Signs of the Season

SV students work up sweat for the holidays

November 9, 2020 Cranberry Living


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Dylann Volz of Cranberry Township, a 10th grade student at Seneca Valley High School and a member of the school's Key Club, carries a tote of Christmas swags and wreathes while helping to decorate Harmony for the holidays Sunday.

Seneca Valley High School students and other volunteers worked up a sweat Sunday decorating Harmony for Christmas. But the heat wave did not melt the spirit of the season.

“I thought it was going to be colder, so I'm a little warm,” said 10th grader Dylann Volz of Cranberry Township, who came dressed in a sweatshirt. “I like snow and I like winter so I wish it was little colder. I'm kind of sweaty but it's OK.”

Members of the Seneca Valley High School Key Club place Christmas decorations on a Harmony bridge Sunday.

With temperatures in the low-70s, Sydney Kozora, an 11th grader, also was hoping for more seasonal temperatures.

“I would have liked that,” she admitted, “especially because we're decorating for Christmas. But we can't control the weather.”

Dylann and Sydney teamed up with 18 or so other members of the school's Key Club to place wreaths and swags, adorned with red bows, on buildings, bridges and fences in the borough. They began about noon.

The Key Club performs acts of service, which is why Dylann and Sydney joined up. For each, this is their first year in the club.

“I really like to do community service,” said Dylann, who is hoping to eventually study biomedical engineering or biochemistry engineering at the university level.

The club was a perfect fit, said Sydney, who one day wants to pursue a career in the field of exercise science.

“I wanted to find new opportunities to help out in my community,” she said of joining the club, “and to help others around me.”

“They're awesome,” Cheryl Speir, a Historic Harmony board member, said of all the students helping to decorate the town.

Speir and Susan Webb, a Historic Harmony board member and Harmony Business Association member, were among those lending a hand and supervising the decorating.

She, too, made note of the unusually warm day for the time of year. But it didn't bother her that it wasn't looking a lot like Christmas, weather-wise.

“It's always fun,” she said, “and you never know what it's going to be like outside. It could be snowing or it could be hot.”

Speir remembers one such decoration day when it was 23 degrees. “We were freezing,” she said.

Cheryl Speir, second from left, a Historic Harmony board member, and members of the Seneca Valley High School Key Club, place Christmas decorations on the bridge next to the Harmony Fire District station Sunday.

“We're having no problem getting into the spirit,” Webb said, “because everybody is so helpful and we're just working well together. There's a spirit of camaraderie — that's the spirt right now.”

The Harmony Museum will also be hosting a special event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14 that will serve as a kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

The event this year is replacing the museum's annual WeihnachtsMarkt, a Christmas market in the German tradition — a hugely popular attraction — which was canceled due to COVID-19.

The event, Webb said, will feature 15 artisans in tents displaying crafts and other homemade goods for sale on museum-owned properties. Food trucks offering ice cream and hot dogs will be available behind the museum.

The Seneca Valley Madrigal Choir will also perform and Santa Claus is to arrive by fire truck at 1 p.m.

It's not known if St. Nick will be donning a mask but, Webb noted, “he'll be staying at a safe distance.”

Those attending the event are asked to wearing masks and practice social distancing.

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Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Grew up in upstate New York. Earned my Journalism degree in 1983 from the University of Texas at Austin. Worked for two newspapers in Fayette County (Pa.) before starting at the Butler Eagle in 1998.