Grandson of Mohandas Gandhi to Speak at BU

Activist, diversity speaker and spiritual leader Arun Gandhi will speak in Carver Hall of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Grandson of the legendary peace fighter and spiritual leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Arun Gandhi will discuss his grandfather’s legacy and their kinship.

Born in 1869, Mohandas K. Gandhi was considered the father of his country, India. As the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, Mohandas Gandhi protested against violence in hopes of achieving a political and social balance. His assassination in 1948 led to the country’s mourning.

Arun Gandhi, founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, renders a message of integrity, social harmony and peace. He follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, sharing these lessons around the world. His first book, “A Patch of White,” published in 1949, explains the prejudice filling South Africa. He wrote two more books on poverty and politics in India.

Arun Gandhi is inspired by his grandfather’s words, “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world.” At BU, he will speak on “Lessons Learned from my Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World.”

For more information on this event, which is open to the public free of charge, contact Madelyn Rodriguez, director of Multicultural Center, at mrodrig2@bloomu.edu.

Bloomsburg High School Drama Prepares “Beauty” for Caldwell

As 2012 begins, the Bloomsburg High School Drama department is once again beginning preparations for its Spring Musical.

As 2012 begins, the Bloomsburg High School Drama department is once again beginning preparations for its Spring Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The March production however, in addition to maintaining the high standards for which the students are well-known,faces additional challenges this year. The September 2011 flooding caused extensive damage to the high school’s auditorium. All 705 seats were lost along with all the flooring. The school district is in the process of cleaning and repairing the auditorium, but unfortunately due to the time needed for set construction and rehearsal, repairs to the facility will not be completed early enough for the drama department to present their production in their traditional home.

All the world might be a stage, but Bloomsburg High School Drama needed a place to perform. After much discussion and planning Assistant Director Kate Levan reported that the students have found a welcoming, if temporary home. “This year the Bloomsburg High School Drama Department will host our spring musical at the Caldwell Consistory,” said Mrs. Levan. “For those of you that just know it was the large building near our beautiful fountain, let me enlighten you. The Caldwell is a massive square footage piece of Bloomsburg history that encompasses a 600 seat auditorium complete with stage and lights.”

“With the total support and enthusiasm from the men of the Caldwell as well as the Superintendent of Bloomsburg School District, we are in full planning for our March presentation of Beauty and the Beast. This timeless tale of love will come to life in the setting of Caldwell, which I think is a perfect venue.”

Caldwell Consistory Theater
Caldwell Consistory Theater

Unfortunately this change of location does come at additional cost to the drama department, specifically the rental of Caldwell’s facilities. “We are looking for support from our community as well. We are forever grateful for what our community has given to us in the past and are hoping for that same showing of help for this year’s production,” said Mrs. Levan. “Mainly we would love to cover our rental cost for Caldwell, which is very reasonable for the amount of time we will be calling their space our home.”

“As we strive for our usual standard of top quality musical productions, our student cast of 75 is excited and ready to perform for their town and outlining areas. Many of our own students have endured their own loss in some way with the flood, but they are ready to come together as a cast and classmates to entertain our community.”

The production is planned for Thursday through Friday, March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, with a “Beast Feast” dinner in character planned before the Friday evening show and Saturday matinee.

The production of Beauty and the Beast will be directed by Tim Latsha.

Ticket Prices are being determined and will be released soon. Look for news and updates here in The Bloomsburg Daily as preparations move forward.

[box type=”shadow”]If you would like further information on how to make a donation, or how you can help please contact Assistant Director Kate Levan at 570-784-1151, or by email at katep1977@hotmail.com.[/box]

Bloomsburg Middle School Students to Participate in Geo Bee

The competition will take place at Bloomsburg Middle School’s cafeteria on January 12th.

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.

