Centre Hall Community Christmas 2018

Do the fluttering flakes of snow falling from the sky have you dreaming of a white Christmas? Then why not take a moment to check out the schedule for the upcoming Centre Hall Community Christmas sponsored by the Centre Hall Council of Churches?  All events are free to attend and open to all!

Centre Hall Community Christmas:  December 7th, 8th, & 9th

Friday, December 7th
6:30pm – Tree Lighting Ceremony at St. Luke Lutheran Church – Free cookies & hot chocolate to follow.

Saturday, December 8th
10am thru 3pm – Vendor Fair at Grace UMC – Kids Crafts sponsored by Cub Scouts Pack 20 and Girl Scout Senior Troop 40226 – Commemorative 2018 Ornaments for sale at Vendor Fair.

3pm – Penns Valley Men’s Choir Concert at Trinity UCC

4:30pm & 5:30pm – Live Nativity at Grace UMC – Presented by the Grace UMC Youth Group – Each session will last 20 to 30 minutes, with the remainder of the hour being spent visiting with friends and neighbors viewing the scene of the Nativity and all the kiddos dressed in costumes.

6:30pm thru 8:00pm – Story time at the Centre Hall Library – Wear your pajamas!

Sunday, December 9th
Sunday worship services will be hosted as usual.
– St. Luke – 8am & 10:30am
– Trinity UCC – 10:45am
– Grace UMC – 8:15am & 10:30am

3pm – Combined Choir Concert at St. Luke Lutheran Church – Free meal of soup & sandwiches to follow.

We hope you’ll take advantage of all these opportunities to visit with family, friends, and neighbors and enjoy the spirit of the season.

Follow this event on Facebook:  Centre Hall Community Christmas

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CSIU Offerings – YES and WATCH Programs

The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) is offering two programs to individuals in Centre County and surrounding counties.  See below for more information on the YES to the Future Program and the WATCH Project.

YES to the Future – Your Employment Services

Website:  https://www.csiu.org/YES  Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sayyestothefuture/

YES Backpack Flyer_9.2017

WATCH Project – Work Attributes Toward Careers in Health

Website:  https://www.csiu.org/watch  Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/csiuwatchproject/

WATCH Flyer new occupations County Assist Offices_3.2018

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Updated Information – Penns Valley Chapter of Nittany Track and Cross Country

See the following updated information on the Penns Valley Chapter of Nittany Track and Cross Country from Kalena Smith.  You can find the original post from July 30th here.


There is a TIME CHANGE for practices for the new running club, Nittany Track and Cross Country – Penns Valley! Instead of practicing from 3:30-5:00pm (as originally advertised), we have to practice from 6:00-7:30pm! We will still practice Monday through Thursday at PV Environmental Center, there was just a TIME CHANGE.

Also, to address a few common questions that have been asked …

– We understand that the $70 registration fee may seem like a lot! Please understand that this includes practice from August 20th – November 18th, 4 days a week and Sunday fun runs, if your child chooses to attend. Also, the cost of ALL meets and races are included in this registration fee. If your child decides to compete in all of the travel meets in November, including the Mid-Atlantic Region Meet and the Region 2 Qualifier Meet, the cost of these are covered by the club! The registration fee also includes the cost of uniforms.

– Your child does NOT need to attend all 4 weekly practices to be part of this club! In order to see improvement, it is encouraged that they attend at least two times a week. And, obviously, the more practices they attend, the more improvement they will see.

Please see the Nittany Track and Cross Country website, the FAQ page, and the meet schedule for more information!

See the attached flier and contact me with any questions you might have.

Thank you so much!

Kalena Smith

(814) 360-7008

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New Penns Valley Chapter of Nittany Track and Field – Cross Country

NOTE:  Updated times, additional information and a new flyer can be found in our August 7th post here.

Here is a letter from Kalena Smith highlighting a new youth sports opportunity for the Penns Valley Area.

Hello all PV Youth Athletes:

Penns Valley is now offering a new chapter of Nittany Track and Field – Cross Country! There is a  youth cross country program running in the fall, starting August 20th this year. If you are new to the cross country idea, this Q&A page may answer some of your questions.

Although cross country in general is oriented towards distance running, our youth program still includes multiple components for strength and speed development, which eventually matter almost as much as endurance. The coaches have seen kids who are fast and consider themselves sprinters trying it, enjoying it, and discovering new dimensions of the sport. Anyone can do it and benefit from this kind of training in many ways.

