Friday, October 19, 2012

Quick Links - Good Reads

Weekly Round Up – Things We Thought Were Interesting

Time is precious and a hot commodity. So, some of our blogs will be very short and sweet – quick links to things we found interesting that we thought you might, too. The topics change week to week. We got this nifty idea from one of our favorite bloggers. So feel free to read, browse and share. Good stuff!
PR/Professional News
Instagram Success
13 Facebook Mistakes That Scare Fans Away
10 Ways to Beat the Blogging Blahs

Just Interesting
5 Ways to Live the Life You Want

Friday, October 12, 2012

Quick Links - Good Reads

Weekly Round Up – Things We Thought Were Interesting

Time is precious and a hot commodity. So, some of our blogs will be very short and sweet – quick links to things we found interesting that we thought you might, too. The topics change week to week. We got this nifty idea from one of our favorite bloggers. So feel free to read, browse and share. Good stuff!

PR/Professional News
35 Experts on How to Maximize Facebook
9 Lessons from the Presidential Debate

Just Interesting
How a Child Changes You
Working Out Leads to Higher Salaries
Running Feels Easier for Men When Women Are Watching

Caught Looking Good
25 Twitter Header Photos to Inspire You
17-year-old entrepreneur shares lessons learned

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Ugly Truth - Domestic Violence Claims 166 Lives in PA in 2011

 Last year, 166 people lost their lives to domestic violence. Just in Pennsylvania. That’s approximately one every other day.

The statistics are unsettling. An Associated Press report reveals that 1 of 4 women say they’ve been victims of domestic abuse at some point in their lives.

The numbers sound high – to everyone except those who work with the victims.

The stats also include a number of men and children.

In Pennsylvania, domestic violence victims included 60 adult females, 45 adult males and 13 children and teens. The youngest victim was just 1; the oldest 90 years of age.

Of the perpetrators, 38 committed suicide and 10 were killed by police or others. The youngest was 16; the oldest 92.

Of the domestic violence deaths, 66% were by gun. One was shot and set on fire, one was shot and bludgeoned with a hammer, and one was shot and stabbed.

Another 33 individuals were stabbed, 4 were strangled, and 3 were beaten. Three were bludgeoned with a baseball bat, 1 was strangled and their throat slashed, 1 was stabbed and their throat slashed, 1 suffered blunt head trauma, 1 died of carbon monoxide poisoning, 1 was strangled then suffered blunt head force trauma and cardio arrest, 1 was run over by a car and 1 was shot with an arrow from a crossbow.

Four victims and one perpetrator were pregnant at the time, 2 fatalities occurred on Valentine’s Day, 1 on Thanksgiving and 1 on Christmas. One victim was a police officer, 2 perpetrators were police officers. Thirteen victims were 65 or older, including 6 who were 80 or older. There were 4 incidents involving teen dating violence and of the youngest victims, 3 were killed by their mothers, 5 by their father’s, 2 by their mother’s boyfriend. Another was killed by a male teen who had a crush on his victim, 1 was killed by an ex-boyfriend, and 1 was caught in crossfire between two brothers.
As you can see, domestic violence touches all ages and occurs in what we consider the safest of abodes.

In Pennsylvania, there were 124 reported incidents in 2011, 27 murder/suicides, and 36 counties with fatalities. June was the highest month for fatalities and Saturday was the most common day.
Philadelphia had the highest victim count at 27; York County had 4.

To learn more or to read the full report, click here

Friday, October 5, 2012

Quick Links - Good Reads

Weekly Round Up – Things We Thought Were Interesting

Time is precious and a hot commodity. So, some of our blogs will be very short and sweet – quick links to things we found interesting that we thought you might, too. The topics change week to week. We got this nifty idea from one of our favorite bloggers. So feel free to read, browse and share. Good stuff!

PR/Professional News
Painting a Picture with Stories – You have to read it to see the beauty
2012 PR Daily Awards – The best of…….

