Watch episodes of the Lancaster Podcast here:
Episode 36 - Recreation For All - Bringing Joy To Our Community!
The Lancaster Recreation Commission (Lancaster Rec) is a 501(c)3 non-profit agency formed by a partnership agreement between the City of Lancaster, School District of Lancaster and Lancaster Township. Our administrative offices are located at the Lancaster Recreation Center.
Operating since 1909, we provide neighborhood-based recreation and learning opportunities for all ages – with an emphasis on affordable programs for children – at schools, parks, playgrounds, and other indoor and outdoor facilities. Programs include youth and adult instructional sports programs and leagues, senior centers, fitness and wellness classes, summer playgrounds and day camps, full-day child care for infants through age 5, club activities, before and after school care, preschool education and seasonal family events.
Our most important functions are the intangible ones – family interaction, the friends we make, memories of playing on the playground, being part of a team or learning to swim. Our recreation services bring people together and make our community stronger.
Heather Dighe has been a part of the Lancaster Recreation Commission for nearly 6 years and has served as the Executive Director for 4 years. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Marketing and a Master's Degree in Adult Education and Training. Heather enjoys her role and the opportunity to bring joy and recreation to the people in her community.
Connect with Lancaster Rec:
Episode 35 - Real Results for Real People!
Rod Redcay is the Executive Director of Real Life Community Services. which began in 2010 as an outreach service project. Later, in 2015, they changed their name to REAL Life Community Services to better represent the resources they provide to the Cocalico region.
REAL's mission is to do everything possible to connect the community to hope through partnerships, collaborations, and building relationships.
Their vision is empowering people in the name of Christ to have hope and purpose in life by meeting basic human needs.
Connect with Real Life Community Services:
- Website: https://www.reallcs.org/
Episode 34 - Delivering Amazing & Joyful Fun, For Non-Typical People
We're joined by Risa Paskoff and Kate Mullen of Aaron's Acres, which seeks to provide all children and young adults with disabilities opportunities to participate in the most innovative and unique social and recreational programs in an atmosphere of acceptance that embraces the child and family.
They provide individuals with disabilities ages 5-21 year-round therapeutically based age-appropriate recreational programs directed by specially trained and certified staff in a supportive environment that enhances socialization and communication skills. Emotional, educational, and recreational support is offered for the entire family.
Connect with Aaron's Acres:
Episode 33 - A Hand Up for Lancaster's Vulnerable
We're happy to have Anne Williams & Sarita Rivera of Lancaster CIty Alliance on the show!
Lancaster City Alliance is a non-profit that promotes City growth and stability so that Lancaster City flourishes and everyone shares in its success. They are here to listen, collaborate, and connect organizations so the City succeeds.
Connect with Lancaster City Alliance:
- Website: http://lancastercityalliance.org/
Episode 32 - Changing Lives One Meal at a Time
Brad Peterson is the Executive Director of Power Packs Project, a non-profit 501(c)(3) that aims to improve the mental and physical health of children by helping their parents provide nutritious meals over weekends when school breakfast and lunch programs are unavailable to them.
PPP is in 45 schools in 13 school districts in Lancaster and 3 school districts in Lebanon. They have over 500 volunteers and serve over 1600 families.The many volunteers at the warehouse and distribution points give their time each week to ensure that the participating parents have the groceries and the tools to provide complete meals to their families over the weekends. It’s nothing short of inspirational! And the feedback from families that they are now sitting down to have complete and nutritious meals over the weekends is gratifying to the project volunteers.