The program is open to ages 8 to 18. The practices will be held mainly at the Penns Valley Environmental Center (next to PVE) — with occasional variations. Practices will be Monday through Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 pm for the first part of the season; this will last to the end of October. Attendance is flexible, as we would like athletes who participate in other sports to join us as well! The fall season essentially continues until Thanksgiving as all Junior Olympic meets are scheduled in November, and those are the main travel targets. However, many athletes choose not to compete through the post-season, which is completely fine. There will be much more information to come on these meets.

Throughout the season, we have a lot of fun practices and events, including trail and hill runs, inter-squad tournament, treasure hunt, and games of various kind. Our athletes will also have opportunities to run a few local all-comers meets, which are very good for building racing experience and gearing towards USATF championships. We will be joining the State College chapter of Nittany Track and Field for some of these events, as well.

To sign up for the program CLICK HERE.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call or text (814) 360-7008.

Please consider joining us in making this Penns Valley youth program a success!

– Kalena Smith

NTF Registration Form (.pdf)

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Centre Gives 2018 – Penns Valley Area Organizations

The Centre Foundation’s annual online giving event begins May 8th at 8 am and concludes on May 9th at 9 pm.  Since there are a large number of organizations participating in this year’s event, we thought it may be helpful to highlight some of the organizations that operate in the Penns Valley Area.  The links below take you directly to each organization’s Centre Gives page where you can donate online.

Small Organizations (Alphabetical Order)

Large Organizations (Alphabetical Order)

You can find the complete list of participating organizations on the Centre Gives website.

The following events are being held to rally support during Centre Gives:

This is a great opportunity to donate to organizations that have a huge impact on our community.  

Jon Whitsel


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Signs of Spring

As the days get a little bit longer and we’re teased with sunshine and warmth in between late winter storms, spring offers us some signs that it is not too far away.

One sign of spring is the appearance of the variegated reddish-green pattern of freshly sprouted Skunk Cabbage near a marshy meadow or wetlands.

Skunk Cabbage

Another sign is the bright yellow flower of Coltsfoot pushing through the dead leaves along the side of a wooded dirt road.


For birders, the return of the red-winged blackbirds and their noisy chorus is an obvious indicator that spring is coming.

Red-winged Blackbird

But for some in Penns Valley, the real sign that spring is near is the seasonal re-opening of the Dutch Valley Bakery.  Good news!  Your wait for baked goods and rotisserie chicken will be over this Friday, March 2nd!

Dutch Valley Bakery re-opens March 2nd

And their neighbor across the street, Breezy Acre Flowers opens a day earlier with seeds and supplies on Thursday, March 1st.

Breezy Acre Flowers re-opens March 1st

These are just a few signs of spring, and we’d love to hear what signals the coming of spring for you, no matter if it comes from nature or is related to the re-opening of your favorite seasonal business.

And while the winter snows may not be over, remember, no matter how much March acts like a lion, April showers and May flowers will be here before you know it.

Jon Whitsel – GoPennsValley.com

Photo credits:  Jon Whitsel
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Tuesday Odds & Ends

Here are a few “Odds & Ends” on this Tuesday in the middle of February.

Family Science Night at the Library – February 13th & 27th

Tonight the Centre Hall Area Branch Library is hosting a Family Science Night covering The Science of Chocolate from 6:00PM – 7:00PM.  And if the notice is too short for tonight, in two weeks, they will be covering The Science of Snow.  Pre-registration is recommended – see the event listing for contact information here:  Family Science Night

For a list of upcoming events at the library, you can click here:  Centre Hall Area Branch Library Upcoming Events

Father – Daughter Dance – February 16th

It’s time to dust off the dance shoes and break out those dance moves!  There are still a few days left to RSVP to the Father – Daughter Dance that is being hosted by the Centre Hall Girl Scouts this Friday evening at the Lion’s Club.  Follow this link for the details:  Father – Daughter Dance  

Woodward Camp Employment Opportunities

In addition to several summer job listings, Woodward Camp currently has job postings on their website for Office Assistant, Housekeeping, Maintenance, and Marketing.  

Follow this link for an overview of employment at Woodward Camp and then click the “For Job Postings And Employment Applications” link to view the specific job listings:  Woodward Camp Employment

Youth Sports Spring Registrations

One sure sign that Spring is just around the corner is the opening of youth sports registrations for their spring seasons.  While it looks like the deadline for registering for Penns Valley Little League Baseball ended February 1st, registration is still open for Penns Valley Youth Soccer and Penns Valley Little League Girls Softball.  

