comprising municipalities 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.

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IN Seneca Valley | SPRING 2013 |




Hoents Valley In Seneca Improvem



Farewell to the Little, Red School: Johnston School House. . . . . . . . . . . . |


The McCurdys are Living a Dream with Bottlebrush Gallery. . . . . . . . . . . | 15 Seneca Valley Foundation Raises $10,000 for Students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 18 ON THE COVER


Bill Ridge and his staff reach out to the community by taking care of their clients and community service.

Sound Engineer and Fans Rally to Save Chapel Featured in Night of the Living Dead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 22 Catholic High School to Open in Cranberry for Fall 2014 Semester | 25 Polar Bear Swim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 28 A Billionaire, a Shaggy Dog and a Redheaded Orphan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 30



Senior Project Involves Dance – and Lots of Organization . . . . . . . . . . | 41


Assembly Required in These Seneca Valley Classes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 44


UPMC | Tomosynthesis Offers Women

Story and Craft Hour at the Zelienople Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 68

Greater Detection of Breast Abnormalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |


Gridiron Greats Visit Grade School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |



UPMC Today | Health and Wellness News You Can Use . . . . . . . . . . |


Beleza Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 14

Butler County Humane Society Has a Heart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |


Complete Chiropractic Health . . . . | 16

Seneca Valley Teens Honored at Jack and Jill Presentation Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |


Cranberry Foot and Ankle Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 24

Home Improvements In Seneca Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |


Vein Institute of Pittsburgh . . . . . . . | 27

UPMC Today | New Advanced Treatment for Skin Cancer . . . . . . . . . |


Greater Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 29


Ridge Insurance Agency . . . . . . . . . . . |


Venango Trails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |


Little House Learning Center. . . . . . | 10 Lutheran SeniorLife. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 20 Nest Expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 53

Muhlenkamp & Company. . . . . . . . . . | 55 The Goddard School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 61 Clearskin Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . | 66

Welcome to the Spring issue of IN Seneca Valley magazine! I hope that you are as anxious as I am to get the cold and snow behind us and get busy planning projects around the house. This issue is dedicated to home-improvement projects great and small. Some projects will give you curb appeal, some will increase your home’s value, and others are for the sheer enjoyment or luxury of it. Regardless of your aims with your home, whether gutting the walls, or just planting the perfect tree in the yard, our homes are a source of pride for us, and not in a status sense. They are where we raise our families, where we feel safe, and where we invite our friends and loved ones for parties and fellowship. Our homes are where our children play, and where oftentimes we tend to sick loved ones. They are where we try hardest in life, and where the challenges of life hit us the most. Our homes bear witness to our triumphs as well as our sorrows, and they are as much a part of our personalities as what we choose to wear or adorn ourselves with. So with so much importance placed on the walls that contain us, we hope that you can find at least one project within these pages to be fodder for your next project around the home. Have a wonderful spring!

Wayne Dollard Publisher

Summer content deadline: May 26


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Seneca Valley


Ridge Insurance Celebrates 20 Years of Being a Part of the Community


ill Ridge started his insurance agency in a small basement office on Wisconsin Street 20 years ago, and he was the only employee. His agency has grown to five employees, with tentative plans to build an even bigger building in the near future to accommodate the company’s growth. He still adheres to the same philosophy that he started out with two decades ago. “I tell my agents, “If you have a client with a problem and you’re not sure what to do, just pretend that the person sitting in front of you is one of your family members; a brother, a sister, or a parent. Then do the same thing to help them that you would do for your family.” His philosophy must have worked because he has many clients who have been with him from the very beginning, and his agency has received many awards for their customer service. “If you treat someone like family, there’s no chance that you’re not going to do your best for them,” explains Ridge. He has always believed in getting involved in the community as well, such as volunteering with Pleasant Valley Homeless Shelter and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Ridge, sadly lost his mother to cancer last year and continues to work to try to help others suffering from this terrible disease. Team Ridge Insurance raised the most money for the relay in 2011. This year they are again on track to raise thousands of dollars for cancer research. Erie Insurance, which offers some of the most competitive products for Ridge Insurance Agency, has decided to join the fight, and has already

made a significant donation and will be participating in the relay event. “I think it is important to participate in the community, especially in events that support issues that have had a personal impact on you. Beyond that, it also brings great comfort and satisfaction in knowing that you are helping to take care of your friends and neighbors” says Ridge. “It’s also important for me to make sure that my clients are taken care of, because they’re also my friends and neighbors.” Ridge, who is an independent insurance agent, seeks out the best companies and products for his clients, including one of the best companies, Erie Insurance. “Erie Insurance offers one of the most innovative products in insurance that I have ever heard of called the Rate Protection Endorsement. With Rate Lock®, if a person does not make changes to their policy such as adding or deleting a vehicle, adding or deleting a driver, and/or does not change residences, their auto insurance rate can be locked in indefinitely! That’s pretty incredible in this day and age when the price of most everything is constantly increasing.” Erie Insurance also has a program called “Guaranteed” Replacement Coverage in which it will pay the actual replacement cost of a home that is a total loss. For example, if a 1940s home is valued at $100,000 but the cost of rebuilding the same home would cost around $150,000, Erie Insurance will pay the actual replacement cost, regardless of the amount of coverage purchased by the

homeowner(s). This policy which goes the extra mile, gives a homeowner peace of mind when considering catastrophic events. Ridge also offers life insurance which can double as an investment vehicle to pay for children’s college or other significant expenses. “I am continually amazed that individuals will think nothing of spending $25 on dinner, but will balk at the thought of spending $25 on a monthly basis to help secure the future of their spouse and their children. After many years in the business, I can safely say that I have never seen anyone who regretted spending too much on life insurance. However, I have seen many families who wished they had purchased more life insurance,” notes Ridge.

Ridge is looking forward to another 20 years of helping his clients as if they were family. As the Cranberry Township area has grown, so has the agency. “We’re just growing and expanding with the community,” says Ridge, “I’ve been able to help a lot of small business owners help make the area the growing, thriving commercial center that Cranberry Township has become.” For more information on the agency, please visit the website at

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 5





ollow our trails and you’ll find the home of your dreams…Venango Trails, a first-class new neighborhood in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, has already sold 31 homes and is looking forward to continuing this success. “These early sales are exciting not only for the developer, but the community as well, creating a unique and serene, yet convenient new neighborhood in the North,” stated Brett Malky, President of EQA Landmark Communities. Venango Trails takes the definition of community seriously, which is evident in


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their wide array of new home plans that meet the needs of families, singles and retirees. This variety allows Venango Trails to offer homes from the high $200s to over $2 million, while also featuring square footages from 1,700 to 8,000+. The community has also set itself apart in terms of higher standard offerings from home builders. For instance, all homes in Venango Trails feature first and second floor ceiling heights of 10 ft. and 9 ft. respectively. This is an innovative approach to creating a feeling of openness as well as light and airy living areas. Additionally, the Seneca Valley

standard package includes an enclosed garage, Anderson double-paned windows, smart-wiring as well as brick, stone or James Hardie Plank exteriors. In terms of home styles, Phase 1 of Venango Trails offers Village Towne, Village, Cottage, Cottage Premier and Artisan homes. For descriptions of these home styles, floor plans, or any further information please visit their website, In addition to Phase 1, the neighborhood is excited to announce that sales have started in a new phase along

Mt. Pleasant Road in Marshall Township. Known as the Venango Estates, this phase features the largest lots in the community, more square footage, upscale finishes and the latest appliances, all encapsulated in a luxurious and secluded setting. Venango Estates also takes full advantage of the natural surroundings blessed to the site. The developer recently donated over 88 acres of pristine woodlands to the Allegheny Land Trust to ensure that it remains untouched in perpetuity. Included in the donated land is the historic Venango

Trail, “The trail is a well-worn path cut by Native Americans, and was once used as a military road by George Washington and his troops,” Malky said. Homeowners throughout the neighborhood will have the ability to walk this trail as well as a few new ones, while listening to nature and history speaking to them. The 325-acre Venango Trails site is just 20 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh and mere minutes from the business districts of Cranberry and Wexford. “Venango Trails is a winning combination of serenity and beauty,” said Robin Randall, spokesperson of VT Partners. “It was important to create an environment that appeals to a broad audience,” said Randall. A community feel is already taking hold as more residents

indoor environmental quality, materials and resources. Other current and future amenities include numerous trails and water features as well as a multi-functional community center with a kitchen, meeting rooms and fitness center. The community is also a proud member of the award-winning North Allegheny School District. Venango Trails is located in Marshall Township with easy access to Route 79, the PA Turnpike and Route 19. The sales center is located at 1305 Freeport Road, Mars, PA 16046 and is open seven days a week. For more information about this special neighborhood, please visit their website at, or call Rich Barent at 412.944.5376. Imagine the possibilities living in harmony with nature, neighbor and self. Live an exceptional lifestyle, live at Venango Trails.

begin to move into their new homes. However, this community feel was not achieved by accident. A team of nationally-recognized architects meticulously studied more than 500 homes in the region to design a community that is unparalleled, yet still organic to the region. The results are homes that have all of the conveniences of modern technology with a vintage feel that effectively marries nature, history and family living. In addition to the emphasis on community and design, Venango Trails has partnered with national research experts to create the best in Home Performance Standards. This ensures compliance in energy efficiency, building durability, Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 7


Johnston School House 13 0 2 1851 By Kathy Rudolph


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Seneca Valley


Photo by Kathy Rudolph

Farewell to the Little, Red School

fter a final walk around the Johnston School House, built in 1851, a one room, red brick building with large, white shutters and located on Old Mars Crider Road, many can imagine what it was like being a kid escaping from chores and running to the school after hearing the loud bell ring that signaled that school was about to begin. It must have been a wonderful discovery that there were other kids that lived on local farms or homesteads that were also attending school. Like most of today’s kids, the students that embraced the education offered went on to lead lives full of endless possibilities. According to “Cranberry Township: A History of Our Community,” by the Cranberry Township Historical Society and published in 1989, the Johnston School House was built to replace a log cabin school that had opened in 1835. If the walls of the school could talk, it would comment on the many changes throughout the years. Examples include students receiving their first McGuffey textbooks in the middle 1850s, which according to the documentation, had a “tremendous impact on learning.” Other milestones included Pennsylvania enacting the “Compulsory Education Act,” in 1911, requiring young people to attend school until age 13 and later to age 17. The school was closed in 1952 when the Southwest Butler School District was formed. It was then used as a private home until fifteen years ago when it was abandoned, according to the Cranberry Township website.

