FEBRUARY EVENTS Howard Area Lions will offer their annual Sweetheart Dinner at the Howard fire hall on Feb. 10. This free meal is provided to those residents age 62+ who live in the local Lions club service area of Howard, Blanchard, Beech Creek, Jacksonville, Monument and Orviston and the surrounding townships of Howard, Curtin, Liberty, Marion, Walker and Boggs (excluding Milesburg). The meal begins at noon so come early for a good seat, good food and fellowship. Howard United Methodist Church will have a soup sale luncheon at the church fellowship hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15. Eat-in meals or take-outs are available. A lunch which includes your choice of soup, a roll, a piece of pie and beverages will cost $6. Quarts of soup in freezable containers can be ordered by calling Patti at 814-625-2182. Proceeds from this soup sale will be donated to Bobby and Trudy DeArment to help them recover from the fire on Jan. 31 which destroyed their home and their belongings as well as two cars and a camper. There will be a ham pot pie supper at the Yarnell Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 17 beginning at 5 p.m. Come out to enjoy an all-you-can-eat meal of ham and pot pie, vegetables, applesauce, desserts and drinks for $8. Children under age 12 eat for free. Take-out meals are available. The proceeds from the meal will benefit the 2018 Runville United Methodist Charge’s missions teams. A missions team is headed to Texas in March to aid in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and another team is planning to go to help in deep Appalachia, West Virginia. Another missions meal will be held on March 10 featuring lasagna as the main dish. Call Thelma at 814-355-7134 for more info. The Orviston Community Club will hold a chicken and waffle supper at the Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Company Social Hall on Feb. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. The cost is $7 in advance if you buy your ticket now, or $8 at the door for anyone age 13 and older. Children under age 13 are asked to provide a donation worthy of the meal. Take-out meals are available. The proceeds from this event go towards the Orviston Festival Fireworks. The festival will be held on July 14 and the fireworks are the grand finale at the end of the day! Call Jim at 570-660-9725 or Brenda at 570-660-5283 for more info or tickets. MARCH EVENTS Liberty Township Sportsmen’s Association will hold its seventh annual coyote hunt on March 2 to 4 at the clubhouse in Marsh Creek. Registration for the coyote hunt will take place on Feb. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the clubhouse. A gun and money raffle is also planned, and winners will be drawn on March 4 shortly after 4 p.m. A flea market of hunting, fishing and camping items is planned for Saturday and Sunday. Tables are available for rent to set up your market. Call Butch at 814-280-3015 or Dwight at 814-574-5020 for more info. Howard Area Civic Club is planning its bingo on Sunday, March 4, at the Howard fire hall. Tickets are available for $25 and can be obtained by stopping at Insurance Office, Inc. on Walnut Street or contacting any civic club member. Melissa Stover of Queen Bee Collectibles in Beech Creek will be having a pop-up market at the Friendship Community Center on March 10 from 10 am. to 5 p.m. Vendor applications are available for a booth at $20 each. Melissa would like to keep the vendors to those with handmade items, antiques, repurposed items, crafts and baked goods. Home-based businesses would also be welcomed as vendors, too. Food and beverages will be available from the Friendship Community Center kitchen during the market day. Contact Melissa at 717-386-9660 or email her at Sweetapeez@gmail.com for more info or a vendor’s application. Liberty-Curtin Elementary will hold a Vera Bradley Bingo on March 25 at the Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Company Social Hall. Doors open at 11:30 and bingo runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 early or $25 at the door. A themed basket and Chinese auction will also be held, along with 50/50 and kitchen foods available. Seating is limited to 200, so get your tickets early. Call Dawn at 570-660-7901 or Michelle at the elementary school at 570-962-2225, ext. 2503. LIONS NEWS Howard Area Lions Club is hosting its annual Sweetheart Dinner on Saturday at the Howard fire hall. The Lions will hold a Red Cross Blood Drive on Valentine’s Day at the Howard fire hall. Donors of all blood types are needed. Blood drive hours are from 1:30 to 7 p.m. Lions Food Bank distribution will be on Feb. 19 for those living in Beech Creek and Beech Creek Township and those from Centre County who may have missed their distribution date earlier this month. Food bank hours are 2 to 4 p.m. at the former Beech Creek Elementary School. Lions Bingo will be held on Feb. 22 at the Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Company Social Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and bingo games begin at 6:30. There was a moment of silence at the last bingo to observe the memory of Cindy Yarnell who recently passed away. Cindy and her mother attended the bingo nights with the Lions. