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Athens Arts4All celebrates the arts and crafts of artisans

ATHENS — The second annual Arts4All festival continued on Sunday at the Harlan Rowe Middle School with live entertainment, juried artisans, student vendors, music, art classes and a variety of food vendors.

Arts4All is an arts and craft festival organized by the non-profit organization, Athens Arts4All, to offer “opportunity for the community to participate in the celebration of the Arts through exposure, experience and expression,” according to the Athens Arts4All website.

The proceeds from the festival will go towards paying of this year’s event and setting some aside for next year’s festival. Any leftover money will be donated to the arts and music programs in the local schools.

“This year we’re doing both Athens (Area School District) and Sayre (Area School District). Last year, we were able to donate $4,500 to the Athens arts and music programs,” Kurt Priester, president of the Athens Arts4All organization, said. “This year we were hopeful, being a little bit bigger, that we could expand to Sayre.”

Priester also noted that Sayre school faculty and students came to support and volunteer at the festival as well.

Attending the festival were a variety of artisans, local students, live entertainment and food vendors, such as Celebrations Black Diamond Cafe, Coco Bongos and Funnel Cake Express. There were numerous artisans attending the festival, including Books by Maureen, Imagine Peace Pottery, Egg Art, and Detrick Woodworking. The vendors and artisans at the festival came not only from local areas but counties away too.

One vendor attending the festival was God’s Country Creamery, whose owners live two hours from the Athens area in Potter County.

“It’s been a really good experience. There’s a lot of great vendors here, and we’ve had a lot of nice people come through and chat with us and bought our products. It’s been a great experience,” Melanie Bachman, owner of God’s Country Creamery, said.

“This year has better than last year, especially yesterday. Yesterday was a great day, we had people up and down the aisles all day long. It’s been very successful for us,” Bachman said.

The Arts4All festival is not only an event to showcase the arts and crafts of the attending artisans, but it also a place for those artisans to connect with one another and the local communities.

“When I get a chance, I walk around and see all the different vendors and the different booths to see the incredible amount of talent that everybody has here,” Terri Wilson, owner of Cuppa Creations LLC, said. “But it’s also nice as a vendor to be here and to talk to different vendors, network a little bit, get some ideas, we talk about other shows and just the support that you get from them.”

Wilson also talked on how beneficial it was to be at the Arts4All festival. Talking with other vendors, Wilson receives information on other vendor shows she could potentially attend and in turn, she gives information on shows she will attend later on. Wilson also mentioned how she talked with a fellow attendee about placing her product, organic and natural teas in the attendee’s storefront.

Wilson left the festival with some new ideas and new events to attend but also with some inspiring words to anyone thinking of starting a new business.

“If anybody has a talent or something like a lot of these vendors here, and you think it’s worthy of other people enjoying and purchasing, they should go for it. They should try to showcase their talents and put it out there for sale and become a small business owner. It’s a lot of fun,” Wilson said.

The weekend-long event of Arts4All was quite the success for the Athens non-profit organization with an estimated 8,000 turnout over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

“Yesterday was wall to wall people all day long. It was just a constant group of people. I think we’re estimated over the weekend somewhere in the 8,000 realm of people through here. It was a fantastic weekend,” Priester said. “We’re just grateful that everyone came out and supported us. We hope they come back next year and help us continue to support the arts.”


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Showing the park some love

WAVERLY — Two Rivers State Park and Waverly Glen Park joined 140 of its compatriots Saturday to recognize “I Love My Park” Day, a statewide initiative to raise awareness for the recreational spaces across New York.

Volunteers met at the glen bright and early despite the gloomy, overcast sky to hit the trails and make some repairs and perform maintenance across the parks.

“We’ll be doing a stone wall repair, some trail clean-up and marking, bridge repair and some other general maintenance and clean-up,” said Two Rivers Park Supervisor Tori Srnka. “And a special day like this is a great way to kick off the parks for the public during the warmer seasons.”

Srnka said the initiative is especially important for the Waverly parks to raise community awareness.

“It makes a big difference or have an organized event like this,” Srnka said. “It gets people here to see how beautiful the parks are, and the dreary weather today certainly isn’t dampening anyone’s spirit.”

The event also featured a number of children’s activities to get the younger generation more involved with the parks, such as “Forest Faces” and “mud monsters,” which allowed kids to put clay faces on trees that could be seen by them and hikers throughout the summer.

Nature is not without its own pitfalls, however, and Carantouan Greenway’s Marty Borko was on hand to caution volunteers against ticks, in particular.

“I’m providing some tick education for the people hitting the trails today,” he said. “Fortunately, more people are becoming aware of the infections and diseases carried by ticks. But I’m making sure people spray themselves with repellent and check themselves because preventative measures are better than treatment.”

Srnka also thanked other organizations for their support during the annual event, including the Jolly Farmer, Dessert First, Waverly VFW Post 8104 and Auxiliary, American Legion Post 492 and the Waverly-Barton Fire District.


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PCCD grant funding will go towards Sayre's SRO costs

SAYRE — The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) grant that the Sayre Area School District received on Wednesday will be going towards the costs for the school district’s resource officer.

The school resource officer (SRO), Sean Flynn, joined the school in mid-February “to increase the safety of our students and staff,” according to acting superintendent and business manager Barry Claypool.

The SRO position is a full-time position and works 180 days out of the school year. The SRO must be on site — on school grounds — for 40 hours per week, according to the memorandum of understanding between the Sayre Area School District and the Borough of Sayre.

The duties of the SRO include:

  • Safeguarding students, staff and employees of the Sayre Area School District schools within the jurisdiction of the Sayre Borough Police Department by providing a law enforcement presence on the campuses
  • Maintain clear lines of communication and working relationships with building administrators and teachers
  • Serve as a role model for problem solving and positive conflict resolution both to students and the community
  • Help increase students’ knowledge of the legal system and establish positive connections to students via classroom instruction and presentations
  • Process all criminal charges necessary at the Sayre schools
  • Document substantive individual student conferences
  • Patrolling and familiarizing themselves with the geographic layout of the assigned school buildings, surrounding grounds and neighboring streets
  • Physically protecting school students, staff and school employees and school equipment from criminal and traffic offenders, particularly with regard to armed assailants
  • Instructing Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) classes
  • Conducting school related crime prevention and public relations presentations and tours, as required
  • Providing security at school related extracurricular activities, to include sporting events and concerts, as required and authorized by school officials and the Chief of Police
  • Counseling and mentoring students as authorized by school officials and the Chief of Police

The PCCD grant was written by Dr. Tricia Tietjen, internal grant writer and Director of Special Education for the Sayre Area School District. There were 638 proposals submitted for consideration for the PCCD grant and only 234 were accepted.

Sayre Area School District was the only school district in Bradford County to receive the additional grant funding.

The school district has been awarded around $145,000. The additional funding will go towards covering the cost of SRO Flynn which is part of the MOU agreement between the school district and the borough.

“The district appreciates receiving these funds and having Officer Flynn join the Sayre Area School District family,” Claypool stated.