A typical day in the school house in the early 1900s might have included one teacher educating a variety of students from grades one through eight all together in the one room. They would have sat on wooden benches or at desks while “reading from a McGuffey’s reader, practicing handwriting on a slate board, or learning numbers with the help of arithmetic cards and rote memorization,” according to “Explore PA History.” The students would be warmed by a fire, had to use an outdoor outhouse in cold temperatures and brought their food from home in pails or baskets for lunch. The female and male teachers from this time were multi-taskers; not only educating the students, but taking care of almost every aspect of school life, according to “Cranberry Township: A History of Our Community”. They heated the school with coal that they hauled in from outside, brought in drinking water from an outdoor pump, kept the school clean and took care of sick students. Irene McBride, of Evans City, was a student at Johnston School in the early 1950’s. She still keeps in touch with some of her classmates. “It was very nice attending the school,” said McBride. “What was nice about it was there weren’t many of us there, maybe 15 to

20. We were a close-knit group and had a lot of freedom. It was very comfortable and our teacher was not strict because the children were all very [well-behaved] and that made it a positive atmosphere to learn in.” There were six schools which had previously operated in Cranberry Township that were one-room. The 162-year-old Johnston School House was demolished after an engineering study found that it was a safety hazard and needed costly and extensive repairs. Cranberry Township, the Cranberry Township Historical Society and some residents agreed to the demolition. McBride, who is also a member of the historical society, understood why the school house was demolished. “I just went over to look at it and there were so many repairs that had to be made,” said McBride. “It would have been nice if they had been able to save it but hopefully, some of the bricks can be reused.” Other one-room schools that also came to a similar fate include Hoehn School, which was located on Haine School Road and was burned by vandals. Graham School, which was located on Graham School Road and named after Matthew Graham, a founder of the school system, was also destroyed by fire. Bear Run School, which was located on

Bear Run Road and Garvin School, which was located on Garvin Road and named for the Garvin family, were replaced by private residences, according to “Cranberry Township: A History of Our Community.” Although it is depressing to lose historical buildings, residents, families and history buffs can still enjoy the memory of Johnston School House. Sample School House, built in 1874 and another one-room school, is similar to the Johnston School House and was restored by the the Cranberry Township Historical Society. Located on the front lawn of the Cranberry Township Municipal Center on Rochester Road, it is open to the public in May, June, July, August and September at special times. A docent is also available to answer questions. To learn more about Cranberry Township history, visit the Cranberry Township Historical Society website at

Lutheran SeniorLife Foundation

Holds Gala to Benefit Residents


utheran SeniorLife Foundation will honor The Rev. Donald J. McCoid, bishop emeritus of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, at this year’s 10th Anniversary Excellence is Ageless Gala. The gala will take place on April 26 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Heinz Field and will celebrate the spirit and vitality of individuals 55 years of age and older who have made significant contributions to the community through their profession, service, philanthropy or leadership. The evening will include a reception, dinner, award presentation and a silent auction. Tickets are $150 per person with proceeds benefiting the Lutheran SeniorLife’s Abundant Life® mission which provides assistance for residents who can no longer afford to pay for services, allowing them to continue to reside within Lutheran SeniorLife’s continuing care and nursing communities. Since its inception in 2004, the Excellence is Ageless Gala has raised more than $1 million for benevolent care. Lutheran SeniorLife provides a comprehensive array of health and wellness services for seniors, including: home health care, rehabilitation services and Alzheimer’s care program. Additional information about Lutheran SeniorLife is available at For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 412.780.0508. Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 9


Learning Never Ends At Little House


tt e House Lea n ng Cen e has deve oped a p va e K nde ga en p og am wh ch encou ages ch d en o become e ong ea ne s h ough pos ve academ c deve opmen The cu cu um enhances he sk s n soc a n e ac on and p ob em so v ng by mak ng use o da y em nde s and pos ve e n o cemen Read ng e acy ma h sc ence ou na ng and s gn anguage a e us some o he componen s ha make up he one o a k nd comp ehens ve p og am The k nde ga en s a u day schedu e n a ve y sa e env onmen ha g ves ch d en a ee ng o com o n a sma g oup sett ng W h nd v dua zed atten on a h s c ca s age o deve opmen eache s a e ab e o engage ch d en n a aspec s o he ea n ng p ocess Hands on ac v es comb ned w h one on one p ac ce and pos ve encou agemen he ps ch d en ach eve b g h ngs n oday s wo d sc ence s an essen a pa o ea n ng and he k nde ga en devo es spec a me o each ng age app op a e b o ogy phys cs chem s y zoo ogy geo ogy and as onomy By nc ud ng he

ch d en n he d scove y p ocess n e es eve s and e en on n such key a eas a e s gn fican y enhanced Ma h s a so a spec a a ea o emphas s w h he da y use o man pu a ves att bu e b ocks and a o o p ac ce demons a ng he p ac ca use o ma h n eve yday s ua ons L tt e House K nde ga ene s a e a so g ven an oppo un y o deve op and enhance he g ow ng compu e sk s W h da y access o compu e s and Pads he ch d en can be seen eas y nav ga ng a va e y o educa ona games books and s es o ga he s eng h n h s v a p ece o he educa ona u u e “Ou each ng eam s an nc ed b y ded ca ed g oup o educa o s ” says enn e Os e man L tt e House D ec o o cu cu um and ns uc on Afte much co abo a on he K nde ga en Team a L tt e House has ca e u y deve oped a ea n ng p ocess ha s n a gnmen w h oca schoo d s c s n he su ound ng a ea mak ng he ans on om k nde ga en o fi s g ade a smoo h one o s uden s “Ou k nde ga en s a we ba anced day o ch d en wh ch nc udes a g ea dea o ns uc on n ead ng ma h and he sc ences wh e a so a ows o qu e ead ng me mag na y p ay mus c and movemen Ou ch d en ea n abou he wo d n a cu u e o nc us veness ” exp a ns Os e man

Enroll Now to join our summer campers for the most memorable summer in 2013! From p ant ng banana trees to feed ng snakes from creat ng our own DVDs to bu d ng a carn va our campers w be busy from summer s beg nn ng to summer s end You can enro for a week at a t me or dec de to stay for the ent re summer Garden Savvy

June 3rd – 7th

This week we will become Botanists together! Roots or Leaves, Tops or Bottoms? Taking a closer look at plant ‘anatomy’ and the basic needs for all rooted living things! Plant a garden, build an indoor greenhouse, and monitor the beautiful living things that we are surrounded by, giving us an even deeper appreciation for our GREEN world!

Amazing Animals June 10th – June 14th Animals are amazing….don’t you agree? From our fanged feline friends to our scaly slithering sidekicks, we will be looking at, studying the taking care of them all!! What a great opportunity to learn more about animals, their diet, their habitat and what makes each and every one of them so Amazing!

* Artastic

June 17th – June 28th (2 weeks)

From clay pot spinning, to painting like Picasso, our students are mastering a variety of painting techniques while learning all about ART! From the first day to the last day the students will be creating works of art worthy of a show! Fine tuning their artistic nature and experimenting with New and exciting techniques will give us plenty to show off at the Little House Art Show. Join us and display your talents.

I <3 the USA

July 1st – July 5th

This week we will celebrate the USA! Kicking it off with a Salute to the courageous Men and Women who protect our Freedoms and ending the week with a dedication to the Red, White & Blue! We will enjoy a delicious cookout with all of our American Favorites as well as plenty of Fourth of July Fun!


July 8th – 12th

Did you know that water covers 70% of the earth? Do you know the states of Water? Let’s explore them all!! Add salt, freeze it, put it in

a balloon, add color, boil it and jump in it! We will experiment with the properties and uses of water all week long! Both inside and outside…..for science and For FUN!! It’s all about the H2O!!

Chocolicious July 15th – 19th Do you love chocolate? If you do, this camp is for you! Chocolate covered everything will fill this week with sweetness from beginning to end! Make chocolate covered pretzels, bake the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, make and bake chocolate lava cake and what’s even better….come eat while you work!!

Photo Frenzy July 22nd – July 26th Retouch photos, create videos, make a DVD, recolor images and so much more! This week we will experiment with pictures in every medium using digital cameras, laptops, video recorders and iPads. What a great way to build confidence using the most current technology!

CARNIVAL!! July 29th – August 2nd Who doesn’t love the carnival?!?! Take a week and become a part of our fifth annual Little House Carnival. All week long our campers will work on perfecting their carnival games! Friday, August 2, all of the Little House Families are invited to our Carnival to help raise money for Saint Jude Children’s Hospital. Games, Tents, Hot Dogs, Prizes….and more will make this camp one-of-a-kind!!

Get FIT.

August 5th – 9th

Bring your water bottle and get ready to get fit! From yoga to basketball, from hockey to aerobics, our campers will be sweating their way to a healthier self while having a BLAST doing it! Join in the Fun and Get FIT.

*Our Last Hoorah!! August 12th – August 23rd (2 weeks) Our project-doing, fun-finding, treat-eating, photo-taking campers will revisit the BEST and the COOLEST activities of Summer 2013! The best way to spend your fina you final weeks o of summe summer….doing … do ng the he bes best things h ngs from om ALL o of summe summer!

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Seneca Va ey

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 11


Gridiron Greats Visit Grade School


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Seneca Valley

Photos by Ginni Klein


wo Pittsburgh Steelers players, Will Johnson and Baron Batch, visited Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School (CVE) in Zelienople in December. The two players, who are both friends and teammates, visited all of the 4th grade classrooms individually. The affable athletes gave each student an autographed photo of themselves and answered their questions. After the classroom visits, a general assembly was held at the school where Batch and Johnson explained that while being a Steeler is great fun, it also takes a lot of hard work and determination

to become a professional athlete and to be competitive. The students cheered loudly for the men and seemed truly inspired by their presence. The children were allowed to ask questions and wanted to know what the players eat before their big games, how fast they could run and when they first knew that they wanted to be professional football players. One student boldly asked the players if they had girlfriends, to which Batch responded, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do not have a girlfriend, but I do have a pet tortoise,â&#x20AC;? drawing widespread laughter from the entire assembly.

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 13



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Seneca Valley


The McCurdys are Living a Dream with Bottlebrush Gallery By Matthew J. Fascetti


ot many of us can honestly say we have our dream job, even those of us who like our jobs. When Bear Bottom Antiques in Harmony went up for sale in 2011, Dennis and M.J. McCurdy saw an opportunity to live their dream. With Dennis’ background in music, and M.J.’s background in marketing and art, they saw great potential. With a leap of faith, Bottlebrush: A Gallery of the Arts, was born. Bottlebrush’s mission is to reflect a wider scope and to serve as the primary arts and music center in Harmony, including but not limited to visual arts, crafts, music, songwriting and literature. With the exception of the occasional out-of-thearea artist, gallery exhibits are all by artists living within 50 miles. There are more than 80 artists showing at the gallery, from ages 16 to 78. The Bottlebrush Gallery is located in one of the town’s original buildings, constructed by the Harmonists in approximately 1806. In 1814, the Harmonists moved to New Harmony, Indiana, and the area was then settled by the Mennonites. Abraham Ziegler, one of the original Mennonite leaders, lived

Photos by Ginni Klein

continued on page 17

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 15


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Seneca Valley

Photos by Ginni Klein

A The McCurdys are Living a Dream with Bottlebrush Gallery continued

in the gallery building until his death. A long-time history buff and former history teacher, Dennis fell in love with the historic aspect of the building. M.J. is thrilled that she and her husband decided to go for it. “After working in Washington, D.C., for 11 years prior to moving back to western Pennsylvania, I am very happy to be back,” she said. “It is very exciting to use my background in art and marketing to do what I love doing. This is truly a dream come true.” Dennis is originally from southern Ohio, but he has lived in western Pennsylvania for nearly 30 years. He’s a lifelong musician and played as an opening act for ‘70s touring bands including The Left Banke. Dennis is an attorney specializing in family law. He is the only attorney in Harmony and his office is located above the gallery.

