AMBUCS Altoona Newsletter for October 30, 2018

Today’s Meeting:  Dave Aikens – Discussing his recent trip to the AMBUCS National Convention


Future Speakers:

November 6th – TBD


Whacha’ May Have Missed Last Week: Our guest speakers were Jennifer Knisely and Sara Ebersole of the Altoona Library. Jennifer, who has been the library’s Executive Director since Altoona Library Logo2011, began by stating that the Altoona Library is one of eight libraries in Blair County and also one of the state’s 29 District Library Centers. She explained that the library has 141,000 items for the public to access…which includes 128,000 books as well as DVD’s, E-books, puzzles, document scanners, and even ukuleles! She said that while many people believe that they get their books at no cost, they actually have to purchase them. The purchase of the books represents about 12% of their annual budget. While they do receive some government funding, a large percentage of their funding comes from the Altoona School District, who also owns and maintains the building. The staff includes six librarians and other paid staff as well as numerous volunteers.

Sara, who is the Children’s Services Supervisor, noted that many of the activities at the library are geared for children and youth such as story times, family films, and other activities such as Lego club and Super Saturdays. One of their key programs is their STEM programming. The library adds Arts to the acronym making it STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The library defines STEAM as “where the art of reading becomes the science of discovery”. STEAM events are scheduled year long and include interactive technology such as robotics. Sara brought one of their six robots with her demonstrating how the children can learn to program the robots through coding to move, speak, and perform a number of operations. Sara finished by saying that the library is now much more than just reading. For more information on the library, visit them at


Guests of the Day:

…..President Kristan introduced her guest, Katrin Allison, an Occupational Therapy student at Penn State Dubois, who is doing an extended internship with Kristan.


News of the Week:

…..President Kristan noted that at the recent AMBUCS booth at Pumpkinfest, she spoke to a mother of a child who would benefit from one of our Amtrykes. Kristan will be working with the child to determine which model is the correct one. The club will then order a tryke for the child.


Happy Hour…..Social Chairman, Jim Huff asked for a show of hands from those members who would  be interested in a social at the Rail City Brewing Company on 11th Ave in Altoona at some future date. From the response, Jim and Carl Gingrich will organize the event. Watch for further details!


…..Last week, Dave Aikens and John Lloyd went to the DuBois High School to repair an Amtryke that one of the students owns and uses at the school. While there, one of the school’s therapists noted that the student will graduate this year and will be taking the Amtryke home with him, leaving the school without one. Dave and John will be discussing with the AMBUCS board the possibility of securing an Amtryke for the school.


…..Ken Decker distributed order sheets for the Cooke Tavern dried soup mixes that we sold at the recent Pumpkinfest. He also sold some of the remaining stock of the two soups that we had left over from our booth. Please consider buying some of these soups or placing an order sheet at your business. The cost is only $8 and the mixes make up 2 quarts of delicious soup.


…..Candy Princess Kathy Storm, distributed order sheets for our annual Christmas Candy sale. Orders will be delivered at club on Tuesday December 4th. Additionally, as is offered every year, boxes of Gardners chocloate covered pretzel sticks and Peanut Butter Meltaway bars can be ordered for sales in your office by calling Kathy at 931-0351. Please support our annual sale!


Cullen…..Let’s meet our newest Ambuc, Cullen Sheehan. Cullen is a 10 year Allstate Exclusive insurance agent, with his office being located at 413 South Logan Blvd., Lakemont (right across from the traffic light when you pull onto Logan Blvd from our club meetings). Cullen was sponsored by Dave Aikens, but let’s not hold that against Cullen. His family includes his wife Mindy and sons Carter (13) and Aidan (9). Cullen has lived in Blair County for most of his life, attending high school at Hollidaysburg and then graduating from Juniata College with a B.S. degree in business before aquiring his M.B.A. at St Francis University. He enjoys spending time with his family, often in outdoor activities such as skiing and riding ATV’s. He also enjoys coaching youth sports, in particular baseball. He joined AMBUCS because he had heard good things about us and our meetings at Park Hills fit his work schedule. When asked what was rather unique about himself he responded by stating that he was born on the day of the infamous accident at GPU’s Three Mile Island nuclear plant.

Welcome Cullen!


football goal…..The Steelers scored 33 over the Browns this weekend which nets Jim Berkhimer $60 and both Dave McConnell and Steve Parks $20 each; unless of course they have to share the pot with a 33 on Monday Night Football.


Joker…..Last week’s raffle ticket winner was Kathy Storm. Kathy confidently strode to the head table and made a poor choice of the Three of Diamonds. Her non-Joker selection means that this week’s winner will be choosing from the remaining 44 cards (42 cards – 2 Jokers) for a chance to win the pot of around $250.


In Closing:       Last week was a banner week for a chance at winning millions as both the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots sky Money Bagrocketed. But I didn’t see any of our fellow Ambucs on the news holding up one of those giant checks. Too bad, but then what would you have done with all of that money anyway? As comedian Steven Wright once astutely noted…” You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”