Connect with Power Packs Project:
Episode 31 - A Place to Call Home
Lena Hohenadel is with Off the Streets, which helps families and individuals in Lancaster, PA get “off the streets” and into permanent housing. They fill critical missing pieces to transition those who are homeless into housing. They also work with local service agencies to identify those who need help and then they provide:
- Security deposit sent directly to the landlord
- Basic furnishings and household items
Connect with Off The Streets:
Episode 30 - Lancaster Gives Hope
Jenn Knepper is the organizer of the Lancaster Gifts That Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair which is taking place:
- Sunday December 12 from 10am-3pm
- Farm & Home Center
- 1383 Arcadia Road
- LANCASTER, PA 17601
At this amazing event you can purchase meaning-filled gifts for everyone on your shopping list!! This Gift Fair features alternative gifts, fair trade, social enterprise, food trucks and more. There's something for everyone and the atmosphere provides a festive and laid back setting to find meaning-filled gifts for everyone on your shopping list.
Connect with Jenn:
Episode 29 - The Shirt Off Your Back!
Based in Lancaster PA, but delivering worldwide, BigPlanetApparel has been owned and operated by Christian Newcomer since its inception in 2009.
While they are proud to be local to Lancaster, PA and primarily serve businesses and organizations in Lancaster County with their custom t-shirts needs, they also work with many people on the other side of the country or even the other side of the globe.
Today, Chris continues to do high-quality screen printing jobs for organizations and businesses, mostly in the Lancaster PA area. His vision for the future remains rooted in the idea to stay local while maintaining a global awareness.
Connect with Chris:
Episode 28 - The Secrets of Lancaster, REVEALED!
Mary Sue Wolf is a Realtor with Wolf and Webb Real Estate in Lancaster. She's raised her family in Lancaster, PA for the past 30 years, enjoys staying active in the community and exploring new adventures in the area.
Mary Sue also heads up Lancaster Local Secrets (https://lancasterlocalsecrets.com) the official blog where she shares her 'secrets' with you about the most enjoyable things in Lancaster and is dedicated to Lancaster local businesses and the memories they create for families every day! Connect with Mary Sue:
Episode 27 - Walking and Talking Lancaster
John Erisman is of Stratix Systems in Lancaster - a Family-Owned company who finds a way to communicate clear solutions to teach, plan, coordinate, and execute ways to save your business time and money with your IT and copier needs.
Join us as we take a virtual walk with John on Lancaster Connects!
Episode 26 - Preserving the Past for Tomorrow
We are honored to be joined LIVE by Parke Oehme of War Horse Garage and Dom "Slice" Teich of Peak Performers on our special Veteran's Day Episode of Lancaster Connects.
Parke, Oehme Bros. & War Horse Garage specialize in the restoration and preservation of WWII vehicles and armor based in Litiz, PA - "The Coolest Small Town in America." They have some amazing projects they are working on that we are thrilled to show and talk about.
Dominic "Slice" Teich, is a decorated F-16 instructor pilot in the U.S. Air Force. His service to our country includes 69 combat missions and 2 deployments to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
For the past 16 months Dom has built a business to serve others: Peak Performers.
"Single Seat Wisdom" is the first of a series of books which highlights the stories and wisdom from America’s fighter pilots. The goal of this book is two-fold:
1- To guide and inspire the next generation of American fighter pilots.
2- To raise $100,000 for the Anna Schindler Foundation and all the children in the world that are riddled with cancerous malignancies (all book profits are being donated to this important cause).
Their main goal is to drive as many Kindle or print book sales as possible just after Veterans Day (November 11, 2021).
Episode 25 - Iron Sharpens Iron
Justin and Men Of Iron are celebrating 15 years of impact through mentorship this year - sharing stories of men committed to know God and their purpose. And the ripple effects across marriages, families and communities has been nothing short of AMAZING!
Justin will be sharing his story, plus talking about the huge upcoming Iron Sharpens Iron Dinner on April 19 featuring Coach Tony Dungy!
Episode 24 - Main Street vs. The Mall
The special guest this week is Mark Allan Maurer, II of Vanscoy, Mauer & Bash Diamond Jewelers in Lancaster. This episode provides great insight of the day-to-day battle that businesses of varying size have vs the behemoths on Main Street. We will be LIVE! so please join the discussion.
