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Mountaintop Community Spring Fair raises money for memorial garden gazebo

Remaining $1,000 raised for the Amanda "Mandy" Bowders Memorial Community Garden

March 19, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. — Organizers of the 3rd Annual Mountaintop Community Spring Fair Saturday reached their goal to purchase a gazebo for the Amanda "Mandy" Bowders Memorial Community Garden.

The event, held in the Blue Ridge Summit Fire and Rescue Squad fire hall, raised the remaining $1,000 needed to purchase a $5,000 gazebo to place in the memorial garden located in front of the fire department.

 "I'm ecstatic about reaching this goal, because I set out to do this for my friend Lori (Bowders, Mandy's mother), the community and all the Girl Scouts who have helped previously and currently," said Lynn Martin, co-coordinator of the Amanda Bowders Memorial Community Garden Event. "I think it's good for the girls to see if you set your mind to something you can achieve it."

The vinyl-sided gazebo is slated to be installed by early summer with seating for six to eight people, Martin said.

Martin has a very personal interest in the memorial garden; she was Mandy's Girl Scout troop leader for 13 years.

Still visibly shaken when she talks about the Feb. 14, 2007, sledding accident that claimed the life of the "bubbly" 19-year-old, Martin said that Mandy had earned the Gold Award — the highest in Girl Scouting.

"She was lovely and wonderful. She would come in a room, and even if it was the worst day of her life, she would have a smile," Martin said of the teen.

Now that they have reached the goal of a gazebo, next on Martin's wish list for the garden is a blue spruce tree for a Christmas tree-lighting.

The tree will be in memory of lifelong Girl Scout and Girl Scout Leader Sara Henke Edelman, 32, who died in November following a transplant.

Proceeds from vendor space, the antique road show and the auction all benefited the memorial garden.

Hundreds of community members visited the fair to sample the chicken corn soup, stop by the craft tables or have family heirlooms appraised by one of four local antique experts.

Robert Knott carried his Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, brass fire extinguisher to the appraiser's table wrapped in a towel.

"That's a nice one," said Terry Barkdoll, local antique and collectible dealer.

Knott of Waynesboro said his friend gave the prized possession to him, but the appraisers said the extinguisher was worth around $250.

"I leave it on display so my friends can see it," Knott said. "I couldn't find anyone to tell me anything about it. So, it's nice to be able to come here to see what it's worth."

Bill Coyle of Cascade, Md., brought his Coca-Cola sign to be appraised by the local version of the "Antiques Road Show."

"I bought is at a flea market in Mechanicsburg for $400, and they said I didn't go wrong," Coyle said.

The panel of four appraisers said the 1931 sign would bring between $750 and $800.

Coyle said he came to the fair to support the community and the Bowders family.

 "I want to support what they're doing here," he said.

Mandy's mother, Lori, was overwhelmed by the community support for her daughter.

"You don't realize how big an influence she had on the community," Lori Bowders said. "She would definitely be pleased with the garden. She liked being outside. She was a pretty active girl."

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