NEWS

THE YEAR IN REVIEW: May to August 2022

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

MAY

May 3: The junior class of Greencastle-Antrim High School will host the junior-senior prom on Saturday, May 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Green Grove Gardens in Greencastle. This year’s theme will be “Dancing in the Moonlight.”

The first Old Home Week badge was given to President Bonnie Shockey at the April 25 planning meeting for the 41st triennial celebration and word is starting to go out about how local residents can lend their talents to OHW performances. Participants are now being sought for two of the events, the community worship service and the pageant.

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May 5: Ron and Beth Powers, owners of the Greencastle Golf Club and Fireside Pub, have named their son, Ben Powers, the new general manager. Beth Powers recently retired from that role, which she held for the past four years.

May 10:The students in Kati McFadden’s class at Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School like the quote “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” The fifth-graders are putting that idea into action as they prepare for Books and Blooms, a fundraiser they will host from 3:20 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, on the elementary school playground. They were looking for a way to give back to their community and came up with the win-win-win that will make their hearts feel good by helping others, raise money for the Greencastle Exchange Club and put books in the hands of readers of all ages.

May 12: Brady Diller and Courtney Andruczk were crowned king and queen of the Greencastle-Antrim High School prom, “Dancing in the Moonlight,” on Saturday, May 7, at Green Grove Gardens.

May 17: High-schoolers launched some powerful soccer kicks into the net, elementary students couldn’t stop themselves from running a little bit during the 50-yard walk and Vargas, a support dog, was close to the action sporting an event bandanna. Those were a few of the scenes on Greencastle-Antrim School District’s Kaley Field during the second annual G-lympics Thursday, May 12. The competition for K-12 autistic support and life skills students was launched in 2021 by teacher Susan Wright after the Franklin County Special Olympics was cancelled for the second time due to COVID-19.

MAY — Franklin County Career and Technology Center building construction trades students worked on replacing the roof of the pavilion at Tayamentasachta, the Greencastle-Antrim School District’s environmental center.

May 19: When she was in elementary school, Faith Pearce loved the quiet spots at Tayamentasachta, where students would sit and write about what they could see, hear and smell. It’s anything but quiet these day with the sound of hammers echoing through the walnut grove at the Greencastle-Antrim School District’s environmental center. Pearce, a G-A High School junior and the only girl in the building construction trades program at Franklin County Career and Technology Center, is the student leader for the replacement of the roof on the environmental center pavilion being done now. She’s working alongside instructor Eric Wagaman, an award-winning FCCTC teacher with ties to Tayamentasachta. Pearce and Wagaman will return to Tayamentasachta next year when FCCTC students help convert the springhouse by the duck pond into a multi-use building thanks to a $12,368 environmental education grant awarded to the district by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

May 24: As the footprint of Leah’s Legacy Foundation continues to grow, Mike and Robin Straley never lose sight of their mission. They offer love, hope and support to women in recovery in memory of their 26-year-old daughter, Leah, who they lost to a fentanyl overdose on Valentine's Day in 2018. Now Leah’s Gathering Place, a home on Grant Shook Road just outside of Greencastle, is providing them with a venue to expand their outreach — from a resident in recovery to a grief support group to sugar cookies.

May 26: You have to be really, really dedicated to a cause to get out and walk a track in 90-degree heat on a Saturday. Want proof? Look no farther than the participants in the local 2022 Relay for Life on Saturday at Greencastle-Antrim High School's Kaley Field. It was the 28th Greencastle Relay for Life fundraiser, which benefits the American Cancer Society. And as it was also the first walking event since the COVID-19 pandemic began, this year's theme was "Back on Track — Racing for a Cure."

JUNE

June 2:  More than 50 million Americans have served in the armed forces from the time of the Revolutionary War to the present. During that service, more than 1 million lost their lives. “That is a staggering statistic, and we must not lose sight of the fact that they were all real men and women … someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife or father or mother,” Rear Adm. Grafton Chase said during Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony at Greencastle’s Cedar Hill Cemetery.

JUNE — Members of the Greencastle-Antrim High School Class of 2022 sat on Kaley Field waiting to receive their diplomas during the June 4 commencement ceremony.

June 7: After recent days characterized by heat, humidity and thunderstorms, the Greencastle-Antrim High School Class of 2022 was welcomed to Kaley Field by sunny skies, mild temperatures and a breeze Saturday morning. The June 4 commencement ceremony for the 238 soon-to-be alumni included music by the concert band, a performance by senior choir members and several messages before exploding with Silly String and confetti as they were declared graduates of Greencastle-Antrim High School.

June 9: When it opens in about two years, people working at the massive Walmart fulfillment center in Antrim Township won’t have to walk up to 9 miles a day filling orders. That’s one of the advantages of the highly automated system being rolled out at four next generation fulfillment centers detailed in a news release the company issued Friday, June 3. This is the first time the retailer has acknowledged that the 1.5-million-plus-square-foot building going up in the area of Exit 3 of Interstate 81 is a Walmart facility.

