Picnic marks festival's success

July 31, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • Bev Coyle, left, a board member with One Mountain Foundation, is served ice cream Saturday by the Rev. Richard Daughtridge, pastor of Jacob's Church in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., during a community picnic at the Fort Ritchie Community Center. Next to Coyle is Jamie Bowders, the foundation's treasurer.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

CASCADE -- The pastors of seven Cascade-area churches presented donations to a local food bank and shelter Saturday during a community picnic at the Fort Ritchie Community Center celebrating the success of last month's Mountaintop Heritage Days festival.

The money for the donations was the offering collected at a joint community worship service held June 27 as part of the festival, said Bill Carter, chairman of the board of directors of the One Mountain Foundation.

The offering of $1,271 was divided equally between Help Hotline, a food bank serving the mountaintop communities, and Hope Alive, a community ministry that provides safe shelter for women and their children.

The picnic also was intended to thank the 100-plus volunteers who helped put on the festival, Carter said.

The One Mountain Foundation has been holding Mountaintop Heritage Days at the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base since 2006, but this is the first year area churches have come together to hold a worship service, Carter said.


"This all started about five months ago when one of the members of our board said, 'You know, it would be good to celebrate the heritage that we have of our faith in God,'" Carter said.

Pastors of churches in the neighboring communities of Cascade, Pen Mar, Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., and Sabillasville, Md., came together to organize the service. More than 300 people attended, which was double what organizers had expected, Carter said.

"When you see people come together like that, it's really a wonderful thing," said the Rev. Richard Daughtridge, pastor of Jacob's Church in Blue Ridge Summit. "It was just such unity."

That community spirit continued Saturday when about 50 people attended the picnic at the Fort Ritchie Community Center. Organizers said it was good to see people from the neighboring communities talking and eating together.

"That's one of our big initiatives, to get people from the community interacting and strengthening relationships a bit, the way it used to be," said the Rev. Mark Hosler, pastor of Germantown Church of God in Cascade.

Mary Lindquist, volunteer director at Help Line, thanked the community for its support of the organization. The donated money will be used to buy food, particularly meat, to supplement dry food donations, she said.

In addition to its role as a food bank, Help Line, based in Blue Ridge Summit, provides help with electricity, rent, clothing, holiday dinners and Christmas presents for children, organization leaders said. In 2009, it assisted 234 families, an all-time high and increase of 23 percent from 2008.

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