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy’s family. Sympathy is also expressed to the family of Lion Robert “Bob” Day of Hunter Run following his death on Jan. 9. Lion Bob was a charter member when the club was formed more than 40 years ago. Bob always helped in the kitchen for the Sweetheart Dinner, and no matter where I’d see him, he was always friendly and happy. Bob was our Marsh Creek mailman for many years until he retired, and he will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. Maranda Hanley and Lauren Steining will be holding a blood drive on Feb. 26 at the Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Company Social Hall from 1 to 6 p.m. This event is being organized for their senior class project. Donors are needed for this blood drive. Please call Maranda at 570-295-5739 and let her know that she can count on you to be there. Donating blood only takes about 30 minutes and your gift has the potential to save several lives. STATE PARK EVENTS Bald Eagle State Park announces its upcoming events. Birds and Brew will be held at the Nature Inn on Feb. 18 and 19. Sunday morning you can enjoy a Birding Walk along the trails of the state park. Sunday afternoon, a tour of the distillery at Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte will be followed by a dinner at the Nature Inn. Relax with fireside chatting after the meal. Monday morning features a hot breakfast and an Eagle Excursion at the park. Lunch will be served, followed by a wine-tasting courtesy of Seven Mountains Wine Cellars. The art of wildlife painting with instructions from Happy Valley Sip and Paint will round out the day. March 2 to 4 will feature a Golden Eagle Voyage Weekend at the Nature Inn. On Saturday guests will drive to Tussey Mountain to see migrating hawks and eagles. Tussey Mountain records the highest seasonal totals and peak daily counts of migrating golden eagles in the spring in the eastern United States. Lunch will be served at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center followed by a Birds of Prey program. Dinner will be served at the Nature Inn followed by a nighttime stroll for the Owl Prowl. Sunday morning offers a delicious breakfast followed by a morning bird walk. Zach McCloskey, the environmental education specialist at Bald Eagle State Park, also reminds that the park offers a sled riding slope for families to use during the winter months and also there is a snowshoe and cross country ski loaner program available for those interested. Call the park at 814-625-9369 or visit the website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us. for more info. MEDICINE FOR HONDURAS Yancy Sagastume, owner of Brothers Pizza in Howard, is planning to go on another missions trip in early March and he would like to fill a suitcase with over-the-counter medicine to take along. Last year Yancy was able to go on his first missions trip as a translator, and he was so blessed by the experience that he has committed to attending again this year. Yancy learned of the trip through his friend Daniel Melton. Daniel and his family have served as missionaries to Honduras through Evangelistic Faith Missions for 12 years in San Luis, Santa Barbara in Honduras, which is about a two-hour drive into the mountains from the city of San Pedro Sula. Yancy was able to observe first-hand the operations on the mission grounds and to share many amazing stories of how God’s hand could be seen at work there. This medical missions trip that Yancy will be going on in early March is an extension of the clinic that serves San Luis’s 40,000 residents. God has blessed and provided in the growth and outreach of the clinic there. Yancy is able to take a suitcase that he hopes to fill with medicines and supplies to use at the clinic. Items that he hopes you will donate include over-the-counter medicines, cold and allergy medicines, eye drops, cough drops, nasal sprays, decongestants, ear drops for wax removal or swimmer’s ear, antifungal creams for the skin to treat athletes foot and jock itch, hydrocortisone creams, antibiotic creams like Neosporin, antacids like Tums or Rolaids, Pepto Bismol tablets, wart removers, vitamins, cold sore medicines, Vaseline, arthritis creams like Ben Gay, ziplock bags, band-aids, gauze pads or wraps, dental floss, toothpaste and brushes, Orajel for toothaches, and the list goes on and on. Basically if we use the items here then they will surely come in handy for use at the clinic in Honduras. Yancy’s trip is already paid for and his trip expenses are covered, but these items and monetary donations are being accepted that will be used to purchase insulin, blood pressure medicines, and other needs for the clinic there. Checks can be made to Evangelistic Faith Mission and marked “EFMMedTeam2018” in the memo area. Donations need to be dropped off at Brothers Pizza in Howard from now through Feb. 25 for Yancy to fill his suitcase before he leaves for the missions trip on March 1. Please keep Yancy and the missions team in your prayers for safe travels and for the work they will be doing at the medical clinic in Honduras. For more information contact Yancy at 814-625-2003 or Daniel Melton at danielmelton2@4EFM.org. ——— Howard Happenings is written and compiled by Tammy Coakley who can be reached by emailing to tammy@ioiofficeinc.com or by telephone to 814-625-2684.