Here are links to their websites:

As always, if you would like to add an event to the GoPennsValley.com Community Calendar, please contact us at [email protected]

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and a great rest of your week!

Jon Whitsel – GoPennsValley.com

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A Word of Thanks and an Introduction

I want to start by saying thanks very much to Laura and Ryan Booz for this opportunity and for their patience as we worked through transferring the website.  I hope my size 14’s are big enough to fill their shoes and I’m able to build on the work they’ve started here.

One of my earliest memories of Penns Valley is riding here in a big yellow school bus on our way to play football.  I grew up “two counties over” on the other side of the Seven Mountains, back when “the Narrows” on 322 were a little more narrow, and it felt like it took forever to get here, at least in the mind of a teenager.  I remember seeing the Frosty Stop at the intersection where Sheetz now sits and thinking we were almost there, and I remember that the small town feel and the rolling farmland reminded me of home.

A few years later, my wife and I were looking for our first house, and as we drove out Route 45, we came to that same intersection and there was the Frosty Stop.  And as we drove around Centre Hall and on out the valley, that “feels like home” feeling grew and grew until our decision was basically made for us.

A few years after that, our son was born and a couple years later, our daughter, and as we watch the years go by in the blink of an eye, I realize that even though I didn’t take my first steps here, I truly have grown up here, from a young newlywed to a grizzled father complete with gray hairs in my beard.  And I realize that this place that once reminded me of home has indeed become our home.

That is why I am grateful for the opportunity that GoPennsValley.com provides – an opportunity to highlight all the good in our community, from the annual festivals and 5K races to the youth activities, bake sales, and fundraisers.

Our Community Calendar will be a place where locals and visitors alike can see what’s happening in Penns Valley at a glance.  

And our Business Directory will be updated to include all of the small businesses, volunteer organizations, farms, churches, and local government entities that form the backbone of our community.

So if you have an event you would like added to the Community Calendar or if you’d like to add your small business or group to our Directory, please email us at [email protected].  There’s no charge for either service.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Jon Whitsel


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The New Owner of GoPennsValley.com: Jon Whitsel

Ryan and I are thrilled to announce that Jon Whitsel is the new owner of GoPennsValley.com.

We have truly loved serving the community through GoPennsValley.com over the years. Thank you for cheering us on. As our family grows and our responsibilities grow, we realize that we are unable to keep up with the site the way we’d like to.

We have been looking for a trustworthy, capable, community-minded person who would make this site everything you need it to be.

Jon is your man.

Jon and his family live in Centre Hall and his kids are in the Penns Valley School District. You may recognize his name from his volunteering with Penns Valley Youth Soccer or the Penns Valley Youth Basketball League.

He has the time, ideas, and skills to develop the GoPennsValley.com Community Calendar and Business Directory, as well as to provide interesting stories about the goings-on around here. He has a big heart to benefit the community, help small businesses, and give you a place online that you can call “home”.

Please join us in welcoming Jon.

You can connect with Jon at [email protected] with questions and inquiries. Also, visit the GoPennsValley.com Facebook page for updates.Enjoy your home,

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Do you want GoPennsValley.com?

We’re looking for the person who wants to take this website to the next level.

GoPennsValley.com has the potential to be a popular online source of advertising for local businesses, a robust Business Directory, a source for an accurate Community Calendar, as well as a go-to site for tourists and folks from the surrounding area. 

But Ryan’s full-time job and my full-time responsibilities at home (we have 5 young children now) require most of our time and attention.

Are you interested in helping the community to grow?

Several years ago, Ryan and I created this website to promote the businesses, townships, nonprofits, and community of Penns Valley. We worked hard to design and maintain it over the years, and many people have used the site for the free Community Calendar, the 12 Days of Christmas business promotions, and the local stories.

People regularly contact us to advertise their community events. (In fact, we get many contacts from people who think we’re “The GrapeVine”, but they find us instead because of our online presence. We think this is simply an indication that Penns Valley people are ready to use the Internet a source of information and advertising.)

It comes with a beautiful full-color sign that we have posted on Penns Valley Agritizing’s hay-wagons.

Contact me today to talk about the possibilities: laura(at)laurabooz(dot)com.

Enjoy your home,

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