It’s almost that time of year again, as Lent is set to begin Wednesday, Feb. 17, and run through March 31. I know a lot of people enjoy traveling around the area to different establishments to try out their Lent specials. I hope everyone has a happy Lenten season!

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The Derry Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its Lenten fish fry every Friday throughout Lent, starting Feb. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. The menu and prices will remain the same as last year.

The department thanks you for your continued support!

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Derry First United Methodist Church, 311 N. Ligonier St., Derry Borough, will be hosting a drive-thru Prayers and Ashes on Wednesday, Feb. 17. It will be at A.V. Germano Hall (Community Center in Derry) from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., then at the church parking lot from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. If you can’t make it during those times and would like ashes, please call the church at 724-694-8333 to set up an appointment.

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The Derry Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of 108 Presby Way and North Chestnut Street, Derry Borough, (724-694-5710) will be hosting a takeout-only pork and sauerkraut dinner from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.

Sixty meals will be available. The menu includes pork, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, applesauce, roll and butter and dessert. The cost is $10 per meal. This is takeout only. Pick up will be at the entrance of Fellowship Hall near garage and kitchen entrance. We appreciate your support!

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The Diamond Dolls Twirling Team LLC, based in Derry, announces registration for their 2021 season. This will be their 23rd year! Registration will be held Tuesday, Feb. 16, and Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Blairsville Armory & Wellness Center, 119 N Walnut St., Blairsville. Those interested in registering may stop in anytime between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on either night.

Children need to accompany parents to registration. Registration fee ($25) and cost of baton ($25) are due at registration. Class tuition and other fees will be due at a later time. (More details will be given at registration or by calling the number or visiting the website below).

The team is open to girls, ages 3 to 17 years old, from any school district, with or without baton twirling experience. Recreational classes will begin March 4, and are assigned based on age and skill level, including beginner through competitive. (competitive and mini-competitive team are by prior evaluation only). The 2021 Diamond Dolls recreational teams will practice on Thursday evenings, from March through July. For the 2021 season, they have moved to a temporary practice location at the Blairsville Armory & Wellness Center. They typically march in local parades and entertain at church and community festivals throughout the summer months. They are hopeful that there will be some of these opportunities in 2021, but cannot guarantee that yet. There will at least be a Friends & Family Show. They are a familiar site at the Derry Memorial Day and Railroad Days, Blairsville Knotweed Festival and Latrobe Fourth of July parades.

In 2021, there will also be an option to participate in classes only, from March-May for anyone looking for a shorter commitment (this is the opt out of public appearances option).

Last February, the Diamond Dolls Competitive teams and soloists traveled to Disney World, where they competed in the TwirlMania International Championships held at the Wide World of Sports Arena. There, they won second place in all three of their team divisions, and their coach Kimberly Hoag was awarded Choreographer of the Year! The team also was chosen (by audition) to lead the other teams in the Spectacular Parade of Champions-a nighttime parade at Magic Kingdom. Individually, their solo competitors won 19 awards, first through 10th places.

Diamond Dolls alumni twirlers have gone on to twirl on college majorette lines and as feature twirlers at schools including: Indiana State University, Sam Houston State University, Thiel College, Bowling Green State University, Clarion University, Robert Morris University and Pitt. Many of their twirlers also enjoy twirling on local high school Majorette lines.

Over the years, the competitive and mini-competitive teams (part of the larger 50-plus member team) have won two National Baton Twirling Association State championships, 30 Twirling Unlimited International championships and 28 Twirling Unlimited Regional championships. They are the current Twirling Unlimited Junior Production Corps International champions and Juvenile Novelty Twirl International champions!

For further information, check out their website: www.DiamondDollsTwirling.com. More information can also be obtained by contacting Kimberly Hoag at 724-459-8628.

Derry Area School District Early Childhood Liaison Barbie Jones has announced a Virtual Storytime for children birth to Pre-K at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. To join virtually, go to storytime.dasd.us. Jones mentioned that they would like to provide your child with a free resource bag, containing a book and fun learning tools.

To reserve your child’s resource bag, go to resources.dasd.us. Resource bag drive-thru and pick-up dates and locations include, Derry Area Middle School (in front of the office entrance) from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 20. The other pick-up location will be held at Grandview Elementary School (ring buzzer at the office entrance) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, Feb. 22 through Feb. 25.

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Megan Hilpert Sliva, director of the Barbara Thompson Early Literacy Center, has announced that the center is currently enrolling preschool and pre-kindergarten for fall of 2021-22. If interested, call 724-694-2514.

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Action for Animals Humane Society, Latrobe, is hosting a Hop into spring virtual cash bash at 5 p.m. March 27. Winners will be drawn live on Facebook. Tickets, 50/50 and raffle chances are on sale now.

Ways to participate include reading ticket and raffle information, purchasing cash bash tickets, purchasing 50/50 and raffle chances, donating a basket or raffle item or making a monetary donation.

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Derry Area School District 21st Century Community Learning Center Program Director Debbie Gray would like to share that the afterschool program (aft3r@dasd) will be offered virtually throughout the month of February.

Elementary students can join in on the fun from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 5 p.m. Friday the days school is in session. Secondary students are invited to attend from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The program is free to students in the Derry Area School District K-12. A variety of STE(A)M activities are planned daily ranging from Environmental Ecology, FIT Club, MAD Science, Mine Craft, NASA projects, Read & Work Out, Who Dunnit, Service-Learning Activities, Winter Wellness and more.

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Just a reminder that the Derry Borough gas line replacement project, which began 6 a.m. Feb. 6, is still in progress and will continue for a few more weeks. The project is taking place from 118 1st Ave. to Ligonier Street. Due to the construction, construction equipment and safety, as well as creating enough space for thru traffic and the flaggers, there will be NO on-street parking allowed during this time. The borough thanks you for your understanding!

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Derry Township Supervisors want to remind Derry Township residents that recyclable bins are for paper only! No cardboard is permitted. This causes issues with their hauler and their workers who have to remove all cardboard from bins. If this continues, the supervisors will have to reevaluate the need for paper recycling.

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Grandview Elementary School Principal Rod Bisi would like to remind every one of this next announcement:

“Will your child be coming to kindergarten for the 2021-22 school year? Attention parents/guardians of future kindergarteners:

“Now is the time to begin the process of enrolling your child in DASD kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year. Children who are 5 years old on or before the first day of school 2021 are eligible. Completing the enrollment process now not only helps us plan our resources appropriately, but it also gets you and your child on our contact list to receive invitations to several upcoming kindergarten readiness events you do not want to miss.

“Kindergarten registration is completed electronically through a link located on our district website. Go to dasd.us and click on Our Schools, Grandview Elementary, Parents and then Kindergarten Registration to access the online registration form. In order for your child to be enrolled for kindergarten, please complete the online registration form AND provide the required documentation. Parents/guardians may submit documents by uploading them to the registration site at http://registration.dasd.us, emailing them to wciocco@dasd.us, or dropping them off at the Grandview office.

“If you have any questions or need assistance, please call Grandview Elementary School at 724-694-2400. We look forward to welcoming our future kindergarten students to Grandview.”

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Have a great weekend!

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Derry Diary items may be emailed to liberoni@aol.com.

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