Tag Archives: Newsletter

Wonderful Weather Arrives for Run, Ride & Soar


A tagline for Run, Ride & Soar is, “The joy of running in community.” After a five-inch rainfall on Thursday, September 10, there was no greater joy than celebrating a clear Friday evening with community, including both Bird-in-Hand neighbors and out-of-town visitors. Colorful hot air balloons launched, children excelled in the Kids Run, 5K runners crossed the finish line, and lots of pasta, pizza, pies and s’mores were served.

On Saturday, September 12 the rain held off for the Half Marathon that began at 7:30 am. The country roads along the course were lined with enthusiastic fans and local volunteers who staffed the water stations. There were hoses for cooling off and musicians to provide inspiration. And as always, the scenery in the beautiful farmlands was exhilarating and made the challenging run worthwhile.2015-12-01_15-05-22

This event is growing each year. There is a special community spirit here in Bird-in-Hand that draws people from 45 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Guyana, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden. We have a wonderful testimony of neighbors working side-by-side to benefit the local Fire Company. We have plenty of goodwill to go around. When the runners come to Bird-in-Hand, they really do experience the joy of running in commnity. Read their responses to the race.

  • Thank you for the warm welcome!
  • Great course, great weather, great folks!
  • This experience is worth the flight from Germany!!!
  • Fabulous race for a superb cause! I took a photo that captures everything: first responders, Amish pacer, runners and community!
  • This was definitely one of the best, prettiest, and friendliest races I’ve ever done.
  • Great job again BIH Half Marathon organizers. You sure do know how to do it right.
  • Beautiful scenery, great volunteers, good food, friendliest and most organized race!
  • Wonderfully organized, beautiful route and amazing people supporting the runners.
  • During the after-race, I had a chance to sit with an Amish family. I thanked them for welcoming us into their community and serving us!
  • Absolutely the most organized, family-friendly, scenic and downright “funnest” race I’ve ever run!
  • My neck hurts from wearing my awesome medal around!

Run, Ride & Soar Coordinator Jim Smucker said, “The Fire Company and the Bird-in-Hand community hit another grand slam this year! Although that is baseball terminology and not runners’ lingo, we definitely hit this event out of the ballpark!”


a. Off and running, Half Marathon runners begin their 13.1 mile journey.
b. Gordonville Ambulance personnel are ready to provide vital runner rehab services.
c. A happy couple displays their horseshoe medals and Road Apple Awards.
d. Community members gather along Church Rd. to cheer on runners who love our countryside.
e. Race founders John and Jim Smucker lend their support each year.
f. Lou Ann Hoerner serves shoofly and apple pie, traditional goodies that represent the hospitality of our area.
g. Local craftsmen spend significant time hand making all of the awards given at our races.
h. Local families provide a much-needed service of handing cups to runners at 10 different aid stations.
i. The end of a perfect evening is making s’mores over an open fire as locals and out-of-town guests mingle.

Donated Items Give Carriage Auction a Boost

Page1_16Good weather, good attendance, and good bidding all made for a very good Lancaster County Carriage and Antique Auction on June 25 & 26, according to Coordinator Jake King. With the tremendous backing of the Bird-in-Hand community and the help of 400 volunteers, this year’s auction went smoothly and grew in numbers and profits.

It is amazing that 5,000 auction-goers gathered in our small village for the events on Thursday and Friday. There was a 7 percent increase in registered bidders and a 14 percent increase in consignors. However, it was the large number of donated items that pushed the auction profits up by 65 percent. These donations included tack, antiques and collectibles, a runabout carriage, furniture, and several quilts.

This year the Carriage Auction was advertised as many auctions wrapped into one event. Read what attendees said about each individual auction.

Early Bird Auction

We own a craft and antique store four hours north of here close to the New York state line. We are finding some very good deals at the Thursday evening auction.“- Towanda, PA


Plant Auction

We have come to this auction for many, many years – even when it was held on the farm on Belmont Road. For us from New England, the flowers are a bargain.” – Massachusetts

This auction gets bigger every year. It is very well organized and the community works very hard to pull it off. I love that the wagon boys take my flowers right to my door.” – Bird-in-Hand, PA (next door neighbor to the auction)


Main Auction

After 30 years of storing our carriages, webrought them today to sell at this auction.” – Orwigsburg, PA

We love horses and carriages and do some competitive driving. We watch the auction for a while and find out the prices. We come just in case we see something we want! Wouldn’t miss it!” – Central & Southern New Jersey


Thank you to the many volunteers who helped make this a successful fundraiser for the Fire Company


Community member Ruth Petersheim designed, quilted, and donated this special quilt honoring the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company. The winning bid was $700!






Page1_3-0004Perennials and annuals have become a major draw for both the Thursday and Friday auctions. The Fire Company appreciates the local support at these blocks.








This runabout was donated by local businesses and individuals. Proceeds helped offset auction overhead costs.

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital

wellspan_logoWellSpan is a charitable, nonprofit comprehensive health system in central Pennsylvania. Its mission statement is: working as one to improve health through exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities. WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, one of the five respected WellSpan hospitals in this region, has been motivated by this mission statement to be a sponsor of the Run, Ride & Soar weekend for the past two years.

WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital and its health care professionals have a rich tradition of being an important part of this community. Amy Walsh, senior community relations specialist at WellSpan Health says, “We chose to sponsor this event because it aligns with our mission to foster a healthy community. Part of that mission includes ensuring that our first responders have the resources they need to serve their community. From our perspective, this sponsorship is a win-win.”

Both the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company and WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital are organizations that care deeply about the well being of the local community. The outstanding fire protection and excellent health resources they provide make this area a desirable place to live.

WellSpan encourages local residents to become healthy and stay that way. When residents participate in the events of the Run, Ride & Soar weekend it helps to accomplish this goal. Many of the runners in the Bird-in-Hand 5K and Half Marathon come from across WellSpan’s service area, including Lancaster, York, Adams, and Lebanon Counties. In fact, WellSpan employees were registered for both the 5K Run and the Half Marathon.

One patient, one community, and one unique health care need at a time. That is the approach WellSpan takes in developing and strengthening systems of care in each community. Their goal is for local people to have access to high quality health care in their community. Along with that, WellSpan believes in building partnerships with organizations like the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company to ensure that the health and wellness needs of their neighbors in the community are being met.

Currently the Run, Ride & Soar sponsorship is the only formal relationship that the Fire Company and WellSpan have established, but both organizations are open to additional partnership opportunities in the future in order to continue building a healthy Bird-in-Hand community.

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In support of their employer’s wellness initiatives, WellSpan employees enjoy the evening 5k Run.
(Karen Comerford #899, Caitlyn Artz #889, Corey Eshleman #883, Tanya Guise #886, Sharla Lester #894, Gene Geib #852)