Bottlebrush Gallery has many art events and activities including hosting artist openings and exhibits for both new artists (Seneca Valley High School and Slippery Rock University senior student shows) and more established artists. It also offers Harmony Ink: Creative Writing Group, a creative writing group for teens and adults. “Time for Me: A Women’s Creative Circle,” is a monthly women’s art group that meets the last Thursday of every month. Summer art classes and art

camps are also offered for young artists, ages 5-18, taught by creative instructors. This summer there will be two summer art camps. Bottlebrush Gallery also offers private lessons in drawing and painting. Led by Dennis’ love of music, Bottlebrush has become a music mecca in the area. It hosts monthly acoustic House Concerts. These are small-venue concerts usually held in individual homes, but instead are held in the gallery space. The musicians are acoustic folksinger-songwriters who are traveling through the area from places including Baltimore, Nashville, North and South Carolina and West Virginia. Most of the opening acts for these musicians are local. Some of the headliners are local as well, such as The Allegheny Drifters and Jeff Wiley & the Coyotes. In 2012, Bottlebrush hosted 14 individual bands along with scheduling music for the Valentine’s Day Benefit for the Butler County Humane Society, Harmony Herb & Garden Fair, Zelienople’s Horsetrading Days, Celtic Music Fest and the annual Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival. Top names in the singersongwriter genre who have played at the gallery include blues legend Roy Book Binder, Malcolm Holcombe, The Carpenter Ants and 2011 Grammy Nominee Eric Brace and Peter Cooper. This year there are 11 concerts scheduled along with the yearly festivals. The monthly “Songwriters in Harmony” songwriters workshop has been a huge hit as well for the past two years. This fall, the group will sponsor a songwriting competition for local musicians. Additional gallery events for 2013 include “Have a Heart for Animals,” which is an annual family-friendly fundraiser always held on Valentine’s Day evening; Celtic Music Concerts/ Festivals for St. Patrick’s Day and

in October Seneca Valley Intermediate and High School will have an Art Program Benefit. Tyler Duffy, an 18-year-old Seneca Valley student, and her fellow students are donating their original artwork for a benefit sale to be held at the Bottlebrush Gallery in Harmony on Saturday, April 6, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. All SV student artwork sold will be donated to the school art program. “Art on Wheels” – an art display with a bicycle theme will run from July 20 – July 28. It is terrific to see two honest, hardworking people live their American dream, while bringing fun and culture to Harmony. For more information, please visit Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 17


Seneca Valley

Foundation Raises $10,000 for Students by Hosting

“Sweetness and Light” Gala

Photos by Kathy Rudolph

By Kathy Rudolph


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n assortment of appetizers and libations in the lovely Heinz Hall, with the musical backdrop of the Seneca Valley High School Strings, kicked off a memorable evening of raffles, auctions and a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performance of “My Fair Lady” at the Seneca Valley Foundation (SVF) Sweetness and Light Gala. The performance featured Broadway stars Rebecca Luker and Doug LaBrecque and was conducted by Michael Krajewski. Over $10,000 was raised from the gala for Seneca Valley School District (SVSD) students. The funds were raised from ticket sales and the auction or raffle of approximately 17 gift baskets and 20 silent auction items. All items were donated from SVSD administration, faculty, parent organizations and local businesses and residents, making the event truly a community effort. Jeanette Lahm is a SVF trustee and a member of the SVSD Board of School Directors. She has been with the foundation since its inception in March of 2012. “This is our second gala and the foundation is really gaining momentum,” says Lahm. “What is really exciting is that we had 200 people attending, with so many of our talented staff donating items for the baskets and art for the auctions.” continued on page 21 Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 19


Lutheran SeniorLife

Living Life in Abundance


verbrook Pointe, a modern, senior-living apartment complex in Adams Township, near Mars, Pa. highlights a series of “New Beginnings for Abundant Life” at Lutheran SeniorLife in 2013. Lutheran SeniorLife is a faith-based, non-profit organization, with programs that have been serving the region for more than 100 years. But its leadership recognizes that expectations of seniors are changing dramatically, and the organization is devoted to ensuring that individuals 55 and over have the tools necessary to live an Abundant Life®. Lutheran SeniorLife operates retirement communities, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and senior adult day centers around the area, all of which provide enriching experiences for older adults. In Adams Township, on the campus of St. John Specialty Care Center, Overbrook Pointe is being designed for residents wishing to lead a simpler lifestyle, while maintaining an active schedule of sports, entertainment and cultural activities in an independent setting. This craftsman-style complex will open in 2013 and will offer amazing amenities to its residents. Each apartment will feature a patio or balcony for outdoor dining and relaxation. All apartments come with a fully equipped kitchen and laundry. The campus itself will include an outdoor walking path and a large deck and veranda with a grill for outdoor cooking. Recreation centers will provide a convenient venue for residents to stay in shape and socialize with neighbors. A bistro-style dining room will offer delicious meals in a comfortable atmosphere without even having to leave the campus. The convenient location will make easy access for residents to nearby restaurants and parks when other entertainment is desired. An inviting central lounge with a warm fireplace will be an ideal place to greet visitors and guests to the secure-entrance building.

predetermine which activities will be offered at Overbrook Pointe,” says David Fenoglietto, president & CEO of Lutheran SeniorLife. “We would like all of the entertainment and programs offered to be resident-driven, rather than what we think they would enjoy. Once residents decide by popular opinion what they would like to see in the community, we will do our best to make that happen for them,” he said. Future residents of Overbook Pointe will have the freedom of choosing a monthly rental plan or a special entrance fee option plan, which allows the resident to add extra services or transfer to a different living style within the Lutheran SeniorLife network, if additional challenges need to be met such as mobility issues with increasing age. Lutheran SeniorLife has roots in the North Hills that have been a part of the fabric of the community for more than 100 years. Passavant Retirement Community, located in nearby Zelienople, also offers a full range of residential options for those over 55, including patio and ranch-style homes, personal care options and a special residence for those seniors on a limited income. It is also undergoing dramatic changes as Lutheran SeniorLife prepares to meet changing expectations of “new seniors.” A $50 million renovation project is creating a new campus that will feature more private rooms for skilled residents and state-of-the art amenities for assisted living and personal-care residents. An ever-growing list of amenities is being added for independent-living residents, including an exercise pool. Lutheran SeniorLife is also active in caring for the community at large by providing seniors in Beaver, Butler and Armstrong counties with meaningful, life-enhancing activities through its LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly) programs. These centers are virtual nursing homes for those who are on medical assistance and nursing-home eligible with a virtual nursing home experience while still living at home. Participants are transported to the centers for services several days a week, where they receive meals, therapy and social and recreational opportunities with other seniors. The programs of Lutheran SeniorLife have existed for more than 100 years and they reflect its faith-based mission and its commitment to seniors. And while that history remains a vital part of the organizational fabric, its recognition of the ever-changing expectations of those it serves is part of what makes Lutheran SeniorLife and its program so very special.


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Seneca Valley Foundation Raises $10,000 for Students continued

Photos by Kathy Rudolph

The foundation is part of a growing trend of volunteers from the community, including school district administrators, teachers, parents and business leaders, rolling up their sleeves and coming up with ways to bring in more revenue to help with school budget cuts. According to the website, the SVF is a “private nonprofit corporation dedicated to encouraging excellence and innovation in the SVSD.” The SVF funds capital projects, classroom programs and student scholarships. Dr. Tracy Vitale is superintendent of Seneca Valley School District and the SVF executive director. “Why the foundation is so important is because public schools are facing very difficult challenges, economically and financially,” explains Vitale. “This is a way for the community to get behind the music department, the art department and so many different departments that are being cut in so many public schools. They are not being cut at Seneca Valley and the foundation is one of the main reasons [why]. For instance, our band needs new band uniforms so much of the proceeds from the gala will go toward that.”

In its first year, the foundation pledged “$3,000 for mini-grants for student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) research, $6,000 for early literacy support by providing leveled reading books to our elementary schools, and $3,000 to support the arts and extracurricular activities,” according to the website. Terry Shulsky is a SVF trustee. “The foundation is an absolutely great initiative that Dr. Vitale started,” notes Shulsky. “I think it is going to produce great students along with well-rounded community members. I am glad to be a part of it!” There are many options for supporting the Seneca Valley Foundation, either financially or by volunteering. Please visit the website at for more information.

Roberto Clemente, by George Williams, SVMS teacher

Claire Schroeder and Holly Cline, SVHS teachers directing the SVHS Strings

DeeAnn Graham, Connoquenessing Valley Elementary School Principal

Lauri Pendred, Evans City Elementary School Principal and husband

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 21


Sound Engineer and Investor Rallies Fan Base to Save the Evans City Cemetery Chapel Featured in



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Photos by Kathy Rudolph


f a film is selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry, it is deemed culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. Locally filmed “Night of the Living Dead,” a horror film by George Romero in 1968, was chosen because it was a “work of enduring importance to American culture” and “reflected who we are as a people and as a nation,” according to the National Film Registry. Because of the film’s significance, one would think that the chapel appearing in the opening scene, the Evans City Cemetery built in the 1890s, would be just as easy to preserve. But in the fall of 2011 it was announced by the Evans City cemetery board that the chapel would be demolished. The board did not have the funds to make the needed repairs to the 20’ x 30’ building. Because of its location on a hill with no easy access to parking, it was difficult for visitors to use the chapel regularly and it had become a caretaker’s shed for tool storage. Gary Streiner took notice of the board’s announcement. One of the original 10 investors on “Night of the Living Dead,” he was also the sound engineer for the movie. It all began in 1967, while Streiner was working at The Latent Image in Pittsburgh with his brother, Russell, and George Romero, when production began on the film. After moving to New York and a longtime career in advertising, Streiner semi-retired and moved back to Evans City where he successfully organized “Living Dead” festivals in 2008 and 2009. He approached the cemetery board about wanting to raise funds to save the chapel by appealing to “Night of the Living Dead” fans. The board allowed him one year to accomplish the goal of raising the approximately $50,000 needed for repairs. “I don’t know if I chose to save the chapel or the chapel chose me to save it,” said Streiner. “Once I knew all of the realities, I looked around and thought that if I don’t do this by using my affiliation with the movie, then how can I live with myself?” Streiner was sometimes questioned about the effort. “There was a reasonable amount of skepticism about how there were so many worthy fundraisers and causes out there, and why would I preserve the chapel,” said Streiner. “My answer was that today’s fans are extremely lucky that they still have the film’s creators around. Last year we lost five people who were part of the movie. Everyone is getting older and [the time] is going to come when there are still many fans but they are not going to have the opportunity to speak to George Romero and others who worked on the movie. All that will be left is the cemetery and

chapel. That is why fixing the chapel and respect for the project is very important.” Streiner got to work and launched a website and a Facebook page which gave fans and historical preservationists the opportunity to donate or purchase merchandise, including creative items such as an official piece of the chapel in its very own miniature coffin, with the proceeds going toward the chapel. The fans stepped up and supported the cause. With their help, Streiner was able to raise $47,000 by the deadline of the fall of 2012. Construction on the chapel will begin in the spring of 2013. Streiner has enjoyed the experience. “It is a real human interest story,” said Streiner. “I have gotten a lot out of being able to fundraise for the chapel, but have gotten more out of the human contact of meeting all of these great people: fans who would do anything to help. It goes to show that ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ nearing its 45th anniversary, is still going strong.” He also appreciates all of the fans’ support and has made some friends along the way. “It is great to be able to meet like-minded people,” said Streiner. “Our Facebook page went from 220 to 3,000 people. We all tell each other how we love each other and never argue. There is no hidden agenda. Taking part in the legacy of ‘Night of the Living Dead’ is huge for me and every day we are making history.” Streiner has many memories of working on the movie, which grossed over $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally. “The main question that I get is whether I knew that the movie was going to be a cult classic,” said Streiner. “The answer is always no. We were hopeful, and all that we cared about was that the movie would be up on the screen. We didn’t know that it would become the definitive zombie film. When we first started working on the film I was only 19 years old. It was exciting and there were long, hard days. But I was proud of the job. It was a dream. Who wouldn’t want to be in the film business and make a feature film?” Future plans after the chapel Gary Streiner by Linda Lovecraft is restored include landscaping around the chapel and a focus on cleaning up the cemetery, which was also featured in the film. Grave markers have fallen over because there are no families left to care for them. More information can be found on the website “I am extremely proud that, because of the movie, we were able to raise the funds needed for the chapel,” said Streiner. “It will go on as a cult classic that will never go away.” Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 23




“TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS.” We’ve all heard that old adage, and as we go through life, it turns out to be pretty true. But have you ever heard this one...TIME WOUNDS ALL HEELS? Unless you’re a podiatrist, you probably never heard that one. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of truth to that saying also. It is estimated that about 50% of the population, at one time or another, will experience some sort of pain in their heels. And as a person ages, that percentage usually increases. It also increases as a person’s level of activity increases, especially as the person gets older. This does present a problem, since we are trying to encourage people to remain active throughout their adult life, starting as a young adult through the geriatric years, to maintain a comfortable and independent lifestyle well into advanced age. But what can we do if foot pain, and specifically heel pain, won’t allow you to maintain an exercise routine, or even allow for an enjoyable walk? When discussing heel pain, we usually think of pain either in the bottom of the heel or at the back of the heel, where the Achilles tendon connects into the heel bone. If either one of these areas is hurting, it can be due to a specific traumatic event, such as a fall from a height, twisting the foot or ankle, or some other accident. However, the vast majority of heel pain patients are usually people with no history of trauma. They just noticed some soreness in the heel which progressively gets worse and becomes extremely painful and sometimes even debilitating. Simple daily activities at home or work can become next to impossible when the pain goes unchecked. The most common type of heel pain is pain on the bottom of the heel, called plantar fasciitis. Most people will call this a heel spur although there may or may not be a spur present, and usually the spur itself does not actually cause the pain. The pain is usually caused by a chronic straining of a thick band of tissue that is present deep in the sole of the foot, called the plantar fascia, and where the fascia connects to the bottom of the heel bone becomes damaged, inflamed and very painful. The sharp pain that occurs is usually most severe after rest, such as when the person first gets up in the morning or after getting back up after sitting for awhile. Sometimes there may be some local swelling in the heel. The pain may be brought on by increased activity, or starting to wear a different type of shoe. The underlying problem is usually mechanical, that is, a change in the way the foot moves with walking or exercise. Common causes of changes in foot mechanics are increased body weight, increasing stiffness in other joints, or sometimes just a natural hyperflexibility of the foot. Treatment options for plantar fasciitis usually involve correcting or accommodating for the mechanical changes that are occurring. This may include stretching to reduce the stiffness in the joints, a more supportive shoe or possibly a shoe insert to increase the support to the foot. The vast majority of patients with plantar fasciitis respond very well to stretching and support. Other treatment may be necessary and this could include cortisone injections, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or sometimes even surgical intervention. A podiatrist has specific training to deal with the conservative and surgical treatments which may be necessary to relieve heel pain. If heel pain persists for more than one or two weeks, you should consult a podiatrist for a complete examination and treatment recommendation. Richard Maleski, DPM Board Certified, American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Faculty, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Podiatric Residency. Cranberry Foot and Ankle Associates, Mars, PA


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Michael T. Ryan, DPM Board Qualified (ABPS), Residency: UPMC Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, Hospital Affiliations: UPMC Passavant Hospital, UPMC St. Margaret and Allegheny Valley Medical Center

Clinton Lowery, DPM Board Certified, American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Assistant Director, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Podiatric Residency. Cranberry Foot and Ankle Associates, Mars, PA



N The CHAPEL, seating 265, is the Centerpiece of the School, Offering a Place for Private and Public Prayer and Reflection and Providing a Place for Regularly Scheduled Liturgies

orth Catholic High School has a long, rich tradition. But the school building was getting older and The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh realized that Troy Hill was a long trip for most of the students who attend. So years ago the diocese began the process of obtaining demographic information for the region in order to determine what might be a better location for a new high school. The staff quickly realized that in northern Allegheny County and Butler County, there are a large number of Catholic elementary school students as well as CCD students. During the study they interacted with many citizens who expressed a great interest and need for a new Catholic high school in the northern suburbs. In the end, Cranberry Township was decided upon as the location for The Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School. “The Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School will combine modern technology with North Catholic High School’s 73-year tradition of going beyond academics to help boys and girls become Catholic adults,” Bishop David A. Zubik said at the groundbreaking held earlier this year. “What we begin today is begun by the power of God’s spirit,” he added. The school will be one of 20 Marianist Secondary Schools in the world. The Marianists sponsor 18 high schools and three universities. continued on page 26 Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 25

Catholic High school to Open in Cranberry continued

Marianist educators strive to educate in five characteristics: faith formation; an integral, quality education; family spirit; service, justice, and peace; and lastly, for adaption and change. The groundbreaking occurred nearly six years after the diocese announced that it planned to close North Catholic, which has seen enrollment decline at its Troy Hill campus, and build a new high school in rapidly growing Butler County. The new school is a $72 million project and is located on a wooded, 71-acre site adjacent to Mars Road (Route 228) in Cranberry Township. The school is named after Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington. Wuerl was previously the bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese for 18 years. The 180,000-square-foot building is designed for about 1,000 students in grades 9-12 with an estimated graduating class of 250 each year. It will include a two-story classroom wing, a 1,000-seat auditorium and a 1,250-person capacity gymnasium, and an amazing chapel that will accommodate nearly 300 people. The school will also house stateof-the-art music and chorus rooms as well as a media center that will be able to broadcast both in and out of the school. Its location will have a right-turn-only access to and from Mars Road and a new access road from Franklin Road before it reaches the intersection with Old Mars Crider Road. The access roads will have sidewalks and will be lined with trees. According to Dr. Robert Paserba, secretary of Catholic education for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, while the building is being built there has been and will continue to be a tremendous amount of work done behind the scenes. “I and many others have been incredibly busy. We are holding meetings in various communities to educate people about the new 26

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school and to get people excited about enrollment,” he said. “A great deal of time has also been spent informing our current students and their families about the new school, the new curriculum and the transition. The students who will be attending the new high school are thrilled.” Also at the present time there are two boards operating simultaneously between the Troy Hill school and the new school. They are working together on issues such as the transition process and the many questions that need to be answered before the new school operates, such as the dress code, the nickname and logo, to name just a few. It is important to note that all athletic and extracurricular activities will continue at the new school, with athletic field locations to be determined at a later date. While the location and facilities at the school will be vastly improved, that is certainly not the only thing. Most importantly, a new curriculum, which will include more technology and projectbased learning, will be implemented in the fall of 2013 and will carry over to the new school in fall of 2014. Curriculum includes a visionary program of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine; a college preparatory program of fine, visual, and performing arts and humanities; post-secondary college preparatory and vocational technical programs; general studies and religious studies in the Marianist tradition. To help plan the curriculum, the diocese formed an Education Planning Commission made up of 25 people. This committee includes former superintendents, college deans, the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers and many other prominent leaders. In turn, these individuals are working with an additional 125 leaders to ensure that the absolute best curriculum for today’s world is created. If you consider the experience and education level of the committee it is incredibly impressive. Paserba, a Butler County native, said relocating the high school to Cranberry makes sense because it’s become the northern center of the Pittsburgh area’s student population. “Building a new school at a time when many parochial and public schools are closing is particularly encouraging,” he added. “It’s wonderful. We’ve been at this for a long time. Many parents across the region have requested this new school. It comes down to parents’ choice. What we promise is a Catholic high school with faith-based academic excellence that will be competitive with any high school in the region.” For more information on the school, please visit the website at EDUCATE FOR FORMATION IN FAITH PROVIDE AN INTEGRAL QUALITY EDUCATION EDUCATION IN FAMILY SPIRIT EDUCATE FOR SERVICE, JUSTICE AND PEACE EDUCATION FOR ADAPTATION AND CHANGE


You don’t have to live with painful varicose and spider veins. Should I Have My Veins Evaluated?

Q & A WITH A VEIN SPECIALIST: While finishing charts at the end of my day, I took a few moments to listen to my staff answer questions for a patient on the phone. The questions asked were very important as were the answers that were given. Here are some examples:

What is Phlebology?

Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and the disease of veins. Two organizations dedicated to the advancement of this field are The American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum.

Why should I see a board-certified phlebologist to evaluate my varicose veins?

When it comes to any aspect of your health care, it is important to be proactive in the choice and research of who will become medically responsible for your evaluation and treatment. Though venous disease is not always a visible ailment, it can be a serious health problem leading to more serious issues, so choosing a specialist, or board certified phlebologist for your venous care is a wise decision. Board certification in phlebology identifies a physician who has taken the extra step of becoming specialized in the treatment of venous disease. Not only is the physician often a member of organizations such as the American College of Phlebology (ACP) and the American Venous Forum (AVF) but they have met additional requirements set by the certifying board. After meeting these requirements, he or she must then pass a certifying exam allowing the physician to identify him or herself as board-certified.

Is membership the same as board certification?

This question is particularly important as it defines the specialty of a phlebologist. While a physician may be a member of many different organizations, these organizations only require an interest in the field for joining. Thus membership is unlike board certification where qualification is determined through training and testing. Here’s how the ACP defines its board certification: “The establishment of a Board Certification Exam brings recognition to both the field of phlebology and those providers in the field who have the knowledge, skills and experience to provide quality care to phlebology patients.”

I had a free screening at a health fair and was told that I don’t have venous disease, but I still have aching, pain and discoloration at the ankles. What should I do?

While free screenings can be informative, remember that this is just a brief glance into a patient’s venous system. A complete venous exam and venous mapping by a boardcertified phlebologist is best to determine if a patient has venous disease. Since a proper venous ultrasound is such an integral part of this evaluation, the American College of Phlebology has set requirements for it that include the following: • A venous ultrasound should be ordered by a physician. • A lower extremity ultrasound should study the entire leg, from ankle to groin. Failure to identify and treat all sources of reflux may result in outright treatment failure. • Evaluation of the venous system should be performed with the patient in the upright position. Sitting or lying down are inappropriate for the detection of reflux or the measurement of vein diameters. • A venous ultrasound should be performed by a trained physician or a registered vascular ultrasound technician (RVT) and then interpreted by a physician.

If I have had an evaluation elsewhere, can I still be evaluated in your office? Of course. A free evaluation is commonly ‘free’ because patients are often not meeting with a physician, a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner, so this visit cannot be billed to insurance. However, most insurances allow for a second opinion. If you have any questions about the second opinion being covered, contact member services on the back of your insurance card.

This Industry Insight was written by Theresa Schneider. Terrance R. Krysinski, MD General Surgeon Board Certified Phlebologist Vein Institute of Pittsburgh 724.934.VEIN (8346)

724-934-VEIN (8346) Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 27


Polar Bear Swim By Pamela Palongue


Photos by Ginni Klein

n January, about 70 brave, ursine wannabes plunged into the Connoquenessing Creek for a winter wake-up call. The temperature hovered around 30 degrees as participants in the annual Polar Bear Plunge ran from the bank into the freezing water, and just as quickly, popped back up out of the water to dry off and re-warm, all to the delight of about 130 onlookers who were extremely glad to be dry. The shivering swimmers werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t plunging without purpose however. The event benefited the Friends of Zelienople-Harmony Parks and the Harmony Volunteer Fire Company.


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Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 29



a n i r o i e, a l il

Redheaded Orphan

a Sha d ggy Dog an

The sun’ll come out Tomorrow So ya gotta hang on ‘Til tomorrow Come what may Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You’re always A day away! -Lyrics from the show’s signature song, Tomorrow!


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hen you put them all together, it must be Annie, the Tony Awardwinning musical. Audiences were enchanted by the Seneca Valley studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rendition of the classic tale based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip, Little Orphan Annie in late February and early March. Rachel Carmello was featured in the title role. Her faithful companion, Sandy the shaggy-haired dog who appeared onstage with her, was actually a veteran Broadway actor! The dog, whose real name is Oliver, was a rescue dog discovered by Bill Berloni in May 2007 and has since appeared in Annie numerous times on the Broadway stage and traveled to Pittsburgh to make his debut at the Seneca Valley School District production. (The pair are featured in the photo on left). The musical was directed by Stephen Santa, and the vocal director Aaron Magill. Bruce Smith directed the orchestra and Nathan Hart choreographed the routines.