Mark Mauer started the store back in 1981, so this is his 40th year and it is Mark Allan’s 27th year. When they bought Bash Jewelers in 2004, they assumed their legacy which goes back to 1956.
They are the only David Yurman dealer between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and also the only Rolex Jeweler between Philadelphia and Camp Hill. They've also been importing diamonds directly from the Fischler Diamond Co. of Antwerp, Belgium for 37 of the 40 years they've been in business. They truly import in a way that no other jeweler does in the great Central Pennsylvania area.
The Maurer Star Diamond is very special and every Maurer Star is hand selected by either Mark Allan or Mark Mauer and put through the rigorous standards of the American Gem Society. There are very few AGS stores in the area and they are proud to be a member of the American Gem Society (AGS) as they are an organization has high standards for ethics and education.
Episode 23 - Freedom Is Never Free
We're honored to have Jeffrey Butch of the Red Rose Chapter of Disabled American Veterans as our special guest. Jeffrey will discuss the core values and mission of DAV, as well as how we can all work together to give back to those that have so graciously served our great country. In addition, Jeffrey will discuss an upcoming Veteran's Luncheon
DAV Luncheon (1st Tuesday of every month):
- 11/2, 11:30a - 4:00p
- Lancaster Farm & Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Road Lancaster, PA
- For all honorably discharged veterans, spouse/guests are welcome
- Buffet lunch by Hess BBQ Catering
- Guest Speaker
- Door prizes
- Chinese Auction, 50/50 Drawing
- Info and display tables from various organizations
- Register - https://www.DAVREDROSECHAPTER80.org
- Register by 10/27
- $20 cash or check at the door
Episode 22 - A very special episode as we celebrate YOU! We will be joined by many of our great customers live from here in Lancaster and discussing their favorite charities they support. We also are discussing our 31st Anniversary event and Double DealZZZ - as well as anniversary contests and prizes!
Episode 21 - Our guest today is Andrew D. Woolley, CFP® is a part of Personal Wealth Advisory, LLC in Lancaster. What excites Andrew is the personal aspect of the business. With so many technical factors to consider, it is easy for financial planners to forget about the very real relationship they are trusted to maintain. Going to work every day where he gets to spend his time helping clients achieve what matters most to them is a privilege that should never be taken for granted.
Episode 20 - Our guest is Justin Lehman of Interiors Home. Small, family business is very important to Justin as an individual and to Interiors as a company. They believe that small business is an important part of the foundation of the Lancaster community, and they love to connect with and support other small businesses!
Episode 19 - Today we're joined by Debbie Mays and Takisha Stokes with Mary Kay. As a Mary Kay Independent Sales Director, Debbie Mays teaches skin care, sells skin care products, body care products & fragrances. In addition, Debbie helps other women who are interested in starting their own Mary Kay businesses.
Episode 18 - Today we're joined by Dawn Tluczek who is the Donor and Church Liaison for Bethany Christian Services . Bethany believes every child deserves to be safe, loved, and connected. For more than 75 years, their faith has inspired them to stand for children close to home and around the world. Together, we can change the world through family.
Episode 17 - This week we were pleased to have Jessica Meyer from White Chimneys a 300-year-old historical homestead and events venue on the show. We discussed the history of her property, the second oldest building in Lancaster county.
Bonus Video! Ben and Jeff discuss an interesting history nugget with Adam Zurn of Uncharted Lancaster.
Episode 16 - This week we were pleased to have Aaron Spangler from The Lancaster County Community Foundation. We discussed at length their new initiative Lancaster Snapshot. Lancaster Snapshot seeks to build an interactive personal road map of all things Lancaster that each of us holds dear.
Episode 15 - On Episode 15 of Lancaster Connects, we’re joined by Jonina Turzi to tell us about the important work done by Lancaster Farm Sanctuary to help rescued farm animals live a happy life. As the co-founder of the Farm Sanctuary, Jonina shares some stories and clips with us that will brighten up your day!
