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Mountaintop Community Fall Fair proceeds benefit Amanda Bowders Memorial Community Garden

November 05, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Madison Hongell, 10, of Hagerstown, gets an "upscale" face painting from Carol Smith of Waynesboro, Pa., at Saturday's Mountaintop Community Fall Fair at the Blue Ridge Summit (Pa.) Fire and Rescue Squad fire hall.
By Roxann Miller

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. — For the past three years, organizers of the Mountaintop Community Fall Fair have had one goal in mind — to remember the life of Amanda "Mandy" Bowders.

Saturday's event, held at the Blue Ridge Summit Fire and Rescue Squad fire hall, highlighted the work of local artists and authors.

With 30 vendors and seven authors, Lynn Martin, co-coordinator of the Amanda Bowders Memorial Community Garden event, said there was something at the fair for even hard-to-please shoppers.

"We have pottery, hand-painted glass, gemstone jewelry, watercolor paintings, hand-woven towels and recycled planters made out of cabinet doors," Martin said. "We have a little bit of everything."

Steve Burdette of Blue Ridge Summit was one of the artisans set up at the fair.

He painted local scenes using watercolors.

Before the economic slowdown, Burdette said he made his living selling his artwork at a local gallery, but now he cut his prices and sells his art at craft fairs to supplement his income.

"I like to paint local scenes," he said. "It's my way of preserving our heritage because a lot of what we have here locally is disappearing."

Proceeds from vendor space, antique appraisals and an auction benefited the memorial garden.

So far, funds from the fair have purchased a $5,000 gazebo for the Amanda Bowders Memorial Community Garden, Martin said.

Next on Martin's wish list is installing an underground water source to irrigate the garden.

Bowders, an active Girl Scout, died Feb. 14, 2007, at the age of 19 in a sledding accident.

Martin, who was Mandy's Girl Scout Troop leader for 13 years, said Bowders would have liked the memorial garden.

"She was always outdoorsy when we were in Girl Scouting. Camping was one of her things, but Mandy would have liked anything," Martin said. "She was just a very happy-go-lucky person. She made you smile."

Lifelong Girl Scout and Girl Scout leader Sara Henke Edelman also is honored in the memorial garden.

A blue spruce tree will be added to the garden in honor of Edelman. She died Nov. 5, 2010, at the age of 33 following a transplant.

Heather and Bill Carter of Cascade came to the fair to support the community and the memorial garden.

Heather Carter said the fair is a great way to support local writers and artists.

They purchased a number of items, including note cards, Christmas ornaments and beaded bracelets.

"It's a nice tribute," Bill Carter said.

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