Photos by Ginni Klein

continued on page 32

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 31

A Billionaire, a Shaggy Dog and a Redheaded Orphan continued

Ladies Sam Tedrow Hayley Hoss Madeleine KreitzerDoyle Kate Schulties Rachel Noah Lauren Ottaviana Ellie Lahm Kiersten Hepp Katie Steele Anna Schade Laura Killby Abbie Sledge Kay Baier Ashley Williams Jordan Hazy Ashley Berman Jen Bucci Amanda Jamison Laura Keisling Haylie Helbig Abbie Elias Victorian Schmidt


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Madison Lapiccolo Morgan Scherzer Ellie DiLeva Arylyn Trout Taylor English Kayla Winner Kelsey McElroy Abigail Vanwormer Stephanie Illsley Angel Blackwell Kaleigh Ruiz Cassidy Glatz Men Alec Allison Gage Bitzer Vinh Bright Cole Davis Brian Denny Joshua Depasquale Ryan Dillma John Eyler Owen Fleming Josh Fried Alex Giddings

DANCERS Natalie Abbate Kacey Faix Elise Harrison Haylie Helbig Laura Kiesling Claire Livingstone Jenny Lynskey Rachel Moore Alexa Nuzzo Emily Owen Janessa Pretola ORPHANS Carrine Geil Makenna Kuntz Melissa Lutz Siona Sharma Taylor Sheehy Brooke Thomas Director Stephen Santa Producer/Vocal Director Aaron Magill Orchestra Director Bruce Smith Choreographer Nathan Hart Student Directors Faith Kraynik Jeremi Casella Katie Reed Sound Effects John Eyler Tanner Grindel Austin Hook Ben Jamison Kevin Klobchar Mitchell Lachat Bodie McCosby Kyle Morgan Matt Palichat Alex Traverso Bobby Vandrak Peter Wentz Elementary Cast Olivia Forte Emily Henrie Catherine Hohman Bethany Kavanagh Madilynn Kerr Rebecca Loeffler Bria McAfee Rachel Palaski Diana Schulties Laila Senff Alyssa Tollerton Veridy Treu

Photo by Ginni Klein

CAST LIST Annie Rachel Carmella Grace Farrell Beth Holl/Jamie Walters Rooster Lance Hahn Miss Hannigan Kristin Carmella Oliver Warbucks Derek Plautz Lily Amanda Wise Bert Healy Owen Fleming Mrs. Pugh (Cook) Hayley Hoss Mrs. Greer Madeleine Kreitzer Housekeeper Doyle Roosevelt Alex Giddings Ickes – Harold Bobby Vandrak Hull Bodie McCosby Howe Mitchell Lachat Marganthau Ben Jamison Mrs. Perkins Beth Holl/Jamie Walters Asst. Dog Catcher Cole Davis Drake – English Butler Josh Depasquale Dog Catcher Matt Palichat Bundles – Laundry Man Josh Fried Ward – Police Vinh Bright Sophie Hayley Hoss Usherette Ellie Lahm Ronnie Boylan Rachel Noah Connie Boylan Kacey Faix Bonnie Boylan Sam Tedrow Fred McCraken w/Dummy Kevin Klobchar


Senior Project

Involves Dance – and Lots of Organization


Photos by Ginni Klein

eneca Valley senior Caroline Vogt took on a big job for her senior project – teaching dance to little girls age 5 to 10. “We were supposed to do something a little outside of our comfort zone in order to take something away from the experience,” says Vogt. “I had danced my whole life, but I had never tried to teach others to dance.” The task of teaching young children no doubt added to the challenge. Vogt held the Seneca Valley Dance Team Workshop on February 2 at the high school gymnasium. Approximately 17 girls registered for the class to learn a routine that would later be performed at an SV varsity boys basketball game. Vogt learned firsthand the value of organization, planning and leadership. The children learned a jazz dance routine and thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 41


Photos by Ginni Klein

Butler County Humane Society Has a Heart for Animals


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n Valentine’s Day, the Butler County Humane Society sponsored “Have a Heart” to help support its important work of rescuing animals and finding loving, forever-homes for them. Local restaurants provided refreshments for the event which included live music. Local photographer Ginni Klein was featured in an exhibit called “Eat, Snap, Local,” in which signature dishes from local eateries were captured. Animal-themed art decorated the room and several “guests of honor” stopped by to meet the guests for possible adoption. The organization will hold its 7th Annual Fur Ball Gala on April 27 at the Butler County Country Club. Magic Moments will entertain and there will be a plethora of auction items in addition to a delicious sit-down dinner. Dave Klug, a cartoonist who has worked with Nickelodeon and “Sesame Street” will be attending the event and signing posters of his Fur Ball artwork. For more information on this and other upcoming events, please visit the website at or call 724.789.1150.

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 43


Assembly Required

in These Seneca Valley Classes


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ore than 45 students in Mr. Joe Ehrenberger’s Metal Fabrication and Welding and Welding classes in the Intermediate High School have been hard at work creating projects that will benefit their school and the school district. For the last few months, the students have been creating large benches that will be installed in front of the I.H.S. building for students and visitors to use. After cutting, measuring and welding, the benches have now been sent out to be professionally powercoated. Expect to see them at the building this spring. Thanks to hundreds of dollars in supplies donated by Mr. Alan Cumo, the I.H.S. principal, the students also spent nearly two months creating a utility trailer that was auctioned off at the Seneca Valley Foundation’s fundraising gala on February 9, 2013, to support student scholarships and teacher initiatives. “The kids were really glad to know they’d be doing some good with their project,” Mr. Ehrenberger said. “They take a lot of pride in their work.” Students in Mr. Ehrenberger’s two classes explore various career paths associated with metal work. Safe use of all tools, machines and processes are stressed throughout the course. Sophomore Ryan Enslie is getting a jumpstart on his individual project—something all the students will begin soon. Enslie cut and welded metal to create a skateboarding rail. As an avid skateboarder, he was more than happy to benefit from a project he enjoyed creating. Meanwhile, in Mr. Bruce Clark’s Creative Wood Design class at the Senior High School, students are putting the finishing touches on a wall shelf that has a door that folds down, revealing smaller shelves inside. The goal of the class is to have students learn to make something worthwhile with their hands and the use of power tools. Bowl turning, craft, and furniture construction are some of the areas that are emphasized to develop creative expression in wood design. The technical aspects of wood structure, finishing processes and techniques, care of turning knives and power tools, use of hand and power equipment, and shop safety are all stressed. The students pay for the materials and eventually take their finished projects home, where most parents happily display and use the woodwork in their home. Mr. Clark has both beginners and experienced woodworkers in his classes, and he says that most woodworking projects can be successful if there is strong attention to detail and great care in putting the project together. He says some mistakes can be overlooked as long as it’s obvious that a lot of hard work and dedication went into the project.

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 45


Seneca Valley Teens Honored at

JackPresentation and JillBall

Jack and Jill Presentation Ball presentees.


By Kathy Rudolph

he hard work and dedication of eight African American high school juniors and seniors were recognized at the 2012 Jack and Jill of America Inc., Pittsburgh Chapter Presentation Ball held at the Omni William Penn Hotel. The theme was “Our Journey: Creating Our Legacy.” The teens were honored for their “outstanding academic, athletic and community service achievements” while they waltzed the night away. The proceeds from the ball benefited the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Seneca Valley area brother and sister, Forrest Barnes, a senior at Seneca Valley High School and Olivia Barnes, a senior at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School with a concentrated study in piano, were presentees at the ball. Their parents are Stephanie Barnes-Jones and Rufus L. Barnes. It took approximately a year for them to prepare for the ball, participating in various seminars from community service to leadership along with many other subjects.


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Dr. Rhonda Johnson, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Pittsburgh Chapter member and volunteer

Photos by Kathy Rudolph

2012 Jack and Jill Presentation Ball presentees Forrest and Olivia Barnes with stepfather Carl Jones, mother Stephanie Barnes-Jones and father Rufus L. Barnes

The non-profit Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is one of the oldest African-American family organizations in the United States and was founded by the late Marion Stubbs Thomas in 1938 in Philadelphia. It provides social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth between the ages of two and 19. Dr. Rhonda Johnson has been a Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Pittsburgh Chapter, member since 1994 and was a volunteer at the ball. “The Pittsburgh Chapter is the second oldest in the nation,” she said. “We have a rich history. I have two daughters who have been presentees in the ball in the past and have one son remaining who will be a presentee next year. There are so many opportunities for the children...cultural, educational, recreational and social activities and most importantly, community service. We believe in giving back to the Pittsburgh community and give throughout the year to charities such as the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.” To learn more about Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Pittsburgh Chapter, please visit the website at

2012 Jack and Jill Presentation Ball presentees and their parents.

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 47


Improvements In Seneca Valley If you have a home, you know how challenging it is to maintain it. Roofs leak, landscapes need weeding, and kitchens and baths need facelifts. If you’re handy, you can get by with your own sweat equity. However, most people don’t have the skills, let alone the time, to tackle major household projects – many of which will require you spending more time at the office just to be able to tackle the price tags such projects come with. Here, we try to cover it all for you – from financing your project to enjoying it when it’s complete. Building a home addition can be a good alternative to buying a new home or building a house from scratch. Besides saving money, it can be a means of investing in your home and customizing your home to serve your family’s specific needs and desires. But additions also bring up potential problems that may not make them the best option for everyone. An addition can drastically change the way a house looks from the road or yard. An addition that isn’t well planned can look like it doesn’t belong or doesn’t match the rest of the house in terms of style or overall shape. Planning an addition carefully with a skilled architect is the best way to ensure that the house looks as good, or even better, than it did before the addition. An architect should be able to produce sketches that give a sense of how the finished addition will look. To minimize the appearance of an addition, homeowners can usually choose to build onto the back of the existing house, thereby hiding the new construction from the road. Depending on the size of an addition and the construction schedule, it may take weeks or months before an addition is completed. Bad weather can cause unanticipated delays, and working with an unreliable contractor can prolong the process even further. If a homeowner can’t afford to be patient 48

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during the planning and construction process, moving into a new, larger home may be a better option. An addition can be a good investment, helping to increase the value of a home. Using a home equity line of credit or getting a new mortgage that includes money to pay for the addition can be a wise financial decision, especially when interest rates are low. However, if the expected value of an addition – which a homeowner can estimate by studying the sale prices of nearby homes with similar characteristics – is less than its cost, it may be a poor investment. An addition is likely to raise the value of a home. After the addition is completed, a new assessment will raise property taxes. Prior to adding on, homeowners should estimate the value of their home with the addition and compute a new annual tax liability based on current tax rates. Building an addition is an ideal time to invest in energy-efficient fixtures and construction. Windows that prevent hot or cool air from escaping and low-energy-consuming appliances can minimize the cost of an addition by reducing energy bills and its environmental impact. Remodeling your bathroom is another popular way to jazz up your home as well as build equity. In some cases, not only is remodeling the bathroom an aesthetic choice but a functional choice as well. Giving your bathroom a boost doesn’t always have to require a boatload of cash or space – just a little planning and creativity before you get started. Refresh your bath’s look with a wow-worthy makeover that improves its style and function. Perhaps you have an old toilet that you want to replace with a highefficiency model that will lower your water bill. Or perhaps the old tile is falling off your shower and you need to replace

it. Whatever your situation is, there are many options to choose from, including do-ityourself options.

Our Home Improvement Partners

One popular and inexpensive option is to have a theme for your bathroom. Examples could be a Disney theme for a child’s bathroom, or perhaps a beach theme. This can be accomplished by painting the walls, adding a wall border and by well-placed décor. Some larger and more costly bathroom updates include new flooring, new sink and vanity and a new bathtub or shower. These improvements will get even costlier if you paid someone to do it for you.

Apple Lawn Service, started in 1992 in Sewickley, provides landscaping and snow removal services in Sewickley and Moon Township areas. In 2011 we added the creation of custom made boulders to our business profile. Utilizing proprietary cement and steel we create boulders based on the unique designs submitted by our customers. Boulders can be viewed at our store at 101 McGovern Blvd in Cresent.

Decks on the rear or side of homes have become extremely popular in the United States. Used for entertaining or just relaxing, decks come in all shapes, sizes, designs and material.

