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denver fair

Much Anticipated Denver Fair Returns With Loads Of Family Fun

(Shopping News Photo by Donald Reese)

The much anticipated Denver Fair is back after last years’ COVID closure and it offered everything we have come to love and even more. There were awesome displays of artistic talent in a wide range of creations, from photography to sewing, to painting and flower arranging. The midway was chock full of delicious foods and games of chance, as well as bright colorful rides. Livestock shows showcased local students and their animals, while musical entertainment filled the air with awesome sounds. Shown in the photos are: (top left, going clockwise), future firefighters D.J.Onofrey, Kianna Buchter, Phillip Schurko, and Aurora Fisher; a spinning ride captured in colorful motion; Leah and Riley Ditzler as they get ready to take flight on an elephant ride; a young child shrieks with fright as a goat begs for food; a dog balances precariously on the open hand of its trainer during the dog show; Verne Shirey offers a carrot to some friendly goats; and an absolutely beautiful quilt that won best of show.

lib talk tank

Ephrata Libraries Talk Tank Offers Mental Health Support

(Shopping News Photo by Donald Reese)

The next time you walk into the Ephrata Public Library you won’t have to wonder what that phone booth shaped object is doing in the lobby. It’s not Superman’s changing room, a game show prop with floating dollar bills or Doctor Who’s Tardis. It is the Talk Tank, a unique place where local residents can get connected to mental health support from WellSpan Philhaven.

People can go inside the soundproof booth, shut the door, push a button on a tablet and be connected to a team member of WellSpan Philhaven Access Center, who can offer some brief support and then connect them to services in a brief interaction designed to last five to 15 minutes.

“This is in a community building, accessible to anyone,” said Adam Miller, the director of WellSpan Access. “You don’t have to make an appointment. With the pandemic, so many more telehealth services are now available. People are able to access counseling and therapy on their phone or computer. This is very similar to that, but as a place to get started and get hooked up with those services.”

Shown in the photo, from left to right, are Liz Ackerman (Northern Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Executive Director), Ron Vogt (Financial Supporter), Joy Ashley (EASS), Penny Talbert (Library Executive Director), Linda Baer (Library Board member) and Rod Redcay (Real Life Community Services Executive Director).

The Talk Tank was funded by local resident Ron Vogt in memory of his wife, Laurie, a WellSpan Philhaven therapist who died from breast cancer in 2019. The Vogts were big users of the Ephrata Public Library and Ron approached the library about a project to honor his late wife.

The Northern Lancaster Hub is a division of the Ephrata Public Library, responsible for bringing social service resources and programs to the community. They partner with organizations all over the local area and the county to help with everything from eviction prevention and career navigation to financial empowerment and resources for seniors. The Hub was exploring ideas about how to better connect area residents with mental health services. The Tank grew out of that desire.

“That seemed like a perfect fit for us,” said Ron, who is a psychologist himself. “Laurie would be ecstatic. My wife was always known as someone to have real conversations about real things. She always had a heart for people who were struggling. I hope it meets a need for people to access services. Too many people wait too long to reach out for help.”

“We want to make taking care of your mental health as normal and every day as anything else you would do,” said Kelly Ernst Warner, the Northern Lancaster Hub coordinator. “A lot of people feel uncomfortable about something, need help, and don’t know who to ask or where to go to get it.”

Kelly’s office is just across the hall from the Talk Tank, so people who may need other services offered through the Hub, for example access to food or housing, can easily find additional help in a nearby location. The Tank will be open whenever the library is.

“This will meet people where they are at, in all ways,” she said. “The Hub is designed to meet all the aspects of care that people need. We want to make sure the library is the center of the community. Anyone who walks through these doors can have access to the services they need. Anyone who can open the door can use the Talk Tank. And all you have to do is press one button.”

berks switch locks

“Pieces From The Past” – Featuring The Berks History Center

(Shopping News Photo by Donald Reese)

“Pieces From The Past” continues this week, featuring the Berks History Center. In this weekly article, Shopping News readers will learn about local items housed in local museums and historical societies.

A railroad switch is a device which enables trains to be guided from one track to another. Switch locks, such as these from the Reading Railroad shown in the photo, prevented unauthorized tampering with switches.

You can support the Berks History Center by becoming a member, or by donating to the organization. Visit to help preserve and discover #YourBerksHistory. The Berks History Center campus is located at the corner of Centre Avenue and Spring Streets in Reading. The Berks History Center Museum is located at 940 Centre Avenue. The Berks History Center’s Research Library, named the Henry Janssen Library, is located across the street at 160 Spring Street, where off-street parking is also available.

womans club benefit

Woman’s Club Fall Fashion Show

(Shopping News Photo by Donald Reese)

The Woman’s Club of Ephrata is “Preserving Ephrata and It’s History” on Saturday, November 6. The club is sponsoring a Fall Fashion Show and Lunch at the Ephrata American Legion, 300 Cocalico Street in Ephrata. The doors will open at 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at 12:00 noon.

The fashions are by Ruthie’s of Bird-in-Hand and Ronks. Ruthie’s will have a clothing store available for your shopping pleasure. There will also be raffle items and door prizes.

There is a cost for tickets. This year, 50% of the profit will be donated to the Ephrata Cloister Association. The balance of the profit will benefit social and civic associations in the Ephrata community.

The deadline for purchasing tickets is Thursday, October 21. No tickets will be sold at the door. To purchase tickets or to get information, please contact Mary at 717-725-8541.

Shown in the photo are some of the items that will be offered as door prizes and raffle items. Members of the club, from left to right, are Mary Duing (Parlamentarian), Deb Rhens (Vice President) and Gail Freeseman (Public Relations).