This plate shows foods served at an Amish wedding dinner.

AMBER MORRIS/FOR THE EXPRESS This plate shows foods served at an Amish wedding dinner.

LOGANTON — The Sugar Valley Fire Company is inviting the community to its February fundraiser which gives the public a peek inside of a world that many of us from the Central Pennsylvania know about, but only from the outside — an Amish wedding meal, to be served tomorrow.

During this time of the year, when we are just starting to get accustomed to snowy days, and frigid nights, love is blooming in the hearts of many young Amish men and women.

Picture a February eve, when the town of Loganton is still, except for the occasional PennDOT truck heading down Main Street.

The snow is starting to pile up on the rooftops and mailboxes, and residents of the houses begin sweeping off their steps and shoveling their sidewalks trying to stay ahead of the work.

Through the flakes you can see a black buggy being pulled by a tall chestnut colored horse, and he’s loving the snow. His tail is perched in an arch, and his head held high with pride.

He looks like a show-horse as he and the buggy pass by one of the shovelers, and the driver waves and smiles as the horse and rig trot by.

The young man holding the reins is dressed in black and draped in a dark green wool blanket that goes all the way up to his chin.

His cheeks are red as can be, and his wide-brimmed hat is starting to turn white.

He doesn’t seem to be bothered by the dropping temperature, or the wind whipping past his nose, and he sings. His voice echoes out against the trees and up over the top of the church steeples, and the joy in his heart is apparent to everyone as they stop what they are doing to listen. It’s a beautiful, unique moment, and anyone who is fortunate enough to hear such a sonnet, will never forget it.

This young gent has a long ride ahead of him, but it’s okay. He is on the road for no other reason than love, and his two-hour journey down the White Deer Pike will be worth it because it will end at his sweetheart’s house.

This special girl who awaits him will have a hot meal ready to warm his bones, and the couple will spend the evening with her family, talking about their jobs and their mutual friends in front of a glowing coal stove. They are quite fond of him and they already treat him as one of their own, because they know that this coming fall, he will be wed to their oldest daughter.

Amish weddings usually take place in November and always on a Tuesday or a Thursday. They differ from a typical “English” wedding and are not as over-the-top with decorations and fancy dresses, but do not let that fool you — they are every bit as blessed, and sacred, and full of unity and devotion.

An early indication of such an impending event is how much celery might be growing in your Amish neighbor’s garden in the late summer months. Creamed celery is always served at any Pennsylvania Dutch wedding, and the Amish plant it primarily at the home of the bride, and for a wedding of this proportion, one needs an ample amount of celery to feed a rather long guest list.

When the day finally arrives, the home of the bride is filled with busy women and men who are there to move the day along with no glitches.

Right before dawn, after the barn work is completed, buggies and vans start arriving, filled with helpers who will take care of the last-minute details.

The wedding service starts at 8:30 a.m. and will last three hours and will include scripture readings from the Bible, some hymn-singing, and of course, a sermon. A minister blesses the couple, and a few men who have been ordained by their church give a testimony about marriage and commitment. The minister then says a final prayer to close the ceremony.

Afterward, all of the women except for the mother of the bride, who does no work on this special day, rush to the kitchen to serve the noon meal. While the women bring out the food, the men set up the tables and chairs in the living room.

The tables are set up in a “U” shape with the newly married couple sitting in the corner. The bride sits to the groom’s left, which is the same way they will sit in their buggy, and the single women gather on the same side of the room as the bride. The young single gents sit on the same side as the groom. The parents, and their immediate relations, sit at a long table in the kitchen, with each of the fathers seated at an end spot.

The Amish wedding lunch is served, and it is one of the most looked-forward-to meals by anyone fortunate enough to be invited to the ceremony.

The menu is almost exact at each Amish wedding here in the Central Pennsylvania area, and nobody who attends these weddings gets tired of eating it several times a week in a four-week period.

The main star of the meal seems to be what is referred to as “the roast.” It is slow roasted chicken that is pulled off the bone, mixed with a homemade stuffing, and then put back into the oven once again for all of the flavors to mingle. This is served with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, and on the side, coleslaw with just the right amount of vinegar and sugar.

The Amish wedding meal would not be complete without the creamed celery. Celery is sliced thin and then cooked in a little sugar, water and butter and thickened with flour or cornstarch until it’s tender.

From beginning to end, an Amish love story, and the wedding — including the meal — are a real testimony to true dedication and love.

If you would like to experience this Amish tradition, the Sugar Valley Volunteer Fire Company is partnering once again, for the sixth time, with some of its own Amish members and their friends and families, to cook up an authentic Amish wedding meal tomorrow night, Saturday, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the fire hall at 24 W. Anthony St. in Loganton.

Everyone may come, whether you bring just your sweetheart or your whole family. The cost is $14 for adults and $6 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger eat free.

The dinner includes the above menu plus veggie pizza, fresh baked rolls and jam, homemade pies, Nan’s Donuts, and homemade ice cream.

Take-outs are available, and to make it more convenient, there will be a separate line for this service.

Handicapped, and special take-out meal parking is available in front of the fire hall.

For more information, call the fire hall at 570-725-3017.