Boulder Designs by Apple Lawn Service 412.741.1610 •

For ALL of your The most popular, and least expensive, deck material is heating, treated wood. It cooling is durable, however it will need to be painted or stained yearly or every & plumbing needs other year depending on your climate. Composite decking products are building materials manufactured using a mixture of plastic and wood fiber. Composite decking materials are very popular because they require less maintenance than wood and often use recycled materials. Composite decking is easy to install and is guaranteed with a 20-year warranty against rotting, splitting, splintering or termite damage. However, composite decking can be very costly.

Nest Expressions is an exclusive shop at home service specializing in flooring and window treatments. Whether you are looking for the latest choices in window treatments, carpet, hardwood, or ceramic we’ll guide you to an informed selection that corresponds with your lifestyle, family and #1 Small Business Workplace #1 Workplace for Values and Ethics budget. So when you are ready to spread your wings, call Nest Expressions and we’ll help you create the look your rooms deserve. Nest Expressions 724.449.1100 •

25% OFF

Any heating & cooling repair/replacement or plumbing service (up to $100).

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TUDI Mechanical Systems specializes in heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical services in the commercial, industrial and residential markets. The company was just named “Best Contractor To Work For” in the eastern United States and granted Best Work Place for Business Ethics the second year in a row by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Learn more about its nonprofit, Heat for the Needy, at PA011749

TUDI Mechanical Systems 412.246.8987 •

Attend our free workshop to help you get started. Hosted by Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc. with featured speaker Kathy Baum, Regional Client Services Manager. The workshop will be held on Thursday, April 25 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Cranberry Public Library (2525 Rochester Road, Cranberry, PA 16066). Muhlenkamp & Company, Inc. 724.935.5520

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 49

Home Improvements In Seneca Valley Vinyl decking made from Cellular PVC is a great choice for decking because it is essentially resistant to stains, mold, insects and fading. PVC material is low maintenance and is a sustainable building material. But like composite, it can get costly.

Design/Build contractor can guide you through what will need to be updated and how much it will cost.

Powder coated aluminum decking can be used to create a watertight floor for your deck. This unique material will never splinter, rot or rust. LockDry Aluminum decking is cool to the touch and is available in five colors. Aluminum decking is strong and lightweight. The LockDry system can be used to create a dry space to use under your deck on rainy days.

If finances are an issue there are definitely still projects you can complete yourself including painting, laying carpet, adding shelves or simply updating the dĂŠcor.

Decks can be built right on the ground, or be elevated high in the air, depending on the design of your home. If you are building a deck yourself it is very important to check all local building codes and follow all of the guidelines very closely to ensure the safety and long-term durability of your deck. Bringing your family together is often difficult. A family game room is a fantastic way to upgrade your home and bring the family together. Whether you have an unfinished basement, an unused attic room or an empty garage, you can transform it into a fantastic oasis where your family can spend countless enjoyable hours. There are many aspects to making your game room remodel a success. First you should talk to a Design/Build contractor about water access, waste lines and additional electricity needs. The contractor can also offer advice on any changes that might be necessary to update the space, whether it be additional insulation for a garage or attic room or waterproofing for a basement room. Water access could also be an important aspect if you plan to have a bar or sink area. A Design/Build contractor can offer advice on what needs to be done to make the area completely usable. You might also want to speak with the contractor about creating an additional half bathroom for guests and family members to use when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re entertaining. Electricity for lighting and appliances is also incredibly important. If you are updating an unused area of your home, the current electric wiring may not be able to handle the additional demands of a game room. The


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Gone are the days when it was frowned upon to bring work home. Today a home is not a home unless it has a home office. Whether you are turning an extra bedroom into a workspace with store-bought furniture or constructing a full-scale two-level library and office, home offices are a regular part of what makes a house a home in 2013. Making the space your own is essential to effective use of a home office. Create a space that makes you more productive and relaxed at the same time and that is a winning combination. A desk is an essential part of most offices. Choose one that meets your needs. If all you need is a work top to use your laptop from, consider a computer cart and save the space for a comfortable chair or small sofa. If you are in the market for a larger desk, consider office furniture resellers. They sell executive-grade used furniture for a fraction of the cost. Bookcases or other storage can be a nice addition. Not only can they store books, but they are also great places to display awards or showcase your favorite collection of nicknacks or memorabilia. Decide whether you prefer furniture pieces or built-ins. Antique shops have great deals on beautiful bookcases, and most local cabinet shops can design and install custom built-ins. If you have a closet in your office, visit your local home center for a plethora of storage and organizing options.

Our Home Improvement Partners A comfortable chair or two is a necessity. Choose long-lasting fabrics and sturdy frames. Go with classic styles that won’t end up as next year’s garage sale item. Test out the chair before you buy it. Desk chairs especially need to provide good support and be comfortable. We live in a society of over-indulgence. Nothing shows this like the home theater. So many popular home magazines have a page dedicated to converting your basement into a home theater, or something similar. The HGTV website has 16 home theater features alone. But how doable is the home theater in reality? First, you need a fairly large space, either a big family room or a basement. Second, you need to budget for all the furnishings including, of course, the stars of the show: home theater equipment – a big-screen TV, DVD player and speakers – and comfy seating. Also very popular for home theaters is floor and aisle lighting similar to real movie theaters, and perhaps even an old-fashioned popcorn maker. Frankly, home theaters are generally for those with deep pockets because there really is no way to make a home theater cheaply. Still thinking of taking the plunge? The home improvement website Home Time has a really useful feature on home theater planning. It covers everything you’ll need to consider, like the space you’ll need and even suggested room layouts, to maximize your viewing pleasure.

Windows R Us - North is a family owned business. We primarily do home improvement work such as windows, roofing, siding, doors, gutters and patio enclosures. We believe in up front pricing. We sell any size white double hung window for $188.00. Owned by Tom and wife Tiffany Knouff. Windows R Us has one goal, quality product at a fair price and timely manner. Windows R Us - North 724-772-9000 •

Our goal at Nelson Kitchen & Bath is to provide you with a variety of unique & quality materials with installation by some of the finest craftsmen in the area. With “vision and excellent project management,” Ray Nelson will guide you throughout the process and strive to give you that kitchen or bath of your dreams! Visit us at 637 Route 228 in Mars, PA 16046.

Kitchens are the most popular room in the house to remodel. Many people consider the kitchen to be the center of the home and its most important component. Another reason it is so popular to remodel is there are so

Nelson Kitchen & Bath 724.513.0350 •

On Sale Now through August 31, 2013. Financing Available. Merillat Classic®

Davis Construction provides quality remodeling services to homeowners in the northern Cherry Cabinets and accessories are available Pittsburgh suburbs. We build decks, deck/patio roofs, home or remodeling project. garage additions and finished basements. We provide superior $50 CoreGuard™ Sink quality work at competitive rates. Gabriel Davis, owner, guarantees Base Rebate Add this revolutionary excellence in craftsmanship and professionalism from all of our new sink base that resists carpenters who are all employees, not subcontractors. Please visit damage from minor ourleaks, website at to view our projects. spills and stains

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Davis Construction 724.831.1035 • Ask about our free design consultation.

the regular price

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12' x 12' Kitchens Starting at $9,450.00

Founded 36 years ago by Don Walter and now run by the entire family, Don Walter Kitchen Distributors, Inc. has more than 15 full-time designers on staff. Our kitchens are designed using the latest computer technology, and are available in a variety of woods, styles and finishes. We strive on designing kitchens and vanities that match your lifestyle and individual needs. DON WALTER KITCHEN DISTRIBUTORS INC


Offer valid February 1, 2013. With minimum purchase of 10 cabinets.

Don Walter Kitchen Distributors 724.935.3455 •

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 51

Home Improvements In Seneca Valley many things in the kitchen that can be remodeled….cabinets, cabinet hardware, countertops, floor, appliances, lighting, walls and sinks. There is very little right or wrong when it comes to remodeling your kitchen; it comes down to personal taste. There are so many choices when it comes to style, design and type of material for every component of your kitchen. When remodeling there is much to consider: cost, what is your goal, what is your situation (pets or small children could help decide what type of flooring to use, for example) and what is the cost vs. equity value of the remodel. If finances are an issue and you are not the handiest individual, there are still many simple and easy things you can do to add pizzazz and value to your kitchen. For example, you can paint your cabinets and add new handles rather than buying new cabinets. Adding a stylish splashguard behind your stove and sink is easy to do and adds great appeal. Painting the walls can also make a huge difference in your kitchen, as can changing the light fixture.

If done well, landscaping can completely change the character and perception of a home. Landscaping encompasses anything on the outside of the home including grass cutting, plants, flowers, rock, mulch, borders, vegetable gardens and more. Beyond the aesthetics, landscaping can be beneficial to a property if designed properly. Solar heat absorbed through windows and roofs can increase cooling costs, and incorporating shade from landscaping elements can help reduce this solar heat gain. Shading and evapotranspiration (the process by which a plant actively moves and releases water vapor) from trees can reduce surrounding air temperatures as much as 9° F (5°C). Because cool air settles near the ground, air temperatures directly under trees can be as much as 25°F (14°C) cooler than air temperatures above nearby blacktop. Using shade effectively requires you to know the size, shape, and location of the moving shadow that your shading device casts. Also, homes in cool regions may never overheat and may not require shading. Therefore, continued on page 54


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Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 53

Home Improvements In Seneca Valley you need to know what landscape shade strategies will work best in your regional climate and your microclimate. Also, if you can determine how much water your plants actually need, then you won’t overwater them and waste water. It is important to not only understand a plant’s particular watering requirements, but also evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration (Et) is the amount of water that is evaporated from the soil and transpired through the plant’s leaves. This amount of water needs to be replaced through watering. If you know your area’s Et rate, you can plan the amount of water to be replaced through irrigation. It’s best to water or irrigate your plants in the early morning when evaporation rates are low. This also provides plants with water before midday when the evaporation rate is the highest. Lighting is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to cast an enchanting spell on any outdoor space. It is also very effective for safety and security purposes.


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Examples of exterior lighting include: torches, candles, lanterns, solar ground lighting, flood lights, lamp posts, landscape lighting and general light fixtures. For setting a mood the most popular lighting is candles or small lanterns. For security and safety purposes, it is critical to have flood light or lamp posts or ground solar lighting or all. A burglar is much more likely to enter a home without a lot of light on the outside illuminating the property. With countless styles and options available, there are no right or wrong choices. The outdoor lighting a homeowner will choose will come down to budget and personal preference. Many of us take pride in our homes, investing countless hours rearranging and remodeling the interior. But it can also be refreshing to step out of the confines of the inside and spend some time outside. It’s especially enjoyable during the spring, summer and fall months. When the weather is favorable, it’s difficult to miss out on a nice day outside.

