Lodge 81 February News
At the fourth quarter meeting, plans for upcoming events and donations were discussed. Donations were made to St. Nicholas Charity Dinner, St. John Parish, Sisters of St. Basil and Salvation Army’s “Sparkle” Program. Stephen Petruska showed photographs of Simo, the K-9 officer that the lodge’s Community Fraternal Grant from the 38th Annual Carpatho-Rusyn Celebration was used to purchase. Correspondence were shared from Charleroi Food Pantry and St. Vincent dePaul Food Bank of Uniontown in appreciation for the donations from the Lodge 81 Food Drive.
The St. Nicholas Program for the parish children was held on Sunday, December 8. Stephen Petruska one again assisted Rich Mattey, who portrayed St. Nicholas. The event included a light breakfast, followed by an interactive program about St. Nicholas developed by Marcia Harrer, an icon ornament craft, singing of Christmas carols and finally a visit with St. Nicholas. A very memorable experience for the children.
The yearly Christmas Craft/Bake sale was held on the weekend of December 7 and 8. Lodge 81 members Bryan & Helen Ponzurick, Ann Kormanik, Marcia Harrer and Bonnie Balas donated baked goods. Marcia and Bonnie also assisted with packaging and pricing of the items to be sold. Joan Bridges helped with the craft sales, while Mark Jesko helped with the nativity display and demonstrated iconography and drop pull ornaments.
Stephen Petruska continued his service to the parish as Sunday Cantor, as well as for Nativity services. Mark Jesko helped with decorating the church for Christmas. Gerry Dorobish lent her services at the Mt. St. Macrina Religious Gift Shop during the busy holiday season.
The January 4 Birthday Coffee Social, Joan Bridges was recognized as well as serving as a hostess.
On December 15 ECF teachers, who are also Lodge 81 officers, accompanied the parish children and their families to the Mount St. Macrina Monastery for a sing-a-long with the Sisters. Marcia Harrer presented the Sisters with a monetary donation which was collected from the children and the St. John parishioners. The Sisters reciprocated with refreshments and a gift for each child.
Marcia Harrer made arrangements with the Salvation Army for names to put on an “Angel Tree” for the parish. There was an overwhelming response—all names were taken at both weekend Liturgies and all the children on the tree were able to have a little nicer Christmas, thanks to St. John parish. Bonnie Balas coordinated a toy collection project for the Uniontown City Mission. This project was well received and the generosity shown by the St. John parishioners was excellent.
On Saturday, December 21, Lodge 81 once again sponsored the Children’s Christmas program at the Uniontown Public Library. This included a performance of “The Elf on the Shelf Saved Christmas” by the Stage Right performers, a craft activity, refreshments, a visit with Santa Claus and a free book. A GCU Fraternal Grant covered the cost of the event and the GCU Home Office generously provided items for the take away bags for the children. Marcia, Bonnie, Stephen and niece Makayla Boes were Santa’s helpers that day.
On Christmas Day, Bonnie Balas volunteered at a Christmas dinner provided by the Mahoney family. This event provided a Christmas meal to those who are alone, the needy and the homeless of Uniontown community.