Episode 14 - On Episode 14 of Lancaster Connects, we’re joined by Mike Reynolds, General Manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers. Ben talked to Mike about the Barnstormers’ 2021 summer baseball season, new game rules, the huge role played by the team and Clipper Magazine Stadium in the community – and how you can catch a game for free AND earn $20 for United Way of Lancaster County, PA, just by volunteering as an usher at the stadium.
Episide 13 - Clip Show! - This week, we changed things up a bit and put together a highlight reel of the best from our first 12 episodes. It highlights many of the great guests and non-profits we had on the show, and has a ton of funny moments and bloopers. We also talked to friend of the show Benton Webber about the Lancaster Conservancy Water Week.
Episode 12 - On Episode 12 of Lancaster Connects we we joined by Ann Marie Shaw representing Building Bridges Foundation. An amazing horse therapy farm and ranch here in Lancaster County specializing in stress, anxiety, and PTSD therapy for our Veterans. And also Larry Alexander who you may recognize the name from Lancaster Newspapers. A long-time journalist turned author and history expert. Larry spent time with us discussing Major Richard “Dick” Winters of the 101st Easy Company made famous by the mini-series Band of Brothers.
Episode 11 - On Episode 11 of Lancaster Connects, we took a deep into Lancaster City with Anne Williams from Lancaster City Alliance and Chris Trendler from Decades “bowl-cade.” With the city as our county hub a thriving city makes for a stronger county and we dug into all that makes Lancaster City thrive.
Episode 10 - On Episode 10 of Lancaster Connects, we were joined by Penny Talbert from The Ephrata Public Library. The library is more than just books, in fact we likely spent only a minute or two on books. The resources offered to the community are amazing. We also talked Rob Reed from the Lancaster Science Factory. The science factory focuses on STEM - science, technology, engineering and math in a fun and focused way where kids think they are playing but are really learning and most importantly striking a fire within themselves to discover what they are excited about.
Episode 9 - On Episode 9 of Lancaster Connects, we were joined by Janelle Esbenshade & Alicia Corrado - from North Star Initiative. They help victims of sex trafficking right here in Lancaster County. It’s incredible to me that we have this problem here in our own backyard, even more incredible that an organization like North Star exists. And we're also joined by Mike Simmons - from LoKal Experiences. Pronounced Lou-call, Lokal Experiences is an experience based guided tour company who give craft-brewed highly specialized tours of our county. If your far away travel plans are still on hold maybe a more local staycation is in order which includes a guided tour from Lokal.
Episode 8 - On Episode 8 of Lancaster Connects, we were joined by Lynda Charles from Help The Fight in Mountville an amazing charity born right here in Lancaster out of the need to help those battling breast cancer who face unexpected expenses one might think insurance would cover. And also John Hockley from Weaver Associates. Weaver is a one stop shop for all your printing needs ranging from printers, toner, paper, print projects, signs, direct mail, logo’d apparel, logo’d giveaway items and more. Weaver Associates also gives back to non profits each year, and offers them special discounts too.
Episode 7 - On Episode 7 of Lancaster Connects, we were joined by Howard Hershey -who has served the Lafayette Fire Company here in Lancaster for 52 years! Amazing man, with a giver's heart. Imagine anything continuing for 52 years, and by the way - everyday year in and year out as a volunteer! Thank you Howard! Also on the show was Marisa Seubert from Lancaster EMS. They dispatch thousands upon thousands of rescue calls annually and while recording our show the calls didn’t stop. Certainly a critical part of our community and without direct funding they need our help. And finally, Elizabeth Berthaud who is the administrator of the Ephrata Cloister a local treasure chock full of history they too function as a non profit organization and welcome visitors right now.