According to Jen Flook, Bloomsburg Middle School teacher, “We have participated for at least as long as I have taught here (6 years) but I am sure our participation goes back much further. Every student (6th-8th) in our middle school takes the oral test in his/her social studies class and the top 10 students in the school compete for first place. The winner is then given a written test in an attempt to reach the state competition. About three years ago we had a student who scored high enough to make it to states.”

Any school can participate in the competition by registering and requesting materials directly from National Geographic. In early September, principals must write a letter on school letterhead and enclose the early registration fee of $90.00, requesting that their school receive the contest materials. Each local school participating can then notify National Geographic of their winner to potentially be featured on their website.

The competition will take place at Bloomsburg Middle School’s gymnasium on January 12th at approximately 8:40 AM. You will need to sign in at the front office when entering the building. The students participating this year are:

  • Jared Diehl 8th
  • Coty Kashner 8th
  • Noah Bella 8th
  • Karl Gengler 8th
  • Kevin Diehl 8th
  • Madeline Polhill 7th
  • Braydon Quintrell 7th
  • Kevin DuBartell 7th
  • Shannon Lavelle 6th
  • Matt Lee 6th

Check back on Friday for “The View from Here” photos from our own Bob Rush!

[box type=”shadow”]Photo via Flickr.[/box]

BTE Hosting Two Fundraising Events

The Taming of the Brew

Tickets to Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s (BTE) annual sellout fund raiser event, The Taming of the Brew, will be available for sale exclusively at the theatre’s website, www.bte.org. Tickets will go on sale at 6:00PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Tickets are limited to 4 (four) per customer. Customers can increase their chances of purchasing tickets by establishing an account now at www.bte.org; just click on the “create an account” link at the top of the homepage. The event date is Saturday, April 14, 2012, 7-11PM at the Caldwell Consistory, in downtown Bloomsburg. Tickets are $75.00 each (including a $5.00 service fee).

Now celebrating its 11th anniversary year, The Taming of the Brew festival is a fund raiser for the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble featuring fine microbrews, food, and entertainment as well as an educational beer- tasting talk, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Countless volunteer hours and donations from local, regional, and national vendors make this event possible. Please visit www.tamingofthebrew.org for updates.

Dance Your Heart Out for BTE

The third annual Dance Your Heart Out for BTE featuring the Gerard Mayer Band will be on February 11, 2012 at the Frosty Valley Country Club in Danville, PA. The dance will be a complete evening with a six-person band, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, and libations. All proceeds will benefit BTE. just in time for Valentine’s Day! For couples and singles 21 and over who love to dance or just like a fun evening out. The Gerard Mayer band has a wide repertoire of music from salsa and swing, to traditional ballroom, freestyle, and line dancing. Tickets are on sale now through the BTE box office or committee members. Tickets are $50.00 per person (Credit card purchases add $5.00 per ticket). Includes hors d’oeuvres, open wine and beer bar, dessert, and a signature champagne drink (plus non-alcoholic beverages).

For questions about tickets to either event, please call the box office at (570) 784-8181.

[box type=”shadow”]Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble is a non-profit, professional theater located in the heart of downtown Bloomsburg. Founded in 1978, the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 34th season of bringing quality entertainment to Northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information on BTE, please visit the website at www.bte.org or call (570) 784-5530 or the box office at (570) 784-8181.[/box]

Pine Barn Inn Hosts Holiday Charity Buffet

The Pine Barn Inn has always been known in our area for its rustic feel, delicious food, and excellent service. This holiday season the Inn and its staff will also be known for something more: generosity, kindness, and concern.

On Saturday 24 December, from 11 AM to 3 PM the Pine Barn Inn will host a free buffet for not only victims of the September flooding, but for all people in the local community who may find themselves in need. Reservations are highly recommended due to limited seating.

Pine Barn Inn General Manager Norman Mael explained that he took inspiration for this event from a similar experience when he worked at the Hotel Magee in Bloomsburg. “I believe this is the first event of this kind, but when I was working at the Hotel Magee we had a Bartenders’ Night Out for charity. I got the idea from that.”

