In addition to enjoying another gorgeous Central Pennsylvania fall, here’s what’s been going on!
The Makery at the Courthouse
Thanks to local creative collective and art studio The Makery and a grant from Centre County United Way’s Women United, kids who find themselves needing to spend time at the Centre County Courthouse now have a cozy and supportive space to hang out that was designed just for them. To create this space in the midst of an environment that can often feel stressful or traumatizing, The Makery partnered with Grace Ryan Designs and local youth support organizations to bring to life a peaceful and inviting room for children and teens waiting for hearings or meetings in the courthouse.
P.S. Want to help fill the space with toys and books? Right this way!
An incredible story and the Hall of Fame
State High alum Jonathan Koch will be inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame and awarded the Medal of Courage for his amazing story of resilience. After contracting a life-threatening rare illness in 2015, Koch partially or completely lost function in all four of his limbs and was told he had a 10% chance of survival. Determined to not only survive but avoid amputation, Koch endured an intense 18 months of rehab and became a candidate for a hand transplant procedure that had been performed on fewer than 100 people at the time. Just a few months post-transplant, he was jumping rope and out on the tennis court, making serious strides with his new hand and on his recovery journey.
A dedicated LGBTQ+ center
Recently, Centre LGBT+ celebrated the grand opening of their first-ever physical location at 204 E. Calder Way, on the corner of Pugh Street, in downtown State College! The organization, which was founded in 2014 by a group of community members who wanted to address LGBT+ suicide prevention in the area, has gone on to provide countless avenues of support for LGBT+ members and their family and friends. From the annual True to You youth summits and regularly sold-out Gayla parties to a Bring Your Own Queer youth group and Drag Bingo, Centre LGBT+ is constantly inventing new programming based on community needs and requests. Since November is Trans Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to learn more, get involved, or donate to this wonderful staple of our community!
And he’s had quite a run!
At 103 years old, Tussey Mountainback legend (and Centre County local) George Etzweiler and his relay team The Old Men of the Mountain completed another successful race this fall on October 22. Etzweiler has participated in the annual 50-mile race through Rothrock State Forest for more than five decades and has been the leader of his relay team – composed of runners 65+ – since 2007. Cheers to George and his team for inspiring us all! And if you want a good laugh, check out all of the great relay team names that participated in this year’s race.