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Volunteers needed for planning of Slatington's 2014 sesquicentennial

Published October 08. 2013 05:00PM

The need for community volunteers was the main topic discussed during Monday's meeting at the Vigilant Fire Company of the Slatington 150th Planning Commission, formed to develop yearlong events for the borough's sesquicentennial anniversary in 2014.

"There's no way we can put on an eight-day celebration with the help we have so far … no way," said planning commission Co-chairperson Christy Haydt, referring to the longest of next year's celebratory events.

Money to fund the events, including a parade in which member John Rinker said some participating bands can cost into the thousands of dollars to have attend, is being raised through a variety of fundraising events. It is also funded through the sale of commemorative items, such as T-shirts and sweatshirts with the Slatington 150 logo and collectible "big slates" from the Penn Big Bed Slate Company and Pennsylvania Slate Craft.

"We have the stuff to sell," said Haydt. "We just need the people to sell it."

History books about the borough and its residents, businesses, sports, churches, etc. are also well under way, noted Robert Stettner, co-chairperson of the History Book Committee. He added that 105 books have already been sold, which will cover about half the printing costs.

Fellow co-chairperson Candyce Merkle went on to request that anyone from the public with older photos of the borough and/or its residents consider submitting them for inclusion in the book. Merkle said photos could either be emailed to Stettner at or dropped off at the Slatington Public Library for scanning and subsequent return to the owner.

Merkle also mentioned that the committee is still looking for past family histories, to be written by the submitter. However she asked that, before compiling one, contributors contact either her at (610) 767-4795;; or Stettner at (610) 554-4099.

In addition to individuals, Rinker noted that more involvement from current charters, and the addition of more charters, is needed. In order to become a charter, a business or social group need only pay a $50 contribution and agree to hold a fundraising event, he said. In return, they will be mentioned throughout next year, including in the main program schedule, and can have a float in next August's parade.

Rinker said that, during the 100-year celebration in 1964, he remembers charters having fun, with one group dressing up as farmers and handing out lollipops on a street corner. Many of the charters also had mascots, which he encouraged again this coming year.

"I think a lot of them don't realize the fun you can have," said Rinker.

He added that some charters also performed various community service efforts, like repainting all the borough fire hydrants.

Events Committee Chair Stacey Berryman, said the tentative schedule for next year's anniversary week in August includes days dedicated to honoring area veterans, religious heritage and more, with the final day dedicated to the parade/finale.

The next 150th Planning Committee meeting will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 21 downstairs at the Vigilant Fire Company, 110 S. Walnut St.

"Again, it's help we need," Haydt reiterated.

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