Mr. Mael emphasized that this Christmas Eve Day lunch buffet is a charity event sponsored by the entire staff of the Pine Barn. “Everybody is donating their own time, contributing to help prepare and serve.”

“The employees, everybody thinks this is an excellent idea,” said Mr. Mael. “It really hits home for them to help out. One of our servers just returned to his home [a victim of the recent flooding]. They’re behind this.”

Mr. Mael also noted that this Charity Buffet is not only for flood victims, however, but for anyone or any family that may find themselves in need this time of year. “Someone who lost his job, has an uncertain future,” said Mr. Mael, “it’s not for me to determine who should be helped.”

At present The Pine Barn Inn has taken over 200 reservations for the event and still has room for about 150 more.

This Holiday Buffet is offered at no charge and will be held on 24 December from 11 AM to 3PM. Reservations are Highly Recommended because seating is limited.

If you wish to make reservations, please contact the Pine Barn Inn in Danville at 570-275-2071.

Details and a Full Menu of the buffet can be found on The Bloomsburg Daily’s Event Calendar or at the Pine Barn Inn website.

BHS Craft Fair

CraftsEarlier this fall, Gina Piccini, Spanish Teacher and Sophomore Class Advisor at Bloomsburg Area High School contacted The Bloomsburg Daily to let us know that she and her students were planning a new fundraiser. When she told us it was going to be the first week of December we felt like it was so far away. The Holidays this year are taking on new and special meanings as we all are working to take rebuild so much. Now that we are through Thanksgiving and heading into December we wanted to help get the word out for this new event. Let your friends and family know about the event and we hope to see you there!

So please join us for the Bloomsburg High School’s First Annual Craft Fair to be held on Saturday, December 3 from 10 am – 4 pm. This event is being sponsored by the Sophomore Class of 2014 and there will be fun for all! The freshman class will be hosting a coffee station, the junior class will sponsor a basket raffle and our seniors will have a bake sale. Food and refreshments will be provided by the band boosters and other school organizations will have tables set up for fundraising. There will also be door prizes, face painting and over 50 unique vendors! Come get a jump start on your holiday shopping and support our High School students in this great event!

Living with Lung Cancer: Stephanie Dunn Haney

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness month.  The Bloomsburg Daily had the opportunity to chat with Hemlock Township Manager, cancer advocate, mother of 2, and lung cancer survivor Stephanie Dunn Haney.  Stephanie relayed her experiences with cancer, her hopes for her young children, and her determination to battle the stereotypes and stigma associated with her illness.

For Stephanie, it started with a “funny pain” in her right side when she sneezed or coughed.  She didn’t want to bother her doctor with her seemingly minor complaint, and soon she became pregnant and was busy with a new baby to care for.  They wouldn’t do an X-ray on a nursing mother anyway, she thought.  The “funny pain”  failed to resolve, and after a year and a half, Stephanie finally consulted her physician.  In an attempt to diagnose and treat her symptoms, the next two years were filled with a battery of tests and treatments. Stephanie underwent an EMG (nerve conduction study),  an Ultrasound of her gall bladder, X-rays, and an MRI, all of which were negative.  She was referred to a neurologist, a chiropractor, and even to physical therapy, which were also unsuccessful in alleviating her symptoms.  Finally on October 3rd, 2007 after  approximately three and a half years of unresolved symptoms, the diagnosis came after a CT scan came back positive:  lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, stage IV. Even then, her surgeon told her it was probably not lung cancer as she had never smoked and had no family history of cancer, and a surgical biopsy was performed.  This procedure confirmed her diagnosis the same day.

The stage of cancer refers to the tumor’s size and to what degree it has spread to other parts of the body.  Stage IV is the most advanced stage of lung cancer, and about 40% of patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer are already in that stage. In this stage of lung cancer, the tumor has spread to another part of the body and as such is considered inoperable and incurable. Treatment options, while available, are limited.  This type of cancer also has a very low survival rate, with only about 15% surviving 5 years or more.

