Good morning, everyone. Winter seems to have finally settled in, though it took its time in doing so. If you use studded tires, this may be the week to finally get them put on your vehicle, even if it is for only three short months before the regulations say they need to be removed. Hopefully winter will be over by then, as well.

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with post offices and banks being closed for the holiday. This holiday takes us into the second half of January and reminds us that the month is moving right along, so we need to stay active to get goals completed before we get into another month.

Churches

— The Townville United Methodist Church has Sunday worship services at 10:15 a.m. Frank Weingard is the pastor for the Church, as well as for the Blooming Valley UMC and the Troy Center UMC.

Social time with refreshments is held after the morning service. All are welcome to attend.

The Townville UMC will need to replace the roof in about five years. If you can find the means to begin donations toward that cause it would be greatly appreciated. Donating now can help get this project going without creating a large debt when the time comes.

— The Townville Baptist Church Sunday services begin at 9:15 a.m. Sunday School classes follow at 10:30.

The Olympians group is set up for Pre-K to fifth graders to meet on Sunday evenings. The meetings are at the Church from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The Townville Baptist Church “Plugged In” youth group meet on Sundays at 6 p.m. This group is planned for teens from sixth to twelfth grade.

The Release Time classes have returned after the holiday break. Becky is able to enter the school on Tuesdays to get the kids. Things should move a bit smoother and quicker than they did last year. Tables will be cleaned and sanitized after each group, as has been the practice. We look forward to a year of growing closer with the children as we continue our work.

The Bible Study meets on Tuesday evenings at 6:15.

— The Tryonville United Methodist Church minister, Pastor Richard Foland leads the church in its worship. Sunday School is held at 10 a.m. with the worship hour to be held at 11.

Condolences

— Ruth Muir Ewing passed last week. She reached the age of 105, and is survived by her five children; Troy, Beverly Johnston, Arden and wife, Kathy, Larry and wife, Becky, and Lowell and wife, Cheryl; nine grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren. She was a former resident of the Moss Grove area and a former neighbor of my childhood years.

— Rev. Jerry Drake passed last Friday. He was the father-in-law of former Townville resident, Brad Bossard. Jerry is survived by his wife, Marian, and children, Brenda Bossard, Rayne Hasbrouck, Randy, Jay and Mike Drake and their spouses; 16 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Judy Johnson and Penny Nicholson; two brothers, Kirt and Lloyd Drake Jr., and many nieces and nephews.

— Also passing last week was Jon Noel who passed away on Saturday. He attended Townville schools and was a graduate after the district merged to make Maplewood. Jon is survived by his wife, Linda and a son, Gabriel.

We express our many sympathies for these families who remain behind. May the families, friends and neighbors find comfort in their many treasured memories and much peace in their hearts at this difficult time of loss.

Clubs/groups

— The Drake Well Museum Winter Academy begins on Jan. 13 and will be held over four evenings in January and February. The academy begins at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom with interactive presentations by a wide variety of speakers.

Registration for each individual program is required and is free. Museum Educator Sarah Goodman shared, “The museum’s new virtual learning program is an opportunity for the museum to offer educational programming during the months when physical access to the museum may be limited due to the weather. The virtual format allows visitors the opportunity to learn from the comfort of their homes, and it provides a break from the Winter weather blues that many people get this time of year.”

The programs offered are as follows:

— Jan. 13: Recycling the Right Way. Andy Lammot will share his story of founding the Do Your Part Recycling Drop-Off in Benton, Illinois. Participants will also learn how to start a recycling program and how to properly recycle all types of materials.

— Jan. 20: Firewood.  Cecile Stelter, District Forester, Cornplanter Forest District #14.

— Feb. 10: William “Uncle Billy” Smith.  Jennifer Ford, PhD, Director of the Butler County Historical Society.

— Feb. 17: Abandoned Well Study. Natalie Pekney, Environmental Engineer, National Department of Energy.

To register, visit drakewell.org/events/winter-academy or call Drake Well Museum at (814) 827-2797 for assistance with registration. Located off Route 8, south of Titusville, Drake Well Museum and Park is open year-round. The museum is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in partnership with Friends of Drake Well, Inc. and is part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History (PATrailsofHistory.com).

Additional information about the Winter Academy and other museum programs is available at drakewell.org, by calling (814) 827-2797, or on Facebook at Drake Well Museum and Park.

—  A “Giving Tree” has been set up at the Townville Baptist Church on the corner of the parking lot, next to the wooden fence. The mission of the tree is to help those in need of a hat, gloves, scarves, socks and any other items that would fit on the tree.

Items should be placed in a Ziploc bag to keep the weather off of them. Clothes pins are available on the tree to hang the items. You can help get the word out to those in need and those that may want to help with donations. Anyone can put an item on the tree as a donation. The tree is for locals, but anyone driving by who is in need, may take something off it. It is hoped that the community will embrace this tree as their mission, in order to come together to help others in need.

