GREENCASTLE — A new New Year's Eve celebration in Greencastle bucks the trend of dropping something, whether it is a ball in New York City, a doughnut in Hagerstown or a strawberry in Harrisburg.

"Raising the Bar" reflects the philosophy of the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation, which is sponsoring the free, family-friendly event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the G-A School District's Kaley Field.

“It’s consistent with our mission,” said Garon Gembe, president of the G-AEF Board of Directors. “We are committed to impacting and enhancing Greencastle-Antrim students’ educational experience. We secure and steward funds to enhance education, arts and athletics. We are raising the bar at all levels.”

The raising of the 20-foot, 620-pound steel beam beginning at 7:59 p.m. also will mark the kick-off of G-AEF's $550,000 capital campaign to build restrooms, a concession stand and ticket booth for the field.

“We plan on this being an annual event and proudly displaying the 'bars' from each year on the G-A school campus,” said Dr. Kendra Trail, Greencastle-Antrim School District superintendent and a member of the G-AEF board.

 The celebration 

The beam was fabricated by Strait Steel and features sponsor logos put on by FASTSIGNS. It will be raised by a crane from Manitowoc and the premier sponsor is F&M Trust.

Everyone at the celebration will be able to sign the beam and "write your name into history," said Cheryl Brown, executive director of G-AEF. They can also take selfies with an “I signed the beam” picture frame.

The first 500 party-goers will receive favors such as horns, leis, beads and hats. The evening also will include a disc jockey, cookies and hot chocolate and a "Toy Story" bounce house.

Announcements at 7:45 p.m. will feature Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr., thanking of sponsors and information about the capital campaign.

The countdown will begin and the bar will start going up at 7:59 p.m.

 The project 

"Everyone knows there are no restrooms and they are really needed," Brown said. She added that Kaley Field is not just for sports, but is used for community events such as the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.

Ground-breaking is planned in the spring with the new restrooms, concession stand and ticket booth ready for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

The "bar" that is raised on New Year's Eve will be permanently displayed in the new entryway to Kaley Field.

Bars raised on future New Year's Eves will be displayed on the school district campus and used in other building projects.

More information about the celebration or donating to the project is available from Brown at 717-658-0961 or: office@gaefonline.org.

Contributions may be mailed to G-AEF at P.O. Box 623, Greencastle, PA 17225. You can also follow the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation on Facebook or visit the website: gaefonline.org.

The G-AEF reinvigorated itself this year and Brown was hired as executive director. In addition to more involvement in community events and the Foundation Fridays Brown holds twice at month at the Echo Pilot office at 24 E. Baltimore St., the foundation has brought back its teacher mini-grants. Nearly $6,000 in mini-grants were awarded to G-A educators in November.

Contact Shawn Hardy at shardy@therecordherald.com or 717-597-2164