While Stephanie notes that the first year after her diagnosis was spent dealing with grief and loss, she states , “I eventually got mad,” and became an advocate for lung cancer.  Stephanie points out that lung cancer kills more people than prostate, breast, and colon cancers, and melanoma combined, and yet it has very little funding.  She also notes that  lung cancer is a highly stigmatized disease, and that people tend to want to place blame on patients with lung cancer for contracting the disease in the first place.  She was frequently asked questions that would indicate some sort of cause for her illness. “But I have no risk factors.  I never smoked.  I have no family history of cancer.  This is not necessarily an environmental disease.  I provide an example that stretches people’s understanding of the disease.”

Stephanie and her friend Rachel Troychock have also been active in their fundraising efforts for lung cancer research and awareness.  Team Haney, the local group walking in the “ Free to Breathe National 5K” campaign, was organized in 2008 and has managed to raise more than $43,000 over the last 3 years.  The funds raised by this event benefit the National Lung Cancer Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to research, advocacy for patients, and increasing community awareness of the disease. Stephanie has also been involved with the Lung Cancer Alliance, a group whose main directives are to lobby for federal funding for research, increase awareness, and to provide patient support.

Through her advocacy efforts, she  strives to be a role model for her 2 girls, now ages 6 and 8. “I want my kids to learn how to be their own advocate, how to handle adversity, and how to fight for something they believe in.”

In February of this year, Stephanie entered into a clinical trial of Crizotinib, and  on August 26th, the Food and Drug Association (FDA) approved the new drug for the treatment of certain lung cancers. Crizotinib (brand name Xalkori ) has been effective at treating patients with a specific genetic mutation called ALK (anplastic lymphoma kinase).  This mutation is often found among non-smokers who have developed non-small cell lung cancers, and Stephanie has this gene.  According to the FDA, 50-60% of patients in the clinical studies for Crizotinib experienced complete or partial shrinkage of their cancer.

Currently, Stephanie remains in the clinical trial, and she continues to have the tumors though she claims she is “living with stable disease.”  This past August, a brain tumor was discovered and she was treated with Cyberknife.  She continues to get scans every 6 weeks and she is monitored by her oncologist.

Several fundraising events are planned for this month; please see the events calendar for details, or contact Rachel Troychock at racheltroychock@hotmail.com:

November 5th:   Free to Breathe National 5 K walk at the Columbia Mall.

November 19th:  Pancake Breakfast at Applebee’s

November 20th:  Longaberger Basket and American Girl Doll Bingo at the Buckhorn Firehall

Raffle:  Purchase tickets for a chance to win an iPod2; drawing held November 20th

 

 

 

Mayor Dan Knorr and Town Officials Visit Washington, D.C.

Bloomsburg Town Hall has confirmed with The Bloomsburg Daily that Mayor Dan Knorr, Councilperson Dianne Drosdick Levan, and members of the Bloomsburg Flood Authority all traveled to Washington D.C. on Wednesday morning.  We requested an agenda for their day, but none was made available.

Given the press release from Senator Toomey’s office and letter he sent to the Army Corps of Engineers today regarding the Bloomsburg flood wall project, we did want to see whether town officials were meeting with Toomey.  According to Senator Toomey’s office, they were not scheduled to meet with the senator.

As of Wednesday evening, we have not received any further comments from the town or Mayor. We will continue to follow up and attempt to get comments as soon as they are made available. Stay tuned.

Reported by William Todd Heiss and Kristin Zeisloft Camplese

Photo by Bob Rush

BTE’s Holiday Memories: Students on Both Sides of the Curtain

BTEIn November and December, the Alvina Krause Theatre in downtown Bloomsburg will be filled with the sounds of school students in the audience and on stage when Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble brings Truman Capote’s HOLIDAY MEMORIES to the stage. You can find the full schedule for BTE’s Holiday season here at The Bloomsburg Daily’s Event Calendar.