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 55

Home Improvements In Seneca Valley But spending time outside doesn’t mean you have to forfeit your creature comforts. With a few small adjustments you can make your outdoor space comfortable and inviting. Turning a yard, patio, porch or other outdoor area into a functional living space can be a rewarding task, and will expand your living space to the outdoors. With the right setup, you can spend more time in the sunshine and fresh air, and host events al fresco for friends, family and neighbors. Options for outdoor living include outdoor kitchens, dramatic lighting, fireplaces or fire pits, a water feature (like a fountain), outdoor living rooms, gazebos and pavilions. With so many options to choose from, for most people it will come down to price, climate where they live and available space in which to be creative. Ponds can be a wonderful addition to your property’s outdoor experience. Surprisingly, they are not as difficult to build as one might think. Before you start, call 811 or your local one-call center to have electric and gas lines marked so you know where to dig to steer clear of them. Then, when you map out the location of your pond, put it where it will be noticed – visible from a window, off a patio, or along a walkway – but away from the play areas of small children or pets. Keep clear of major root

systems or mature trees, which can block too much of the sunlight plants and fish need. You’ll also need to be within reach of a grounded exterior outlet so you can plug in a pump, an essential tool for keeping the water aerated; most pumps come with a maximum cord length of 25 feet, and extension cords are not recommended. You may need to bury the power cord a few inches down in PVC pipe to hide it. Space permitting, you need at least 40 cubic feet for your pond – about 7 feet by 4 feet – to keep the water clean. An initial shallow terrace just inside the perimeter of the pond holds rocks that conceal the liner edge and keep it in place. A second, deeper terrace supports plants that live in the water and help balance the pond’s ecosystem. As you dig, you must slope the sides of the pond so that if the water freezes, the ice will push up instead of against the liner. Even in warmer climates, small ponds can change temperature rapidly, so if you’re adding fish you’ll want a deeper pond that will maintain a more consistent temperature and accommodate the fish – 18 to 24 inches for goldfish and at least 3 feet for koi. To maintain the consistent depth of the water, you need to line the pond. A thin layer of sand and old newspapers or burlap bags softens the jagged edges of rocks and roots. But over that you will need to put a waterproof skin. There are several types of flexible liners meant for small ponds – made from

On Sale Now through August 31, 2013. Financing Available. Merillat Classic® Cherry Cabinets and accessories are available remodeling project.

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12' x 12' Kitchens Starting at $9,450.00 DON WALTER KITCHEN DISTRIBUTORS INC


Offer valid February 1, 2013. With minimum purchase of 10 cabinets.

Our Home Improvement Partners polypropylene and EPDM, among other materials. Look for one that’s weatherresistant, so it will stand up to UV rays and freezing temperatures. It should also be rated “fish-safe” if you plan to stock your pond and come with a warranty of 10 to 20 years so your pond will be watertight for many years to come. Remodeling your home can generate tremendous equity for the future, as well as personal enjoyment in the present. Remodeling projects come in all shapes, sizes and costs. Projects can range from replacing flooring or a faucet, to installing new trim work or tile and replacing windows and doors. Remodeling can also take on the form of revamping or adding a bathroom, redoing a kitchen, overhauling your home’s exterior for improved curb appeal, or completing an addition to increase your home’s square footage and add valuable space. Big and small changes can both have an impact and will improve the way your home looks and functions, increasing its value and making it more enjoyable for you and your family.

DRH Construction was established in 1994 with the goal of providing our customers with quality materials, craftsmanship, and superior customer service. We take pride in our work and building relationships with our customers. We pride ourselves in having the knowledge and ability to handle any size project. From unfinished projects, to large scale additions, we make sure your project meets and exceeds your expectations. DRH Construction 412.389.2211 • Pittsburgh’s leading retailer of top of the line appliances, offering the latest technologies and what customers want. Visit one of our four Pittsburgh area locations, where our knowledgeable appliance specialists are ready to assist you, whether you are building your new home, remodeling your kitchen or just need to replace your washer and dryer. Where Pittsburgh Shops For Appliances® Don’s Appliances/Hillmon Appliance Distributors •

The key to any remodeling job is to make sure it makes sense financially. Not all remodeling jobs are cost-effective. For example, it is possible to pay $75,000 for a new addition, but an appraiser may be of the opinion that it only raised the value of your house by $50,000. It is very important that you do as much research as possible and talk to as many experienced professionals as possible so you can make an informed decision about what is best for you.

Financing Remodeling Projects While home sales may be sluggish, home remodels are roaring. In the second quarter of 2011, Americans were expected to spend $132.8 billion on remodeling – up 12.8% over the previous year, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. And it’s no surprise that these projects aren’t cheap. In fact, the same studies report that 57% of home-remodeling projects cost at least $20,000. Since saving your pennies in a pickle jar is probably not enough to update your master bathroom with a slate walk-in shower or add granite countertops to your kitchen, explore these options to finance your newand-improved home.

Purchase a Variable-Rate CD What it’s good for: Projects that can wait until a fixed time in the future with a price tag you can pay by saving. If you plan to pay for the kitchen of your dreams the old-fashioned way – by saving for it – consider a variable-rate certificate of deposit. This

Seneca Valley | Spring 2013 | 57

Home Improvements In Seneca Valley savings vehicle is similar to a traditional savings account in that you can add money to it at any time (a fixed-rate CD does not allow additional deposits during the term of the CD). In return for an interest rate that may go up or down, the interest rate often is slightly higher than a traditional CD when you buy it. You make a low minimum deposit and lock in your money for a fixed time – usually at least six or 12 months. If you withdraw your funds before then, you pay penalties and lose the interest.

Open a Home Equity Line of Credit What it’s good for: Long-term projects that can be paid off over five or fewer years. The beauty of using the equity in your home is that you write yourself checks from a line of credit and pay interest on only what you borrow. Plus, the interest is typically tax deductible. While current low interest rates add to the allure, these credit lines can be tough to come by in this climate of lowered home values and tight credit. When interest rates rise, your home improvement project may become more expensive than you anticipated.

Refinance Your Home What it’s good for: Larger projects for a home you plan to live in for the long term. A “cash-out” refinance allows you to refinance your mortgage for an amount that is larger than your current mortgage. You get the difference in a check – effectively rolling the sum into a newly financed 15- or 30-year mortgage. This can be an attractive option, as mortgage rates have hovered at historic lows in recent years. The downsides include closing fees that can be in the thousands of dollars. Plus, the threshold to qualify, including income and home-value requirements, can be high – both of which can pose a challenge in this economy.

Return on your Investment Thinking about adding a deck or revamping the kitchen so you can up the price of your home before you sell? You might want to crunch the 2010-11 Cost vs. Value numbers, compiled by Remodeling magazine, before you do.

Projects with highest return on investment • • • • • 58

Replacing entry door with steel door (102%) Garage door replacement (84%) Adding a wood deck (73%) Minor kitchen remodel (73%) Vinyl siding replacement (72%) 724.942.0940 TO ADVERTISE

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• Wood window replacement (72%) • Attic bedroom addition (72%)

Project with lowest rate of return on investment • • • •

Home office remodel (46%) Sunroom addition (49%) Bathroom addition (53%) Garage addition (59%)

The data includes national and regional averages on over 20 common home improvement projects ranging from kitchens and baths to roofs and decks. Data for both midrange and upscale projects is provided on: • • • •

Average cost of project. Added resale value. Percentage of investment recouped. Change from last year’s report.

The above numbers assume you’re hiring out the labor on the project. If it’s a do-it-yourself project, and you do a good job, the rate of return on your investment will be higher. Unless you plan on doing the work yourself, or not doing the project makes your house undesirable or unsellable, most home improvement projects will return less from your investment than you put in, so you might want to consider staying in your home a while to enjoy the results of your improved home!


The Longest Contraption


n Dec. 7, gifted support students in the exploring engineering scenario from Seneca Valley Intermediate High School earned a history-making first place in the Chain Reaction Contraption Engineering Competition at the Carnegie Science Center. This unique contest, sponsored by Westinghouse, attracted 43 schools from all over the tri-state area. The challenge this year was to build a Rube Goldberg-like machine that could fill a container and close it in at least 20 steps. The Seneca Valley Intermediate High School team created a machine that traced the history of science, starting with popping a “big bang” balloon that released “planetary” marbles, and ending with a black hole funneling these planets into a container which, when shut, seals the fate of the universe! The winning team celebrated four clean runs and included (pictured from left) Emerson Maloney, Tanner Quiggle, Cole Davis and Andrew Lingenfelter, along with supporting team members (not pictured) Kobie Rankin, Cory Nagel, Mitch Lachat and Jeff Rodrigues. The team took home the first place trophy, gift cards, autographed Steelers footballs and board games. Additionally, the entire team was awarded a free field trip to the Carnegie Science Center for having the “longest successfully running contraption.”

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The Year of the Snake F

Photos by Ginni Klein

ebruary 10, 2013, marked the beginning of the Year of the Snake in the Chinese calendar. The Snake, which is the sixth sign, is mysterious and introspective, but also a good omen which brings the promise of prosperity with hard work. Cranberry Township celebrated this event with co-hosts Regional Learning Alliance, Slippery Rock University, the Sister Cities Association and Heart Prints Center for Early Education. Chinese arts and crafts were offered, traditional Chinese cuisine was served and a lesson in the Chinese language, storytelling and a traditional Chinese dance performance entertained and educated visitors. The Cranberry Township Sister Cities Association was created to further goodwill and respect for other cultures on a global basis. For more information, please visit the townshipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at


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Child’s Play:

It’s All in a Day’s Work In Choosing a Preschool, Experts Recommend Child-Centered Play


ith so much information about preschools available to parents, it can be difficult to choose the right program. One approach to evaluating a school that can help parents choose is the level of emphasis on learning through play. For young children, play is the natural way to learn, according to the experts. In fact, research studies confirm that children who are allowed to play function better later in life, both socially and academically. “Young children who learn through play are more ready to make their own decisions, advocate for themselves and use creativity to solve problems as they grow,” says Dr. Kyle Pruett, a Yale University child psychiatrist and consultant to the Goddard School, the fastest-growing franchise preschool program in the United States. Dr. Pruett points out that play helps children learn to solve problems, promotes flexibility and motivation, teaches regulation of emotions and builds resilience and confidence. Play is also essential to the development of the child’s brain, triggering trillions of neural connections that form the basis of

healthy cognitive function and mastery of the child’s physical world. Playing alone and with others not only builds brain development, it also helps children develop social skills and a sense of ethics. The most effective play is free of evaluation and correction (after all, throwing a ball shouldn’t be “right” or “wrong”), while promoting autonomy. “True play is actually hard work,” says Sue Adair, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance at Goddard Systems, Inc. “The child lost in play is exploring infinite possibilities. Caretakers and parents can assist the child’s growth by participating in play and creating an environment that encourages play as a means to meet new developmental challenges.” So after parents have checked the basics that are required for any preschool, how can they find one with the right emphasis on play? Adair suggests looking at three things: • Find a school that puts a priority on learning through play. For young children, play is unstructured and freeing. It’s not about expensive toys, in fact, the simpler the toy, the more ways it can be used by a child developing his or her imagination. Toys and equipment should be carefully chosen, first for safety and then for how they stimulate young imaginations and help children develop. • Look at the total environment. Environment means having clean, safe and spacious places to play, as well as the resources to provide imaginative, rewarding playtime. It also means a caring and welltrained staff, a critical element for any preschool. “Remember, how children are treated is as critical to their development as what they are taught,” says Dr. Pruett. • Ask about enrichment programs. Only the best preschools offer special enrichment programs at no extra cost, as part of the tuition. Enrichment programs - including yoga, manners and world cultures, for example - develop the whole child by encouraging their innate curiosity and imagination. “At the end of the day, parents know they’ve chosen the right child care program when their children are given time for child-centered exploratory play during the day,” Adair says. “For a child, play isn’t optional. The educational and other benefits of play are so important – in terms of healthy bodies and minds – that parents should put play at the top of their list when comparing preschool programs.” This Industry Insight was written by Dina & Matt Speranza. They are the owners of The Goddard School®, located at 8065 Rowan Road in Cranberry. Goddard offers both full- and part-time Infant/Preschool/Kindergarten programs. For more information, visit or call 724.778.9999.

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eneca Valley High School students came face to face with living history. Students in the Honors U.S. History class learned about the Battle of the Bulge from S/Sgt. Roscoe Mulvey, a member of the Fourth Armored Division. “I want these kids to know they’re in a major generational gap,” said Mr. Jim Lucot, who asked Mulvey to visit the class in December on the anniversary of the day Mulvey’s division began marching with General Patton toward Bastogne, France. “It’s unfortunate, but these kids may never get the opportunity to speak one-on-one to a World War II veteran again.” Mulvey, a Harmony resident, was one of 600,000 Americans to take part in the Battle of the Bulge, which lasted from Dec. 16, 1944, to Jan. 25, 1945. He talked about the battle and what it was like to be drafted into the armed services during a time of war.


