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Visit to Israel was trip of a lifetime: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 7/3/19

Happy July Fourth to you all! Happy birthday to our country. She is 243 years old. Put your patriotic clothes on and be happy and grateful for this day, America!

We are far from perfect, yet we …

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Visit to Israel was trip of a lifetime: LaVonne Ackerman

LaVonne Ackerman had quite a view of the Mediterranean Sea from her hotel room her first night in Jerusalem.
LaVonne Ackerman had quite a view of the Mediterranean Sea from her hotel room her first night in Jerusalem.
lavonne ackerman

Happy July Fourth to you all! Happy birthday to our country. She is 243 years old. Put your patriotic clothes on and be happy and grateful for this day, America!

We are far from perfect, yet we can be a grateful people.

Please enjoy your holiday week, and don’t forget to tell the people in your life how much you love and appreciate them. Let me know your news to share.


Recently, my husband Scott and I joined a group led by Dr. James Ayers, Lancaster Bible College, on a visit to Israel. This was one of those trips of a lifetime.

We spent 9 1/2 days of intense touring, listening, learning, hiking and bus riding. We went from Tel Aviv to Netanya (on the Mediterranean Sea), to Tiberias near the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem. Those were our overnight spots. We slept, ate and went on tours from there.

We left our church parking lot at noon Sunday, June 9. A friend of mine was kind enough to charter a bus, which 29 of us rode, to Dulles International Airport. We had 14 others meet us at the airport so the total in our tour was 43.

Our flight to Paris, then Tel Aviv, was to leave about 6 p.m. We arrived at the King Solomon Hotel in Netanya before 7 p.m. (this was Pennsylvania time of noon Tuesday), just in time for dinner and a good sleep as we really didn’t have much on either flight.

Now Doc Ayers, or Jim, is no rookie in his international travels as he has visited Israel 16 times or more (who is counting?). He was the interim pastor at our church back in 2017. He is very knowledgeable in so much that it was a thrill to listen to his sermons. He got very detailed when talking about Jerusalem or Mount Carmel or anyplace from the Bible. Once in awhile, he would interject comments about how he would show us when he took us there. That day came!

More details are to come. However, to learn about the tour company, visit


Happy cake day to Dee Esterline of Lower Swatara on Wednesday, July 3. Enjoy your holiday birthday week, Dee!

Aaliyah Garfield of Middletown marks her big-bang 12th birthday on Thursday, July 4. Have a blast!

Nathan Reese of Lower Swatara will turn 23 on Thursday, July 4. Enjoy the thrill of this special week, Nathan!

Happy sparklers-and-pops cake day to Brad Strite of Lower Swatara. He celebrates on Thursday, July 4. Enjoy!

Madison Bayhart marks her big-deal 25th birthday on July 4. I hope your Thursday is just how you like it. Congrats!

The skies will be lit up for Tim Carpenter of Lower Swatara on Thursday, July 4. Best wishes for the best birthday yet, Tim!

Happy landmark frosty-filled day to Carl Stevenson of Middletown on Friday, July 5. Have a fantastic holiday week, Carl!

Abby Leister of Lower Swatara turns 15 on Saturday, July 6. Happy times to you this birthday weekend!

Best wishes and congrats to Hannah Wilsbach of Middletown as she reaches her 18th new-adult birthday on Saturday, July 6. I hope all your dreams come true, Hannah!

Many blessings are sent to Amelia Bishop of Middletown on July 6. This sweetheart is 9 on Saturday. Happy birthday to this beautiful girl!

Cole Golden of Lower Swatara hits the 20s on Sunday, July 7. Best wishes to you, Cole!

David Hurlock of Lower Swatara celebrates an “and holding” birthday on Sunday, July 7. Live it up, David. You’re still so young!

Here is a happy birthday shout-out to Gary Klock of Lower Swatara. He has 54 reasons to be joyous on Sunday, July 7. God bless you, and I would love to see a picture of your cake!

Dear Charlie Stare of Lower Swatara: Please have a marvelous birthday on Monday, July 8. I hope it is super-fun and full of smiles!

Kayce Deibler hits the big 25 on Monday, July 8. Congrats and best wishes to you. May all your dreams come true!

Best wishes to LeeAnn Coble of Lower Swatara for a terrific Tuesday cake day July 9. Stay cool!


Happy 39th wedding anniversary to Joe and Norma Mateer of Lower Swatara Township. This couple gets to celebrate their big-deal-day on Thursday, July 4. Let the sparkles twinkle!

Scott and Suzanne Hile of Lower Swatara celebrate their romantic day on Tuesday, July 9. Many best wishes to you both on your anniversary!

Ladies brunch

All women are invited to the “Baseball Fever — Catch It, It Lasts Forever” brunch buffet, from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, at Hershey Italian Lodge, 128 Hillcrest Road, Hershey.

The featured speaker is Jessica Moyer, director of group sales for the Harrisburg Senators baseball team. Also, Rhonda Lehman of Fort Wayne, Indiana, will present a mini-concert and also share how “Sometimes it seems that good things in life are for everyone else ... Not so!”

For reservations, call Edna at 717-652-0997 or Mary at 717-533-3497 or email

This is presented by Hershey Area Women’s Connection, affiliated with Christian Women’s Clubs of America.

Glad grads

Clarion University of Pennsylvania announced the following May commencement ceremony graduates. Congratulations to:

Lorraine Abel-Nweze of Hummelstown with a bachelor of science degree in liberal studies.

Patrick Frownfelter of Hummelstown with a master of science degree in library science information and library studies.

Emmanuel Ekwere of Hershey with a doctorate of nursing practice.

Congrats, Christy

The Hetrick Center of Middletown is proud to announce that physical therapist Christy Carroll recently earned MDT certification from The McKenzie Institute USA Center for postgraduate study in mechanical diagnosis and therapy.

Christy joined the Hetrick Center in 2002. She specializes in orthopedic conditions, back pain, and women’s health issues. Congratulations, Christy.

Dean’s list

Congratulations to Isabella Fegley, formerly of Middletown, on being named to the spring dean’s list at Shenandoah University's College of Arts and Sciences in Winchester, Virginia.

Isabella, a biology major, lives in Berryville, Virginia.

Cool Tuna Spread

6 1/2 oz. can of tuna

6 oz. cream cheese

1 Tbsp. Miracle Whip

Mix together and serve with crackers. Very simple, but tasty. May substitute with chicken or crab.

Thank you to Phyllis Lohr for this refreshing recipe! 

Quote of the Week

“Our help is in the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” — Psalm 124:8.

Question of the Week

Describe your favorite July activity.

“Eating cotton candy ice cream at the North Pole in Middletown (the owner knows me personally because of my frequent visits)!” — Gabby Frost, 14, Royalton.

“Having ice cream with family and friends!’ — LeeAnn Hocker, Harrisburg.

“I like watching fireworks and swimming at grandma’s house!” — Ayden Windows, Susquehanna.

“The annual Seaton gathering at Lake Ozonia in New York. A week of together time with siblings, family, lots of food, sunshine, hiking, and natural beauty of God’s creation. Can’t wait!” — Bill Seaton, Hummelstown.

“Going to the pool, Mountain View Swim Club!” — Stella Ryan, 8, West Hanover.

“Sliding down the slide at the pool.” — Luca Ryan, 5, West Hanover.

Proverb for the Week

Silver and gold are purified by fire, but God purifies hearts (17:3).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at