There are eight special school matinees for Holiday memories on the following dates: November 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22. All matinees begin at 10:00 a.m. and the cost is $9.00 for all audience members. Matinees fill quickly; one matinee is already sold-out and others are nearing capacity. School representatives are encouraged to call soon for best seating availability.

Truman Capote’s hopeful stories of young Buddy, his old-maid Aunt Sook and her dog Queenie are filled with small joys, love, family, and the secret ingredient to a great fruitcake. These poignant stories of his childhood holidays in the depression era deep South are wonderful for all ages, and are sure to get audiences ready for the holidays.

In addition to the students in the audience, there are young people on stage: Tanner Lenhart from L.R. Appleman Elementary in Benton and Eric Nock from Bloomsburg Memorial Elementary in the lead role of young Buddy, and Madeline Snyder from Columbia County Christian School in Buckhorn and Logan Kissinger from Bloomsburg’s Central Columbia Middle School as the puppeteers for Queenie.

BTE’s school matinees include the full-length mainstage production of HOLIDAY MEMORIES, as well as a unique behind-the-scenes peek at the show itself. After each matinee, students are invited to “Meet the Cast” as the actors make themselves available to answer questions about any aspect of the production.

To make a reservation for one of these special matinees or for more information about all of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s programs for students, contact Paula Henry, BTE’s School Programs Director at 570.458.4075, email at phenry@bte.org or visit www.bte.org.

BU Soccer Coach’s Goal: Cure Cancer

BU SoccerThis Saturday, the Bloomsburg University men’s and women’s soccer teams will be taking the field against the East Stroudsburg Warriors. Even though it’s a home game, you might see more red in the stands than traditional Husky maroon and gold — at least BU Soccer Coach Paul Payne hopes you will.

The Huskies will be collecting “Cash for Cancer.” Donors will receive either a red sports water bottle, a red wristband, or a red t-shirt based on the level of their donation. Why all the red?

Coach Payne created the Red Card Cancer program back in 2009 to raise awareness and research funds for the fight against cancer. He was inspired to do so after the loss of Joe Bochicchio, his friend and mentor and Scranton University Soccer Coach to melanoma and Charlotte Moran, the longtime executive director of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association and administrator for the Region 1 Olympic Development Program to pancreatic cancer in the same year.

In that first year, 16 college teams and 1 high school team from Pennsylvania schools were involved in the Red Card program. Since then, it has expanded nationally. The most recent edition to Payne’s Red Card team is the Major League Soccer team for the nation’s capital: the DC United.

The idea is simple: any team can designate a Red Card game to raise cancer awareness. “Teams do it all different ways,” Payne explained. “The potential is limitless.” Bloomsburg University will observe their Red Card day the way they have since Payne first introduced the idea: they will wear Red Card shirts during warm up and offer the Red Card gifts for donations during the soccer games and at other locations on campus this weekend as well. “We’ll have a table set up when you come in to the football game and the (soccer) teams will be down at the Kehr Union on Friday at a donations table as well,” He said.

Payne said that, with the help of the internet and social media, the program is garnering attention from some surprising sources. The LiveSTRONG foundation has reached out to them and they have received words of support from Major League Baseball, and American Youth Soccer Organization. “The World Cup organization is following us on Twitter now,” Payne said. “This is such a grassroots thing…there’s basically three of us!”

Saturday October 29th at the Bloomsburg University Sports Stadium: Women’s game starts at 12pm, Men’s game starts at 2:30pm.

Any fan who wishes to donate to the program but is not able to make it to the game can still help out by texting “Red Card” to 20222 and a $10 donations will be made to support the research of John Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

[UPDATE: Due to the National Weather Service forecast for snow this weekend, games may be postponed. Please check with BU Sporting Events hotline at (570) 389-2828 or online at buhuskies.com before heading to any games.]

Photo courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information