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Friendship Circle, also famous for their peppermint crunch candy around Christmas, has been making the eggs for many, many years and uses the candy sales as a way to fundraise for the church and church missions. They, along with other women of the congregation, sponsor blood drives in the spring and fall as well.

The Mountaintop Garden Club got off to a very strong start in their first year, with their mission to provide “educational programs in horticulture, conservation, floral design and landscape design” and “promote positive community involvement.” The club is for both avid and novice gardeners, as well as those who are simply interested in landscaping or beautification and meets monthly to hear speakers on a variety of topics related to gardening.

The 29th annual Feed A Friend project through St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was again a success, assisting approximately 100 Mountaintop families this Thanksgiving. Local donations provided the groceries for the meals with the help of quite a few volunteers.

Service here on the mountain is not always confined to groups of folks. Sometimes we, as a society, underestimate young people, and sometimes, they surprise us and make us rethink what they are capable of.

Ten year old Abi Reilley has become a champion for Marley’s Mission; a non-profit organization that provides equine-based therapy free of charge to children who have experienced trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, grief, medical trauma, or some other tragic event and now suffer as a result. Abi held a car wash event in August and has combined that total with the funds from donations, treats and bracelet sales for a grand total of $1300 for Marley’s Mission –well on her way to her $2,000 goal. Crestwood graduate Tom Goyne

was honored for his dedication as a volunteer groundskeeper for the American Legion baseball field for the last five years. Tom expanded the maintenance schedule of the field to include not only cutting grass and chalking lines, but also a fertilizer and pesticide plan, as well as an irrigation and drainage system. He was recognized for his exceptional dedication to the ball field with a little help toward pursuing his degree in Turfgrass management at Penn State University.

Local residents also proved that, from protecting livestock, guiding those with visual impairments, finding lost people or uncovering a crime scene, to simply calming an elderly resident or a struggling child, it is clear that with the proper training, there is nothing that a dog and their human can’t do.

Paula Flannery and her family were already dog owners when her daughter, Erin, a junior at Crestwood High School, decided to become the caretaker of a German Shepherd puppy as part of her graduation project through the Pawsabilities Club of Dallas. Erin taught Fiji the basics so that she could move seamlessly into her next phase of training as a Seeing Eye dog and eventually be paired with her owner who will depend on her to guide and help with everyday tasks.

Around the same time, Sandy Ford was also training her German Shepherd, Tillie, the art of “tending” –a centuries old European style of herding where the dog literally acts as a “living fence” for sheep and other livestock. Sandy’s other German Shepherd, Onyx, is a Live Find Search Dog, Ivan is a Human Remains Detection Dog and Allee has entered many an AKC Obedience Competition. Sandy has also trained her Shepherds as therapy dogs, regularly taking them to various nursing homes and hospitals to calm and cheer residents.