Community Spirits

Dan Healy is anxiously awaiting a shipment of hydrogen peroxide. It was due to arrive at Harrisburg’s Midstate Distillery sometime today.

You read that right. Hydrogen peroxide isn’t something the head distiller and co-owner normally orders. But then again, he’s normally producing whiskey, vodka, rum or gin. For about a week, he’s switched to production of hand sanitizer instead. Continue reading Community Spirits

The Run Goes On

Every Saturday morning for the past 30 years, Marjorie Lebo has organized Harrisburg-area runners and routes. This past Saturday was no exception.

And she suggested a route familiar to many Harrisburg-area runners: the Capital 10-Miler route, paying tribute to one of Harrisburg’s two major March races recently canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Continue reading The Run Goes On

Trailblazers

Gwen Loose was hiking with a friend on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) when a question crossed her mind.

While Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery are considered the founders and fathers of the A.T., “Who was holding down the fort at conference headquarters?” she wondered. Continue reading Trailblazers

Run Hear

It’s possibly the most-listened-to podcast produced in the Harrisburg area.

“When we first started, we didn’t know how it would be received,” said Angie Spencer. “We figured there would be an appetite, but we’ve been blown away.” Continue reading Run Hear

A Voice for the Ages

David W. Blight wrote his first book about Frederick Douglass 30 years ago and never dreamed there would be another—let alone a full biography. However, “some lives are, in a way, made for biography,” Blight said during a recent interview. Continue reading A Voice for the Ages

I’ll Be Your Voice

Eight-year old Alexi is hiding in a closet with his younger brother.

It’s a game they often play called “invisibility cloak” because, as Alexi says, “Being invisible is the best superpower.”

But the real story is that their mother locked them in the closet for their own safety. Ultimately, domestic violence drove them into homelessness. Continue reading I’ll Be Your Voice

All Aboard the Red Boat

The roof leaked all the way to the basement when Nam Doan purchased the property on Reily Street in Harrisburg.

“It was a wreck,” Doan, 38, said.

After six months of intense work, he transformed the century-old property into Midtown’s newest restaurant, the Red Boat. Continue reading All Aboard the Red Boat

Son Run

It’s not every day that your teenager texts you uplifting messages like, “I’m extremely proud of you,” and “You’re a hell of a human,” and “Love you, Dad.”

Those texts “were like fuel,” said Mike McCauley, which inspired his run throughout the first weekend of November. And it was the run of a lifetime by the 55-year-old Mechanicsburg dad, a run dedicated to his 17-year-old son Lachlan. Continue reading Son Run

Forging a Path

Anastasia Joy* calls it the skeleton in her closet.

“I didn’t tell anyone about that part of my life until the FBI got involved,” said the 25-year-old Harrisburg-area resident. Continue reading Forging a Path

Bull’s-Eye in a Bottle

Tina Weyant has a distinct childhood memory—helping her grandfather, a distiller in Germany, put labels on bottles. Her grandparents lived on a property encompassing an old monastery with a cellar under the church. It was surrounded by vineyards.

Today, Weyant, 57, has come full circle. For the first time since childhood, she again is surrounded by vineyards. Continue reading Bull’s-Eye in a Bottle

Fit Takes Flight

June 22, according to Ashley Mentzer, will be “the best fitness day ever.”

Except, when she says it, it sounds like “ev-aaahhh.”

Mentzer, organizer of the 2nd Annual Thrive Fit Fest, said that fitness should be approachable and fun. Continue reading Fit Takes Flight

Taste of History

Gettysburg reminds Lori Korczyk of Epcot.

Just like the Disney park’s microcosm of world cultures, Gettysburg’s downtown streets are dotted with eclectic and ethnic restaurants, from Thai to Mexican, Italian to Irish, plus plenty of American eateries that blend cuisines—like melting pots—with culture and history. Continue reading Taste of History

Changing the Game

Loretta Claiborne didn’t walk or talk until the age of 4.

