2011-11-19 / Viewpoints

HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS

By Cathy Ostrum

(Cathy Ostrum of Silver Spring, Md., formerly of Emporium, started Hometown Mentors Inc., a new nonprofit corporation whose mission is to bring renewed hope and prosperity to hometowns in Pennsylvania by connecting them with trusted resources and new technology.)

Many alumni of Cameron County High School have virtually reunited through a page on Facebook called, “You Know You Grew Up In Cameron County When . . . ”

There are nearly 900 people monitoring that page now. Many write about what they are doing now and what they remember.

One of the recent discussions centered around Christmas in Emporium when we were kids. We remembered Christmas music was heard in the air on Fourth Street and we recalled shopping at the Big G. Some praises were also printed about how Mrs. Ackman still opens the doors to Cappy’s Clothes every day, and how very nice she is as a store owner.

In our Facebook discussions, we learned that the Chamber of Commerce needed help. That is when Hometown Mentors started a number of projects that will help Christmas be a little brighter, with a feeling of being back home again -- even if you never left.

We have had a lot of fun completing the parking meter covers project. We thank the following people for making it possible: Ken Ostrum, Fred Burne, Calvin Hugar, Matt Grimone and the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce. Also, a huge thank you to all the townspeople who turned out to paint and decorate the boxes.

Next, Hometown Mentors is creating a DVD of Cameron County families’ Christmases from back in the day. Those with photographs to contribute should send them by email to hometown.mentors@gmail.com. These can be the funny, candid photos that you have loved over the years, or the posed pictures that were a family tradition. Remember to include names and approximate date of the picture.

Your photos can also be left at the Chamber of Commerce for copying. If you have slides or photographs that need to be scanned into a digital format, please see one of the committee members: Ken Ostrum, Cindy Ramsey, Pat Harrier, Pat Kempher, Diana Hastings Groome and Bonnie Spehalski.

These photos will be made into a DVD and will be shown at two or three store locations during December for your window shopping pleasure.

Deadline for submitting the pictures is Nov. 30. Please pass the word. We would like to include as many families as possible.

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