Bill Sparks opened a general store on Route 27 better known as the ‘Grand Valley Store.’ This popular pit stop was built in the 1940s. It sold groceries and was also a gas station. The store had many owners over the years beginning with Sparks, then Clyde Allen, Alton Sage, Andy Neeley and Bill and Bonnie Smith. It was a common hangout for locals to fill up their tank and visit. I recall walking up to the store to rent VHS tapes and buy candy bars as a child. The building was torn down in the mid 1990s.


Upcoming events

— Its ‘Donut Sunday’ at Sanford UM Church this Sunday. Attendees can enjoy donuts after the service.

— Every Friday, March 13 to Apr. 10, the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department will be having fish dinners from 5 to 7 p.m.

— Grand Valley UM Church will host a movie night on March 13 at 7 p.m. They will be showing “What would Jesus do?” 

— On March 15, the Grand Valley VFD will be recognized during the Grand Valley UM Church service. Lunch will be directly after. Main course is sloppy joes.

— A paint class will be hosted by the Grand Valley Desperados at the Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department. It will take place on March 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. Painting supplies, snacks and drinks will be provided. The cost is $25 per person. Tickets will be available the beginning of February. Contact Connie Tenney for more information at (814) 827-9462.

— There will be a Craft Camp at Wesley Woods from April 3 at 7 p.m. to April 5 at 11 a.m. This is a women’s event for ages 18 and above or 14 and above with a guardian. Ladies are invited to bring whatever craft projects may interest them to work on or gain inspiration from others. Crochet, knit, sew, quilt, paint, draw, or scrapbook while having fireside Bible studies with other ladies during this retreat.

There will also be a Man Camp this same weekend for ages 18 and above, 14 with guardian. The weekend retreat will consist of diving into scripture while also enjoying activities including a trip to our shooting range and nerf battles. 

— The Sanford UM Church Easter egg hunt will be held Saturday, April 4, with the hunt starting promptly at 10 a.m. and a breakfast will follow. Cost is donation only. 

— Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual spring raffle on April 11. Doors open at 6 p.m. and raffles begin at 6:30. Tickets are now available.

— Grand Valley UM Church will be having an Easter egg hunt on April 11 at 11 a.m. 

 — Wesley Woods will be having their Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. on April 12 with breakfast to follow in the dining hall at 8.

— On April 16 and 18, the Spring Creek Sportsman Club will have a Pa. hunting /trapper education class. The class takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and from 8 to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Lunch is provided on Saturday. Sign up on the Pa. Game Commission website using zip code 16436. This class is free to anyone 11 years of age and up.

— From April 26 at 2 p.m. to May 2 at 5 p.m., Wesley Woods will be having their ‘Work week’. This is a chance to come and volunteer at Wesley Woods to help prepare for summer. There are projects for everyone. Come on your own or bring a group — contact the office for more information at (814) 436-7802.



— Eldred Township supervisors will hold their 2020 regular monthly meetings and their sewer system meetings on the second Wednesday of each month starting at 5:30 p.m. at the township building, 2915 Newton Road, Pittsfield.

— The Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department is in need of ambulance and fire personnel, as well as social members to help with work bees and fundraisers.

The fire department would like to remind residents to make sure their addresses are visible for emergency personnel.

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.

— The Grand Valley Desperados next meeting is Monday, 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Valley fire hall. They are selling candy bars for $1 to support their 4-H year and get T-shirts. 

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Desperados 4-H Club contact leaders, Sam Greer or Connie Tenney with any questions, at (814) 827-9462.

— The Sanford Saddles & Spurs 4-H club’s next meeting will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Grand Valley Church. 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. 


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) and is open to all children in sixth through 12th grades. Bible studies are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m at Sarah Paden’s house.

— G&S Helping Hands meet the first Wednesday of every month at Grand Valley United Methodist Church at 4 p.m.

— Sanford Church Sunday worship is at 10 a.m. Sanford’s youth group will start back up on March 5, at 5 p.m. This youth group is open to children ages 4 to 12. For more information contact Gerri Anderson, at (814) 827-7708.



Happy birthday to... 

Jeff Gibson (March 7)

Mary Miller (March 10)

Dave Brown (March 11)



Dan and Amy Paden (March 8)



There are many variations of chicken and broccoli casserole. Some are made with rice and some with stuffing. I like my casseroles extra creamy and cheesy. You can add another can of cream of mushroom soup or more cheese to this recipe if you would like.

Chicken and broccoli casserole



— 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

— 1 pound broccoli florets

— 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

— 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

— 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

— 1 cup dry stuffing mix



Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boil chicken until tender and shred or cut into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, steam broccoli until crisp but tender.

In a small bowl mix together the soup and mayonnaise. Set aside. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish layer the chicken, broccoli, soup mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle dry stuffing mix over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.


Closing note

Easter is on April 12 this year, about a month away. The stores are already filled with Easter candies and spring goodies. I try to get my boys Easter baskets that they can reuse later. A few ideas are a lunch box, sand bucket, large dumptruck, upside down umbrella or rain boots. This year, I’m going to make a basket out of a beach towel and a pool noodle. Just fold the towel into thirds and attach the ends of the pool noodle to each side with ribbon. I’m going to fill my boys’ baskets with water toys and of course some chocolate eggs.


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 it into Friday’s column. Thank you. 


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

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