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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YMCA’s October

It’s exciting to have a good quality YMCA in the Valley. Check out their October plans and get in on the healthy goodness! (Be sure to take note of the Community Appreciation Week scheduled for Oct. 23 – Oct. 29th. Try classes for free, enjoy refreshments and giveaways, and win something great!)

Also, click here to view their listing in the Business Directory.


 Enjoy your home,

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Old Gregg School’s October Update

Scour the Old Gregg School October update for all kinds of fun! It’ll be here for you 24/7 throughout the month. 🙂



 Enjoy your home,

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Business Directory Now Free: Is Yours Listed?

Important announcement to ALL Penns Valley Business owners: The Valley’s Business Directory is at GoPennsValley.com and… it’s currently FREE! Is your business listed amongst the 350?
We’ll be promoting it throughout the Valley, in State College, and the surrounding area, but FIRST WE NEED YOUR HELP to update it and make sure it’s accurate.
TO DO: Click here: Penns Valley Business Directory, find your business, click “Claim Listing” and follow the prompts. You’ll be able to update the information as well as upload logos and photos.
Also, would you contact us if you see anything that’s just not right?

Enjoy your home,

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Have you purchased your raffle ticket yet? Smiles/ Fleck Fund


I finally stopped over at The Garden to pick up a raffle ticket for the Smiles/ Fleck fund. While I was there, I bought a beautiful local cantaloupe and some nectarines.

I took photos of the front and back of the ticket so you could see the amazing prizes that have been donated to the fund. Word on the street is that there are even tons more prizes that will be given away the night of the event. So many, many people love these families and want to support them.


Remember: the drawing is Saturday, October 15, 2016. You don’t have to be present to win, but it sounds like it will be a good time at the American Legion Post 779 in Centre Hall that night.

Tickets are a $20 donation.

Doors open at 3 p.m.

Raffle starts at 4 p.m.

Food and Beverages provided. You must have a ticket and ID to enter.

 Enjoy your home,

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