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A Helping Hand for Houston

Should we talk about President Trump and those in Washington increasing our national debt ceiling? Nah — what’s the sense? Besides, with all that is going on in our Great Nation and around the world he really doesn’t have a choice. At least it offers an opportunity for the Republicans and Democrats to work together at something.

Unfortunately, as I’m penning my article another hurricane on steroids is bearing down on our Nation. Florida appears to be a sitting duck for Hurricane Irma, which to date is the strongest hurricane headed towards our East Coast ever.

The outpouring of help for the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Harvey has been miraculous. It truly is our great American spirit and love of our fellow man at work. There is going to be much more work and caring needed. Please say a prayer for those currently being affected.

Thanks to everyone locally making a difference. For those looking for a way to contribute, Loyalsock School District Superintendent, Jerry McLaughlin, reached out to me and notified me of a program the Township School District has underway.

The Hurricane Harvey Relief School Supply Drive will collect educational and medical supplies as well as monetary donations. It will benefit a school district or districts in the greater Houston area.

It is a joint community effort to provide as much help as possible. Any individual, business, or school district is welcome to join. It’s a great way for those looking to donate to help the children of Houston. It will be your support and outreach that will make the drive successful.

Drop offs can be made at Schick Elementary, or the Middle and High School lobbies – Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. At the LTSD bus garage Monday through Friday 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and also Saturday 8 a.m.-noon.

I applaud the students, teachers, PTO, Lancer Foundation, school board, and all the volunteers for taking on this humanitarian effort.

A complete listing of needed items can be found on page 4. If you would simply like to write a check, it can be made payable to Loyalsock Township School District and will be deposited into an account specifically for Hurricane Harvey Relief. Checks and cash donations are asked to be made at the collection points. You can contact Mr. Jerry McLaughlin extension 1003 or Mr. Dan Egly extension 1004 with any questions or to arrange a donation. Thank you to everyone for your heartfelt support of our fellow Americans.

God Bless America.

Everyday Player

I remember time spent at Dynamats with my sons like it was yesterday. Whether it was a birthday party, the tumble bus or classes they took. It was just a great way to have fun, build coordination, and learn how to use those young bodies. They looked forward to seeing Mr. Rob Tagge — especially when the tumble bus showed up at school, and they got to tumble and jump around with their friends — they loved it. Of course, even then I think they both just liked getting out of class.

Tip of the cap to Mr. Rob Tagge, he has taken his lifelong passion for gymnastics and turned it into a business he has operated now for 31 years!

Coach Tagge just opened up a new state-of-the-art training facility in the east end of the county. The 14,000 square-foot facility is near the Lycoming Mall on Alexander Drive.

His passion for working with children and developing gymnasts has just continued to grow over the years. Incidentally, if you didn’t know it, Robbie was a state champion for Williamsport High School in the late 70s. He received a scholarship to Temple where he competed at Nationals and got a great education. Another quick fact, Mr. Babe Mayer was the coach that got Robbie involved in gymnastics in junior high school.

I can’t even imagine how many young folks have enjoyed the tumble bus during their younger years. I was told over 200 boys and girls currently take advantage of the program each week around our area. I can just picture all the smiles and laughter.

Dynamats has always had great success in developing gymnasts. Mr. Tagge and his great staff have coached 10 USAG national qualifiers at levels nine and ten, which is top-level competition. Five have gone on to become national medalists. Ten of his gymnasts have gone on to compete in Division I NCAA programs on scholarship.

There have been thousands of boys and girls that have attended Dynamats over the three decades. Some for fun — some for more serious competition. I asked Rob for his thoughts, “Even though we have had many great athletic accomplishments I am most proud that the existence of Dynamats with its many dedicated and passionate instructors and coaches have improved the strength, coordination, and confidence of those that have attended my facilities. I am more concerned about developing a fine, well-rounded person than a great gymnast. Young people are our future.”

Well said Coach Tagge and congrats on your effort, keep up the great work! Dynamats will have their Grand Opening on September 16 for those interested in the program or anyone who would just like to check out the new facility.

Jim Webb

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