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Shady Grove Ruritan Club hosts fifth annual fall festival

September 08, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

SHADY GROVE, Pa. - Although the fifth annual Shady Grove Ruritan Fall Festival on Saturday featured chain saw carvers, a moon bounce for children, a yard sale, child identification kits and food, its main goal was to raise money for various community projects.

"It's for a community benefit," said John Kinney, who was in charge of the past four festivals. "We (the Shady Grove Ruritan Club) are very involved in youth activities. A lot of the money goes to children in the community."

Kinney said the club supports a Scout troop, a Cub Scout pack and Little League. The club also gives two four-year scholarships every year, has a veteran's program once a year and will host a community picnic later this month, Kinney said.

About 1,000 people visited Saturday's festival, said Mike Baer, chairman of the event.

"As the Ruritan goes, this is our largest fundraiser," Baer said. "By us fundraising, (we) help local Boy Scout groups, and we're big into scholarships for kids."

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Three top chain saw carvers from the Masters of the Chainsaw 2007 International X-treme Power Carving Competition demonstrated their art throughout the day, turning 4-foot-long logs into wood sculptures that were sold by local auctioneer Matthew Hurley.

"They eyeball the lumber and make a decision" about how to carve it," Baer said. "The first person who wins the auction gets their pick (of carvings)."

Child identification kits also were available throughout the day, provided by the Waynesboro Acadia Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and the Greencastle Mount Pisgah Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.

"We've had a pretty good turnout," said Dan Patton, master of the Greencastle lodge. "This year, we've done 70."

The kits included a digital still photo, digital video interview, fingerprints and DNA samples. The DNA samples were to be taken at home.

It was the first year that the festival included a yard sale, which was a separate event in the past.

"The whole idea is to have something that the crowd can do," Baer said.

However, there were mixed feelings about including the yard sale in the festival.

"We've come here for many years," Sandy Patterson said. "We don't have the (amount) of people we usually have."

"We're not doing as well as we should," Tina Neail said.

Jim Tressler thought the yard sale was going pretty well.

"I think you do a lot better at a place like this," Tressler said of having the yard sale in conjunction with the fall festival. "It helps draw a crowd."

All proceeds from food and drink sales and the auction of wood carvings will go to the Ruritan Club's projects.

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