Spotlight’s On: Dr. David Kenley

                Dr. David Kenley has a piece of advice for everyone living in the Elizabethtown community.

                “Appreciate what’s in your own back yard.” He says.

                Dr. Kenley would be one to know. He works as a Professor of History at Elizabethtown College, and is an active community-member within the borough. Dr. Kenley moved to Elizabethtown with his family in July 2004, in order to take a job at the college. Before coming to Etown, he lived in Huntington, West Virginia where he worked as a professor at Marshall University. Kenley said that although Huntington was a larger community then Etown, it was more isolated. Indeed, one of the things Kenley appreciates most about Etown is easy travel methods and close proximity to major cities, such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Access to these cities would naturally be a priority for a traveler like Kenley, who has been to 46 out of 50 states. (Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as the Dakotas remain on his unvisited list.)

                Kenley is very involved on campus, organizing events such as Etown College’s Scholarship Day, a day dedicated to the scholarly and creative accomplishments of Etown students. He also actively participates within the community. He has three children, two girls and one boy, and he attends their extracurricular events. He has one daughter who is a Girl Scout, the other partakes in gymnastics. His son participates in high school sports, and the Kenley family has season tickets during the Etown High School football season. His wife is a township official, on the Planning Commission. Their entire family attends a local church.

                For Dr. Kenley, Etown is both similar and different to the other towns he has lived in. He says that most of the places where he has lived are all near a college or university, and that Etown is very much a college town. He admits that Etown is much smaller than other areas he has previously lived in, with a more rural atmosphere, but despite its initial unfamiliarity, the borough has grown on him. He says his kids love it here; they have entirely embraced Etown life.

                Following his own advice, Kenley advises members of the Etown community to go and look at the Masonic homes. The gardens are beautiful, and are often overlooked by those living closest in the community. Elizabethtown also has an Amtrak station (located conveniently near the Masonic homes) which can be capitalized on for travel. Bring people in and out of Etown, to experience all it has to offer. If you’re looking for David Kenley, you just might find him.

Elizabethtown Sporting Goods

Elizabethtown Sporting Goods has been supplying customers not just in Pennsylvania, but also the Maryland and New Jersey areas. It’s quite a large area to cover for a small, local business.

To many it may come as a surprise, but E-town Sporting Goods has been around for 4 decades now! They continue to provide “quality custom screen-printing, embroidery, uniforms, trophies, plaques, awards, sports equipment and special orders for corporate and public sectors”.

The location of the store, just down College Avenue from the Elizabethtown College campus, makes it very advantageous for the sports teams’ use.

“It’s super convenient and they are easy to work with and have competitive pricing,” said Coach Chris Straub, head of the track and field team at the college.

A good number of central Pennsylvania high schools have also established good business relationships with E-town Sporting Goods. Some as far as an hour away have come to the store with their screen-printing and embroidery needs.

“They also do our awards for our year-end cross-country and track and field banquets and we’ve discussed them doing the engraving for our All-Time All-MAC boards we hope to build in the near future”, said Straub.

Another great thing about the store is that they handle more than just sports-related orders. They also handle business apparel orders, as well as fraternity and sorority items, and marketing items including pens, cards, mouse pads and other promotional products.

Even though they may be a small, local business, their reputation for high-quality work has spread throughout the area. Straub had very high praise for the work they do. “They do excellent work and we’re very fortunate to have them right down the road from the college!”

The turn-a-round for most orders is only seven to ten working days, which is pretty good considering the size of the business. Some custom orders like uniforms may take longer depending on the number being produced and the season.

You can even bring in apparel that has been purchased elsewhere and get something such as a logo printed on it. This is what most of the sports teams’ do at the college. For example, the track and field teams have used E-town Sporting Goods for their embroidery on many occasions on items they have purchased elsewhere for winning their conference championships.

If you visit their online site, you can view the various catalogs they have, from sports to business apparel. You can check out E-town Sporting Goods online, fax the store at (717) 367-6633, or email them at with any questions.

Homegrown Business Makes Bigger Moves

This April will mark the official grand opening of a business certain to help with your outdoor needs.  Home Grown Outdoor Finishes, located at 189 South Ridgeview Road has come a long way from its humble beginnings and its new marketing hopes to be successful.