Just Interesting
12 Communication Basics Everyone Should Know
Overqualified? – How to turn it into a positive
10 Reasons Why Using Twitter Will Boost Your Happiness

Caught Looking Good
The new Confidence to Greatness Website – empowering teens with real-life stories
96-year-old woman to run half marathon
Mary Kay donates $3 million to help women’s shelters in all 50 states
A Cake You Have to See to Believe – Rock On!


Mary Kay Donates $3 Million to Women's Shelters in All 50 States

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Last week, Milestones Communications launched a regular ongoing Q&A that spotlights what shelters and other organizations around the country are doing to help victims throughout the U.S. 

We spoke with:

The York County YWCA (PA)
Hope's Door (TX)
Women of Means Escape Network (CA)
PA Coalition Agaisnt Domestic Violence

We also came across news that we're excited to share with our readers:

The Mary Kay Foundation Donates $3 Million to 150 Domestic Violence Shelters in All 50 States

Do you have news to share?

Feel free to forward to

We'll be happy to share news with readers. You never know who might be helped.

In the meantime, thanks to all those helping to raise awareness of this vital issue and providing much-needed resources to women, victims, and families in need.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Elaborate "Rocker" Cake Takes 120 Hours to Custom Design

A Cake for Kings
Custom crafted design features local rockers Kingsfoil onstage and “live”

YORK, PA. -- Maybe you can have your cake – and eat it, too. For local rockers Kingsfoil, what could be sweeter than a new album launch party on the heels of a VH1 interview? Well, how about an incredible custom cake to commemorate the occasion? 


The indie rock band – featuring Jordan Davis, Tristan Martin, Tim Warren and Malcolm in the Middle’s celebrity star Frankie Muniz - is based out of York County, PA. Their new album, A Beating Heart is a Bleeding Heart, was officially released on Sept. 25.  A local launch party was held at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Hundreds of fans attended to see Kingsfoil perform their latest hits. After the show, fans were served with pieces of chocolate and vanilla cake draped in a sugary creation that tasted great and looked out-of-this-world.

Christy Marie's

The cake, a custom creation handcrafted courtesy of Christy Marie’s in Shrewsbury, PA took more than 120 hours total to create and consumed more than 50 pounds of fondant, a special icing used to decoratively cover cakes and create more intricate designs.

Topped with lifelike figurines of the four rockers - as well as their instruments, their set and stage lights lit, yes lit, around the perimeter of the concert stage. Each piece is modeled after photos that show the musicians in their everyday and promo attire and/or performing. Jordan wears a denim shirt from one of the band’s promo photos and Frankie is sporting red tennis shoes; the drum cymbals spotlight a dusty bronze cast and no stage would be complete without multiple microphones bent at varying angles.

The various pieces are made of a multiple of mediums – fondant, gumpaste, modeling chocolate and rice crispy treats. The album cover rotated on top while a midnight blue-black-silver color scheme inspired by the album permeated top to bottom.

Christy Marie Parrish started the intensive project after seeing a concert in May and designed each component, piece by piece.  Molds are used to create the bodies, which are then clothed with shirts, jeans and shoes. Hair, eyes and facial features are distinctly different and unique to each performer.

Photos by Sarah Bothwell at Blue Couch Studios
“I’m really big into detail,” says Christy. She painstakingly analyzes photos, uploads them to a computer, color matches the fondant, and sculpts designs down to the piano keys, guitar strings, and set d├ęcor. A set list with song titles lies sideways on the floor, instruments show their brand names, and a miniature carrier case wears their trademark tree design.

These big projects are always a family affair at Christy Marie’s. Christy’s sister-in-law, Tiffany, enjoys baking and loved the challenge of making this large cake and especially supporting a local band.
Christy Marie’s is a local business in south central Pa. that sells cake and candy supplies, everything you need to create your own custom sweets and treats. Christy's parents were owners of The Cake & Wedding Cottage in Baltimore, Md., which recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Christy Marie’s opened in 2009.

If you’re inspired, you can learn how to create your own custom designs. For a full listing of current and upcoming classes, you can visit or call 717-235-6555.