— Food For Thought Free Food Pantry is open every Wednesday. Please note that they are presently running their winter hours from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at 29776 Hwy. 77, Guys Mills, in New Richmond, next to the Church. Stop in to select free food. Be sure to wear a mask. Only one person is permitted at a time in the storefront. No questions are asked. They have diapers available too. For more information, call (814) 673-2302. If you have any questions, call Ann Zurasky at (814) 673-2301, or email her at elizamegan782@gmail.com. You may also call Judy Smock at (814) 671-3452. If you are able to offer support for this program, please make a donation or contact them to see if there is a way you can volunteer some of your time. The group is in need of replenishing their supplies to continue helping into the new year.

— Relay for Life teams of Venango County are again participating in the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society through the buyer’s choice of Relay for Life team.

Daffodils are sold in bunches of ten-cut large blooms or in pots of live mini daffodils. Bunches of ten-cut tulips of assorted colors are also available. The Gift of Hope program which provides daffodils to local hospitals, cancer centers and patients will continue.

For more information or to place an order, contact Judy Stevenson at (814) 827-2179 or (814) 777-3484 or by email at jstevenson@zoominternet.net for the Helping Hands Relay Team. Orders and payment are due by Feb. 18 with delivery planned for the week of March 21.

School news

The students will have free breakfasts and lunches during the entire school year. Although no further action is required to receive a free breakfast and lunch, the school district is still encouraging families to fill out the Free and Reduced Meal applications. If you have received a notice of direct certification for free meals, do not complete an application. The free or reduced status will carry over to the first 30 days of the 2022-23 school year.

PENNCREST Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Jan.17. Be sure to access your student’s teacher roster so that you can schedule your conference time.

There will be no school on Monday, Jan. 17 and on Monday, Jan. 24. Students will return to classes on Tuesday each of those weeks.

Maplewood winter sports for this week begins with the boys junior high basketball players hosting a game at Maplewood Elementary at 4 p.m. against Cambridge Springs.

At 6 p.m., there will be two events, the girls varsity basketball game will be at Cochranton Jr./Sr. High, while the second event is on the home mats with the JV wrestlers facing Seneca High. The varsity wrestlers take on the Seneca team at 7.

On Friday evening, the boys varsity basketball players travel to Cambridge Springs High School for their 7 p.m. game. On Saturday, the boys junior high wrestlers will attend the “Northwestern Junior High Tournament” that begins at 9 a.m.

Next Monday, though there is no school, there will be a 4 p.m. boys junior high basketball game held at Maplewood Elementary when the team faces the Titusville Rockets.

Later that evening, the girls have a basketball game on the home court against Cambridge Springs High School at 7.

On Tuesday, the boys junior high basketball players will return to the court at Conneaut High School in Conneaut, Ohio at 4 p.m. That same evening, the boys varsity hoopsters will be on the home court to take on the Union City team at 7.

There is only one sports event on Wednesday with the boys varsity wrestlers hosting Cochranton Jr./Sr. High School for matches that begin at 7 p.m.

From the kitchen

This week, I am sharing two recipes. The first is for homemade Alfredo Sauce and the second will be a dish using that sauce.

Heat 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Mix in 2 cups of heavy cream, 2 minced cloves of garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened and is smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese once sauce has thickened and stir until smooth. Sauce is ready to use in any recipe that you wish to use it in.

This second recipe, Peppered Shrimp Alfredo, can use the homemade Alfredo sauce, or you can use a 15-ounce jar of store-bought, if you choose. You should enjoy either version.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add 12 ounces of penne pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup of butter together with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1 diced onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 diced red bell pepper, and 1/2 pound of diced portobello mushroom. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.

Stir in 1 pound of peeled and de-veined medium shrimp, and cook until firm and pink. Then pour in your choice of Alfredo sauce, 1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese, and 1/2 cup of cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with 1/4 cup of chopped parsley. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Have a Happy…

Birthdays for this week start on Monday, Jan. 17 with Mark Burnett and Rev. Beverly Spore sharing that day, and Jan. 18 is shared by Elaine Smith, Bob Shreffler and Nickolei Drake Dann. On Jan. 19, Andromeda Holcomb and Justin Howell share their day, while Michael Jones, David Waid, Rahn Motter and Gary Motter share Jan. 20. Sharing Jan. 21 are Dylan Conners, Travis Mitcham and Fabiola Holcomb, then the last birthdays for the week are Zachary Grzecka and Erin Kaszynski on Jan. 22.

If you have a special day during the week that I have missed, or you have some special upcoming dates that you wish to have noted in the column, I invite you to let me know, so that I may add those dates to my calendar of Townville (former or current) area residents, and events to publish.

Contact me

Many thanks for all the feedback and information that folks have shared. I appreciate the time that folks have taken to get news to me each week. Your input is what makes our news complete. It is a great pleasure to hear from members of the community.

If you have any comments or concerns about the column, please feel free to call, email or send a message via Facebook. Be sure to note the subject of your email as “Townville News,” so that I may give it prompt and proper attention, and not miss your information. If you have some news or information that you wish to share, please be sure to submit it to me by noon on Tuesday, so that I may include it in the current week’s article.

Linda McCarl can be contacted by phone at (814) 967-2677 or by email at mccarl7577@hotmail.com.

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