What started out as a small gig evolved into something much bigger for young entrepreneur Trent DeArment.  Since 1998 TD Lawncare has been providing a full line of top quality professional landscaping services to Lancaster County.  In 2005 the business really took off with the acquisition of its first employee.

In 2008 Pristine Pressure Washing was added to the mix.  “It was a good complimentary business to have along with TD Lawncare,” said DeArment.  This is when a business partner was added.  The combination of TD Lawncare and Pristine Pressure Washing is now being marketed under one name, Home Grown Outdoor Finishes.

DeArment, now 22, was born and raised in Elizabethtown and attended Elizabethtown Area High School and graduated in 2005.  He majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship at Elizabethtown College where he graduated in 2009.  He currently is attending Lebanon Valley College pursuing his MBA.  When not in class he is working on finishing up the construction and design of his shop in preparation for the event in April.

Overall, Home Grown Outdoor Finishes provides retail landscape supplies, stone products, mulching, landscape design, building and construction, patios, retaining walls, water features, lawn and landscape maintenance and pressure washing services.  During the winter months, it also provides snow removal to clients.  “We’ve always been Home Grown Outdoor Finishes, we just never marketed it until now,” said DeArment.  “We decided to start because we truly are going to be an outdoor finishes company offering all the finishing touches to a perfect backyard retreat.”

During peak season Home Grown Outdoor Finishes maintains around 14 employees and hopes to increase this number by the end of the year.  They offer coverage in Lancaster, Lebanon Dauphin and York counties and currently have over 200 combined commercial and residential clients in lawn care and snow removal.  In the near future DeArment hopes to open another store in the Lancaster/Lebanon area and be a larger player in the stone retail business.

DeArment and Home Grown Outdoor Finishes gives back to the Elizabethtown community, more than just keeping our lawns groomed.  They are active members of the Elizabethtown Rotary Club and Optimist Club and donate to the area’s Relay for Life event as well as Alzheimer’s Awareness funds.

“Sweetest place” soon to get sweeter

Chocolate World, one of many reasons why Hershey, Pennsylvania, is “the sweetest place on earth,” is about to get sweeter. Starting in summer 2010, they will build a new addition and offer a tantalizing option: create your own candy bar. The bars will be big, about the same as the giant-sized Hershey bars. A long list of ingredients will serve as inspiration, and the customer gets to choose as many as he or she wants. It will cost about $12 or $13, depending on which ingredients are used.

So when is the best time to visit to beat the crowds? As a rule, summer is the busiest time. The amount of visitors to nearby Hershey Park correlates directly with the amount of people at Chocolate World, according to Grace Copeland, a guest services employee who has worked at Chocolate World for almost ten years. “Weekends are the busiest,” she added, noting that throngs of visitors from Baltimore. New Jersey and Philadelphia often take day trips to the attraction. Copeland believes that Mondays and Tuesdays are the best time to go in order to avoid major crowds.

Another factor that largely influences the influx of people is the weather. “If it’s raining, everyone rushes out of the park and comes to Chocolate World,” Copeland said. “If it’s too hot, they come in here to keep cool. If it’s cold, they come in to buy sweatshirts.”

An estimated three million people visit Chocolate World each year. What draws them? “Our kids love the ride,” one father said, adding that his family visits the attraction about six to ten times per year. “The candy, of course!” a woman exclaimed, savoring a Hershey kiss. And candy is an understatement. From Kit Kats to Jolly Ranchers to Symphony bars to Good and Plentys to York Peppermind Patties, to name just a few, Chocolate World presents something for almost everyone. If your sweet tooth is still not satisfied, try the famous five-pound Hershey bar ($39.95) or the three-pound Twizzler bag ($5.95).

What surprises visitors most, according to Copeland, is how much Milton Hershey did for the community and the world. Born in poverty, he worked dead-end jobs until he was almost forty, when he found great success in the caramel industry. Around 1900 he switched to chocolate, working side by side with employees who admired his ambition.

The factory, close to Lancaster, PA, was in the middle of nowhere, and Hershey knew he would have to create a place for employees to live. He founded a small, intimate community and ensured that all its inhabitants were well cared for, even during the Great Depression. In 1909, Hershey and his wife also founded Hershey Industrial School for orphaned boys, which became the Milton Hershey School. The majority of his company’s profit went to the school, and as he specified in his will, it has ever since.

Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Citizen Journalism