11/20/23 - Tubadors & Cookie Bakeoff
10/25/23 - Hike & Happy Hour - Blue Marsh & Ganley's Pub
9/21/23 - MERA Chicken Bake
8/30/23 - Mystery Trip @ Wildlife Park, Italian Restaurant, River Boat Cruise, & Turkey Hill Experience
7/25/23 - Happy Hour @ Beverly Hills Tavern
7/18/23 - Chesapeake City Dine Around
7/4/23 - MERA Berks County Field of Honor
6/27/23 - Happy Hour @ Doc & Bubba's
6/15/23 - MERA Annual Picnic @ Dietrich Park
5/30/23 - Blue Marsh/Union Canal Trail Hike
5/15/23 - Berks County Seeing Eye Puppy Raisers
4/25/23 - Reading Museum and Arboretum
4/5/23 - Camden Aquarium & Spirit of Phila Cruise
03/28/23 Wyomissing Parklands Hike & Happy Hour
03/20/23 Ukraine!!! Presentation by Dr. Medianick
02/28/23 Wernersville State Hospital Grounds
02/20/23 Scotland Tour and a Cookoff
02/14/23 SNOW GEESE @ Middle Creek
01/31/23 Thun Trail Hike
12/27/22 Union Canal Towpath Hike
12/15/22 Christmas Luncheon @ The DoubleTree
12/1/22 Salvation Army Bell Ringers!
11/29/22 Muhlenberg Rail Trail Hike
10/25/22 Earl Poole Sanctuary Hike
10/12/22 Penn's Peak Trip
9/27/22 Green Hills Reserve Hike
9/15/22 Annual Chicken Bake
9/13/22 Annapolis Trip
8/9/22 Hike at Berks Nature Place
7/27/22 Mystery Trip
7/12/22 Hike on Union Canal Towpath
6/28/22 Hike on Bartram Trail
6/16/22 Annual Picnic at Dietrich Park
Dine Around Trip
5/31/22 Exeter Scenic River Trail Hike
4/27-29/22 Virginia International Tattoo Event
4/26/22 - Blue Marsh Sensory Trail
3/19/22 - Hike at Wyomissing Creek
3/8/22 - Hike at MiddleCreek Wildlife Center to See Snow Geese
12/16/21 Dave Reinwald and Lee Schappell at the Double Tree by Hilton
12/9/21 Hunterdon Hills Playhouse Trip
11/30/21 Hike at Nolde Forest and Happy Hour at California Bar & Grill.
11/18/21 Salvation Army Volunteers raised $256.92 to kick-off the holiday season.
11/15/21 Steve Barth on acoustic guitar at Muhlenberg Recreation Center
10/18/21 Brian Engelhardt at Temple Fire Company
Silver Birches Resort and Fall Foliage Train Ride September 29, 2021
It was a perfect day for our trip. It was sunny with temperatures in the sixties. The scenic views of the Pocono mountains were spectacular. The leaves were beginning to show a tint of the fall reds, yellows, and oranges.
Our first stop was in the town of Honesdale where we boarded a restored vintage coach on the Stourbridge Rail Line. We experienced how rail travel was during the 1920’s. The ten-mile, one hour ride from Honesdale to Hawley provided views of the Pocono mountains and the scenic Lackawaxen River. Our conductor gave us a brief history of the region. From 1830 to 1860, before the rail line existed, a canal was used to transport anthracite coal from Honesdale to the Hudson River and finally to the markets of New York City. Gravity railroads were used to transport the coal from the mines in Northeastern Pennsylvania to Honesdale. In 1898 the canal was drained, and the railroads became the main source of transporting the coal. After arriving in Hawley, the bus took us to Lake Wallenpaupack and the Silver Birches resort.
Lake Wallenpaupack is one of the largest reservoirs in Pennsylvania, measuring 13 miles long and up to 60 feet deep. The man-made lake was built in 1927 for hydroelectric power. The Silver Birches resort is located along the shores of the lake. Following a delicious buffet lunch, we were entertained by Deja View, performing Motown, Disco, and some Rock n Roll. We even had some members of our group volunteer to go on stage to perform ‘silly vocals’ and ‘shake your booty’ dancing.
PS: The door side of the bus continued its winning ways in the trivia contest. Larry is looking for smart people to sit on his side of the bus and may be willing to compensate them.