Go to the Christy Marie’s Facebook Page
Follow on Twitter @ChristyMaries

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Small Business Celebrates Big Day

True Value Plus 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 6;
Proceeds Benefit Fire Departments

True Value Plus will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a customer appreciation event on Saturday, Oct. 6, at its stores at 836 E. Forrest Avenue, Shrewsbury and 231 N. Main Street, Loganville. Festivities will include a bounce house for the kids, free hot dogs and Carman’s ice cream from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., as well as a cake cutting at noon and door prizes throughout the day at both locations. Customers also will enjoy many items 50% off in honor of True Values 50 years of business - and 5% of all sales will be donated to the Shrewsbury and Loganville Volunteer Fire Departments, which will have fire engines on site and on display.                                                                          
True Value Plus has long been a family-owned business that’s worked hard, changed with the times and given back to the community. The Shrewsbury home improvement center, which now features 36,000 square feet of retail space, was first owned and operated by Bob Hittie and his wife Jean. Their two sons, Scott and Brad both grew up in the store and today co-own and co-manage the day-to-day operations.
“Over the years,” says Scott Hittie, “we have carefully aligned our product selection to meet the needs of the community and deliver on the expectations of local customers. We are committed to our customers and to providing them with the best shopping experience possible. As an independent retailer, we've created a one-stop destination where shoppers can find all the great products, expert advice, and inspiration they need to get their small repair and home-improvement projects done right.”

With any business in existence for half a century, there is interesting trivia. Did you know:

·         Bob and Jean Hittie bought New Freedom Hardware in 1962
·         The store initially looked more like a gift store than a hardware store
·         The Hittie children grew up on site – first napping and playing in, then working after school til close, and later running the store
·         The owners started out doing odds and ends job to make ends meet – rototilling gardens, repairing windows and screens, delivering items
·         Today, True Value Plus makes 12,000 keys annually, mixed 11,000 gallons of paint, filled more than 11,000 propane tanks, sold more than 12,000 2x4’s and is one of the largest Stihl dealers in the region
·         The Shrewsbury store has undergone several expansions in just the last 10 years – in 2002, with a drive through lumber warehouse, in 2005, converting warehouse storage into a retail sales area three times it’s original, and in 2009, both stores were remodeled, that made them brighter, more organized and easier to shop.  

Stop by Saturday, Oct. 6 to celebrate with True Value Plus – and to help a good cause.

“This all started with our father,” says Hittie. “When he started out in business, he realized that he needed to be involved in the community. And, he has done this in a big way over the years. In the 70's, Bob thought that New Freedom needed a Community Center, and he was a big part in making that happen. The same thing when the YMCA came to town. Bob became highly involved in the planning process and he made a large financial commitment. True Value has always tried to fully support as many local organizations as possible. This includes the local libraries, fire departments, school organizations- sports teams, bands, yearbook, etc., countless local Church groups, local youth sports teams, and many Scouting organizations.
Scott and Brad are both Eagle Scouts and enjoy helping many young men with their Eagle projects. Bob has been very involved with the New Freedom Lions Club and has worked many, many hours at their annual carnival over the years. And Jean was the unsung hero. She was always right there to keep him organized, fed, and supported. She worked many hours at the New Freedom store, raised two sons and was an active volunteer. Scott and Brad continue to model themselves after their parents, but the bar has been set high.
“Dad continues to work some hours almost every day, even at the age of 81,” says Brad Hittie. “Our parents are highly respected in the community and they have earned it. They love this community. And the community has allowed us to reach this 50-year anniversary. They’ve supported us, just as we’ve tried our best to support them.”

So, come on out and join the fun as a local business celebrates half a century!

WGTY Radio plans a live broadcast noon-2 at the Shrewsbury store with Dan Douglas and there will be a Kidde Fire Safety Event from 10-2.

Visit the True Value website
Find their Facebook page
Follow on Twitter

Are you celebrating a milestone? Let us know. You can email me at