June 14: The Mayor’s Report: So, what is the future of police service? Some of that future is already here. It’s called technology. From using a manual typewriter to very sophisticated, data-driven information, police work relies heavily on information technology, from computers to digital camera systems, be it in public areas, to personal cameras used by citizens outside of their homes that provide valuable investigative information. What else is in the future of law enforcement? Just good old fashioned police work. That’s right … talking to people and relying on the trust between officers and our citizens.

June 16: The Greencastle Lions Club recently installed a ‘Welcome to Greencastle’ sign along U.S. 11 near Craig Road. The club also is advertising for new members.

June 23: Stephanie Ziebarth once dreamed of being an author but, influenced by someone in her own life, the University of Minnesota journalism major went into ministry and focused on mentoring. After more than 15 years as Barnabas mentor coordinator at Joy El Generation/Joy El Camps & Retreats near Williamson, she’s used her writing skills in the book “Invest Yourself,” subtitled “A Guidebook for Spiritual Mentoring.”

June 28: Downtown Greencastle will be a shoppers’ delight during the 55th annual Sidewalk Days from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 9. There also will be plenty of good things to eat, a variety of entertainment and a Kids Zone. Sidewalk Days also is the kickoff of badge sales for the 41st triennial Old Home Week celebration Aug. 6 to 13.

June 30: Greencastle-Antrim’s 41st triennial Old Home Week celebration is just five weeks away and the June 27 meeting of the OHW Association demonstrated the spirit of the 120-year tradition. There also were a lot of “we’ll be ready” reports from dozens of committee leaders who have been meeting monthly since September 2021 to plan the Aug. 6 to 13 celebration. The patriotic president’s tie with her name embroidered on it was presented to Bonnie Shockey by Tom Stine, who co-chairs the T-shirts and hats committee.

JULY

July 7: The Greencastle Relay For Life returned to an in-person event on May 21 and the American Cancer Society fundraiser exceeded its goal. The goal was $85,000 and the Relay raised more than $93,100, it was reported at the recent wrapup meeting.

JULY — Downtown Greencastle was closed to traffic so vendors could set up along the streets and people could safely shop, stroll, eat and socialize at Sidewalk Days.

July 12: One purpose of Greencastle Sidewalk Days is to provide visibility for community groups, and the 55th annual event gets high marks from first-time participants Family Fight, a Relay For Life team. “There’s a full plate of vendors and lots of activity downtown,” said Debby Cunningham, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of Sidewalk Days held Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9. Sunny skies had lots of folks shopping, strolling, socializing and eating on Friday, when all but two of the allotted spaces were occupied. Saturday’s rain was something of a damper, but Family Fight still raised a total of $1,427 for the American Cancer Society.

July 14: The Franklin County Fair has been in full swing this week and continues through Saturday, July 16, with events for the whole family. The 2022 fair queen, Tessa Crider of Greencastle, was crowned Monday evening.

July 19: Born near the Greencastle reservoir east of town, Alma Keller would walk to a one-room school in Antrim Township. Now Alma Hoffman, she doesn’t recall the name of the school or some other details of her long life and offers words of wisdom. “I tell everybody to write things down, so you’ll remember. I didn’t,” said Hoffman, who turned 100 on Wednesday, July 13.

July 21: Emily Trace and Amy Crider haven’t been able to turn off their brains since learning in late June the Greencastle-Antrim School District is receiving a three-year state grant of nearly half a million dollars for STEM development in local classrooms and the community. Trace, the district’s K-2 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teacher, and Crider, the district librarian who has had much responsibility for STEM education, only had a month in late winter to apply for a PAsmart Advancing Grant from the Department of Education for “Building a Rural STEM Ecosystem: Growing Sustainable STEM Capacity in Franklin County and Beyond.” The local grant will include developing a cohesive and equitable K-8 curriculum to align with the high school STEAM program; installing a learning garden behind the primary school; creating a curriculum to be used with a Penn State Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science weather station; finding the best way to tap into and use local resources; holding a STEM expo to unite students with opportunities in the community; training future teachers at Shippensburg University; and providing professional development.

July 26: During Old Home Week and until the end of August, the special exhibit at Allison-Antrim Museum, 365 S. Ridge Ave., Greencastle, is the late Katharine “Katty” Grosh’s collection of Old Home Week badges and programs from 1902 to present. They are exhibited in South Bay of the Barn. Of additional Old Home Week interest are five enlarged framed images of the town from early Old Home Weeks, most likely from Pitt Carl’s Book Store.

July 28: The chance to name a dahlia, hear stories and music from the son of “Mr. B” and be an artistic part of the community are some of the things to look forward to during Old Home Week. Details for the 41st triennial celebration, Aug. 6 to 13, are being wrapped up and the final meeting of committee chairs and board of directors was held Monday, July 25.

AUGUST

Aug. 2: Local pickleball players are helping to raise money to bring the popular game to Jerome R. King Playground in Greencastle and take advantage of a matching gift up to $20,000 from an anonymous donor. “For those of you who are asking the question, what is Pickleball? It is simply the fastest growing sport in America,” says a fundraising letter from Lon Barkdoll, playground board president, and Fred Heefner and Dave Bonebrake of the pickleball group.

