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Forest Hills offers meaningful learning with Operation Ranger newspapers

Vol. 109 No. 40

USPS 439-000

Portage, Pa.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Since 1904

Newsstand Price 75¢

40 Pages

By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

Sit-ups, push-ups, curl-ups, shuttle run, endurance running, and sit-and-reach all encompass the Presidential Fitness test students participate in annually. However, Forest Hills Middle School has decided to put a twist on this regular routine. Instead of traditional physical fitness awards, students actually honor local veterans in the process. Last year, the students completed an obstacle course, military rope climb, army crawl, a threelegged race, push-ups and sit-ups. Judy McIntyre, the physical education instructor, is working hard again to put this event together, which will take place Nov. 8. She partners up each year with the SEE RANGER, PAGE 10A

Benefit planned for child

Forest Hills students honor their beloved veterans with a physical education program that mirros the training undergone by military recruits. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

Community rallies behind Baby Maddox, family

By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

All smiles for ice cream social

Tina Scanlan, Representative Frank Burns, and Bruna Kissel pose for a photo at the senior activity center ice cream social. See page 3A for complete story. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

Symbolic balloon release to be held Sunday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

Bright yellow and blue balloons will fill the sky on Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Betty Rosmus, director of religious education, is hosting a balloon release immediately following the prayer service at 9:15 a.m. She is always trying to come up with new events for the students to participate in. Rosmus was searching online for ideas, and

she stumbled upon a balloon release that took place in Chicago for a profile event, and she decided this would be a great event for the church to take part in. Her vision is to have yellow balloons, symbolizing the Hail Mary’s of the rosary, intertwined with blue balloons to represent Our Heavenly Father. The balloons will be tied together to form the shape of the rosary on a single string, and a cross will be attached to the end of the cord. October is the month of the rosary, and she could not think of a better way to honor this special occasion. The sky will be full of balloons on Sunday morning, weather permitting. The 11th grade students will be in charge of blowing up the bal-

loons and constructing the rosaries. There are a total of 52 students in her religious education program, and there are seven students in her Catechism class. Each month, the two classes band together for a prayer service; a new theme is established for each month. “For a small parish, we try to come up with several events that the students and community can take part in,” said Rosmus. She works handin-hand with Father Robert Reese to plan out each event for the church. The purpose of these events is community involvement. The Holy Trinity Catholic Church was formerly St. James Church, and then there was a merger between the parish and Our Lady SEE CHURCH, PAGE 5A

Maddox Raptosh, son of Matthew and Michele Raptosh, was born Aug. 13, 2013, with major medical conditions. He has been in the NICU, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, since he was born. Maddox is currently six weeks old. He has undergone several surgeries, and he is in need of a liver transplant to survive. “He’s our little fighter; he keeps fighting, and so does the community,” said grandfather Andrew Raptosh. The family is extremely grateful for all of the help from the community and the gracious donations each person has provided. There have been several fundraisers to help aid in the extra expenses and medical bills. For instance, the Portage Activity

Heritage Days

Center just had a gob benefit on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The directors and the senior citizens came together to bake thousands of gobs in honor of baby Maddox. They sold their gobs for $1 apiece, and they had over $1,436 in pre-sale orders alone. The activity center made up flyers for their event, and they have made several calls to inform each person in the community about the event. Activity Center Assistant Manager Bruna Kissell was in charge of the event. She worked one-on-one with Andrew Raptosh, Maddox’s grandfather, and Rosemary, the baby’s grandmother. “The community is just banding together, and we could not be more grateful,” said Andrew. The SEE CHILD, 10A

Jacob Vasilko of Portage gets his face painted by Mount Aloysius College student Brittany Mumau at Cresson Area Heritage Days on Sunday. Photo by Rachel Vasilko.


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