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“As a teacher, you know when the kids are asking personal questions like, ‘Were you scared?’ it means they’ve found a connection,” said Lucot. “That’s not something they can get from a book. It’s not something they’ll get from a movie or a video game. Mr. Mulvey’s visit is the kind of lesson I want these kids to keep with them for a long time.” Along with Mulvey’s visit, the students created Battle of the Bulge projects with detailed maps. Throughout the year, Mr. Lucot tries to have his students meet one-on-one with veterans. This year they’ve met with a Korean War veteran as well as with a former Seneca Valley student currently serving in the armed services. “These men want to be remembered,” said Lucot. “And they want to be remembered by this generation of kids… and hopefully the generation after that.”



SV Seniors Earn Essay Awards in ‘Voice Of Democracy’ Program

ongratulations to three Seneca Valley Senior High School students for their stand-out performance in a recent Veterans of Foreign Wars “Voice of Democracy” Essay Scholarship Program. Seniors Rochelle Rogalski, Jamie Walters and Amanda Tonti (pictured here from left) won first, second and third places, respectively, in the regional competition. All three students will be recognized for their achievements at a future banquet held by the Cranberry Township Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 879, the same club that sponsored the program.

In addition, Miss Rogalski’s essay advanced to the district-level competition where she was awarded a second place honor. She will be recognized for her achievements at an awards banquet this spring. Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ premier scholarship program. Students compete by writing and recording a broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme was “Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?”

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Authors Present Civil War History at Harmoniefest


uthors Michael Kraus, David Neville and Kenneth Turner gave an illustrated presentation of their book, The Civil War in Pennsylvania: A Photographic History, in conjunction with Harmoniefest, a celebration of the historic borough of Harmony. Harmoniefest is a present-day extension of the feast originated by the Harmonists who settled the area in 1804. The authors discussed 30 selected photographs from their book which was published by the Senator John Heinz History Center as part of the Pennsylvania Civil War 150 partnership, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Kraus is the curator of collections at Pittsburgh’s Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum. He teamed with Neville to create the documentary series, “Civil War Minutes.” Turner, a native of Ellwood City, has written authoritatively for several magazines on the Civil War and conducted research for the TimeLife Civil War Series. The book is available exclusively through the Senator John Heinz History Center at 1212 Smallman Street, in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District, or by visiting the E-Shop online at For more information on the history of Harmony Borough, visit

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An Acne Sufferer Finds a Solution…FINALLY! I have suffered with acne for most of my teenage and adult life. I spent many nights at home, missing opportunities because my skin was just too bad, and I was just too embarrassed. I tried every over-the-counter product available and also several prescriptions from a dermatologist in my quest for clear skin. I even considered taking the drug Accutane at one point. The prescription medications cleared my skin temporarily, but once I was done taking the pills, my acne eventually returned, even worse than before! Nothing worked. In frustration, I threw everything away and figured I’d grow out of it…but I never did. One day while reading through a magazine, I noticed an ad for a place called Clearskin Solutions Acne Clinic. Given all of the previous disappointments, I figured it probably wouldn’t work, but decided to at least look into it. When I called to get

information, the first thing that struck me as unique was that they specialized in acne treatment. I was also relieved to hear that they don’t use drugs as a part of their regimen. They offer an acne program which consists of in-office visits combined with a monitored home-care routine. I had nothing to lose, so I decided to schedule a consultation. The owner, Mary, evaluated my skin and performed some tests to determine my skin’s level of sensitivity. Then we sat down and talked for awhile. She explained about my grade of acne and how the program would be catered to target my specific case. I was given a wealth of information about why I had acne, pore clogging ingredients to watch out for, and what foods and products to avoid. My program consisted of visits every two weeks at a reasonable cost. During the inoffice visits, my acne was removed and my skin was treated with a variety of treatments

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which helped with exfoliating the dead skin cells, keeping it hydrated and decreasing the inflammation. Most importantly, my skin was continually reevaluated and my program was adjusted according to my skin’s response. Between visits, I followed a treatment regimen at home using affordable products designed just for me. Throughout my treatment, I wasn’t alone. Someone was there to answer questions and encourage and help me every step of the way. All in all, it took about four months (or eight visits), and I am thrilled to say that my skin is finally clear! That was two years ago. I found a program that not only cleared my acne, but has kept it clear and given me the beautiful skin I’ve always wished for. Thanks to Mary, her staff and the Clearskin program, I am now confident about myself on both the inside and the outside.

If you or someone you know is struggling with acne, have them contact Clearskin Solutions, 724-453-0555.

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Seneca Valley Grads Play Against Each Other in the NFL Butschle, Fusco, Lucot and Barclay


wice this season, two graduates of Seneca Valley High School played against each other in one of the NFL’s biggest rivalries. Brandon Fusco, a 2005 graduate, and Don Barclay, a 2006 graduate, are now starters as NFL offensive linemen. They played on opposite sides of the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game on December 9 and 30, 2012. To add to the story of the rivalry, Fusco and Barclay didn’t just go to the same high school. They were best friends and grew up just five houses apart from each other in Cranberry Township. Fusco made his first career start during the first game of the 2012 season for the Minnesota Vikings. Barclay’s first career start came on December 9, 2012, thanks to his

performance just one week prior, the day the Packers first played the Vikings. At the end of the 23-14 Packers win, the two guys met up on the same side of the field. “After the game, we had the biggest hug,” said Barclay. “We had talked about this for so long, and it was actually happening.” “We kept saying, ‘I can’t believe we’re here,’” said Fusco. “‘We’re really here, playing against each other in the NFL.’” Also joining the players were two of their high school coaches from Seneca Valley— their head coach, Ron Butschle, and their assistant coach, Jim Lucot. Butschle was head coach of the Seneca Valley Raiders in 2005 and 2006, when Fusco and Barclay played in their senior years. Jim Lucot, a social studies teacher, was an assistant coach. The

two football standouts have stayed in touch with their coaches over the years and still call or text them every few days. Barclay and Fusco say the dedication of their two coaches made them into the players and the men that they have become. They also credit their Seneca Valley experience for playing a large role in their success. Their advice for Seneca Valley students: “Everyone says to work your hardest,” Barclay said. “That’s true. But you’ve got to set aside the distractions, like partying and hanging out, and just focus on getting to where you want to go.” Fusco adds, “I knew I was a good player and a good person. I believed it and I achieved it. You can do it, too.”

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Story and Craft Hour at the Zelienople Library


he Zelienople Library offers a story hour throughout the school year for children ages 3, 4 and 5 each week. Children get the chance to participate in a special craft that is tied in with the storyline and refreshments are also served. This particular story hour in January featured on our page was all about dinosaurs! The children fashioned their own dinosaurs out of playdough and then enjoyed a snack and drink afterwards. This summer, the library will sponsor a Summer Reading Program which will offer something for all ages for preschoolers through teenagers. To visit the Zelienople childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s library, go through the main entrance and follow the poem down the stairs. The childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s library houses a special area for toddlers that includes board books and toys that are engaging for younger visitors. For more information on the Zelienople Library and its programs and events for children, please visit the Butler County Federated Library System website at


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eneca Valley Academic Games students won several top awards and a number of individuals qualified for nationals, during the Jan. 7 competition held at the Heinz History Center. Students were there competing in the regional game of On-Sets, one of six games that make up the Academic Games Tournaments. Seneca Valley Team One took first place and is comprised of students Urvi Gupta, Alex Garcia, Andrew Funovits, Ryan Stelitano and Kyle Cindrich. Seneca Valley Team Two won third place and includes Sarah Donaldson, Shane Conklin, Nic Andreassi, Jason Moore and Morgan Hoffman. Out of the eight individual high scorers at the regional tournament, five were from Seneca Valley and include Urvi Gupta, Andrew Funovits, Ryan Stelitano, Kyle Cindrich and Nic Andreassi. Urvi, Andrew, Ryan and Kyle have now qualified and will compete at the National Academic Games tournament in North Carolina in April.

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Five Wholesome Snacks


for Families On-the-Go

busy family schedule means there’s less time to gather around the dinner table each night, let alone ensure everyone in the family is getting the nutrients they need to live healthy. And what convenience foods offer in terms of portability, they often lack in vitamins and nutrients. But with a little preparation, you can ensure that convenient, wholesome, on-the-go snacks are at the ready when it’s time to head to play, practice or ballet lessons. Here are a few snack ideas to keep your family happy and healthy.

Smoothies While smoothies may not be the first thing that pops in your mind in terms of portability and convenience, with the right to-go cup, straw and lid, smoothies can be a great way to get some key nutrients en route. Pre-packaged smoothies, however, often contain a great deal of sugar. Ensure your family reaps the benefits of a fruit smoothie by whipping up a batch using all-natural ingredients and freezing them for later. Be sure to store blended smoothies in freezer-safe or airtight containers in the freezer, and allow for one to two hours of defrost time before grabbing them and heading for the door.

Whole Food Bars

Just because you’re short on time, doesn’t mean you can’t work wholesome foods in convenient, pocket or purse-sized portions into your diet. But make sure to check the labels when you grab a quick snack. While many snack bars contain few nutrients and may be high in sugar, there are many made using wholesome ingredients such as rolled oats, organic soynuts and almond butter, that are not only tasty, but dairy and gluten-free, as well as vegan. These bars are great go-to options you can feel good about giving your family. Learn more about these wholesome snacks online.

Homemade Trail Mix For a shelf-stable snack that’s perfect for storing in the car, at the office, or in your purse, consider mixing up your favorite dry food snack items such as popcorn, almonds, peanuts, dried cranberries, raisins, banana chips and more.


While soybeans might not be something you regularly prepare, they’re actually simple to cook, can be modified using different seasonings and are easily eaten on the go. The night before a busy day, simply add 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and add the edamame. Cook between 4 to 5 minutes for frozen edamame, 5 to 6 minutes for fresh. Drain, and then add your favorite seasoning and store in a zip-top bag or storage container in the refrigerator until you head out the door.

Apple Chips If you’re a fan of apples, consider making apple chips. Simply cut apples into about 1/8-inch thick slices, add a pinch of cinnamon, and place them in the oven at 200°F for roughly two hours. You’ll end up with tasty, wholesome apple chips you can store in sealed sandwich bags for up to three days. Toss them in a backpack, your purse, or leave them in the car for snacking on the go.

Keep snacks readily available in your kitchen, such as in a basket on the counter or portioned out on a shelf within the refrigerator to ensure your family will choose wholesome foods over convenient, less-healthy snacks. With a little planning and preparation, you can save time on busy days, while ensuring everyone gets the nutrients they need.

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Students Take the Lead on Road Safety

Lectures and scare tactics by well-meaning adults have not yet transformed this nation’s teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Thankfully, students—the people best positioned to make change—are taking note and taking a stand against this startling statistic. As one teen states: “Teenagers do not listen to safety messages from their parents as well as they do when those messages come from their friends. It is easier to relate to advice from fellow teens.” Here’s the advice proactive students commonly share:

Plan Ahead

• Designate someone to text for you, and hand over your phone. Or, better yet, turn your phone to silent and lock it in the glove compartment until you arrive safely at your destination. • Connect with your parents on ground rules for driving. Know what the consequences will be if the rules aren’t followed. • Prepare a driving playlist. Don’t let your driving be distracted while trying to find the perfect song.

On the Road

• Use your head. Remember that there is absolutely no text, song, call or distraction that is more important than your life or the lives of others. • Drive defensively by keeping your full focus on the road and other drivers so you can react to changing situations. • Be prepared with a strong, clear statement to stand up to a peer who isn’t driving safely. Say something like, “We both want to live, so let me answer your phone or text while you focus on driving.”

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IN Seneca Valley Spring 2013  

IN Seneca Valley Spring 2013