Aug. 4: Thousands of people drive through the railroad underpass on West Baltimore Street in Greencastle every day and, for years, they’ve seen deteriorating murals on both sides of the road. This week, drivers are honking their horns and giving thumbs ups to volunteers who’ve picked up paintbrushes to restore the community art. They hope to have at least the north side done for Old Home Week, which begins Saturday, Aug. 6.

A tradition that dates back 120 years to the 1902 Old Boys’ Reunion returns to the Greencastle-Antrim community with the 41st triennial Old Home Week kicking off Saturday, Aug. 6, and continuing through Saturday, Aug. 13. The celebration has endured every three years through two world wars and the Great Depression. The triennial timing had the 40th OHW in August 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 41st occurring after its after its darkest months.

AUGUST — An estimated 1,000 people or more gathered on Center Square for the unofficial opening of the 41st triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week.

Aug. 9: Vernon McCauley, the community's chief cheerleader, led the festivities Sunday night for the unofficial opening of the 41st triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week. "We live in the best small town in America," McCauley said, sharing his mantra with the 1,000 or more people gathered on Center Square. He led the countdown to midnight, when the fire siren sounded, the town clock chimed and the crowd sang "The Old Gray Mare," the song that's welcomed the celebration since 1920, according to this year's Old Home Week president, Bonnie Shockey. The late-night program capped a weekend full of activities and heralded what's to come in the weeklong celebration that's been held every three years since 1902.

The bandstand on the northeast corner of the Square is a centerpiece of Old Home Week and this year on its right-hand corner there’s a poster of Jill Martin, who absolutely loved the triennial Greencastle-Antrim celebration. It’s next to an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol following her death at 39 on Jan. 8, 2022, by the MPS Society, an advocacy group for rare mucopolysaccharidosis diseases caused by the inability to break down certain enyzmes. The flag was flown in Jill’s honor, but her mother, Wilma Martin, wants it to represent everyone in the community who has died since the last Old Home Week.

Aug. 11: Frank Mowen was president of the 33rd triennial Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week in 1998. Tuesday morning, the 93-year-old sat in the lobby at the OHW flower show and chatted with his 85-year-old brother Ray Mowen, who wore his 1954 graduation hat. Both sported OHW T-shirts. A little bit later, the young Crider boys, Huck, Crowe and Flint, got some history lessons during an open house at Tayamentasachta, the Greencastle-Antrim School District’s center for environmental studies. A day earlier, kids of all ages headed to Jerome R. King Playground to make their artistic mark on a community mural at Paint in the Park. There’s something to interest everyone as the 41st triennial Old Home Week, Greencastle-Antrim’s 120-year tradition, continues.

Aug. 16: “There are no words. Greencastle-Antrim has done it again,” said President Bonnie Shockey at the meeting of the Old Home Week Board of Directors on Friday, Aug. 12, as the 41st triennial Greencastle-Antrim celebration wound down. She draped the red, white and blue tie embroidered with the names of OHW presidents around the neck of Garon Gembe, who will lead the 42nd triennial celebration Aug. 2 to 9, 2025. Foreshadowing the 43rd triennial OHW in 2028, Vernon McCauley was named secretary for 2025. The secretary traditionally becomes president of the following OHW. Brad Barkdoll will serve treasurer in 2025.

Aug. 18: About a decade ago Ken Shockey told Dr. C. Gregory Hoover, superintendent at the time, the Steinway grand piano in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium needed refurbished and it was going to cost $50,000. “Ken said, ‘But I have an answer,’” Hoover recounted at the beginning of the first of two Old Home Week community worship services Sunday, Aug. 7, in the auditorium. Refurbishing piano was the start of what would total by this year $400,000 invested in the auditorium by the Paul K. and Anna E. Shockey Family Foundation, created by Ken Shockey’s parents. Paul Shockey was a co-founder of JLG Industries and Anna Shockey was a nurse. “Ken probably regrets that answer because I kept coming back,” Hoover laughed before announcing the auditorium will now be known as The Shockey Family Center for Performing Arts. The name appears in gold letters over the entrance to the facility.

Aug. 23: The clock is ticking on the contract for the 193 teachers in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, and members of the teachers union have authorized leadership to call as strike if necessary. Ninety percent of the teachers who voted Thursday, Aug. 18, gave the go-ahead for the Greencastle-Antrim Education Association bargaining team to call a strike any time with the legally required 48-hours’ notice. Primary sticking points in the contract talks are salaries and insurance. The current contract is set to expire Aug. 31 and additional negotiating sessions are set for Aug. 29, Sept. 13 and Sept. 29.

Aug. 25: Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr. is organizing a 9/11 Weekend of Unity to commemorate the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. “If you are of a certain age, we certainly remember that day, where we were ... our thoughts, concerns … and the sacrifices made that day and in the past 21 years,” Thomas said.

Aug. 30: Students streamed off buses at as the 2022-23 school year began on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Shawn Hardy is a reporter with Gannett's Franklin County newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania — the Echo Pilot in Greencastle, The Record Herald in Waynesboro and the Public Opinion in Chambersburg. She has more than 35 years of journalism experience. Reach her at shardy@gannett.com