Growing up in Grand Valley is something I am thankful for. Small towns instill simplicity and residents are like family. Thanksgiving is a good time to stop and really think about the blessings we are given. The most important things in life aren’t things at all, they are the people in which we cherish and enjoy spending our time with. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday spent with loved ones.

Upcoming events

— Dec. 1,  The Annual Christmas Party for the Grand Valley Fire Dept. personel (past and present) will be at 5 p.m. Santa will be making a stop by the firehall that evening as well.  Contact Connie Tenney for more info at 827-9462.

— On Dec. 6, a Christmas auction will take place at 6 p.m. at the fire hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. The kitchen will be open during the event.

— The fire department is in need of ambulance and fire personnel, as well as social members to help with work bees and fundraisers.

The department has work bees on Tuesday nights at 6.

Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month, at 7 p.m.

Church schedules

— Grand Valley United Methodist Church Sunday school is at 10 a.m.; worship is at 11; youth group is at 6 p.m. (in the parsonage basement); Bible studies are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. There will be no Bible study on Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving Eve).

— G&S Helping Hands meet the first Wednesday of every month at Grand Valley United Methodist Church, at 7 p.m.

— A birthday bash for November and December birthdays will be held at the parsonage tonight at 6:30.       

 — The Evergreen Charge Youth Group will be helping at the Pleasantville Community Thanksgiving Dinner as a Community Service Project.  

— Sanford Church Sunday worship is at 10 a.m. The Kids Club will have practice for their Christmas program on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and will meet at the Sanford church.

— Nov. 30, Practice for “Hanging of the Greens Service” at Grand Valley UM, bring a dish to share.

— Dec. 1, Advent begins and this year the focus will be on the Old Testament Prophecies of the birth of the Messiah. Grand Valley UM will be decorating during the “Hanging of the Greens” service on Dec. 1. Sanford UM will be decorating the sanctuary after the service on Dec. 1 with a tureen to follow.  

— Dec. 10, The Sanford/Grand Valley Christmas Program will be at 7 p.m. at the Sanford UM Church.   The children, youth, and adults have been working very hard on this and hope many in the community will come see them perform.

— Dec. 15, Grand Valley Church Christmas Dinner


— The Grand Valley Desperados meeting on Monday focused on plans for the upcoming year and learning knot tying. Their next meeting will be held on Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Valley VFD. Officers will be elected at this meeting. There is still time to join this 4H group for children ages 5-18 years with rabbits, goats, and horses.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Grand Valley Desperados 4-H Club contact leaders, Sam Greer or Connie Tenney for any questions, at 827-9462.

— The Sanford Saddles & Spurs 4H group’s next meeting is Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. at Grand Valley UM Church. They are currently selling holiday wreaths to raise money for their upcoming educational trip to Assateague Island.

 If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Sanford Saddles and Spurs 4-H Club, they can contact leaders Matt and Diana Maille, at (814) 436-7778.


Happy birthday to Jen Yatsko (Nov. 22) Brittany Wright (Nov. 24) Savannah Drake (Nov. 27)


Sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Brian L. Drake, 54, who passed away Friday Nov. 15, 2019, in Grand Valley. Brian is the son of Lloyd and the late Betty Watson Drake. Brian is survived by his two sons; Jeremy Drake and Zachary Drake; and six grandchildren, Parker, Rebekah, Hunter, Haddie, Christopher and Mackenzie Drake.

Memorial contributions may be made to Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Main Street, Grand Valley, PA, 16420.


Thanksgiving would not be complete without dessert, specifically pie. The most popular pies for the holiday are apple and pumpkin. I love both but have an excellent apple pie recipe of my mother’s to share with you.

Apple Pie

Crust ingredients:

— 2 1/2 cups flour

— 1 cup shortening

— 1/2 teaspoon salt

— 1/2 cup milk

Filling ingredients:

— 5-6 apples

— 3/4 cup sugar

— 2 1/2 teaspoons tapioca

— 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Mix flour, shortening and salt together with pastry blender. Add milk. Stir until you can form mixture into balls. Form mixture into two balls. These will be the top and bottom crusts. Take one ball and place between 2 sheets of wax paper. Roll into until approximately 1/4 inches thick and large enough to fit into your pie pan. Repeat this process with second ball. Carefully place one pie crust into pie pan.

Mix peeled and sliced apples into a bowl with sugar, tapioca, and cinnamon. Pour into empty shell.

Top with other pie crust shell. Crimp both pie crusts together. Make a few cuts in the top shell with a knife (My mother always made an them in the shape of an ‘A’ for apple but told me it was for Alissa.) Sprinkle top with sugar.

Bake at 350º for 45 minutes or until edges are slighty brown. Let cool.

Contact me

All are welcome to contribute with any local events, club news, seasonal activities, reunions, births, marriages, get-togethers, family recipes and any other Grand Valley happenings. I appreciate any and all feedback from the community.

Please submit information by noon on Thursday so I can get into Fridays’ column. Thank you.

Alissa Savitz can be reached by phone, at (814) 964-7453, or by email, at

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