Born partially blind with intellectual disabilities in 1953, Claiborne was one of seven children raised in York by a single mother. Public school brought bullying, name-calling, anger and fighting.

The odds were against her. Sports, however, transformed her life. Continue reading Changing the Game

Let Them Eat Little Cakes

Nicole Baer’s home-based cupcake business was so popular that her kitchen wall oven was on nearly all day, every day, and she still couldn’t bake enough cupcakes to fill orders.

That all changed when she opened Ann’s Cupcakery on Mechanicsburg’s Main Street last fall.
Continue reading Let Them Eat Little Cakes

Fight for Your Might

When Rob Whitaker of Camp Hill began taking classes at Harrisburg’s Thrive Fit Co., he couldn’t physically complete a class.

“I was not fit at all,” said the 34-year old financial planner. “But when you come from a non-fitness background like I did, you want to be surrounded by positive people.” Continue reading Fight for Your Might

Marathon Made

Trailblazing runner Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon, once said, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”

Harrisburg-area residents can do exactly that this month when the 44th Annual Harrisburg Marathon winds through the city. Continue reading Marathon Made

Angels Among Us

Mickey Minnich wears a silver bracelet inscribed with the phrase, “One day at a time.”

It’s a reminder, he said, to stay focused on the moment, helping one family at a time as they face cancer. Over the past 15 years, his organization, Vickie’s Angel Foundation (VAF), has raised more than $2.6 million, helping more than 1,500 families throughout a nine-county area of central Pennsylvania. Continue reading Angels Among Us

Glorious Feeling

“Why does September seem sunny as spring?” asks one version of the classic Hollywood song, “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Stosh Snyder, whose favorite musical of all time is “Singin’ in the Rain,” likely has the answer. Continue reading Glorious Feeling

A Loss, A Purpose

Lesa and Brennan Brackbill of Hershey have endured something no parents should—the death of a child.

Now they’re determined to create a lasting legacy by advocating for changes to Pennsylvania’s newborn screening laws that could have prevented their daughter’s death. Continue reading A Loss, A Purpose

All Afloat

Kelly Martin was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis more than 25 years ago.

So, when the 53-year-old Middletown woman heard about floatation therapy from a co-worker—and found a discount for Camp Hill’s Dissolve Float Spa on Groupon—she decided she had nothing to lose. Continue reading All Afloat

Through It All

Each spring, about 3,000 people set off on the journey of a lifetime.

That’s how many attempt to “thru-hike” the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, about 750 people—one in four—succeed. Continue reading Through It All

Gaining Momentum

Tracey Wakeen says that everything she does revolves around her mission statement, written in marker at the top of her office’s dry erase board: “Unlocking true potential by strengthening all women in body, mind and spirit.” Continue reading Gaining Momentum

Sweet Break

Brittle Bark could quite possibly be the happiest place in all of central Pennsylvania—especially during the holiday season. Tucked into a tall corner storefront along Main Street in Mechanicsburg with a brightly decorated seasonal front window, the chocolate and candy shop has earned a sweet reputation over the past 10 years. Continue reading Sweet Break

Home Safely

As primary caregiver for her father—diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease—Stephanie Weimer always knew his whereabouts thanks to a tracking device on his cell phone. About two years ago, he drove himself to a routine doctor’s appointment and became disoriented while driving home. “He was lost, and the tracking device didn’t work because his cell phone had gone dead,” Weimer said. Continue reading Home Safely

Medical Journey

People often talk about “finding their calling in life.” Dr. Domingo Alvear’s began in his native Philippines, inspired by a country-doctor uncle who let his nephew tag along as he made house calls in a bouncing Jeep. Six decades later, Alvear is retiring after both a long career as a pediatric surgeon in Harrisburg and as a founder of the nonprofit World Surgical Foundation (WSF). Continue reading Medical Journey

Born to Run

Fred Joslyn ran on his wedding day. And on the days his three children were born. Joslyn, in fact, runs every day. No exceptions. If there’s a face of Harrisburg’s running community, Joslyn’s is it. Continue reading Born to Run