'Love Is in the Air' at Latrobe Country Club

Article excerpt

Simon Says

Given recent weather conditions, maybe no one would have been surprised to find a penguin at the Latrobe Country Club on Friday -- even if the creature hadn't been there for the annual "Love is in the Air" reception and lecture hosted by Action for Animals Humane Society.

The penguin in question was Simon, a resident of the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, who accompanied aviary staffer Erin Estell, the evening's featured speaker. Besides being a penguin wrangler, Estell is assistant director and manager of the aviary's Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone Theater. Simon is an African penguin, a bird native to the west coast of South Africa, not the Antarctic.

And Simon is a ham. Before being brought out for the lecture, Simon announced his presence with loud braying. During the talk, he paraded and posed on a table top.

Accompanied by a slide presentation, Estell educated guests on the nature of penguins, the work of the aviary and sustainable fishing practices and other eco-friendly behavior that would ensure that the earth will long be graced with exotic creatures such as Simon.

Action for Animals board president Kathy Newill gave an update on a pressing project at the society's shelter in Derry Township: the need for improved and expanded outdoor play yards for the resident canines. A fund drive is under way, aided by a matching grant from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

Society board members Bernadette Braszo, Rita Whiteman, Laura Guskiewicz, Gretchen Kuhns, Sharon Peck, Ted and Mary Prettiman and Regis Tomsey attended.

Also seen: Kirk Utzinger, Bea Conn, Donna Guskiewicz, David and Johnette DeRose, Marilyn McSparrin, Charmaine Strong, Amy Heltebran, Kyra Graft, Hank Sr. and Jimmie Croft, Terry Zorch, Rebecca Zorch, Chan Pich, John and Rita Landin, Courtney Grosshans, Caroline Kettering, Eric and Michele Bononi, Paula Maloney, Patrick Maloney, Doc Giffin, Caroline Kettering and Mark, Debby and Hannah Uebele.

-- Shirley McMarlin

Power in Prayer

The Spirit was moving in a mighty way during the annual Greensburg-Jeannette Branch NAACP prayer breakfast on Saturday in the Bishop Connare Center near Greensburg.

As event chair Arline Robinson said, "At a prayer breakfast, you need to be praying. It's not a social gathering; we're here for a purpose." The purpose was summed up in the morning's theme, "Power in Prayer: Want More? Pray More."

During a rousing sermon, the Rev. Anthony Murray of Hopewell Baptist Church in Jeannette put it this way: "If we want things to become right, we need to do what we know is right."

The right thing, he said, is to seek divine guidance continuously in all aspects of life, from the personal level to the community level, be it local, national or global. A succession of attendees came forward to do just that. …