Honesdale Railroad excursions: https://www.thestourbridgeline.net
Silver Birches Resort at Lake Wallenpaupack: https://silverbirchesresortpa.com
Please see the following trip pictures.
9/16/21 Chicken Bake
American’s Heroes of the 21st Century Featuring Flight 93 Memorial - August 18, 2021
Heading west via the PA turnpike, we exited on the Bedford exchange to meet our guides for the day. The guides entered the bus and gave us a bit of history of Bedford as we toured the town on U.S route 30, known as the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast highway built under the guidance of Carl Fisher beginning in 1913. Another interesting site in Bedford is the Omni Bedford Springs Resort which includes a championship golf course. The Fall Festival every October is also must-see event.
We headed west toward Shanksville and the Flight 93 National Memorial. Our first stop was the Memorial Plaza. As we took the quarter mile walk along the paved walkway to the Wall of Names, we could see the impact site and the huge boulder, marking the final resting place of Capital Jason Dahl, First Officer Leroy Homer, 5 Flight Attendants and the 33 passengers (plus an unborn child). The Wall of Names honors the 40 that lost their lives that day on September 11, 2001.
Next was the Visitor Center which included exhibits and viewing windows. We listened to gut-wrenching recordings left by several passengers on home answering machines, minutes before the crash. The passengers were aware of the twin tower crashes and knew the hijackers were taking them on a suicide mission. As we walked out to the observation deck, we could see the path of the flight before it crashed.
On the way out of the Memorial, we stopped at the Tower of Voices. The Tower of Voices is a monumental, ninety-three feet tall holding forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members. We were able to hear the set of forty tones (voices) throughout the site.
Lunch was at the Coal Miners Café in Jennersville. A delicious choice of hot beef sandwich, hot turkey sandwich, or grilled chicken salad was followed by gob cake, which is the Western PA’s version of the Whoopie Pie.
Our next stop was the rescue site of the Quecreek mine. Nine miners were trapped 243 feet underground from July 24-26, 2002. Our presenter did an excellent job of what occurred and how these men were rescued. A retired mining safety inspector, who was on-site during the rescue operation answered questions and provided insight on how the life-saving decisions were made.
Our final stop on the tour was the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel, located a few miles from the crash site. The nondenominational chapel was founded by a Catholic Bishop (Father Al). The Chapel is dedicated to remembering and honoring the courageous passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. The garden contains a memorial of the flight 93 crew dedicated by the United Airlines Flight Attendants to honor their friends. Many items inside were donated by family members of the passengers and crew. Of interest were the quilts hanging inside, which resemble stained glass windows, were made by a quilting group in Reading. Two veterans from our group lit the seven-day candle and we finished with God Bless America accompanied on the piano by a member of our group. It was a long but emotional day for all of us as we headed home.
PS: The door side of the bus won the trivia contest, and Henry’s jokes got everyone laughing as usual. We did get guest humorists Steve Rathman and one of guides entertain us with a few funny jokes that also kept us laughing. The guides were excellent and provided us with interesting information the whole day. And another great job by Elite Coach getting us there and back home safely.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort: https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs.
Bedford Fall Foliage Festival: https://bedfordfallfoliagefestival.com
Flight 93 National Memorial: https://www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm
Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation: http://www.quecreekrescue.org
Quecreek rescue movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqWe9LP2U-U
Newspaper article of the opening of the Flight 93 Chapel: https://www.lakenewsonline.com/x219210230/Reverend-builds-Flight-93-Chapel-dedicated-to-passengers-and-crew
Please see the following trip pictures.
7/6/21 Mystery Trip included stops at Juniata Valley Winery, Penn State Conference Center at PSU for hot buffet lunch, bus tour of campus, Penn State Creamery, and Boal Mansion Museum of Christopher Columbus possessions and memorabilia. The winning detective of the mystery trip investigative report was Carol Grebe with a score of 15....she won a $25.00 gift card.
PS: Larry Lenhart LOST the trivia contest. Henry's jokes were somewhat humorous!
Be sure to read the next Hometown News for a more descriptive narrative of the Mystery Trip. Please see the following trip pictures.
