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Eleventh annual Chamber Chase scheduled in Peters Township

Etched prominently on the North Strabane-Peters Township Fire Safety House is the inscription “In loving memory of Carol Foley.”

The longtime Peters Township Chamber of Commerce executive director was a major supporter of the local fire department, and fundraising by the chamber paid for Peters’ half of the mobile demonstration unit.

Those efforts continue with the Chamber Chase 5K Run/Walk on Arrowhead Trail, with the 11th annual event scheduled for Oct. 12. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. at Peters Township Community Recreation Center in Peterswood Park, in advance of the 9 a.m. start.

“We do encourage families,” current executive director Brian Schill said. “Strollers are fine. Dogs are fine.”

Everyone involved will make his or her way approximately 1.8 miles west and then turn back around to wrap up the proceedings where they started. Awards will follow at the recreation center, along with breakfast provided by Miller’s Ace Hardware owner Greg Gold.

The morning’s proceeds benefit Peters Township Chamber of Commerce Community and Scholarship Fund, with some of the money going to Peters Township Fire Department for programs such as providing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers to help keep families safe.

The Chamber Chase is open to the public, as are many of the organization’s events.

“I gave us a new tag line: We’re not just a chamber of commerce. We’re a chamber of community. And that’s true,” Schill said. “When you support the chamber, you’re supporting the community in some form or fashion.”

Throughout its history, the 65-year-old organization not only has helped serve the needs of local businesses, but those of folks throughout Peters and beyond. From providing scholarships for high school seniors to having a major part in presenting the township’s annual Community Day, the chamber is ready to assist.

In 2017, McMurray Rotary Club joined the chamber in contributing money toward the purchase of two electric bikes for Peters Township Police Department, which aids officers in patrolling areas that are difficult to reach by vehicle, including the local trail system.

At the heart of the chamber are its 525 members, including many from outside of the municipality.

“Although our primary emphasis is Peters, we really do serve the South Hills and northern Washington County,” Schill said.

He and operations coordinator Kelley Keane enjoy promoting chamber members, and they often organize and attend ribbon-cutting events with a pair of seemingly ubiquitous oversized scissors in tow.

They also schedule gatherings such as “Chamber Chats,” which provide opportunities for members to get to know one another better in a relatively intimate setting.

“It’s for only up to 10 members, because you really get to know what constitutes a good lead for someone, what their business is and what they really do,” Keane said.

The chamber also serves as a resource center through relationships with organizations like Junior Achievement, the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center and SCORE, formerly the Service Corps of Retired Executives.

“Most of these resources are free,” Schill noted.

Pre-registration for the Chamber Chase is $25 adults, 15 and older, through Oct. 10 and $30 after. For children ages 7 to 14, the cost is $10.

Preparing questions for long visits

Q. Finding topics of conversation can often be difficult during long visits. Since “Grinding My Teeth” feels that this may be the last time she and her husband will visit with these in-laws, why not take this opportunity to encourage these people to talk about their lives?

When they arrive, ask the in-laws if they would be willing to talk about memories from their younger years. The internet is full of suggestions of questions that will stimulate memories, so do a bit of research and type up a sheet of questions, maybe 30 or so, enough to have a question for each day. Everyone who has lived on this planet for a number of years has many stories to tell.

Too often we never get around to asking the meaningful questions before it is too late. Writing this letter has inspired me to write up a sheet of questions I now wish I had readily available when my difficult mother-in-law would visit my family for 6 months at a time. – Curious About Peoples’ Pasts

A. I love the suggestion of turning something that could seem like a chore into a learning experience. We are never too old to learn new things and in listening to peoples’ stories we can learn a great deal about them in the present. What a beautiful suggestion.

Dear Annie: I am 65 and a retired attorney, and I read your column every day in our local paper. I like history, ancient primary source history, financial philosophers, martial arts, healing through natural medicine, and studying anything and everything that piques my metaphysical curiosity.

Your column regarding the man whose wife asked everyone for advice on everything was extremely prescient and had profound personal resonance. I, too, have a wife who asks everyone everything. She asks the sales clerk in the store: “Should I buy it? Does it look good on me?”

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And, even though I have read more books than were contained in the long-destroyed Library of Alexandria, my social skills are not always on par with my intellect.

I enjoy your column and most often concur with it because you reveal good judgment and wisdom.

Nowadays, people are quick to criticize from the anonymity of the internet. They destroy good people and businesses for minor faux pas and fail to live by the Golden Rule.

I figured you could use some admiration and commendation. You are wise beyond your years. Keep on being the counselor you are, like a wise uncle or aunt. – A Big Fan

Dear Big Fan: Your letter makes me feel so good! A million thanks for taking the time to write.

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