Ross Township celebrates community day
Gloria Kerchner, left, and Nancy Christman pose for a photo behind the Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network booth Christman is manning at the Ross Township Community Day on Saturday morning. See a video of the event at tnonline.com. ASPEN SMITH/TIMES NEWS
Emersyn Watkins, 4, of Brodheadsville holds her dog Gill beside her mother and 6-year-old brother Liam at the Ross Township Community Day on Saturday.
Sharon Solt, left, stands behind her merchandise with her sister-in-law Karen Anthony and friend Jennie Fiore at the Ross Township Community Day on Saturday.
Gloria Kerchner and Nancy Christman haven’t seen each other in the last 20 years. They had huge smiles on their faces as they caught up at Ross Township’s community day Saturday morning.
“This is a great meetup place to find old friends,” Kerchner beamed.
Saturday morning dawned sunny and breezy for Ross Township’s 11th annual community day in VanBuskirk-Haney Community Park.
Children ran in between booths manned by local community groups, stopping at the craft tent or by the Blue Ridge Hook & Ladder Fire Co. firetruck for a ride in the bucket suspended from the tall ladder.
Township officials grilled hot dogs and served snacks and drinks, and planning commission member Dave LaBar’s rendition of favorite oldies and country songs carried all over the park.
Celebrations included a basket raffle and cakewalk organized by the Ross Township Historical Society.
This year is the first time vendors have been invited to attend.
Janet Biondolillo gave out samples of freshly baked beer bread and dips arranged on red tablecloths with boxed meals and sauces. She and her husband are retired and sell Tastefully Simple food items as a fun thing to do.
If there is anything left over they eat it, Biondolillo said.
Across from her, Sharon Solt sat behind her handmade jewelry and personal defense merchandise with her sister-in-law and friend.
Solt has been doing crafts since she was a child. She started selling her creations four years ago.
Solt said she added the Damsel in Defense self-defense tools to help women and others protect themselves.
“I was assaulted when I was a teenager and I always think if I would have had something to protect myself maybe the assault wouldn’t have happened,” Solt explained. “And I want to just protect people.”
The turnout was light around noon an hour after the event started.
Ross Township Chairman Howard Beers Jr. said he hoped more people would drop by as the afternoon wore on.
“We’re trying to do a service for the community,” he said. “We just don’t know what else to do to get the word out.”
While some people have attended the event for years, others just discovered it this year.
As he watched his wife and 3-year-old son enjoying a ride in the firetruck basket, Andrew McKenna said they hadn’t known about the event but had happened to see it going on.
The township started this event 11 years ago so that community members can interact with local groups and learn about resources available to them, Beers said.