Parkland Press

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Backenstoes celebrate 65th with tractors, family and friends

Thursday, August 29, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

The house on the hill was beautifully decorated with natural flowers. A row of tractors indicated this was the home of Lester and Nancy Backenstoes, who were celebrating 65 years of married life on Aug. 24.

Nancy met her future husband at Bindnagles Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Lebanon County, when both were being confirmed. At the time he lived in Grantville. She lived at Hershey Farms.

The Backenstoes were married the year Nancy completed high school. Lester had just turned 21. His birthday is the day before their anniversary.

Township adds attractions in Ontelaunee Park

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

The people in the park were walking alone or in couples, some with dogs or with babies in strollers.

They wanted to take advantage of the early morning coolness.

Homer Snyder built and then operated Ontelaunee Park in Lynn Township, for 37 years until 1966.

After serving as a music venue, the park was abandoned and became home to weeds and a swamp.

The township bought the land and the first project was to clear the area and create a master plan to resuscitate the park.

Purple Heart recipient honored at national tribute

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

Pfc. Michael J. Mescavage, the Pennsylvania Commander, Ret., of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, of Hamburg, is among those being honored as part of a national tribute to recipients on National Purple Heart Day.

The Purple Heart is presented to those injured or killed in combat. Aug. 6 was West Point Day for the tribute.

Mescavage’s wife, Annie, accompanied him on the trip.

Lighthouse Baptist honors first responders

Thursday, June 27, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

June 9 was a special day at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Breinigsville.

For the past five years, first responders have been honored on the second Sunday of June. Cheryl Summerfelt and Bob Walker, organize the day.

Summerfelt contacted 18 organizations and invited their members to visit the church that day.

On the table in front of the altar were statuettes of a policeman helping a child and a fireman.

Pastor Hal Hopkins welcomed everyone.

“We are so glad you are here,” Hopkins said to the first responders.

Kempton Fair features new attractions

Thursday, June 27, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

What do you expect to find when you go to a country fair?

Rides, kids games, animals, crafts, food stands, tractors and classic vehicles are all common attractions.

This year, the Kempton Fair offered all of these and more.

The “more” included a wine and beer garden, helicopter rides and a wash stand for the animals.

The one thing few others have is a frog jumping contest.

Frog jumping was made popular in a story by Mark Twain about frog jumping contests in Calaveras County, Calif., where the championship jump was 21 feet 3.5 inches.

Run Tigers, run

Thursday, June 20, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

Education Foundation sponsors 5K, 10K runs

The Northwestern Lehigh Education Foundation recently sponsored its annual Tiger 5K and 10K runs at Ontelaunee Park with all proceeds going to benefit the school district.

The money goes to the mini grants teachers receive for materials that are not in the school budget.

The average amount garnered from the runs is $10,000.

Each registrant received a shirt: green for 10K runners and yellow for 5K runners. The 10K runners cover the same route as the 5K but go around twice. There were 170 entrants.

Native Americans return to Ontelaunee Park

Thursday, May 30, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

For three days in May, dancers and families of Native Americans take over Ontelaunee Park, in Lynn Township.

On May 17, demonstrations were given for school children about how the Native American lived.

Then, Saturday and Sunday were given over to powwows with the grand entries beginning at noon.

Barry Lee, of Conestoga, a member of the Munsee tribe was the announcer.

He gave the program for the opening as the grand entry, words of prayer, a flag song with the posting of the flags for all military units, an honoring of veterans and first responders and a song.

Two hike to benefit cancer research

Thursday, May 16, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

Kara and Bern Leibensperger of Kempton are on a crusade to benefit research in the cause of never-smoker lung cancer.

They became interested in it after meeting Margie Clapper, a researcher at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Janet Plasha, Bern Leibensperger’s sister-in-law, developed another form of lung cancer, involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene (ALK) from which she has since died. Her husband is Bruce and they had two children.

The Leibensperger women had been walking the Appalachian Trail a piece at a time and covered 600 miles.

Basket bonanza

Friday, April 19, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

Egg hunters gather at Hope Community Church

Easter egg hunters at Hope Community Church, Weisenberg Township, received a chocolate bunny and a colorful drinking cup as they registered for the church’s egg hunt on April 13.

Inside the sanctuary, Pastor Ken Kalisz told the Easter story and included the fact eggs are associated with Easter because they are a symbol of rebirth, just as Jesus was reborn after his crucifixion.

The anxious, soon-to-be egg hunters then watched a 5-minute video, which included Jesus on the cross.

Children played the Biblical characters. A hay bale replaced the stone of the tomb of Jesus.

The Jacobs Brothers celebrate Christmas and patriotism with song

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

The Rev. Hal Hopkins recently welcomed visitors to Lighthouse Baptist Church, Breinigsville, for a gospel concert by The Jacob Brothers.

“We are glad you are here,” Hopkins said at the Dec. 8, 2018, event. “We will be led in worship by the Jacobs Brothers.

“Send our warmest wishes and welcome them. I pray this will be a joyful evening for you.

The music began with a clap-along song and the words “This love is way way, yes, two ways, down inside of me.”

“Gospel music means good news,” Mike Jacobs said.