6/17/21 Annual Picnic at Jim Dietrich Park
5/17/21 Aaron Prince from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary at Jim Dietrich Park
4/19/21 Rich Barry - Acoustic/Classical Guitarist at Jim Dietrich Park
On April 1, volunteers at Helping Harvest Food Bank unload food donated by Met-Ed Retirees as part of Met-Ed's annual Harvest for Hunger food drive. Retirees Al Gordon, Donna & Tim Goughnour, Doug Myers, Dee & Art Salyers filled Karen Baxter's car with food donations for the Berks County food bank.
3/15/21 Historic Scavenger Drive/Walk at Jim Dietrich Park & Gift Basket presented to Muhlenberg Twp. in appreciation of all their cooperation.
1/18/21 Winter Hike - Jim Dietrich's Park
10/15/20 Mark James - Music in the Park
Note: Below slides are also two videos
2/17/20 Bob Kreitz - Mardi Gras Musician
12/13/19 Christmas Luncheon w/Governor Mifflin Governors
12/12 & 12/20 Salvation Army Volunteers
12/11/19 American Music Theater Trip
11/18/19 Rev. Dave Reinwald & Lee Schappell
10/10/19 Penn's Peak Trip
9/19/19 Chicken Bake
8/20/19 Made in the USA Trip:
Twenty-two members and seven guests enjoyed a MADE IN THE USA trip. We arrived at Sunrise Soap in York, learned all about soap making and everyone made their own soap.
Then we went to Revonah Pretzel in Hanover and saw first-hand how hard and soft pretzels are made. This is one of the few hand made pretzel firms left in this area. We all were given a huge soft pretzel.
We then enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch at the Altland House in Abbottstown. We then visited George's Furniture in Marietta where we saw exquisite hand-made furniture made to order, all by skilled craftsmen.
And of course we finished our trip by each getting two large scoops of ice cream at Scoops Ice Cream in Mountville.
7/25/19 Mystery Trip (Harrisburg, PA area):
The trip involving 54 participants enjoyed beautiful weather as we visited the WITF public media center (TV and Radio) and were given a tour of the studios. We then enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch on the western shore of the Susquehanna river at Dukes Riverside Bar & Grille. Then we went to Harrisburg and toured the National Fire Museum. We concluded our tour by having pie and ice cream at Oregon Dairy.
The following four people correctly answered all seven questions to the Mystery Trip Report and will receive $15.00 gift certificates: Carolyn Fox, Uta Hexamer, Kathy Seyler, Larry Spayd.
7/25/19 Mystery Trip
6/25/19 Sights & Delights in MD
6/20/19 Annual Picnic
5/20/19 Steve Walker & Veterans
4/25/19 Anniversary Luncheon
3/18/19 Lindsey Dierolf
12/20/18 Christmas Luncheon
12/11/18 Salvation Army Fun
12/6/18 Hunterdon Hills
10/15/18 Mike Cabot
9/20/18 Chicken Bake
7/25/18 Mystery Trip (Frederick, MD):
The first stop was the Visitor Center at Frederick, MD, where we saw a film about the city and county. We visited the historic Weinberg Center, saw a silent film starring Buster Keaton all the while a Wurlitzer organ was played. A guide was on the bus as we toured the county. A stop at Nutter's Ice Cream Shop in Sharksburg, MD, Nora Roberts Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD, and Smoketown Brewing station in Brunswick, MD were also included. It only rained when we were inside the bus!
Lin Seyler was the winner of a $25.00 gift certificate for having the most correct answers to the Mystery Trip Investigation Report.
7/25/18 Mystery Trip
6/21/18 Annual Picnic
4/26/18 Anniversary Lunch
4/20/18 Philly Trip
12/21/17 Christmas Luncheon
10/18/17 Savor Gettysburg
9/21/17 Chicken Bake
8/23/17 Mystery Trip:
Fifty-three members and guests went on our second Mystery Trip. We stopped at Dover Air Force Base and had a guided tour of the museum there. We sat in a C-47 and went inside a really, really big C-5 Galaxy, all the while listening to our guides telling all about all the planes and their role in WWII.
We had a great lunch at the Flying Pig restaurant in Dover.
Then we went to the Dover Speedway i.e. The Monster Mile. Historian George Keller, at all the races since 1969, was our guide. We even did one lap around the track in the bus!
Then we stopped for ice cream at the creamery on the campus of the University of Delaware.
There were four winners of the Mystery Trip Investigation Report. They are Justin Campbell, Cheryl Haas, Patricia Wright, and Lin Seyler. Your prize will be in the mail.