Episode 6 - On Episode 6 of Lancaster Connects, we were joined by Michelle & Joe from the Wolf Sanctuary along with Vivian and Violet from the Serenity wolf pack. This is an amazing charity and entertainment venue right in our own backyard. You can visit for tours, even adopt a wolf for the year! Lots to take in, and you get outside for the day, create family memories and unplug from the daily grind. In light of Covid the sanctuary could use your support and as spring is here with summer around the corner a trip to the sanctuary might be just what you need and they would appreciate the support. Be sure to watch the episode to see Vivian and Violet howling for the episode too! Our business guest this week was Holly Lyle from Sierra Pacific Mortgage. We’ve known Holly personally for years now as part of our referral group. She is a true professional and is more than happy to start a conversation today that may, or may not, end up with a mortgage six months, a year, or more from now. She is truly here to serve her client’s needs and answer their questions.
Episode 5 - On Episode 5 of the Lancaster Connects Podcast, we're joined by Audrey Lilley a volunteer board member with Pitties Love Peace, an Elizabethtown based rescue organization. They are 100% volunteer run utilizing their network of foster homes and veterinary offices to help bully breed dogs in need. We had a great discussion about the bully breed and how they can best succeed in new homes. They are always in need of volunteers, foster homes and of course donation. Our business guest this week was Matthew Roda from Roda Marketing. He helps businesses to meet their customers online as they search for their products and services. As we discussed last year we found Matthew had a giving heart when he helped his clients navigate the pandemic by extending added services at no extra charge.
Episode 4 - On Episode 4 of the Lancaster Connects Podcast, we're joined by none other than Local Lancaster Man, Keeper of the Gap Lighthouse, and all-around good guy - Pete Ruggieri. Pete is somewhat of a local celebrity due to his connections into the community with all of his efforts for the Lancaster City Mounted & K-9 Unit. He also works with dog rescues and the Masons. Our business guest this week was Claire Chivington of The Realty One Group. I’ve known Claire personally for 5 years now and have seen firsthand via our weekly referral group meet-ups her passion and dedication to her customers to find the perfect fit in a new home.
Episode 3 - On Episode 3 of the Lancaster Connects Podcast, we're joined by Dave Bleil representing the Hempfield Food Pantry. We had an in-depth discussion on the need this food pantry fills and the stories of how they help our community, no more than ever in the time of COVID. Our business guest this week was Kyle Slaymaker owner and founder of The Slaymaker Method. He served in the Navy for 4 years saw time in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom and then served 2 years in reserves. Now his company helps other businesses to better define their sales process without resulting in high pressure tactics so their customers have a 5-star experience.
Episode 2 - On Episode 2 of the Lancaster Connects Podcast, we're joined by Marsha Wagner, of the Wagner family from Quarryville - an amazing group of people who have adopted 11 children, most with special needs. Over the years, two children have sadly passed away and as such this family is deeply connected to Make A Wish, having raised about $95,000 to grant wishes to children. Also joining us was Kendra Campbell from Natural Awakenings Lancaster and she publishes a great magazine all about natural, healthy, and organic living, and really the magazine serves to highlight amazing businesses helping you live better. Typically, one would think these businesses exist only in larger cities, but in reality, Lancaster County offers a plethora of options to help you live more naturally and healthier. Also joining us was Gary Griffith from Painting With a Twist. Gary and his wife Sue offer an alternative to the typical entertainment options available to us here in Lancaster. And even in light of COVID precautions they can still offer an incredible experience where you can create amazing paintings and memories together with your friends and families. The best part is that if you have a charity you work with you can host painting parties and a portion of the fee is donated to your cause.
Episode 1 - On Episode 1 of the Lancaster Connects Podcast, we're joined by Chuck Sierk who is a Lancaster-based Realtor and founder of the Rockstar Connect Lancaster business owner group. Also joining us is long-time friend John Erisman from Doceo business solutions and Lena Hohenadel from Off the Streets, a local charity helping get folks off the streets and into housing.