Dec. 11, 2020

Heather Oates, Ligonier Valley Library children’s librarian, displays a paper chain on the Christmas tree located in the children’s department. It is a sample of the ones being made by patrons with a secret message for residents of Bethlen Homes and Ligonier Gardens.

Ligonier Valley Library will continue to accept paper chains until Tuesday, Dec. 15. If you would like to make one to help brighten up the life of a resident at Bethlen Homes or Ligonier Gardens, drop it off at the library’s circulation desk.

Gift wrap, newspaper and construction paper make treasurable paper chains. You can use paper you already have at home. Gift wrap, newspaper and construction paper make treasurable paper chains. Secret messages will be written on the paper chains to cheer up residents.

For additional information, contact Heather Oates, children’s librarian, at 724-238-6451 or

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Local author Carl Smith will be in Ligonier Giant Eagle signing copies of his book “The Really Really Really Long Christmas List” from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.

The book is currently available for sale in the store’s floral department for $5.99.

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The December bag sale at Open Hands Ministry Clothing Boutique, located in the Cook Township Community Center, Route 711 South, Stahlstown, will be held from Monday, Dec. 14, through Saturday, Dec. 19.

A small grocery store bag full of clothing is $1 per bag, while a small kitchen bag of clothing is $3 per bag.

Looking for a place to donate gently used clothing and odds and ends? Consider donating to the clothing boutique. Proceeds from these sales stay in the community. They fund local projects to help the elderly and disabled, as well as provide layettes for newborns of financially struggling families.

Monetary donations, to support these projects, can be made by sending contributions to Open Hands Ministries, PO Box 896, Ligonier PA 15658.

Donations of clothing or other items can be taken to the boutique during hours of operation: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, closed Friday and Sunday.The boutique will also be closed from Dec. 23-31.

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The STAT Ligonier Therapeutic Center, located on Stom Road off of Route 711, Stahlstown, will spread some holiday cheer with a drive-thru Winterfest from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19.

Visitors will drive thru a lighted, horseshoe-shaped course on the center’s grounds, while Christmas music plays. Even the therapy horses will be decked out for the occasion

Children will not be able to visit face-to-face with Santa, but they will be able to drop off letters and Christmas gift lists.

Registration is not required. Local volunteer firefighters will be on hand to direct traffic.

There is no admission fee, but donations will be accepted to support the nonprofit center.

The Center is located on Stom Road, off Route 711 in Cook Township. For additional information, call 724-593-4742 or text 607-223-4176.

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Ligonier Valley Library will participate in Beanstack’s fourth annual winter reading challenge, “Books Like Us,” sponsored by Simon & Schuster starting on Friday, Jan. 1, and continuing until Sunday, Jan. 31.

Patrons, of all ages, will be challenged to read at least 18,000 minutes during the month and keep track of their reading on the library’s Beanstack site at

Read any books you like during the challenge. Recommendations will be provided by Simon & Schuster’s featured authors along the way. Acclaimed authors include Cozbi Cabrera, Sharon Draper, Stuart Gibbs, Stephen Graham Jones, Hena Khan, Debbie Ohi, Christina Hammonds Reed and Rebecca Roanhorse.

The challenge program supports public libraries and school systems throughout the United States. Prizes will include book collections and virtual author visits. Ten winning schools or libraries will each get a collection of 50 books from the “Books Like Us” collection.

Pre-registration is now open. First time users must register for Beanstack. If you are a returning reader, just log in. Both options are available online at

For additional information, call the library at 724-238-6451.

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Stop by a local business or the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce office, Town Hall, to purchase a three-day Christmas “Grocery Spree” lottery ticket, to win one of the Ligonier Giant Eagle gift cards.

The winner each day will be the person holding the ticket with the number drawn from the First 7 p.m. Pennsylvania Lottery Pick 3 game on Friday, Dec. 18, $250; Saturday, Dec. 19, $800, and Sunday, Dec. 20, $1,200.

Cost is a $10 donation per ticket with two numbers. Only 500 tickets are available. Prizes must be claimed within 30 days or will be forfeited. The gift cards were provided by Ligonier Giant Eagle.

All proceeds will benefit the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Ligonier Food Bank.

For additional information, contact the Chamber office 724-2328-4200. Office hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.

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The Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce has announced the following winners of the Gingerbread House contest: community favorite — “Santa’s COVID Christmas” by Claire Benning; best in show — “The Enchanted Ice Castle” by Colleen Raymond; Children’s division first place — “Santa’s COVID Christmas” by Claire Benning; teen/adult traditional division first place — “The Enchanted Ice Castle” by Colleen Raymond and second place — “O Christmas Tree” by Bethany Carney; teen/adult creative first place — “Deck the Paws” by A.O.K. Accents.

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Applications are now being accepted for volunteers interested in joining the 2021 Master Watershed Steward Program offered by Penn State Extension.

The program recruits citizens from the community and provides 40 hours of training in a science-based program on the basics of water and natural resource science and conservation.

A new training class begins in March via Zoom and includes three Saturday field trips.

Additional information is available at or by contacting Justin Mansberger, program coordinator, at 724-858-4213.

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For the safety, health and well-being of patrons, employees and community, the Ligonier Valley Library will temporarily limit access to library stacks, meeting rooms, sitting areas and restrooms from Saturday, Dec. 12, until Monday, Jan. 4.

The library’s main lobby will remain open for book requests, pickup and mitigated copier use. Library WiFi is available outside the library within one football field length of the front door in all directions.

Access to library collections catalog, Flipster Digital Magazines, OverDrive eBooks and downloadable audiobooks and research databases can be found via the library’s website at

For additional information and updates, check the library’s website and Facebook page at If you have any questions or need assistance, call the library at 724-238-6451.

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Although there are no program scheduled for Forbes State Forest, the parks will remain open to the public.

Masks must be worn in park and forest indoor public space, including restrooms and outdoors when visitors are unable to adequately social distance.

Take hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly, avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads, bring a bag and either carry out your trash or dispose of it properly. Also, clean up after pets.

Information about state parks and forests is available on the DCNR website at

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Among the meetings canceled for December are: Ligonier Township Recreation Board, Monday, Dec. 14; Ligonier Borough Planning Commission, Tuesday, Dec. 15; Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board, Tuesday, Dec. 15, and Ligonier Township Planning Commission, Thursday, Dec. 24.

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Items for Valley Views can be submitted by emailing to or left at the Ligonier Valley Library. Deadline for the column is Thursday morning. Please note that the 1 in the email address is the numeric one on the keypad not the lower case L.

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